Your cover letter and resume are your tickets to a job in the U.S. from Australia. They are what piques hiring managers’ interest and compels them to contact you. However, jobseekers from all over the world make cover letter mistakes every day. To keep this from happening to you, review the tips below.
Proofread for U.S. Spellings
As you know, many words in the U.S. and Australia are spelled just a bit differently. The bad news is that as you look for a job in the U.S. from Australia, sticking with your native spellings can mean doom when it comes to cover letters. There may be exceptions; for example, if the company you are applying to is, say, British or Australian, and the customers or clients you would work with are primarily Australian or international, you might be okay. In general, follow the language of the job posting. If it uses U.S. spellings, as most do, always be sure to proofread your cover letter to ensure that everything is in American terminology. Also, have someone who is well-versed in American English review it.
Be Specific and Concise
You have value to offer the employer as you hunt for a job in the U.S. from Australia, so be specific as to what you have to contribute. At the same time, your space is limited, so choose one or two (possibly three) noteworthy things to highlight. They could be achievements at your current job, awards you have received or even the unique perspective you bring as a non-American. Make sure your examples tie back to the job in some way. In fact, it is fine to mention the job posting. For instance, you might write something along the lines of, “Your job posting emphasized the need for applicants to have had unique experiences. As an Australian, I can tell you that…”
Keep your cover letter to one page. Also, leave some white space instead of cramming the page full of text. Paragraphs should be on the short side, perhaps no more than three sentences, and good practice is to limit the total number of paragraphs to five. Make the letter friendly on the eyes.
Make Your Cover Letter Unique for Each Job in the U.S. From Australia
One mistake that jobseekers often make is to send the same cover letter for each job. For example, someone seeking marketing work might send the same cover letter for a copywriting position and a blogging position. Remember that specificity is important. You want to address the actual job instead of simply using “Find and Replace” to switch names and the like. Refer to the job posting, and tailor your cover letter to attributes and skills it asks for.
Also, make your cover letters unique from your resumes. They should not be mirrors of each other. The cover letter should expand on relevant information in your resume and not be a recitation of your work history. However, your cover letter and resume should have the same fonts and other visual cues that they belong to the same person.
Explain Which Job You Are Applying For
Believe it or not, some jobseekers, whether they are Americans or want a job in the U.S. from Australia, never mention the position they are applying for. For example, they may say, “I am responding to the post your company made last week,” but neglect to mention which job the post was for and on which website it was. Companies tend to list job openings in multiple places and have searches for many open positions going on at the same time. If a hiring manager cannot immediately tell which job you are applying for, he or she is unlikely to read further.
It is easy for common mistakes to sneak into cover letters. Diligent proofreading can catch many, if not all, misspellings and typos. As long as you proofread, tailor cover letters to each job opening and make your letters interesting and professional, you should be in good shape.