Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Job News

February 15, 2011

10 Cover Letter Don'ts

Your cover letter is the first thing employers see when they open your materials. Avoid these 10 mistakes, and make your first impression a good and lasting one.

Mistake #1: Overusing "I"

Your cover letter is not your autobiography. The focus should be on how you meet an employer's needs, not on your life story. Avoid the perception of being self-centered by minimizing your use of the word "I," especially at the beginning of your sentences.

Mistake #2: Using a Weak Opening

When writing a cover letter, job seekers frequently struggle with how to begin. This often results in a feeble introduction lacking punch and failing to grab the reader's interest. Consider this example:

  • Weak:Please consider me for your sales representative opening.
  • Better:Your need for a top-performing sales representative is an excellent match to my three-year history as a #1-ranked, multimillion-dollar producer.

Mistake #3: Omitting Your Top Selling Points

A cover letter is a sales letter that sells you as a candidate. Just like the resume, it should be compelling and give the main reasons you should be called for an interview. Winning cover letter tips include emphasizing your top accomplishments or creating subheadings culled from the job posting. For example:

Your Ad Specifies: Communication skills

I Offer:Five years of public speaking experience and an extensive background in executive-level report.

Your Ad Specifies: The need for a strong computer background.

I Offer:Proficiency in all MS Office applications with additional expertise in Web site development and design.

Mistake #4: Making It Too Long

If your cover letter exceeds one page, you may be putting readers to sleep. A great cover letter is concise but compelling, and respects the reader's time.

Mistake #5: Repeating Your Resume Word for Word

Your cover letter shouldn't regurgitate what's on your resume. Reword your cover letter statements to avoid dulling your resume's impact. Consider using the letter to tell a brief story, such as "My Toughest Sale" or "My Biggest Technical Challenge."

Text Only
Job News
  • Avoid the Top 10 Resume Mistakes

    It's deceptively easy to make mistakes on your resume and exceptionally difficult to repair the damage once an employer gets it. So prevention is critical, whether you're writing your first resume or revising it for a mid-career job search. Check out this resume guide to the most common pitfalls and how you can avoid them.

    February 7, 2012

  • Five Resume Workarounds for a Spotty Job History

    Is your employment history the kind we used to call "checkered"? Well, you're not alone, or even in the minority. People bounce around between jobs, industries and locations like crazy these days -- but the result can be that your resume makes you look confused, finicky or otherwise undesirable. Here are five ways to smooth out your career storyline and help employers understand the genius behind your meanderings:

    June 28, 2011

  • A Good Interview Impression Is in the Details

    As political candidates answer endless variations of the same questions in pursuit of elected office, we can't help but be reminded of our own often-torturous experiences on job interviews.

    April 19, 2011

  • Dig Deep for Resume Accomplishments

    Many of us underestimate our achievements. We're often told not to boast, that modesty is the best policy. We show up to do our jobs every day and sometimes do great things -- isn't that enough?

    April 19, 2011

  • Eight Tips for Better Email Cover Letters

    As the saying goes, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. If you're doing a job search or resume submission via email, the first impression any employer will have is from your cover letter.

    March 22, 2011

  • After the Interview: Four Ways to Follow Up

    You had your interview, and the way it ended left you hopeful. Now comes what is often the most agonizing part of the job hunt: waiting for the hiring manager to call. But you still have some control over the process. Experts offer the following advice on maximizing your chances for success:

    March 8, 2011

  • Declutter Your Resume in Five Steps

    In preparation for a job search, you dust off your old resume and tack on your most recent job, new skills and training. But without editing or deleting old information, your resume becomes a hodgepodge of outdated accomplishments, awards and skills.

    March 8, 2011

  • Avoid Work-at-Home Job Scams

    Who wouldn't want to work from home on a part-time basis and earn thousands of dollars a month? It's an offer millions of people can't or don't refuse. Unfortunately, some of these folks eventually regret having done business with a so-called work-at-home employer.

    February 15, 2011

  • 10 Cover Letter Don'ts

    Your cover letter is the first thing employers see when they open your materials. Avoid these 10 mistakes, and make your first impression a good and lasting one.

    February 15, 2011

  • How Not to Say Thank You After an Interview

    In the job search, there's nothing like performing well at the interview. And after researching the company, practicing your presentation and answering the interview questions with confidence, you want to follow up with something impressive. You want to thank the employer with a gesture that makes the company want to hire you -- or at least bring you back for another round of interviews.

    January 25, 2011

Business Marquee

e-Edition
  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.

     

    CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE E-EDITION SITE

     

    ATTENTION CURRENT DEMOCRAT SUBSCRIBERS TO START an e-EDITION

    e-mail request to sjohnson@pvdemocrat.com

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks
Facebook