These 8 Phrases are Ruining Your Cover Letter
Your cover letter’s goal is to provide information your resume cannot, and illustrate outside of your listed qualifications why you’re the right person for the job. The recruiters and hiring managers reading your cover letter and resume have dozens to go through, and limited time to spend scanning each one, so it’s important to optimize the space you have and avoid using any of these phrases:
1. “I think…”
Using this introduction before a statement in your cover letter isn’t necessary – you wouldn’t be writing it down if it wasn’t what you think. This phrase quickly becomes redundant and will make you appear lacking in confidence.
2. “As you can see on my resume…”
When submitting a cover letter, you’re probably submitting your resume alongside it. Your cover letter is to provide information you can’t include within your resume, so don’t waste valuable space or your reader’s time repeating information from your resume.
3. “I’m writing to apply/express my interest for...”
Submitting your cover letter is an obvious indication you’re applying for a job, and it should be clear which position you’re interested in without having to spell it out within your cover letter. Show respect for your reader and their time by not stating the already obvious.
4. “My name is…”
Your cover letter should be submitted with a job application and resume, so anyone reading it will already know your name.
5. “thinking outside the box”
You want to express you’re capable of thinking outside the box and being innovative, however, these phrases are used so often they’ve become clichés. Provide value by outlining in detail your innovative work and/or specific examples of you thinking outside the box.
6. “I may not be the best candidate but…”
This is quite possibly the worst statement you can make. It may feel strange speaking so highly of yourself and you may want to sound modest, but this phrase will surely throw you out of the running. How can you expect a recruiter to have confidence in you if you don’t have confidence in yourself?
7. “Excellent communication skills”
Prove you have excellent communication skills by providing a well-written cover letter. It’s one thing to say you have excellent communication skills, but it’s another to show evidence of it. Actions speak louder than words.
If the job you’re applying for involves a lot of communication, list examples of specific skills you have relating to communication rather than giving a generalized statement every other applicant has already included in their cover letter.
8. “Perfect fit”
You can’t possibly know you’re a perfect fit for a position when you’re only on the first step of the application process. Typically, you will interview with the company and learn about each other before deciding mutually if it will be a good fit.
Instead, focus on describing how you’re qualified for the role, and express your interest in learning more about how you can benefit the team and company.
In no way is using any of these phrases necessarily bad, however they are redundant. You’re trying to stand out among other applicants, not be exactly like them. Make your cover letter specifically about you and your unique skills and experiences. Staying away from these clichés will significantly boost your chances at getting an interview and possibly hired on for the role.
For more helpful information on creating a cover letter, visit our free cover letter strategies page full of helpful tips guaranteed to make writing your cover letter easier.