As a first-time job applicant, the biggest pressure you will probably feel is getting a job. In order to become successful with this goal, you should pay more attention to the documents that you are sending your prospective employers. With this being said, we want to emphasize that your entry-level cover letter should be well-written and should contain all the necessary details that will convince the employer to invite you for an interview.
What messes up a cover letter? One word: MISTAKES. That is what we want to avoid. Why? Well, because you want to make a good impression, and basically, your cover letter is your first impression to the potential employer you have yet to meet.
Pressure is probably eating away your confidence at the moment. We want to help you save all the remaining confidence you have and save it for the interview after we tell you how to write an entry-level cover letter.
We are hoping that the cover letter examples and writing tips that we have presented for you in this very article can help ease the pressure and anxiety you are feeling. We just want you to sit back, relax, and read up! By the end of this article, we can assure that you will soon end up with an exemplary cover letter.
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The 8 Cover Letter Mistakes You Want to Avoid
You want to make a good impression, so you want to make sure that your cover letters are mistake-free by the time you send them out. Did you know that it can actually increase the chances of you getting invited for an interview? Don’t believe us? Try it out! Make sure you avoid these seven crucial entry-level cover letter mistakes.
- It’s a novel. How many pages did you end up with? If you ended up with five pages for a cover letter, then you should probably just start over. The company’s recruiter does not have that much time to go through a five-page—not even a two-page—cover letter. Remember to always limit your cover letter to just one page. If you keep it under one page, even better! The shorter the letter that includes all the sufficient information needed is recommended.
- Too formal! Yes, your cover letter is considered to be a formal letter, but if the language you are using is too formal, your cover letter will probably end up in the scratch pile. Simple and straightforward language should be used. A friendly tone should also be used as it gives the impression that you are easy to approach and to work with.
- Your cover letter is too generic. Are you planning on sending that one cover letter you wrote for all the job applications you are about to send? Wait! Before you start hitting that send button and sealing those envelopes, you have to customize your cover letter for each job position you are applying for. There are a lot of reasons why you should customize your cover letter and one of them is the fact that it makes you a memorable candidate for the position. You would surely want to be remembered by the recruiter.
- Do not sell yourself short. One thing about cover letters? You have to remember that you should be confident. There is nothing wrong with “bragging” about what you know you have. You have to show the recruiter that you are a strong contender for the position. Show them that the resume skills you possess are what the company needs to meet the challenges ahead.
- It is not about you. Stop talking about how you can benefit from the company. Instead, talk about how the company can benefit from you. Assess how your academic background and experiences can be a good addition to the company’s existing workforce.
- Fillers everywhere! Stop talking about your personal life! Employers do not want to see that. They want to talk about what you can do and what you have up your sleeve. Instead of talking about that backpacking trip to Europe, talk about the relevant skills and qualifications you have and elaborate how these can help you succeed in the position.
- Stop talking about your GPA. Yes, you got into a very prestigious school and you got good grades. Let us be honest though—these metrics are not gonna cut it. Instead, focus on what you have achieved and what you participated in during your time in high school/college. Your actions speak louder than your grades. How you handled your academics and extracurricular activities give a better overview about how you can be as an employee.
- Forgetting to proofread and edit. A cover letter that is full of grammatical errors and misspellings might give the employers the impression that you are lazy and careless. That is definitely one thing that they would not want in an employee. This is the reason why proofreading and editing your each of the cover letters you send is highly recommended. Read your letter multiple times and get help from someone who has a good eye for grammar mistakes and typos.
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Tips to Remember about Cover Letters
In applying for a job, the small things count! This is why you need to pay attention every single detail about your cover letter. The more well-written your cover letters are, the higher the chances that you will get that interview you are looking forwad to.
Here are some cover letter tips for first-time job seekers and experienced job seekers alike. Following these tips will help you out big time. Check them out.
- Research about the company. Your research does not have to be that extensive but it has to be enough to ensure that you know enough about the company and how the nature of the job works.
- Know what type of cover letter you are writing. It is important that you know how to start your cover letter and how it would be a good fit for the resume you have. Choose the right type of cover letter that would be a good reflection of your personality and other characteristics. Remember that customizing it for every job position you are applying for can help you be more relatable and can actually aid in making you a memorable candidate.
- Find out who you are writing to. If you know the person who is going to read your letter, then it will be a good idea to actually address him/her properly on your letter. In any case you do not know the name of the recruiter or hiring manager, give the company a quick call or research their professional social media accounts and pages. However, if you cannot find substantial information about the recruiter or hiring manager, a generic “Dear Hiring Manager” would be acceptable.
- Refer to the cover letter examples. We have collected job cover letter examples that you can readily download on this page. You need not worry about paying since these are for free. These examples are all entry-level cover letters that showcase how these types of cover letters should look like.
- Use the appropriate cover letter format. A cover letter is a business letter by nature, so following a proper business letter format is recommended. Your cover letter’s format will also depend on whether you are sending it via email or handing it out personally to the company. Just ensure that the basics about a business letter are reflected in your cover letter.
- Keywords are the key to success. Your cover letters should convey that you know how to speak the company’s language and that you are the one that they are looking for. This is why it is important that you research about the company and the nature of the job you are applying for. Reviewing the job posting is a good start. Picking out the right words to incorporate in your cover letter is going to help you get noticed and remembered.
- Customize. We cannot stress it enough but customizing is highly recommended for cover letters. The ratio should always be one job position application is to one cover letter. Trust us though, this is one quick tip to a standout cover letter.
- Practice with templates. Cover letter templates are a great place to start for when you are having a hard time coming up with your own words. You can start by replacing what is written on the template with your very own qualifications, skills, and experiences. From there, you can start altering the letter to make it sound more like you.
- Read more tips. Read up more about tips on writing job-winning cover letters and we are sure that you will end up with a good cover letter.
- Follow the instructions of the application process. More or less, companies will also state in their job posting what is the process that you need to follow when it comes to sending your cover letters. Not following instructions just might lose you a good job opportunity.
There you go! We have explained to you the mistakes you need to avoid for your very first cover letter, as well as tips that you can apply now and for the other cover letters you will be writing in the future. Just be confident and never give up on your goals. Good luck on your career endeavors! Cheers!