Over the years, we have provided numerous blogs with tips on how to properly create a cover letter. Today, we are going to test your knowledge with a quiz! We will provide an example of a cover letter and would like you to identify at least 5 problems. We will then explain what we felt was wrong with the cover letter and show an example of a much-improved version.
Ready? Take a look:
Example Cover Letter
How many issues did you find?
Here's our list:
This cover letter does not have the person's contact information at the top.
It is not written in business letter format.
It is addressed to: "To Whom It May Concern"
The start is fairly weak, and doesn't explain where she learned of the job.
It is a big block of text and is not at all visually appealing. It does not make a hiring manager want to read it. Formatting could definitely be improved.
It does not have a strong closing.
It has a spelling error, so it was not well proofread.
Bonus: It may be missing an opportunity to explain away a red flag such as relocation, job gap, etc.
Now, here's our version of a much more powerful cover letter, that addresses the issues above:
7 Improvements Revision Resume Identified in the Fixed Cover Letter
The resume contact information is at the top. This provides consistency between the two job application documents.
Business letter format is appropriately used.
It is addressed to a specific person, in this case, the hiring manager. Not sure who the hiring manager is? Read this blog to learn how to handle that situation, but avoid "to whom it may concern."
The start of the cover letter is much stronger, expressing where she found out about the job and why she is a good candidate.
The formatting is significantly improved. Bullets and bolding make it easy to skim and easy to read. It looks well-organized. Note that much of the wording is the same as in the original cover letter. It is just now easier to really see how she is uniquely qualified for the role because the formatting is so much better.
The closing is much stronger and even addresses some of the specifics in the job posting (background check and physical).
It has been well proofread and no spelling issues are found.
Bonus: It explains a potential red flag, as Sally Jane is planning to move to the location of the job in the near future!
How did you do on our quiz? Need help with your cover letter? Reach out to Revision Resume at firstname.lastname@example.org!