The 10 most common mistakes found in job search letters

Avoid these common errors and you will be well on your way to achieving an effective, attractive, professional letter.

1. Not sending a covering letter in the first place. 

    Always send a letter highlighting the main points in your favour. Don’t expect a prospective employer to   plough through your CV or application form and work out your merits for themselves. They probably don’t have the time. 

2. Dwelling on negatives. 

   Tell people what you can do, not what you can’t. If you don’t have the major qualifications or experience that the employer is asking for, consider whether you should be applying at all.

3. Sending letters to a job title instead of a name, and starting ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.

   Always send letters, CVs and forms to named individuals. Don’t leave it up to the company to decide whose responsibility it is; the chances are it will end up as nobody’s. Take the trouble to find out the name and position of the person you should be writing to.

4. Poor spelling and grammar. 

    If you don’t take trouble over your application letter, why should they expect you to take any trouble over your job?

5. Irrelevant information. 

    Unfortunately, it’s tempting to put your most impressive credentials in the letter when applying for a job, even when these are not strictly relevant to the position. An employer is looking for the most suitable person for the job, not necessarily the most highly qualified. With only one page in which to make your case, get directly to the point, and leave everything else for your CV or application form.

6. Overwritten. Write as if you were speaking clearly and naturally to a colleague.

    There is no need to use special 42 Readymade job search letters language or elaborate phrases when writing business letters. The simpler and plainer your style, the more likely it is that your letter will be read and understood.

7. Badly presented.

    Present your letters on plain, white, good quality A4-size paper. They should be printed unless a handwritten letter is specifically asked for. Avoid ordinary small-sized writing-pad paper, coloured or patterned paper and coloured inks, as they look unprofessional.

8. Too long. 

    Everything that you need to say you can usually fit on to one page – or a page and a half in exceptional circumstances.

9. Difficult to read. 

    Long paragraphs, dense text and convoluted sentences make letters look unappealing. Keep your letter clear and concise, with a short, straightforward structure, and lots of white space. Use wide margins and leave a line space between short paragraphs.

10. Inappropriate style. 

     Don’t feel you need to adopt a ‘dynamic’ or ‘hard sell’ style of writing for your letters; the result can often seem arrogant, tactless or flippant. Stick to a friendly, natural, businesslike approach.

Resumes and Cover Letters Are Marketing Tools

The first step to creating resumes and cover letters is to understand what they really are and how to best use them in a successful job search. Most people think a resume is a document that traces one’s work history and skills. The cover letter is a formal accompaniment to the resume, intended to introduce a job candidate. But resumes and cover letters are also much more than that. They are marketing tools to get the attention of your desired audience—potential employers—and interest them in learning more about a quality product: you. How do consumer products companies get us to buy their products? Marketing. How do financial services companies attract more customers? Marketing How do political candidates move their campaigns forward? That’s right, marketing.

                  Viewed this way, it’s easy to see how important a cover letter and resume are to a job search—and how much potential these marketing tools have. But any successful marketing campaign requires a carefully crafted message that speaks directly to the needs of its audience. Your resume should make recruiters say, “Yes! This is exactly who we need. I want to meet this candidate to learn more.”
                                                                                                               source : Killer covering Letters