“21% of full-time employees plan to change jobs in 2014” according to Career Builder and their recent study they conducted. That’s a huge increase over the past few years during our economic slump, but it seems many employees are finding the confidence to seek new employment. However, perhaps having been away from the job searching process for a while, some forget the importance of a cover letter. Make sure yours avoids these three things so it gets read:
Make your cover letter your own story hour.
I understand, you want your cover letter to stand out, and you think you’ll accomplish that by listing every hobby, favorite food and last movie you saw in theaters, hoping something will click with the hiring manager. We’ve all seen this numerous times but making your cover letter what we call ‘story hour’ appears desperate.
Avoid story hour by focusing on making your letter specific to the job you’re applying for. List one thing you saw on the company website or in an article that made you want to apply for the job. Are you a recent graduate and interested in their great claims adjuster-training program? Mention that.
“I’m going to be honest, this is a generic cover letter.”
Yikes, this line is exactly what many of us have been trying to avoid since the beginning of cover letters. Many people know sending off a generic cover letter is asking for it to be trashed, but candidates who try to be unique by bluntly saying it’s a generic cover letter aren’t doing themselves a favor. Yes, I did actually laugh when I read it, but I still wasn’t interested. I want the best possible candidate, not one who just copies and pastes their generic one liner into every application.
Avoid a generic cover letter by first researching the company and then by mentioning an interesting fact about them. Spending those extra five minutes on your application can make a huge difference and help you make a great first impression.
Make it a pity party.
Never use a cringe-worthy opener such as, ‘I know your client won’t read this nor want to employ me.’ I need to present confident, enthusiastic candidates to my clients and this attitude simply won’t work.
Avoid a pity party by focusing on your accomplishments. Show me how you’re a stand out applicant with a great attitude; one who will be a fantastic team player.
If you’re part of the 21% who plan to look for a new career this year, don’t slip up when it comes to your cover letter. Many times candidate’s get so desperate for a change in their work life, they just shoot sloppy applications off in hopes of something better. Get your resume to the top of the hiring pile, not heading for the trash can!
Check out the press release from Career Builder: One in Five Workers Plan to Change Jobs in 2014, According to CareerBuilder Survey.