Without water, it will be impossible to make coffee. In the same vein, a job offer will not be made without a decent curriculum vitae and an amazing cover letter. A resume is of limited value to an employer if he or she doesn’t know what kind of work you want to do. A cover letter tells the employer the type of position you’re seeking and exactly how you are qualified for that position.
However, in writing a cover letter, there are some common mistakes applicants make that can be avoided. A few of them are listed below:
Inadequate Research– Research is a crucial part of many aspects of job hunting, and before you begin writing your cover letter, you need to make sure you’ve done your research properly. The important things you should research before writing are:
- Who will be receiving and reading your letter
- The skills and experience mentioned in the job description
- The company and its culture
- Their competitors and market position
- The sector and any recent news or trends
Building up a good knowledge of the company and industry helps you to tailor your cover letter for each company you apply to, and shows your passion for the job and sector.
Duplicating your Curriculum Vitae– If your cover letter is basically your resume in paragraph form, you’re probably going to need to start over. Your resume is likely the first thing a recruiter looks at, so you’re wasting your time (and the recruiter’s) if your cover letter is a harder-to-read version of something he or she has already seen. Instead, focus on one or two examples of your work that highlight what you can bring to the position, and try to help your reader picture you doing the work by really diving deep and detailing your impact. You want the hiring manger to be able to imagine selecting and placing you into his or her team seamlessly.
Lengthy– Nothing is as discouraging as receiving a cover letter that could compete with a novel. In writing your cover letter, try to be brief and concise as possible. Do not include all the details of all the jobs you have ever carried out as it makes it crowded and confusing, but focus on only those that will be useful to your present application. It should be one page; short but sweet. Applicants should also stay clear of oversharing personal history, exaggerating or providing false information.
Errors– Though it may sound simple but when applying to many jobs or are just exhausted, mistakes can happen that end up costing you the interview. In fact, 70% of hiring managers say they’d automatically dismiss a cover letter with errors. You should proof read your cover letter numerous times. Typographical errors, misspellings and incorrect grammar should be avoided at all costs. Employers notice them all.
Making it all about you– a cover letter should not just focus on you but such focus must in the context of the employer’s needs and the specified job requirements. At the end of reading your cover letter, your employer should be able to decide if you are a perfect fit or not.
Generic– Every cover letter should be tailored to suit the respective job. One must restrain from having a ‘’one cover letter fits all’’ mentality. A proper cover letter must provide value to its prospective employer.