Common mistakes to avoid when writing a cover letter
About the author
Darren Cronian, the author of this guide, has spent nine years securing remote jobs and building a successful freelancing business. His goal is to help people find remote work. Read more >
A cover letter is a crucial part of a job application, as it gives the employer a first impression of the applicant. My advice is even if the advert doesn’t ask for a cover letter, send one with your resume. The content you write could increase your chances of getting an interview.
Putting effort into crafting a well-written and compelling cover letter is essential, as it can make the difference between getting an interview and being rejected. However, there are many mistakes to avoid when writing a cover letter.
Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:
Not tailoring the cover letter to the specific job: A generic cover letter not particular to the job you are applying for is a major red flag to employers. It shows a need for more effort and enthusiasm for the position. Instead, take the time to research the Company and position. Customize your cover letter to show how your skills make you a strong fit for the role.
Failing to proofread: A cover letter with spelling and grammar errors is a significant turn-off to employers. It needs to reflect better on your attention to detail and professionalism. Before sending your cover letter, proofread it carefully and have someone else review it.
Being too lengthy: Keep your cover letter concise and to the point, focusing on the most relevant information and skills. Aim for a single page, and avoid repeating information already in your resume.
Being too formal: While it’s crucial to maintain a professional tone in your cover letter, it can make it sound stiff and impersonal. Use a friendly, conversational style, and avoid using formal language.
Focusing on what you want: Your cover letter should focus on how you can benefit the employer rather than what you want from the job. Avoid statements like “I’m looking for a position that will allow me to grow and develop my skills.” Instead, highlight how your skills and experience can contribute to the Company’s success.
Too much bragging: Be confident, but stop when you become egotistical. Statements like “I am a video editing ninja” or “I am a master at Adobe Lightroom” are a little over the top.
By avoiding these mistakes, you can write a cover letter that will make a strong impression on potential employers and increase your chances of getting an interview. After all, the cover letter is your opportunity to sell yourself.
Cover letter template
Dear [Contact Person],
I am writing to apply for the [Position] role at [Company]. As a highly motivated and results-driven professional with [Number] years of experience in [Industry], I am confident in my ability to contribute to your team significantly.
In my current position at [Current Company], I have developed vital [Skill] skills, as well as a proven track record of [Achievement]. I am particularly excited about the opportunity to join [Company] and use my skills to [Specific Contribution to Company].
I am highly organized, detail-oriented and can multitask effectively in fast-paced environments. I am also a strong communicator, with the ability to build relationships and work effectively with team members at all levels.
Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to discussing the position further and how I can contribute to your team’s success.
Sincerely, [Your Name]
In conclusion, a cover letter is a critical component of a job application, and it is vital to take the time to craft a well-written and compelling letter. It introduces the employer to your background, skills, and experience and allows you to express your interest in and qualifications for the position.
By highlighting your most relevant skills and experiences and demonstrating your enthusiasm for the role, you can make a strong case for why you are the best candidate for the job. Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn the common mistakes to avoid when writing a cover letter.
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