Here are twenty-eight common errors to avoid:
1. Addressing letters, “Dear Sir:” or “Dear Sirs:” As you know, many readers today
are women.If gender is unclear, the salutation should be something like “Dear
Hiring Manager,” or “Dear Human Resources Manager.”
2. Addressing letters, “To whom it may concern.” Find out who will receivethe
correspondence, and address it personally. One company received a letter
addressed to “Dear Whomever,” to which an employee replied, “I'll answer to
anything but this!”
3. Enclosing aphoto. Skip the photo unless you’re a model or an aspiring actor.
4. Handwriting or typing over an old resume or letterhead. If you’ve moved, start
over. Changes on old documents aren’tacceptable.
5. No signature. Even if you type your name at the end of correspondence, you
should sign the page in your own handwriting to give it a personal touch.
6. Spelling errors. Oneapplicant said he was well suited for “writting and editing
chores... contac t (sic) me at the adrwss (sic) below.” Would you give him your
editing work? Another writer said she would enjoy “hearing form(sic) us.” Word
processing spell checkers make mistakes; so proof everything.
7. Not checking grammar. One person wrote, “It sounds exciting and give me (sic)
the opportunity to use myskills.” Check your letters for correct sentence
structure. Have friends review them too.
8. Handwriting letters. Brief 30-word thank you notes can be handwritten, if legible.
All othercorrespondence should be typewritten or word processed, even if you
have to borrow a word processor or pay a secretarial service. Handwritten letters
don't say “business.”
9. Using a Post-It Brand Noteas a letter. Post-It Brand Notes aren't letters. Using
one says, “This isn't important. I was too busy to write a real letter.”
10. Using the word “I” too much. Some letters are filled with 20...