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Resume & Cover Letters Tips and Advice: Do's And Don't's

by D. Lawton

Category: Communications

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Most companies require job seekers to attach their cover letter along with their resume. This is primarily because the resume alone does not say enough about a person who the company is looking to employ. Moreover, the cover letter gives the job seeker himself a big opportunity to say all that he wants his prospective employers to know, what he would not have got a chance to say by means of the resume alone. And since the cover letter forms the very basis for future negotiations, you want to make it is impressive as possible, so that your prospective employers just cannot ignore it.

There are certain things, however, that you must keep in mind while drafting your cover letter. You must remember that cover letter is for professional reasons and you must no draft it like a school essay or a love letter! Here are some things to remember – the dos and the don’ts

The Must-Do's for Cover Letters

Brevity is the soul of wit, which is what the company is looking for in a prospective employee. Keep it short. Use short sentences. A letter of about three to four paragraphs with sentences of 15 to 20 words will be ideal. No one wants to know your birth history, so skip it. State clearly and with confidence what qualifications you possess, what skills you have, why you think you are better suited for this job, what you can bring in to the company, etc.
Be original. Do not fake something that you are not. Do not give wrong credentials just to impress the employers. That will only lead to slandering of your own name even for future job interviews at other companies. This kind of word travels around very fast. Keep your letter interesting. Never let the pace drop. Once you find it dropping, you know it is time to stop and end the letter there.
Proofread your letters well. Nothing irks people more than people who make careless mistakes. Keep it grammatically correct. Also address the letter to the right person, and make sure you have the gender of that person correct. If you are not sure, be careful with your pronouns.
The Don'ts for Cover Letters

Avoid using the passive voice. It not only makes the reading of your letter tedious, but it also gives a negative impression bringing you out as someone who does not like taking initiatives and is passive in general.
Do not just keep saying what the resume has already said. Since the cover letter is an opportunity for you to add to what the resume says, it does not make sense to repeat it. Come out of your restraints and speak your mind confidently about your skills.
Never forget to sign the cover letter. This not only confirms that you agree with and stand by whatever you have said, but also adds a personal touch and adds to the enthusiasm you have been showing.

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