Your cover letter shows employers how well you express yourself. It can also demonstrate that you are savvy in the ways of marketing yourself and selling your best qualifications. A good cover letter can entice the recipient to review your resume. A bad cover letter, on the other hand, can nip your chances in the bud.
Ten Cover Letter Mistakes
Explained below are a few cover letter mistakes that can make hiring managers cringe. Here’s a look:
1. Making it all about you
It may seem counterintuitive, but your cover letter is more about addressing the employer’s need than writing about yourself and your achievements. If you end up writing all about yourself, without mentioning much about the employer’s needs, the hiring manager is bound to be put off. Strictly avoid using phrases like “I am extremely adept at” or “an excellent team player”. The cover letter is more about the employer and specifically the position you are applying for.
2. Too lengthy
Making the cover letter too lengthy is another big mistake that candidates make. If you are a jobseeker and have found a suitable open position, you will have to draft a cover letter. But make sure that you touch upon the exact points that need to be covered and do not make the document too long. If you make it too long, the hiring manager may not even bother to read it. Keep it short and concise spanning across three or four small paragraphs.
3. Too many typos and grammatical errors
While this might not be the gravest mistake, nonetheless employers tend to get put off by typos and grammatical errors on a cover letter. After drafting your letter, read and re-read the same for any typos or grammatical errors. Avoid them at any cost.
4. Adopting a whinny tone
It is understood that you are looking for a job because of certain reasons. May be you are dissatisfied with your current employer or your current compensation. But, do not ever mention these in your cover letter. If you ever tend to do so, you will sound like possessing a complaining attitude and no one wants to work with a complainer.
5. Using the wrong name/designation/job title of the employer
Before penning your cover letter, make sure that you know the job title and the designation of the person to be addressed. If you end up making errors at this level, your document along with your resume will definitely hit the dustbin.
6. Rehashing your resume
Understand that the motive of a cover letter is to introduce yourself with a brief professional background and why the future job opening is of interest to you. While you must highlight a few aspects of your resume, do not go about rehashing your total resume. It will be a complete put off for the hiring manager.
7. Using wimpy language
Try to sound as professional as possible. Do not ever end up using a wimpy language that reads like “I believe”, “ I can do..” and such phrases. Instead, opt for phrases like “I am convinced” or “I am confident”. Such phrases will have a strong impact on the employer and your chances of getting interviewed will get increased.
8. Pointing out your weaknesses
This is one dreadful thing that you must avoid highlighting on your cover letter. Avoid self-depreciation at any cost. Remember, you are trying to convince someone to interview you for a job. That’s your ultimate goal. If you randomly warn your hiring manager about your Achilles heel, they won’t thank you — they’ll toss your letter into the rejection pile.
9. Making unsupported claims
Cover letters are no place to make unsupported claims like “great communication” or “fine editorial skills”. In case you are doing that do support them with proper evidence. However, it is best advised, not to make such claims in your cover letter. Just ensure that the cover letter serves its purpose.
10. Listing references
Listing professional references on cover letters can have them land up in the garbage bin. Understand that cover letters act more as introduction and your chance of getting interviewed by a prospective employer rather than boasting about yourself. So, never ever list references on your cover letter.
Before you plan to draft a cover letter, do some research, weigh the pros and cons and then customize the same as per the job title and the company. And do remember to keep it short and crisp.