Aug 22, 2018 - 12:51 AM
The biggest cover letter mistake that many jobseekers make is actually quite simple: They neglect to write a cover letter at all. Despite its importance and effectiveness, many still overlook the cover letter as an application tool. Not writing a cover letter doesn't make it impossible to succeed, but it does hurt your chances significantly.
Another common mistake is failing to proofread your cover letter. Not only does this make it impossible to optimize your cover letter, it also means typographical errors will almost certainly slip in. Typos may not seem like a big deal, but they look completely unprofessional and show the reader that you don't have an attention to detail or good administrative skills. Even if you only review your cover letter two or three times, it will likely make huge improvements.
Oct 18, 2018 - 06:11 PM
Some cover letter mistakes that you should avoid include drafting overly long letters (letters that stretch past one page) and copying resume information, word for word, into a cover letter. Other common cover letter mistakes include grammatically incorrect sentences, typos, and the use of a tired opening greeting like “To whom it may concern.”
A cover letter should always be a single page. The body of a cover letter should consist of an opening paragraph, one or two body paragraphs, and a closing paragraph.
You must carefully proofread your cover letter–no grammar mistakes and no spelling mistakes! If you’re not a word nerd, consider having an English major friend do the proofreading for you, or use a tool like Grammarly, which checks grammar and spelling mistakes.
Don’t repeat the information that’s on your resume, word for word, in a cover letter. Instead, use the cover letter to go deeper on select resume information—for example, tell a story about a personal or professional learning that you picked up while engaged in a former or current job. Also, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in the letter. The letter must capture the hiring manager’s attention right from the beginning, and keep them reading until the end!
Avoid using “I” to start your sentences. The English language is full and varied! Find other ways to commence your sentences so that the letter doesn’t sound boring or formulaic.
Finally, make sure you tailor each cover letter to the specifics listed in job ads. The ultimate cover letter mistake? Sending out a generic, one-size-fits-all cover letter.