Preparing job applications is tough. You double and triple check for spelling, pour all of your creative energy on the page and everything looks great. But does it really? While so focused on their own work, candidates often fail to notice some cover letter mistakes that end up killing their application. We're here to give you the cover letter tips you need to land the job.
in this guide we'll teach you:
- The 6 cover letter tips that will help you avoid small mistakes and details that end up costing you the job
- How to fix them
Before we dive into it, make sure that your resume is completed and well-formatted.
6 Cover Letter Tips that Will Take your Application to the Next Level
Mistakes aren't always obvious. This is why the best job candidates proofread over and over again. This, however, is not enough sometimes. There are some small details you have to look out for that could make all the difference between an application that lands the job and one that loses it.
Let's have a look at the 6 things that could be wrong with your cover letter.
1. Avoid unnecessary extra spaces
You have to master the one-page cover letter format. That means that in just about 500 words, you have to tell an engaging story, show motivation for the job, and knowledge of the company.
You might be ruining your cover letter without realizing it if you're allowing extra spaces on the page. Check out this example:
Dear Hiring Manager,
My 5 years of experience in sales make me the perfect candidate for the Sales Manager position . I'm excited to be a part of such a dynamic team.
I've followed (Company Name) since you entered the market in 2003 and have always been impressed with your innovation initiative and forward thinking .
The white spaces indicate intervals that the candidate has left empty. This was the text takes up more valuable space that could be used better. The character count here is 309.
Now let's see how the same text would look like in a more compact version.
My 5 years of experience in sales make me the perfect candidate for the Sales Manager position. I'm excited to be a part of such a dynamic team.
I've followed (Company Name) since you entered the market in 2003 and have always been impressed with your innovation initiative and forward thinking.
In this version, the text has only 296 characters which leaves more room for the candidate to convince the hiring manager that they are the best fit for the job.
Not being mindful of the space on the page can hurt your cover letter and make it look disorganized.
2. Run-on sentences
Grammatical mistakes can make your cover letter look sloppy. Run-on sentences are one of the most common mistakes that candidates overlook. They are a result of failure to separate two or more thoughts
Let's look at an example:
The position is a great opportunity for me to put my 5 years of hospitality experience to work the team environment is very appealing to me.
The first thought here is that the candidate has 5 years of hospitality experience to help them to the job well. The second thought is that the team environment is that they find the team environment appealing.
The problem is that those should be two separate sentences instead of one. It should look like this:
The position is a great opportunity for me to put my 5 years of hospitality experience to work, and the team environment is very appealing to me.
A simple "and" can solve this problem. Be very careful of small details like this.
3. A bad opening
First impressions count, and you've only got one shot at making one. A weak opening can have the recruiter shredding your cover letter in less than two seconds.
So, what makes an opening bad? That could be anything from the impersonal "to whom it may concern," to the casual "hello."
Make sure you grab the recruiter's attention with a clean opening and an engaging first paragraph. Play it safe and use:
"Dear Hiring Manager/ Dear (Name),"
If you need some more help on how to open a cover letter, check out 5 Key Rules of Addressing a Cover Letter [Examples].
4. Forgetting to say "thank you"
Don't ever forget how valuable the recruiter's time is and always express gratitude. A simple thing such as saying: "thank you for your time" goes a long way.
5. Misspelling the company name
This is a rookie mistake that could make you look really bad in the eyes of the recruiter. Always double and triple-check any relevant names that you use in the cover letter.
6. Focusing on yourself too much
You might think: "wait, but isn't the cover letter all about me?" Sure it is, however, you have to show what you can do for the business, not the other way around. The recruiter knows what's in it for you - money, security, influence.
They want you to tell them what you can do for their company and why they should choose you instead of the other few dozen applicants.
These simple cover letter tips, such as avoiding run-on sentences, expressing gratitude, and triple-checking how you spell the company name can save your application from the shredder.
Make sure that you've got your resume in order and get to applying.