Your cover letter is just as important–if not, more important–than your CV. It needs to convince hiring managers and recruiters that you’re the candidate they’re looking for, and for them to look at your CV.
Sadly, not to many job seekers give the same amount of attention and care in writing their cover letter. As a result, they end up making a lot of mistakes. This is the reason why lots of job seekers are bypassed, regardless of whether they got an impressive and well-written CV.
Below are 4 of the common mistakes job seekers make when writing a cover letter, and how to avoid them.
Putting too much details
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make when writing a cover letter is to include every single detail about them.
While it’s true that your cover letter is the very first professional document hiring managers and recruiters read, this shouldn’t look like a mini-biography. In fact, you need to put just enough information to peak the recruiter’s interest. At the same time, it should also give recruiters and hiring managers left hanging and interested to learn more about you that it will get them to read your CV.
Focusing on appearances
Job seekers tend to spend hours scouring through different templates and layouts online so that they can find one that they can use for their cover letter. Often, the template they select is made of fancy fonts, bold colors, and too many graphics.
Even if you’re writing a cover letter to complement a CV to apply for a creative job position like graphics design or photography, you need to keep your cover letter’s layout as simple as possible. Fancy fonts, bold colors, and graphics not only eats up a lot of space in your cover letter, but they also can easily distract hiring managers and recruiters from its actual content. As a result, they really don’t notice all your impressive skills and experience that you highlight, and you lose the chance of getting shortlisted.
Making your cover letter too formal
Another common mistake job seekers make is confusing formality with professionalism when writing up their cover letter.
When you write your cover letter, it should give the impression that it’s written by a professional who’s enthusiastic about their career, and the possibility of working with a specific organisation. Formal aspects like adding the company’s address, paying attention to format, and even using flowery words are only secondary.
Adding irrelevant information
Fresh graduates that are applying for a job for the first time are usually the ones that commit this mistake. Hiring managers and recruiters are more interested to find out whether or not you’ve got the skills and capabilities to fulfill the responsibilities of the job you’re applying for. Focus on highlighting details that are relevant to the job opening as well as those that coincide with the company’s culture and vision. That way, you give recruiters and hiring managers insight to how you will fit in the organisation as well as what you have to offer.