When applying for a job, it’s not uncommon to send in a cover letter with the resume. In fact, many experts suggest that even if one is not requested, it be sent anyway to show professionalism and enthusiasm for the job.
However, not all cover letters are good cover letters. In fact, it is possible to send one that makes you look like a not-so-great candidate. To avoid writing a losing cover letter, let’s take a look at some tips to consider that’ll make you a winner in the hiring manager’s eyes.
Keep Your Job Accomplishments Simple
Okay, so there are many job candidates guilty of submitting a carbon-copy cover letter that tells nothing specific about the job they want and how they can contribute, which is why you get a pass for wanting to disclose a lot about why you want the job. However, there’s a such thing as disclosing too much information. In other words, you want to tell enough, but not everything.
For instance, if you’re applying for a job as a sales rep, you want to include the time you were able to sell a record number of products, catapulting the company’s profits into a new stratosphere. That’s great information to share. But if you also feel the need to disclose that as a result of this accomplishment, all of the other sales reps hated you and left you in a position to be the “bigger person,” you may find that the hiring manager could become just as turned off by your success as impressed by it.
Keep Personal Activities to Yourself Unless Otherwise Necessary
Another mistake that job candidates often make that can turn their cover letter into a losing one is disclosing too much about personal activities. For instance, a candidate who is looking to work as a manager may not want to disclose that she’s a model on the weekends. While this may be a great activity that brings on many rewards personally, the picture that it puts in the hiring manager’s head may very well contradict they ideal candidate they’re looking for. It’s for this reason that personal details should likely be avoided unless they apply directly to the position. If you are a star soccer player in your league, enter your poodle in dog shows, or are the star parent on your child’s PTA, this information is probably best left for cooler talk after you’ve been hired.
Display Confidence, Not Cockiness
A major turn off to any hiring manager – and just about any person on earth – is a display of arrogance. You may feel great about the role you played in your previous company, but if you display yourself as the next best thing since sliced bread, the hiring manager might just slice your cover letter into several pieces before throwing it away.
It’s good to engage the hiring manager with great details about who you are and how you can make a difference in the company for which you’d like to work. But there’s a fine line between engaging the reader and annoying the reader. When writing your cover letter, it’s good to lean towards engaging.