To a lot of people, especially first time job seekers, cover letters are the scariest things to write. And the stakes are equally high. Regrettably, people make all sorts of mistakes when writing these critical letters. As a result, many smart job seekers out there are never heard back because their cover letters sabotaged them. Let’s explore some of the commonest cover letter errors you knew nothing about.
Not sending a cover letter at all
Your curriculum vitae are all about personal data but are not a cover letter. The cover letter on the other hand is you because it is your voice. It highlights all those aspects of your career that might otherwise get lost in the resume. A quality cover letter allows the job seeker to show very quickly why he or she is the right person for the job.
In it, job seekers can explain special circumstances such as gaps in employment and also mention any personal references they might have. The only time a job seeker should not send a cover letter is if a potential employer specifically asks them not to. Otherwise, they will think you do not know how to follow instructions.
Forgetting to proofread
So many job seekers forget to proofread their applications documents. As a result, they send cover letters and even resumes that are filled with grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and simple typos. These reflect badly on them. These simple mistakes are what get your application rejected. This is because it shows the person does not exhibit a high standard for his or her work. So, it is recommended that you always proofread your cover letter or even CV several times, and if possible have another person to read through it, before pressing the tab “send”.
Putting your reader to sleep
While you don’t need to write thriller when it comes to cover letters, make sure to say something personal to make yours stand out. For instance, if you are applying to work at a firm that makes sport shoes, and your first pair of running shoes came from them, ensure to mention it.
Simply put, think of your cover letter as your elevator pitch. It is your one chance to catch the attention of the reader before he or she moves on to the next one on the pile. A quality cover letter creates the first impression. It is you and your voice. It is the prelude to the interview. As such, worry less about sounding like everyone else, and take the chance to show who you really are and why you are the right person for the job.
Sending an obvious copy and paste cover letter
You would be surprised by the number of potential candidates that are guilty of copy and paste types of errors when it comes to cover letters. Sure, it is exhausting to personalize each and every cover letter. However, that is what it takes to get a dream job, or improve the chances of you getting hired. Generic cover letters send a message that you are not all that interested.
Addressing your cover letter to no one in particular
While job posting might not always include the names of the hiring managers, you should always go an extra mile to try and find them. According to a senior resume consultant at a leading employment agency in Toronto, not using a real name indicates that you are not very resourceful, implying you are the wrong candidate for the job. All it takes is a few minutes of online sleuthing to get the names of the hiring manager. And if this doesn’t work in your case, then make a few calls to the firm’s HR department to try and find the name of the person doing the hiring. In this way, you will be able to take the ‘robot speak’ out of your salutation.