Applying for a job is actually selling yourself for that particular position. There would be many other candidates who would try to grab that particular opportunity, but you need to distinguish yourself from the others in a way that the employer feels that you are the best candidate for the said position. For this, it is important for the applicant to write a resume cover letter, and send it along with the resume.

The resume gives the employer the details of the applicant’s academics and work experience. However, the employer, if reads the complete resume, he/she would need at least 10 minutes to know everything about you. On the other hand, if you write a cover letter that summarizes your resume in a way that the employer gets a complete idea of your qualification and expertise in less than 5 minutes, is more impactful, and would lead to a positive decision in your case. The letter is aimed at simplifying the reader’s task, but if not written correctly it would rather weaken your resume as well.

1. Overuse of ‘I’

The cover letter is aimed at presenting your skills and potential and communicating to the employer of how you fit in the organizational needs. Over stressing on ‘I’, would make your letter look like an autobiography. Mention what the employer wants, and then answer how you satisfy the same.

2. Weak Opening:

Beginning a cover letter is a task of responsibility. The beginning of the letter creates your first impression. This should thus be very impressive, and to the point. For example:

  1. Please consider my application for the post of Sales Team Lead – this is a very weak beginning. It does not differentiate you.
  2. The advertisement read that you need a Talented and Target Oriented Sales Team Lead, and I believe that I match this requirement – this is a better beginning as it says how you meet the organizational needs.

More on your opening at How To Start Your Cover Letter with a Bang!

3. Do not fail to highlight your USP:

USP – Unique Selling Proposition is all that your cover letter is about. It must strongly present yourself, and present your key skills that distinguish yourself. Never fail to highlight these points. In absence of this, your letter is like any other normal application letter. Write these USP’s in sync with the employer’s requirement stated in the advertisement, to make your letter more powerful.

4. Long letters:

Long letters are the biggest disaster. A cover letter is aimed to save the employer’s time, and put forth your best in a precise manner. If the applicant writes a long letter that goes on for more than a page, the purpose of the letter is compromised with, and is deviated from its aim.

Further reading at 5 Rules To Keep Your Cover Letter Simple and Effective.

5. Repeating your resume:

While applying for the job and writing this letter, you are writing about yourself. You do not need to copy anything from the resume. You must know what you possess, and present it in a way that puts forth the best of you. If you start copying everything from your resume, it might create a bad impression on the employer and make your letter very boring. The letter should interest the employer to read your resume, and if it has exactly the same information as in your resume, it becomes monotonous.

These are some basic cover letter disasters that should be avoided. These mistakes fail to create the impression you wanted to, via your cover letter.

Being a professional Resume writer and an advisor on how to make the job applications more impactful, Arion Barry has developed unique expertise in writing of cover letter for resumes. This is an integral part of resume writing as it makes the resume more powerful. Follow Arion on Twitter @arionbarry.

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