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10 Cover Letter Mistakes Creative Professionals Make

10 Cover Letter Mistakes Creative Professionals Make

Mistake #10: Don't Forget to Sign the Letter

Kim Isaacs | Monster Resume Expert

Your cover letter is the first thing employers see when they open your portfolio and 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

Creative job seekers frequently struggle with how to begin a cover letter. 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 graphic designer opening.
Better: Your need for a top-performing graphic designer is an excellent match to my three-year experience as a #1-ranked, design expert.

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 why you should be called for an interview. Winning cover letter strategies 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 graphic design experience and an extensive background in executive-level report.
Your Ad Specifies: The need for a strong Photoshop skills
I Offer: Strong Photoshop and Illustrator abilities 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. Keep it concise but compelling, and be respectful of readers’ time.

Next: Mistake #5: Repeating Your Resume Word for Word →


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