soft skills and hard skills for your resume

Cover Letter: Five Mistakes to Avoid (Part 2)





A professional cover letter template is a supplemental part of your job application. It helps the employer to get to know you better and understand how you will contribute to the company’s success. If you’re eager to know more about cover letter examples, what a good cover letter format or sample should look like and what mistakes to avoid, follow this 2nd part article, on the most common errors, dreaded by the recruiters.

Missing personal touch/authenticity
Listing your accomplishments
Listing your skills and achievements
“Impressive” language
Listing and including refferences

You might have already familiarized yourself with the five mistakes which we described in the our first cover letter article. This week we continue guiding you through the world of application documents and share additional five mistakes dreaded by recruiters.

Cover letter missing personal touch/authenticity

cover letter be youreslef

In general, a good one aims to showcase your experiences and skills, but also your personality. Writing a dry and overly formal one doesn’t give the feel of you as a person. Hackneyed, commonly used expressions will not make you look authentic and personal, and this is what recruiters look for. If you have a sense of humor, don’t be afraid to include a tasteful cheer. Are you good at telling stories? Don’t be shy to tell one. At the end of the day the company is hiring you for who you are and what you bring. Staying true to yourself will benefit you both!

Listing your accomplishments in your cover letter

It’s quite frequent that candidates list their accomplishments and achievements in their cover letter sample. The reason behind is that if they present what they’ve accomplished, it will prove they are the right fit for the job. This, unfortunately, is not the case. Your resume is where you should list what your achievements are!

The cover letter template is where you explain how you got there and how did your unique skills and abilities help you earn the achievements listed in your resume.

Cover letter format and listing your skills

cover letter skills, sample template and format

Just like listing achievements, a lot of candidates also list their skills and abilities in their samples. As described in our first article on the most common mistakes, a good cover letter format is used as a document complementary to your resume. What that means, is that your resume is the place where you list your skills, your attributes, and capabilities. A good cover letter template is filled to explain how and in what context you were able to use those skills, in order to achieve something. Remember that you cover specific job critical skills in your cover letter sample, while your resume contains your full skillset.

‘Impressive’ language

Many of us believe that using sophisticated and complicated language makes us look professional and impressive. Don’t try it with your cover letter examples though. Branding yourself is all about communicating your strengths in a natural, clear, and fun way. Unless this is your natural way of communication, avoid overly complex expressions, unnecessary adjectives, or thesaurus-recommended replacements. Instead of sounding impressive, you might end up sounding superficial and being incomprehensible misunderstood 😊

Listing and including references

Collecting references from past employers is a common practice in many organizations. For example, references can be verified by a recruiter orally at the end of the recruitment process or can be attached as a written document to your application. A written reference letter is not equal with a cover letter and should not be confused with it. References focus on performance in your past role, they describe how you utilized your skills with your previous employer and don’t answer to the question how specifically you can contribute to the company, and the role you’re applying for.

Lastly, not a common mistake, rather a piece of advice from a recruiter – sleep on it 😊 Try to avoid sending your examples immediately after writing them. Take a break and review your final version with clear mind – 99% of the time you will end up tweaking the final documents and making them a much more appealing read.

Good luck!


Recommended articles:

How to Write A Cover Letter
Adding Interests On Your Resume: All You Need To Know
Hard and Soft Skills: Understanding the Differences
Resume Skills And How To Highlight Them

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