Cover letter: 5 mistakes not to make

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Posted on August 20, 2015 at 12:48 PMUpdated Sep 30, 2015, 10:06 a.m.

Here are a TOP 5 mistakes to avoid when writing your own.

1. Spelling mistakes

This is undoubtedly the fatal mistake, especially if you are applying for a position of responsibility. On the second or third mistake, the recruiter will stop reading your cover letter. So remember to reread yourself several times conscientiously and show your letter to those around you. Also, don't forget to use the polite phrases and other basic elements that should be found in any cover letter.

2. Confuse CV and cover letter

Although it may seem obvious, a cover letter is not a CV. However, the repetition of elements in the two documents is not uncommon. You don't have a lot of space (one page for the CV, one page for the cover letter) to convince a recruiter. Also it should be used wisely. So differentiate your cover letter from your CV. For example, do not list in your letter all the positions you have previously held as in a CV, but rather recount in a few details a recent professional experience which has given you skills and an experience that you will be able to put at the service of your potential future employer.

3. Be a navelist

Keep in mind that while the recipient of the letter is obviously to have some insight into your interest in the job, what interests them above all is knowing what you can do for their business. Avoid lying to embellish your profile or get lost in giving unnecessary information about yourself to the recruiter who might interpret this as bragging, or even as a sign of an oversized ego, often incompatible with teamwork.

4. A letter that is too long

The cover letter should fit on one page. No more no less. Recruiters are likely to eliminate letters that are too long, or even too short, that do not respect this principle. It's up to you to be concise and convincing to convey the message that you are the best candidate. Also remember that a neat layout and a text made up of short sentences make reading pleasant, a good point when you know the large number of applications received each day by a recruitment officer.

5. Do not adapt your letter to the position to be filled

Each cover letter is unique. The one you sent the previous week for a journalist position in an online sports news media may not be the same one you need to send today for the print version of a headline in the daily press. national. While it is however every time a letter concerning a job offer for a journalist, its content must be very different:

  • In the choice of the points that you will put forward (experiences, skills, qualities).
  • Regarding the question of motivation:it's up to you to talk about elements and issues in line with the company and the targeted function.
  • Be careful to update the date, as well as the name of the person and the company!

Finally, avoid taking too much inspiration from cover letter templates found on the Internet. A recruiter recognizes them from afar, and they will make you look like someone lazy and unoriginal. Conversely, writing a cover letter in a personal way is powerful to show your motivation to join a company.


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