Cover Letter For Job Application Through Reference

Cover letter mistakes you should avoid

Nix these things and make sure your first impression isn't the equivalent of a limp handshake.

Avoid these common mistakes when writing your cover letter.

Your cover letter is like a handshake—it’s how you introduce yourself to employers when you apply for a job. Like a good handshake, you want your cover letter to be strong, succinct, and make a great first impression.

This isn’t a part of the job application process you want to skimp on, either. A cover letter allows you to go into more detail than your resume allows, explain gaps in your employment history or your need for a career change, and make a case as to why you would be a great fit for the position. And a great cover letter can open the door to scoring an interview and, ultimately, landing a job.

Make sure your first impression is a good and lasting one by avoiding these common mistakes below when writing your cover letter.

1. Overusing “I”

Your cover letter is not your autobiography. The focus should be on how you meet an employer's needs, not on your life story. Avoid the perception of being self-centered by minimizing your use of the word "I," especially at the beginning of your sentences.

2. Using a weak opening

When writing a cover letter, job seekers frequently struggle with the cover letter's opening. This difficulty often results in a feeble introduction lacking punch and failing to grab the reader's interest. Consider this example:

  • Weak: Please consider me for your sales representative opening.
  • Better: Your need for a top-performing sales representative is an excellent match to my three-year history as a top-ranked, multimillion-dollar producer.

3. Omitting your top selling points

A cover letter is a sales letter that sells you as a candidate. Just like your resume, it should be compelling and give the main reasons you should be called for an interview. Winning cover letter tips include emphasizing your top accomplishments or creating subheadings culled from the job posting. For example:

  • Your ad specifies: Communication skills
    I offer: Five years of public speaking experience and an extensive background in executive-level report.
  • Your ad specifies: The need for a strong computer background
    I offer: Proficiency in all MS Office applications with additional expertise in website development and design.

4. Making it too long

If your cover letter exceeds one page, you may be putting readers to sleep. A great cover letter is concise but compelling, and respects the reader's time.

5. Repeating your resume word for word

Your cover letter shouldn't regurgitate what's on your resume. Reword your cover letter statements to avoid dulling your resume's impact. Consider using the letter to tell a brief story, such as "my toughest sale" or "my biggest technical challenge."

6. Being vague

If you're replying to an advertised opening—as opposed to writing a cold cover letter—reference the specific job title in your cover letter. The person reading your letter may be reviewing hundreds of letters for dozens of different jobs. Make sure all of the content in your letter supports how you will meet the employer's specific needs.

7. Forgetting to customize

If you're applying to a number of similar positions, chances are you're tweaking one letter and using it for multiple openings. That's fine, as long as you customize each letter. Don't forget to update the company, job and contact information—if Mr. Jones is addressed as Ms. Smith, he won't be impressed.

8. Ending on a passive note

When possible, put your future in your own hands with a promise to follow up. Instead of asking readers to call you, try a statement like this: I will follow up with you in a few days to answer any preliminary questions you may have. In the meantime, you may reach me at (555) 555-5555.

9. Being rude

Your cover letter should thank the reader for his or her time and consideration.

10. Forgetting to sign the letter

It is proper business etiquette (and shows attention to detail) to sign your letter. Err on the side of formality, and if you need any help figuring out how to close your cover letter, consider these possible sign-offs.

However, if you are sending an email cover letter and resume, a signature isn't necessary.

If you need additional writing tips, join Monster today, so the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service can help you impress employers with a high-impact resume and cover letter.


Referral Cover Letters Examples for Job Searching

When you are engaged in a job search, or just seeking to expand your network of contacts, you may have the opportunity to write cover letters, or letters of inquiry, mentioning a referral by someone you both know.

What to Include in a Referral Letter

Having a professional or personal referral will make your letter stand out, and give you a better chance of being noticed. You should always include the name of the person who referred you, and the circumstances of your acquaintance in your cover letter.

When you're applying for a job, Include a brief overview of your work experience and your qualifications for the position you're interested in. Take the time to match your credentials to the job description if you are applying for an available position.

If you're not writing about a specific job opening, ask the contact person for a meeting or call to discuss opportunities or to gather information.  Finish your letter by thanking the reader for his or her consideration and stating how you will follow up on your letter.

Referral Cover Letters and Email Examples 

The following are examples of an email message and cover letters mentioning a referral for a job.

Email Referral Message Example for a Job

If you send your cover letter via email, mention the referral in the subject line of your message.

Subject: Referral From Janna Doling

Dear Mr. McKensie,

I am writing to express my interest in the International Marketing position open at WellCam, Inc.

I am very familiar with your products and would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about how I could help increase your international market share. My colleague Janna Doling recommended that I contact you directly about this position. Janna and I have worked closely in the industry for many years, and she thought that I would be an excellent match for WellCam.

My extensive experience marketing similar products internationally has given me an overall knowledge of the business, directly applicable to your interest in increasing sales abroad. In my previous position as International Marketing Manager with ABC Company, I successfully increased our revenue in each of my territories by over 40% within my first year. In the six years I spent at ABC, I helped to establish a market share in an additional ten countries, while increasing revenue and profits in all locations.

I believe that I am an excellent candidate for the position you have advertised, and would very much like the opportunity to meet with you to discuss what I have to offer WellCam, Inc.

Sincerely yours,

John Armour

Referral Cover Letter Example for a Job 

This sample cover letter is for a retail position and includes a referral from a mutual acquaintance.

Name
Address
City, State, Zip
Phone #
Email

Date

Name
Title
Company
Address
City, State, Zip

Dear Ms. Buzby,

I am writing in reference to the position of Store Manager at Lucky's Book Store advertised in the Gazette. Jean Davis suggested that I contact you regarding this position. Jean and I have worked together coordinating our Community Library Book Sale for the past several years, and she believes my experience and enthusiasm would be compatible with the work environment at Lucky's.

My retail experience is extensive, having worked in national department stores such as Racy's and Willards, as well as small boutiques in the local Downtown College Area. As Manager of the Gift Department at Racy's, I was responsible for overseeing the Bridal and Gift Registry and suggested changes to the layout which were adopted throughout the company. While working as Store Manager at The Modern Woman, a women's clothing boutique, I increased sales by 50% over the five years I was there through customer service, creative advertising, and display. During that time, The Modern Woman was recognized in the Downtown Area's "Best Shopping Experience" magazine four times.

With my love of books and retail experience, I believe that I could offer Lucky's a fresh perspective and innovative ideas in the competitive booksellers market.

Please review my enclosed resume. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss what I can offer to Lucky's Book Store. Thank you for your time and consideration,

Regards,

Grace Dolphin

Referral Cover Letter Example Asking for a Meeting

Mr. Rich Freeland, VP Marketing
Ford Center
123 Main Street
Oklahoma City, WA 66556

Dear Mr. Freeland,

In a recent conversation with Janis French, she suggested I contact you. Janis and I worked very closely together on a production last spring in NY. She was kind enough to offer me some advice on the next steps in my career. She mentioned that she had had the opportunity to work with you several years ago, and she thought that perhaps you would be able to offer some guidance to me as well.

My passion is marketing large productions and events where I can utilize my creative, innovative, and problem-solving abilities. The sense of satisfaction I feel at the close of an event or production is always worth the time, effort, and hard work. My work includes seven international trade shows for SC Johnson and Sons.

They were pleased with the increase in quality inquiries and brand awareness and the fact I had reduced the overall trade show costs.

Mr. Freeland, I do not expect you to have (or know of) opportunities. I would like a brief meeting to discuss the convention industry as well as current and future trends. You are nationally recognized for your expertise in managing Moscone Center, Reunion Plaza and, currently, The Ford Center. Your advice and feedback will be greatly appreciated.

I will call you during the first part of next week to set up a convenient time to meet. I will come prepared and be brief. I look forward to meeting you.

Sincerely,

Deborah Sweetingale

More Cover Letter Samples
Review sample cover letters for a variety of scenarios including a follow-up letter, inquiry letters, job/industry specific sample cover letters, cold contact, and referral letter samples.

Read More: How to Ask for a Referral for a Job | How to Mention a Referral in a Cover Letter

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