6 Cover Letter Don’ts Every Job Seeker Should Know (And Avoid)

Cover Letter Donts Many cover letters do nothing to help bring job seekers closer to an interview. They are regularly filled with generic and unnecessary phrases that spoil people’s chances of getting the call.

If you aren’t careful, your cover letter may even do considerable damage to your image. To avoid this, here are some tips to avoid mistakes and present yourself in a positive light:

Misspelled company or contact name. This may be the worst mistake you can make when looking for a job. Assuming you already have the email address needed to send your cover letter, misspelling the hiring manager or contact person’s name is never a good thing, especially when you have several resources available to verify the information. If you listed “detail oriented” under your strengths on your cover letter and/or resume, make sure it shows.

Sending a false compliment. Using the line “company X is the leading company in industry x” may not do you any good, especially if it isn’t actually true. It may, in some cases, be perceived as an insult, thus leading to a rocky relationship between you and your potential employer.

Making up words to describe your strengths. Make sure to use words that are easy to understand. Don’t try to use flowery language. It tends not to come across the way some people imagine.

Not creating a cohesive document. Some jobseekers cut and paste from multiple documents to create their resumes, cover letters and email correspondence. However, some job seekers forget to incorporate all the pieces into a cohesive document. Make sure the resume and cover letter share the same font and font size to create a more professional presentation.

Neglecting correct grammar. Job seekers should always check their resumes and cover letters for any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Have a friend review it for you, and proofread your documents twice to avoid unnecessary disqualification.

Listing information not related to the job. Don’t include irrelevant information in your cover letter or resume; the hiring manager will think that you haven’t read the job description carefully. Disregarding requests for a specific type of experience is something that can really hurt your chances of getting hired.

Typos. Typographical errors indicate that you haven’t taken the time to check your information. Make the attachment title clear and visible to the intended reader and check whether your details are correct. (And make sure you’ve attached the right documents!)

Avoiding these common mistakes will help you create a cover letter and resume that clearly shows your strengths and increases your chances of being hired.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.