iStock_000005359598_resume-211x300A cover letter can be a perfect complement to your resume and give your application that extra boost it needs. Some employers actually require one as part of the process. But oftentimes job seekers waste this opportunity to grab a hiring manager’s attention. Their cover letter leaves much to be desired and the hiring manager may stop reading partway through and move on to the next candidate. Give them a reason to keep reading and want to find out more about who you are, what you can do, and why you will be a great fit for their company.

Before you send off your next cover letter, check to make sure you’re not making any of these common mistakes that can quickly make the reader lose interest:

Too Generic

A cover letter is not one-size-fits-all. It should be highly tailored to the position that you are applying for. When you try to capture your qualifications for many different jobs in one cover letter, it can become boring and lose its appeal. You begin to blend in with all of the other applicants who share the same basic skills. There is nothing to set you apart.

No Strong Tie to the Job

While you’re busy pointing out what you think your best qualities are, make sure you’re not overlooking what the position is asking for. Didn’t mention the name of the company or the position you’re vying for? You run the risk of the hiring manager not being able to see the connection and envision you in the role because you could be talking about several positions. If the job opening has a heavy emphasis on project management or analysis, make sure you are demonstrating your talent in these areas. Going off on an unrelated tangent can make them question your fit.

Under or Over Selling Yourself

This can go both ways. Too little enthusiasm and you can come across as not showing much interest or putting much effort into building a strong connection. Too much enthusiasm and you may look desperate, over qualified, or even on the verge of lying. Both of these cases can turn hiring managers off. You want to find the right balance that shows you have done your research, you understand what the position is asking for, and you have the qualifications to succeed.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be rehashing your entire resume in your cover letter. You should be highlighting key strengths and accomplishments and giving insight into what makes you different from other applicants. Don’t go overboard explaining why you’re looking for a job, why you left your last job, or including other personal details. Focus on creating a strong impression for why you are a perfect fit for this job.

Still worried that your cover letter is mediocre and not benefiting you as much as it could? Contact Chic Resumes and let us help you craft a cover letter that makes you stand out for all of the right reasons and boosts your chances of landing an interview. Call (803) 831-7444 or email for all of your resume and cover letter needs.