How To Avoid Ineffective Cover Letters

When you apply for a job, the first thing you do is craft a powerful CV (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter. But when it comes to writing an application letter or a cover letter, most people mess up and come up with a letter that is mediocre at best and monotonous at worst.

A carefully produced cover letter is the tool by which you actually sell your skills. No matter how skillful you are or however long you have been working in your field, the first impression you give to your prospective employer is very important.

But the most troubling question is: how to avoid silly mistakes that may turn your cover letter into a nightmare.

Poorly written cover letters do just one thing: give your prospective employer a glimpse of what you are. A cover letter, backed by a strong CV , is your first contact with the employer and is a snapshot of your work. Writing sentences like “how desperately you are seeking this job” will make the employer think you have been sitting idle at home for a long time and are begging him for a job.

And if you are applying for a key position at a company, writing a compelling cover letter becomes even more important.


  • 1

    Cover Letter is not your autobiography or life history

    This is the probably the most common mistake people make while crafting a cover letter. They think that mentioning their achievements in the letter will convince their prospective employer and they will get an interview call.

  • 2

    Avoid messing up the first sentence

    The first sentence of your cover letter is important. If you write things like “I am writing to apply for this job,” chances are your letter will fail to make an impact. In order to come up with a surefire letter, start with strong words. If you are applying for the position of sales manager for instance, write a sentence like: I have ten years experience as a sales manager, with a proven track record of achieving targets within tough deadlines.

  • 3

    Keep it short

    Long letters are usually frowned upon, and when it comes to applying for a job, time consuming application letters must be avoided. Officials with the task of hiring employees do not have time to dig deep into you cover letter, as they usually scan through the first few lines. And if your letter is concise and states the reason for applying in a few sentences, the employer will then move on to your CV as the second step.

  • 4

    Avoid distracting format and layout

    The formatting and layout of your cover letter should be clear. Using fonts like Arial with size 12-point is good. Keep in mind your font size should not be too big or too small.

  • 5

    Avoid grammatical and structural errors

    Use correct grammar and structure of the language. A complex language structure may distract the reader as he/she is not supposed to assess your writing skills.

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