5 Huge Mistakes Than Can Ruin an Otherwise Perfect Cover Letter

2018-09-07 by Reese

5 Huge Mistakes Than Can Ruin an Otherwise Perfect Cover Letter

When people apply for their first jobs at a fast food giant or retail store, they likely don’t appreciate its simplicity. Turning in an application is usually all that’s required. As we grow older and apply for professional positions, though, things like resumes, references and cover letters become essential. Since cover letters must be job-specific, they’re typically the most time-consuming aspect of getting interviews. Unfortunately, there are several cover letter mistakes that can end this process prematurely.

1. Failing to Perform Research

While building your cover letter should focus on selling yourself to a prospective employer, you still need to perform research on the company you’re applying with. Failure to do this will be immediately obvious to whoever is reading the letter, and it will give the impression that you’re not very interested in the organization.

Take the time to research the hiring manager and address them directly in the letter if possible. You’ll also want to learn about the company’s goals, milestones and services. Discussing this information in your cover letter will let you explain how you specifically are right for the position.

2. Rehashing Your Entire Resume

An employer wants to know why you’re right for their company, but they certainly don’t need your cover letter repeating everything that’s in your resume. Otherwise, what would be the point of even writing such a letter? Instead, you should focus on experiences and skills gained from former positions that will help you excel in the job you’re applying for.

3. Too Much Focus on Training

Your education and former training are certainly something that a recruiter will consider in their decision. When it comes down to it, though, they’re more interested in how your work history applies to the position. Instead of reminding them of your three collegiate degrees, explain how you’ve used those skills since graduating.

Of course, there will be instances when you haven’t been able to utilize your education and training in a work environment. If this is the case, you should focus more on specific experiences and work during training rather than the license or degree itself. This will show employers that you’re capable of applying the skills that you learn in a real-world setting.

4. Adding Awkward Information to Cover Letter

Most of us dread the thought of a recruiter asking us why we’re no longer employed with another company. Even explaining a sudden move between cities can be an embarrassing conversation to have. With so much anxiety linked to discussing these things in an interview, why would anyone take the initiative to bring them up in their cover letter?

This introductory contact should focus more on your skills and where you’re currently at. You don’t need to explain every difficulty in life that brought you to where you are, and if you do so, you’ll likely only shine a light on former misjudgments or insecurities. Some of these things might come up later in the interview process, but why introduce them into the mix preemptively?

5. Covering Too Much in a Cover Letter

It’s understandable that you want to explain every experience that’s made you perfect for a position, but this is something you’ll have a chance to do later. The fact is that nearly 70% of employers don’t like cover letters that are more than a half page long. Focus on the most important parts of your experiences and make sure to keep things succinct.

Your cover letter doesn’t have to be flawless to land a good job, but if you make certain mistakes, you can rest assured that an otherwise perfect letter will end up in the trashcan. Fortunately, these errors are easily avoidable, and as you become more adept at writing these inquiry letters, the chances of you making these mistakes will decrease. In the end, this will increase the likelihood of your career moving to the next level.

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