6 surefire ways to screw up your cover letter

Want to annoy or—even worse—bore the recruiter or hiring manager? Just follow these worst practices, and you won’t get so much as a sniff.

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They are your best shot at showing a hiring manager who you are, what your value is, and why—out of the large pool of candidates competing—you’re the one they should catch.

The problem is that it’s hard to create a killer cover letter that helps you land the job. It’s much easier to scribble one at the last minute or recycle a previous one.

Here are six common mistakes that repel hiring managers. By avoiding these blunders, you’ll instantly power up your cover letter and give yourself a sharp edge over your competition:

Not researching the company or position you’re applying for

In a survey by The Washington Post, 91 percent of employers agreed that “an applicant who has done research on the company or the position they’re applying for will receive greater consideration than those who send a generic cover letter.”

One awful mistake that a lot of people make is not doing their homework on the company or the position they’re applying for.

Shooting off your resume and cover letter without researching the employer makes a terrible first impression. It signals that you are lazy and lack passion and attention to detail.

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