The job opportunities are increasing. But the applicants for the same positions have increased manifolds. With such tough competition before you, a one pager, that can help you win over others is your cover letter.
The cover letter speaks out the unique selling proposition of the candidate.
If you are a job aspirant and want to crack your dream job, its time you work on your cover letter. Keep in mind, every different job will need modulation in your cover letter. But the basics remain the same.
Read on to know what the prominent mistakes are that are usually committed. You can avoid them when it is your turn, if you know them.
- It is for your job, so be careful with your font colour, size and type. Do not use bold colours like red. Remember colours depict personality types. This is too early a stage to disclose your personality type. Try being formal and stick to office based templates available online. This will help you avoid most issues of absurd presentation.
- Do not add figures or pictures.
- When we say presentation, we don’t only mean colour, font, format, but also ideas. The written content needs to be presentable enough to grab attention.
- Do not say everything here in the cover letter. Let the details come up in your resume. Speak out only the specific relevant points that will impact the job.
- Do not start with your name. The details would definitely be there. You are not a celebrity now, so start with something, that states that you are the best fit for the job. You can mention your highest qualification to start with, or even the last position you held, should be good as a start.
- Do not include all job details. A cover letter is not a paraphrased resume. Bring out only the important ones. The content needs to be clear and crisp without much use of flowery language.
- A cover letter is usually written in a format/template. Do not write essays as you usually did in school.
- Make a point not to cross over one page.
- Avoid explanations. DO not explain either why you had low grades or why you left a job.
- The cover letter should speak out how eligible you are to manage your first day at work with them. It should not specify what they need to train you on. So, though you are a fresher, try presenting educational qualifications based on projects. It should specify your experiences rather than only degrees
Not modifying content for different employer:
A very common mistake conducted is preparing a general cover letter and using it for all jobs. This will definitely land you in trouble. The cover letter rather should be specific to the job opening or position. It should depict your capability as the best fit for “this job only”. This assures the hiring team on your delivering capacity. If you try depicting yourself as “jack of all trades” at this stage that can be a risky affair.
Grammatical and sentence construction errors are just a “no-no” in a cover letter. Written communication is of equal importance as compared to verbal communication and body language. That’s why it’s important to have effective proofreading.
- Be specific, don’t overdo in the cover letter.
- Do not include all job descriptions or roles, present the most relevant ones.
- Start with the highest qualification that impacts the job title.
- Do not tell your sob stories here. This can ruin your career by depicting your personality as weak. This also speaks out that you are weak on emotional terms. A good emotional quotient is what you need to depict here.
Stick to specifications. Avoid writing a novel. Definitely the cover letter tells your story, but to show you are the best fit for the job.
- Avoid informal language
- Avoid flowery phrases
- Avoid too long and run-on sentences
- Use a proper format
A few tips to create a strong cover letter can help you save your career.
A cover letter should be a key to your perspective job. Don’t allow it to ruin your opportunity. Put your best foot forward here. Don’t give an employer the opportunity to reject you based on your cover letter.
Best of Luck!