Written by: Jeffry Jones at 13 Jun 2016
School is out forever? Time to find a job. No, your purpose is a job of your dreams. You’ve searched for some compelling companies and are now ready to send them your resume. Be sure, the position is yours. You’ve got only a little unfinished business to take care of — an application or a cover letter.
Before you start writing your application letter, learn the most common mistakes to avoid. Already done with your cover letter? It’s never too late to fix them.
Mistake # 1. Repeat your resume
It’s not a good idea to repeat or simply copy-paste all the things you mentioned in your CV. If it was, there was no need to write any cover letters at all.
What to do instead: Research the company, know what they do and what candidate they are looking for. So, on that very basis, describe your background, skills and abilities in a different manner than in your resume.
Mistake # 2. Make it too long
Sure, you want to describe your personality as well as possible and impress the hiring manager with all of that. But remember, no one wants to read a long essay about your moment of glory in a school’s baseball competition.
What to do instead: Follow “The shorter the better” approach. Aim for 250 words. All you need to include in your precise application letter is a position you want to apply for, the reasons you’re the best for it, and how you intend to do the job.
Mistake # 3. Make it too formal
No doubts, in every company they are looking for a responsible employer to rely on and trust their complicated projects. You take it into account and write in your cover letter something like: “I wish to apply for the open position provided by such a professional company like yours and show myself as the best candidate to do the job required”. Sounds too robotic, doesn’t it?
What to do instead: Be natural and sincere, but not too informal in your language. A friendly candidate will have more chances to seem a nice person to work with.
Mistake # 4. Underestimate yourself!
Think you’re not too good for the position, have not enough experience and thus try not to overestimate yourself? That’s a good point. But what if you could underestimate yourself thinking it is absolutely fine?
What to do instead: Just started with your cover letter? Then avoid using the following phrases. Already have a draft? Remove these phrases from both your application letter and mind forever:
Probably, I do not have the qualification and experience of the candidate of your dream…
I’m sure there are the candidates more qualified for this position…
If only you gave me a chance to prove that….
Be confident and believe that you’re the best candidate. Include your strong sides to prove you can have a chance to fulfill the requirements and do the job.
You already know what you shouldn’t write in your application letter and what to do instead. Now it’s time to show you a more precise road to your compelling cover letter. So, every successful paper of the kind will look good if it includes 3 main paragraphs and corresponds the guidance:
1) Introduce yourself
Make a connection between you and the company you’re applying for.
Mention, why you want to apply for a desired position.
2) Highlight your resume
Demonstrate your awareness of the company.
Show why you are good for the position (mention your skills / experience / qualification).
3) Follow up
Illustrate your follow-up plan.
Include your contact information: phone number and email.
Here you are! Good luck!