6 cover letter mistakes that might be ruining your career

Your resume makes for the first impression you give to your dream company. That’s the first thing that briefs about you to the recruiters and company. This is absolutely why resume makes up for a very important aspect of your job hunt. However, your cover letter is the first thing a recruiter sees in your resume.

Wouldn’t you want your resume’s first impression to be lasting?

However, this is something most aspirants neglect and regret later. Your confidence might help you survive the first day in a new company but your cover letter is what will ensure you get inside the company in the first place.

With your cover letter and resume alike, you are basically selling yourself as a product. There’s no second thought about it, your self-promotion or advertising should be spot on! Chances are a mistake in a name, pisses off the recruiter and cut your chances off.

You need to realize others aspiring for the same spot are doing things alike and doing it much better. Having a perfect cover letter that’s impressive is not an easy task to pull but most certainly worth it. That will ensure your resume gets noticed among a pile of other applicants.

Here are the 6 cover letter mistakes that can ruin your career:

Looking unprofessional and not using the right letter format

Every tiny detail in your cover letter matters, as it speaks a lot about you. You might think what’s wrong in using the quirky mail id you created as a teenager. You think it has nothing to do with your performance. However, it is just the opposite of your assumption in the real life. It is seen as a carelessness instead by the recruiters. Always make sure you pay attention to the color and the font you are using in your cover letter.

Secondly, it’s highly unprofessional to have a cover letter that doesn’t look like a letter and more like a printed email. It should have the date, time, address and the return address. It’s best to address it to the right person if you know their name correctly.

Taking proofreading and editing for granted

Your recruiters are a highly selective, fussy and busy group of individuals. Remember, that they are looking for the slightest of mistakes to skim you off the large pile of applicants they have. More the mistakes in your cover letter, lesser are your chances. Think of ways to make their task easier, it shows you are attentive. Look at your cover letter from a recruiter’s point of view. Would you appreciate a letter if it has grammatical errors and has several spelling mistakes?

Your recruiters have a keen eye and know how the perfect of cover letters look like. Take help from online editing tools for your cover letter to not make any errors. And probably get it to be proofread from an expert friend or professional.

Not providing examples and references for your claims

At the beginning of this post, I have discussed how you are basically promoting yourself as a product to the recruiter. It’s obvious you will right the best of things about yourself. Everybody does that.

The other individuals vying for the same job are also doing the same and trying to put their best feet first. All your claims are baseless if they aren’t certified by a third party. Be it the awards or the experience you have had in the past, they all require proof.

It’s all equal to blabbering otherwise and both know there is no limit to it. Instead of saying “I have great social skills” say “I have arranged many social events during college”.

Including too much personal information

The recruiters want to know the basic personal information about you, that’s right. However, when you give in too much it’s easy to believe that will make it into your professional life too. The company doesn’t need to know if you just went through a divorce in your cover letter.

By mentioning it in your cover letter, you are making it seem that it bothers you enough. Recruiters don’t want to hire someone who already has too much baggage on him/her. They are looking for an individual who gives his best to his professional life without any distractions. Learn early how to separate your personal and professional life.

Bad mouthing your former company

You might think bad mouthing your former employer says how detached you are from your previous company. But it doesn’t look like that to the recruiter. It talks about your character and speaks negatively of you.

It’s kinda obvious that you aren’t satisfied with your present company because you are looking out for opportunities. Stay positive and keep every other aspect positive too, it tells a great deal about your character. The recruiter is not a friend you can gossip around with.

Making your letter lengthy and sending too much information

It’s a letter and not a book you are writing about yourself. You can take help of online writing tools to be effective and flawless but remember not to overdo. Your journaling habit you started as a kid will come as a blessing now. The recruiter isn’t interested to know all those details about you and doesn’t have the time either.

You want the recruiter to know the best of you that will influence his decision to hire or not hire you.

Remember to provide just a peek into who you are as a candidate. Make sure to make your cover letter seductive enough for them to want more about you instead. Making your letter more than 250-300 words can do you more damage than you can anticipate.

Be confident and put your best foot forward. You can find a lot of online help in form of e-books and tips on writing the perfect cover letter for you. You could be a university student in the 22nd century or an experienced tech nerd, having a genuine personality is a must.

This article first appeared on Your Coffee Break.