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Cover Letter Tips: The Biggest Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid

Your cover letter is the first impression that you make on hiring managers and it needs to convey a professional message if you want to get your resume read. The hiring manager will make much determinations about your qualifications based on the cover letter alone, which is why you need to be sure to avoid the biggest cover letter mistakes that are most commonly made.

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By Donna Wright 3 minute read

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1. Not Writing a Custom Cover Letter

Each cover letter you write should be customized for the hiring manager you are sending it to and talk specifically about the company that the hiring manager works for. One of the biggest and most common cover letter mistakes people make is not taking the time to customize their cover letters and grab the attention of the hiring manager. Additionally, it’s crucial to consider various scenarios, such as situations where you may need to draft a leave of absence letter for family reasons. These letters demand careful attention to detail and a clear explanation of the reasons for the leave.

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2. Not Getting to the Point

There is a lot of information that needs to go into your cover letter and you have a limited amount of space to use. It is important to get to the point immediately and use short and concise sentences to deliver your information. Your cover letter needs to be interesting within the first sentence if you want it to be read by the hiring manager.

3. Using Slang or Offensive Language

Another one of the more common cover letter mistakes people make is forgetting that cover letters are professional pieces of correspondence and should be written as such. The language you use should be very professional and you should avoid any slang terms or offensive language. This cover letter is the first exposure more hiring managers will have to your qualifications and you want to set the proper tone by being as professional as possible.

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4. Not Being Confident Enough

If you don’t believe that you are the most qualified person for the job, then why should the hiring manager? Your cover letter needs to be confident about your qualifications, but not cocky. You need to explain in direct terms why you are the ideal candidate for the job and why the company should consider you as the last person they will need to interview.

5. Forgetting to Benefit the Company

Talking about yourself in a resume is important, but don’t forget to explain how you can benefit the company. Some people get so caught up in talking about themselves that they forget to explain the benefits they would bring to the organization. After all, the company needs to know what it will get in exchange for all of the money it plans in investing in you as an employee. If you can explain why you are a good investment, then you have a better chance of getting the job.

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6. Not Looking the Letter Over

Spelling errors and awkward sentences are sure to get your cover letter disregarded almost immediately. A simple once-over will ensure that your cover letter doesn’t have any basic spelling or grammar errors that you may have overlooked. Be sure to proofread each cover letter before you send them out as a representation of your qualifications.

These cover letter tips will help you craft a document that avoids the most common pitfalls many job seekers encounter in the application process. If you avoid these cover letter mistakes, you’ll set yourself up for success by crafting a polished document that impresses hiring managers.

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WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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