Cover Letters

Common Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

in Knowledgebase on March 26, 2023

The use of cover letters in the job application process is still very much in demand. They go well with your CV and can help you stand out from the competition.

However, the majority of job candidates consistently commit the same cover letter errors (which can even cost them the job). We’ve produced a list of the top Cover Letters errors made by job seekers so you don’t make the same ones.

You’ll have a much easier time getting your next job if you don’t make these mistakes.

Ready? Let’s start now!

Cover Letter Mistakes (That You Should Avoid)

Mistake #1. Making it all about yourself

You might wonder, “How can I not make it about myself? This is, after all, my cover letter.

Yes, I suppose, but consider this.

Instead of using your Cover Letters as an open forum to promote yourself, you should utilize it to further explain why you’re the ideal candidate for the position. Instead of only focusing on what you want to say, consider what the recruiter wants to read.

Do mention a few outstanding accomplishments and pertinent strengths that will emphasize your qualifications for the job (and those you were unable to elaborate on in your CV).

Avoid overusing “I,” beginning your cover letters with your life narrative as though it were an autobiography, and coming up with unrelated skills that you just think would help you look good. enormous cover letter Mistakes

Mistake #2. Repeating your resume

Zig Ziglar has said that “repetition is the mother of learning.” Excellent quote, however, it still doesn’t support repeating your CV in your cover letter.

Recruiters expect you to demonstrate your value for the position. However, you would have made a significant cover letter error if they opened your cover letter and read your resume again (which they have undoubtedly already read).

If you don’t have anything fresh to add, you might elaborate on how one of your accomplishments helped you land the position you’re looking for or how you can support the company’s goals. Anything that adds value rather than just summarizing your employment history and duties will do.

Want to strengthen your personal brand and establish yourself as a credible candidate? Match your CV and cover letter! Each resume template offered by Resumeinventor has a cover letter that coordinates with it. So choose a fashion that you like, and start right away!

Mistake #3. Exceeding one page 

You shouldn’t write your autobiography for your cover letter.

Although you might be tempted, the cover letter isn’t the place to waffle on and on about your whole professional past.

There are three basic goals for a good cover letter:

  • (Shortly) introducing yourself and your career objectives
  • Describe your (relevant) professional background in a few words.
  • To detail anything not covered by your resume but that the employer should be aware of

Therefore, three to six paragraphs, or 250 to 400 words, constitute the perfect length for a cover letter.

Mistake #4. Mass sending a cover letter

Every job you apply for should have a cover letter that is specific to that position.

A generic cover letter that you simply copied and pasted from an online example demonstrates that you did not submit one because you were genuinely interested in the employment, but rather because you had to.

Your cover letter should demonstrate your effort because it is what sets you apart.

However, if you’re applying for a lot of positions and don’t have the time to create, say, 20 cover letters, be sure to at least personalize the name of the organization and the hiring manager in each.

Mistake #5. Using cliches without backing them up

You could be tempted to utilize statements like “I’m a fantastic team player,” “committed problem-solver,” or “amazing communicator” in your cover letter.

This is fair because these are crucial skills for any career.

But here’s the thing: these phrases are now cliches since they are used so frequently in cover letters and applications.

You can say that you’re an “excellent communicator,” but so can everyone else who is applying.

We only advise bringing up such clichés when you can genuinely support them with examples from your own experiences.

As a result, you say “I’m a great communicator, as evidenced by Experiences A, B, and C,” rather than “I’m a great communicator.”

As an example, I learned how to work well with others by collaborating with 10 other members of my project team to create and deliver software solutions for the client both ahead of schedule and under budget.

Mistake #6. Being too formal…or too informal

Look, you rarely want to go to extremes.

Therefore, you should avoid being unduly professional, just as your intuition probably tells you that talking to the hiring manager like a friend isn’t the best approach.

Dear Sarah,
I’d like to submit an application for Company X’s position of junior project manager.
Hey Sarah, what’s up?
John here, and I’m applying for the project manager position.

Mistake #7. Typos and grammar mistakes

Typos and grammar errors should be the easiest cover letter blunders to avoid.

No matter where you write your cover letter, Microsoft Word will highlight any typos in red and any grammar errors in green. However, you always have the option of readily editing your cover letter.

You should be able to avoid making this annoying but readily avoidable error with the use of a basic spell-checker and software like Grammarly.

Mistake #8. Unnecessary flattery

The hiring manager doesn’t need to read your love letter to the business to like you.

You’re welcome to discuss how the company’s principles, mission, or culture motivate you professionally if you have great regard for them.

However, if your sole goal in writing your cover letter is to flatter the employer in the hopes that the recruiter would like you, you’re in for a rude awakening.

You want to (shrewdly) laud your accomplishments, not the corporation, keep that in mind.

Mistake #9. Going off-topic

A cover letter is not the place to veer off the subject.

Although you may believe that as long as you are discussing work, it is acceptable, telling the recruiter the reasons behind your professional choices will only result in a yawn.

For instance, telling the hiring manager that you left your position because of your breakup with your girlfriend would be extremely off-topic and excessive information (even if that is the real reason you left your work).

In general, avoid talking about these things in your cover letter:

  • Your vulnerabilities (unless an interviewer specifically asks about them)
  • uncomfortable situations in your life or at work
  • specifics of any job you’ve ever held
  • Details, justifications, or other arguments on why you were fired from a previous job (again unless asked at an interview)

Mistake #10. Not following specific instructions

When taking an exam, has your teacher ever instructed you to thoroughly read the questions before beginning to respond?

Quite rightly so! Sometimes we are in such a rush to finish something that we fail to understand the original purpose of the request.

Read the job description thoroughly before you begin writing your CV and cover letter if you don’t want to make that cover letter error.

You can find any specific requirements for the content or format of the cover letter in the job description if the hiring manager has any. Give this section the attention it deserves because it may even be the case that the position does not require a cover letter at all.

Mistake #11. Forgetting to sign your cover letter

Make sure to sign your cover letter; doing so demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail.

But you don’t need to sign your cover letter if you’re sending it together with your job application in an email.

In any event, pay close attention to your cover letter’s conclusion. You want to end your cover letter as formally and memorable as you can because people will always remember how things ended.

Unsure of the meaning of that? You may learn everything you need to know from our post on how to end a cover letter!

Key Takeaways

It’s all done now! We hope you are aware of the cover letter errors to avoid before you begin writing. Listed below are some of the key topics we covered:

  • In your cover letter, avoid overusing “I.” Instead, concentrate on highlighting a few of your most impressive accomplishments that are pertinent to the position.
  • You must not make the error of reiterating your CV in your cover letter.
  • When defining yourself, avoid using platitudes like “team player,” “excellent communicator,” and the like. Instead, support your skills with examples from your work experiences to demonstrate them.
  • Make sure to reread your cover letter before sending it; grammatical and spelling errors are unacceptable.

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