- Irrelevant Qualifications
If you’re applying for a role as an IT specialist, no one really needs to know that you’re also certified to work in hospitality. Your covering letter should highlight the key experiences and qualifications from your resume that are relevant to the job listing. This also helps to keep it short and sweet.
- Too Long or Too Short
Ideally, your covering letter should fit into one page at a maximum. Recruiters are not looking to read essays about your experience when they have hundreds of other applications to read through. If you can keep your covering letter under one page without reducing the font size to four, you’re on the right track.
- No Research
If you start your covering letter off with ‘To Whom It May Concern’ your covering letter is going to become immediately uninteresting. The internet has provided you with all the tools to research the company to which you’re applying. Now, the name of a recruiter may not always be available to you, but there is a way to work around that. Rather than ‘To Whom It May Concern’ you can instead write ‘To the [company] recruitment team.’ It shows more interest in the company itself.
- Don’t be Vague
Specifics are your best friend. Your covering letter needs to sell you and you cannot afford to be wishy-washy about the details. If you are using career examples from your CV, make sure to include your best achievements. It should be detailed, but not verbose, otherwise the recruiter will not know why you are applying for the role.
- Basic Errors
The last thing any recruiter wants to see in your covering letter is mistakes. At best, it’s a misrepresentation of you, your skills, and your intellect – and at worst, it makes you look lazy. You should always read and reread your covering letter (and your resume too) to ensure you don’t leave in any mistakes. You’ve heard it all before, but reading it aloud makes a huge difference.
- Passive Ending
Your covering letter shouldn’t just cut off after your last paragraph. You should always finish your covering letter with a note thanking the recruiter for considering your application and complete it with a sincere sign-off.