Your cover letter can say a lot of things about you. You have an opportunity to make a good first impression, so make the most of it. Here are some cover letter no-nos you should always take note of.

1. Forgetting to double-check for typos and grammatical errors

You might be in a hurry to make a deadline, but that’s no excuse to send in shoddy work. A typo in a cover letter can be as glaring as a small stain on an otherwise spotless tablecloth. A grammatical error is even worse. If English is not your strong point, ask a friend to help you proofread.

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2. Starting with a generic salutation

If you don’t know whom should you address your letter to, one phone call or one quick search on the Internet can solve your problem. Simply writing “to whom it may concern” says that you couldn't even be bothered to do your research, and that’s not exactly a star trait.

3. Sending a creased or stained copy of your cover letter

Cleanliness is next to godliness, and that applies to cover letters as well. After all, it’s the first document your future employers will ever see. If it has a smudge of any sort, your application becomes less appealing to review. And it’s not just about sensitivities either--submitting a train wreck of a cover letter is just embarrassing.

(Photo by niniane via Flickr Creative Commons)

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