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Common Cover Letter and Resume Mistakes to Avoid for Deaf Employees

You only have a few seconds to make a strong impression to employers; make sure your cover letter and resume are error-free with these helpful hints.

Looking for a job can be a daunting task. It is estimated that employers typically determine whether or not an application is going into the “interview” pile within the first 30 seconds of looking it over, so both your cover letter and resume must make a solid first impression and one that is free from avoidable mistakes and costly errors. Here some hints to help you avoid the most common mistakes deaf and hard of hearing job seekers make:

1. Spelling and Grammar Errors. This the most important tip for a reason. You must check and double-check for spelling and grammatical errors. Even hearing applicants are rejected for this reason alone. There is no quicker way to get your resume thrown out due to obvious spelling mistakes. Not only does it put your claim to “excellent written communication skills” in question, but it also can indicate to a potential employer a lack of attention to detail and professionalism. The best way to overcome this is to run your resume and cover letter through grammar and spell checker. It is also helpful to have some outside proof-reading help; mistakes can often be missed when you are reading through your own writing. Ask a friend who is known for having a great eye to read through your documents to spot any mistakes before you submit your cover letter and resume to a potential employer. You also may want to consider hiring a professional editor to perfect your cover letter and resume.

2. Inappropriate Tone. Opening your cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” is not only too formal for a cover letter, it gives a “form letter” vibe to the reader, which gives the wrong impression (not to mention it is an incredibly dull opener). Also, avoid opening with “Hey There!” or something similar is too informal. Your best bet is to do a little research, find out who will be doing the initial vetting of resumes and address your cover letter to them, or go with a warm yet straightforward “Greetings.”

3. Embellishing Your Resume. When you find a job posting that is almost a perfect fit in one or two areas, it can be very tempting to exaggerate your experience to fit the job requirements better. Resist that temptation! With all kinds of information available at a potential employers’ fingertips, it is easy for them to check on your background and find out you have been less than honest, which will pull your resume out of consideration immediately. And even if you manage to get the job, it is likely you will be asked to perform the very task you lied about, and that will be an unpleasant situation for everyone.

4. Too Personal. Your resume and cover letter should stick to explaining your educational and work experience and how both of those add up to you being a great fit for the job position you are applying. Adding in a bullet point at the end of your resume that says something about your hobbies or activities is allowed, but keep these to a minimum, and only highlight those activities that paint you in the most admirable light or are relevant to the job position you are applying. You also need to evaluate whether or not you should include in your cover letter that you are deaf or hard of hearing. There are advantages and disadvantages in disclosing to the employers that you are deaf or hard of hearing addressed elsewhere.

Formatting Errors. How a cover letter and resume should look seems to change at times and go through trends, but one constant that has always stayed the same is that too much content is never a good thing. Make sure to keep both your cover letter and resume concise, use action words, and keep the focus on accomplishments rather than duties. Break up the content into smaller paragraphs or use bullet points where possible. By doing this, it will increase the visual interest and enhance the readability of your documents. Finally, make sure you and your qualifications take center stage in the eyes of potential employers.

Good luck with your job search! Also, take a look at our full job listings!

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