En Route: A Career Blog

Don’t Bare Your Soul in a Cover Letter

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: February 28, 2012 at 11:37 am

Too many times I’ve seen cover letters that begin with:

“I know I don’t have any experience in the field, but…”

– or –

“I’m really desperate. I’ve been out of work for over a year and will take anything. I saw your ad and thought I’d apply.”

– or –

“I just graduated and can’t find anything in my field of study; therefore, I’m interested in the position you’re offering.”

Really? The first individual states from the get-go that s/he has no experience to do the job. Why would a hiring manager read further? The second candidate is basically saying the open position isn’t what s/he wants; however, the desperation factor is so great this person will take anything. Just what a hiring manager wants to hear.  The last individual is stating a complete lack of interest in the job. It’s only being considered until something better comes along. Way to get an employer enthused.

Hiring Managers Want to Know Where You Excel

The common factor in all of these opening statements is that they’re stating a negative. Do that, and you’ll be spending the rest of the letter trying to overcome it. Not that any hiring manager or recruiter will bother reading past the first sentence. Telling someone you’re not qualified or not interested will doom you. You can’t recover from that.

A cover letter is not the time to bare your soul in the hopes that the hiring manager will think – “Gosh, sounds like a nice person. Really trying to get employed. I think I’ll give him (or her) a chance.”

It is not going to happen. Employers don’t care what you want. They couldn’t care less about your aspirations, tough economic situation or the obstacles you’ve faced in getting employment.

Your Cover Letter Should Prove Your Worth to a Hiring Manager

They want to know one thing: What are you going to do to make my company a success?

It’s as simple as that, and a cover letter should address what qualities you have that will benefit the organization.

If you put anything other than that in your cover letter, you’re hurting your chances. This isn’t about you, it’s about the employer. Prove in your cover letter and resume that you have what it takes to do a great job and you’ll get an interview.

If not, you’re writing cover letters that will never be read.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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