MISTAKES YOU SHOULD AVOID IN YOUR COVER LETTER

Here are the errors and mistakes should should omit from your cover letter

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A cover letter accompanies your CV or resume in your job application process. It gives a brief summary of your qualifications, skills and personal attributes. It is very key in determining the kind of first impression the recruiter will have of you. So writing a good cover letter goes a long way in earning that coveted job interview and perhaps even the job itself.

Here are the common mistakes you need to avoid if you want to write a great cover letter:

1. Grammatical errors.

You should counter-check your CV to ensure that everything on it is correct. Take time to review it so as to catch any grammatical errors and typos. Involving a third party to help you proofread is a good idea. He/she will be able to catch errors that you may not have seen. Remember that grammatical errors will appal your recruiter or employer and may even cause you to lose a job interview opportunity.

2. Lengthy explanations.

A cover letter should be brief and straight to the point. Lengthy explanations should be avoided since they usually involve repetition and superfluous information. A short and concise cover letter gives your employer the need and urgency to look at your resume, which is what you want. Another thing is to avoid regurgitating whatever is on your resume. The two are separate documents for a reason. A cover letter should be a one-pager covering around 350-400 words.

3. Falsified information.

Honesty is indeed the best policy. Do not claim to possess skills and qualifications that you don’t have. Another thing is: be honest as you list your personal attributes. Recruiters can easily point out cover-letter dishonesty during interviews. Give the correct information so that you have nothing to worry about once you are in front of a panel.

4. Salary expectations and benefits.

Always let your employer be the first to discuss the salary and benefits. You cannot enumerate your salary expectations without first nailing the job or proving to be a good fit for the post. The cover letter should prove your suitability, passion and interest in the job and not that you are singularly money-minded.  

5. Wrong Contacts.

Always counter-check the contact information listed on your cover letter. An employer may have a hard time reaching out to you in case they need clarity regarding any information you included, or in case they want to schedule you for an interview. List two or three numbers of contacts with an email address and P.O.Box number. Providing information about your current location goes a long way in informing your employer about your residence.

6. Irrelevant Information. 

Stick to the sole reason for writing the cover letter. Extended greetings are not necessary and may cause the reader to label you an unprofessional applicant.

Another thing is to avoid including irrelevant skills. For instance, your culinary skills are irrelevant to a banking job hence should not be included. Avoid including your personal information in your cover letter as well. Information about your family issues and health problems should not be addressed in such an avenue. In addition, do not give any excuses for your inexperience, poor grades or for being sacked from your last job. Employers are solely interested in results. Instead of ranting about your inexperience, bring out your most important skills and personal attributes which will make you a good fit for the job. Bad-mouthing your former employer or workmates in your letter is also unacceptable. Recruiters always want to bring people with the right attitude on board.

7. Inappropriate references.

You should always customise your cover letter to suit the job you are applying for. Reference to the wrong company or misspelling your employer’s name may pass across a wrong message. Source enough information about the recruiters and the company to have a glimpse of who to address the letter to. Having scanty information about the company may lead to errors in your cover letter. If you are not sure about the gender of the hiring manager, use salutations such as “To  whom it may concern” / “Dear sir/madam”

8. Poor formatting.

A cover letter needs to be presentable and easy to read. Start with the contact section at the top left. Your contact information should be followed closely by the employer’s contacts. The salutation and body of the letter should follow closely in that order and finally a professional closing. Stick to a consistent font and font size and use reasonable line spacing.

Is there anything you think I’ve left out?

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