Friday, October 23, 2009

Top 3 Cover Letter Mistakes

3. Overuse of the word "I"

A cover letter that begins nearly every sentence with "I" is as boring as a conversation with someone who only talks about himself. That kind of person one avoids at all costs. Is that the way you want your reader to see you?

Focusing all the attention on yourself may seem like a good way to sell your skills. But it can also reflect lack of interest in the company, in the job, and in making a real contribution to that workplace. There's a good balance to be drawn between selling yourself and selling what you can do for the company.

Creating variety in the sentences of your cover letter is an easy way to show your interest without being self-centered. By shifting the emphasis to the recipient/company - and away from yourself - you can prove that your main interest is not just in winning the job but also in doing it effectively. Try to rewrite sentences that start with "I," "me," or "my," to start with "You," or "Your." Show how you can make a difference for them.

A cover letter that is poorly written may cause your resume to be ignored. But a well-crafted cover letter will invite and encourage the reader to take a closer look at your resume. You'll make a positive first impression before your resume is even opened.

Rather than making your cover letter an afterthought, take the time to really consider the type of presentation your cover letter will make. If your resume isn't winning you job interviews, consider hiring a professional resume writer to help. It's true what they say: You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

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