Sometimes when you apply for a role, a CV on its own isn't enough for employers to determine whether you are a potential fit. Sometimes, certain companys will want to know a little more about you in the form of a cover letter, and why you believe you'd benefit their business.
That's not to say cover letters aren't a royal pain at times. It's one thing to try and perfect your CV, but cover letters are harder as you have to alter them for every job you apply for that requires them. It can be a long and tiring process.
It can be frustrating spending a lot of time trying to come up with an effective cover letter, especially when you don't know whether you're writing the right information or just filling the pages with mistakes.
You certainly don't want to find that you weren't progressed to the next stage for the job due to several or even just one mistake in your cover letter. Here's some you should most definitely avoid.
1) No proper research
Not researching a company is never a wise idea when it comes to applying for a job in general. Specifically, for cover letters, it's important to research the name of the hiring manager or recruiter. Not doing so will only show you haven't bothered to research the company in question and that you don't really care much for the position. Unless the job posting is completely anonyumous, always research this in order to customise it for your letter opening.
Doing your research will also benefit you in terms of what you understand about the company and how you and your skills will impact it positively.
2) Repeating your CV
Simply repeating what's already on your CV in the form of a cover letter is just plain lazy, and certainly won't convince the hiring manager to progress your application. Cover letters require more of a personal touch, and should show your understanding of the company and how your experience and skills can benefit them.
3) Focusing too much on yourself
While the point of cover letters is to sell yourself, it's also important to remember what you can offer for the company. While it's always good to talk about your skills, accomplishments and experience, you should ensure it's relevant to the position, and that it lends well to its duties.
A cover letter doesn't need to be a whole novel, and overly long ones are just likely to bore the hiring manager reading them. It's reccommended that you keep your cover letter to half a page or less. That, or it at least shouldn't exceed one page.
Keep your cover letter to the point, and be sure not to get off track with any overly-long, irrelevant information.
Even when you think you've perfected a great cover letter, always double check your spelling and grammar. Sometimes, we make mistakes without even realising it, even if writing is one of your strongest skills.
A survey from Career Builder shows that 70% of hiring managers immediately dismiss a cover letter with a typo. Don't end up disappointed over one small preventable error. Be sure to double check your cover letter before you subm it.
Cover letters may be difficult, but they are necessary when it comes to selling ourselves and showing our compatibility with the role we wish to gain.