10 Cover Letter Do’s and Don’ts
Some people think that the cover letter is a relic of the past and there is no need to create it now. At the same time, statistics say the opposite: 77% of recruiters prefer those candidates who sent not only a resume but also a cover letter.
The Relevance of the Cover Letter
A cover letter, along with a resume, is an element that must be worked on to find a job. You can not only introduce yourself and highlight your strengths, but also motivate the hiring manager or recruiter to invite you for an interview. For this to happen, you need to highlight the reasons why you are better for this position than other candidates.
Therefore, for a cover letter to be effective, it must be written flawlessly and avoid even minor mistakes. The ResumeEdge team has prepared a list of what to do and what not to do in a cover letter.
10 Cover Letter Do’s and Don’ts
✔️ Do: Be concise
The cover letter is not a complete biography. Also, it should not duplicate or contradict your resume. The task of this document is to highlight information that hiring managers and recruiters would be interested in, thus grab their attention and make a favorable impression upon you.
❌ Don’t: Send everyone the same cover letter
The cover letter should be written for a single position and a specific company. This means that in each case, you need to focus on various aspects of your education, character traits, and skills.
This is obvious when a job seeker uses the same cover letter for each application, and this is always a dangerous signal. In most cases, this means that they do not know anything about the company and send applications en masse in the hope that at least one of them will bring good luck.
✔️ Do: Take an interest in the company
Before sending a letter to an employer, every job-hunter should try to find out as much as possible about the company. The candidate should visit the organization’s website to find out more about it, to know its principles and values, and its corporate culture. It would also be a good idea to check out its profiles in social media, especially the organization’s page on LinkedIn. In their cover letter, it is advisable for a job seeker to briefly describe what attracted them to the company and show that they share its values.
❌ Don’t: Send your cover letter without checking it for errors
If there are many mistakes in the cover letter, it creates the impression of an absent-minded employee or someone who simply does not know the correct language and principles of communication. Therefore, many candidates are automatically rejected due to poor grammar or spelling errors. Check the letter as many times as necessary to make sure it is correct.
✔️ Do: Format
There should be a heading, opening paragraph, several body paragraphs, and a closing paragraph. Since there is a lot of information, it is worth structuring, aligning, and, of course, using the same font. A neat shape, a good font, a consistent style – all this shows the effort put in by the candidate.
❌ Don’t: Criticize your former employer
Criticizing a company you used to work for is not the best way to present yourself. Even if your previous boss was not pleasant, keep that judgment to yourself and just bring up relationship difficulties during the interview to explain your departure from your previous job.
✔️ Do: Personalize your cover letter
The cover letter should allow you to distinguish yourself from other candidates. Therefore, personalizing your cover letter for each position can make a huge difference to your potential employer.
It takes experience to make a cover letter more attractive and show your personality. Professional writers from ResumeEdge know the powerful ways to make an outstanding cover letter, so feel free to contact us for help.
❌ Don’t: Lie
Lying about your experience, writing about non-existent degrees, or claiming about the participation in projects you have nothing to do with is a bad idea. The temptation to embellish reality is understandable, but all this can be easily verified, from imaginary skills to large-scale professional qualities.
✔️ Do: Include keywords
Many companies use the Applicant Tracking System to select candidates for vacant positions. If the software or hiring manager doesn’t find any of the keywords in your resume or cover letter, your application might get dumped. By embedding keywords in your cover letter, you also will immediately demonstrate that you meet the requirements for a position.
❌Don’t: Indicate education only
The essence of a cover letter is just to tell how your skills and experience will be useful to the future employer. This means that it will not be enough to simply list your diplomas and courses taken. Give reasons for how you can solve the company’s problems, show your enthusiasm, and that you will be a positive addition to the team.
Think of cover letters as your first conversation with a hiring manager or a recruiter. You should be friendly, but also confident. This is a difficult balance, but it is possible to achieve it.
If writing a new cover letter for every job application seems like a chore, you can find help on our service. ResumeEdge writers always know what not to write in a cover letter, which will help you get noticed by the company and get the job of your dream.
Biggest Resume Mistakes That Could Cost You the Interview
The importance and necessity of a modern resume are understood by everyone who is looking for a job. It is better to spend more time on creating a resume because if a person comes up with a resume able to grab the recruiter’s attention, the chances to get invitations for an interview become much higher.
Unfortunately, successful resumes are a minority. According to Preptel statistics, recruiters do not even get to see 75% of resumes that are sent to them, because of an Applicant Tracking System. The problem with such resumes, which have been rejected, often lies in the design of a resume itself.
Job seekers surprise employers with the number of careless mistakes, inaccuracies, and sometimes just resume bloopers. Therefore, to obtain the desired results and be visible to recruiters, the candidate should pay attention to some things to avoid on a resume.
The Most Common Resume Mistakes
According to CareerBuilder, 54% of resumes are misspelled. A resume is a very important two-page document that contains a lot of text that must be performed in a competent and structured way. The errors that applicants tend to make can be different and the employer can easily notice the typo in the resume. If the specialist is irresponsible about the literacy test, the chances of getting a job are reduced critically.
Lack of goal-setting
Certainly, applying for just one post is a very dubious idea, so people try different options for employment. For example, some are applying for the same position, but in different companies. Candidates make a huge mistake, believing that a resume created once will be suitable for all openings. If the resume is too general, then it can lead to automatic rejection of the candidate. Instead of sending a generic resume to multiple employers, the most effective option would be to work on this document and tailor it to the job description as closely as possible.
And the same if a person is interested in several posts at once, they should make a resume for each of them, taking into account the requirements indicated in the vacancy.
Let us suppose an employer reads the resume for a position “of the secretary, translator, sales manager, tourism manager, product manager, and an administrator in a beauty salon.” For an employer, such a motley wording is a sign that a specialist either does not know what they want or is looking for any post, just not to be out of business. The second option is understandable from a human point of view, but for the employer, it is an argument against that.
But it is even worse if there is no targeted position at all. An applicant who does not have a clear career strategy does not have a specific goal – the choice is risky because at any time such a specialist can leave the company for a more attractive post.
It is also worthwhile for job seekers to spend more time writing more personalized cover letters. For seekers who have doubts about their cover letter, working with a ResumeEdge is a great opportunity to get a quality cover letter without mistakes, as well as having your personality and experience highlighted.
Incompleted contact section
Job seekers make a huge mistake if they do not provide their contact information or write incorrect ones. The resume may be beautifully written, but in this way, people will end their career without even starting it if they do not write contacts.
Of course, there may be situations in which it is impossible to respond to the employer: for example, if a person is at a meeting or communicates with a client. This is not critical: they can always call back, only it is important to do it promptly. But if the employer calls once, and twice, and hears a number-unobtainable tone, then for the third time they will not tempt fate.
Also, in the era of social networks, it is worth taking care of a well-filled profile on LinkedIn, because if it is empty, then this may discourage a recruiter from inviting the person for an interview. If a postulate wants to have a perfectly filled profile on social networks, then they can turn to the ResumeEdge service for LinkedIn profile writing, which will bring their profile as closely as possible to the requirements of the employer.
More than 98% of the world’s largest companies use ATS to facilitate the selection process. And it is at this stage that quarter resumes are being screened out. There are several mechanisms through which the system determines whether a candidate is suitable or not, so it is very important to check the document on reference points. Firstly, the candidate needs to review their skills. It may sound obvious, but due to the absence of key requirements for a certain position, the person will fail.
We also mentioned earlier the importance of an individual approach to each opening. ATS also identifies all submitted applications of a person to the company. It is normal if a person sends a resume for related occupations because they can be equally interested in them. But when a candidate applies for completely different positions, this indicates their low interest in the profession.
Also, ATS operates on the principle of keyword scanning. The system decides whether a candidate is suitable based on the requirements for the post. If a person does not indicate the required keywords, then they are automatically not allowed for further consideration.
Focusing on responsibilities, not results
For a resume to bear fruit, it must have a well-developed work experience section that hooks the employer and encourages them to invite the candidate for an interview. Of course, this is a key part of the resume that shows if you may have the necessary skills, but it is not enough just to describe your responsibilities.
Focusing only on responsibilities is also one of the worst resume mistakes: most suppliants simply list their responsibilities and tasks performed but do not mention the results obtained. But in reality, the results are what recruiters are most interested in because this is how they can be convinced of a person’s abilities. A successful resume mixes responsibilities and skills with personal impact. To make the greatest impression on an employer, it is best to use numbers that highlight success in previous positions.
Also, applicants should make a bulleted list in the experience section that begins with a strong action verb. Words like “managed”, “developed”, and “led” are so much more powerful than something like “responsible for”. And it is advisable not to repeat the same verbs in the same position.
We want to share examples of both a poorly written and successful professional experiences section:
- The first candidate wrote that they “monitored the implementation of the PDS talent development cycle to include review, talent and leadership development”. But these lines do not give the slightest idea of what the person has achieved, in what ways they did it, and how it affected the project.
- All these factors can be combined as “implemented the PDS talent development cycle including review, talent and leadership development, IDPs, 360’a career pathways, high-potential groups, training facilitation, staff surveys, and cultural integration that reduced employee turnover by 20 percent in the company”. This way, the recruiter has a clearer understanding of the person and the benefits they can bring, because these words are supported by facts.
Another Resume Mistakes To Avoid
There are some standards, the document should be no more than two pages, so hiring managers often do not even accept voluminous resumes. To prevent a person from being considered an avid writer, all information not related to professional activity should be excluded. The more information in the resume, the more chances that it will be ignored.
For each place of work, it is enough to indicate only the main responsibilities and achievements. In the section on additional education, they need to write only basic training sessions and courses.
But these tips do not apply to the federal resume, which has its own specifics. The difference between the federal and the civil resume is that, on the contrary, it requires a more detailed description.
Poor Resume Example
The ResumeEdge team analyzed a poor resume sample and would like to share some of the CV errors the applicant made.
- There is no targeted position.
- They did not indicate their address and email, making it impossible to contact them.
- Vague summary
Another mistake that many applicants make while creating a resume is the summary which does not reflect the main proficiencies of the person. As we can see in the sample below, the person uses typical formulations which do not bring any specificity. Therefore, an aspirant should avoid making the summary too general using hack phrases or clichéd keywords.
- Responsibilities and accomplishments are not separated
Like many other entrants, they did not separate responsibilities and accomplishments by the headline, making it difficult for hiring managers to highlight the most achievements of their experience.
- Lack of pattern
The achievements highlighted there are not written in the pattern: Achievement-action-result. Thus, if a person wants to get a job, they need to apply their analytical skills and reflect on previous work experience.
- The Tools section is missing
- The education section is incomplete: there are no University names and GPA scores.
Undoubtedly, creating a resume is not easy, but anyone looking for the perfect place for themselves can seek assistance from the resume service to make sure that their CV is professionally crafted.
Why is a professional LinkedIn Profile important?
LinkedIn is the biggest professional network in the world, existing since 2003. Today it boasts more than 740 million profiles of users with over 55 million registered companies. Its main goal is to match the job seekers with employers and it is proved to help users in achieving their career targets.
If you are still not sure if it is worth having a LinkedIn account, keep in mind that the modern labor market is developing rapidly and today applying for a job requires more than just a simple resume. The hiring managers and recruiters use online platforms for applications and check the candidates’ information on social media, especially LinkedIn profiles that reflect their professional skills and experience. According to the statistics, around 90% of recruiters use this social network to search for talents.
Moreover, companies often start looking for the best job candidates on LinkedIn even before posting the exact job offer on the job-searching websites. Nowadays even when the hiring managers traditionally look through the candidates’ resumes or CVs, they crave to see the links to LinkedIn profiles alongside the main info and contacts to check out the applicant’s account. Numerous users approved that having a well-composed LinkedIn profile greatly enhances the chances for a job interview.
A LinkedIn account is necessary for creating a network of contacts that can move you closer to the job you are interested in. You can search for the companies you’d like to work with, get to know more about them, and get acquainted with the workers, to get to know more about the organization. LinkedIn is useful for opposing you with your potential employers letting them see your profile, evaluate your accomplishments and offer you a job interview.
Not only you need to join LinkedIn, but you also need to make sure that your professional account showcases your experience and career achievements.
Why do you need a professionally composed LinkedIn profile to get a job?
LinkedIn is a well-managed and smart network with many algorithms designed to help recruiters find their best candidates, as well as help job-seekers find what they look for. It is very important for job applicants to fill in their accounts with exact, compelling, and relevant information. It is also reasonable not to skip any sections offered by LinkedIn because all of the parameters may play a huge role in the account’s success.
The recruiters have special features in the candidate search that allow them to sort out the applicants with more than 40 filters. The parameters that are necessary to mention include profession, relevant experience, skills, achievements, etc.
Hiring managers often use the keyword search to find the candidate who suits the offering the most. That is why it is essential to use a professional lexicon, that is likely to interest potential employers.
LinkedIn gives its users an opportunity to signal recruiters about their availability, which increases the chances of an active account to appear in a hiring manager’s search.
Taking into account that the LinkedIn network represents over 55 million of the most progressive world companies it is easy to catch the moment and apply for the desired position when the employers have new openings.
You can use LinkedIn searching tools using keywords or the location to find the organizations that suit you the most. You may connect with the current company’s workers to get to know about the organization from the inside and even increase your chances of getting the job.
Another thing that boosts accounts in recruiters’ search is when profile users are following the company they want to work with. LinkedIn’s algorithms show recruiters candidates that are interested in the exact organization. Moreover, LinkedIn may send you the job alerts from the companies you follow, as well as other organizations’ offers that best fit your profession.
The mechanism of applying for the job is quite straightforward, you will be transferred directly to the company’s website, or send your resume via LinkedIn itself.
The benefits of using LinkedIn for your career path
For you to fully understand how important LinkedIn is we offer you to check out our LinkedIn benefits list, explaining its advantages for your career path.
You are searchable for recruiters
The recruiters and hiring managers while searching for candidates for a job position use the LinkedIn network, and that is why you should join this social media. Moreover, it is vital to make your account as appealing as it is possible.
To present yourself as an experienced and competent person, it is necessary to include only the information that is exact and describes you as a professional. If you are not confident in your LinkedIn profile composing skills, there is always an option to seek assistance from ResumeEdge writers.
Create your professional brand
Does LinkedIn work as a professional band page? Yes, it does.
No doubt that for some job seekers it is important to have a website reflecting their skills, accomplishments, and achievements that will give the reason for recruiters to hire them. But creating a personal website is pricy and not necessarily resultative as it is difficult to uplift it to Google’s first pages.
On the contrary, a LinkedIn profile is easy to find in Google search. Therefore, if you create an account that will represent your personal brand, potential employers have a great chance to see it and offer you a job interview.
Showcase your competence
Your personal LinkedIn profile is the best place to describe yourself in a way you want hiring managers to see you as a professional. A correctly composed account must contain an impressive summary, your achievements, awards, memberships, education, career history. What is more, LinkedIn profile may enclose the information that is not typically presented in the resume or CV. That may be the information that reflects your personality, your hobbies, talents, and non-professional skills. As a matter of fact, you must include only relevant and eye-catching details.
Moreover, there is a feature on LinkedIn that allows users to describe their professional skills and get social proof. When you claim some skill, your colleagues or anyone in your network can prove it to be true. The other users can recommend and endorse you, which builds great credibility for your LinkedIn profile.
Follow industry news
Like most social media, LinkedIn features a timeline that reflects recent news of groups, companies, or people you are networking with. It is a remarkable way to be aware of the latest trends of your industry, catch the open positions of the organizations you’d like to work with and keep in touch with your colleagues. Being active in LinkedIn discussions and exhibiting your professionalism increases your chances to be noticed by employers.
When to make a LinkedIn account?
If you want to know when to make a LinkedIn profile, the answer is simple: now. As soon as you expose yourself as a professional on LinkedIn networking, as better chances in your career development, you will have. If you are looking for a job now, it is certainly high time to create a LinkedIn profile to help recruiters to find you and offer you a job. In case if you are not in search, it would be wise for you to compose a LinkedIn profile and build your personal brand and network that will look credible and solid for the moment you might need it. Anyways, LinkedIn is not only a tool for a job search, it is mostly a professional social network for anyone interested in self-development in the chosen industry.
The final thoughts on how useful is Linkedin
Labor market industry is developing all the time and based on our experience in helping our clients to find their desired job position, we can claim that a professionally made LinkedIn account is becoming more and more demanded job for applicants. The statistics make it easy to see how important a LinkedIn profile is in your career building in the current digitalization era. The recruiters of over 55 million companies in the world are looking for their future employees in this professional social media network, so it is certainly worth not only being present on LinkedIn but also having a solid profile.
To make your LinkedIn account work for you it is crucial to make it look competent and impressive. You need to be capacious, but at the same time include the most strategic and advantageous information about you to increase your professional attractiveness. It may take time and patience to create the profile you want, otherwise, you may use the help of professional LinkedIn account creators. To make sure that your account looks attractive for the recruiters you can appeal to the writers from ResumeEdge professional LinkedIn profile service, who will make you stand out from a sea of other candidates.