If you are looking for a job, it’s a huge mistake to think you won’t have to prepare a cover letter. Some argue it’s an archaic practice, but many companies still ask for a one, so you should be prepared to write a cover letter that’s good enough to get your resume a look.

7 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Cover Letter

The cover letter is the gateway to your resume — extremely important! Take your time with crafting the cover letter, and avoid these mistakes.

  • Typos & grammatical errors

Spell check isn’t enough for an important document like your cover letter. After you make the first draft, walk away, then come back to it, or get someone else to read it for typos and grammatical errors.

Your cover letter is a preview of your communication skills. A prospective employer might toss your letter and resume into the ‘no’ pile at the first silly error. Typos and grammatical errors might suggest you aren’t taking the job seriously.

  • Writing too much

The cover letter is important, so be concise. Get to your points and don’t fill it with extra details you can discuss in the interview. Share important and compelling information that makes the hiring manager want to learn more. As a simple rule of thumb, keep it to one page.

  • Not tailoring the cover letter to the company or job you’re applying to

You don’t need to write an entirely new cover letter for every job you apply to; however, you should tailor each cover letter to address the position and company. A “one-size-fits-all” approach is easily noticed and often disregarded.

  • Addressing the cover letter to the wrong person

There’s no excuse to make this mistake. If you don’t know the exact name of the person who will be reading the cover letter, just write the position title at the top.

  • Being too humble OR too confident

A cover letter needs to grab attention and stand out from the crowd. Use active language to talk about your accomplishments and why you will be an asset to the company. Avoid the other side of the spectrum and don’t be too confident, which can come across egotistical.

  • Lying

It should go without saying, but for the record — do not lie. The truth will always come out.

  • Justifying why you were laid off or why you quit a previous job

Focus on the here and now. If it comes up in an interview, you can explain anything needed, but to address it in a cover letter might send the message you haven’t moved on from that previous job and you’re not ready to accept the responsibilities of the one you’re applying to.

The cover letter is a significant piece to the job application process. Make sure yours doesn’t include the above mistakes. A great cover letter could ensure the hiring manager takes a closer look at your resume and brings you in for an interview.

Cover Letter, Resume, & Job Search Guidance

For more help with finding and applying to your dream job, contact Principle Personnel.