What NOT to put in a cover letter

Here 4 tips to help you:

Covering letters are an additional piece of communication between you and your potential employer that helps them decide whether to shortlist you for a job or not, so it goes without saying that having a good covering letter gives you a major advantage. This could well be the first time you've written a cover letter, so you might find it hard to strike the right professional/personal balance. Here are a few things to avoid when drafting out your letter.

Cheesy phrases/Cliches 

Tempting as it is, phrases such as “I have dreamt of working for XXX ever since I was a little boy” are just way too unrealistic and not authentic. Also, sayings like “I think I would be a great fit” only work if you back them up with evidence as to why - what is it about you that would make you a great fit? Your experience? Your attitude towards work?

Too much personal information

Remember, you are not writing a letter to your nan to tell her how much you loved her Christmas gift, you are writing to your potential employer who probably has countless covering letters to read through. They don’t want to hear about your family or personal life – keep everything relevant to your skills, the company and what you can offer them. If you nedd to, keep referring to the job specification to make sure that you are hitting the points that they are asking for.

Bad-mouthing past employers

If you are applying for another job due to dissatisfaction with your current employer, it is wise not to comment on this in the letter. You could come across as someone who points the finger of blame at others. What you could do instead is talk about any problems you've experienced and how you came up with adaptive processes to solve them. Put a positive spin on any negative experiences. 

Spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes

It’s obvious really, but it’s important, so it has made the list. Your spelling, grammar and punctuation should be on point with no mistakes. If you send a letter with mistakes, it suggests you haven’t proofread it, giving the impression that you aren’t really that bothered at all! There’s plenty of spell check plug-ins like Grammerly if you want to be double sure you’ve got everything right. Also, you’ll probably be applying to more than one thing and the temptation to simply copy and paste a cover letter will be high. Make sure the content makes sense for each application as it can be obvious its a Ctrl C , Ctrl V job and will be a pretty big turn off for the reader.

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