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NextGen Magazine


Want Your Cover Letter to Stand Out? Avoid These Openers

Jason Wong
Published Date:
Jul 10, 2015

You may think that a cover letter is a small formality in the job application process, and that in terms of importance, it doesn’t matter as much as your resume. Experts suggest that the truth is a little more complicated; yes, credentials and past experience are important, and they let your potential employer know that you are capable of doing the job that they’re hiring for. What a cover letter does, however, is let them know why you in particular are the right candidate for the job.  So what can you do to keep your foot in the door? Forbes has a few common openers to steer clear of:

“To Whom It May Concern”: This is how a spammer starts an email, not a good prospective employee. If you wouldn’t read a letter that started this way, it’s hardly fair to expect it of an employer, isn’t it?

  • “My Name Is…I Have Enclosed…My Qualifications Are …”: Whoever’s hiring should already know this from your resume.
  • “I am Writing To Express My Interest”: While this is sort of in the right direction in that your cover letter should display your enthusiasm for the job, it reads like a form letter. Try and think of something more unique to use.
  • “I’m Probably Not The Best Candidate, But…”: Humility is one thing, giving your potential employer a reason to not hire you is something else. Don’t start with this.

In the end, you want your cover letter to explain to the hiring manager why you are the best fit for the job, not just because of your qualifications, but because you’re the right fit for the office.