Writing a good cover letter requires a lot of aspects to be taken into account. We have mentioned the most essential ones in our previous article 9 Tips For Writing A Great Cover Letter. Here, we are listing the most common mistakes that job applicants make in their cover letters, and explaining why they are mistakes. Your skills and qualifications are indeed more important than your cover letter, but your cover letter becomes important when you have the same skills and qualifications with other job applicants. If you are about to make a job application for a job in a company in Australia, you are suggested to check this article.
So what are the things you should not do when you write your cover letter?
Here are 10 things that you should avoid in your cover letter if you want to be invited to a job interview:
1. Presenting a Too General Profile
In your CV, you have already provided general information about yourself regarding your education and experience. The point of writing a cover letter is that it allows you to elaborate on general information in your CV. In your cover letter, you should write more specific sentences. The reason it is called “cover letter” is because its purpose is being a personal text that is explanatory. Therefore, your cover letter should be unique.
2. Spelling Errors
In your cover letter, there should never be any solecism, spelling error or typo. Always double check your cover letter after you finish writing it. Proofreading is essential when you write formal texts during job applications. If you are not confident about yourself, you can feel free to ask a friend or a professional for help.
3. Using Lists and Keywords
We advise you to form full sentences in your cover letter. Even though lists and keywords are helpful in your CV, your cover letter should consist of paragraphs.
The definition of “pleonasm” is “using more words than you need to”. It is better to keep the length of the cover letter less than a full page. To achieve this, you are advised to prefer shorter sentences that are meaningful. Using unnecessary words will cause you to run out of space before you finish writing everything you want to write.
5. Focusing Only on the Qualities Written in the Job Description
The cover letter lets you bring your skills and qualifications into the forefront. Previously, we have recommended looking at the job requirements that are written in the job posting as a guide when you write a cover letter. Of course, companies check whether job applicants satisfy the basic job requirements, but they look for more in the cover letter. A common mistake that people do when writing a cover letter is sticking to the things that are written in the job posting. Instead, you should mention all the requirements in your cover letter PLUS add something from yourself. This way, you can present yourself as a more unique and irreplaceable employee. In conclusion, we strongly advise you to include at least one information about yourself that you think the other applicants lack in your cover letter.
6. Mixing Personal Pronouns
You can use either first-person singular or third-person singular suffix when you write your CV. However, we recommend writing your cover letter using the first-person singular suffix.
Never write fabricated information in your cover letter. If the person who is analysing your job application detects any contradicting information between your CV and cover letter, it is very likely that you will be treated as a dishonest person and will lose your chance to be hired before even being invited to an interview.
8. Repeating Your CV
As mentioned before in this article, your cover letter should be more personal than your CV. Simply sticking to your CV show your cover letter weak. Repeating the facts in your CV will imply that you have too little number of desirable qualities.
In your cover letter, instead of repeating the information in your CV, emphasise your professional qualifications. It would be appropriate that you speak of conditions in your previous working life, but keep it as short as possible. The hiring manager does not know you yet, thus will not be interested in your private life. The hiring manager is rather seeking clues that uncover what kind of person you are in general.
9. Joking or Getting Too Subjective
These two aspects are not the best tools for forming a professional profile. Save your jokes for the job interview (If you think the interviewer will enjoy jokes, you can crack some little jokes relevant to the topic since joking may help you get ahead of other applicants). In cover letters, being objective will bring you the best results.
If you have ever read any job description, you should have noticed that they require job applicants to maintain a positive attitude while working. Companies seek employees that have a positive manner. In your cover letter, avoid sugar-coating but avoid negativity as well.