How to avoid application letter mistakes

There is a lot of competition in the labor market, especially when it comes to a popular vacancy. As an applicant you want to present yourself as well as possible. An application letter is a first introduction to your potential new employer. Applicants often underestimate the power of a cover letter. If you send a sloppy application letter, it might give the impression that you are less motivated. To stand out, you have to write a perfect letter, but how? Which mistakes should always be avoided? In this blog you will read common mistakes that should be avoided when writing an application letter.

Start with an attractive opening

Writing an attractive opening is difficult, many people have difficulty with this. A bad opening can be recognized by a weak introduction that doesn’t attract attention. An example of a weak introduction is "please consider me as the ideal candidate for the position of Professional Tennis Coach". Another example is "Your need for a top-performing Professional Tennis Coach is an excellent match to my three-year history as an Assistant Tennis Professional”. The second example is much more interesting for the employer and arouses more interest than the first example.

Don't use "I" too often

It is not the intention to fully focus on yourself. The focus is based on how you can meet the employer’s needs. By minimizing the word "I" you avoid the impression that you are self-centered. Try to use the word "I" as little as possible at the beginning of a sentence.

Write down specifications

When you are writing a cover letter you ‘sell’ yourself as a candidate to your potential employer. Just like your resume, it must be engaging to read, the most important qualities must stand out. A good tip is therefore to emphasize and specify your top performances. As an example:

Specification: Experience in coaching

Offer: Three years of experience in coaching tennis at the NCAA Division 1 level and previous Assistant coaching experience.

Specification: Excellent communication skills

Offer: Four years of experience in training children & youth and organizing events.

Don't make it too long

It is not the intention to pass all your information on to the employer. Write down all your important points and make the letter as interesting as possible. An interesting cover letter is short, powerful and convincing but respects the readers time. Additional information can always be explained in a follow-up interview.

Don't tell your resume!

Your cover letter does not consist of your CV. Your application letter must support your CV. It is not the intention to recite all your strengths from your resume. For example, you can use your cover letter to tell a short story such as: "my best experience" or "my best performance"

Don't be vague

If you respond to an advertised vacancy instead of a cold cover letter, please refer to the specific job title. The person handling your letter has more on its minds. So it is important to state which job title you are applying for and how you can meet the employer's needs.

Don't forget to customize

If you apply for multiple positions, you can often use look a like application letters. Normally, this is not a problem as long as you adjust the data. Are they asking for different specifications? Adjust your examples. Errors in contact information or recipients are fatal.

End with an active tone

Try to take matters into your own hands. Instead of waiting, you can choose to become active. Instead of waiting for the employer to contact you, try a statement like this: I will follow up with you in a few days to answer any preliminary questions you may have. In the meantime, you may reach me at ..

Close well

Before sending the letter, it is always important to check for spelling and grammar errors. Finally, try to thank you reader at all times for his or her time and attention, this is appreciated.

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