How to keep your cover letter out of the trash bin

Though summer internships are a while away, it’s important to keep your cover letter and resume fresh and current and, most of all, interesting, because when it comes to those hot jobs, hiring editors need to be able to weed through the entries somehow, and a bad cover letter could land itself in the trash before he even gets to your resume.

Joe Grimm at PoynterOnline‘s Ask The Recruiter has listed six helpful tips for keeping your application out of the garbage bin. The tips are general, which is crucial because, as Grimm writes, “every recruiter, every editor, every hiring director is different. This makes it impossible to tell job-seekers what the most important part of their package is. It is different in every case.”

Grimm’s six tips to avoid the first cut:

1. Boring letter

“They make hiring managers think your work will be boring, too. As they plow through all those applications, they are praying that someone will write something interesting. Cut to the chase in your opening paragraph — not the second one — and make a case for why you should get an interview.”

2. A big, fat mistake
3. Meandering letters
4. Sucking up
5. Begging
6. Stepping over a line

Check out the rest of Grimm’s entry here, and if you’re still on the lookout for some helpful hints, search through his older columns, because he’s written many times about cover letters and resumes.