5 Mistakes to Avoid While Writing Your Cover Letter

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How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job Search

First impressions matter. But before you even get your foot in the door for an interview, you’ve already made an impression or two on recruiters. Your cover letter, resume, and follow up after submitting your application all say a lot about you. But what exactly are you saying about yourself? And do you know how to write a cover letter and resume that make you stand out?

Sometimes knowing what to do is just as important as knowing what not to do in order to make a good first impression. More specifically, we are going to take a look at how to write a cover letter the right way!

How to Write a Cover Letter in Today’s World? 

Avoid these 5 Turn Offs in Your Next Cover Letter

1 | The Sum of It

Think of your cover letter as an extension of our resume. Summarizing key points and qualifications from your resume in your cover letter is a waste space that could be better utilized, and a waste of time for recruiters. No one wants to read the same thing twice when they have a million things to do. Instead, use your cover letter as a way to introduce yourself and to sell why you are the best person for the job. Rather than relisting your qualifications, give recruiters an idea of how you can help the organization progress and meet their goals. While cover letters are meant to help sell you, remember that only focusing on what the company can do for you is a huge turn-off. 

2 | Too Silent, Too Chatty

There is a fine line between being a “too silent Sam” and a “chatty Cathy.” In other words, you don’t want to be too brief but you also don’t want to be too verbose. You want to ensure that you are not only hitting some key points in your cover letter about what you bring to the table, but you also want to hit some keywords when it comes to the job requirements. Getting keywords and selling points in with just the right length helps you stand out to a recruiter as someone who is qualified and efficient. And as a bonus, you also stand out to a computer system that scans resumes and cover letters for proper requirements. Part of the battle is beating these systems so your application actually lands on a recruiter’s desk! 

3 | Salutations! 

It can be easy to open with “To Whom This May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam,” but doing so will get your application tossed in the NO pile. This is especially a turn off if the recruiter’s details are easily found in the job description. General greetings also come off as lazy or that you use a generic cover letter without making an effort to change the details based on the job or company you are applying for.

On the other side of things, you also don’t want to be overly personal or overly friendly. Steer clear of including information about your personal life, jokes and sarcasm. So don’t mention your lucky interview jacket or write about money troubles you are having. And while you want to be enthusiastic about the job opportunity, resist the urge to go overboard on the compliments or begging for the job. Recruiters can spot insincerity from a mile away. 

4 | Dripping in Excess

No we aren’t talking about all that nice Rolex you wear to the interview. We are actually talking about applying to too many open positions in one company. We get it! There may be a company that you really want to work at, but an excessive number of applications can really annoy recruiters and they’ll toss your many applications with an eye roll. Also, over-applying to jobs at one company can lead to applying for irrelevant jobs and can make you look like you don’t know what you want. So prioritize positions that are a better fit for your skills, experience and education and only apply for those jobs. 

5 | Obsessing Over Compensation

Do not write about your compensation requirements in your cover letter. Period. We all work to make a living, but you don’t want a recruiter believing it’s the only reason you are applying for the job. Organizations are looking for more than a warm body to do the work. They want people who have the same values as the company and are looking for personal fulfillment!

Sick of writing cover letters and applying for jobs that you hear crickets from? Part of it is the art of how to write a good cover letter, but another important piece is focusing on applying for the  right job in the first place. 

Are you wondering how you stop wasting your time and only apply to companies that have the same cultural fit as you? The Workzinga personality test can help you narrow down your job search, matching you with companies that just mesh better with your personality and values! Not only does it make the job search process less time consuming, but you’ll know before you even accept a job offer that this is a company you’ll look forward to working at each day, giving you more personal fulfillment!