Cover Letter Blunders You Must Avoid

Cover Letter Blunders You Must Avoid

There are many job seekers who have that perfect CV that employers are always in search of. However when they think they have sent across perfect cover letter also and yet they do get rejected they are clueless what went wrong. It has been found in a survey that many job seekers who do not have a perfect cover letter are at a greater risk of getting eliminated. If the cover letters are half heartedly drafted or are replete with blunders, then it gets terrible.

Given in this article are few tips that would be really helpful for the job aspirants to write a perfect cover letter to fetch their dream job. While drafting your cover letter try to avoid:

Irrelevant Cover Letter Format:

When you sit down to write a cover letter, make sure you have chosen the relevant format for it. Cover letters should not look mere cut-and-paste emails. They have to be a business letter meant for providing relevant information about you. Include recipient information like recipient name and address, return address if the cover letter is undelivered, and date. The letter should not be unprofessional. It has to be a written using a standard business-letter format.

Grammatical And Typo Errors

A thumb rule: never make grammatical, lexical and syntactical errors while writing your cover letter. Such errors send across the wrong message about you and your personality. It reflects that yours is a careless personality. You are not even efficient enough to draft a simple cover letter. So always proofread your cover letter, get it double checked by someone else. Take help of your family, friends, relatives or who so ever can assist you to proofread it for you.

Making It Too Personal

Though cover letters are more personal than your CVs yet you cannot go on and on writing everything about yourself. Ironically, the cover letter should be about as much about the employers also as it is about you. It doesnot mean that you neednot give your personal details and information but it means bear in mind the job requirements also while drafting cover letters. Write everything in sync and in context to job profile.

Making It Too Lengthy

Yes, cover letters are meant to be personal a bit but that doesnot imply that you will write an autobiography. Do not make your cover letter too lengthy as if you are writing a story or a novel. Rather a perfect cover letter should be sufficed in a page which means do not exceed the length to more than one page. Employers are already flooded with CVs and cover letters, and they have stipulated time to shortlist the candidates. So the cover letters should have maximum four concise and convincing paragraphs that are easy to read and understand.

Making Unsupported Claims

If the cover letters are irrelevant claims or false claims about you, then it is surely a blunder. Merely jotting down your achievements and strengths will not help unless supported with evidence. It sounds like self bragging if you simply write “achieved this and that” “has strong written and verbal communication skills." Always furnish few instances for each claim you make. Employers always want proof for everything you say and write.

Listing Irrelevant Skills and Qualifications

While writing a cover letter you must weigh every statement you mention in it. You can self analyze:

  • If your sentences accentuate your candidature
  • If your sentences relay your qualities and worth

If these two criterions are met then it is a perfect cover letter.

Make sure to mention only noteworthy skills and accomplishments that are relevant to your current position, or are in harmony with the target position. Being selective will always help and there will be no risk of making a negative impression on your employer.

A Generic Cover Letter

Cover letters should not be generic. Each time you apply for a job and send your CV along with cover letter write it with a fresh start. Remember that “one size fits all” never works. Customize the cover letter as per the companys requirements. It is time consuming yet worth it, if you tailor each cover letter for every organization and job. If an employer sees a generic cover letter he may feel you are not interested in the job and the company.

Avoiding Addressing the Recipient

If you fail to address the letter to the explicit name of the recipient it is surely a blunder. Avoid using:

  • "Dear Personnel Director/HR Director,"
  • "To Whom It May Concern,"
  • "Dear Sir or Madam"
  • "Dear Sirs"
  • "Dear Hiring Manager for [name of position]

Such vague and impersonal addresses never make a positive impression on the hiring managers. They are considered as sluggish approaches that convey to the employers that you are interested enough to even find out the name of the hiring authority. Though it is not easy to find out the name of the hiring manger, but try to do so to show your concern for the particular job and organization. Generally you can make a call to the company and ask the people, who receive your phone, to tell you the name of the hiring manager. You can look up the internet and other resources like phone book, library also to know the name of the manager. If nothing works and you are unable to find the name you may then begin with "Dear Hiring Manager for [name of position].

Expectations of Receiving Rather Than Offering

This kind of blunder is commonly done by the fresher and young college graduates. Their lack of experience is common a reason for it. Most of the times, they are more interested in knowing what the employers can do for them, what they have to offer. They do not tell the employers what they can do for the company or how they can be resourceful and contribute to the companys growth.

If the cover letters are not well drafted and full of such blunders, they are at a risk of being getting rejected. So avoid doing such mistakes and get your dream jobs easily. 

Cover Letter Do They Help

Cover Letter : Do They Help ?

Why Cover Letter is Important

Even today cover letters are considered important along with your CV while applying for a job. Many career counselors and experts have described the relevance and the crucial role a cover letter plays in securing a job interview for the job aspirants. It is always advisable to send a well written customized cover letter each time you apply for any job. A very prominent Human Resources Expert, says, Your cover letter is particularly important. It is the job seekers opportunity to help the recruiter see that the applicants skills and experience match what the employer seeks. With the scarcity of jobs we have, a well-written cover letter distinguishes your job application.

Every day recruiters and hiring managers receive a lot of emails with resumes / CVs, cover letters and it is really very hard for them to initially screen candidates for interview. Keep yourself in their shoes and think from their point of view. So you must see your cover letter as a sales tool to assist sell the most vital commodity you are selling, that is you! The cover letter, along with your resume, helps you secure an interview call from the companies. A career expert said that Cover letters allow you to tell the prospective employer, why hiring you, instead of the numerous other candidates, is a good decision.

Best Practices for Cover Letter

Cover letter writing is an art which many people might not be aware of. They may fumble for words, content or information while drafting a cover letter. Given here are some of the best practices that everyone must follow to write that unique and outstanding cover letter that fetches you a job.

Self Introduction

Your introduction must create a positive first impression, just like in person. Introduction is very crucial in cover letter writing. It can either create an everlasting impression or mar your reputation just by the way you introduce yourself. Self introduction speaks a lot about your personality. Employers feel if you can explain yourself well, you are an organized person who can handle the job responsibilities also. In three four sentences your introduction should cover:

  • The position you are applying for
  • How you found their contact
  • Why you are interested to take the job
  • A valid reason for them to read on

References and Salutations

Ideally, if you are referred by someone or if anyone has allowed you to use his/her name in your cover letter, you must use their name, mention the name and show your association to them at the opening of the letter. You can otherwise, include how and where you came to know about the job opening: online, through any employee, in a newspaper, through a recruiting agency, etc.

However, if you do not know the name of the contact person you are writing cover letter to, never use generic salutation. It is advisable to altogether skip the generic salutation and start with the letter itself.

Organization Centric Cover Letter

When you sit down to write a cover letter make sure you are using an appropriate format for it. It should be professional. Though cover letters are more personal than your CVs but you cannot tell stories even here. Your cover letters should bear personal information but avoid being too individualistic. The cover letter should be organization centric.

Well Researched Content

The content you put in cover letter should be well researched. Avoid random writing or generic writing in cover letters. A well researched content with some homework done about the organizations history, its inception, its current market value, its functionality will help in drafting a good cover letter. The content must be relevant and informative. It should show you and your personality in a good light. It is best if your match your skills and competencies to the organizations vision.

Well Formatted Cover Letter

You must adhere to traditional ways of drafting a cover letter. It has to have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Precisely but effectively feed in details of your skills and expertise while writing a cover letter. Avoid being too lengthy as it might be rejected by the employer. If there is no flow in your sentences or your skills are not put in efficiently or you miss out any other relevant detail then your cover letter is at a risk of being getting rejected.

Do Initial Homework

Doing homework is always good for the job aspirants. When they write a cover letter they need to know everything about the company they are applying to. For this internet is an excellent medium these days. Trying and contacting the past and present employees of the organization will also help a great deal.

Quantify and Validate Past Success

Employers d not want vague sentences about your past success. They are not interested in stories. So you need to give solid evidences of your past accomplishments. Many HR recruiters deem past achievements as a benchmark to decide if you are an eligible candidate for their organization. So focus on what you are capable of offering to your potential employers by drawing upon your combined experiences, talents, achievements, training, education and competency.  Validate all pertinent contributions and successes made by to the past employers by making use of numbers, figures, percentages or dollars wherever you can. Additionally if you cannot quantify your experience or contributions with any quantifiable entity try to qualify it by furnishing instances of difficulties or challenges you had overcame for showing your employer that you have done your job so well.

Show Your Interest For the Given Role

Be honest about yourself. Why do you want to work here? If you cant put it down on a piece of paper, then its probably not the right job for you, says a hiring manager.

Recruiters want to see in candidates a resourceful, energetic entity who will work to achieve the organizations goal, therefore you must show your interest and excitement for the given role when you write a cover letter otherwise it will not make the desired impact. 

Cover Letter Do you need them in Todays World

Cover Letter : Do you need them in Todays World

Cover Letter is an introductory letter that is meant to highlight your achievements and make you befitting for the job opening. A cover letter has a motive to enhance value and your brand image for the job. There are many employers who consider a cover letter a must along with the resume. So cover letter is an integral part of your job search strategy. Each time you apply for a job and send across the cover letter, customize it according to the job profile and each employer.

Role of A Cover Letter

Lauren Nelson, a communications specialist and VP at Aesthetic Cogency, in a LinkedIn post says, A well-written cover letter is more important than an impressive resume because it reveals your work ethic and attention to detail. It provides glimpses into your personality that a list of achievements cant.

Typically a cover letter is one page document that is sent along with your resume when applying for a job. Cover letter is meant to:

  • Introduce you to the recruiting manager
  • Fill in places your resume cannot mention
  • Discuss why you are the best suitable candidate fit for the job
  • Further explanation of other aspects of your CV

Why You Need You a Cover Letter


Cover Letter for Targeting the Job

The cover letter offers job targeting and the employer in a crucial manner. Cover letter lets you market your skills, attributes and experience in the wider angle. With a cover letter your CV requires less alteration with each application you send to the employers because the letter, which must be unique each time, does the same role. So with the help of a perfect cover letter you can target the dream job just appropriately.

Cover Letter for Setting You Apart

Evelyn Salvador, author of Step-by-Step Cover Letters: Build a Cover Letter in 10 Easy Steps Using Personal Branding and principal of Creative Image Builders, a resume-development and career-coaching firm in Coram, New York, says, Skip the cover letter, and you miss out on an opportunity to sell yourself. This statement illustrates the importance of a cover letter at any given point of time in the job market.

As cover letter helps in building brand image of the job seekers, sending it along with your CV is always advisable. A well-defined brand wins interviews, maximizes salary potential and puts job seekers in the top 2 percent of candidates considered for positions, Salvador opines.

Cover Letter for Revealing Your Personality

A well written cover letter is helpful in revealing your true personality to your employer. Betty Corrado, owner of career-coaching and resume-writing firm Career Authenticity in Cos Cob, Connecticut says, Think of your cover letter as another tool in your job search arsenal. The cover letter is a key part of your marketing package. Use it as an opportunity to convey your brand and value proposition.

CVs are somewhat formal but a cover letter is personal. They are more revealing as they are replete with personal information. Laila Atallah, a Seattle career counselor and owner of Career Counseling with a Twist says, The best cover letters are infused with energy, personality and details about the applicants skills and achievements. I get a sense of the person and what they have accomplished, and its easier for me to picture them in their next job.

Cover Letter for Building Rapport

If you miss out your cover letter you also miss an opportunity for building a rapport with your employer. Ann Baehr, president of Best Resumes of New York in East Islip, New York says, This is a missed opportunity to establish rapport with employers and provide a sense of who they are beyond their work experience. Job seekers often make a mistake of not sending a cover letter and then they miss out on building a good rapport with their prospective employer.

Cover Letter for Further Explanation

Your cover letter can explain things that your resume cant. Resumes have restriction that they cannot go on and on. They are not meant for telling long stories. But your cover letter can further explain your CV and tell the missing information that could be otherwise relevant for you. So you can say that cover letters are for storytelling. Use your cover letter to tell a story, Atallah says, Studies show that stories are memorable and engaging, and cover letters are a perfect vehicle for expressing your successes in a more story-like format.

Cover Letter for Filling Gaps

In certain instances, job seekers have long gaps in their employment history, or they have had changed at rapid pace. A cover letter can show following instances in a positive light:

  • Gap in employments
  • Changing job profiles
  • Conducting long-distance job-search
  • Relocation
  • Job switching

So while you draft your cover letter make a point that it brilliantly covers up the gaps in your CV.

Cover Letter for Showing Enthusiasm

Cover letters are a great tool for showing your enthusiasm for a given job. It reflects to your employers that you are keen on attaining the job. It shows that you are making many efforts to get the job. It also shows your personal interest to take up the opportunity.

Cover Letter for Making You Valuable

Cover letters are helpful in making you more valuable. Through a cover letter you can market your key strengths confidently for grabbing the attention of the hiring manager. It can also enhance selection process and offer bright chances of getting selected for an interview call.

Cover Letter for Quantifying Experience

A compelling cover letter is capable of demonstrating your experience with regards to the job description. You can give relevant examples of work experience through your cover letter. As soft skills and academic skills are crucial for securing an interview call, cover letter can effectively show your relevant experience and your skills.

Thus, you can always use your cover letter as a strong tool for securing a dream job. 

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