A successful cover letter could be the deciding factor for a hiring manager to give you an interview, so it is important that it demonstrates your ability to effectively market yourself in a positive light. Avoid these 5 killer cover letter mistakes to ensure that you express who you are and what you can contribute to the job!
Restating Your Resume
It can be tempting to simply take what you have bulleted in your resume and reiterate that in your cover letter; fight that temptation. There is not a single hiring manager that wants to reread what they can already find in your resume. The cover letter is the perfect opportunity for you to give anecdotal evidence that supports claims already made in your resume. For example, instead of listing all of your skills again, choose one skill and elaborate a specific time where you demonstrated your expertise of that skill. It will make for a much more interesting cover letter that is sure to stand out.
Using a “Blanket” Cover Letter
In today’s technological age, it is very easy to find templates for cover letters. While it is okay to use one as a guideline, be sure to tailor each cover letter to individual job postings. A hiring manger will be able to tell if you have sent them a generic cover letter that could apply to any related job listing. Instead, find ways to personalize your cover letter to the individual company. The best way to avoid “blanket” cover letters is to start fresh with each job you apply for.
Focusing on Yourself
While the main purpose of a cover letter is to convince a hiring manager to hire you, the best way to do so is not by rambling on about yourself. Instead, you should highlight what you are looking for as well as how you will be a great fit for the company and how the company can benefit from you. By doing so, you will demonstrate that you are a capable of being a dedicated and indispensible job candidate who has a lot to offer.
Lying about Experience or Expertise
The purpose of a cover letter is to paint a picture to the employer of who you are. Unlike a resume, there is much more opportunity for emphasis and elaboration on previous experiences and jobs, but there is also more room for embellishment. Avoid embellishing or lying about previous experiences or areas of expertise. Sooner or later, a hiring manager will find out that you have lied or overemphasized and the consequences could be drastic.
Forgetting to Proofread
Last, but certainly not least, you should always proofread your cover letter before formally submitting it. It is always a good idea to triple check for grammatical errors, misspellings, and mistakes. It is an even better idea to have someone else look it over for you, whether it is a family member, friend, or professional career adviser. The last thing you want is to not get an interview because you have the wrong job title or company name in your cover letter. Simple mistakes come across as sloppy and might make a hiring manager think you are not serious about that position.
Written By: O. Greendyk