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What Not To Place In A Cover Letter

Aug 18, 2007
There are a number of things that do not belong in a cover letter. These things are certain to get your resume placed in the reject pile. The first is using the word "I". While it is okay to use it slightly, it is better if it makes a minimal appearance. Discuss the company, it's needs and if necessary use "I" to indicate the skills you possess that fill these needs.

Confidence is necessary so be sure that you indicate the position being considered and state in a confident sentence how your background can be of benefit to the company and position. Lack of confidence in ability, skills and self definitely will get your resume and cover letter rejected. Employers are looking for confident and dependable people.

Make sure that your cover letter does not include personal data like hair color, eye color, or hobbies unless they are pertinent to the job being applied for. It should be about what you can bring to a job, not about you personally. Many people put unnecessary data and can make them too long. A cover letter should be no more than three paragraphs totaling no more than a page. Any more than that and you are writing too much. However, you do not want to make it too short being vague and unspecific. Be concise and to the point. It is a good idea to avoid repeating your resume. A resume is a general listing of skills and employment including skills, which may not be job specific. A cover letter is designed to point out the key aspects of what you have to offer. If the employer is interested, they will look at the rest of your resume. Make sure that your cover letter is written in an active and engaging voice. Putting passive voice into your letter or being passive can indicate a lack of interest in the position even through you are saying you are interested.

Customize your cover letter. Nothing is a bigger put off than having the wrong company or wrong person in it. If you do not know who to address the letter to then addressing it to the employment director or manager or even To Whom It May Concern is better than not putting the right prefix to a contact person's name.

Cover letters are an important aspect of any job search. Making sure that you avoid the things that will make your cover letter top of the reject pile is one of the best ways to get you into the interview consideration pile. Take the time to customize it not only to the person but the company and position you are looking at applying for. Be active and speak with confidence and avoid talking about yourself other than how it relates to the position you are applying for.
About the Author
Michael Murray is an author of career articles and owner of Cover Letters Report, a site all about writing great cover letters. If you need cover letter help, visit his site for 10 quick tips.
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