The importance and benefits realizable from engaging in the practice of attaching cover letters to resumes when writing applications to seek for employment or internships has been comprehensively established by a huge number of stakeholders in the employment/ labor industry.
Cover letters complement the resume such that the recruiting manager’s interests are awakened towards the possible contributions and benefits achievable through employing the individual in question.
However, a poorly written cover letter is as good as not having any in the first instance at all. Writing an excellent cover letter requires thoroughness, diligence and a reasonable degree of expertise. There are a number of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ that must be elaborately taken into consideration when writing these covering letters.
Paying rapt attention to these principles and recommendations goes a long way in improving the chances of ending up with an outstanding cover letter that can subsequently culminate in favorable considerations for the potential employee.
Some of the most prominent mistakes and errors that ought to be avoided when writing these motivational letters are presented as follows;
1. Grammatical Errors
This is obviously relevant to most documents; and cover letters are not an exception! When writing a cover letter, the obligation is on the potential employee to endeavor as much as reasonably possible to ensure that errors in grammar, vocabulary and syntax are avoided. This is same for typographical errors and punctuations.
A shoddily written cover letter connotes the impression that the prospective employee is careless and incompetent.
This holds water by virtue of the fact that cover letters are an extension of resumes. Thus, the details contained in both of these documents must be congruent and consistent.
Failure to ensure that the items of information provided in both the cover letter and resume ae in harmony implies insincerity on the part of the potential employee.
3. Using Generic Layouts And Formats
Making use of generic and commonplace formats when writing a cover letter is a contemptible action. Consulting samples and formats is only supposed to act as a guide as well as a means of inspiration when creating a cover letter.
Copying existing documents verbatim is not only retrogressive, but also suggestive of the fact that the potential employee is lazy and lackadaisical in his/her approach to work.
Cover letters should be unique and tailored specifically to address the intricacies of the job in question.
An appropriate cover letter should be a brief and concise summerization of the potential employee’s resume and objectives. It is essential to remember that if the document is unnecessarily wordy and/or lengthy, there’s the increased vulnerability of the cover letter becoming drab, nondescript and/or lackluster, which evidently becomes an exercise in boredom for the hiring manager, thereby diminishing the possibility of a positive feedback.
5. Accentuating Weaknesses
Writing a cover letter is a great opportunity for the potential employee to showcase his/her strengths as well as highlight his/her attributes that can be of benefit to the company.
Focusing on the positive values which the prospective employee can contribute to the growth of the company is of paramount importance; otherwise, the whole purpose of writing the cover letter is defeated and the whole process becomes tantamount to an exercise in futility.
In addition to the points listed above, a few other mistakes that should be avoided when writing a cover letter include;
- Using unprofessional-looking email addresses
- Reiterating the entire resume
- Failure to include pertinent facts and statistics that can underscore the potential employee’s suitability for the job at hand