Channel Your Cover Letter Feedback
Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert
Feeling overwhelmed by the cover letter feedback you’ve received? Not sure where to begin to make improvements? If you’ve had a cover letter critique and are now faced with harsh criticism, here’s help from career professionals on what to do next.
Prioritize the Feedback
Most professional resume-writing firms also offer cover letter services, so if you’re not having much success improving your letter on your own, it may be worthwhile to hire a professional. “I have seen many job searches stalled, because the individual had a terrific resume written by a professional but did not want to pay for a cover letter,” says Sally McIntosh, chair of the Certification Commission for the Nationally Certified Resume Writer credential and owner of Advantage Resumes in St. Louis.
Break your critique advice down into three categories: must-do, should-do and ways to outshine your competitors.
Obvious errors should be tackled first, even if you do nothing more, advises Norine Dagliano, a certified resume writer, job search strategist and owner of EKM Inspirations. “Spelling, grammar, punctuation and typographical errors fall into this category,” she says.
Structure and Basic Content
“If the letter is not in appropriate business letter format, if it is too long or too short or if it fails to say why the job seeker is writing, attempt these changes next,” says Dagliano. Although more challenging than correcting typos, revisions to a letter’s structure and basic content are usually not too difficult and can significantly improve your letter, she adds.