Honestly, a lot of people do not enjoy Writing cover letters or CV’s for that matter. It’s something most of us would rather not do. And that’s why we push the idea to the side and sometimes forget to edit it for months if not years. The result of this is sending a generic cover letter for every other job out there and guess what, it does not amount to much.
Time to shake things up in your application documents, starting off with your cover letters. What should be in it which shouldn’t be repeated on your CV? And most notably, what common mistakes should you stop making already?
Below are 5 common mistakes you should stop making.
1. Talking about yourself non-stop
In as much as the cover letter is about raving about your qualifications and selling yourself to the recruiter, you do not have to spend the entire time talking about yourself and your wants and needs.
What should you do when you are done writing about your job and educational background? Review the job description again and check out the latest news on the company. Ask yourself why the organization is hiring for this role.
When you can relate to the hiring manager’s job description and position your skills as the solution to his or her needs, you have a better chance of avoiding cover letter mistakes and capturing his/her attention.
2. Making it uncomfortable or simply writing a novel
Alright, your cover letter is not the place to tell your potential new boss about the recent struggles you’ve faced.
A cover letter is not a “letter” per say to your new bff, don’t go into why you were laid off or fired from a job, or how you are struggling to make ends meet.
Employers want current information. Why you were laid off or why you quit your last job is not important at this juncture. Your intention to address an issue can and will come across more as shining a spotlight on your insecurities.
What’s important is to focus on your achievements and how you are going to assimilate those attainments into your next job.
3. Forgetting to replace a company’s name or job title.
Happened to you already? Send a job application and when you go back to re-read the mail, it turns out you addressed the wrong company and what’s worse, the date is wrong….gosh darn it!
Hey, it happens. If you’re applying for a job after job and tailoring your cover letter to each one (like you should be!) you may find yourself replacing words, names, and titles — rather than rewriting your cover letter from scratch over and over again
But you should be very careful when you do this. If you forget to replace the company name or job title, this will be a huge turn off to your “would be” employer. Keyword here is, “Re-read” and “re-read”
4. Missing Out on the Typo’s
An emphasis on the previous point, RE-READ your application. It doesn’t matter how many times you do this. If you have to get someone else to do it for you, the better. And if that sounds like too much work, get an expert to do it for you.
A lot of hiring managers say they’d automatically dismiss a cover letter with a typo. Again….Triple check that you’ve addressed your cover letter to the right person, and that everything is spell checked and grammar correct.
As Joyce Lain Kennedy in the book, “Cover Letters for Dummies,” The cover letter focuses on the employer and the future. Tell the hiring professional what you can do to benefit the organization in the future”