[PHOTO: FLICKR]SARA MCCORD is a freelance writer and editor, who most frequently covers the career beat. For nearly three years, she was an editor at The Muse, and she's regularly contributed career advice to Mashable. Her advice has been published across the web (Forbes, Newsweek, Fast Company,TIME, Inc., Business Insider, CNBC and more). Ms. Mccord has experience managing programs; recruiting, interviewing, and referring job applicants; building strategic partnerships; advising executive directors; and supporting a national network of volunteers.
In an article in the muse she explains what makes her eyes glaze over and what grabs her attention when she screens cover letters. Based on her experience in human resource she transparently points out some specifics about the texts what usually job seekers include in their cover letter.
1. THE BASICS
What she clears out in this section is, if you were truly excited about the idea of working for this company, you’d surely take the time to tailor your greeting. This is the very main part where as a job seeker you you can show that you have definitely done your company research.
The generic word like "Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern" must be avoided. Rather you should go for the direct name with Mr. or Ms. If you do not know or guess the name, mention the designation but make sure that it be as specific as possible like "Senior Analyst Hiring Manager” or “Research Manager Search Committee”.
In case of thanking at the very beginning, Ms. Mccord said,
You don’t need to thank the hiring manager “so incredibly much” for reading your application–that’s his job.2. THE OPENING SENTENCE
Job seekers frequently struggle with how to begin a cover letter. This often results in a feeble introduction lacking punch and failing to grab the reader's interest. It leads to weak opening. So replace “I am writing to apply for [job] at [company],” to the following ones:
I’ve wanted to work in education ever sinceMentioning these suggestions she indulges to write whatever comes to mind in a blank doc. Some words may be embarrassing or lame, but this efforts gradually make you to find out the most engaging intros for your cover letter.
my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Dorchester, helped me discover a love of reading.
My approach to management is simple: I strive to be the kind of leader I’d want to work for.
In my three years at [prior company], I increased our average quarterly sales by [percentage].
3. THE EXAMPLES
If you put some strong words in your writings, it may show your writing skill but how would you show some other skills those are not related to writing. It is tough but would you just name some skills for that? This is not to make someone read your letter, it makes them feel that you truly have that skill as well.
All you have to give a precise example against your skills. It must not be a autobiography. You have to know when and where to stop.
To enlighten the case, Ms. Mccord mentioned two-line excerpt from her own-written cover:
If I’m in a conference room and the video isn’t working, I’m not the sort to simply call IT and wait.Although, it is a bit kind of casual but also highlight your soft skills well. It says that you are a problem solver, not the man who waits for the technicians. In fact, it is a lot better that saying, “I’m a take-charge problem solver.” Besides, the “gracefully” refers to the seriousness; even in a job application.
I’ll also (gracefully) crawl under the table, and check that everything is properly plugged in.
Avoiding cover letter mistakes can be challenging this days. Even though you’re writing about you, it can be hard to sound confident without sounding arrogant. Keep in mind that your cover letter has one and only goal: to get the job interview. So take time to match your qualifications carefully to the job requirements prior to write.