What are the biggest mistakes cover letter writers make?
1. Addressing the letter to "Dear Personnel Director," "To Whom It May Concern," "Dear Sir or Madam" (or worse, "Dear Sirs") instead of a named individual. "To Whom It May Concern" shows the employer that you were not concerned enough to find out the name of the person with the hiring power.
2. Telling the employer what the company can do for you instead of what you can do for the company. This mistake is particularly common among new college graduates and other inexperienced job seekers. In most cases, employers are in business to make a profit. They want to know what you can do for their bottom line, not what they can do to fulfill your career dreams.
3. Leaving the ball in the employer's court. Too many cover letters end with a line like this: "If you are interested in my qualifications, please call me." Proactive cover letters, in which the job seeker requests an interview and promises to follow up with a phone call, are far more effective.
How to Write a Cover Letter
A cover letter should always accompany your CV. Most employers will not consider a CV without a cover letter. A cover letter tells the employer exactly what kind of job you want to do and tailors your qualifications to that job.
September 20, 2025
Cutter & Hammer Ltd Co
367 Employers Street
Wonderful Province, PC 3567
Phone: 971 50 1234567
Mr. Thomas C. Bestmanager
Hammer, Wrench & Saw
150 Market Street
Dear Mr. Bestmanager,
Please consider the enclosed copy of my resume an application for the position of law clerk with your firm. I learned from the Career Services Office that you plan to hire a first-year law student next summer. I was pleased to discover that your firm practices in the area of construction law because that area is of particular interest to me.
As the assistant office manager for Longfellow Construction Company, I was involved with some construction law issues. I find this practice area fascinating and would like to learn more about it, as well as the other practice areas of your firm. I enjoy researching and writing, as evidenced by my involvement with the school newspaper. I feel this trait would be an asset to your firm.
I am extremely interested in the summer law clerk position with your firm and would appreciate the opportunity to further discuss this matter during an interview. I can interview at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Job Seeker Successful Guy
BEST College of Best Students