Words are powerful.
So powerful, in fact, that all it takes is one to completely sink your cover letter—and with it, your prospects at landing your desired job interview.
It’s that important to be judicious in what you say, in how you present yourself to recruiters and hiring managers. We’ll show you what we mean: In this post, we’ll list the five words that can ruin an otherwise effective cover letter, and also offer some strategies on working around them.
First: Remember that a cover letter is meant to showcase the things that make you a good, positive candidate for the job in question. Negative words have no place here, and no word is more negative than never.
A lot of entry-level or recently graduated jobseekers feel the need to over-explain their lack of experience. “While I have never worked for an accounting firm, I feel…” Our advice? Skip the explanation and focus more on the positives—the internships or volunteer experience that you’ve accumulated, the other work experience with transferable skills, etc.
Frankly, absolute statements are highly suspect. They reek of BS. You may say that you always do detail-oriented work or that you always complete your work on time—but really, that’s probably an exaggeration. And recruiters will immediately raise their eyebrows.
Instead of absolute statements, provide concrete examples of your good work. Instead of saying that you’re always the best, prove it.
There’s no need to come across as over-eager. You may really want the job, but that doesn’t mean you have to say as much on your cover letter. Again, show your enthusiasm. Channel your eagerness into an engaged and alert job interview, not empty words on a cover letter.
Recruiters and hiring managers probably don’t care how you feel. Yes, that’s harsh, but it’s also true. You may feel like you’ve found your dream job, or that you are the perfect candidate, but those points simply aren’t relevant to the company that’s looking to hire you. Focus on demonstrating why you’re such a good choice for the position, with concrete achievements rather than statements of feeling.
Are you a liar? Do you often make statements that are misleading or erroneous? If not, then there’s no need to clarify the moments when you’re being honest. It should go without saying.
All five of these words very subtly undercut your authority and your value as a candidate—and a good cover letter will skip over them. To fill your cover letter with words of power and persuasion, we encourage you to call us today. The Grammar Chic team can help! Reach out at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.