An Australian careers and Linkedin expert has revealed the most crucial mistakes people make when they are preparing a cover letter - and what it really takes to get the attention of would-be-employers. Sue Ellson told Daily Mail Australia it is 'important to tailor the cover letter to the job description' that a cookie-cutter approach of sending out an identical letter doesn't work. Applicants should avoid starting the letter with 'to whom it may concern' or 'the hiring manager' and instead address it directly to their would-be-boss by name. This shows you have done your research and have not just filled in the blanks of a generic letter. The cover letter also should address key job requirements and selection criteria - using similar language to that in the job listing.
How to Write a Cover Letter | 10 Steps to Follow
How to Properly Address a Letter: Everything You Need to Include
One of the trickiest parts of writing a cover letter comes at the very beginning. First of all, try to find out the name of the contact person. Also, take care not to assume that you know the gender of the recipient based on the name. Many names are gender-neutral, and some hiring managers may identify as a gender other than male or female. In that case, it's better to be safe and use a generic greeting. It's also acceptable to start a letter without a greeting and start with the first paragraph of your letter. You have a lot of options when addressing your letter.
Cover Letter Advice
Your cover letter plays an important role in your job search. An effective cover letter can convince the recruiter to devote time to actually reading your resume instead of the typical six seconds recruiters spend reviewing most. Not sending a cover letter or sending a cover letter on something other than professional-grade paper can ruin your chances for an interview. Aside from business cards and a website, organizations use letterhead to give their written correspondence a professional look. Letterhead generally has the company's name, address, telephone numbers and URL in a prominent space on the paper, usually at the top of the page.
With a little bit of research, though, you can often find a specific name, along with additional information that will help you land the interview. The easiest way to get a name is to pick up the phone. Can you please tell me who to whom I should address my cover letter? Not only does it sound too formal, especially when you are applying for work in a creative field or a startup, but you run the risk of offending someone. The research you do for the correct name can reveal additional information you can use to customize and personalize your cover letter and application.