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Tips to write a killer cover letter: Most common mistakes


You have spent the whole day writing a perfect CV: you chose the format that best suits you, you focused on your accomplishments and tailored your skills to the particular job offer. But then you totally forgot about the cover letter and ended up attaching a simple, generic text full of misspellings. And all your efforts were suddenly tossed into the trash bin.

A well-written cover letter can prove that you think clearly and possess qualities the company is looking for. Take your time to research the firm you are applying for, find out what exactly they need and relate the company’s requirements with your previous experience and skills. Today, jobandtalent wants to help you create a good and lasting first impression with your cover letter. Avoiding the following mistakes will guarantee you get screened in for an interview:

– Sending a generic cover letter to all recruiters and employers: Employers have to read hundreds and hundreds of cover letters, so they could easily see if you have used a one-size-fits-all-approach. Show a little more interest: address the company’s specific concerns, focus on any previous experience or degree that can be related to the job opportunity, highlight any relevant accomplishment and sell your talent. Do not forget to include in the first paragraph the job position you are applying for and if you include the company name, double check if it is the right company name. Always have in mind the following advice “customize each letter”.

– Don’t write a novel. Don’t write the smallest tale on earth: How do you know the proper length? Making a dense and long cover letter will bore your employer, but if you write a short text, the recruiter will think you don’t have enough interest in the job. Cover letters should be composed by three to five paragraphs with 6 lines each.

Starting off weak: Forget about typical beginnings and try to capture your reader’s attention. Instead of just writing: “My name is Laura Brown and I am applying for the investment banking position posted at”, why don’t you follow up with “your need for an experienced banking professional is an excellent match to my 2 years of experience in Morgan Stanley…”?

– Grammar and misspellings errors: Submitting a cover letter with grammar and spelling errors will cost you the job. Review your cover letter as many times as possible, read it out loud and ask your friends and family if they can also proofread it.

– Not providing examples of your strengths and skills: The cover letter will enable you to frame your background and explain why you are the best candidate. But saying you are good is not enough. You need to back up your statements about your strengths by bringing in previous experiences where you successfully employed that skill. For example, instead of affirming “I have great leadership skills”, go for “my leadership and communication skills helped me to be appointed president of my university student union”. It is also very important that you include your top selling points whenever they are relevant to the job position.

-Making the cover letter all about you: Your cover letter is not your autobiography, you don’t need to tell you whole life story in the body. The cover letter is a sales letter that should give the main reasons why you should be called for an interview. As we have already mentioned, the approach has to be on how you meet your prospective company’s concerns and needs. Explain how you can add value to the company and what you have to offer. Keep the cover letter short with relevant information and straight to the point.

-Using a vague closing statement: The last sentence has to be remembered and makes him or her want to call you. After reading your cover letter, the employers have to feel confident about your potential, so why don’t you try to write an appealing closing statement?

These are the most common cover letter mistakes. Now you know them, so avoid them in your next application. We are sure these tips will help you get the next interview you will find on our job offers. Good luck!

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