- Don’t Freak Over Typos
Everyone needs to calm down about typos. If job applicants had a dollar for every “cover letter writing tips” article that lambast typos they wouldn’t need a job in the first place. Of course typos are bad. No shit typos are a deal breaker. But guess what? No one has a typo in their cover letter on purpose. So enough. HR professionals and those in hiring positions need to drop the holier-than-thou attitude and infuriating sense of entitlement to judge others concerning typos in cover letters (and resumes for that matter). We all make mistakes. Show a little compassion.
All any job seeker needs to know about typos is that they can be avoided by having someone they trust – or, even better, a few people they trust – read over the cover letter to check for typos and other errors before submitting. That’s it. In fact, applying for jobs can be a lonely, depressing, and anxiety-inducing process, which makes it incredibly prone to human error. So get your friends or loved ones involved in your job search by setting your pride aside and asking for help. That way, when you do land an interview or the job you can truly celebrate together, and, also, good people just genuinely want to help. Seek out those good souls. Repay them when you can.
And, when you do submit a cover letter with a typo, don’t kill yourself over it. Learn from it. Then move on. Don’t dwell on it, because embracing that negative energy will only reverberate throughout your job search and life in destructive ways. Accept that you made a mistake. Forget about the job, and reach out for help from someone you know who understands how to use a semicolon and who can spell.
- It’s Okay to Reuse Existing Cover Letters
Remember: work smart, not hard. Much of the prevailing advice out there insists that every cover letter must be written from scratch and be completely original so that if focuses on one particular job at one particular company. That’s true; BUT, the stress of knowing you have to start the cover letter writing process over again every time you apply to a job is enough to prevent you from applying in the first place. So be smart and craft your cover letter in a way so that the middle paragraphs – usually one or two paragraphs – that describe your work history and professional accomplishments don’t need to be edited or customized. Though the job you are applying to may change, your professional background and career achievements do not. Write that content in strong, perfectly packaged paragraphs that can be utilized in various situations.
The first and last paragraphs, however, are another story. Do customize those to reflect that the reader is not wasting their time with a generic, bland, and lazy cover letter. It’s not hard, so do it. Simply personalize each first and last paragraph by mentioning the exact name of the company, the job title you are applying for, and why you are applying for it. If this is too much work for you, then you don’t possess the ambition needed to land a quality interview or job. Working smart instead of hard does not mean not working at all. But when done correctly, the first and last paragraphs don’t take long at all to customize. State your interest and objective in the opening paragraph, and summarize and express your gratitude for their time in the last paragraph. That’s it. Always link to your LinkedIn profile, website, and/or portfolio under your exit salutation. Then you’re good to go. Relax, and send it to a trusted soul for proofreading.
- Don’t Stress Over Whom You Don’t Know
Yes, all of the prevailing wisdom out there stresses the importance of having a name – an actual person – to address your cover letter to. Without a specific name to send your cover letter to, your cover letter and entire application will instantly disappear into the black hole of job application cyberspace. Don’t worry, that black hole contains millions of lost job seeker souls. You are definitely not alone.
But what is a job seeker to do if the job listing doesn’t provide a contact name and email? Well, go on LinkedIn and see if you can find the person responsible for filling that particular job. If you can’t find them on LinkedIn, then research that individual on Google. Still can’t find them? Reach out to your network to see if anyone has any knowledge concerning the job or company that may be helpful. Still no leads? Address your cover letter to the “Hiring Manager” and send it. You’ve done your due diligence.
Don’t give yourself a heart attack by stressing over not knowing people you don’t know. Besides, your application will probably go through a vetting by bots searching for keywords and, if your cover letter crosses that hurdle, then it will probably end up on the monitor of an HR person’s desk, where it will be further processed. Just remember that the application process has become a sad and depressing endeavor, so it is easy to get into a dark headspace when you feel so helpless about something so important. But stay positive, control what you can control, and don’t worry about the rest.
Do you need help writing a cover letter that will land you job interviews? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and our career experts will be happy to help you craft a cover letter that will attract the attention you deserve.