5 Top Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid in Your Job Search

Updated Jan 5, 2023

When it comes to finding your dream job, one of the most important tools you can use is your cover letter. There are many tips and tricks to creating a winning one, but it's just as important to know which mistakes to avoid. Here are 5 top cover letter mistakes to avoid in your job search.

What You Will Learn:

  1. How to customize your cover letter to the job description
  2. How to create a professional tone in your cover letter
  3. Strategies to showcase your unique qualifications
  4. The importance of avoiding fluff in your cover letter
  5. Tips to ensure your cover letter is error-free

Not Customizing Your Cover Letter

When applying for a job, it is important to take the time to customize your cover letter. Your cover letter should be tailored to the specific job and company you are applying to. It should be unique and demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the position. Failing to customize your cover letter indicates to the employer that you are not taking the job seriously and are simply sending out a generic letter.

Failing to Use a Professional Tone

Your cover letter should be written in a professional tone that is appropriate for the industry. It should not sound too casual, or like a text message. Be sure to use correct grammar and spelling, and avoid using any slang or informal language.

Not Showcasing Your Unique Qualifications

Your cover letter should include information about why you are a great candidate for the job. It should highlight your unique qualifications and demonstrate how you are the best fit for the position. Showing that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to complete the job effectively will help you stand out from other applicants.

Using Too Much Fluff

Your cover letter should be concise and to the point. Avoid using too much fluff or overly wordy sentences. Your cover letter should be no more than one page in length, and should focus on the skills and qualifications that make you an excellent candidate for the job.

Not Proofreading Your Cover Letter

Before submitting your cover letter, make sure to proofread it for any errors. Typos [and grammar]( understanding-semicolon/) mistakes can make you appear unprofessional and can even disqualify you from consideration. Take the time to review your cover letter carefully and make any necessary changes to ensure it is error-free.

Following these cover letter tips and tricks will help you create an effective cover letter that will help you stand out from other applicants and increase your chances of getting the job. Below we answer common questions entrepreneurs have about these topics.

1. Not Customizing Your Cover Letter

Why should I take the time to make sure my cover letter is tailored to the job I'm applying for?

The first answer to this question should be "Because you're a person, and people matter." Think of it this way: when you made the decision to write a cover letter, you were thinking of the person on the receiving end of it. You were thinking of their interests, their day, their goals, and their feelings. You were considering whether or not you might be a match for their needs. So, yes, cover letters deserve our time and attention, because we matter.

How can I make sure my cover letter is customized to the job I'm applying for?

A cover letter is an opportunity to sell yourself and your skills in a way that cannot be accomplished in a resume alone. Make sure your cover letter is customized to the job you are applying for. Highlight specific skills, experiences, and abilities that relate to the job description. If you have ever met the person who will be reading your cover letter, mention it! It shows that you have done your homework and taken the time to personalize your application to the job and the company.

2. Failing to Use a Professional Tone

How can I ensure I always use a professional tone in my communications?

When you write, you're trying to create an image in your reader's mind. By using the right words, you can make that image a pleasant one or a scary one, an exciting one or a boring one. So, one important way to write professionally is to choose the right words. Professional writers are more likely to use words that are short, simple, and concrete, rather than long and abstract. They also choose words that are positive and active rather than negative and passive.

What are some examples of a professional tone that I should strive to use?

Always be professional in your tone, even when you are addressing touchy subjects. You want to be respectful and considerate of the other person's feelings. For example, if you are responding to a complaint, don't get defensive. Instead, try to understand where they are coming from and acknowledge their point of view.

3. Not Showcasing Your Unique Qualifications

What unique experiences and skills do you bring to this role?

If you're applying for a writing role, make sure you highlight your writing skills. For example, if you're applying to be a social media manager, highlight your ability to write engaging and creative posts that will get your company a lot of engagement. If you're applying to be a copywriter, highlight your ability to write well-written copy. If you're applying to be a blogger, highlight your ability to grow a blog following. If you're applying to be a content writer, highlight your ability to write high-quality content. And so on. So many people make the mistake of highlighting skills that are irrelevant to the role they're applying for, and highlighting your writing skills will make sure you stand out.

What makes you the best fit for this position?

One of the best ways to answer the question, "What makes you the best fit for this position?" is to list your skill sets and how they align with the role's core duties. By pointing out your specific skills that match up with the job description, you'll be able to show the hiring manager that you are a good fit for the position. Additionally, it's helpful to include a brief explanation of how your skills will benefit the company. By highlighting your skills and how they will help the company succeed, you'll make a strong case for yourself as the best candidate for the job.

4. Using Too Much Fluff

How can using too much fluff in writing be avoided?

Writing too much fluff can be avoided by keeping your sentences short and to the point. Additionally, eliminating unnecessary adverbs and adjectives can help to keep your writing lean and mean.

What are some tips for writing without using too much fluff?

It's easy to go overboard in a sales copy writing effort and fill it with unnecessary filler words. These can detract from the message you're trying to convey and distract the reader from the product you're trying to sell, making it harder to convert. I like to think of my copy as being structured like a pyramid. The most important information is at the top and the less important details are at the bottom, with the fluff filling in the gaps.

5. Not Proofreading Your Cover Letter

How did you ensure that your cover letter was free from spelling and grammar errors?

While editing your cover letter, make sure to have a friend or colleague look over the document as well. This way, you can compare each other's edits and discuss your cover letter before submission. Over-editing can become a distraction, especially if you're a perfectionist, so two sets of eyes will help you ensure your cover letter is free from spelling and grammar errors.

What steps did you take to double-check that your cover letter was error-free?

The best way to double-check that your cover letter is error-free is to get someone else to look at it. Having someone else read your cover letter gives you an objective perspective and enables you to catch any errors that might have been missed.

Key Takeaways

• Customize your cover letter to each job opportunity. • Use a professional and polite tone. • Highlight the unique qualifications that make you the best candidate for the job. • Avoid extraneous language, adjectives, and jargon. • Proofread your cover letter for errors prior to submitting.


In conclusion, it's important to take the time to create a professional and customized cover letter. Your cover letter should showcase your unique qualifications, demonstrate a professional tone, and avoid any unnecessary fluff. Finally, make sure to carefully proofread your letter to ensure it's error-free. Taking the time to do these things will go a long way in helping you to secure the job you want.

Want to generate unlimited academic essays?

  • unlock
    Unlock endless possibilities for your academic writing!
  • tools
    Our tool helps you craft high-quality, original essays in no time. Whether you're tackling complex topics or need help structuring your thoughts, we've got you covered. Start creating with ease and elevate your academic performance today!

About Rephrasely

Getting your wording just right

Paraphrasing is a natural part of the writing process as it helps you clarify your thinking and suit your words to your audience. Using a Rephrasely helps structure and streamline this work, and our paraphrase tool offers 20 modes, many of them free, for accomplishing just this. The 20 modes we offer are diverse, including a summarize tool, a free grammar checker, a mode to simplify text, and a sentence shortener. There are sentence rephrasers and paraphrase rephrase tools, and we pride ourselves on having both, since our reword generator accounts for context at both the sentence and paragraph levels.

When you google paraphrase you will get a variety of results, from a free Rephrasely, to an article spinner, to a general phrase tool, and it can be hard to determine which of these rephrase tools will best help you complete your work. If you simply need to get a word rephrase, that is, reword only small elements within the sentence, many tools will suffice, but there is the risk that you end up with a tool that does not consider context and produces very awkward and ungrammatical sentences. Rephrasing is very much an art, and we’ve built our paraphrase bot to produce the most correct results in 20 modes in over 100 languages, making it the best paraphrasing tool at an exceptionally low cost. So whether you need to paraphrase deutsch, paraphrase greek, or paraphrase bahasa melayu, the next time you think, I need something to paraphrase this for me, you’ll know where to turn.

From keywords to paragraphs

Generating paragraphs with unique ideas can be challenging, and too often writers get stuck at this stage of the writing process. With our paragraph tool, you can enter keywords and let our AI generate paragraphs for you, so that you can have something to work with, refine the output, and become more engaged in your writing.

A paragraph generator creates links between your ideas, such that the output is sensible, unique, and stimulating, very close to what you would expect a thoughtful human paragraph writer to produce.

Paragraph makers are nice, but what about a short story generator? Because our AI is generalized, it serves a story generator, an essay generator, a poem generator, and much more. To generate compelling stories, you should provide the story generator with useful keywords from which it can develop plot elements, including characters, setting details, and any situational information. To generate reasonably good essays, you should likewise provide the essay maker with details around argumentative positions and any other pertinent ideas. If you more specifically want an introduction paragraph generator or conclusion paragraph generator, you can provide starter text and keywords that will best enable our essay creator to produce them.

You may well ask, “is this essay generator free?” Everything on this site is free within a 3-day trial, so you can test and develop confidence in our products. You may also be wondering where this is an essay automatic writer or if it will take a while to get results. All results appear within a matter of seconds, so you can move through your work as quickly as possible.

You may have professional needs for creating paragraphs as well, such as those needed for cover letter. Most of the time a cover letter template includes information that is not relevant to you; by using your own keywords, we can produce cover letter examples that are relevant to your use case and often require very little editing. By using this service, you can also learn how to write a cover letter and achieve the cover letter format you need.

Plagiarism checker free

Like everything else on our site, you can check plagiarism free within a trial, which is a great opportunity for those who want to check a paper for plagiarism without committing to paying before they see results. This free plagiarism checker is great for students and clearly indicates how to check for plagiarism by highlighting areas of similarity between the two texts. Just to be sure you are not accidentally plagiarizing, be sure to check all of your paraphrases as well.