Seven Mistakes to Avoid in Your Cover Letter Writing

It’s hard to believe that winter term will be off and running in a little over two weeks — the first deadline to submit your application for winter term on-campus interviews is Wednesday, January 15.

Want to start your search for internships and full-time jobs before you come back to campus? Here’s a list of seven mistakes to avoid in your cover letter courtesy of U.S. News and award-winning author Louise Kursmark.

We especially like the advice in this piece on why it’s always important to address your cover letter to a live person.

When applying for a position through our recruiting program: Be sure to check the contact information for each position listed in DartBoard to find the right person to address.

When applying for an internship or job at another organization, check the organization’s staff list or call to get the name of the proper contact. (It’s perfectly okay to say, “I’m a student at Dartmouth College and am preparing my application for _________ position. Is there a particular member of your organization that I should address in my cover letter?)

Here are two additional tips specifically for Dartmouth students:

  • If you’re searching for an internship in spring, fall or winter terms, educate the employer on the “D plan” and the dates when you will be available to work.
  • Do your homework on the employer. Go beyond saying you are interested in the organization because of “impressive” leadership or strong growth. Get specific by mentioning a program, award, or recent press release that shows you’ve done your homework on the opportunity.

As always, Career Services will offer extended Drop-In sessions in January to help you fine tune your cover letters should you have any additional questions. Enjoy your holiday!



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