When applying for a job, a cover letter shows that you are interested and care about the job.
It also serves to introduce you to the employer and explain why you are sending your resume.
Some people argue that employers receive too many resumes, and a cover letter is not necessary because no one will read it.
But there are other employers who love to read a cover letter. In fact, when your resume does not have one, some employers automatically disqualify you.
When job hunting, you do not know if the company you apply to will read your cover letter or not, so it’s simply good practice to write one.
There are some errors that are quite common in writing cover letters.
In this article, I want to discuss six cover letter errors that you can avoid.
- Sounding Desperate
It can be easy to sound desperate in your cover letter. For example: “I have been out of a job for three years; I lost my house and moved my wife and three sons to my sister’s house, so I need this job to sort out my life.”
This may cause some sympathy in the person reading your cover letter, but they will lose confidence in you and think you have too many problems to do a decent job.
- Being Arrogant
Nurses are normally advised not to be too modest with their achievements, but you don’t want to come across as arrogant.
This may be statements like, “I have won the nurse of the year award for three years in a row, and even though my colleagues tried to win the award, they were not even close. I was just too competent and knowledgeable to beat.”
Arrogance will put off your prospective employer.
- Making demanding statements
You definitely want to sound confident as you write, but please avoid making demanding statements like, “You simply must give me this job; otherwise, you will have missed your opportunity to employ an excellent nurse.”
Remember, they don’t have to employ you, so avoid making demanding statements.
- Not proofreading
Make sure you avoid spelling mistakes. Nowadays, we have spell check, so there is no excuse for spelling mistakes.
You can also let someone else read your cover letter and look for possible grammatical errors. Along with poor spelling, you need to proofread your cover letter to avoid language that sounds awkward.
An example of awkward language is: “I will make a good wound nurse because I used to wash fishes when they were fresh, so I can wash patients’ wounds to be clean.”
Using awkward language will only confuse the reader. This is particularly true if English is not your first language; your countrymen will understand what you mean, but not your prospective employer.
- Making the letter too long
Your cover letter should not be too long. Half a page or about 200 words tends to be the preferred length. If your cover letter is one or two pages long and your resume another two pages, then that is too long for most employers to read.
- Forgetting the Resume
Believe it or not, some people focus so much on the cover letter that they forget to send the resume. Nurses are no exception.
Remember, the cover letter is supposed to accompany the resume, so please post or fax it as well.
Share with us some errors you may have made when writing a cover letter, I’d love to read from you.
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