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Things NOT to include in your cover letter

Cover letter writing is tough.  It's often the key to getting your foot in the door for an interview! But you have to cram all your skills and qualifications into such a short space... Based on our experience, here are five things we often recommend removing from cover letters.


   1.     Qualifications you lack. In the US and UK, achievement far outweighs humility. Delete anything starting with “Although I do not yet have..." or "While my experience is still limited in..." Highlight what you have, not what you're missing.

   2.     Overly personal information. As much as you love your cat Sprinkles or your hometown baseball team, your future manager doesn’t care. You’re writing a professional profile, not a dating site profile.

   3.     Negative comments about past employers. Never badmouth past companies. Even explanations about why you're looking for a new position should be kept short, if you include them at all. Stay focused on the present and what you'll bring the new company in the near future.

   4.     Vague buzzwords. Word count is precious, and employers have limited time. Stay concrete and specific! Instead of saying you're an "excellent, focused leader", define a challenge your leadership allowed you to overcome. Instead of saying you're "passionate" about "successful results", hit the reader with a compact list of your top three achievements at a particular company. 

   5.     Too much focus on what you want. We strongly advise focusing on what you can bring to the company, not vice versa. Hiring managers are usually different from academic admission boards in this sense. Generally, companies just want to trust that you'll get them great results.


Working on a cover letter now? We'd be happy to share further details on our cover letter re-writing service!