Cover Letter Band-Aids: Fix all those boo-boos!

bandaid helpCover letters should be easy to write. You want to write it like you might say it. While email and texting has helped our writing become more casual and easy to read, for some reason cover letters make job seekers revert to awkward and unwilling letter writers.

Here’s some tips and band-aids to avoid common cover letter mistakes:

Before: “Salary should be commensurate with experience.
After: “Salary can certainly be negotiable based on the exact responsibilities of the position and we both agree I am a great fit.”

Before: “Allow me to introduce myself” or “Dear Sir/Madam” or “Cordially Yours.
After: Replace with a name, or “Dear Hiring Professional.” End with “Sincerely” or “Thank You.

3)    “ME, ME, ME”
Before: “Seeking upwardly mobile, challenging position utilizing my skills in…
Remember, the cover letter is supposed to be about what you can for them, not what they can do for you.

After: “If your department needs a seasoned customer service manager who can create and deliver training to new representatives…”

4)    TOO GENERICband aids envelope
Before: “I am submitting my resume and application for the job you advertised in the local newspaper…”
After: “A recent Wall Street Journal states that you are entering the global market. At my previous company I led similar efforts and successfully built sales in Europe and South America…”

Before: “I look forward to speaking with you about a position at your company.” This often-used phrase gives all the power to the reader, and strips you of an ability to follow up. Keep control while showing enthusiasm and persistence.
After: “I would like to talk with you and see if I can help your company with its marketing efforts. If I don’t hear from you, I’ll give you a call next week.”

Remember, a human will (hopefully) read your cover letter at some point, so make it a pleasurable experience for them!


  1. As a recruiter who reads thousands of cover letters a week, I can assure you these are great tips!

    Susan Dusterhoft
    Today’s Working Woman

    • Job Search Trainer says:

      Thanks so much Susan–always appreciate getting validation from those in the trenches who have to read these letters!

  2. Great advice. I never really thought much about it before, but the traditional cover letter is very bland and predictable. These ideas are fresh and get the point across.

  3. Job Search Trainer says:

    They are bland and predictable, and it’s funny that no one seems to notice! Thanks for commenting.