- Not researching well enough
- Mirroring your resume
- Do not be overly formal or casual
- Do not follow a generic template
- Make sure to avoid errors
- Do not go about writing an essay
- Do not focus only on one set of skills
- Avoid stuffing your cover letter with too much information
- Do not show inhibitions to relocation
- Do not forget to refer to the next step
Writing a cover letter for a job application is a crucial step in bagging your dream job.
It is your first step to leaving a lasting impression on the recruiter and being called for the interview round.
So, if you are someone wondering how to write a cover letter, this is just the blog for you.
Here are 10 mistakes to avoid while writing a cover letter.
Not researching well enough
Have you ever purchased a house without digging into the depth of every little detail?
Starting from the proprietor to the neighborhood to accessibility, you check everything because you will be living there and it’s important to have safety and accessibility in case of emergencies.
So, why not research the company you will be applying for a job?
This will not only help you to make a decision but also help you identify and familiarize yourself with the team you will be working with, the work culture, mission, and vision statements, and how work is done.
Also, it will help you get clarity about whom to address while writing a cover letter.
Given the number of applications pouring in, HRs are always on the lookout to get their job done faster.
So, it is best to ensure you don’t leave an impression of a lack of seriousness for the job application.
Hence, research the company thoroughly before applying.
Mirroring your resume
The next mistake committed by most job seekers while writing a cover letter is to replicate your entire resume in your cover letter.
Instead, take this opportunity to consider this as an elevator pitch where you have to convince the recruiter that you are the best choice for the position.
So, start by stating your career narrative and the relevant qualifications.
It’s alright to make your cover letter for a job application slightly personal as opposed to writing a resume.
Tip: While writing a cover letter for a job application, start by demonstrating your understanding of the company’s standing in the market and their requirement for the job before going on to highlighting your qualifications.
Do not be overly formal or casual
Now, you can be a little personal while writing a cover letter but it will be catastrophic if not balanced well.
Once again, researching the company is a crucial step to fix the tone of the letter.
A lot can be understood from the work culture and the company’s page when writing a cover letter for a job application.
For instance, organizations following a traditional culture will prefer salutations like “Dear Mr. Sharma” instead of “Dear Akshay.”
However, in case you cannot find the name of the person to whom you can address the letter, you can write “To Whom It May Concern” or “To the Hiring Manager” instead of “Hi” or “Hello”.
Tip: It is best to stick to a gender-neutral salutation in case you don’t know the recruiter.
Do not follow a generic template
One size does not fit all while writing a cover letter for a job application.
Even if you swap the company name, job title, etc, recruiters can recognize a generic template thanks to their years of experience in the field.
So, go through the job description thoroughly and list out the top 4 qualities that the recruiter is looking for in their ideal candidate.
Next, align them with your strengths derived from your previous work experience.
Then go on to explain why you will be the perfect fit for the position by aligning their top requirements to your qualifications.
Also, knowing their requirements can help you to choose your next course of action if you lack any particular aspect.
Make sure to avoid errors
Proofread, proofread, proofread! You have checked it enough times, said nobody ever, especially when it involves job applications.
The cover letter for a job application is your first opportunity at ensuring your place in the interview round.
Even the smallest mistake can cost you that opportunity to another candidate.
Hence, once you are done writing a cover letter, be sure to check everything minutely.
Start from checking the alignment of the cover letter to spellings.
You can also take the help of apps such as Grammarly if you think grammar is not your strong game.
Tip: Always sit down to proofread after a 12-hour gap of writing a cover letter. This will help you to see the document with a fresh pair of eyes.
Do not go about writing an essay
One of the common mistakes candidates tends to make while writing a cover letter is not minding its length.
Recruiters have a stack of job applications piled up for a position. This naturally does not allow them a lot of time to spend on a single cover letter for a job application.
Ideally, when writing a cover letter, it should be limited to a single page and the body should not exceed more than 150-200 words.
Also, ensure that there are no huge blocks of text as it will make it easier to read.
Try breaking the paragraphs as per points to help make an impression.
For instance, if you are talking about skills, you can talk about them in separate paragraphs, highlighting one skill at a time.
Do not focus only on one set of skills
When writing a cover letter avoid focusing on just one set of skills.
Avoid going on about soft skills like dependability, reliability, etc neglecting other hard skills that are essential in the key responsibility area of your job profile.
Try to blend in both soft and hard skills for a perfect cover letter for a job application.
List down the requirements the recruiter posted in the job description and while writing a cover letter accordingly.
Avoid stuffing your cover letter with too much information
While writing a cover letter keep in mind to adhere to your professional history only.
You want to put forward why you are the perfect fit for the position.
Your recruiter will be interested in your explanation for a work gap as it is indirectly of concern to the employment more than your personal history.
Also, make sure to leave something to discuss in the interview rounds as well yet cover all the aspects.
Do not show inhibitions to relocation
Recruiters have a preference for choosing candidates from within the city of the job opening. Ever wondered why? Here’s why.
When you send a cover letter for a job application through openings on job portals, it is considered that you are comfortable with the location of the posting.
However, quash the recruiter’s concerns about relocation if you are dropping your resume blindly at a recruiter’s email ID.
Inhibitions about relocation are one of the reasons recruiters prefer in-city candidates over out-city ones.
You wouldn't want to lose out on the opportunity of a great job because of inhibitions.
Do not forget to refer to the next step
Finally, when writing a cover letter, everything from the opening line to the conclusion plays a crucial role.
Consider your cover letter for a job application as an elevator pitch where you have to showcase yourself as confident and the perfect fit for the job.
So, take another bold step and seed the thought of an interview in the recruiter’s mind.
You could ask them subtly of a suitable date and time to discuss more about the job.
Now that you know the mistakes to avoid while writing a cover letter for a job application, check out these good cover letter examples for better understanding.
Hope this advice helps in writing a cover letter.
All the best!