When you are searching for a job in the U.S. from the Philippines, your cover letter is often the first impression you will make on a hiring manager. A good cover letter will be professional and well-written, and should draw in the reader. To ensure yours makes the impression you need it to, avoid these common mistakes.
Mistake #1: Using a Form Letter
If you are applying to multiple jobs that require the same basic information from your cover letter, you may be tempted to create a form letter, switching the greeting and signature as needed. However, most hiring managers know right away if they are looking at a letter that was sent out to dozens of other managers or one that was written specifically for them. A hiring manager will naturally opt for a potential employee who was willing to go the extra mile to write a customized cover letter. When writing each letter, ensure the introduction is professional but enthusiastic, listing which position you are interested in and summarizing why you would be the best choice for the position. Avoid using clichés.
Mistake #2: Regurgitating Information From Your Resume
While a cover letter for a job in the U.S. from the Philippines should highlight special skills or experience that is highly relevant to the position you hope to get, your cover letter should not repeat every piece of information that you have on your resume. Choose one or two of the best bullet points from your resume and expound on them in your cover letter. Avoid using the exact same wording that you do on the resume. Opt for strong action words and avoid “I” statements to create the best paragraphs.
Mistake #3: Writing a Long Cover Letter for a Job in the U.S. From the Philippines
Hiring managers are busy. They typically look at dozens if not hundreds of resumes for every position that needs to be filled. If your cover letter is too long, it isn’t likely that hiring managers will read it in full. For the best results, limit your cover letter to four or five paragraphs and under no circumstances should it be longer than one page. Each paragraph should be about three sentences to avoid blocks of text that are too long. Bullet points are often a good way to draw attention to specific pieces of information that you don’t want the reader to miss. Focus on why you are unique, why you are better than other candidates and what you can offer a company.
Mistake #4: Not Proofreading Your Cover Letter
Before you send that cover letter off in hopes of finding a job in the U.S. from the Philippines, you absolutely must proofread it. Typos, spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes and formatting problems make your cover letter seem less professional, thereby making you seem less qualified for the job. Review it as soon as you write it and again a few hours later. Read it to yourself in front of a mirror. Run it through free grammar checkers. Have a friend or family member proofread your cover letter. Do as much as you can to ensure it is as close to perfect as possible before you send it to a hiring manager.
Mistake #5: Not Sending a Cover Letter
The biggest mistake you can make when searching for a job in the U.S. from the Philippines is not to send a cover letter at all. Nearly every job you apply for will expect one, and many hiring managers won’t even look at your resume if you do not include a cover letter. Because you have no way of knowing which employers place high value on cover letters and which don’t, ensure you include one every time you apply for a job.
Writing a cover letter may not be your favorite part of your job hunt, but it should be one of the most important. Follow these guidelines to help you create something that will have hiring managers scrambling to interview you.