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Avoid These 6 Cover Letter Mistakes


2/3/2014 3:25:17 PM

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Avoid These 6 Cover Letter Mistakes Febuary 6, 2014

6 Things You Should Never Say In Your Cover Letter

By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer

All this advice on the web about what your cover letter should say, how to write one, and what to include...but do you ever wonder what should never go in your cover letter? Below, I’ll shed some light on five things better left unsaid:

1. Please accept this resume in response to...

This worn out old opening line is better left to the cover letter templates you find on the Internet. Instead, open with something more original.

2. I really need this job...

Don’t sound desperate. Desperation is not attractive in dating or job hunting.


3. Personal life stories.

Be personable, make a connection, but don’t give them your whole life story. It can be tempting to go into a long, drawn out “this is why...” scenario—but save it. The employer is only interested in hearing why you’re the ideal fit for the job.

4. Salary expectations.

Unless specifically requested by the employer, save this for the interview or the negotiation phase once the employer has made an offer. Additionally, don’t discuss your desire for fewer hours, more time off, more time with family, etc. While they may all be valid reasons for why you’re searching for employment, the cover letter isn’t the right time or place to mention them.

5. Why you’re looking to leave your current employer.

Employers are searching for candidates that offer stability and longevity. Sharing up front in your cover letter why you’re hoping to make a change isn’t always the best strategy. There’s a time and a place to discuss this with the employer, but the cover letter isn’t it.

6. And one extra tip...leave out anything NEGATIVE.

Don’t over share details of your personal life or career history that might be misconstrued negatively by a potential employer, and never speak badly about a past employer. Believe the best and speak the best of everyone; it makes you look good. No company wants to hire someone that’s bad mouthing a former employer—because they know, should they hire you and the relationship doesn’t work out, they’ll be bad mouthed next.

So there you have it—my top six tips on what you should never say in your cover letter. If you have a tip you’d like to share regarding what you should never say in a cover letter, I’d love to hear it! Share!

About the Author

Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.

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