Cover letters are one of the most compelling application materials for hiring managers as they evaluate prospective candidates. If done right, your cover letter can make you stand out from other candidates and get to the top of the interview list. Unfortunately, many job seekers have a difficult time figuring out how to best craft their cover letters and may inadvertently hurt their chances. Make your cover letter as effective as possible – avoid these common cover letter mistakes and learn how to correct them.
Using the same cover letter template and just changing the employer name is a major mistake. Since jobs may have different qualifications than others, you cannot effectively make a persuasive case that you are a great fit if you are using a generic cover letter. Instead, tailor your cover letter so it is customized for each specific job for which you apply. Review the job description and information about the company, and then highlight your qualifications in your cover letter based on the top priority skills for the particular job and company.
It Does Not Have a Personal Voice
The main point of a cover letter is to put a personal touch to your application, and make you sound like a real person. When comparing similar resumes, the cover letters differentiate candidates from one another. If the tone of your letter is detached and impersonal, you will be forgotten about or added to the “maybe” pile. Review your letter carefully- does it sound like an informational document rather than correspondence? If so, improve it by updating the tone to be conversational and sounding authentically like you.
You Do Not Highlight Your Accomplishments
Your cover letter is not just a way to introduce yourself – it should convey why exactly you are a great fit. Hiring managers want to learn about how you have historically performed in objective terms, but often job seekers clutter their cover letter with subjective buzzwords (such as “team player” or “natural born leader”). Ensure you are using your cover letter to highlight what you have verifiably accomplished, not what you claim about yourself. Review the job description to find the main requirements, and then include accomplishments related to those within your letter. Is customer service a top requirement? Highlight a time in which you received an award for your customer service skills, for instance.
You Do Not Communicate Your Value
Conveying your enthusiasm for the role in your cover letter is important, but be sure that the bulk of your content is not about what you like and what fits you best. A common mistake job seekers make when writing their cover letters is not communicating the value they would provide to the employer. Focus your content around the hiring manager’s perspective, and write about how your skills would contribute to the company’s success.
It Is Not Easy to Read
No matter how well written your content may be, your cover letter may have a major but common mistake; it is not easy to read. Hiring managers typically quickly glance through the cover letters at first, so it is crucial that yours is simple to scan. Limit it to one page, include white space between sections, and keep your sentences concise to be pleasing to the eye and not appearing cluttered.
Are you ready to land your next job opportunity? Turn to Nesco Resource! We can help match you with the available positions from our clients that best align with your experience and goals. Our team of recruiters are here to offer their expertise so you make a positive impression on hiring managers and interviewers. Get started – contact us today.