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What you should not include in your cover letter

Other than your interview, a cover letter is one of the most crucial parts of an application process. When well written a cover letter could be a powerful tool you can use to your advantage. Your cover letter could be the key to an invitation for interview. This is why you should make the most out of it. Let it contain the important details in an articulately though out manner leaving out the unnecessary details. The content of your cover letter will directly affect the recruiter’s impression of you. You could either be making a strong impression, a bad impression, or a not-worth-the-while impression.

To make a strong impression the following should not be found in your cover letter;

Lengthy paragraphs; the length of a paragraph does not necessarily depict the strength of the message it contains. Keep your paragraphs and the cover letter as a whole, as concise and straight to the point as possible.

Spelling errors; spelling errors have a way of telling on you. They show your lack of attention to detail. Go through your cover letter as many times as you can and correct any errors.

Lies or overstatement of the truth; recruiters have a way of knowing these things. It’s not nice when your cover letter says one thing and your resume or CV says a different thing. Stick to the truth and avoid over flattering yourself or accomplishments

Irrelevant information; don’t bother telling stories on your cover letter. Leave that for when you’re called in for an interview. For now stick to information that is directly related to the position you’re applying for.

Irrelevant skills; be certain that the skills (either soft skills or hard skills) that you include in your cover letter matches closely to the one required for the position.

Wrong address format; take care not to make mistakes while addressing your cover letter. Don’t use cold greetings like ‘to whom it may concern’. Also try not to make any misspellings in the name of the company.

Salary expectations; refrain from making comments about your salary expectations. Don’t write about what you hope to be paid. Salary should not come up until you receive an actual job offer.

Personal details; most are tempted to relate personal stories that make them viable for the job. This only shows how desperate you are and desperation does not sell in the career world.

Reference to past job; do not make mention of your past job or past employee especially if it’s in a bad light. Don’t try to explain why you left your last job either

Negotiation; a cover letter is not a forum for negotiations of any kind. Writing about what you want or what you don’t want is completely off the table. Negotiations just like salary are better left for when you have a job offer

Go through your cover letter once more and check for any of these ten things. If you do find any, then you should consider rewriting it.

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