A cover letter is one of the most effective ways to make a job application stand out, but it's also the part of the application that job seekers often ignore the most.

I will address the top five mistakes that I commonly see in cover letters. Take care to avoid these pitfalls in your cover letter, and you will be well on your way to an effective cover letter.

you need to make the hiring manager want to read more. That's why it's imperative to avoid application-killing mistakes such as the ones listed below:

Mistake 1: your cover letter is no more than a job diary:

Certainly, it is necessary to let the employer know about your previous jobs. But instead of only listing your responsibilities, why don’t you demonstrate your outstanding achievements with specific figures. For example, you can say you increased the sales by 10%, and this surely is more impressive than when you say that you once led a sales force.

Mistake 2: use pronouns:

Your cover letter is not a letter; therefore, you should not use first-person pronouns such as “i” or “mine” or “my”. Let them be in your cover letter.

Mistake 3: bring in the cover letter personal and irrelevant information

You don’t have much space in your cover letter; therefore, don’t waste those precious on personal or irrelevant information to the recruitment.

Mistake 4: use passive voice:

Your cover letter must contain strong and clear verbs and the most effective method is to use verbs describing your achievements. Such verbs as “coordinate”, “achieve”, “manage” or “implement” will make your cover letter more interesting.

Mistake 5: word repeat:

Though the use of verbs is very important, don’t forget to use various verbs. Don’t focus on using some certain verbs throughout your cover letter. Try to find a replacement with similar meaning and use different expression styles for one same opinion.

Mistake 6: Attaching the cover letter to the e-mail.

What’s wrong with that, you ask? Most hiring managers aren’t going to open the cover letter and read it. They’ll go straight to the resume instead. Want to ensure your cover letter gets read? Copy and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Whoever received the e-mail will be much more likely to read it if it’s already right there in front of their face.

Mistake 7: foul or too-much-boastful presentation:

Although the content is the most important part in a cover letter, the presentation is also important. Using uniform formats such as same font, size or heading. You shouldn’t use too stylish or creative fonts other than traditional ones or graphics unless creativity is one requirement of the job. Make your cover letter clear, simple and professional.

Mistake 8: sending a cover letter without a cover letter:

One of the worst things is that you send a very beautiful cover letter but without your cover letter attached. Your cover letter and cover letter are integral parts. A cover letter is also a sensitive tool for you to advertise about your skills and experience.

Mistake 9: sending a general content cover letter:

Though your working experience may be not changed, your cover letter content must be modified in accordance with the recruiting job. For example, if you are seeking a job as salesman, your cover letter must contain different information from when you are seeking a job as a manager. Write you cover letter oriented to the job you are seeking and help the reader easily realize why you are a suitable candidate.

Mistake 10: typing, spelling or grammatical mistakes:

Before sending your cover letter, remember to read it again and check thoroughly for any such mistake. Many employers will not hesitate to let pass unnoticed those cover letters with such mistakes.

Mistake 11: sending a cover letter to a person with no name:

You surely don’t want your cover letter to be let pass unnoticed; so, avoid sending to a “personnel manager” or “relevant staff”. Take some time to find out about who the employer is.

Mistake 11: Use a template

NO! Your identity packet is your main marketing piece for potential employers. Don't flub this step by simply scratching out a Word .doc Template.

Mistake 12: Making It Too Long

If your cover letter exceeds one page, you may be putting readers to sleep. A great cover letter is concise but compelling, and respects the reader's time.

Mistake 13: Forgetting to Sign the Letter

It is proper business etiquette (and shows attention to detail) to sign your letter. However, if you are sending an email cover letter and resume, a signature isn't necessary.

Mistake 14: Writing your whole life story in the body of the e-mail.

Don’t go overboard with details; keep it short. The hiring manager won’t be willing to invest a lot of time reading your e-mail. Keep it short and to the point.

Now that you know the mistakes that can ruin the overall effect of your cover letter, you can be ready to write one that immediately sets you apart from other applicants and increase your chances of getting the job. Just try to talk to the point, as stuffing with unnecessary details will only lessen its impact.

Look out for these mistakes, and you should have no problem in sending out an effective cover letter!

Cover Letter Samples

A range of cover letter templates have been provided for you. Take a look and feel free to use liberally from format selections. To obtain them simply click on the link.

Free relieving letter format

From Vietnam, Hai Duong
Dear Mobi900,

Totally irrelevant and time wasting article. The attachment is also irrelevant (shows as "free relieving letter format" - whereas the subject says "covering letter format" but no format is available) and purely a replica of what the article says. Whenever such articles are displayed, its contents should be very clear, educative but not mis-leading.

The recruiting manager will not have that much time to go through such covering letter. Instead, he will try to mainly gather information about 3 things, i.e. (a) the relevant qualification (academic & professional degree, status of institute, regular course, percentage achieved etc), (b) relevant experience (organization worked with, positions handled, job profile & duration) and (c) skills and its level. All other information are secondary as if the above 3 things are found matching with the Job Profile of the position, the CV will be kept for further scrutiny. Therefore, it is important for the candidate to note that the front page of the CV should first cover the above 3 to get short listed instantly.


From India, Jaipur

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