10 Cover Letter Mistakes To Avoid In 2023

The job market will keep getting competitive as the world will always keep adapting to new norms and changing technologies. That’s why when it comes to job applications, the cover letter is usually the first point of contact with potential employers.

But, how do you know which words to avoid in cover letter so you don’t fall prey to the biggest cover letter mistakes? Keep reading to find out shortly.
Why are cover letters important? A well-crafted cover letter can put you ahead of other applicants and exhibit your skills and experience to your greater advantage. For a start, if you do not know how to begin a cover letter, you can check out our comprehensive guide here on How to begin a Cover letter.

The timeless truth is that, even the most qualified candidates can make common mistakes in their cover letters, the kind of mistakes that can cost them their dream job.
In this article, we will discuss the top 10 cover letter mistakes to avoid in 2023 with the hope that it will help you increase your chances of landing your dream job.

A job seeker seated at a table, writing a cover letter.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or an Amateur, these tips will definitely assist you in creating a compelling cover letter, the kind of one that will make a strong impression on employers. Let’s dive in!

What is a Cover Letter?

Cover letter this, cover letter that, what really is a cover letter? It’s simply this; a one-page document that accompanies a resume or a job application. Like earlier stated, it’s usually the first point of contact between an applicant and a potential employer.

That said, what is the purpose of a cover letter?

First and foremost, the essence of a cover letter is to introduce yourself, exhibit your relevant skills and experiences, and explain why you should be given the job you’re applying for.

A well-drafted cover letter can keep you ahead of other candidates and increase your chances of being called for an interview. It’s important to get your cover letter customized for each job application. Not just that, you should also ensure to follow any specific instruction the employer has provided.

Biggest Cover Letter Mistakes To Avoid

We have highlighted below, 10 cover letter mistakes to avoid in 2023. These are the biggest cover letter mistakes to avoid when drafting your cover letter in order to stay ahead of the competition:

1. Not Customizing the Cover Letter

Using a generic cover letter for every job application is one of the most common mistakes people make. Each position is unique, and your cover letter should reflect that. Include relevant skills and experiences in your cover letter to tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for.

2. Using A One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Similar to not customizing your cover letter, using the same language and tone for every job application can make your letter seem impersonal. Take the time to research the company and position, and use language that matches their tone and culture.

3. Focusing Too Much on Yourself

It’s okay to get your skills and experience highlighted but your cover letter should also explain how you can benefit the company, it shouldn’t be just about you. Instead of focusing solely on yourself, emphasize how you can assist the company in meeting its objectives.

4. Being Too Formal

While professionalism is important, using highly formal language can make your cover letter appear stiff and impersonal. Instead, try to create a balance between formal and informal language.

5. Not Using Cover Letter Keywords

Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes and cover letters for specific keywords. To increase your chances of passing the initial screening process, use relevant keywords from the job description.

Many companies now use software to scan and shorten resumes, cover letters, and job applications before they get to a hiring manager. It is possible that an HR manager will not even read your application if you do not include enough keywords from the job description.

The key is to read the job description and determine the type of candidate the company is looking for. Then, create a cover letter that highlights specific experiences from your professional career to demonstrate why you are the best candidate for this position.

6. Including Irrelevant Information

Only include relevant information in your cover letter to keep it focused and concise. Instead of listing every job you’ve ever had, highlight your most relevant experiences.

7. Being Too Casual

While it is critical to avoid being overly formal, being overly casual can also hurt your chances; avoid using slang or overly informal language. The major thing is to strike a balance between being too causal and being too formal.

8. Not Proofreading

Spelling and grammar mistakes can make you appear unprofessional and careless. Before submitting your cover letter, ensure to proofread it several times.

9. Being Too Lengthy

Your cover letter should be no more than one page long. Hiring managers do not have time to read long letters, and you risk losing their interest.

10. Not Following Instructions

Make sure to follow any instructions given by the company. If they request a specific format or additional documents, make certain to include them.

A cover letter is an important part of any job application. By avoiding these common blunders, you can write an effective cover letter that highlights your skills and experience while also demonstrating how you can benefit the company.

By putting in the effort to customize your letter and follow instructions, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job in 2023.

Do I Need To Sign a Cover Letter Submitted Electronically?

A job seeker drafting a cover letter

The big answer is No. A cover letter submitted electronically does not require physical signature. Previously, it was common practice to print out a cover letter, sign it, and then scan it to attach to an electronic application.

However, with the growing popularity of electronic job applications, it is now acceptable to submit cover letters and other documents electronically without putting a physical signature.

Instead, a professional closing, such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely” followed by your typed name, can be included in your cover letter. Some employers may also require an electronic signature to confirm your agreement to their terms and conditions.

When submitting your application, make sure to follow the specific instructions provided by the employer. If you’re unsure whether a physical signature is required, you can always check the job posting or contact the employer for clarification.