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5 Cover Letter Mistakes You Must Avoid in 2016

Posted by | January 6, 2016 | Graduate Article

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By Jane Okoth,

When applying for positions, many applicants ruin their chances by accompanying their credentials with the worst written cover letters.

So what common cover letter mistakes do job seekers need to avoid?

1. Failing To Customize Your Cover Letter
In a recent event brainstorming event that I attended, job seekers were keen to admit that one of the greatest mistake is using the same cover letter for every job and every company.

“When writing a cover letter, it is important to address the company’s specific concerns. Ignoring such information will make them think you don’t care about the job you are applying,” a job seeker opined.

“Customize your cover letter to suit the specific need of the company and also the specific job,” she adds.

2. Failing to highlight your achievements
Melody Mwendwa, a Communications Officer at Corporate Staffing Services says that job seekers highlight their qualification without supporting it with evidence.

“Give enough proof of your skills and achievements which will impress your employer,” she advices.

“It should include what you have achieved in relation to a particular position which you are interested in,” she adds.

3. Overusing “I”
“The focus on your cover letter should be on how you meet the company’s needs,” she affirms.

Ms Mwendwa warns against the overuse of “I” especially at the beginning of the sentence.

“Instead, start by expressing your interest and explain how your qualifications align with the position you are applying,” she argues.

4. Writing too much
“When writing a cover letter, it should not surpass one page,” Ms Mwendwa advises.

“Keep your paragraphs short and to the point because the employer will have to read hundreds of applications.

“Highlighting your cover letter with your most relevant and impressive qualifications is a good way to catch a recruiter’s eye,” she advises.

5. Failing to proof read.
“As qualified as you may be for the job opening, chances are that you may not be considered if your cover letter is full of grammatical errors and mistakes,” she explains.

On her parting shot, Ms Mwendwa says that a cover letter is a summary of the success story in your career.

“Indicate the duties or responsibilities which you undertook, the skills and achievements you gained and how they concur with the new position,” she concludes.

Your cover letter could be the only thing standing between you and your dream job so avoiding these mistakes will land you a dream job.