You’ve been searching for an entry or mid-level position in the financial industry for several months, and so far, you’ve submitted countless resumes and you’ve only been called in for a handful of interviews. You’ve reviewed your resume over and over again looking for the source of the problem and your mentor and resume editor both agree: Your resume is a solid, compelling and accurate representation of your skills and ambitions.
So if you’re resume isn’t the problem, then what’s going on? Could your cover letter be holding your back or turning off potential employers before they have a chance to talk to you in person? Double check your letter and do what you can to eliminate errors like these.
1. A rambling lead-in
As you launch into your opening sentence, get to the point. You don’t need a flowery preamble; just state the position that interests you and how you found out about it.
2. Too many buzzwords and fluff in your introduction.
Do you describe yourself as a “hard-working, go-getting, change driving financial professional with the drive and passion to help this company succeed?” Are you “hungry for success?” or “obsessed with success?” Don’t be. These bland, meaningless descriptors can be applied to any person in the world. So get rid of them and replace them with terms and descriptions that apply only to you.
3. Being vague or unclear about your job history.
Use your cover letter to summarize your job history in a few lines. But as you summarize, be clear. Accurately list and describe the skill sets and strengths that set you apart.
4. Mistaking impressive traits for relevant ones.
As you describe and highlight your strengths, stay close to the issue at hand. Explain why you’re perfect for this specific job and this company’s specific culture. Talk about how you can support the organization’s near-term goals (do some research to determine what these may be), and don’t discuss non-relevant accomplishments like your college GPA or the marathon you ran last year.
For more on how to keep your cover letter on track and make sure that it represents you in the best possible light, reach out to the accounting and financial staffing experts at Cordia.