New job hunters often have no idea how damaging cover letter mistakes can be. Even simple cover letter mistakes, such as a single misspelled word, can stick out like a sore thumb. With more and more candidates applying for work in an increasingly competitive job market, knowing which mistakes to avoid in your cover letter can help give you the edge you need to land that interview and get hired faster!
Mistake #1: Overdoing it with humor.
When done right, humor can go a long way. It can humanize you, and give the reader a much-needed chuckle in the middle of their day. However, humor can be hard to pull off, and many entry-level job hunters overdo it when writing their cover letter, including humor in place of substance. If you’re worried about your lack of work experience, you might want to talk about what you learned from an internship, or a school project where you learned skills you may be able to use on the job. Humor may be good for a line or two, but overall, save the laughs for a comedy club.
Mistake #2: Repeating your resume word-for-word.
Another source for cover letter mistakes is a lack of understanding as to what a cover letter is supposed to do. Entry-level job hunters will make some very significant cover letter mistakes, but one of the biggest cover letter mistakes is putting information in your cover letter exactly as it appears on your resume.The cover letter is an enhancement to the resume, which means that the cover letter shouldn't have the same information as the resume. Use your cover letter to point out some accomplishments that aren't in your resume and build on the ones that are.
Mistake #3: Making all your cover letters the same.
Entry-level job hunters often make the cover letter mistake of not customizing the content of the cover letter to appeal directly to the hiring manager. It's a costly cover letter mistake that will almost ensure that you don't get an interview. Take some extra time to learn about the company and the position you are applying for. Include specific examples from your history that point out why you are the ideal candidate for the position. By targeting companies with specifics, you’ll increase your chances of landing the job!
Finally, before you send your cover letter off to employers, be sure to double and triple check it for mistakes--mistakes can be career-killers! LiveCareer’s cover letter builder and cover letter examples are invaluable tools you can use to build and structure a professional cover letter that will grab employers’ attention, and move your application to the top of th