You are sitting at your computer, ready to apply for your dream job. You have been waiting for the perfect job to be posted or the certain person to reach out to you and so you start to ponder your cover letter. The butterflies are in your stomach and anticipation of getting the job is in your head. You are sitting there thinking “What should I write in my cover letter??” Well, be relieved that as much as you hate writing covering letters, hiring manager hate reading them.
It takes 7 seconds to review a resume and 1 second to scan your cover letter. So the truth is if we see another cover letter that expresses the “desire to learn” or how your education and experience matches that of the job, or how you managed 15 people which can clearly be seen in your resume please, don’t shoot us, just pull our eyes out! As there is no such thing as an “eye catching” cover letter. Don’t be fooled by posts with information that must be in the cover letter. For the love of anything do not have one…it’s old school!
In the new school of thought, there is no secret to writing a great cover letter, except for not having one and here’s why:
Cover Letters Have Proven To Be Your Window For Error: Countless people make so many errors in their cover letter. Aside for the fact people still make spelling and grammatical errors, people also forget to ensure their cover letter matches their resume and social media platforms.
The ATS- Applicant Tracking System Is Against You- All recruiting firms and most companies use an ATS to make their recruiting efforts more efficient so your cover letter isn’t even kept! It gets deleted as your resume put into the system.
Your Resume Tells Your Story: We know your cover letter is full of jargon about how you want the job but would you apply if you didn’t want the job or work at the company your writing about in detail??
It’s So Damn Long!! What the heck are you writing?? You make it as though we have all the time in the world to sit an read a novel during our work day. If you can’t write quickly, what will it be like meeting you??
The Cover Letter Profiles Your Monotony: Everything you have written in the cover letter is profiled in the resume..we get it. You worked at a, b c company for x years, managed so many people etc etc…again there’s no need to reiterate it in your cover letter.
Your resume, if strong enough, will highlight the elements of your resume that will ensure you are the right match for the job and company you are applying for. If it doesn’t then revamp your resume. Gone are the days when it had to be one page. If you have experience profile it, highlight it, embrace it but let the cover letter die in peace.
If you want to get noticed, don’t write a cover letter write an introductory email about the person you are writing to, as it’s not all about you.
Jessica Glazer is the Recruitment Director/Founder of www.MindHR.com-a head-hunting and resume writing agency. She can also be heard on Montreal’s NewsTalk Radio CJAD and seen on BTMontreal and Global television speaking about employment related issues.
Sometimes you just have to stop and laugh at what the universe sends you but we can actually learn from these humerous errors as well.
Below are just a few laugh out loud errors that have been sent my way. Happy Laughing. Happy Learning.
In Cover Letter: Benefits currently include…”Ham at Christmas” That was conversation I will never forget. I had to call him confirm it was real…it was!! “Ham can be expensive at Christmas, you know?” Was his response…for the record this was a 90k figure guy!
Email address: missyshakes@*******.com Your email address should be professional…Missshakes might agree…and it does exist!!
A gap in employment because…..”Dog Was Sick” I understand people love their pets but not everyone is a pet person this smells like a person with serious issues
“Perfectly Bilingual Written/ Spoken English, French Spoken, Some Italian” Umm..Perfectly bilingual in itself doesn’t make sense but then to break it down to not being bilingual at all???
Sent out a resume on the back side of a draft cover letter to another firm with the words “Pays attention to detail in the cover letter” Just Pay Attention!!
Wrong Name And Company In The Message. Hi, I’m Jessica, Not Jennifer, Not Jasmine, Not Stacey, Nor Susan or Marissa or Nancy…although nice names, they are not mine. My name is Jessica and my company name is MindHR, pretty simple 🙂
Send Cover Letter On Current Company Letterhead! I get you are working but can you at least have the decency to NOT use your current company’s property…it makes me very uneasy
Including Naked Pictures/Half Naked Pictures- If you think you are hot save the gogglers for the beach…I am not Candy-Dating. I am trying to get the best of the best for my clients not the egocentric, narcissistic ones.
Bachelors In Arts 1990 to present…Ummm so when are you going to be finishing that???
Reason for leaving for 4 careers in a row Layoffs but all companies are still in working order and there are no references RED FLAG!!
“Turnaround Consultant- Turned X Y Z companies around” And let me guess you are also a well educated, articulate person with many words!!
15 Page Resume!! I didn’t think it was ever going to end!! DO NOT DO IT!! Send a 2-3 page MAX!
Gardenview Elementary School I really never need to know when you went to elementary school…I’m trying to think of a time I need it, but nope…never…I don’t even need to know when you went to high school…keep to college and above and should we know people in common let’s figure it out when we speak.