There are no second chances with a cover letter. It is often the first thing that employers glance at. Some may actually read cover letters. Others will skim them. Regardless, if something they do not like jumps out at them, your file will likely be tossed to the bottom of the pile…or worse yet, the trash. Thus, the cover letter is crucial. Some red flags include typos/grammatical errors, too long, rambling, repeating what is on your resume or CV, not addressing important points (e.g., the skills you possess that qualify you for the job), or using the same action words (best to avoid repetitive use of the same words). For more information, see 6 Secrets to Writing a Great Cover Letter, 8 Cover Letter Tips for Graduates with No Job Experience, 5 Things Your Cover Letter Must Cover, and Action Words for Your Cover Letter.
To Whom it Concerns…Please Read My Cover Letter
About Jill Bowers
Jill is a certified family life educator (CFLE), certified family and consumer scientist (CFCS-HDFS), and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Human and Community Development at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She developed the idea for this project when she was working on a research project where she interviewed emerging adults (18-20 year olds). Work and career related content was something about which the emerging adults were most interested in learning more, and many of the issues that were at the center of their daily concerns were those surrounding their career plans and navigating the job market. Although some of the emerging adults in the study were aware of the fact that they could find information on the Internet to answer their questions or that there were resources available through their college or University, most of them could not recall being required to participate in any professional development courses that helped them with career-related skills and most of them suffered from “information overload” related to their Internet searches for information that would help them with their career paths. For example, some of them had been told about the importance of networking (e.g., at Career Fairs), but they did not really understand what this was or how to do it. Therefore, as a result of her experiences working with emerging adults, Jill initiated this project to help FCS students by providing them with information that will help ensure their success as they navigate the job market.