Friday, May 5, 2017

7 Cover Letter Writing Mistakes Costing You Interviews

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By Gloria Kopp

Cover letters, the bane of any individual seeking a new job. Sat in front of a computer? Blank word document in front of you? Unsure where to begin and what to include?  Usually, the majority of people quickly jot down something that they think employers want to hear, attach the letter to their C.V and send it, fingers crossed.

Unfortunately, cover letters are one of the most important documents recruitment managers will examine.  Even if you've put hard time into your cover letter, it's worth perfecting to ensure you shine above the other candidates and give yourself the best chance at your dream job!

Today we'll explore common mistakes found in cover letter and techniques on how to improve it.

Going On and On and On

The perfect cover letter shouldn't extend over one page. When applying for a job vacancy, you're not the only individual applying and frequently, employers are swamped with applications and won't waste time reading anything too time consuming. Try and keep your paragraphs short and concise.

Be Original, Every Time

It's important you write a unique cover letter for every job you apply for.  Recruitment managers are trained and qualified in reading cover letters and know what to look for. This means they will easily identify cover letters that are broad enough to be used in ever job application. By not investing time and effort, you're instantly giving the wrong impression.

Replacing a Letter with a Note

Some job seekers find that writing out a cover letter for every job is time consuming and it may even get to the point where they stop using cover letters all together. Bad move. It has been known that instead of using a cover letter, some applications come with Post-It notes or one or two sentences explaining that their resume is attached. All employers are always looking for uniquely written letters, there's no leeway here.

Little White Lies

These claims are especially present in cover letters submitted by young people, such as college students.  By making claims, for example, possessing 'strong communication skills', you need to provide evidence. If you don't, the potential employer will simply discard the claim as false, which could cost you the job.

Be Clear and Concise

Recruitment managers simply do not have the time to wade through to try and decipher what you are saying in your cover letter. When writing, ensure your writing is clear and straight to the point. There's nothing worse than talking about, for example, your work history and explaining a job role that the employer will not understand. Use simple language and stick to explaining what skills were used in the previous roles.

Technical Issues

Make sure, especially when using digital cover letters, that you don't include any unnecessary formatting and that you delete pictures or logos. This ensures that documents will hold their formats and won't look like a jumbled up mess on the employers screens. Any document that opens up incorrectly or doesn't open at all will reflect negatively on you.

Lack of Proofreading

This may seem like one of the more simple checks you'd do before sending a cover letter but you'd be surprised how often it comes up. If you're sending cover letters full of typos, grammatical errors and just generally nonsensical, recruitment managers will instantly assume you are careless. This isn't something you want your potential employer to think.

There are countless platforms online that can help you guarantee that your cover letter is readable and most importantly, correct.

A downloadable app that scans your writing as you go including built-in word prediction, spell-checker and grammar checker, allowing you to churn out perfect cover letters in no time at all.

Similar to Ginger Software, paste any text straight into your web browser and receive feedback including readability score and details on spelling mistakes, grammar issues and ways to improve your sentence structures.

Looking for professionals to check your work, ensuring it's perfect for sending? Head to EssayRoo where you can pay to have your cover letter perfected. Low cost solution with adjustable turnaround times.

A more premium option, Pro Writing Aid is an affordable aid that assists with spell-check, grammar and sentence structure. With free and paid options, you can edit documents across all your preferred platforms.

- Readability Score

A readability app that allows you to copy and paste your cover letters into your browser and receive feedback on its readability and suggests how to improve. Free and premium account options available.

You upload your cover letters to have them proofread by a professional writer.  A low cost solution with fast turnaround times for around £5 a page.

If you're looking for a long term solution sign up to Paper Fellows! This unique service is free to join, allowing you access to other students and teachers with the aim of improving your writing skill.

To give you the edge against your competition, you can hire a professional. You can upload your cover letter and have it rewritten to perfection.  There are also options to have LinkedIn profiles written and help looking for jobs that suit you.

And there you have it. Writing cover letters can be hard work and can take a lot of practise to perfect but once you're there, you'll be invited to every interview to ever job offer you apply for!



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  2. The last mistake is simple and I always repeat it. It seems to me that everything is perfect, but I constantly make mistakes due to inattention.

  3. The last mistake Lack of Proofreading is simple and I always repeat it. It seems to me that everything is perfect, but I constantly make mistakes due to inattention.

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