cover letters http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14286/all en-US How to Start Off Your Cover Letter Right http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-off-your-cover-letter-right <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-start-off-your-cover-letter-right" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laptop-4329849-small.jpg" alt="woman using laptop" title="woman using laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sure, you&#39;ve read a lot of articles on how to achieve the <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Write-Good-Cover-Letter-24357796">perfect cover letter</a>. However, it&#39;s one thing to know what you should be doing, and it&#39;s another to actually execute it.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Interview-Follow-Up-Email-Template-19179139">Follow Up After a Job Interview With This Email</a></p> <p>The introduction of a cover letter can actually be the toughest part, because it&#39;s your chance to grab the reader&#39;s attention and set the tone for the rest of the letter. I always believe that the best way to lead is by example, so I&#39;ve crafted sample cover letter introductions for you below. Note: I&#39;m applying as a senior in college with a concentration in journalism for an editorial assistant <a href="http://corp.popsugar.com/tag/jobs">position at POPSUGAR</a>. These examples are fictional.</p> <p><strong>This is a generic and more formal introduction that you can use for jobs with less creative leeway.</strong> Of course, it&#39;s not as attention-grabbing, but it may work better with more traditional companies.</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;I am currently a senior at Northwestern University&#39;s Medill School of Journalism seeking the position of an editorial assistant with POPSUGAR. I am looking for a creative work environment, one where I can indulge in my passion for celebrity news and utilize my new media background.&quot;</p></blockquote> <p><strong>Start out with a compliment.</strong> Remember, you don&#39;t want to go overboard with this and sound like you&#39;re fawning. Make it fun and attention-grabbing.</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;Before I say anything, I&#39;d like to thank POPSUGAR for creating such insanely addictive and comprehensive content that has become my go-to daily reading material &mdash; my bookmarks folder is ever grateful for the breathing space.&quot;</p></blockquote> <p><strong>The confessional introduction is a good transition into showing your passion.</strong> In the example below, I managed to slide in a Twitter reference that reflects my grasp of social media, which is an attractive quality in an editorial role. The last bit about being the right fit for the company also shows confidence and drives home the fact in the reader&#39;s mind that you&#39;re a good candidate.</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;I&#39;ll confess. I&#39;m a celebrity news junkie. I live and breathe everything to do with the entertainment world. From staying up to watch Kate Middleton&#39;s <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/Wedding">wedding</a> to tweeting up-to-the-minute updates of <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/Miley-Cyrus">Miley Cyrus</a>&#39;s latest adventures to the 15,000 followers of my pop culture Twitter account &mdash; my passion for the celebrity world makes me the right fit for the editorial assistant position.&quot;</p></blockquote> <p><strong>Start by talking about your job experience.</strong> It&#39;s your chance to bring attention to the most impressive part of your r&eacute;sum&eacute;.</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;Two years of serving as the editor in chief of the biggest fashion magazine on campus has made me even more passionate about covering and being the first to spot the latest trends.&quot;</p></blockquote> <p><strong>Show how well you know the company.</strong> In the example below, I address the heart of what POPSUGAR is about and what really sets it apart from other media companies. It shows that I&#39;m really paying attention to the brand.</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;There aren&#39;t any media companies like POPSUGAR &mdash; I truly admire the way POPSUGAR has its finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest happenings yet always manages to cover them in a tasteful way.&quot;</p></blockquote> <p><strong>Cite your skills to show why you&#39;re a good candidate.</strong></p> <blockquote><p>&quot;As someone who obsesses about the celebrity world, loves the rush of being the first to break news, and uses the virality of social media, I will make a great addition to the POPSUGAR team in San Francisco.&quot;</p></blockquote> <p><strong>Start with an eye-catching intro that doesn&#39;t make it immediately obvious that you&#39;re writing a cover letter.</strong> This hooks a reader into the story, especially someone who has been reading cover letters all day. I added in specific examples toward the end that will definitely impress the hiring manager. It&#39;s always better to throw in examples rather than be vague, because it&#39;s more impressive and makes you look more legitimate. It&#39;s also always a good idea to tack in well-known names and brands if you have them.</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;All my life, there has only been one great love for me. And no, it&#39;s not <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/Channing-Tatum">Channing Tatum</a> (although he definitely comes close!). Nothing and no one can ever measure up to my love of writing, clearly evidenced in my overflowing pile of clips that includes everything from an interview with the founder of Bobbi Brown to local restaurant reviews in <strong>Time Out Chicago</strong>.&quot;</p></blockquote> <p><strong>Drawing attention to the fact that you have firsthand knowledge early on is helpful for the hiring manager.</strong> And making the job easier for the hiring manager is always appreciated!</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;In my previous internship at [insert media company], covering the celebrity world was one of the most exciting opportunities I&#39;d ever had.&quot;</p></blockquote> <p>Now that you have the chance to look at actual examples, you can take elements from each one to create your own introduction. Remember to always craft a cover letter that&#39;s specific to the job position and company you&#39;re applying to, and try not to make these <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Common-Cover-Letter-Mistakes-5040874">common mistakes</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Follow these examples to write an effective, attention-grabbing cover letter introduction! </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Acceptable-Apply-Multiple-Positions-One-Company-1640702">Is Ever OK to Apply For Multiple Positions at One Company?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Job-Search-Mistakes-26730726">10 Ways You&#39;re Sabotaging Your Job Hunt</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Respond-When-Asked-Salary-Requirements-1745457">How to Respond to the Salary Question</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-off-your-cover-letter-right">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-effective-ways-to-make-yourself-more-employable">6 Effective Ways to Make Yourself More Employable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-words-you-need-to-delete-from-your-resume-right-now">12 Words You Need to Delete From Your Resume Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-outdated-job-search-techniques-to-avoid">10 Outdated Job-Search Techniques to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-become-more-hirable">10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Become More Hirable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-linkedin-profile-noticed-with-a-few-attention-grabbing-tweaks">Get Your LinkedIn Profile Noticed With a Few Attention-Grabbing Tweaks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting cover letters job search Wed, 09 Oct 2013 10:36:04 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 994588 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Easy-to-Fix Cover Letter Mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-to-fix-cover-letter-mistakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-easy-to-fix-cover-letter-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6829342681_350c3702d0_z.jpg" alt="writing cover letter" title="writing cover letter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have yet to meet a job hunter who doesn't dread writing cover letters. They're time-consuming and tedious, and unfortunately, they're unavoidable. It's easy to break cover letter etiquette if you're not careful. Those errors can cost you the job, so check out some common mistakes to be sure you're playing by the most important rules.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Job-Hunting-Tips-26217369">RELATED: The Best Job Hunting Tips of the Year</a></p> <h3>Failing to Emphasize the Company</h3> <p>Explain not what the company can do for you, it's what you can do for the company. Cover letters are often &quot;I&quot; filled proclamations of a candidate's attributes and fail to connect how their skills could benefit the employer.</p> <h3>Duplicating What's on the Resume</h3> <p>A cover letter is supposed to say everything you don't have room for on your resume and is the place to highlight certain relevant accomplishments. If your cover letter and resume are barely distinguishable, it's a sign that you might not have enough to offer.</p> <h3>Forgetting to Include Contact Information</h3> <p>Your contact information is one detail you should duplicate on both your resume and cover letter. If the two get separated, the hiring manager will know how to contact the person that wrote such a compelling cover letter.</p> <h3>Leading With a Blah Intro</h3> <p>Recent college graduates often make the mistake of mentioning their new degree in the first line of their cover letters. By doing this, you're suggesting that your educational background is the best thing you have to offer. All applicants, new grads or not, should come up with an attention-grabbing introductory line.</p> <h3>Skipping the Extra Mile</h3> <p>At all costs, avoid addressing your cover letter with &quot;To Whom It May Concern.&quot; It's stuffy and shows that you didn't take the extra step to find the appropriate name. Sometimes all it takes is a call to the company's receptionist or an Internet search may do.</p> <h3>Making It Too Long or Too Short</h3> <p>Limit yourself to a maximum four paragraphs. Use the first paragraph to introduce yourself and the position you're applying for, then mention applicable skills and specific achievements while demonstrating your knowledge of the company, further explain your suitability if your resume can't say it all (like if you're changing careers), and sign off politely letting them know you'll be in touch.</p> <h3>Sending Out a General Letter</h3> <p>One big sign that an applicant hasn't taken the time to customize the cover letter: when the company name is incorrect. Seriously, it happens all the time. Prevent this embarrassing mistake by taking the time to edit each letter to fit every position you're applying for.</p> <h3>Including Personal Details</h3> <p>Your cover letter is no place for details like your age and marital status, or gender and religion for that matter, unless these details are somehow relevant to the position.</p> <h3>Playing It Too Cool or Being Too Stuffy</h3> <p>Your goal is to make the cover letter conversational while maintaining a professional vibe. The goal is to entice the employer to call you for an interview, and they're not necessarily going to want to meet someone who seems too stiff. At the same time, a letter that's too casual might suggest you're not serious about the job. Aim for somewhere in between.</p> <h3>Submitting a Sloppy Letter</h3> <p>You're better than sending off a letter that's full of typos and grammatical errors. But so many people aren't patient enough to proofread their work and end up submitting sloppy cover letters. An employer will recognize this as carelessness and pass you over for someone who took the time.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> If you&#039;re not getting called in for job interviews, the problem could be your cover letter. Make sure it&#039;s up to snuff by avoiding these mistakes. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align: center;"><a style="border: medium none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/7-Job-Hunting-Sins-Avoid-5657179">7 Job Hunting Sins to Avoid</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/What-Name-Your-Resume-Cover-Letter-26126164">What to Name Your Resume and Cover Letter</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Interview-Preparation-Tips-Time-Line-20892485">10 Essential Steps to Take Before a&nbsp;Job Interview</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-to-fix-cover-letter-mistakes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-hired">How to Avoid Getting Hired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter">Stupid Things to Put in Your Cover Letter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-off-your-cover-letter-right">How to Start Off Your Cover Letter Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-dumb-things-employment-recruiters-see-people-do">6 Dumb Things Employment Recruiters See People Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-not-to-wear-to-a-job-interview">What Not to Wear to a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting common job search mistakes cover letters marketing Fri, 21 Dec 2012 10:48:08 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 959891 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Dumb Things Employment Recruiters See People Do http://www.wisebread.com/6-dumb-things-employment-recruiters-see-people-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-dumb-things-employment-recruiters-see-people-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5590727330_5a7354ccba_z_0.jpg" alt="reviewing resume" title="reviewing resume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Back in the day I used to work as a &quot;headhunter&quot; for companies on a national basis. It certainly was an eye-opener to discover what people will or won&rsquo;t say when it comes to the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips">hunt for a good job</a>. It always surprised me that so-called professional people seeking six-figure incomes kept making the same juvenile mistakes over and over when looking for a new job. Personally, I always felt if these people were writing &quot;great written communication skills&quot; on a resume where their names were misspelled, they were not fit to be called upon for vacancies.</p> <p>Whether or not you are using a recruiter for your job search, there is a good chance you are also making the same mistakes I used to see time and time again. Even now when helping family and friends update their resumes I see many common errors that could cost you a shot at a good job.</p> <p>Here are six dumb things you should consider before turning in a resume if you really want that job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-job-getting-tips-from-a-guy-whos-hired-500-people-in-the-past-5-years">8 Job-Getting Tips From a Guy Who's Hired 500&nbsp;People in the Last 5 Years</a>)</p> <h3>1. Just Running&nbsp;Spell Check and Sending Off the Resume</h3> <p>I often wondered if people even read what they had turned into our recruiting office. While that may sound funny, I bet many people never actually went back and read through their entire resume before attaching it to their email. As a result, there were so many stupid mistakes, but these potential candidates claimed they paid great attention to detail. Right!</p> <p>While technology gives us the convenience of spell check and a built-in thesaurus, you need to rely on your brain to make sure your resume actually makes sense. As months go by, make sure you are updating your resume each time a change occurs. Lots of candidates lost out on jobs when their emails were returned to me as non-working or phone numbers had changed.</p> <h3>2. Not Promoting Yourself Properly</h3> <p>I cannot count how many times I have received a resume from an executive-level candidate that was basically a fill-in-the-blank template. It is understandable you would want to have a resource to help you draft your resume, but if you are looking at an executive position, you should be able to do more than fill in some blanks about yourself.</p> <p>Your resume is a summary of your career and achievements and should work for you, not against you. Complete several drafts of your information until you are able to provide a clear, concise, and accurate summary in a professional-looking format.</p> <h3>3. Not Defining What You&nbsp;Want</h3> <p>As part of a resume, you have the opportunity to express your interests and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-hired">job preferences</a> in the top section usually labeled as &quot;Objective.&quot; Simply stating that you want a paying job is just not good enough. It&rsquo;s already obvious you want a job &mdash; thus the resume submission. You should be more specific about what you are looking for within the specific position being offered. If you can&rsquo;t tell the hiring agent what you want to do, don&rsquo;t expect many opportunities to get hired.</p> <h3>4. Not Reading the Job Posting</h3> <p>It was very frustrating to read the many resumes and cover letters that came in that had absolutely no relevance to the actual position to be filled. Whenever you submit a resume for an advertised position, be sure to craft your cover letter and gear your resume toward the actual requirements of the job. Not all jobs are the same, but if you are sending the same information over and over, don&rsquo;t be surprised when you don&rsquo;t get a call for an interview. Let the employer know why you would be a good fit for the position that is available. If you don&rsquo;t stand out in some way, you will surely sit at the bottom of the pile.</p> <h3>5.&nbsp;Not Properly Utilizing the Cover Letter</h3> <p>Granted, many people do not learn the art of resume writing in high school or maybe even in college, but there are enough free resources available to give you a clear idea of what is expected when you are applying for a job using a resume. A cover letter should be attached to your resume with every submission. This cover letter can make or break your chances for getting further in the hiring process. You have a chance to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-get-hired-be-memorable">capture the employer&rsquo;s attention</a> in this letter to make them want to keep reading. Cover letters should be professional looking, well written, and relevant to the job vacancy. Go online or to the library and brush up on the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter">fundamentals of a resume cover letter</a>.</p> <h3>6. Thinking Resumes Don't Matter</h3> <p>Jobs are already tough to come by, and every level of job is highly competitive. Don&rsquo;t slack on creating a good resume for yourself even if you have to pay for assistance. If you do hire someone, play an active part in creating your resume and don&rsquo;t expect your writer to just make up information that looks good on paper. Your input is vital to a truthful resume.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t forget to get a list of references together prior to submitting one to a potential employer and double check with every person on that list that you have their permission to be used as a contact. There have been many occasions in my run as a recruiter where references were clueless when contacted which makes a candidate look irresponsible.</p> <p>Your resume and cover letter is your first impression on a recruiter or potential employer. If you want to stay in the competition, you need to ensure you are providing the best representation of yourself to the employer so you can be successful at securing a job of your choice.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-dumb-things-employment-recruiters-see-people-do">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-job-recruiters-come-to-you">9 Ways to Make Job Recruiters Come to You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter">Stupid Things to Put in Your Cover Letter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-to-fix-cover-letter-mistakes">10 Easy-to-Fix Cover Letter Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-year-new-resume">New Year, New Resume</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-get-hired-be-memorable">Want to Get Hired? Be Memorable.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting cover letters recruiters resume writing Mon, 12 Nov 2012 10:36:43 +0000 Tisha Tolar 955168 at http://www.wisebread.com Stupid Things to Put in Your Cover Letter http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015820927Small.jpg" alt="Man who regrets what he wrote" title="Man who regrets what he wrote" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Crafting a compelling, convincing cover letter is not easy. The pressure to the capture the reader's attention without being annoying can be paralyzing. Concentrate on showing how you can contribute to the employer's success while avoiding these mistakes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-hired">How to Avoid Getting Hired</a>)</p> <h3>Assertions That You Are <em>the</em> Ideal Candidate</h3> <p>Chandlee Bryan, Community Manager at <a href="http://www.startwire.com/">StartWire</a>, shares this advice:</p> <blockquote><p>Don't ever say you are the ideal candidate for the job. Unless you've seen the applicant pool and you know the hiring values aside from the job description, you can't assume you are the ideal candidate.</p> <p>Here's a tactic you can use instead: Restate primary qualifications of the job and show how your past experience and skill set fits &quot;hand in glove&quot; with the requirements. You ask for ____; I offer ___. Bullets work well for this. Including short, concrete examples of past achievements that are relevant for the job is another winning approach.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Statements Indicating That You Are a &ldquo;Hard Worker&rdquo;</h3> <p>Career strategist <a href="http://www.nicoledarling.com/">Nicole Darling</a> tells job seekers to eliminate references to being a &quot;hard worker.&quot;</p> <p>My experience tells me that those who claim to be hard workers either 1) substitute effort for finesse, often yielding below-average results or 2) understate the intellect and creativity they contributed in their roles, attributing success solely to effort and long hours. Convey that you are capable of making the time and taking initiative to bring ideas to fruition, not that you are a worker drone who loves to log 80-hour workweeks in an unimaginative setting.</p> <p>Nicole also recommends avoiding positive but overly used words such as &quot;team player, motivated, excellent communication skills.&quot;</p> <p>Instead, demonstrate how desirable traits manifested themselves in the workplace. For example, state that you headed a team that routinely met tight deadlines for product launches; collaborated with contractors and vendors in remote locations worldwide, overcoming cultural and language barriers; or implemented new methods of delivering customer service at costs well below industry standards.</p> <h3>Anything Non-Personalized</h3> <p><a href="http://www.theredrecruiter.com/">The Red Recruiter</a> cautions against generic terms. Addressing correspondence &ldquo;To Whom It May Concern&rdquo; is an example of what not to do.</p> <p>Get the name of the hiring manager or recruiter to personalize each letter. Likewise, use the company&rsquo;s name and identifying details (location, industry, etc.) rather than referencing &ldquo;the company&rdquo; or &ldquo;your industry&quot; in a bland letter.</p> <h3>Bungled Wording</h3> <p><a href="http://absolutelyabby.com/index.php">Abby Kohurt</a>,&nbsp;author, speaker, and recruiter, has reviewed lots of letters that used twisted phrases:</p> <blockquote><p>A fast-paced company is not the same thing as a &quot;face paced,&quot; a &quot;fast paised,&quot; or even a &quot;fast paste&quot; company. Perhaps someone who uses the keyboard shortcut CTRL+V believes that they are working at a &quot;fast paste&quot; speed. I think not.</p> <p>The abbreviation for Assistant is Asst. Please don't ever forget that. When you drop the &quot;t&quot; from &quot;Asst&quot; you aren't offering much to be proud of.</p> <p>Hiring is not the same thing as &quot;highering&quot; or &quot;hiering&quot; or &quot;hireing.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Check word use and verify spelling before sending the cover letter.</p> <h3>A Precise Time of Follow Up</h3> <p>Abby also advises against saying, for example, that you will &ldquo;follow up with a call on August 1<sup>st</sup> at 11:00 a.m.&rdquo; when you won&rsquo;t actually make that call. Even if your intentions are good, your availability may change, preventing you from being a person of your word.</p> <p>Mention that you will follow up but don't specify a date or time.</p> <h3>Too Many Sentences That Start With &quot;I&quot;</h3> <p><a href="http://www.coachmeg.typepad.com/career_chaos/">Meg Montford</a>, career coach, says that emphasis on your needs, characterized by sentences starting with &ldquo;I,&rdquo; is unwise.</p> <p>Make the cover letter about the employer, not about you. Discuss how you can meet company needs and help solve its problems.</p> <h3>Saying You Just Need a &quot;Job&quot; or Need a &quot;Good Job With Benefits&quot;</h3> <p>Revealing that you have little preference for job content is not inspiring to a hiring manager. Though being open to any job seems like a good strategy in times of high <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">unemployment</a>, this approach comes across as desperate and dull rather than practical when expressed in a cover letter.</p> <p>Differentiate yourself in the job-seeking talent pool. Showcase professional strengths that are in high demand.</p> <h3>Discussion of Past Failures</h3> <p>You don't have to highlight or emphasize imperfections and disappointments with your past employers, coworkers, or economic conditions. Discussing what you have learned from positive and not-so-positive experiences in an interview can be meaningful to a hiring manager, but delete mention of failures from the cover letter.</p> <p>Talk about experience and successes relevant to the qualifications and accountabilities of desired positions.</p> <h3>Touting a Career Change</h3> <p>Hiring managers view the career changer as inexperienced but seeking a salary commensurate with tenure in an unrelated field. Along with lack of industry knowledge and contacts, this job hunter will bring outdated approaches and mindsets to a new employer. He will need training to perform basic duties. Such a candidate is not attractive to an employer.</p> <p>If you are truly in the process of building a career in a new field, state what you have done already to accomplish this professional transformation: list certifications and degree programs earned, research papers published, and internships completed. At this point, then, you are not relying on the hiring manager to help you make a dramatic change but offering your depth of knowledge and insights. </p> <p>Note, however, that many who claim a career change are simply seeking to apply existing skills to a new industry or a new company. If this situation is yours, discard language relating to &ldquo;career change&rdquo; and emphasize how your capabilities enable you to contribute immediately to the employer.</p> <p><em>What stupid things do you keep out of your cover letters? What smart things have you included?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-off-your-cover-letter-right">How to Start Off Your Cover Letter Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secrets-to-a-great-phone-interview-for-job-hunters">Secrets to a Great Phone Interview for Job Hunters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-dumb-things-employment-recruiters-see-people-do">6 Dumb Things Employment Recruiters See People Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-to-fix-cover-letter-mistakes">10 Easy-to-Fix Cover Letter Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting communication skills cover letters job search mistakes writing Wed, 13 Jul 2011 10:24:37 +0000 Julie Rains 611155 at http://www.wisebread.com