7 Cover Letter Mistakes Entry-Level Candidates Make—and How to Fix Them Now

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7 Cover Letter Mistakes Entry-Level Candidates Make—and How to Fix Them Now

Today, a lot of companies put a lot of importance into cover letters. These letters allow hiring managers to see whether the applicants really want to work in the company, or are just applying for the paycheck. Most people think that the most important parts of your application are your resume and diploma, leaving a huge gap in the cover letter. This is a huge mistake, as cover letters can let your employer learn more about you as a human being, not just as an employee.

  1. Trivial information

Many candidates will get carried away while writing their cover letters, leading them to add information which can be irrelevant to the job position. This includes information about your high school clubs and experiences, your social life etc.

Hiring managers look for values in people, and you have to make sure to communicate to them what you are worth and what you have to offer to them. Focus on writing about your compatibility with the job position and how you are fitting for it. To do this, incorporate information about the company with information about you, combining them into similar terms. This comparison between the company's values and yours will make the manager see and appreciate the similarities between you two.

  1. Redundant explanations

No matter what steps you have to take for you to be able to perform and get the job you are applying for, there is no need to let the employer know. Mentioning your personal problems, such as “I moved out of the country to work for you” is not always the best idea. Sometimes candidates spend too much time and space on a cover letter by explaining things that do not directly inflict the workplace.

If you really have to explain a situation to your employer, do it in style and keep it short. Limit yourself to a maximum of three sentences at the end of the cover letter, just to let the employer know of anything important that might require explanations later.

  1. Writing too much

The typical size for a cover letter is usually a page, and there's a reason for that. Unless you are applying for a high position in the company, a short one paged cover letter will give the employer all the information he needs to decide whether he will employ you or not.

Instead of writing everything that comes to your mind and cluttering your cover letter, keep it short and correct. Remember that no matter what you do, you can't fit your life into a page, so just remember to write the most important information. The purpose of the cover letter is to attract the hiring manager and have him offer you an interview, not to give someone a complete timeline of your life.

  1. Dull start

Almost every cover letter that hits the desk of a hiring manager starts with the same thing, the name of the candidate. There is no need for you to start using your name, as the employer already knows that from the resume.

Focus on the important things about you, and start with a qualification that makes you fit for the position you are applying. You can also introduce yourself based on what you can do, and connect your identity to your professional abilities. By standing out from the crowd, you will attract the hiring manager's attention, increasing your chances of being accepted for the job.

  1. Sticking to templates

Almost every candidate that submits a cover letter follows a template, whether it is in a book or online. This is not always the right choice, as a cover letter is not an essay about your life. It's meant to be a showcase of your most important skills and abilities.

Instead of following blind rules, learn how to compose and alternate the structure of the cover letter to put yourself in favor. If you are going to present your skills in chronological order, a paragraphing format would be the right choice. However, if you have more to show, creative formats can be a further aid to your acceptance.

  1. Following your resume's footprints

A lot of candidates don't understand the importance of the cover letter and undermine it, leading to a poor application acceptance rate. Most of them write out their resume in words, going into the details that the employer has already gone through.

It's acceptable to focus on some of your strong educational points, but you don't have to mention everything in your cover letter. That's what your resume is for. Instead, focusing on your strongest points and allow the manager to see what makes you stand out from the others and what makes you a perfect fit for the position.

  1. Putting too much emphasis on training and education

Finishing your education can be a big step in your life, and it's only normal that you would mention it in your cover letter. However, candidates consider it to be the most important thing, wasting useful space on their cover letters. An employer cares most about your practice and work experience, and what you can do for him.

Instead of focusing on explaining your education in detail, mention the practical parts of it and job-related projects you might have taken while studying. If you don't have any experience, explain how you learned applicable skills in education, and not your course material.