5 Cover Letter Writing Mistakes That Turn Recruiters Off
Recent studies have shown that job recruiters, interviewers, and employers have very similar pet peeves about cover letter writing, and there are certain things that may alienate you and ruin your chances of getting an interview—or even getting someone to look at your resume for that matter.
As you could imagine, it’s probably a good idea to keep these peeves in mind when fleshing out your cover letter writing.
Here are 5 cover letter writing mistakes that drive recruiters crazy.
1. Letters Longer than 1 Page
Not only does is this a waste of a recruiter’s time, but it also might come across as a show of arrogance or maybe even an attempt to overcompensate. Who are you to think you are entitled to send in a 2 page letter when everyone else just sent in the one? Keep it short and to the point. Some employers might throw out your cover letter simply for the reason that you didn’t have the discipline and common sense to keep it shorter.
2. Wordy Letters
By this, I mean letters jam-packed with words and little space. This can be a chore to read and looks disorganized and sloppy. It comes across as unprofessional and cluttered. The easier you make a cover letter to read, the more of a chance they will pick up what you’re putting down.
3. Cookie-Cutter Letters
It can also irritate the hell out of someone who is staring at cover letters all day to see the same basic templates coming across their desk. In some cases, this is an obvious case of everyone downloading the same lame resumes from the Internet and editing them. In other cases, it’s just a lack of originality.
4. Letters Without a Resume
Some cover letter writing “experts” actually recommend sending the cover letter in all by itself. The supposed logic is that it acts as only as a “Teaser.” A teaser? Give me a break; you’re not trying to get into someone’s pants at the bar—employers don’t have time for games.
This is all business, and if you think they are going to go out of their way to contact you to get the rest of what is typically expected, you can pretty much expect not to get a phone call. Don’t be a tease—aim to please.
5. “Cute” Letters
While original can be nice, trying to be funny or cute can alienate a lot of employers, especially the ultra conservative “old school” types you find in some industries. So save the lovey dovey talk for your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Some people just don’t want “fresh” and funny cover letters, so unless you have some kind of inside scoop or they gave the go ahead for outrageous originality, use your accomplishments to stand out instead of throwing your funny bone out on the table.
There you have it—5 little screw-ups you want to avoid like broken condoms. The aim of cover letter writing is to state your case and ask for an interview—not annoy the hell out of them and have them slamming the door before you even reach for the knob.