9 things never to include in your cover letter

A cover letter should be a polished professional introduction. It’s worth investing some time and effort into making it really shine. To ensure you’re given an honest chance at a job, make sure that you know what not to put on a cover letter.


1. Too much information

Keep your cover letter concise and to the point. This is not your opportunity to ramble about how great you or the companies you work for are. Carefully construct each sentence to explain the experience you have and how it makes you qualified for the job. If you’re early in your career, keep your cover letter to one page. Employers are looking for something clear and easy to read. Brevity and specificity are key.


2. Misinformation

Be honest and truthful about your work experience. It’s easy to verify work experience and if you get caught in a lie, you’ll permanently damage your professional reputation. It just isn’t worth the risk.


3. Earnings expectations

A cover letter is not a chance to negotiate salary. That shouldn’t happen until you’re offered the job or are much further in hiring talks. Leave out any mention of earnings until later.


what not to put on a cover letter


4. Too many empty adjectives

Keep your language active and specific to what you’ve accomplished. You’re not an awesome, outstanding employee with top-notch skills. You successfully executed an SEO marketing campaign that increased revenue at your company.


5. Desperate language

Explaining just how much you really want or need this job isn’t going to communicate to a hiring manager what they want to hear. If you sound too desperate or over-eager in your cover letter you also might be sacrificing leverage to negotiate salary.


6. Excuses or explanations

If you have a gap in your resume, you can address that in the interview if you’re asked about it. Use your cover letter to show why you’re qualified for the job instead of giving excuses why you’re not this or that.


what not to put on a cover letter


7. Opinions about the job or company

This isn’t your opportunity to wax poetic about all the things you love about this job opportunity – or a place where you should bring up your hesitations. A cover letter is merely the chance to elaborate on your resume and work experience. Each sentence should get your reader closer to believing you’re the right person for the job.


8. Spelling and grammar errors

Read over your completed cover letter at least three times before you send it off. If you accidentally include any spelling or grammar errors, it will automatically raise a red flag for the hiring manager. If you’re careless enough to send in an error-filled cover letter, maybe you’re not the best person for the job.


9. The wrong contact information

Address your letter to the right person. If it’s not obvious in the job description or application, call and ask who you should be writing the cover letter to. Avoid “to whom it may concern” if at all possible.



Now that you know what not to put on a cover letter, learn more about how you can boost your career abroad with an international internship.


Sources: https://www.thebalance.com/things-not-to-include-in-cover-letter-2060284




1. Based on Business woman working on laptop in her office, by https://perzonseo.com, CC-by-2.0

2. Based on Typewriter, by Nathan Oakley, CC-by-2.0

3. Based on Sample cover letter, by GovWin a Deltek Network, CC-by-ND 2.0


The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

To learn how to apply to our internship programs, click here.


Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
Subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Comment