A cover letter is a written document usually submitted along with a resume to showcase the candidate’s qualifications and interest in the position. A good cover letter complements a resume by expanding on what’s already on the resume, and makes a personal pitch for why the candidate is the best choice for the position. All job seekers should spend time customizing each cover letter for each particular position, rather than using a generic template. The extra time and effort you spend on each cover letter can help you stand out amongst your competitors. Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid while writing a cover letter:

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Getting Names Wrong

I know how frustrated if can be to apply for multiple jobs at the same time. You may already be confused by all the similar yet different job positions, but you don’t want to reveal this to the hiring manager. The cover letter has to be customized for each job in order to show your sincerity for each company.

And this is why you should always double check the exact job title, the name of the hiring manager, and the name of the organization before you send out your application. Having the wrong company name or position on the cover letter because you forgot to update it from the last job you applied may cost you your dream job.

 

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Restating Your Resume

The purpose of the cover letter is to identify your skills and explain how your previous experience is applicable to the new position you’re applying for. Simply restating things that already exist on your resume, without going into an explanation of why your expertise and background are pertinent, defeats the purpose, and in fact makes it redundant. Your cover letter has to build on the information presented on the resume, not just summarize it.

Sharing Details of Every Job You’ve Ever Had

Depending on your job history, this could translate into a very crowded and confusing cover letter. Instead of explaining each position you’ve held in details, ask yourself: What experience do I have that’s most relevant to the job I’m applying for? Tailor your cover letter to highlight skills and experiences that are most applicable to the new position instead of giving a full summary of your time at each position.

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Unreasonable Length

Keep your cover letter short. Although you may want to showcase all your skills in one letter, keep in mind that recruiters go through hundreds of applications every day, they won’t have time to read through all your pages. Recruiters and hiring managers simply do not read past the first page of a lengthy letter, even if you feel all of the information is important. The absolute maximum length for a cover letter, including the headings, should be one page. 

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Adding Unnecessary Information 

Recruiters are not interest in reading information that has nothing to do with the job. When writing a cover letter, only focus on the relevant qualifications of the role. For instance, when applying for an accounting position, you should concentrate on your accounting and data processing skills, while your outstanding graphic-design skills should not be the prime focal point. In addition, any recreational accomplishments such as your personal interests and hobbies are rarely worth mentioning, unless they relate in some way to the job or company.

Spelling and Grammar Mistakes  

Typos and grammatical errors are a key issue, signalling that you didn’t even bother to proofread your own letter. Don not reply on your computer’s spelling and grammar checks; it only catches words that are incorrectly spelled, but not incorrectly used. For example, Microsoft word could not tell the difference between “kind of” and “kind off” when used in a sentence.

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