Are You Making These 4 Cover Letter Mistakes?
Albert Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. This is no different when you keep applying for hundreds of jobs with the same cover letter and hoping that this time round, you will miss the HR scrutiny and get a call for an interview.
In the current job market, we have thousand of job seekers all aiming for the same positions as you. It’s a sad fact but nonetheless one that requires you use your cover letter as the ultimate weapon. Otherwise you will just be another candidate complaining about how you have been applying for jobs but no positive response. Below are mistakes you could be making.
4 Cover Letter Mistakes You Keep Making
1. Using a Generic Cover Letter for Every Job
As a recruitment agency, we’ve always been in the front line advocating the need to have a tailored cover letter and fortunately, an impressive number of job seekers are giving it a little more thought nowadays.
But it’s far from over. You will find candidates insisting on using a cover letter meant for a Customer Service position to apply for Administration Assistant Jobs or one for an Accounts Assistant in Finance Officer Jobs. While the jobs may appear similar, they are all totally different; they have different job descriptions, roles and responsibilities and require different set of skills.
Solution: It may take a lot of work to tailor a cover letter for every single job, but if you really want to get hired, then you have to be specific in your cover letter. Remember the point of having a cover letter is you want to show the HR you have the qualifications for that ‘Particular job”
2. Putting the “Wrong Information”
A CV and a Cover Letter are two totally different documents which should be addressed differently.
Don’t start explaining why you quit your last job or why you were fired on the second paragraph of your cover letter. In an interview when the HR wants to know these particulars, you will get the chance to explain yourself, but doing so in a cover letter is a big no no!
A little secret, recruiters and employers out there do not want to hear why you left your past or current jobs or why you can’t get along with your boss at the application stage. They want to hear about your now and future, and how you are going to become an asset to their company.
3. Having more than one page
A common question we normally receive is, “How long should a cover letter be?”
The answer to this is keep it to one page. Highlight your most relevant qualifications for the job and what you have to offer the employer and that’s about it. Truth of the matter is, you have no business having two pages or three pages cover letter unless you are listing things that should not even be highlighted.
Think of the HR manager and how many job applications she or he has to go through for one single job. Do they have the time and luxury to skim through all that?
4. It’s all in the details
An assumption or a small mistake may appear minute to you, but to a HR professional, it makes all the difference.
For starters, think about the grave spelling mistakes and typos. Always re-read your application before hitting the send button to make sure you don’t have any of this. Tell a friend to read your document for you because most times as is the norm, we do not see our own mistakes.
Secondly, pay attention to what you are sending to the HR. How many times have you applied for a job only to realize you addressed the wrong company? It’s silly, right? But it does happen and mainly because you’ve been using the same old cover letter for every job, or it was just a clumsy mistake. There’s no reversing the damage, so make sure this doesn’t happen in your next application.
Finally, remember your cover letter should always answer the one question that employers are looking for;”Why should I hire this person?”