The importance of a Cover Letter when applying for jobs cannot be overstated. It is the document that most employers use to distinguish the best candidate from a pool of suitably qualified candidates. When there is only one post to fill and 20 people are well qualified to fill a position, employers will need a deciding factor. The Cover Letter plays this role.
For this reason, it is important that job candidates are particularly concerned with how they choose to write the Cover Letter. Emphasis should be placed on the introduction as it is what decides if the employer reads through or not.
Grabbing the employer’s attention
In every published story, what grabs the reader’s attention is the introduction. If you cannot convince a reader to read on in only less than 35 words or 4 sentences, then you are not achieving your goals.
The same analogy applies to a Cover Letter, as a job seeker it is your duty to make sure that the recruiter is impressed to read through your Cover Letter. This means you will need to have a powerful introduction.
According to Rebecca Nyawira, a Professional CV Writer and Career Coach at Corporate Staffing Services, you have to understand the job description and the skills set you possess in order to create a great opening to your letter.
For this to happen, here are some mistakes you can avoid.
What to avoid when writing a cover letter introduction
1.Using to many I’s when trying to sell yourself
While a selling cover letter demands that you demonstrate what you have achieved as an individual instead of as a team, too many uses of ‘I’ can be a deal-breaker. For example, I was in charge of, I handled this, I am looking for opportunities, I did this and that… This will come out as overselling in skills that may not even be as important to the recruiter or employer.
The Cover Letter should not entirely be about you, it is how your qualifications and experience relate to the job at hand and are useful to the company.
2.Leaving out the job titles to come in the second paragraphs
Yes, the introduction will sell you better if you focus on your skills set and how that relates to the job, but this does not mean you save the job titles for later. Using your previous job titles and achievements in the introduction is straight to the point and that is exactly what the employer wants.
With numerous job applications for every position, recruiters and employers do not want to waste time reading through all documents trying to find out what is unique. Do not wait to tell the story in the body; it is more effective at the intro.
As mentioned above, the introduction is the most important part of the Cover Letter as it is what compels the recruiter to read through. If it is bundled up with mistakes, then employers may pass judgement before even getting to know your qualifications.
A Cover Letter is important as the CV it is supposed to compliment, treat it as such.
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