7 years ago
March 7, 2017

5 Common Issues Found in Sales Cover Letters

Cover letters are a necessary evil when applying for a sales position. Here are 5 Common Issues Found in Sales Cover Letters

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Cover letters are a necessary evil when it comes to applying for a sales job. Then again, sometimes they aren’t. Depending on the job you are applying for, you may or may not be required to include one with your resume, and the truth is that most candidates treat cover letters like an afterthought.

“Nowadays, your cover letter is kind of like a spare tire. You want to have it with you just in case you need some backup,” says Ashley Stahl on Forbes.

“We live in a world where 90% of hiring managers don’t read cover letters, yet 53% of employers admit that they prefer candidates who send a cover letter. Meaning, your cover letter is positively acknowledged, but it probably won’t get read… So if nobody’s reading it, why bother?” she adds.


Even though they may not get read, they are worth the effort because you never know when they may become a factor for hiring companies to consider when comparing candidates. And, if a company decides to take a look at your cover letter, it’s important to make sure it is free of these common issues:

1. It’s long winded:

Cover letters are meant to be short and to the point. It should highlight your strengths, experience, and why you are a great candidate. Think of it like your elevator pitch.

2. It’s riddled with errors:

Even something as a simple typo could have you automatically disqualified as a candidate. Make sure you have all contact information correct, it’s free of spelling errors and it reads well. Have someone look it over for you.

3. Your opening sentence isn’t attention grabbing:

A sales cover letter needs to have a great hook to grab the hiring manager’s attention and sell them on you as a candidate, or at the very least, get them to want to read more.

4. Your key points do not address the job requirements:

Everything you write on your cover letter needs to be written with the job requirements in mind. If you list a skill or past sales win, make sure it ties back into the job you are applying for in some way.

5. To Whom It May Concern:

Sales is about relationship building. If you are not willing to research the name of the hiring manager or HR manager, it could signal that you aren’t willing to put in the work when selling to customers and clients.

Ridding your cover letter of these issues will help you stand out from other candidates and give you a better chance of getting a call for an interview.


SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit sales people in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right sales person for your organization, start your search here.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.