For many of our clients, a new year represents the best time to start a new careers. So you start responding to job posts and sending out your resume, but you’re not getting replies to your applications. If you’re looking to get your foot in the door of that dream job, here are the top mistakes to avoid on that all-important letter.
1. Not Doing Your Research
A hiring manager will instantly throw your application out if you don’t do your research. A letter that misspells the company or hiring manager’s name or misunderstands what the company does will be ignored, as it shows them you don’t care enough about the job to check these details.
Research before you write. Read the job description carefully, and read up on the company to get the details correct.
2. Stating Your Weaknesses
Many applicants are tempted to write about their shortcomings, especially if they’re missing some of the experience needed. However, it makes the applicant sound as though they’re not good enough for the job at hand!
Instead of worrying about your weaknesses, focus on your strengths. What can you bring to the company to help it grow and succeed?
3. Talking About Why You Quit Your Last Job
Some applicants feel as though they need to tell the hiring manager why they left their last position, but they really don’t. It gives the impression that you’re focused on leaving.
Offer your job history, but don’t talk about why you left unless asked. When asked, say something neutral and avoid badmouthing.
4. Underselling Yourself
Many applicants are nervous, and undersell themselves without even knowing it. If you’re not confident in yourself, why should you be hired?
Read your letter, and remove phrases that make you sound unconfident, such as “I’m probably not the best person for the job…”
5. Not Editing or Proofreading
It’s tempting to send your letters straight away. However, a badly proofread letter will be dismissed when it hits the hiring manager’s desk.
There are a lot of free online tools and apps that can help with your spelling and grammar. We love using Grammarly. Just do a search and you’ll find tons of these tools to use.
6. Focusing Too Much on Yourself
Some applicants will focus so much on how great they are, they forget that they need to tell the hiring manager why they should be hired.
Focus your letter on how your skills can benefit the company, and the role, specifically.
You may want to share about your struggles, and what you’ve come through to be able to be an applicant today. However, a hiring manager sees this as a red flag and will probably disregard your application.
Keep the personal stories to your work history. The hiring manager needs to know about your skills and experience, so that’s what they’ll be looking for.
8. Not Personalizing Your Letter
Many applicants dash off the same letter to multiple hiring manager to save time. But this can be seen as a sign you don’t care about the job.
Take the time to write a new letter for every application, and show that you’re serious about the job at hand.
With these tips, you should be able to write a cover letter that will wow a potential employer and net you an interview for your dream job.