Are you using the same cover letter for each job you’re applying to and just changing the company name and position on the first line? Are you also wondering why you aren’t hearing back from the jobs you apply to? Well, they go hand in hand. A cover letter that’s catered towards the company you are applying to is what will land you that interview.
Here are 3 things you should avoid when writing one:
1) Using an incorrect format
The first step is to have a cover letter template that will guide you in the writing process. Check out my FREE cover letter template that landed me interviews at KPMG, Deloitte, and many other companies. From there, customize the template as needed to make your letter unique. Your cover letter should not be more than a page long with one-inch margins coupled with a space between each section.
2) Talking vaguely about why you are looking for a position
Instead of referencing the great opportunities to learn and grow at the large company, your focus should be on talking about why you are interested in this particular role and company and how you will add value to the company. Reference those you networked with by name and specific initiatives from the company website to help you stand out.
3) Failing to optimize your cover letter with keywords
Keywords are at the forefront of making your cover letter enjoyable to read. Many companies use applicant tracking softwares to go through applications. As a result, it is vital to read the job description thoroughly and research the industry and company to determine relevant keywords. From there, connect those keywords to your skills and experiences to really stand out.
Using a standard cover letter for each job you apply to does not tell the company in particular why you want to work for them. This spirals down into why the “spray and pray” method isn’t successful. A cover letter is a chance for you to elaborate on your resume and tell them everything you can about you so that they choose you for an interview.