Getting your cover letter right is an important part of many job applications. It is often the first thing that a potential employer will read about you, especially as many applications are now submitted by email. But, knowing what to write and how to structure your cover letter can be hard. And, if you don’t get it right, it can hurt your chances of getting the job.
So, take a look below to read 6 of the most common cover letter mistakes and make sure your cover letter.
#1 Bad spelling and typos
Nobody is going to purposefully put spelling mistakes in their cover letter. But it happens all the time. Before you submit it, save yourself enough time to proof read it. Then ask someone else to read over it for you. Relying on spell check to find all the mistakes can mean typos get overlooked.
#2 Begging for the job
While your cover letter should demonstrate you want the job and highlight some of your key attributes, it shouldn’t sound desperate. Begging for the job will not help you to give the right impression. Focus, instead, on all the core skills, qualifications and experiences that you can bring to this potential new employer.
#3 Making the letter too long
Having a cover letter that goes on for page after page is a real turn-off. Nobody wants to spend ages reading it, so chances are it will just be passed over. Aim to make your cover letter no longer than one page. That will be plenty of space to introduce yourself and your application, without running the risk of boring the person reading it.
#4 Not using the person’s name
While starting your cover letter with ‘Dear Sir’ might sound formal, all it really shows is you don’t know who to send your application to. If you couldn’t be bothered to find out a contact name, it suggests that you’ve not fully researched the position or the company. All this implies is that you’re not fully committed to getting the job.
If there isn’t a name for correspondence on the application pack, try Google or LinkedIn. And, if that doesn’t work, a polite old-fashioned phone call should help you get the name of the person you are applying to.
#5 Not personalising your cover letter to the job vacancy
It’s hard, if you’ve been applying for lots of jobs, to keep personalising each application. But, it does make a difference. Addressing the particular requirements of each job will help you to seem like a more suitable candidate.
Listing off the same sets of skills and experiences, regardless of the position, is just going to make you seem like you’re not interested in that specific job.
#6 Promising the world and unrealistic statements
Making over the top promises about your abilities and what you are going to do for the company probably won’t help you seem like a strong candidate. Things like ‘by hiring me, I will ensure you double revenue in no time at all’ are outlandish an unbelievable. All they do is bring the rest of your application into doubt.
Instead, make a realistic assessment of what skills and knowledge you can bring to the company, as this will be much more appealing to a potential employer.