It’s true you cannot judge a book by its cover – but this saying will definitely be ignored by your employer, as it does not apply when it comes to your cover letter. Since your portfolio includes mostly only standard documents, designed to highlight your skills and qualifications, the cover letter remains the only opportunity to personalize it and show your personality in a creative, yet professional manner.
While a cover letter does not have to be as rigid as your curriculum vitae, it still should not be informal and too personal. Playing it safe is not always the best solution, even if it is more comfortable. So, let’s take a look at 5 clichés you should cut from your cover letter right now.
Addressing the cover letter with “To whom it may concern”
One of the clichés that might function as a drawback for your employer is addressing the letter to an impersonal opener. Instead, you can do a little research on who is going to interview you and add at least the position of the person who will check your letter, if not the actual name.
Beginning the letter with “I’m writing to apply for…”
Apart from the fact that it is absolutely obvious that the purpose of your letter is to apply for a job, it is also a bit dull and it really makes the reader skip the whole beginning, as it seems unimportant.
What you can do instead is write about the way in which you found out about the job, maybe speak about interesting circumstances that led to you finding of it. This way, you personalize your story and engage the reader in it.
Use too much information about the company
The cover letter is supposed to speak about you and not about the employer’s company. Not only does he/she know everything about it, but it might show that you are trying too hard to demonstrate you want to work there and nobody likes a desperate employee.
Try to speak more about yourself, your abilities and your willingness to work for them rather than just state facts about their own company.
Trying too much to convince the reader that you want the job
Phrases such as “This job is a wish come true” or “This is the job of my dreams” are not definitely desirable in a cover letter. Even if you wish your employer to know you are motivated and willing to work hard in order to do what you love – he/she does not need you to express your feelings so personally.
Try keeping a formal tone and express your desires as neutral as possible. Also, you could simply emphasize the fact that this specific job fulfills you and it is what you have prepared and studied for.
Stating facts such as “I’m the perfect fit” without explaining why
You might think and write that you would be a great acquisition for their company, but instead of just saying it through the letter, you might want to make them realize that. How can you do that?
Just mention your former experience, your studies, your qualifications and they will for sure be more convinced to hire you. Using superlatives about yourself might make you look arrogant, narcissist and too self-centered. You definitely don’t need that.
Now that you’ve found out about the most common clichés you need to cut from your cover letter, you can edit it and personalize it in such a way that success will be guaranteed. Focus on facts rather than empty words, keep a professional tone and do not forget to make it enjoyable and interesting – as it says more about you than you might think.