A reader recently sent me this note: “I made a mistake on my cover letter, should I resend it?”
I can’t tell you how many times I have received cover letters and resumes addressed to a different person than me. It’s the second most common cover letter mistake I see. (Spelling and grammar errors rank first.)
Cover Letter Templates
Job seekers have a lot going on. They often use cover letter templates. They forget to change recipients’ names and addresses from one use of their template to the next. I’m not kidding. I’ve seen it on every search I’ve ever done. Even for C-level jobs.
The Mistake That Kills
I can’t think of a single time that I interviewed a sender who got my name wrong. Rather, I just wondered:
1. If their resume and cover letter were meant for me?
2. If their resume and cover letter found their way to the right person?
I’m more forgiving of spelling and grammar errors. We’re all human after all.
So, please double check your cover letter’s addressee and address before you hit send!
If your cover letter and resume don’t go to the right person, you won’t get an interview. Also, be sure to spell names correctly.
“I Made a Mistake on My Cover Letter, Should I Resend It?”
Circling back to the beginning of this post, that’s a great question! I say, “Yes!”
First, if you emailed your cover letter to the wrong address, all you have to do is fix the address and send it to the right person.
Second, if you’re not that lucky, simply apologize for addressing the wrong person. If the recruiter or hiring manager won’t forgive such a common mistake, then you don’t want the interview anyway.
Third, if you made a spelling or grammar error, fix it and resend.
In all cases, you can simply note that you hit “send” too soon. Which, by the way, makes email a better platform than snail mail for your job search correspondence.
A Better Cover Letter
Want to learn about another cover letter problem? Check out a doozy that has a 75% failure rate here. You’ll also learn about a better approach.
Image Credit: william87
Updated May 2019
© 2013 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.