Cover letters are a crucial part of any resume. It is there that you can say things that didn’t fit in your CV. It will also be there that you will be allowed to show a bit of personality and prove how excited you are by the possibility of joining the company.
Unfortunately, many people neglect their cover letters. They just copy and paste whatever they found on the internet. Or they just ask someone else to write it for them. And while it is understandable that not everybody has a talent for writing, this type of behavior might cost you a job. So, let’s see them which lines should never be in your cover letter so you can take it from there
#1 – A generic greeting
You are writing a letter to someone. While large enterprises usually applicant tracking systems to scan resumes and make sure they meet the minimal requirements, your cover letter will be read by a real person, not to a computer. And this person has a name and can be of any gender.
So forget the “Dear Sir” and “To Whom it May Concern”. Prove that you are eager to get that job by calling the company or recruitment agency and asking to whom you should address your cover letter. If it is not possible, or you don’t get an answer, at least use “Dear Sir or Madam”.
# 2 – [Your name] is a highly qualified
Please, never write in the third person. It is one of the worst things that you can do in your cover letter. You are not a king or a company to be addressed like this. Plus, reading your name over and over will make the recruiter remember it, but not in the way that you would like. So always stick with the first person.
# 3 – “I am really excited”
One of the rules followed by the best writers is “show, don’t tell”. And while you are not trying to create anything worthy of the Nobel Prize, you can learn from them. That is to say that, instead of saying that you are really excited, you should prove it.
If you do some research about the company and add some interesting facts and ideas you got, it will tell them that you are interested in the job, for instance. This is one of the secrets to writing a create resume, and you should follow it to the dot.
# 4 – “I will provide references available upon request”
You know that your cover letter should be only one page long, and it includes addresses, greetings, and so. Meaning that each word must count. And writing something obvious can also make your recruiter think that you don’t have anything better to say.
So, saying that you will provide references upon request is useless. Of course, you will do it if they ask you to. You better off using those seven words to say something that will add value to your application.
# 5 – Any line misspelt or with grammatical errors
Here is something could certainly kill your chances to be hired. You got just one page to write. So, if you can’t proofread it, chances are that your recruiter will think that you aren’t attentive to detail or that you can’t write a decent e-mail – something usually required in many jobs.
Of course, nobody is expecting that you will write a fantastic copy, except if you are looking for a job as a cover letter writer. But you should at least ask someone to double check your writing for you.
As you might have noticed, writing a cover letter is a big deal. I won’t lie to you about it. You must plan what you are going to write carefully considering to whom you will talk and the style of company you are applying.
Rules can sometimes be broken, but, generally speaking, stick with has brought results to other people so far. And it passes through avoiding silly mistakes such as these five lines above. Sometimes, it is all that take to impress a recruiter and get hired.