7 Cover Letter Blunders

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A perfect resume is often ruined by a poorly planned cover letter. Whether you are adding your cover letter to your application to meet submission guidelines or you simply want to show that you are committed to getting the job, make sure that you avoid making these seven cover letter blunders.

Incorrect Company Name

Although you are probably applying to a number of different jobs in your search, you don't have to share this information with recruiters. The most common way that job seekers divulge this information accidentally is by putting the wrong company name or position on their cover letters, or forgetting to change it when they use the cover letter for the next application.

Unreasonable Length

The absolute maximum length for a cover letter, including the headings should be a page. Typically, it should be shorter.

Redundancy

The purpose of the cover letter is to identify your skills and explain how your previous work experience is applicable to the desired position. Simply restating all of the facts on your resume, without going into an explanation of why your skills and experiences are important, defeats the purpose of having a cover letter at all.

Identifying Weaknesses

Another primary goal of your cover letter should be to identify the strengths that make you the best candidate for the position. Talking about your weaknesses is not only a complete waste of space, but also counterproductive to the goal of getting the interview. While "what are your greatest weaknesses?" is a common interview question, don't provide this information without being asked!

Sounding Arrogant

Excessive overuse of the words "I", "me" or "my" can make you sound conceited - or suggest that you're the victim of a limited vocabulary. Furthermore, repeating any word too often reflects poor writing abilities. Yes, the cover letter is ultimately about you and your accomplishments, but you have to find a way of saying "I'm the best" without actually saying it.

Adding Unnecessary Information

Focus on how your qualifications are relevant to the role you are applying for. If you are applying for an accounting position, the fact that you have run a marathon should not be a prime focal point, although such a personal accomplishment may be worth mentioning.

Spelling And Grammar Mistakes

The obvious criteria that apply to professional emails, school exams and resumes are all important when constructing the cover letter. Spelling and grammar problems are a key issue that can make it look like you did not put in the required time to check over your application.

The Bottom Line

Do not assume that an impressive cover letter can serve as a substitute for a poorly written resume. Both resume and cover letter blunders must be avoided in order to proceed to the interview stage of the hiring process.
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