Your Cover Letter should be an introduction to a prospective recruiter, emphasising how well you would fit into a job role and the company providing it. Here are a list of common errors to avoid to ensure your Cover Letter does not fall into the ‘reject’ pile.
1. Don’t mix your fonts
Employers expect to see Cover Letters produced with a word processor, and the majority are now submitted via email or through the website. Ensure that your CV and Cover Letter are consistent and look professional by maintaining the same formatting throughout, including margins, font style and size etc.. When emailing use common fonts so that when a recruiter opens the file the document will appear as you intended.
2. Don’t include unnecessary skills
Review every sentence you have included and ask yourself:
- Does this improve my employability?
- Is this illustrating my quality effectively?
The the answer to either of these is ‘no’ then either remove the sentence, or amend it to suit. Be selective. Only include information which is relevant this particular vacancy and this particular company, otherwise you’re wasting the reader’s time.
3. Don’t forget to address your letter
If you’re writing a letter, then format the document appropriately including your contact details, and full addressee including the hiring manager’s name and position. If you’re sending an email, provide your contact details below your signature.
If the job advert doesn’t identify the recruiter by name, it is worthwhile contacting the company to obtain this information. Ensure that you spell the name and title correctly.
4. Don’t miss simple details
There’s no harm in double checking all of the information that you have been given in the job advert. There are many instances when simple mistakes can occur so if you have the opportunity to double check addresses, email addresses, names and information on the company website or other sources then do so. Make sure you get the small details correct and your Cover Letter will be taken more seriously.
5. Don’t make it too long
Break the content of your letter into punchy paragraphs that highlight to the reader your capabilities and why you should be employed. If you’re cover letter is anything more than 3-4 paragraphs long, or a single page, then it is too long. Cut out information that doesn’t relate to the job role and company you are applying for otherwise your reader will lose interest. Don’t forget yours is probably the 20th application in the pile!
It’s very important to write a cover letter with your job application. Do not ignore the things listed above in order to avoid disappointments. You can also check out all the examples of covering letters on this site but never copy someone elses letter to use for yourself.
photo by: rohman
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