Avoiding cover letter mistakes

With a cover letter, you will undoubtedly want to stand out from the crowd and make your ‘sales pitch’ to a potential employer. A cover letter is an extremely important tool in the job searching process and if written and targeted correctly, it should achieve its objective of enticing the reader to look at your resume.

Make sure that your cover letter and resume is given serious attention. Here are the mistakes you will need to avoid to make sure your letter hits the mark:

Forgetting to check your letter before sending
In order to make the right impression, your letter should have no spelling or grammatical errors. A letter with errors is likely to be instantly disregarded.

Being unoriginal
Put a little of your personality into your cover letter and ensure it doesn’t sound like someone else’s words.

Addressing the letter incorrectly
Use your initiative to find out who it is you need to be addressing the letter to, including their name and job title. Doing so will portray the right professional touch.

Forgetting to research
It’s important to target your cover letter to the job in question and the company. Your cover letter should demonstrate some basic understanding of the company, what they do and the industry in general.

Lacking professionalism
Don’t always refer to ‘I’ and your own wants. What can you offer the company? Which objectives can you help them achieve? Keep the tone of your letter professional.

Making the letter too long
Your letter needs to be structured with short paragraphs and overall, should not be longer than one page. The letter should also be presented neatly and legibly on high quality white paper if printed.

Enclosing a photo
An employer will see what you look like at an interview, so a photo is not necessary at the initial stage. The exception is if you’re going for acting or modelling roles.

Not asking for an interview
Don’t forget to let the employer know that you want an interview and that you will be following up the cover letter with further communication.

Written by Pardeep.