A cover letter is your first opportunity (along with your resume) to sell yourself to a prospective employer. This letter can be the only thing between you and the job you’ve dreamt about all your life. Here are some of the most common cover letter mistakes and the ways in which you can avoid them.
Punctuation, grammar, and spelling
With all the word processing tools available these days it’s amazing to find that some people don’t use a spell checker to correct spelling errors in their documents. Language mistakes are almost a sure way of getting you out of the running for a post. Always proofread your letter to avoid simple mistakes.
Rambling on and on
Some people write too much in a cover letter. It should not have every tiny detail about you. Try to be concise without compromising meaning. Keep the content relevant to the job you’re applying for, don’t stray from the issue at hand and insignificant details. By the same token don’t make your letter too short.
A letter should be customized to suit the organization and position for which you’re applying. Don’t send generic letters which you just change the address, job title, and company name in the body. Write every letter from scratch and customize it based on the required qualifications, experience and job description.
Don’t recite your resume
You cover letter is a separate entity from your resume, though the two documents complement each other. Don’t use your cover letter to reiterate information that can already be found in your resume. Use the cover letter to explain your accomplishments, training, experience or other things that are not in your resume that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Sell yourself and express interest in the position
Don’t send a neutral letter without a tone. You’re trying to sell yourself so show a little bit of enthusiasm for the job. Don’t overdo it though. Keep it balanced; not too modest and not obnoxious either.
Not sending a cover letter
Some people send just a resume with no cover letter. Unless it’s specified in the job ad, always send a cover letter with your resume.