A poorly prepared application in response to a recruitment advertisement will not convince a potential employer to invite you to a recruitment meeting. We have already written a lot about mistakes that should not be made in the CV, both us and other recruitment websites. But how do you create a good cover letter and what are the most glaring mistakes to avoid?
Many candidates complain about the fact that nobody reads cover letters, that there are never statements like “in your cover letter I read that …” – is the Cover Letter really just an unnecessary and unused CV supplement? Not necessarily – although in many cases the person responsible for recruiting the letter will not actually read, this is not the norm. Guilty that no one during the recruitment meeting refers to information from the Cover Letter, there are also candidates who do not contain any relevant information in this document, but only clichéd general or information already included in the CV – let’s collect these errors and check how avoid them.
1. There is no purpose to write a Cover Letter
The first and most serious mistake, which then affects the entire content of the Cover Letter, is that the candidate does not understand the purpose of writing the Cover Letter. By submitting to the belief that nobody reads them, we send clichés a letter to recruiters, whose sole purpose is … to be attached to the application, because this is required by the employer. Often, candidates also believe that the purpose of the Cover Letter is to show the employer why we want to work in this company (i.e. to explain our motivation). In fact, the purpose of the Cover Letter is to show the employer why he can’t afford not to work for him. The goal is to motivate the reader of the Cover Letter to call and invite us to the recruitment meeting. Therefore, after writing a Cover Letter to Company X, it is always worth reading your letter once again empathizing with the role of who will read our letter and answer the question “if I was looking for an employee, would I be interested in the person who wrote this letter?”
2. No recipient or wrong recipient
Another common mistake is actually a technical mistake resulting from haste, lack of mindfulness and the belief that no one reads Letters. Candidates sending applications to many places do not bother to personalize each LM they send . As a result, by opening such correspondence, the recruiter knows from the first second that the Letter he has in front of him has been sent to dozens of other companies in identical content (and the actual involvement of the candidate in the work for this company is the same as in the work for any other). Remember the last local elections – each of you got a lot of leaflets in the mailbox with advertisements for candidates. Some looked like letters – put in white envelopes containing a “message to the citizen” – but there was no direct referral to you. Now imagine that a candidate for a councilor instead of a mass printout sends you a letter on which envelope your address appears and in the middle there is a direct referral to you – would such a “commercial” not convince you more? Changing the recipient in the Cover Letter means a few seconds of using the ctrl c + ctrl v buttons – it’s amazing how few people use it.
3. Typos and spelling mistakes
Another mistake is as old as the world – spelling mistakes . With today’s word processors, something unforgivable. Interestingly, technology has changed our perception of what is behind spelling errors – formerly, the person who sent the application full of errors was accused of low education or dyslexia. Today, mistakes are associated with a lack of computer skills, lack of involvement in the recruitment process, carelessness and sloppiness.
4. Using templates
On the Internet you will find dozens of cover letter templates . In some, you only need to change your name, date and heading to be able to send a beautiful Cover Letter to every job offer. Of course, as you thought, dozens of other candidates. As a result, the employer gets a dozen almost identical LM when recruiting. Do you still think this will convince him to call you?
5. Rewriting CV
CV in points and Cover Letter in prose – the most often, these two application documents differ, candidates repeatedly repeat the information contained in the CV. The fact that you graduated, worked for company X or participated in training Y is already included in the CV – why repeat it? Instead of losing space for obviousness, emphasize your skills and competences, use your experience.
For example, if you have a university degree in an area completely unrelated to the position you are applying for (e.g. you are a philosopher and you are a sales representative, instead of information that you have finished your studies (and so what ???) describe it, what these studies gave you in the context of the position (“it would seem that philosophy does not connect with sales, but the studies have developed in me analytical skills and the ability to look at one situation from different angles, so I can quickly analyze the client’s needs and understand them. Then – using argumentation skills also developed during studies – find a way to show the client the benefits of using the offer ‘- you can write something other than just’ I graduated in philosophy and I am currently looking for a job in sales, because I think I could check ? “).
6. No reference to what the employer values
How do we know what our employer values? First of all, we have it black and white in the recruitment announcement, and secondly, we are intelligent enough to know what all employers value (and therefore the one who is our potential). The cover letter will be the more convincing the more we show employers that they want to hire us . And the employer will be eager to call us if he sees with every next sentence he reads that we have the qualities he cares about. Employer expects dynamism in action? Write about the fact that you not only work full-time, but at the same time you also train spinning intensively and use your skills by running a foundation volunteering – if you are really dynamic, you know what it means. The employer emphasized that he cares about a person who learns quickly and willingly? Prove it to him by emphasizing that you practically throughout your life gain new knowledge by participating in training and e-learning courses. The employer did not include anything in the advertisement that you can refer to? Every employer (or at least a large majority) expects loyalty (“during 5 years of continuous work for the company x” – which proves that you are not a jumper), efficiency at work “I increased sales by ox%”, kindness towards others (“I like working with people and I know that I am also responsible for the atmosphere in the workplace. “)
7. No details
The standard in Cover Letters is the lack of any particulars . A loosely cast set of skills that do not know what they result from – “I am a responsible person, reliable, I learn quickly, I work great in a team and individually” (and what else?); lack of clear motivation to work – “I am looking for a job that will allow me to develop” (what development, in what capacity and in what direction, however, is no longer known); self-promotion without evidence – “I am a successful salesman” (which successes, however, are not known). An experienced recruiter captures the generals after the first two-three sentences of the cover letter. If the next 3 do not contain any particulars, most often the letter is not read to the end, only a cursory scan of its contents. Brutally speaking – a waste of time .
8. A pleading tone
Fortunately, less and less often, but unfortunately still, there are cover letters more reminiscent of a petition to MOPS than a document intended to encourage an employer to hire an employee. Writing about employer having pity, because you have a loan and 5 dependent children or gave you the chance to develop after graduation, because although you have no experience, you will certainly manage and want it very much, it makes no sense. Why? Because the employer – even the state one – is not a charity and is not a foundation helping the needy. It is a profit-oriented company or (in the case of state institutions) for performing specific tasks.
9. Incorrect length
The ideal length of the Cover Letter is one page (where you can also put the signature and header). In principle, about ¾ of the site remains to be developed. It’s good to fit in (Letters too long instead of highlighting some of the most important features that are to decide about your success introduce chaos and confuse the reader). Too short Cover Letter (and there are even five sentences) indicates that you yourself have no idea if and why you are suitable for this position.
” Stand out or die ” – today this password is more powerful than ever. However, you need to stand out when applying for a job with a sense and understanding of where you apply. By sending an application to the Advertising Agency, you can indulge in madness and creativity. We write to the bank in a more formal way – we do not send pink LM. Of course, this does not mean that you cannot send an LM decorated with an unusual graphic design to the bank. For example, by using the colors and visual identification of a given bank, you can highlight your cover letter in an interesting way (imagine, for example, a Cover Letter to one of the banks, whose advertising slogan is “what else can we do for you?”, But with a note from the candidate “what can I still do for you? ”and of course with elements of the bank’s colors – such a Letter will definitely attract the attention of the HR department). If you want to stand out, remember not to overdo it, not to become a freak from the original person.
The cover letter is really not as difficult as most candidates think. If we are to send a cliché template copied from the Internet, it is better not to send anything . At least we won’t hurt ourselves.