Ignore these 4 cover letters tips!



1. Failing to address the letter to the specific name of the recipient.

If you get the name of the recruiter or the department’s director, of course you should use their names. But if you don’t know the name of the person, then you should not make that up. Can you imagine the recruiter receiving a letter with a different name? “Dear Sir/Madam” is not as bad as some HR advisors portrait. You can also use the name of the company. For instance, if you are applying to a Google position you can write: “Dear Google team”.


2. Never say: “My skills and experience are an excellent fit for this position”

Why not? As long as you can validate this there is nothing bad in writing it in a cover letter. Although it sounds a little bit cliché, if the validation is supported by real and impressive achievement then the recruiter will forget about that. Don’t be afraid to start your cover letter like this. You have to start it somehow. Just make sure the content is valuable and useful to showcase your skills and professional fit to the company and position.


3. Overusing “I”

The cover letter is about you! It’s not about the company, it’s about you! So don’t be afraid to tell them about you. Use the “I” as much as you can because you have the leading role in this movie. They want to get to know you as much as they can, and at the end of reading your cover letter, recruiters will create your profile in their minds. Therefore give them enough information and the right information so they can build that image the better way possible.


4. Leaving the ball in the employer’s court.

You have done your part! You have applied to a position and now it’s their turn to get back to you. Of course we all know most of the times they don’t. You can follow-up on your application for sure but companies are not above you. Applicants have their value and they should not beg for a job. Companies don’t want that and you will not want that for you too. You need that job as much as that company needs you.



15 best and worst words to use in your resume

A study from CareerBuilders, interviewed over 2000 hiring managers to discover what the most powerful words to use in the resume and the worst ones are. This is the result and you should take notes on which one to use and which one not to use.

best words to use in the resume

  • Most of these words are action verbs and they are directly connected to an accomplishment. That should be the focus on your resume.
  • These are key elements to make you look as a productive professional.
  • Go through your current verbs and try to replace them with these.
  • Don’t just replace them, the resume is a whole document and should be cohesive.

worst words

  • Most of these words are cliché and  say nothing about you. Others are just skills every employee must have so there is no need to state the obvious.
  • Everyone must be a team player and results driven! So you are not setting apart from others!
  • Find real skills that make you different and unique.


Top 8 dumbest hiring mistakes


Inappropriate Prerequisites

It’s always funny to look at the profile most companies write to attract the right person to the right position. Most companies exaggerate in terms of the requirements vs the compensations. We want an expert willing to be paid the least possible. It’s also common that HR don’t have the right information and tools to promote a specific position to a certain department. In either case the recruiter should be able to think carefully about how to write a job advertisement, this is a strong marketing tool very underrated.


Use hard skills to predict performance

Some recruiters keep focusing on hard skills ignoring the existence of soft skills. Hard skills are more useful when we evaluate resumes but in an interview you need to validate those hard skills and discover the soft skills of the candidates. If the candidate has a bachelor degree in journalism (unfortunately) it doesn’t mean they are excellent writers or journalists. But if you need a great communicator, you’ll find them not by looking at the hard skills but looking at the soft skills and evaluate things such as: pronunciation, logical thinking, speech organization, body language, etc.


Misread Motivation

Motivation is a word that is in the mouth of all leaders and managers because it’s in every book about leadership and management. But do we really know how to evaluate motivation in an interview? Every candidate who is coming to the interview is going to be motivated. Not to perform the role he or she can be assigned but because it’s a job opportunity. As a recruiter and interviewer you have to go further and make some smart questions about how will the candidate be motivated towards a certain situation, task or role. Exploring a hypothetical scenario works most of the times as well as asking for past successful experiences where the candidate felt very motivated.


Hunting for negative information

Recruiters usually have a negative attitude towards candidates which by itself indicates a bad recruitment and adjustment of this person to his/her professional role. But it’s also something that comes from routine. Therefore some recruiters become suspicious about candidates and they focus on their flaws instead of their strengths. It’s okay to ask what kind of things we need to improve in ourselves but only as a way of evaluating the capability of the candidate to reflect about him/herself (self-awareness). Otherwise is a waste of time.


Talking too much

AS a recruiter your job is to get to know the candidate the best you can. So let her/him talk and only at the end try to make some questions to lead the conversation to a place you feel you need to. Give space for the candidate to show what he/she got because it will also facilitate your job as a recruiter. Observe, take notes and prepare questions. Don’t manipulate completely the interview because otherwise you’ll turn the interview into a Q&A session and an interview is supposed to be much more than that.


Fail to hire for a cultural fit

You will be looking at hard skills, at soft skills and all the other skills but if you don’t look inside your company and evaluate what kind of culture do you have and what kind of person adjusts to it…you will fail. Culture is one of the most important things. You can have an impressive resume, great professional experience and brilliant past achievements. You can be the perfect Product Manager because you have all the hard and technical requirements and you also seem to be a “nice person” but if you don’t identify with the culture you will not perform accordingly to your potential. We’ve seen this happen a lot of times and it’s a pity both recruiters and candidates can’t anticipate this during the selection process.


Ignoring Candidate Needs

Recruiters ignore candidates’ needs and candidates ignore their own needs in order to please the recruiter. This how the recruitment world works in most places. The candidate is the one performing in the company, the one contributing to profit, dealing with customers, managing the budgets, leading a team and achieving high results. How can we ignore their needs? Ignoring their needs is compromising their performance and therefore the company’s performance and the recruiter’s performance. Listen to the candidates and tell the truth. If you cannot fulfil the candidates’ needs then it is not the right person for the right company/position.


Let personal attitudes impact decisions

Sometimes we can let personal attitudes impact on our decision. We’ve seen it happening everywhere: politics, journalism, music, sports and we can also find it in recruitment. It’s hard to separate our inner self in order to play this role we are supposed to. But when recruiting you should try to as impartial as you can. This doesn’t not mean you have to be rude or extremely professional it means you have to recruit the right person for the right job instead of the right person to get along with you.



7 Sentences we never want to see on your cover letter

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  • “To whom it may concern”

Nowadays there is no excuse to not know the name of the person responsible for the recruitment process or the person who is going to interview you. Therefore make sure you do that research and you use their name in the cover letter. You can also use the name of the Human resources Director in a larger company or the name of the CEO of a start-up. Show that you care and you adapt your cover letter to each job position. You can also make a quick call to ask the name of the person responsible for the hiring new staff.


  • “I just need a chance”

Maybe we don’t write it literally but this is the idea behind a lot of cover letters. Or at least is what the recruiter will think after reading a “cry for help”. You should not adopt the victim approach while writing your cover letter. Be positive and focus on your value.


  • “Looking for an interesting job”

This is a non-specific sentence that we usually find in cover letters and it means nothing! You are not being precise enough so the recruiter won’t have the idea of what you are looking for. You should be as clear and as transparent as you can. State the role you are applying for and write about what you feel that role and that company will be able to offer you, as well as what you have to offer.


  • “Salary Expectations”

It is very dangerous to talk about salary in the first approach to the recruiter. It can send the wrong message. We all know salary is very important and it should be something you should cover in the interview, but this is too soon to bring the subject. It can send the idea of you just being focused on the money.


  • “The reason I left…”

You will read a lot about how important it is to hide that you left a job or that you didn’t like your previous job, but there is nothing wrong about it. But you also don’t need to wave a flag stating that. Instead focus on what you did next. Instead of saying “Then I left my job because I was not…” write something like “Then I decided to take my career to a different level and I…”.


  • “Objective Statement”

These two words together make a negative impact so stay away from them. You can even have a great speech on your objective statement but call it anything other than that. In fact, this is something that you should include in your resume and not in your cover letter. Avoid generic objective and instead use your personal and human voice to talk about your goals and expectations towards that position/company.


  • “References Available upon request”

We wrote about this over and over again. There is no need to state that, companies will ask you for that if needed.


Other sentences:

  • “I feel that…”
  • Starting every sentence with “I”
  • Asking for a positive response
  • “Yours Lovingly”
  • “Call me at…”


6 Bad Answers to Job Interview Questions


1. Why do you want the job?

– “I’ve read a lot about your company and I really think my skill-set could help out around here.”

This sounds very robotic and it doesn’t show any personality. Recruiters can know when you are being genuine and when you are trying to please them with a cliché. Be honest and focus on your skills, your goals and what the position/company has to offer you. Be specific.


2. Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with someone at work and how you resolved it.

– “I usually get along very well with everyone.”

It’s not true and it shows the recruiter that you probably don’t focus on your past experiences in order to improve. It’s true that there are some people that really get along with MOST people, but we all have experiences with people that are way too different from us. It doesn’t have to be a conflict but try to have a situation in mind to answer this question.


3. What do you think is your greatest weakness?

– “I’m an overachiever, and work long hours that leave me little time for anything else but serving the organization.”

Sometimes what we think the companies want to hear is exactly what keep us from getting that job. Don’t play this game, play safe. Prepare these answers before the interview and think of something that you can provide examples on how you are trying to improve your weaknesses.


4. What do you like to do in your spare time?

– “Going to the pub and sleeping”

Some companies ask this question to get to know more about the candidate. It’s not usually something that is going to take a big role in the decision but it’s more of an opportunity to create a human and genuine connection between the recruiter/company and the candidate. Take advantage of this question and smile, be funnier and show your social skills. Because here they are trying to get to know how you get along socially and break the ice.


5.  What do you expect to enjoy most about this role?

–  “Lunchtimes” – “Salary” – “Discounts” – “Holidays”

Show that you did your research and state the key aspects of the specific role that you are most excited about.


6. Where do you see yourself in five years?

– “I see myself doing your job”

Of course some companies will like this kind of answer but most will not. This kind of confidence works better in start-up companies. You can also use this same idea but use different words where you are not threatening the interviewer in any way. Be smart and be specific.



Top 11 Mistakes on graduates’ resumes

top 10 errors

1. No Accomplishment statements

A resume has to be more than a job description. And although recent graduates usually lack some professional experience, they need to know how to highlight their accomplishments during their studies and others.


2. Lack of Action Verbs

Forget the “responsible for” and “assisted with” passive frases and focus on action verbs. Sometimes it’s all a matter of sequence. Instead of writing: “Working with the CEO, coordinating a training session for…” start with the action: “Coordinated a training session with the CEO…”


3. Lack of Differentiation

Every resume sounds and look more or less the same. The ones that make a statement at a first impression are only a few. Make sure you use your resume as a marketing tool and sell yourself! Set yourself apart from others.


4. Irrelevant Detail

Being concise is crucial. Cut out the irrelevant and obvious information and focus only on the valuable things of your past experience. Unless you are a college freshman, delete all information about your high school.


5. Poor Formatting

Some of the same students who list “Expert at Microsoft Word” on their resumes don’t know how to use bullets or set tabs to right justify information such as dates. It’s common to find a lot of spacing and alignment inconsistences.


6. Meaningless Phrases

Don’t state something that you read somewhere that it’s important for recruiters. What’s the point of saying that you are a “good team player” or have “strong leadership skills” if you are not describing any of those experiences with a supported evidence.


7. Grammar or Word Usage Issues

There’s no need to elaborate about this topic.


8. Typos

Read your resume out loud and give it to someone to read it before you send it to recruiters.


9. Over-Used Resume Templates

Microsoft Word templates are getting obsolete and they make you look lazy. Make an effort to work on the package of your talent. You can use Word as long as you know how to use it to make your resume look personalized.


10. Obsolete Elements

“References available on request” and “Looking for an opportunity to challenge myself” are old school sentences that actually have a negative impact on your resume. Get rid of the old format of resumes and don’t be afraid to try new things.


11. Start over please!

Some of the resumes are so bad that they should be thrown in the garbage. Sometimes people have no idea what a resume should look like!


Source: Youtern.com