When (and When Not) to Include a Cover Letter

What information should you not include in a cover letter.


  • 6 Things Your Cover Letter Should Never Say (But Probably Does)
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  • When a lot of us learned to write cover letters in high school, we were taught to be super professional and formal.
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  • You should almost always submit a cover letter, even if it is not required, but there are a few exceptions.

Even a minor typo or error can knock you out of contention for the job. Check and have someone else check your grammar and punctuation.

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Not addressing how and why you are qualified for the actual job that is being hired for is another major mistake. What You Don't Want Don't mention anything you don't like about the job, the schedule, the salary or anything else.

5 Ways To Find The Name Of The Person To Address Your Cover Letter To

Be sure to thoroughly read your letter before submitting it. Employers are not interested in applicants who will jump at just any job.

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Cover letters are a must-have in the application process because they give you an opportunity to showcase your skills beyond the traditional resume. Instead, make it engaging and memorable.

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The precious space in your cover letter should focus on what you have to offer the employer. It's about the company you'd like to work for and why you would be a good fit for them.

What Not to Include in a Cover Letter

Additional reporting by Brittney Morgan. Scanning your signature to include on PDFs can be a nice touch, while emails should include a professional electronic signature that includes your contact information.

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An Overwhelming Amount of Interest in the Job Excessive interest can hint of desperation or undercut your leverage for salary negotiation. Instead, Margolin advised job seekers to focus on writing about existing skills, experiences and talents that will be of interest to the potential employer. It can be hard to catch our own mistakes.

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Doing a little extra research to find the name of the hiring manager can make a difference in the cover letter as well as tailoring your previous work achievements to that of the job description. They panic — maybe feel inadequate — and then they either make something up or, more often, stretch the truth so it looks like they have more experience or qualifications than they actually do.

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This helps you create a better structure for the cover letter-talk about the business, you, and then circle back to the business plus you. However, it can be challenging to craft an effective cover letter that showcases your skills without making you seem self-important or succumbing to cliches. In many cases, employers won't even look at a job application that doesn't contain a cover letter or letter of interest.

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Be sure to write a targeted letter. When she's not writing about design, she spends her time writing screenplays and making films and music videos for rock and metal bands!

  • Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
  • If you get it wrong, it is a tip-off that you are mass producing your documents and may lack attention to detail.
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