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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

May 1, 2012

Don't Make Cover Letter Mistakes

Make sure your resume gets noticed, and avoid cover letter mistakes:
  1. Attach a generic letter – NO! While a template cover letter can be a time-saver, you should customize each one to each employer. You want your letter to be noticed and  show how you fit the requirements. Also, accidentally inserting wrong titles or employer names is an excellent way to get your application deleted.
  2. Use a template – NO! Your identity packet is your main marketing piece for potential employers. Don't flub this step by simply scratching out a Word .doc Template.  
  3. It's not all about you – While it's important to show off all of your awesome experience, the cover letter should equally be about you and the employer. Through your cover letter, show your interest and knowledge of the company, as well as how your skills and education make you perfect for the job. Highlight a memorable campaign or media strategy implemented by the company. It makes a HUGE difference.
  4. Don't forget your link – Resumes and cover letters can easily become separated. Be sure that every page of your identity pack has your Name (and /or typographic logo), contact details, and a link to your website or portfolio.  Omitting this detail could be the difference between getting a call or getting deleted.
  5. Proof it – Many job seekers don't properly proofread their cover letter or do it too quickly and miss typos. Personally, I make the same mistakes constantly in writing letters. A great solution is to have a second set of eyes review your letter before you attach and hit send
  6. Follow those directions – If you're asked to address a certain question in your cover letter or send  a particular format, make sure you follow these directions. The request is likely a way to avoid software compatibility issues, but it's just as likely that this is a way to test how well candidates can follow directions. If you can't follow their instructions, it's an easy way to eliminate you from consideration.
  7. Don't forget the letter – A cover letter shows how you fit the requirements for the role. If there are any holes in your resume, the letter will help the employer connect the dots. It also showcases your knowledge of the company or field, and gives a tiny glimpse into your personality.
Use a cover letter to your advantage! It's worth it to take the time creating a great cover letter if it helps you land the job!

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