You spent hours and days checking different cover letter templates and reading samples. The writing part was not easy, but you managed to deal with it. Now, you’re left with only one thing to do: send the application. Is that really the case?
Before you make that final step, it’s important to double-check a few things to make sure your cover letter is perfect. Job hunters are often in a hurry to meet application deadlines. Sometimes there’s more than enough time for applying, but they are simply negligent.
After all that effort, the last thing you want is to send a flawed cover letter. We’ll list 5 things you must check in the cover letter before submitting it to a potential employer.
At high school, college and university, 500 words is considered the bare minimum for essays. Other projects, such as term papers and research papers, are much longer.
It seems like we translate this “minimum” to everything else we write. When people start blogging, they try to meet that self-imposed requirement. The same thing happens with cover letters. The only problem is: 500 words is too much for a cover letter. Hiring managers don’t have time or nerves to read application documents that look like essays.
The cover letter should never be longer than a single page. Although employers don’t mention a specific word count in the requirements, the unwritten rule is to aim for 250-300 words. For the sake of readability, you should divide the content into 3-4 short paragraphs.
If your cover letter is longer than that, you should try to make it shorter and sweeter before sending the application.
Are you addressing this application to the right person? When you read cover letter samples, you noticed they all started with a salutation to the hiring manager.
That’s important because it makes your application focused and relevant. The person who reads it knows it’s addressed directly to them. In addition, this small detail shows you made an effort to find out more about the company before applying for the job. You’re not sending a generic cover letter you used countless times before.
If you already used the hiring manager’s name in the cover letter, double-check the spelling and the title. If you’re not sure whether it’s a Ms. or Mrs. you’re addressing, do your best to find out. The company’s name is just as important! You include it in the section where you address the letter to the HR department, and you probably mention it along the text. You better check you spelled it correctly.
A single letter in the email address makes a difference. It would be devastating for you to send a great application that gets the interest of the hiring manager, but to get the phone number or email address wrong.
These things come naturally to you. You’ve written and told your contact details to many people before. That’s why it’s common for job applicants to skip double-checking that section of the cover letter. Mistakes are not impossible, though. Make sure you got your address, phone number, email and all other contact information right.
Many job applicants make the mistake of making their cover letters overly formal. “I am writing this cover letter with the purpose to convey my interest in the open position at your establishment.” Just, don’t! Yes, you’re addressing an authority. Yes, you should show respect in the cover letter. But no, you shouldn’t write in a completely unnatural way.
You don’t want the hiring manager to see you as a flattery, robotic person. You want them to see you as a sincere and approachable candidate who would fit into the organizational culture. You want to make them want to work with you.
If you notice you used an overly formal tone in your cover letter, you should make some changes before sending that application.
A single its instead of it’s makes a huge difference. In the era of communication, we’re used to typing with the speed of light. Unfortunately, that means we’re making more spelling and grammar mistakes than ever. The autocorrect function is cool, but it can trick you in ways you don’t even imagine.
Your word processor contains a grammar and spelling check function, but you shouldn’t fully rely on it. Make sure to read the cover letter, word by word, and fix the mistakes you notice. Don’t stop there! We’re talking about double-checking, remember? Use one or more of the following tools to make sure you’ll get it perfect: