5 simple mistakes on cover letter examples

Cover letters are a crucial aspect of job application and your first opportunity to impress an employer. Here we focus on five simple mistakes on cover letter examples.

Not personalising

One of the worst mistakes with cover letters is simply addressing them to ‘Dear Sir or Madam’. This gives the impression you are using a template to churn out copies. Your letter must be focused on the actual position. It’s easy enough to get the names of personnel contacts – if they’re not on the actual advert, a quick, informal phone call to an inquiries desk will provide the information.

Not being punchy enough

Your letter is your chance to really grab an employer’s attention. So rather than beginning along the lines: ‘I’m applying for position X that I saw advertised in Y.com …’, be far more positive: ‘You recently advertised for an experienced professional, which is a perfect match for my five years’ experience …’

Too long or short

Avoid being overly wordy. A cover letter is just that – a concise, snappy couple of paragraphs to introduce yourself and your resume. Conversely, don’t be so abrupt that you fail to get your message across.


Never simply rehash a previous cover letter. Focus on those aspects of your skillset and experience that relate directly to the vacancy. You'll need to customise each letter.

Too informal

This isn’t an email to a mate, it’s for a job. It might be tempting to introduce light-hearted banter and jokes, but the thumb rule is keep it formal.


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