Your cover letters are an introductory sales pitch with the purpose of persuading employers that reviewing your resume is a good use of their time. The last thing you want to do is give them a reason to eliminate you from the candidate pool.
The following topics should not be mentioned in your cover letter:
- Salary Requirements – Your cover letter is not the place to discuss your salary requirements. Even if the employer asked for your salary requirements, I would suggest that you don’t provide this information. Salary requirements are a way for employers to eliminate people who want too much money or to limit your salary if you receive a job offer. You don’t want to compete for a job based on how little money you’re willing to take.
- Why You’re Currently Looking – Although you may be tempted to share the reason why you’re currently unemployed or looking for a better opportunity, don’t. In this economy where mass layoff announcements occur weekly, it’s not necessary to explain why you’re currently looking for a job. If you are truly compelled to provide this information, wait until the job interview where you can fully explain why you’re looking for a job. Your cover letter is not the place for this information.
- How Much You “Need” a Job – Being in “need” of a job is not an attractive quality to an employer and in many cases it’s a turnoff. Forgive me for using the personal relationship term “turnoff” but being needy is not attractive in either situation, professional or personal. Similar to looking for a mate, you would much rather have someone who has valuable qualities and can improve your life rather than someone who is needy and needs you to improve their life. Don’t be a needy candidate, be valuable.
- Common Terms & Phrases – Refrain from using commonly used terms like “results oriented,” “hard working” etc. Human resources professionals read hundreds of resumes every day. Imagine how many times they have read those phrases and what they think of candidates who continue to use them. Simply be yourself and give the employer an opportunity to see you as an individual through your cover letter.
If any of the topics above are on your cover letters, you can assume they are part of the reason why you’re resume is not being viewed and subsequently you are not receiving job interviews.
Jerome Young is the founder of AttractJobsNOW.com, a job search consulting firm, specializing in helping professionals get new jobs fast despite the recession through resume and cover letter makeovers, providing professional contacts, interview preparation, salary negotiation assistance and other personalized job search services. Jerome Young is a layoff survivor who received 10 job interviews and multiple job offers in less than 30 days after being laid-off during the recession. Upload your resume at http://www.attractjobsnow.com/upload-your-resume for a free resume consultation from Jerome Young and Attract Jobs NOW.
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