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Common cover letter mistakes to avoid

Common cover letter mistakes to avoid

Since the cover letter is on top of the application folder, you should take special care not to make any mistakes. You should pay attention to standard features as well as to the content. The following article summarizes the most severe errors in the cover letter for you.

Formal mistakes

Cover letter too long

The total length of your cover letter in the printed version must not exceed one A4 page. If you are starting and your text only fills three-quarters of a page, this is not tragic. With a cover letter that exceeds a page, you will usually be sorted out immediately, as it seems as if you are unable to concentrate on the essentials. This also applies to the application and resume by email. So write your text in advance on a A4 page.

Too many or too few paragraphs

A one-line paragraph before and after the central part and after the salutation and in front of the closing phrase “Kind regards” is mandatory. You can certainly add one or two more paragraphs in the main part. But don’t overdo it. If there are any deviations, it looks as if you are desperately trying to fill exactly one page, although the content does not fit. Your cover letter should be as short and concise as the length of your resume.

Inappropriate font and font size

When it comes to cover letters, there is no single actual font. However, it is essential that the font is legible and matches the rest of the documents. So you should ideally use the same font throughout. The font size should be between 11 and 12. Other font sizes indicate that too little or too much content should be concealed.

Typos and misspelled names

If you use the copy-and-paste method with the same components as the final formula, it can quickly happen that a mistake creeps in. Even with complicated names of the contact person or the company, you should make sure they are spelled correctly. Cover letters with typing errors indicate a sloppy work style, and the application is therefore immediately rejected.

Content errors

The use of “nested sentences.”

You certainly want to present yourself from your best side to your future employer. Nevertheless, be careful not to pack all of your benefits into a sentence or two. Set yourself an upper limit of 20 words per sentence. That sounds like a lot at first, but it isn’t. If a sentence becomes longer, it is difficult for a stranger to understand. Tapeworm sentences tire the reader. Instead of scoring points with long sentences, it is questionable whether your application and simple resume will even be read to the end.

Hesitant formulations in the subjunctive

You will find this note in every guide. Sentences with subjunctive tones such as “would”, “could” are to be avoided. With subjunctive, that is, the form of possibility, you express uncertainty. Under no circumstances should you write the final sentence, “I would appreciate an invitation to an interview.” This shows that you are unsure whether you will be invited.

The use of superlatives

Trying to impress with superlatives is almost as damaging as expressing uncertainty with the subjunctive. If you describe yourself as the “most motivated,” “most team-minded” employee, this seems exaggerated. It indicates that you want to dub things over.

Passive sentences

Try to write your application consistently in active mode. The use of passive expressions seems dependent. For example, don’t write “I was taught …” but “I learned …”.

The resume as a body text

In the cover letter, you should work out essential qualifications that are relevant to the position. So don’t tell the story of your life in prose. Here the HR manager falls asleep reading, and it looks like you don’t know what the point of the cover letter is.


Many mistakes can creep in in a cover letter as well as mistakes in a resume. As a result, it can, unfortunately, happen to you that you will be sorted out even with the best professional qualifications. So check your text carefully, and it is best to have someone else proofread it. This increases your chances of getting a job.

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Common cover letter mistakes to avoid
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Common cover letter mistakes to avoid
If there are mistakes in the cover letter, your application will usually be sorted out immediately. Read here the common mistakes in the cover letter and what you should be aware of.
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