6 things you should never put in your cover letter
The cover letter, one the many pains of the application process. It’s meant to complement your CV and provide a platform to elaborate on your relevant experience and strengths. You’ve most likely written a fair few already, so you have a good idea of how they should be structured and the type of content that should be included. However, if you’re not careful the same mistakes can pop up again and again which can result in your cover letter being thrown out as soon as it’s picked up! To avoid this happening, make sure to read on and find out the things you should always avoid putting in your cover letters.
The wrong company name
We realise this is an obvious one, however you’d be surprised that it still happens. It doesn’t matter how impressive the rest of your cover letter is, by putting the wrong company name you’re effectively guaranteeing that your application will be thrown in the (virtual) bin. However, it’s a fairly easy mistake to avoid, just make sure to proofread your cover letter before you submit it. Even better, get somebody else to proofread it as well, to be sure.
What is probably the most common mistake is the typo, or typing error. They make the cover letter look sloppy and they result in you giving off a poor impression. While spell-check can help you avoid most of these mistakes by finding clearly misspelt words (e.g. markeitng instead of marketing), it can’t help when your misspelling results in a different word completely (e.g read and reed.) So, like we said before, make sure to proofread your work and get somebody else to read it as well.
Lack of information
Your cover letter should be a well-researched document, showing that you’re up to date with the latest company programmes and ventures. You should be familiar with the history of the company, along with its size and style. Most of all, you should show a strong knowledge of the role you’re applying for. Avoiding the legwork of researching the company will make it look like you’re uninterested in the company, which will give the opposite impression to what you want in a cover letter. You could also end up with an inappropriate tone for your cover letter – you don’t want to send a light-hearted cover letter to a serious accounting firm. By researching the company and its activities, you’ll give off a good impression to the recruiter.
Your ultimate aims
If you have a plan to try and drastically change the way the company does things, then this may not sit well with a recruiter. Consequently, try to keep your final aims off the cover letter, unless they are explicitly asked for in the application process.
Employers don’t want to read excuses in a cover letter, so you shouldn’t be putting them in. As cover letters should be a maximum of one page in length, you don’t have much space in which to sell yourself – excuses will only act to fill this space. So avoid making excuses for why you left previous jobs, qualifications you don’t have and previous opportunities you missed. By doing this you’ll make sure the attention is on your assets and not on things that could hold you back.
Consider this one from the recruiter’s point of view – they’ve been reading probably countless cover letters. One of the last things they want is to start reading yours and be met with endless generic statements and clichés. One example is “I’m a team player who is always proactive in my work” – it may sound good, but it doesn’t really mean anything does it? Instead, write about previous experiences which will show off these skills – it will provide the recruiter with something meaningful to work with and help get your application noticed.
Too personal details
On a similar note, being overly personal in your cover letter will work against you. The recruiter wants to know about your skills and experiences, the professional reasons for why you’re perfect for the job. They don’t want some story about your family or your pets, or even worse, a generic sob story! As we mentioned before, you don’t have much space in a cover letter, so every letter counts. Do not fill your space with non-relevant information!
And that’s that! With these hints and tips you can avoid making those fatal cover letter mistakes, meaning you’ll undoubtedly make it through to the interview stage. It’s there where you can really shine and show the company why you’re perfect for the role!
Written by JobTeaser