Cover letters - five most commonly made mistakes

Kangan Institute Employment Centre

Cover letters

A carefully written cover letter can be the key to securing a job interview. Here are some handy tips on how to avoid the most common mistakes that people make with this important part of applying for a job.

1.  Not bothering with a cover letter
Some people don’t see the value of cover letters but they can be the thing that helps you stand out in a sea of applicants who simply submit a resume in response to an ad. Take the opportunity to explain why you would be an ideal applicant for the role. A cover letter is a great way to explain why you have a strong interest in applying for the role.

2.  Using the same cover letter for every job application
You need to customise your cover letter to the job for which you are applying. Employers and recruiters can often tell if you have just used a template cover letter. You need to research the job and the company and tailor your letter to the role.

3.  Repeating information from your resume
Your resume is an outline of your skills, experience, employment background and education. The cover letter should highlight to a prospective employer why you want this specific role and how your skills are relevant to the role and organisation.

4.  Not using a letter format
Make sure your cover letter is exactly that – a letter. A note that simply states you are applying for the job and your resume is attached is NOT a cover letter. A cover letter should include the reasons you are motivated to apply for the job and what makes you an ideal applicant for the role.

5.  Using inappropriate language or tone Be careful not to use overly familiar or sales type language in your covering letter. Yes, it’s an opportunity to sell yourself but maintain a professional tone that focusses on how you would be an asset to the employer.

For advice on cover letters or anything related to finding employment, make an appointment with the Employment Centre by calling 1300 484 335 or contacting us online.