Published on July 21st, 2012 | by Amy Edwards0
Top 5 mistakes to avoid in your cover letter
By Amy @BubbleJobs
When the time comes to apply for a new job, it can be easy to spend so long ooh-ing and ahh-ing over your newly refined CV that you simply run out of time to put together any kind of cover letter, let alone a cohesive one.
Yep, not attaching a cover letter is a sure-fire way to get black-listed by a company which has specifically asked for one as part of the recruitment process. Why? Because it shows that you can’t follow simple rules and it suggests you really couldn’t be bothered – not the best way to make a good first impression on a potential new employer!
OK, so we know that a cover letter is a must when applying for a new job but where do you start? Well here at Bubble we like to do things a little differently – we know that there’s loads of articles and sites out there which show you (in painstaking detail!) how to go about putting together an A* cover letter so we thought we’d try a different tack.
Let us present to you our list of top 5 mistakes to avoid when putting together a cover letter for a new role, particularly in the digital sector – hopefully you’ll avoid these mistakes like the plague now and forever more when applying for new vacancies.
1. Lack of enthusiasm: Employers and recruiters have to go through shed-loads of cover letters and CVs every time they advertise a vacancy so, just like your CV, it’s important to make your cover letter stand out. Adding a little pizazz and personality to your cover letter can go a long way with a potential employer, particularly if you can match the tone and style of their brand. Unlike your CV which is quite formal, you have the opportunity to show off the real ‘you’ in your cover letter so don’t waste the opportunity! And you can really never to be too enthusiastic! OK, so you can be, but we trust you to strike a balance between ‘bored’ and ‘stalker’!
2. Wrong info: When it comes to a cover letter, there’s nothing worse than addressing it to the wrong person or talking about the wrong company. OK, so if you’re on a major job hunt you might be applying for countless jobs a day but there’s no excuse for using a template cover letter and simply changing a few details here and there – this is where mistakes can happen! Mistakes in your cover letter show you really have no attention to detail and you’re not conscientious – not two traits employers are looking for right now… or ever!
3. Arrogance: OK, so confidence is key when it comes to bagging a new job but there’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence and you need to make sure you don’t overstep the mark. Acceptable: “I’m a highly enthusiastic social media marketer who is highly experienced at delivering effective campaigns”. Not acceptable: “I’m the top social media marketer in the country and every account I touch turns to gold(!)”. Arrogance might get you on the latest series of The Apprentice but it probably won’t get you that new digital job in that niche agency.
4. Too long and rambling: While it’s great to go into detail about the ‘real you’ in your cover letter, it’s important not to get carried away and send in a cover letter that resembles a short story! Two pages is about right for a cover letter (remember, they’ve got to read your CV too!) – any less and you risk not demonstrating your passion or personality, any more and you risk sending your potential employer to sleep! Zzzz….!
5. No personality: While your cover letter shouldn’t read like a bio on a dating site, it should reflect some aspects of your personality. A cover letter which looks and sounds like it’s been written by a robot certainly isn’t going to grab the attention of a direct employer or recruiter, however a letter which is personal, engaging and full of personality will.