It’s not just you – nobody likes writing cover letters! Cover letters have long been the subject of debate among business professionals. Many career guidance counselors advise young candidates to submit cover letters with their job applications. Meanwhile, many seasoned hiring managers admit to not reading most cover letters they receive. The confusion is frustrating for job seekers everywhere. Regardless, one thing’s for sure: the consideration behind submitting a personalized cover letter with your application is enough to boost your chances of success. Recruiters appreciate the thought even if they don’t read your cover letter. The only thing that can hurt your application, then, is submitting an ineffective cover letter. Let’s discuss some cover letter writing mistakes you must avoid to rise above your competition.

Mistake 1: Not Consulting Industry Professionals

Seeking guidance from industry professionals is always a good idea. You can gain the insight other candidates might not have by consulting with career guidance counselors or industry insiders. Reach out to them and ask for their professional opinions regarding cover letters. The insight they provide will help you write better cover letters. If you don’t consult industry professionals, you might struggle to properly format and draft your cover letter. Many applicants also fail to write impactful cover letters for the same reason. So, look for seasoned career guidance counselors near you and connect with them. You can also contact Resu Consulting for online consultations.

Mistake 2: Failing to Follow a Format

Formats are a big deal in the corporate world. The way you structure your cover letter and resume is often the first thing resume reviewers notice. They prefer clean, well-structured, and easy-to-read formats. Cover letters that follow a standardized outline are easier to skim through, which is what most reviewers do with the thousands of applications they receive. Failing to format a cover letter properly can make your letter cluttered. It can be difficult for reviewers to go through the information provided in your letter this way. So, take your time to format your cover letter properly. Most companies prefer this format:
  1. Your contact information
  2. Date of submission
  3. The receiver’s information
  4. A professional salutation
  5. An introduction paragraph explaining how you found the job
  6. A middle paragraph mentioning your most important qualifications
  7. A strong closing that motivates them to take action
  8. Your signature
  a person typing on an Apple laptop

Mistake 3: Repeating Resume Information

One of the most common cover letter writing mistakes is regurgitating information from the resume. When you apply for a job, hiring managers receive your resume and cover letter at the same time. They often screen your resume first since it contains the most relevant information. In doing so, they learn the basic information they need to know about you. As such, you don’t need to repeat the same information in your cover letter. Use your cover letter for a deeper look into your identity as a candidate. Avoid simply restating your qualifications and work history. Instead, highlight specific achievements or experiences that are directly relevant to the job you're applying for. Focus on how your skills can contribute to the company's goals and emphasize your enthusiasm for the role. Remember, employers always prioritize key skills, so highlight those!

Mistake 4: Not Personalizing the Letter

Most seasoned workers have a curated resume template for different job applications, but many candidates use the same resume every time. Doing the same with your cover letter can significantly hurt your chances of success. Be sure to customize and personalize your cover letter as per the company you’re applying to. Take the time to research the company, understand its values, and tailor your cover letter to showcase how your skills and experiences align with their needs. Address the hiring manager by name whenever possible to create a more personal connection. Failing to personalize your cover letter can give the impression that you lack genuine interest in the specific position or company.

Mistake 5: Using Cliché Language

Recruiters review so many cover letters that some terms become cliché after a while. Adjectives like “passionate,” “dedicated,” and “hard worker” don’t deliver impact to recruiters anymore. Instead, they might make your cover letter seem generic and make you blend in with all the other applicants. So, avoid using clichéd language in your cover letter. Instead, consult career guidance counselors and ask them about the qualities recruiters seek in quality candidates. Present these qualities in your cover letter by using strong, action-oriented language. Back your claims up by providing concise and relevant anecdotes of your demonstrating those qualities. This shows resume reviewers that you’re reliable.   a woman typing a letter on her laptop

Mistake 6: Not Proofreading Your Letter

Lastly, don’t forget to proofread your cover letter before submitting it! The entire purpose of cover letters is to exhibit your professionalism. You won’t come across as professional or meticulous if your cover letter has grammar, punctuation, and/or spelling mistakes. So, use our online resume reviewing tool to see how well your resume or cover letter ranks compared to others. You can also identify mistakes and fix them with the help of our cover letter writing consultants. Happy job hunting! two female employees having a discussion

Learn to Improve Your Job Applications with Us!

Recruiters review thousands of job applications, resumes, and cover letters – Resu Consulting can help yours stand out. Head to one of the best career guidance websites and sign up for our services today! Our resume writing consultants can help you identify weaknesses in your resume and cover letters. We will help you write better resumes and cover letters that rank high and get recruiters’ attention. You can discuss any job searching and career-related concerns you have with our career guidance counselors. Book your appointment today!
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