9 Cover Letter Mistakes That Can Cost You Your Job Offer
In today’s competitive job market, it’s imperative to make sure you give your best to nail the job you desire. The remote and hybrid work models have become the new normal and employees are constantly looking for new opportunities with bigger pay, more flexibility and better work-life balance.
Thus, a candidate must present their qualities in the best way possible. Sometimes, a generic CV that you send out to all job positions you are interested in will not get you there. In fact, 77% of employers prefer applicants who submit a cover letter along with their CVs.
However, you can’t expect to send the same documents to each job ad and be considered the best choice. It’s important to tailor your CV and cover letter to each job role you apply, and if not confident to do this on your own, use an online service like PurpleCV. This way you’ll ensure your CV and cover letter are professional and thorough.
Of course, you need to be knowledgeable of some common mistakes and best practices about cover letters. They are long pieces of writing that give recruiters a chance to know more about you and why you’d be perfect for the job. So, without further ado, here are the 9 most common cover letter mistakes and how to avoid them.
Repeating Your CV
A cover letter is not a regurgitation of your CV. This is one of the most common mistakes job seekers make when drafting their cover letter. It’s important to know that a cover letter is meant to elaborate and supplement the information on your CV. It should focus on key elements of your experience and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
If you simply repeat what’s on your CV, the recruiter will not be impressed and will likely move on to the next candidate. So, take the time to read the job ad carefully and focus on what qualities and experience they are looking for. This way, you can highlight these in your cover letter.
Not Tailoring It to the Job Role
It’s important that you tailor your cover letter to the job role you’re applying for. This means specifying why you’re a good fit for the position and what value you can bring to the company. Every organization is different and each job role has specific requirements.
Your cover letter should demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and experience for the job. It should also highlight how you can contribute to the company’s success if hired. Simply put, your cover letter should be a sales pitch that sells your qualifications to the employer.
Not Checking Your Grammar And Punctuation
One of the most common cover letter mistakes is failing to check for spelling and grammatical errors. This shows a lack of attention to detail and carelessness, which are qualities you don’t want to portray to potential employers.
Check your cover letter thoroughly before sending it off. You can also ask someone else to read it and give their feedback. It’s also a good idea to use spell check and grammar check features in your word processor. However, don’t rely on these tools entirely as they may not catch all errors.
Making It Too Long
Your cover letter should be to the point and easy to comprehend. Recruiters are busy people and they likely won’t have the time to read a long and drawn-out cover letter. In fact, they spend 6-7 seconds on average per candidate. So, make sure you get your point across without rambling on.
Aim for a cover letter that’s about one page in length. This is usually enough to give the recruiter an idea of who you are and why you’re the best candidate for the job. Anything beyond one page is likely to be skimmed over or even ignored altogether.
Not Following the Proper Format
Another common mistake job seekers make is not following the proper format for their cover letter. A cover letter should include your contact information, a salutation, the body of the letter, and a closing.
The body of the letter is where you’ll sell your qualifications and state why you’re the best candidate for the job. And finally, the closing should include a call to action and thanks for their time.
Not Including a Call to Action
Your cover letter should always include a call to action. This is typically a statement that urges the recruiter to contact you for an interview. For example, you can say something like “I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further with you in person. I will follow up with you next week to see if there is a time we can meet.”
Including a call to action shows that you’re interested in the job and eager to move forward in the hiring process. It also makes it easier for the recruiter as they won’t have to wonder if you’re still interested in the position.
Making It All About You
Your cover letter is meant to help employers see how you’d be a good fit for their company and how you’d contribute to its growth and success. Thus, it should be focused on what you can do for them and not the other way around.
Many job seekers make the mistake of making their cover letter all about themselves. They talk about their qualifications and experience without demonstrating how they can benefit the employer. As a result, their cover letter comes across as self-centered and uninspiring.
To avoid making this mistake, focus on what you can do for the business, how you fit in with their culture and core values, and how your skills and experience will help them achieve its goals. Use language that shows you’re excited about the opportunity to be a part of their team.
Sugarcoating The Company A Bit Too Much
It’s important to be honest in your cover letter. This means not overselling yourself or the company you’re applying to.
One common mistake job seekers make is making the employer sound a bit too good to be true. They talk about how great the company is without providing any evidence to back up their claims. As a result, their cover letter comes across as insincere and not credible.
If you’re going to talk about how great the company is, make sure you back it up with specific examples. For instance, you can mention how the company was recently voted as one of the best places to work or how it’s been growing rapidly over the past few years.
Forgetting to Proofread
It’s important to proofread your cover letter before sending it off to the employer. Even a small mistake can make you look unprofessional and careless.
Use spell check to catch any obvious errors. But, don’t rely on these tools entirely as they may not catch every mistake. It’s also a good idea to ask someone else to read over your cover letter as they may catch errors that you missed.
Once you’ve proofread your cover letter, put it away for a day or two and then come back to it. This will help you catch any mistakes that you didn’t see the first time around.
So, there you have it. These are the top 9 cover letter mistakes that can easily cost you your job offer. By avoiding these common errors, you’ll give yourself a better chance of landing an interview and – ultimately – getting the job you want. Proofread your work diligently, tailor your letter to the specific role and company, and make sure your formatting is correct. And lastly, be sure to include a strong call to action at the end of your letter!