Cover Letters – Dos & Dont’s – Part 2
James, November 30, 2012
7 Deadly Cover Letter Sins:
Here is the second part of our cover letter writing tips. What to do has been covered here. Here are our 7 deadly cover letter sins. Avoid these at all costs when creating your cover letter. You should have spent lots of time crafting the perfect CV, don’t slip up and send a substandard cover letter accompanying it.
Your cover letter is what determines whether an employer is ready to go through your résumé or not. Therefore, before sending it, you should make sure that it contains no errors, particularly check your spelling and grammar. The following are the 7 common mistakes that you should avoid while writing your cover letter:
1. Do Not submit your cover letter before proofreading
This is an all too common mistakes that you should avoid while writing your cover letter. Without thorough proofreading, you might end up submitting a letter full of grammatical and typographical errors. The last thing you need while applying for a job is to give a potential employer a bad first impression of yourself. Spelling and grammar are easily checked, if not it just suggests laziness.
2. Do Not focus so much on your needs
Even though you are applying for a job, do not show the employer that you desperately need it. Do not indicate personal reasons for wanting the job or position. Instead, focus on what makes you the right person for the job and the positive values that you would add to the company if employed.
3. Avoid using a weak opening
Employers are always in search of very confident employees. Therefore, you should be able to capture their attention within the first few lines of your statement. You can consider the following good example: “Having worked for six years in three different reputable organisations as a software engineer, I hold the necessary skills needed to boost the efficacy and services of your company.”
4. Do not make it too long
You are not the only applicant applying for the job. Employers normally receive hundreds of applications for each vacancy and as such they hardly find enough time to go through all of them, forcing them to avoid going through long letters. Therefore, make sure that your cover letter is brief, succinct and to the point.
5. Do Not challenge an employer to hire you
Even if you are very experienced in the sector you are applying for, do not tell the employer that you are the only person fit for the job. Posing such a challenge will only put off a potential employer. It can be interpreted as arrogance. If you only talk about how great you are without outlining your past successful achievements in your cover letter, no one will be impressed by your application.
6. Do Not forget to mention the position you are applying for
Many companies are fond of advertising numerous job vacancies at a time, forcing them to put up with hundreds or even thousands of applications. For your application to be considered, it must be very specific. If it does not indicate a reference to any particular position, HR will not even think of reading further.
7. Do Not forget to customise
If you are applying for the different positions offered by different companies, it is very important that you to customise each cover letter before sending. While customising the cover letters, do not forget to update the job position, contact information, the manager's name, and the name of the company. A potential employer does not want to read a competitor’s name on an applicant’s cover letter. Firstly this looks sloppy, and also they will not want to be reminded that you are applying elsewhere.
Bear these 7 rules in mind and avoid them at all costs, and you will be well on your way to producing an excellent cover letter that will set you apart from the rest of the applicant crowd.