Writing a cover letter should receive as much time and effort as constructing a resume. The right cover letter structure and content could make all the difference when it comes to being selected for an interview. Your cover letter should contain certain elements, but more importantly, there some things should never be included.
It's entirely appropriate and recommended to show some personality in your cover letter structure, but that doesn't mean you should include detailed personal information. Omit characteristics such as age, race, gender, marital status, and religion when writing a cover letter unless any of those have a direct impact on the position you're applying for. The same goes for personal achievements such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or participating in the Iditarod. If it's not completely relevant, leave it out.
Out of all of the common cover letter mistakes job applicants often make, trying to inject humor into the cover letter structure is one of the most damaging. You run the risk of offending someone, and you can instantly lose credibility in the eyes of the person reading your letter.
As you put together your cover letter structure, be very careful not to include any statements that could be perceived as demanding. When you write about what you're looking for in the ideal job or state that you will follow up this communication at a specific date and time, you may appear arrogant or seem to be trying to control the situation. Remember, you're hoping to serve the needs of the company at its discretion—not the other way around.
Never include any statements that may make you seem desperate in your cover letter structure. When you dance around the subject of desired salary and use the word "negotiable," you lose authority and convey that you're willing to take any job at any cost. Avoid highlighting lack of experience or any other weaknesses; focus on your strengths and knowledge instead. The cover letter is your chance to highlight your strengths and show the company that you have what it takes to fulfill the job duties of the position.
Your resume is designed to demonstrate your education and professional experience to a prospective employer, but the cover letter is your chance to shine. Spend time on your cover letter structure and remember what you should and shouldn't include–you will be in a much better position to garner an interview and perhaps land that coveted job.
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