You invested the time perfecting your application materials, including a standout cover letter, yet you don’t hear from the employer. While there are many reasons that employers don’t respond, sometimes the reason is your cover letter.
With hundreds of people competing for the same job, your cover letter is more important than ever. Unfortunately, common mistakes can keep an employer from responding to your cover letter. Fortunately, the mistakes are easily corrected!
7 Reasons Why Employers Don’t Respond to Cover Letters
1. Incorrect Information
Incorrect information comes in many forms. It could be that you mistyped your phone number or email address. Or, you pasted the wrong link to your online portfolio. It’s also possible you addressed the cover letter to the wrong person (think: reusing the same cover letter for every application, then copying and pasting contact information).
To weed out and correct these kinds of mistakes, proofread and edit every cover letter before sending it out. If you’re worried you might miss something, consider changing the font to help you catch mistakes, or read the cover letter in reverse order. You can also ask a trusted friend for feedback.
2. Using a Form Letter
Writing one cover letter that sums up why you’d be an excellent hire and submitting that same letter to multiple employers sounds like a great idea. A form cover letter makes it simple for you to apply for as many jobs as possible: just copy and paste!
While it takes more time, a customized cover letter that’s tailored toward the role and the company is more likely to get a response from the company.
For starters, the cover letter is an excellent opportunity for you to incorporate keywords from the job posting. If the company uses an applicant tracking system (ATS), this strategy can help your application rank higher than others. Even if the company doesn’t use an ATS, using keywords shows that you and the employer speak the same language, which helps demonstrate that you’re the perfect fit for the company.
3. Telling Not Showing
You might be perfect for the job, but unless you explain exactly why you’re perfect for the job, the employer may not agree with you.
Use your cover letter to give specific examples of why you’re perfect for this job at this company. Highlight any skills mentioned in the job posting that you possess and explain how you could use them to solve a problem the company is facing.
4. Not Following Directions
Often, a job posting includes specific items the employer wants in the cover letter. It could be an answer to a question or a specific word. Whatever it is, it’s essential that you include this requested information.
First, it shows that you’re paying attention. You’ve clearly read the entire job posting and can follow instructions. Second, it demonstrates that you aren’t sending a form letter, which helps the employer see that you are interested in this particular job, not any and every job.
It happens to all of us, but typos in a cover letter are often the reason why employers don’t respond to cover letters. Make sure you triple-check your spelling and ensure autocorrect hasn’t double-crossed you!
6. The Wrong Words
While proper grammar is important, so too is using a professional vocabulary. Using too much jargon, slang, personal, or outdated wording can turn an employer off.
Incorporate some industry buzzwords without overdoing it, and maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout your cover letter.
6. Too Wordy
You’ve got a lot to say about your work history. Between your extensive experience, outstanding accomplishments, and other achievements, you could write a book on your professional self!
While your cover letter is an excellent place to explain why you’re perfect for the role and expand on points from your resume, it’s important to remember that a cover letter is also a brief introduction of yourself. The idea is to get the employer excited about meeting you so they invite you for an interview. Keep the cover letter to no more than one page and specific to the role for best results.
7. Not Including a Cover Letter
Not every job posting specifies that the employer wants a cover letter. And, given that your resume sums up your accomplishments, work history, and achievements, you may think, “Why bother?”
Unless the job posting says, “do not include a cover letter,” you should include one. If nothing else, it’s a great opportunity for you to start selling yourself to the hiring manager. And, it’s another way to get a few more keywords into your application to help your materials with the ATS.
You’ve Got This Covered
A cover letter is a crucial part of your application materials. Taking the time to customize and polish yours with these tips will help ensure your cover letter gets a positive response!
This article is from Flex Jobs.