When I see a cover letter that screams that it was mass produced, or teeming with typos, I generally don't bother with the resume. And having been a woman all my life, I don't appreciate the "Dear Sir" or even "Dear Sir or Ma'am." "Dear Hiring Manager" is only marginally better. The one that I like is "Good Day".
But some of the others, no matter how much they seem like no-brainers, are things that I see ignored all the time. Sentences like "I'm perfect for this job" immediately make me ask "Why?" If I can't answer that question within the body of the cover letter, that resume is out too. And "You'll regret it if you don't hire me" gets "No I won't" as I am tossing the resume in the bin.
The thing that anyone needs to keep at the forefront of their thinking is that the person responsible for hiring will see way more resumes than they need to for any role. Standing out in that crowd takes a little bit extra.
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