What Is a Cover Letter?

A Cover Letter is a written document commonly submitted with a job application explaining the applicant’s credentials and interest in the open position. Since a cover letter is often one of only two documents sent to a potential employer, a well- or poorly-written letter (or email) can impact whether the applicant will be looked at seriously, and ultimatelbe called for an interview.

Understanding Cover Letters

A good Cover Letter complements a CV or Résumé by expanding on items relevant to the job and, in essence, makes a sales pitch for why the applicant is the best person for the position. Career experts advise job seekers to spend time customizing each Cover Letter for the particular role, rather than using a generic one. Although this requires extra effort, it can be very helpful in allowing an applicant to stand out above the competition.

7 Cover Letter Blunders

Common Cover Letter Mistakes

A perfect CV is often sabotaged by a poorly thought-out or mistake-heavy cover letter. Whether you are including the letter as per required submission guidelines, or you simply want to emphasize your interest in the job, make sure that you avoid making the folliwing mistakes.

1. Getting Names Wrong

Although you are probably applying to a number of different employers in your search, you obviously don’t want to share this information with hiring managers; you want them to think their position is The One. But nothing screams “form letter” than to have the wrong company name or role on the cover letter, probably because you forgot to change it from the last job you applied for. This bit of carelessness is not only sloppy—it is probably the surest way to not get an interview.

2. Restating Your Resume

The purpose of the cover letter is to identlfy your skills and explain how your previous experience is applicable to the desired position. Simply restating all of the facts on your CV, without going into an explanation of why your expertise and background are pertinent, defeats the purpose, and in fact makes it redundant. The Cover Letter has to build on the information presented, not just summarize it.

3. Unreasonable Length

Keep your letter tight. Although you may have a great deal of useful information to offer, keep in mind that recruiters will often go through hundreds of applications. They simply do not have time to read through a three-page letter, even if you feel all of the information is important. The absolute maximum length for a cover letter, including the headings, should be one page. Typically, it should be shorter.

4. Adding Unnecessary Information

Focus on your relevant qualifications to the role. If applying for an accounting position, the fact that you have graphic-design skills should not be a prime focal point.

It’s also best to leave off positive but personal things like your IQ—while undoubtedly important for any role, adding information like that to your Cover Letter is just plain weird. And interests and hobbies are rarely worth mentioning unless they relate in some way to the job or company. If applying to a sporting goods manufacturer, for example, saying that you’re an avid golfer could add an important touch.

5. Identifying Weaknesses

Talking about your shortcomings is not only a complete waste of space but also counterproductive. While “What are your greatest weaknesses?” is a common interview question, there’s no reason to bring them up ahead of time! Your cover letter is all about identifying the strengths that make you so right for the role.

6. Sounding Arrogant

Although you’re trumpeting your strengths, try to ensure that your cover letter does not portray you as arrogant. We can help you find a way of saying “I’m the best” without actually saying it!

7. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Typos and grammatical errors are a key issue, signalling you really didn’t really bother. Please don’t rely on your computer’s spelling and grammar checks, because it will not catch words that may be correctly spelt, but incorrectly used (like “it’s” and “its”). We will also look out for unprofessional-looking layout and formatting inconsistencies, like conveying a dash with “–” in one place and “—” in another, or using different size bullet points. This lack of attention to detail is frowned on, no matter what your field, in both the Cover Letter and CV.

Key Takeaways

  • A Cover Letter is a written document commonly submitted with a job application explaining the applicant’s credentials and interest in the open position.
  • A good Cover Letter complements the CV and explains why the candidate in question is the ideal person for the job.
  • A poor Cover Letter can ruin your application, and numerous common mistakes appear in letters received by companies for seeking applicants.

How to Write a Great Cover Letter

Your CoverLetter provides information to a prospective employer on who you are professionally. This includes your job interests, professional achievements, knowledge, and skills gained over the years, as well as career goals. The Cover Letter should be a one-page document that provides clear and concise details as to why you want the job. To create a great Cover Letter that will grab the reader’s attention, be sure to contact us. Remember you should really:

1. Personalise The Letter for Each Role

The company wants to believe that you took the time to read about and understand the role. It may be tedious and time-consuming to create multiple letters, but it will be worth it in the end.

2. Include Contact Information

Ensure that your Cover Letter has the name of the individual hiring a candidate for the role. It could be a department manager or the HR lead. In any case, make sure you have information on who the hiring manager is by either checking the company’s website or calling in. This way, you can open the letter with a proper greeting.

Be sure to add your contact information on your Cover Letter, even though it may already be included in your Résumé, we have come across people who got their mobile number wrong on their application documentation, and the hiring manager had to work harder to get to find the correct contact information. With hundreds of applications comping in, it is rare for someone to try that hard to find you if you don’t make it easy!.

3. Quantify Accomplishments

Remember that the Cover Letter should not just rehash your CV or Résumé, rather it should provide more information on areas that are relevant to the job that you are applying for.

For these areas, be sure to quantify your accomplishments. This way you can set yourself apart from the other job candidates with vague accomplishments by stating clearly what you have (recently) done..

4. Proofread

Ask as to support you in Proofreading all the documentation. Making small mistakes upfront can be very costly in the long run, in not getting you that interview for your perfect role. We can help, as much or as little as you would like.