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How to improve your cover letter

How to improve your cover letter

If your cover letter isn't doing its job, here's some of the reasons why:

  • You're not sharing the right information
  • It's too long, complicated or packed with irrelevant information
  • You're sharing the exact same information as you are in your CV

 

Writing a great cover letter can be tough.


And as much as you might think yours works for you, sometimes it's tough to look at yours objectively and see where the problems are.


Here are the 7 mistakes you're probably making that are putting hiring managers off.

1. It starts with your name

It might seem obvious to some, but you'd be surprised how many people start their cover letter with: "my name is..."

Unless you're famous, your name isn't the most important thing about you. Besides, it should be written at the top of your CV anyway.

2. It's pretty much just a long-winded version of your CV

The CV and cover letter is only an effective combo when the two complement each other without treading on each other’s toes.

Keep the stats and the figures on your CV. Use the cover letter to explain how good a collaborator you are, how quickly you respond to failure, and how adaptable you are to change.

3. It's too long

If you go over a page in length, God only knows what you're talking about by the end of it. You're either the most qualified person in the entire world, or you're oversharing - trim it down!

4. It's too wordy

Packing your CV with complicated, clever-sounding words won't make people think you're smart – it’ll just send the person reading it to sleep!

5. It's full of irrelevant information

Remember, just focus on your experience and how it prepares you perfectly for this job. Save your hobbies and your workplace anecdotes for the interview room.

6. It's clearly a copy of someone else's

It's helpful to take inspiration from others – a friend or colleague, for example. But simply stealing their cover letter and swapping in a few of your own details is never a good tactic - it's more obvious than you think!

7. It clearly hasn't been proofed

We know that sometimes you're in a rush to get your job application off, but you should never skip the proof!

If you need help with it, just look at our list of online writing tools that'll check spelling and grammar for you.

Read more tips about finding a new job.

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