Avoid These 3 Costly Mistakes And Get Hired Quickly!
The importance of having a good curriculum vitae and cover letter cannot be underestimated because while the cover letter helps you to get your CV through the door, a well crafted CV ensures that you are shortlisted for an interview.
I can say I went into the world of writing CV's, cover letters and offering career advice by accident when I was employed as a magazine’s assistant editor. Among my duties was handling the company’s recruitment initiatives. The standards of applications that came to use were appalling and because of this, I decided to go out and help. Although that was 7 years ago, things remain the same even today.
Some months ago, I advertised for the position of a freelance writer and the response I received within 48 hours was overwhelming. Out of the 27 applications that I received from seasoned copywriters, ex-journalists and communications experts, about 5 applications met the minimum quality standards. 22 of the 27 applicants made the following 3 grave mistakes on their cover letters which disqualified them from the recruitment rage.
Mistake number 1: Extremely longer cover letter
I found that the 27 applications were just a handful of the applications when compared to an average of 70 that firms receive after advertising for a job. Last year, I was in contact with a business that had to sift through 400 applications just to hire one secretary. If your cover letter is too long, it will likely not even be read in full, keep it concise and succinct.
Mistake number 2: Writing too short cover letter
While an extremely long cover letter can cost you an opportunity for an interview, a very short cover letter is a sign that you aren’t interested in the job you are applying or you have not taken time to understand what the job requires, otherwise you would have enough to say, right?
After talking time to read through the job description, you have a chance to prove through your cover letter that you are the most suitable candidate for the job. Ensure that you present yourself effectively using the space that has been provided for you. You can pull examples of your strong points from certain parts of your curriculum vitae which help to demonstrate how suitable you are for the position that needs to be filled.
Mistake number 3: Presenting a generic cover letter
Of the costly mistakes that the 22 applicants made, the most outstanding one was presenting generic cover letters. These, in real essence are a source of headache for employers. If I, an employer sat down and thoughtfully crafted what I needed from a potential employee and captured it in an advert, why should a job-seeker not do the same thing and submit a custom application that outlines important personality traits, expertise and unique qualifications that makes them most suitable for the job? Why should the job applicants send an application letter that isn’t directed to me?
Generic application letters present all sorts of negative characteristics about a job seeker. It passes someone off as someone who likes easy shortcuts and an opportunist. It also suggests laziness and a lack of inner drive, all of which are attributes that are not welcome in the corporate world. Which proper thinking employer will ever want to offer such person employment? Very few. So when you think of sending out a cover letter, it’s essential to ensure that it sells you just as your CV does. Any of these mistakes are very costly and could extend your job search for an indefinite period.
By Mildred Talabi
Mildred Talabi is the author of the 7 essentials to an endearing CV: How to craft a CV that delivers results. She also founded the CV Makeover Expert.com. Initially, she trained in journalism and took up jobs in a number of publications including with the renowned Guardian Newspaper before she accidentally embarked on offering career advice. She now spends most of her valuable time delivering high impact lectures, career talks, workshops and seminars to graduates and students while also writing blogs on job hunting techniques and tips and career issues that you can opt to subscribe for free on www.mildredtalabi.com and get a 45 minute audio-download on how you can land the job of your dreams with a winning CV.