Career Advice

Cover Letter Errors That Could Cost You the Job

cover letter

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Although available statistics indicate that 74% of hiring managers consider cover letters trivial and more of a formality, the rest deem it necessary and essential. Based on this percentage, it may be wrong to assume that writing a cover letter is only a procedure in your job search activities. The less attention you pay to it, the higher the chances of committing unpardonable errors. To avoid them, it would help to look at some of these blunders.

Common Cover Letter Errors

  • Generic Greetings: Starting your cover letter with generic phrases like “To whom it may concern” instantly makes your application impersonal. Always try to find the name of the hiring manager and address them directly.
  • Spelling and Grammar Errors: Typos and grammatical mistakes reflect poorly on your attention to detail. Always proofread your cover letter multiple times and consider using a spell-check tool.
  • Long-Windedness: Hiring managers have limited time. A long and meandering cover letter will likely lose their interest. Stick to relevant points and keep it concise.
  • Rehashing Your Resume: Your cover letter should complement, not duplicate, your resume. Use it as a platform to showcase experiences or skills that your resume can’t fully convey.
  • Lack of Customization: Sending a generic cover letter for every job application is a surefire way to show you haven’t done your research. Customize each letter to fit the specific job and company.
  • Being Overly Humble: While you shouldn’t be arrogant, being too modest won’t help either. Your cover letter is the place to confidently state what you bring to the table.
  • Being Too Arrogant: Conversely, avoid appearing too full of yourself. Phrases like “I’m the best candidate for this job” could rub hiring managers the wrong way.
  • Negative Language: Never speak poorly of your current or former employers. Negative language is a red flag that suggests you’re not a team player.
  • Lack of Enthusiasm: If you’re not excited about the job opportunity, why should the employer be excited about you? Show enthusiasm for both the role and the company.
  • Ignoring Instructions: If the job posting asks for something specific to be included in your cover letter, make sure you include it. Ignoring instructions shows a lack of attention to detail.

Beginning the main content with your name

According to hiring managers, it is always a put-off to read cover letters that introduce the applicant. According to them, your name is not a relevant piece of information, especially when they already have your resume. Therefore, using that strategy only takes up space on the page or paper and adds no value to your application. Indeed, a few decades ago, self-introduction was the style for cover letters. However, over the years, modernization has made it mundane and may be inappropriate.

Avoid these cover letter mistakes that could cost you your dream job! From generic greetings to overlooking the details, we've got the tips to ensure your cover letter stands out for the right reasons. #CoverLetter #JobSearch #CareerAdviceClick To Tweet

A better option is to begin the cover letter by stating the role you are applying for. It helps to also indicate where you first saw the vacancy advertisement. Usually, hiring managers use this information to evaluate the success of job advertisement platforms. After that, you can zero in on your qualities and what makes you the ideal candidate for the job. Another technique for your opening is to state your professional experience and the number of years you committed to it. Regardless of the technique used, remember to tie the first paragraph into the role you have applied for.

Turning the cover letter into a resumé extension

This is one major blunder many job applicants commit in their cover letters. Many people assume that the cover letter is an opportunity to explain bulleted points made in the resume. However, hiring managers say the cover letter highlights your career strengths and how you intend to bring your experience onboard to the role applied for. Keep in mind that these recruiters attend to hundreds of job applications at any given time.

For this reason, any deviation in your letter may increase the chances of having your application tossed to the side. For example, if you indicated nursing in your resumé as a course you undertook in college, it is not ideal to explain what you studied within your cover letter. Instead, if it is an online application, you can simply add a link to your program of study such as this one This way, the hiring manager can click the link to find out more about the program you studied.

Writing more than a one-page cover letter

The cover letter is meant to be succinct, crisp, and catchy. Experts say it is not advisable to write a long-winded letter to impress the recruiter. On the contrary, what you may have done is shoot yourself in the foot for blabbering in the letter. Remember that the main point is to entice the hiring manager to shortlist you. When you find yourself before them, you can say more to clinch the role.

The cover letter creates a first impression in the recruiter’s mind and since you have only one chance to do that, take the time to get it right.

How to Write Killer Cover Letters & Resumes

Stand out from all the rest by crafting letters and resumes that will blow people away. This career reference guide provides a simple, compelling and foolproof way to create both cover letters and resumes that are uniquely powerful and, most importantly, virtually guarantees you the high value job interviews and career you really want.

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07/24/2024 05:50 pm GMT

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