The cover letter is the initial introduction of the applicant and employer. The importance of a well-written cover letter cannot be underestimated. In certain instances, the cover letter determines whether a perspective employee gets an interview. The cover letter should demonstrate a person’s ability to think and the qualities that make them suitable for the position. The last thing an employer wants to see is a cover letter full of errors. Here are common cover letter mistakes and ways to avoid them.
Sending a Generalized Letter
One of the most common mistakes made involves writing a cover letter that can be sent to any employer. Employers want to know how well you are suited for the position. They also want to know that you have an interest in the job. Make it a point to state the position you are applying for in the first couple of sentences. Also, note how your skills, work experience and personality is beneficial to the position.
Long Cover Letters
The cover letter should be two or three paragraphs in length. This is enough length to demonstrate your qualifications and interest for the job. If the cover letter is longer than a page, it might just simply get passed over. On the other hand a cover letter than is only a few sentences could indicate a lack of interest on part of the applicant.
A good way to ensure not getting hired for a job is to submit a cover letter that is riddled with errors. Double check it for errors before sending it to potential employers. Common grammatical errors include run on sentences, incorrect subject-verb agreement and using the wrong form of words. If you are not a good proofreader, consider having a friend review it for errors.
Use Your Own Words
For some people, writing a cover letter can be difficult. While there are a lot of websites and books that offer advice on how to write a cover letter, the templates given are meant to be used as a guide. Unfortunately, some candidates take the templates as their own. Employers can spot the use of templates and see them as disingenuous. Using a template that features clichéd greetings and other overused phrases often results in ignored resumes. Try to be creative and write an attention grabbing cover letter.
Misspelling or Getting the Company Name Wrong
Misspelling the name of the company or writing the wrong name of the company is one mistake that will definitely not get you an interview. It is also a mistake that is easy to fix. Usually these mistakes occur when the same cover letter is sent to multiple businesses. Some mistakes may be able to get overlooked, but others are unforgivable. If you should submit the same cover to multiple businesses, make sure your details are accurate. Do not copy and paste the information for one company and send it to another. Employers want to know that you are someone that pays attention to details. Misspellings and sending the wrong cover letter to a company does not demonstrate this trait.
Again, the importance of a well-written cover letter is something that cannot be overstated. Employers use the cover letter, along with other criteria, as a way to assess, whether you are suitable for the position. Making simple mistakes can be the difference between getting the job you want and continuing the job search.