Most of us in college are clueless about the importance of sending a cover letter while applying for a job. We often ask our seniors and professors for advice on whether it’s important to send one, or what to mention in a cover letter that’s different from a CV.
In our opinion, it’s always a good practice to send a cover letter. One, it shows you are professional and are taking efforts to apply for the role versus a candidate who submits his/her CV. Two, it allows you to directly answer essential questions such as why you are a good fit for the role and how relevant your experience is. This might not always be explicit to a recruiting manager from your CV, so a cover letter helps to highlight it.
Flipside, a poorly written Cover Letter can reduce your chances of getting an interview call. Here are four mistakes to avoid making while sending a cover letter:
- Spellings and grammar: Avoid making grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in your cover letter. Not only does it take away the focus from your experience and skills, but also shows that you are careless or have poor communication skills.
Success tip: Don’t be lazy or in a hurry to send your cover letter. Always proofread it. There are plenty of Grammar apps that you can use to do so. If you still want to double check, ask a senior or a mentor to proofread it for you.
- Boasting about yourself: Refrain from boasting or rambling about yourself in your cover letter. Your cover letter needs to be concise and relevant; not a thesis about everything you did in school or college! Stick to what’s appropriate and important for the role and trim the rest.
Success tip: Use a storytelling format to show how you are a good fit for the role. Talk about your course, your internships and projects, and the skills you developed that make you a good fit for the position. Also, mention, any relevant achievements such as competitions won that demonstrate that they should hire you. Refer to Aon CoCubes’ Cover Letter Builder Template to help you design a compelling and relevant cover letter.
- Having an informal or monotonous tone: Most first-time job seekers tend to write cover letters in two extremes – either factual and boring or casual. Avoid both. A factual or monotonous one that doesn’t talk about your experiences will make the recruiter lose interest. Similarly, an informal cover letter that has a casual tone (using terms such as “cool,” “crazy,” “awesome,” etc.) will make you seem unprofessional or laid-back.
Success tip: Balance between the two styles. A good cover letter mentions facts and achievements (“I did this…” statements) and experiences (“I learned or I felt this…” statements). Keep the tone conversational and engaging. A good rule of thumb to follow is to mention what you did- what you learned – how can you apply that to the current role.
- Not mentioning a call-to-action: One of the silliest mistakes you can make while sending a cover letter is forgetting to mention why you are writing to them. It doesn’t matter how good your experience and achievements are. If you don’t mention that you are interested in interviewing/applying for a role, recruiters are highly likely to miss calling you back.
Success tip: Always end your cover letter with a call-to-action statement. Highlight how you are eager to work with them and interested in applying/interviewing for your desired role. Be careful not to seem pushy or desperate.
Follow our success tips to draft a cover letter that grabs the recruiter’s attention and increases your chance of getting an interview call. Click here to download our Cover Letter Builder Template to gain insights on how to structure your cover letter before sending it.