Take the advice of CV Library’s Laura Slingo, don’t jeopardise your chances of getting the perfect job by making these 5 cover letter mistakes.
The cover letter lets you really target the job and the recruiter. It gives you the freedom to expand on your CV and explain why you’re the best person for the job. It also allows you to demonstrate your personality and your communication abilities effectively.
Bearing in mind that the cover letter could make or break your chances of being selected for an interview, there’s obviously information that you should include in it.
However, there’s also information that you don’t want to include, lest it seriously jeopardise your application. Here are five key cover letter mistakes you want to avoid:
Typos and grammatical errors
While proofreading your cover letter takes less time than writing it, somehow proofing always seems like a mammoth task. However, if you want your job application to see success, you must scan it for typos, grammatical errors and awkward phrasings before you hit submit.
The wrong addressee
Be it the company name or the name of the recruiter; make sure you get your salutation right. Attention to detail is vital as you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
Ensure that your cover letter is addressed to the person dealing with the applications. To find out who this is, check out the job description, the companies meet the team pages, or call the employer and ask.
Embellishing the truth or exaggerating a little is one thing, outright lying is just a no-no. Facts can and will be checked. Plus, you don’t want that job offer withdrawn, or worse, you don’t want to get fired once you’ve got the job. The truth will always come out.
Don’t make it obvious that money is your motivator. It’s wise to let the employer broach the salary subject first. And this probably won’t happen until your second interview at the earliest. Instead, focus on what you can offer the company, why you’re suitable for the role and why you want to work for the organisation in particular.
Sticking to the template
Cover letter templates are a great tool to use and are encouraged to ensure your cover letter fits the bill. However, many job hunters take a template too literally.
Cover letter templates are nothing more than a guide to help you craft an outstanding letter. While you should use them for inspiration and structure, you should also inject a touch of your personality
Be keen, but not so overly enthusiastic that you come across as desperate. It’s not cool and recruiters might question whether you’ll actually fit in with the company culture.
No call to action
If you want to increase your chances of securing an interview, you must include a call to action at the end.
Too many job hunters fall into the trap of concluding their cover letter with the line “look forward to hearing from you”.
Instead, show you’re a proactive job hunter by signing off with your contact details and your availability for interview. You might also like to say that you’ll follow up in the next few days or weeks to discuss your suitability for the role and the next steps.
Re-writing your CV
Cover letters should be used to support your CV and your application. As a result, your cover letter should never be a re-write of your CV. Instead, use it to expand and enhance relevant skills, abilities and experiences. This will help you to prove you’re a better fit for the post than other applicants.
Don’t worry if you don’t have enough room to explain every detail in your cover letter. If it’s well structured, well written and highlights your most impressive skills, you can explain the rest in your interview.