The cover letter that you include with your resume when applying for jobs is the first impression that you make on the recruiter. Many factors influence how much of an impact the cover letter makes on the reader and if it’ll cause you to stand out. When drafting the document, there are many common mistakes to avoid making to ensure that it improves your chances of landing an interview.

Using a Boring Opening

When writing your cover letter, keep in mind that the employer will be skimming the document due to the number of applications that they have to go through. Your opening paragraph is the most important part of the content and will determine if the individual continues to read the rest of the document. Start with a bang by discussing your most impressive qualifications instead of talking about how you found their job posting on a website.

Making it Generic

It’s important to remember that hiring managers constantly read cover letters when hiring for a specific position, which can make them all read the same. If you want to avoid getting lost in the shuffle, you’ll need to be creative with your approach to writing the document. Include relevant information and maintain your professionalism with subtle attention-grabbers that make you stand out.

Talking Too Much About Yourself

One of the most common mistakes that many people make with their cover letter is talking too much about themselves. If you’re overly self-focused, it can cause the employer to be turned off. Focus instead on how your skills and experience can be a benefit to the employer to show that you can be an asset to the company. Consider including a few ways that you believe you can make a difference, and share why you believe in the purpose or mission statement of the company to prove that you’re a good fit.

Telling Instead of Showing

Telling instead of showing can make it difficult to get your points across when trying to prove that you’re qualified for the job. Instead of saying that you’re motivated or driven, discuss some of your accomplishments or awards that you’ve received. Using concrete examples will speak volumes without having to brag about who you are as a professional.