Are You Really Making a Great First Impression?

Published in CareersConnect, August 2011

By Sindhu Sundar

It's never too early to make a bad impression.

A cover letter or introductory email is often the first thing a potential employer sees when reviewing a job applicant. It's the first opportunity to impress recruiters and hiring managers and, therefore, the first opportunity to disappoint them. Everything from copy mistakes to inappropriate jokes in a cover letter could derail an application.

Here are the top ten worst things to put on a cover letter:

1. Next to Nothing

While writing something that's too long is a common cover letter mistake, what can be even more damaging is a cover letter that's too short.

Bruce Hurwitz, President of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing, Ltd., a New York-based staffing firm recalls a cover letter he received a few months ago for an entry-level IT sales position. It read simply, "Here's my resume. Call me. [Phone number]."

"I cracked up," Hurwitz says. "This person had only just graduated with a Bachelor's degree. It was ridiculous."

A good cover letter should be somewhere between 200 to 250 words, Hurwitz says, and should answer the question of why a recruiter should look at the resume. "The key is to highlight one success," Hurwitz says. "For example, 'I successfully increased sales 500% over two years, resulting in increased, sustained revenue of $25 million.' Once I read that, I look at the resume." 

Read the full article...






NCMA Resources | Advertise | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Site Map | © 2012 National Contract Management Association