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Hiring Decision-Maker Rejects 80 Percent of Applicants Based on Cover-Letter Flaws


The primary significance of Steve Pavlina’s very long blog post offering 10 tips for a better cover letter is that in his role as a hiring decision-maker, he has been rejecting 80 percent of applicants based on their letters. You can find lots more elaboration on these tips in the article, but here’s a summary:
  • Avoid grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • Express long-term interest.
  • Apply locally. (Pavlina’s point here is that employers are suspicious of non-local applicants. If out-of-town job-seekers can’t find work where they live, maybe they’re not any good, the thinking goes. And, of course, international workers who require a work visa are problematic.)
  • Paint a clear picture of your intended position.
  • Build your case to win.
  • Be professional.
  • Inject your personality.
  • Don’t play the destiny card. (Pavlina doesn’t want to hear that job-seekers believe they are destined to work for him. Such declarations are manipulative and somewhat desperate.)
  • Express your greatness.
  • Apply for work that matches your skills and experience.