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.
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.
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.
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.