Posted on

Top 10 cover letter mistakes you don’t want to make


1. Incorrect title for the person to whom the letter is addressed; addressed to the wrong person or not personalized. Try to get the name of the Human Resources contact or hiring manager. If that fails, then use “Dear Sir/Madam.”{{more}}

2. Asking the reader to refer to your résumé: ”As you can see on my résumé…”

3. Spelling and grammatical errors. Get a teacher, counselor or friend to help you review your letter and avoid errors.

4. Excluding your mailing address; omitting your signature. This shows your lack of attention to detail.

5. Too lengthy or too short. More than 2-3 short paragraphs is too much, and a few lines will not cut it.

6. Lack of focus. Failure to hone in on key reasons to hire to you.

7. Giving a laundry list of attributes without evidence to back them up; e.g., “I am hard working, dedicated, customer oriented, and I believe I will be a good asset to the company” means nothing to the company.

8. Boring beginnings. “I am applying for the position of…” or “ I saw your ad online” will not capture your reader. Add a short sentence that expresses your enthusiasm for the position or outlines your qualifications.

9. Getting ahead of yourself. Present yourself very confidently, but not boastfully, then let the decision maker do his job.

10. Avoid generic letters. Each letter should be personalized with the position and employer. Take the time to research the employer and demonstrate that in the letter as well.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected]
Visit online at