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8 Costly and Common Cover Letter Mistakes
Written by: S McIntyre

Cover letters are just as important as preparing resumes because you will either get one step closer to being hired for the job or not. It's also easy to overlook some common and costly mistakes when writing your cover letter.

Avoid using generic salutations like "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam" or "Dear Hiring Manager" as these are not professional. It shows you don't care and your lack of interest in the job. It can be difficult to find the name of the person who is doing the hiring, but you can check on their website, call the company or ask around your networking group.

Don't pretend to be someone you're not because it's is just not an intelligent thing to do. Misrepresentation or exaggeration of your skills, capabilities or experiences on your cover letter will eventually come back and haunt you. The truth will always come out.

It's better to give than to receive. It's not about explaining what you have done, but what you can contribute to the company. How you can make a difference or help them improve their sales etc.

Poor grammar, spelling errors, sentence structure, and punctuation will get your cover letter and resume an automatic delete. Perfection at this stage is important and critical.

Lack of attention to detail like formatting, font type and size is important. Don't cram everything into one paragraph. Make your cover letter easy to read. Also when you send your cover letter via email, it can get all messed up at the receiving end. Make sure you send test copies to your friends to ensure it looks good at the receiver's end.

Another costly cover letter mistake is when you fail to address specific criteria from the job detail instruction. If the company asks for salary requirement, don't skirt the issue or avoid it, but don't be demanding. Also if you don't customize your cover letter to the job position with your key qualifications you won't stand a chance of getting an interview or be shortlisted.

Avoid using a weak voice like "I feel" or "I believe" and instead use a strong voice like "I am confident", "I can" or "I am positive".

And lastly, don't forget to include some contact information of where you can be reached. Be assertive and you make the call to action.

To avoid these cover letter mistakes, take the time to proofread and look over it. Review the job details to make sure you've covered everything that was asked andhave another person double-check what you could have missed to increase your chances of landing a job.


S McIntyre is the founder of, a free work at home resource focusing on providing work at home jobs, daily telecommute job leads, articles, business resources and other work at home related topics.

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