09 Jul 10 Common Cover Letter Mistakes
Not having success getting hired? It may be time to re-evaluate your cover letter and to make sure you’re not making any of these 10 common cover letter mistakes.
1. Spelling Errors
If you get in a hurry when typing up your cover letter, it’s highly likely you’ll have typos and spelling errors. When these spelling errors make it through to a potential employer, it makes you appear lazy and is a reflection of poor attention to detail. Don’t trust spell check. Always have a friend or family member look it over before you submit.
Today, the ones doing the hiring are time-strapped. They just don’t have the time to go over every candidate’s resume and multi-page cover letter. Keep it to one page and use bolding and bullet points to create smaller, more digestible pieces of information.
3. Incorrectly Addressed
Always take the time to find out the name of the person you’re sending your cover letter to and include it in the address. It shows you’ve done your homework.
4. Too Generic
It’s pretty obvious if you’re using a generic, ‘one size fits all’ cover letter. Take the time to customize each cover letter for the unique position you’re applying for. It only takes a couple of extra minutes.
5. Leaving in Wrong Names/Companies
Sure, you can have a framework for your cover letter that you work from. But you’ll go straight to the “no” pile if you forget to take out the names of the last job you applied for. Check and re-check to make sure you don’t miss a great opportunity.
6. Not Confident
Play up your achievements and do it with confidence. Highlight the results you’ve produced with hard numbers and awards. No one wants to interview someone who’s kind of good at what he or she does.
7. Too confident
Don’t go overboard with the confidence. Keep the adjectives toned down so you don’t come across as an egomaniac. Instead, let your results prove your worth.
8. False Claims
If you lie on your cover letter, you will get caught. It’s only a matter of time before you’re exposed or left in an awkward situation because you can’t do what you said you could.
9. Explaining Lags in Employment
Save the narrative of why you left or got fired from a job. If the question comes up, you can address it later. No need to raise a red flag before you even get an interview.
10. Including Too Many References
Adding references can be a little cart before the horse. If the employer wants to get some verified references for you after a first interview, have those ready to hand over. Otherwise, it’s just taking up unnecessary space in your cover letter.
Don’t Commit the Common Cover Letter Mistakes
The common denominator for all of these mistakes? They can be quickly fixed (or avoided completely with a simple proof read from a trusted friend.) Make sure your cover letter is a solid addition to your sparkling resume. After all, it is the first item your interviewer will probably pick up. Your first impression should be a great one.