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What Not to Include in a Cover Letter

words to not use in a cover letter

The Purpose of a Cover Letter

  • 15 Things You Shouldn't Include

What to Include in a Cover Letter

A cover letter is an important part of your job application. In some cases, employers require a cover letter to be submitted with your resume. In others, a cover letter is optional or not required.

A cover letter can boost your application for a job. It can also cost you an interview if it doesn't include the right information or if it's sloppy or badly written. A Career Builder survey reports that typos or grammatical errors are an instant deal breaker for 77% of hiring managers.  

It’s always a good idea to provide a cover letter if you have the option . Your cover letter can make the difference between getting selected for an interview—or not. It gives you a chance to sell your qualifications to the hiring manager, and shows them why you are a strong candidate for the job.

A well-written cover letter gives you the opportunity to frame your background so that employers draw the right conclusions about your qualifications as they review your resume.

In your cover letter, it’s important to convey how your character, interests, motivations, knowledge, skills, and experiences equip you to excel in the job. This is your opportunity to show the employer why you’re an excellent candidate for the position and should be considered.

Here are  tips for matching your qualifications to the job , so that you can make a match between your credentials and the employer's job requirements.

There is such a thing as too much information when it comes to cover letter writing. Your cover letter should be short, concise, and focused on what you can offer the employer.

You don’t need to share non-relevant information, personal information, or anything else that doesn’t connect you with the position for which you’re applying.

Your letter should avoid making the wrong impression about your candidacy. Furthermore, it shouldn’t provide useless information that makes it more difficult for the recruiter to focus on your most compelling qualifications.

15 Things You Shouldn't Include

1. any spelling or grammar errors.

Your cover letter is viewed as a sample of your ability as a writer and evidence of your attention to detail. Even a minor typo or error can knock you out of contention for the job. Review these proofreading tips to make sure your letters are perfect.

Even better, if you can get someone else to review it for you then do that too. It can be hard to catch our own mistakes.

2. The Wrong Company Name or the Wrong Name of the Contact Person

Double-check to be sure that you've addressed your cover letter to the correct person at the right organization. If you get it wrong, it is a tip-off that you are mass producing your documents and may lack attention to detail.

Nobody likes it when they are called by the wrong name, and that's especially true when you're reading letters from someone who wants you to hire them.

3. Anything That Isn't True

It shouldn't need to be said, but it's important to keep your cover letter as honest as your resume. A ResumeLab survey reports that 93% of respondents know someone who has lied on their resume.  

Facts can be checked, and lies are grounds for rescinding offers and dismissing employees. The ResumeLab survey notes that 65% of the people who were caught lying were either fired or not hired.  

I’ve heard from job seekers who were in a panic because they stretched the truth or outright  lied in their cover letter or resume  and didn’t know how to rectify it. You don’t want to be one of those people. Make sure your cover letter accurately reflects your qualifications for the job.

Don't embellish your work history or qualifications. Employers can and do check with references and previous employers.

4. Paragraphs That Are Too Long

Employers will skip over your cover letter and move right to your resume if it is too difficult to read.

  • Each paragraph of your letter should include 5 - 6 lines of text with no more than three sentences in each. 
  • Include plenty of white space at the top and bottom of your letter and in between paragraphs.

Here’s  how long a cover letter should be .

5. Your Salary Requirements or Expectations

Don't include salary requirements or expectations unless directed to do so by the employer. It’s important to demonstrate to the employer your interest in the job itself and not make it seem like money is your primary motivation.

It’s always wise to let the employer mention salary first, if possible. Here’s  when and how to mention salary  to a prospective employer.

6. Negative Comments About a Current or Past Employer

Avoid including any negative comments about your current or previous employer as part of why you are looking for work. Employers tend to view such comments as an indication of possible attitude or performance problems.

Keep your letter positive and focused on why you're the right person for the job.

7. Information Not Related to the Job

Don’t include any text that is not directly related to your assets for the position or why it appeals to you. Empty language can distract the employer from your core messages. It's better to write a short letter than one filled with irrelevant information.

Your letter should focus on why you're the best-qualified person for the job, and what you have to offer the employer.

8. Personal Information

The employer doesn't need to know you want this job because of personal reasons. Keep your focus on the professional reasons you'd love to be hired, and keep the personal ones to yourself.

Your goal is to sell yourself to the hiring manager as a quality candidate, not to get someone to consider you because you would really love the employee discount or the hours, for example.

9. Any Portrayal of the Position as a Stepping Stone

Most employers will be looking primarily for someone who is motivated to do the job that they are advertising for a reasonable length of time. Mentioning future advancement can lead them to believe you would not be satisfied doing that job for long.

The exception, of course, would be if the employer has referenced the issue or if the position is part of a training program.

10. What You Want

Your cover letter isn't about what you want; It's about what you have to offer. Don’t mention what you want to get out of the job or the company. The precious space in your cover letter should focus on what you have to offer the employer. Here’s what to include in the  body section of your cover letter .

11. What You Don't Want

Don't mention anything you don't like about the job, the schedule, the salary, or anything else. Save your thoughts for when you're offered a job and in a position to negotiate. There are many applicants for most jobs, and the ones who get the interviews will be the candidates who don't have a list of requirements.

12. Qualifications You Don’t Have

Addressing what might be missing in your candidacy with statements like "Despite my lack of sales experience... " is not a good idea. Don't draw attention to your limitations as a candidate. Keep the focus on your credentials and how they will enable you to get the job done.

13. Explanations for Leaving Past Jobs That Sound Like Excuses

Any excuses may needlessly direct attention to less-positive chapters in your work history. Pointing out that you were recruited for a better job is fine, but there's no need to mention that you were fired or had difficulties in previous positions. Keep your job application materials positive and focused on the future.

14. Excessive Modesty or Overly Flattering Language

You need to convey positives in your letter but do so in a matter-of-fact way. Speak about accomplishments and results, but avoid using adjectives to describe yourself that may suggest you are arrogant or conceited.

15. An Overwhelming Amount of Interest in the Job

Promote your credentials, but don't oversell yourself. Excessive interest can hint of desperation or undercut your leverage for salary negotiation. You’re pitching your candidacy, not begging for an interview. Showing desperation is a surefire way to turn off the hiring manager.

Keep in mind that your cover letter has one goal: to get you a job interview.

Take time to  match your qualifications carefully to the job requirements  and to  write a personalized cover letter  that shows the hiring manager, at a glance, why you're a terrific candidate.

Career Builder. "Employers Share Their Most Outrageous Resume Mistakes and Instant Deal Breakers ." Accessed Sept. 3, 2020.

ResumeLab. " Lying on a Resume (2020 Study) ." Accessed Sept. 3, 2020.

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  • 10 of the Worst Cover Letter...

10 of the Worst Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid

8 min read · Updated on March 10, 2022

Amanda Augustine

Make sure your cover letter helps your candidacy by avoiding these all-too-common mistakes.

Once you've updated your professional resume , it's time to prepare your job applications for submission to hiring managers. This usually involves making some small tweaks to your resume and creating a cover letter to accompany your application.

But aren't cover letters a thing of the past?

Yes and no. While 74 percent of recruiters don't find the cover letter to be an important factor when evaluating candidates, the remaining percentage do. And since you have no way of knowing which type of recruiter will receive your application, it's best to cover your bases and include a cover letter with every job application. As an added bonus, a reported 53 percent of employers admit they prefer candidates to send a cover letter when applying for a job.

However, not just any cover letter will do. If you're going to take the time to craft this document, make sure it helps, not hurts, your candidacy, by following cover letter dos and don'ts. Below are 10 common and costly mistakes to avoid when writing your next cover letter .

Cover Letter Mistake #1: Lack of research

Thanks to the Internet, there's little excuse to not personalize your cover letters. Whenever possible, research the name of the hiring manager or recruiter (if it's not listed on the actual job post) and the company who's filling the position, and use this information to customize your opening document.  If you skip this step, you're sending the message to the reader that you don't really care enough about the position to do your homework. In a world where employers are inundated with applications, any excuse to eliminate candidates along the application process will do. Don't let this cover letter mistake give them a reason to cut you from the pile.

There are some exceptions to this rule. If you're responding to an anonymous job posting, you're not expected to include the name of the company or the hiring manager in the cover letter. When a company goes out of its way to keep its name and the names of its employees confidential, you can assume the hiring manager won't take off points if you use a generic opener.

Cover Letter Mistake #2: Overly formal or casual greetings

Whenever you're applying for a position or preparing for an interview, take the company's culture into account. You can get a better sense of the employer's brand by checking out its Careers section online, reading reviews on Glassdoor, searching for its profile on The Muse , following the social media accounts the company set up for recruitment purposes, and talking to your networking connections who've worked at the organization. This will help you decide if you're better off going with a “Hello Jeff” or a “Dear Mr. Berger” type of greeting.

If you're unable to address your cover letter to a specific person, steer clear of incredibly formal introductions, such as “To Whom It May Concern,” as they are not conversational and can be considered off-putting. The same goes for super casual openers like “Hi!” Even if you're dealing with a startup that prides themselves on being non-traditional, this cover letter greeting is a little too laid back for your first communication and may have the reader questioning your professionalism.

Play it safe and stick with a gender-neutral opener such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Recruiter.”

Cover Letter Mistake #3: Talking all about me, me, me

Think of your cover letter as your sales pitch to the hiring manager. Instead of spending the entire time talking about yourself and your wants and needs, consider the needs of your prospective employer. Your potential boss is the one who will (hopefully) read your cover letter, after all.

Review the job description again and check out the latest news on the company. Ask yourself why the organization is hiring for this role. In other words, what pain point will this position solve? When you can relate to the hiring manager's concerns and position your skills as the solution to his or her needs, you have a better chance of avoiding cover letter mistakes and capturing the reader's attention.

Cover Letter Mistake #4: Repeating your entire resume

Remember, the recruiter already has your resume - there's no need to rehash your entire job history when writing your cover letter. In fact, I believe this is why so many employers disregard the cover letter; they've read so many bad cover letters that merely summarize their candidates' resumes, that they see no need to read them.

One cover letter tip is to surprise the hiring manager by using your opening to demonstrate your understanding of the company's position in the marketplace and its needs and then highlight your work experience and accomplishments that speak to these requirements.

Avoid these common cover letter mistakes.  Hire a TopResume writer today .

Cover Letter Mistake #5: Generic messaging

Even if you're applying to an anonymous job listing, a common cover letter mistake is using boilerplate text. While your introduction may not be as specific as it would be for a position where the employer is known, this doesn't give you license to use a generic template for the main sections of your cover letter.

Based upon the job description, make a list of the top 3-5 requirements for the role. This may have to do with your knowledge, skills, and experience of a certain topic or an industry, your experience performing a particular task, or your education and other credentials. Then, brainstorm how you possess each prerequisite, referencing a specific contribution, accomplishment, or experience from your work history that illustrates these qualifications. Summarize this information in a paragraph or a set of bullets. This is a great way to customize your cover letter and grab the reader's attention.

Cover Letter Mistake #6: Not following instructions

As I previously mentioned, some employers, especially those in the healthcare, education, and legal sector, still value a cover letter and will request one in their job description. Do yourself a favor and re-read the job description carefully to provide context to your cover letter dos and don'ts. Oftentimes the employer will request certain information to be included in the cover letter. The last thing you want to do is ignore this request, as the reader will assume you are not detail-oriented and unable to follow the simplest of instructions.

Cover Letter Mistake #7: Typos

When you're competing against a large pool of candidates for one role, the smallest cover letter mistakes could be used to eliminate you from the pile. These days, we've grown all too reliant on spell-check and autocorrect to edit our communication. It's easy to overlook the small mistakes, such as using “higher” when you really meant to say “hire.” Don't let these silly details derail your job application.

Follow this simple cover letter tip: Reread your cover letter. Then read it again. Then hand it over to a trusted friend. You know, the one that majored in English. If you're looking for some resources to improve your grammar and punctuation, check out Lynne Truss' book, “ Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation ,” and “ Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English ” by Patricia T. O'Conner. They're great reads!

Cover Letter Mistake #8: Writing a novel

If recruiters spend an average of six seconds scanning your resume before deciding if you're a fit, how long do you think they'll spend reading your cover letter? Here's another set of cover letter dos and don'ts: your cover letter shouldn't be any longer than is necessary to get your points across. And it definitely shouldn't exceed one page.

Also, keep its readability in mind. Similar to your resume, try to create white space in your cover letter by avoiding dense blocks of text.

Cover Letter Mistake #9: Going off brand

Whether you're searching for a new job or managing your career path, it's important to pay close attention to how you present your professional brand to others — online, on paper, and face to face. To that end, another cover letter tip is to give it the same look and feel as your resume. If you're uploading your cover letter as a separate document to an online application, ensure it uses the same header as your resume. Also, make sure the font type, color, and size, the contact information you provide, and even the name you use on both documents remain consistent.

Cover Letter Mistake #10: TMI

While you can use a cover letter to explain an employment gap or your interest in relocating to a new city, don't overshare your personal details with a prospective employer. The recruiter doesn't need to know the gory details of your back surgery or how you had your heart broken and need to find a new city to call home. These extraneous details can't be used as selling points and will only detract from your qualifications and candidacy.

Your resume should be mistake free as well. Is yours? Find out with a free resume review .

Recommended Reading:

  • Do Hiring Managers Actually Read Cover Letters?
  • How to Be a Great Candidate Even if You're Under-Qualified for the Job
  • How to Write a Catchy Cover Letter

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Land your dream job, cover letter clichés to avoid.

Amy Bergen profile image

If you’re on the job hunt, chances are you’ve written more than your fair share of cover letters, and it can certainly be a challenge to keep each letter fresh and interesting. One simple way to up your job application game is to recognize and root out cover letter clichés, including words and phrases you’ve probably heard a million times.

Calling yourself "a go-getter," "a self-starter," or "detail-oriented" won’t tell your potential employer much about what makes you unique. And clichés can work against you in another way; readers may interpret vague positive phrases as a way to disguise your lack of qualifications for the job.

Don’t sell yourself short. Instead, use your limited cover letter space to tell a story no other applicant can.

Retire clichéd buzzwords

Adjectives like dynamic, proactive, motivated , and responsible might seem like great words to describe yourself—who doesn’t want an employee like that? But employers are a lot more interested in specific accomplishments than general traits. After all, most workplaces expect employees to have motivation, dedication, and responsibility; without examples to back them up, these buzzwords only reiterate the obvious.

Anyone can say they’re a hard worker, but it’s a lot more challenging to put in the work and produce measurable results on a long-term project. Similarly, it’s easy to claim you’re an innovative forward-thinker, but readers would rather hear what innovations you came up with (think of the Writing 101 "Show, don’t tell" adage).

  • If you describe yourself as a "team player," for instance, think of the last time you worked on a team—what did you learn from that experience? Maybe you interacted with people in different departments, taught a skill to a co-worker, or compromised to achieve a goal together. 
  • If you claim to be "detail-oriented," another frequent cover letter cliché, can you point to a task that required you to interpret data, help out with event planning logistics, or scrutinize details in another way? 
  • If you pride yourself on being a "problem-solver," describe a workplace problem you faced and the solution you discovered. You get the idea.

Watch out for words like "unique" and "expert" as well; for example, stating you’re "uniquely qualified" for a job. Unless you have an unusual niche skill set, chances are your expertise is more common than you think. If you do have accomplishments, credentials, or experiences that set you apart from the average candidate, tell these stories and let them speak for themselves.

Reconsider these clichéd phrases

I think outside the box. 

I go the extra mile. 

I’m an independent self-starter. 

I’m highly organized. 

I have excellent communication skills.

I thrive in a fast-paced environment. 

I’m a quick learner. 

Any of these cover letter clichés, and others like them, risk wasting space and making you sound like all the other candidates out there.

Try using this trick to help you avoid clichés as you’re writing: if a phrase sounds familiar or like a statement you’ve heard before, maybe in a job advertisement, there’s likely a better way to get your point across. Usually this involves pinning down a concrete example of the traits these phrases describe, like a seminar you helped organize ( I’m highly organized ), a content management system you mastered in a few weeks ( I’m a quick learner ), or a language you taught yourself in quarantine ( I’m an independent self-starter ).

Many cover letter writers mention skill sets they’re "familiar with" or have "knowledge of." While these phrases aren’t exactly clichés, they’re still vague and unclear. Familiarity could mean weeks or months of classroom and working experience, or simply an awareness you’ve gained from studying and observing others. At worst, such general phrasing can suggest you’re more comfortable with a skill than you actually are, which can backfire if you need to use the skill on the job. Avoid possible confusion by being upfront about just how much expertise you have.

As a final defense against cover letter clichés, reread your letter and look for any "I" phrases and statements you can change or eliminate. You may have quite a few "I" statements, naturally, since you’re writing about yourself in the first person. Try changing some of them to "you" statements that highlight what the organization is looking for. This helps immensely when you’re tailoring a cover letter to a job , and it shows the reader you’ve done your homework. "I thrive in a fast-paced environment" could become "Your fast-paced atmosphere requires employees who can make smart decisions under pressure. At my internship with X organization, which ran on a tight schedule, I..."

Go from general to specific

You may have heard a cover letter is the place to tell employers something they couldn’t find out from your resume. Often this means making connections with a reader by telling stories, showing examples, and demonstrating your passion for the industry.

If you’re tempted to take the shortcut of a cover letter cliché, think about a brief anecdote you could use instead. Your reader is more likely to remember an example of hard work or innovative thinking, even in a brief two-sentence story, than they are to remember an overused phrase.

Numbers and metrics are an easy way to get specific, whenever you can provide them. Think of any way you can "quantify" achievements—how many people you mentored or served in your role, how many subscribers read the newsletter you edited, etc. These details don’t take up much space, and they show your impact in a quick and measurable way.

Keep in mind your goal is for the reader to remember you. Employers are sifting through piles of repetitive cover letters; you want to be the one who says something different.

Did you enjoy this post? If you’re looking to spruce up your resume with more impactful language, be sure to Try Using These Action Verbs to Get Your Resume Noticed .

Amy Bergen is a writer based in Portland, Maine. She has experience in the social impact space in Baltimore, Maryland, the educational museum sphere in Columbus, Ohio, and the literary world of New York City.

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15 Words and Phrases to Never Include in a Cover Letter Given the importance of a cover letter, you cannot afford to blow it.

By Glassdoor • Dec 3, 2018

This story originally appeared on Glassdoor

While many job applications have the word "optional" next to the field that asks for a cover letter , it shouldn't be overlooked. After all, a cover letter is intended to show you off and captivate a hiring manager, kind of like a movie trailer. It's meant to tease and entice the recruiter or hiring manager to keep reading and be so interested in you that they simply cannot put down your resume. Think: personable and professional.

Related: 12 Buzzwords to Say in Your Next Interview

Some of the best cover letters tell interesting stories about the candidate and help them to be seen as a good culture fit for a company . "Recruiters always remember the personal side of cover letters -- this is when you become more than just another applicant," says career expert Heather Huhman. "They connect your experiences with your name because you're giving them another dimension of you, sharing what makes you unique."

Given the importance of a cover letter, you cannot afford to blow it. Once you've got a working draft, it's time to grab your red pen. Here are 15 words and phrases that are simply dragging your cover letter down. Cut "em! Take the expert advice below to craft the best cover letter possible and let your personality , not robotic prose, shine through.

1. "To Whom It May Concern"

Generic salutations, while professional, can be a bit sterile. Do a little digging to find the name of the hiring manager or the recruiter. "Let's say you discover an opening for an electrical engineer position at an engineering organization's website. The position description indicates the employee will report to the lead electrical engineer. You decide (initially) to bypass the company's automated application system so you can customize your communications," advises Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, master resume writer. "You sail over to LinkedIn and begin researching. Use the advanced search feature and type in "name of company' for the company name, "lead electrical engineer' for keywords and "64152' for a zip code for greater Kansas City (where the company headquarters and this position are located) and click enter. Your results will appear."

2. "Thinking outside of the box"

Recruiters read thousands of cover letters and resumes. It's their job. So, try hard to make reading your cover letter a treat. Career coach Angela Copeland says, "more specifically, stay away from phrases that are known to annoy hiring managers, such as "heavy lifting' or "think outside the box' or "game-changer.'" Be creative instead of using meaningless buzzwords.

3. "I'm not sure if you know"

"When it comes to today's job search process, another thing to remember is your online footprint ," says Copeland. Phrases like this one underestimate a recruiter's ability to Google and may come across as naive. HR professionals and recruiters do their due diligence on you. Trust us, they know. "In a way, your Google search results are a lot like the modern day cover letter. After an employer reads your cover letter, they will also Google you. Beat them to the punch and Google yourself. Be sure you're comfortable with the information that shows up on the first two pages of the Google search results. Look through social media , photos and any other websites that show up when you search for yourself."

Related: 9 Things to Never Say in a Salary Negotiation

4. Insider jargon

"Job seekers should try to minimize phrases that are very industry-specific, especially if they're switching industries," advises Copeland. "Although these phrases may sound impressive within one industry, they will most likely confuse your hiring manager in the new industry you want to switch to."

5. Claims without evidence

Instead of simply saying you're good at what you do, Huhman advises providing a valuable anecdote. "Let's say you're applying for a marketing director position. Among other aspects in the description, the job requires several years of marketing experience, a deep knowledge of lead generation and strong communication skills. Describe how, in your previous role as a marketing manager , you ran several campaigns for your clients and exceeded their expectations of lead generation (with specific numbers, if possible), and how you also trained and mentored new associates on how to manage their own accounts, which improved client retention rates." In other words, show how effective you have been in the past. "Your anecdote is accomplishing a lot at once -- it's demonstrating one of your top hard skills, lead nurturing, and showcasing how you can collaborate with trainees, communicate effectively and educate new employees on processes and client relations," says Huhman. "You're proving that you can meet the communication standards and marketing knowledge they're seeking."

Cut the millennial speak. "You shouldn't just say that you want the job or that you love your industry. You have to show your passion," says Huhman. "Share why your career path best suits you and how your love for your work drives and motivates you. For example, answer some questions about what made you want to enter the field, how your personality helps you succeed and what past experiences influenced your career decisions."

" Embellishing in a cover letter is one way to set yourself up for letting down your future employer once you've been hired," warns Huhman. Steer clear of touting skills you don't really possess or overselling your impact on a key project at your current employer. "The best-case scenario is that lying on a cover letter creates uncomfortable situations. Worst case scenario? [You'll lose the] job because [you are] not the candidate they were looking for."

8. Flattery

"When you're looking for a job, do your best to bring your authentic self to the table. As the old saying goes, people hire people. Often, you're hired because the hiring manager likes you -- not just because you can do the work," says Copeland. "Nobody likes insincere flattery. It leaves an impression that you aren't authentic and therefore can't be trusted. In business, especially in an employee/employer relationship, trust is paramount. Avoid being insincere, and focus on building a true relationship with your future hiring manager."

Related: 10 Resume Tips You Haven't Heard Before

9. "Please feel free"

Ending your cover letter with a clear call-to-action is key, but instead of being gentle, be direct. Show your confidence and prove to the recruiter that you know you wrote a compelling cover letter by wrapping up with a more self-assured request for an in-person interview or phone screen.

10. "Dynamic"

"Get away from stuffing cover letters full of clichéd phrases and think clear, honest and impactful. Think in terms of telling a story," says resume expert Anish Majumdar. "You're not a dynamic, agile leader who can deliver rapid marketing and biz dev ROI in rapidly-changing environments." Instead, you are someone who thrives on helping companies "more fully realize their vision, and have some amazing successes on the marketing and business development front that you'd like to discuss."

11. "Significant"

Instead of tiptoeing around the impact you've had at your current company with words like "significant," "measurable" or "huge," get specific. Nicole Cox, chief recruitment officer at national recruiting firm Decision Toolbox, advises job seekers to "substantiate your accomplishments with numbers. Some recruiters prefer to see actual numbers (such as "cut manufacturing costs by $500,000'), while others prefer percentages ("cut manufacturing costs by 15 percent'). Either way, provide enough context to show the impact. If your objective was to cut manufacturing costs by 10 percent, make it clear that you exceeded the goal."

12. "Really, truly, deeply"

Flowery language and excessive adverbs can come off as insincere. "Don't get me wrong, you need to share your accomplishments in your cover letter. Nobody else will do it for you. But, you want to come across as confident , not arrogant," says Copeland. "Fluffy jargon will risk turning off the hiring manager."

13. Cut, copy and paste

Resist the temptation to write a cover letter that regurgitates what you've outlined in your resume . Instead, recognize the opportunity that a cover letter presents. "Use the cover letter as an opportunity to highlight the parts of your resume that align to the job," says Copeland. "And, add things you don't normally include in your resume that are relevant to the work. For example, I once coached a job seeker who was a university administrator. He was interested to work for a large hotel chain. Although he didn't have direct hotel experience, his hobbies included both real estate investing and managing a fitness franchise location. This information was critical to him landing a job with the large hotel company."

14. "Self-starter," "detail-oriented" and "forward-thinker"

These are what's known as "frequent offenders" amongst cover letter and resume experts. They are overused and carry little weight these days. "Treat a cover letter as a chance to make a human connection , not a formality," says Majumdar. "What gets you excited about this job? What have you been up to recently that they'd find interesting? What should they know about you that they couldn't discern by reading your resume? All great points to touch on in this letter."

15. Synonyms out of a thesaurus

While it may be tempting to head to thesaurus.com to add a few high-brow words and smart-sounding phrases, resist the temptation. Be yourself. Be honest. "This is a prime opportunity to showcase skills," says Majumdar. Words like "change," "execute," "communicates" and "relationship building" will all get the job done effectively when paired with strong anecdotes and authenticity.

(By Amy Elisa Jackson)

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14 common cover letter phrases and what you can use instead

14 common cover letter phrases and what you can use instead

When you’re working on a cover letter, it’s very difficult to keep your writing fresh throughout the whole document.

It’s all too easy to repeat the same word twice across multiple paragraphs without even realizing you’ve done so. And unfortunately, this can be the sort of thing that hiring managers will mark against you — especially in positions that require a strong written ability.

So, we’ve put together this helpful list of words that might appear in your cover letter along with some synonyms to use instead. Let’s transform you from a strong people manager with a strong background in building strong teams into a more well-rounded candidate, eh?

In most situations, there’s likely to be a more suitable way to say ‘eager’. Here are some options for you:

  • “I’m eager to hear from you” —> “I look forward to exploring my fit for this role with you”
  • “I’m eager to join a company like yours” —> “Joining a company I respect is important to me”
  • “I’m a marketing graduate eager to find my first role” —> “I’m a marketing graduate looking to grow as a professional”

On its own there’s nothing wrong with the word ‘excited’, but you shouldn’t be saying it 17 times throughout your document. If that happens, here are some synonyms you can use instead:

  • “I’m excited to apply to you” —> “I had to apply as soon as I could”
  • “I’m excited to progress my career with you” —> “This would be the next natural step in my career”
  • “I’m excited about expanding my skills in the role” —> “This role is an ideal place for me to expand my skills”

3. Experience

It’s very easy to say ‘experience’ too frequently in your cover letter, so try these alternatives to keep things varied:

  • “My experience with cloud systems makes me” —> “My expertise in cloud systems makes me”
  • “I’m looking to build more experience in marketing” —> “This position would help me become a more complete marketer”
  • “I’m experienced with leading teams and setting goals” —> “Working as a team leader at [company name] has made me comfortable managing direct reports and setting goals”
  • “I’m a great fit for this role because of my experience in sales” —> “My background as a senior salesperson makes me a natural fit for this role”

4. I am confident

The issue with “I am confident” isn’t that it’s likely to get overused — it’s just not necessary in most cases. Here, we’ll show you:

  • “I am confident I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team” —> “I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team”
  • “I am confident that my customer service experience will prove vital in the role” —> “My customer service experience will prove vital in the role”

5. I believe

‘I believe’ is the same as ‘I am confident’; you don’t usually need it:

  • “I believe I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team” —> “I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team”
  • “I believe that my customer service experience will prove vital in the role” —> “My customer service experience will prove vital in the role”

6. I have experience

It’s perfectly fine to start a sentence with ‘I have experience’, just don’t use it in every single one. Use these alternatives instead to avoid sounding like a broken record:

  • “I have experience in social media and paid ads” —> “I’m well-versed in social media and paid ads”
  • “I have experience in startup companies” —> “I’ve come to thrive in a startup environment”
  • “As requested in the job description, I have 2 years of experience in hospitality” —> “I’m a qualified hospitality professional with 2 years of relevant experience”
  • “I have experience in similar positions to what you’re hiring for” —> “I’ve previously worked as a [job title] so would pick up the responsibilities quickly”

7. Interest

You might be looking for synonyms of ‘interest’ for a couple of reasons. Either you’re using it too often, or it’s sounding overly formal. We can help with both:

  • “I’m writing to express my interest in this position” —> “I’d like to apply to your [job title] position”
  • “I’m interested in reading and spending time in nature” —> “I enjoy reading and spending time in nature”
  • “My interests include reading and spending time in nature” —> “Outside of work you’ll find me reading or spending time in nature”

According to your cover letter, you love the company you’re applying to, the job itself, and the opportunity to learn. But just how many **things can you love in a job application? Keep your writing fresh with these substitutes:

  • “I love what your company does to support its employees” —> “I respect how your company supports its employees”
  • “I love to work in a team” —> “I work best when collaborating with others”
  • “I love working in a small company because I can see the results of my work” —> “Seeing the results of my work inspires me to keep improving”

9. Opportunity

How can you apply to a job opportunity without constantly saying ‘opportunity’? With these synonyms, of course:

  • “I would excel in this opportunity” —> “I would excel in this position”
  • “I had to apply to this opportunity” —> “I had to apply to this vacancy”
  • “Thank you for the opportunity to join you” —> “Thank you for your consideration”

10. Passion

People can get a bit too passionate with their use of this word — not to mention it’s a weaker choice than some of the alternatives. Shake it up with these contenders:

  • “I’m a passionate marketer who’s ready for a new challenge” —> “I’m a dedicated marketer who’s ready for a new challenge”
  • “I have a passion for helping others through my work” —> “Helping others through my work energizes me”
  • “I have a passion for deploying quality-of-life improvements” —> “I find deploying quality-of-life improvements to be immensely satisfying”

If you’re skilled in everything, doesn’t that dilute the word’s meaning? Here are some other ways to talk about your skills:

  • “I have skills in paid marketing and social media” —> “Paid marketing and social media are my top strengths”
  • “I’m skilled in Photoshop” —> “I’m an expert in Photoshop”
  • “I’m a skilled people manager” —> “I’m a capable people manager”

The same goes for ‘strong’. If everything is a strength of yours, then the hiring manager is going to question how much weight that word holds with you:

  • “I’m a strong marketer” —> “I’m an exceptional marketer”
  • “I have strong knowledge of Premiere and other video editing software” —> “I have in-depth knowledge of Premiere and other video editing software”
  • “I would be a strong addition to your team” —> “I would be an immediately-contributing member of your team”

13. To whom it may concern

Unless you’re applying in an exceptionally formal industry, then it’s time to ditch ‘To whom it may concern’. If you know the name of the hiring manager, then address your cover letter to them directly. If you don’t know their name, there are still plenty of alternatives:

  • Dear hiring manager

14. Yours sincerely

Here’s another cover letter phrase that’s outdated. Unless you’re applying in a formal industry, then end your cover letter with a more modern sign off, like:

  • All the best
  • Best wishes
  • Kind regards

If you’ve found the synonym you were looking for but still need help with your cover letter, we have some other resources to guide you:

💡 Full cover letter guide

🎓 Writing a cover letter for an internship

All that’s left to say is the very best of luck with your application! We’re all rooting for you here.

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4 Words You Should Not Use in Your Cover Letter

4 Words You Should Not Use in Your Cover Letter

By Brenda Bernstein The Essay Expert  

Certain words appear in almost every cover letter. I’ve explained below why you don’t want to use 4 of these too-common words and what some alternatives might be.

If you want to make your cover letter stand out, do some editing and make sure to avoid these words completely. You might be surprised at the result.

e.g. I hope to hear from you soon.

e.g. I hope to be able to contribute my skills to ABC company.

Hope springs eternal. The company doesn’t care about your hopes and dreams. They care about what you can do for them.

Alternatives:

I look forward to speaking with you further regarding my qualifications.

My ability to take clear, decisive action will allow me to make an impact at ABC company from day one.

OK, now we’re talking!

e.g. This summer, I honed my research and writing skills through a position at XX law firm.

You and every other person honed something. It’s an outdated and overused expression. Tell them what you did and they will figure out that you honed your skills. If you absolutely must, use “strengthened,” “developed,” or even “sharpened.”

Alternative:

My research regarding constitutional rights violations culminated in a report and recommendations that guided the ACLU in future actions.

It’s obvious this person is using some powerful research and writing skills.

e.g. I am drawn to ABC company because of its outstanding reputation and high quality service.

You get drawn to a person across a crowded room. Companies don’t care to hear that you are drawn to them. And a bonus tip: companies with outstanding reputations don’t need to be told that you want to work there because of their outstanding reputations.

The relationship management skills I built while working in a state office are a match for ABC company’s commitment to outstanding customer relationships.

That’s so much better, isn’t it?

e.g. I feel the relationship management skills I built while working in a state office are a match for ABC company’s commitment to outstanding customer relationships.

Can you see how adding “I feel” at the beginning of this sentence killed it completely? Tell a psychologist how you feel. Tell a company what you can do for them. If you must, use the word “believe” instead of “feel.” But see if you can avoid this type of language altogether.

Delete these four words from your cover letters and I promise you more creative and powerful language will show up.

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Why You Should Avoid Overusing 'I' In Your Cover Letter

Why You Should Avoid Overusing 'I' In Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter is one of the first impressions you make on an employer. How would you like that impression to be you are a self-absorbed know-it-all? And all of this can be determined by your use of the word “I." Most of us have probably heard the “Don't Overuse 'I' Rule," but do you know why you shouldn't. Keep reading to find out...

Rookie Mistake

Team of 'i', check out my stats, pass the ball.

  • 5 Crucial Cover Letter Mistakes To Avoid - Work It Daily | Where Careers Go To Grow ›
  • 2 Common Cover Letter Mistakes To Avoid - Work It Daily ›

Spring Cleaning: 4 Ways To Fix Your Job Search

Is your job search turning into a grind with no end in sight? It may be time to take a step back and reevaluate your entire approach.

In cold weather climates, the beginning of spring is a time to clean the house and get organized—a practice known as spring cleaning. Through the years, spring cleaning has taken on a larger meaning with people using the time to organize and declutter things in their lives.

For professionals on the job hunt, a little spring cleaning (metaphorically speaking) could be a great way to reinvigorate your job search. Here are a few strategies your job search spring cleaning should include.

Reevaluate Your Job Search Approach

Make a list of the last handful of jobs you applied for and see if you can identify any positive or negative trends. Consider things like:

  • How did I learn about this job?
  • How did I apply for the job?
  • Did I earn an interview?
  • What was the ultimate result?

A lot can be learned about your job search approach just by answering these questions and identifying patterns. For example:

Negative Trends

You discovered five jobs through job boards, applied to all of them via the job boards, and never heard back from any of them.

The common pattern here is applying through job boards. This isn't to say that job boards don't serve a purpose in the job search process, but they have their limitations , and you can't run your job search entirely off of them. When you apply through a job board, there's a good chance that your materials will never get past the applicant tracking system (ATS) and never be seen by an actual person.

One simple fix is to research who the hiring manager or recruiter is that posted the position and email your materials to them directly.

The more efficient fix would be to take a proactive approach by putting together a bucket list of companies that you want to work for and start making connections on LinkedIn with people who work at those companies. You may already know some people who work there or have connections that can refer you to some individuals.

This is a great way to network your way onto a company's radar.

Positive Trends

You applied to three jobs via referral, were invited to two job interviews, and made it through multiple rounds of interviews for one of the jobs before being passed over for someone with a little more experience.

The pattern here is that getting referred to a job by a professional acquaintance is a great way to land a job interview . This indicates that you're leveraging your network well and you should continue to focus on your networking efforts.

The next step is to review the interview process and determine what went well and what needs to be improved. Sometimes the interviewer will provide feedback , and that feedback can be valuable. However, not everyone is comfortable with giving feedback.

Chances are you probably have a good idea about areas of improvement and the skills you need to gain. Put together a plan for addressing those shortfalls.

The good news in making it deep into any interview process is that it indicates that the company likes you as a potential employee (even if the timing just wasn't right) and the experience could be a roadmap to a job with that company at a later date, or another similar opportunity elsewhere.

Give Your Resume & Cover Letter Some Much-Needed Attention

Are you continuously sending similar resumes and cover letters to each job opening with only minor adjustments? If so, your strategy needs some serious spring cleaning.

Let's start with resumes!

Every resume should be tailored to the position in order for it to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers . It may seem like a lot of work, but it's actually less work than submitting the same resume over and over again and never hearing back.

The reason why it's so important to tailor your resume is that throughout your career, you acquire numerous skills, but the job you're applying for may only be focusing on 6-8 of those skills. In that case, those skills must rise to the top of the resume with quantifiable examples of how you successfully used those skills at previous jobs.

Remember, recruiters go through hundreds of resumes. They need to be able to tell from a quick glance whether or not you're a potential candidate for the position.

While updating your resume, you could also spruce up your LinkedIn profile by highlighting the skill sets that you want to be noticed for by recruiters.

As for writing a good cover letter , the key to success is writing a disruptive cover letter . When you write a disruptive cover letter , you're basically telling a story. The story should focus on how you connect with the particular company and job position. The story could also focus on your personal journey, and how you got to where you currently are in your career.

If your resumes and cover letters aren't unique, now is the time to clean things up and get on track.

Build Your Personal Brand

Just because you're looking for work doesn't mean that you don't have anything to offer. Use previous career experiences and passions to build your personal brand .

Ask yourself, "How do I want other professionals to view me?"

Pick an area of expertise and start sharing your knowledge and experience with your professional network by pushing out content on your LinkedIn and social media accounts. Good content can include blogs, social media posts, and videos.

By sharing content about your experiences and passions, you slowly build your personal brand, and others will start to notice. The content could lead to good discussions with others in your network. It could also lead to reconnecting with connections that you haven't spoken to in years, or making new connections.

You never know when one of these connections could turn into a job lead or referral. The trick is to get on people's radars. So, when you're cleaning up your job search, be sure to build a plan for personal branding.

Maintain Healthy Habits During Your Job Search

Your job search is important, but it's even more important to know when to pull back and focus on personal health and spending time with family and friends.

There are actually things that you can do for your own enjoyment that could help your job search in the long run, such as:

  • Grab coffee with a friend - It's good to engage in light conversation with friends during challenging times. And if your job search does come up, remember that most people have been through it themselves and you never know when a friend may provide you with a good idea or lead on a job.
  • Volunteer - Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the community and help others. In addition, if you develop a little bit of a career gap while looking for a job, you can always talk about how you filled that time volunteering, if you're asked about it during a job interview.
  • Continue to focus on other passions - Are you a fitness nut? Blogger? Crafter? Continue to do the things that bring you happiness. And if you're in a position to profit from your passion through a freelance job or side hustle , even better!

Spring is the perfect time to clean up and improve your job search so you can land the job you want. If you're struggling to find a job, follow the tips above to reinvigorate your job search—and watch your career blossom!

Need more help with your job search?

Become a member to learn how to land a job and UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!

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Miss Manners: Is it not unprofessional to use the word ‘hey’ in a business letter greeting?

  • Published: May. 07, 2024, 8:00 p.m.

"Miss Manners" Judith Martin

"Miss Manners" Judith Martin Courtesy Andrews McMeel Universal

  • Judith Martin

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I applied for a job through a temp agency in a foreign, non-English-speaking country. I received a reply with the header “Hey Ian,” and the person also used English words completely without reason.

So I responded that I do not like to be approached with that kind of language (“Hey”). He got in a hissy fit and called me rude and disrespectful. Later he sent me another email, this time with the header “Hi Ian.”

I find it very rude and very unprofessional to be spoken to in that kind of language. I am not his drinking buddy. I worked for 20 years in 4- and 5-star hotels, and I would never even dream of greeting a guest with “Hey.”

Any thoughts? Am I just too old?

GENTLE READER: Maybe just too cantankerous?

Miss Manners does not care for false chumminess any more than you do. But neither does she condone the rudeness of delivering unsolicited criticism -- never mind the foolishness of doing so to a prospective employer.

Presumably, you are in no danger of getting that particular job. But she worries about your plan to work in a foreign country when you are intolerant of differences in language usage. That foreigner may well have thought that Americans liked to be addressed as he did. It has become so commonplace that many of them must.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a woman member of a mostly male international wine society, and I enjoy tweaking the men’s noses. I can’t and won’t deny it.

I’d very much like to buy some 18-button gloves, with the option to turn back the glove part. It would be delightful to turn to my table partner and ask him, in all sweet innocence, to help me unbutton the hand part of the glove.

The problem is, I am having trouble finding the appropriate online search terms to use. It keeps giving me black gloves, but I want white kid. Might you have any advice on how to research vendors of such?

P.S. I also like to whip out my pince-nez from my grandmother’s evening bag to read the table menu.

GENTLE READER: You might find unused 18-button white kid gloves at flea markets. Fragile as they are, they were often stockpiled by ladies who might not have gotten around to using all of them.

But they would be of little use in tweaking others if those others include some who know the manners to go with the gloves and could catch you in error. Above-the-elbow gloves (“button” refers to the length, as there are actual buttons only at the hand) are properly worn on occasions when the dress code is white tie, and such occasions hardly exist nowadays.

And while you are right that the hand part is tucked back to leave the fingers bare when eating or drinking, no lady would ask a gentleman to fool with her clothing.

As for the pince-nez, you have Miss Manners’ blessing, if you think having your nose pinched is worth it. Can’t you find a lorgnette?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the proper greeting of a childless woman or man on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day?

GENTLE READER: “Hello.”

(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com ; to her email, [email protected] ; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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‘Exact same cover letters word for word': Career consultant says Gen Z are misusing AI

By sawdah bhaimiya,cnbc • published may 6, 2024 • updated on may 6, 2024 at 2:19 am.

Gen Z are digital natives and have quickly adopted AI , using it for everything from assignment research to planning holidays.

But, it seems, they've been making mistakes along the way.

Shoshana Davis, a Gen Z career expert and founder of the career consultancy Fairy Job Mother , told CNBC Make It in an interview that the generation (generally defined as those born between 1996 and 2012) have become too reliant on AI tools like ChatGPT to generate cover letters and job application answers.

"So I speak to businesses and employers who hire anything from like 10 to 1000s of Gen Z every year," Davis said. "And one of the main challenges that I'm seeing at the moment is the use of AI, specifically ChatGPT, and it's not being used in the right way, and it's not being used effectively."

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Davis explained that "employers are getting hundreds of the exact same cover letters word for word," or answers to job application questions that are the same, and suspect that ChatGPT use is in play.

In fact, 45% of job seekers have used AI to build, update, or improve their resume, a Canva survey published in January of 5,000 hiring managers and 5,000 job seekers from the U.K., U.S., India, Germany, Spain, France, Mexico and Brazil found.

And it appears that Gen Z is leaning the most on AI, according to a February Grammarly survey of 1,002 knowledge workers and 253 business leaders. It reported that 61% of Gen Z said they can't imagine doing work tasks without using generative AI ­— the most out of any of the generations.

words to not use in a cover letter

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words to not use in a cover letter

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Davis said that we should definitely "embrace technology and AI" but said copying answers from ChatGPT can hurt your chances of getting a job.

A Resume Genius survey of 625 hiring managers found that over half disliked AI-generated resumes and would consider it a red flag that would make them less likely to hire a candidate.

'100 identical responses'

One of the reasons why copying ChatGPT's responses is an ineffective way of using AI is that the chatbot does not always provide reliable information.

One initial issue with ChatGPT was that its knowledge base was limited to data released before September 2021 but this was resolved in September 2023, its owner OpenAI announced on X .

"ChatGPT is not connected to the internet, and it can occasionally produce incorrect answers," it says on the company website . "It has limited knowledge of world and events after 2021 and may also occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content."

Davis shared a recent story from an employer she works with who was hiring for a brand marketing position, and asked a question in the job application about candidates' favorite fitness-related product launches in the past year.

"They said they got about 100 identical responses of 'my favorite campaign launch was Peloton' and the employer was like 'ultimately that was ChatGPT, but then also equally Peloton was released like four or five years ago'," Davis said. The employer was referring to an ad campaign from Peloton in 2020.

Davis said that young people "need to educate themselves" on how to use ChatGPT properly and not just to copy answers.

'It should be used as a tool, not a replacement'

There are several uses for AI in the job application process from helping you prep for interviews or researching a company.  

"In my opinion, you can use ChatGPT in the job search process but it should be used as a tool, not a replacement," Davis warned.

Michelle Reisdorf, district director at recruitment firm Robert Half, shared a similar view with CNBC Make It previously and said that AI is great for "proofreading and enhancing what you've already written but it's not a one-stop shop to generate the perfect resume."

Reisdorf added: "Recruiters will be able to tell if you're not including specific details from your past jobs or writing in a personal, human voice." 

Davis said she uses ChatGPT to help her structure documents, brainstorm ideas, and produce drafts but "I never just type in a question and then copy and paste my responses."

Also on CNBC

  • The No. 1 skill companies are hiring for is also the hardest to find
  • Ex-Google recruiter’s 2 best tips for writing an effective resume
  • The ultimate guide to acing your interview and landing your dream job in 2024

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15 words and phrases to never include in a cover letter

Image: Overhead view of a woman using a computer

While many job applications have the word “optional” next to the field that asks for a cover letter , it shouldn’t be overlooked. After all, a cover letter is intended to show you off and captivate a hiring manager, kind of like a movie trailer. It’s meant to tease and entice the recruiter or hiring manager to keep reading and be so interested in you that they simply cannot put down your resume. Think: personable and professional.

Some of the best cover letters tell interesting stories about the candidate and help them to be seen as a good culture fit for a company . “Recruiters always remember the personal side of cover letters — this is when you become more than just another applicant,” says career expert Heather Huhman. “They connect your experiences with your name because you’re giving them another dimension of you, sharing what makes you unique.”

Given the importance of a cover letter, you cannot afford to blow it. Once you’ve got a working draft, it’s time to grab your red pen. Here are 15 words and phrases that are simply dragging your cover letter down. Cut ‘em! Take the expert advice below to craft the best cover letter possible and let your personality , not robotic prose, shine through.

1. “To Whom It May Concern”

Generic salutations, while professional, can be a bit sterile. Do a little digging to find the name of the hiring manager or the recruiter. “Let’s say you discover an opening for an electrical engineer position at an engineering organization’s website. The position description indicates the employee will report to the lead electrical engineer. You decide (initially) to bypass the company’s automated application system so you can customize your communications,” advises Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, master resume writer. “You sail over to LinkedIn and begin researching. Use the advanced search feature and type in ‘name of company’ for the company name, ‘lead electrical engineer’ for keywords and ‘64152’ for a zip code for greater Kansas City (where the company headquarters and this position are located) and click enter. Your results will appear.”

2. “Thinking outside of the box”

Recruiters read thousands of cover letters and resumes. It’s their job. So try hard to make reading your cover letter a treat. Career coach Angela Copeland says, “more specifically, stay away from phrases that are known to annoy hiring managers, such as ‘heavy lifting’ or ‘think outside the box’ or ‘game-changer.’” Be creative instead of using meaningless buzzwords.

3. “I’m not sure if you know”

“When it comes to today’s job search process, another thing to remember is your online footprint ,” says Copeland. Phrases like this one underestimate a recruiter’s ability to Google and may come across as naive. HR professionals and recruiters do their due diligence on you. Trust us, they know. “In a way, your Google search results are a lot like the modern day cover letter. After an employer reads your cover letter, they will also Google you. Beat them to the punch and Google yourself. Be sure you’re comfortable with the information that shows up on the first two pages of the Google search results. Look through social media , photos and any other websites that show up when you search for yourself.”

4. Insider Jargon

“Job seekers should try to minimize phrases that are very industry-specific, especially if they’re switching industries,” advises Copeland. “Although these phrases may sound impressive within one industry, they will most likely confuse your hiring manager in the new industry you want to switch to.”

5. Claims Without Evidence

Instead of simply saying you’re good at what you do, Huhman advises providing a valuable anecdote. “Let’s say you’re applying for a marketing director position. Among other aspects in the description, the job requires several years of marketing experience, a deep knowledge of lead generation and strong communication skills. Describe how, in your previous role as a marketing manager , you ran several campaigns for your clients and exceeded their expectations of lead generation (with specific numbers, if possible), and how you also trained and mentored new associates on how to manage their own accounts, which improved client retention rates.” In other words, show how effective you have been in the past. “Your anecdote is accomplishing a lot at once — it’s demonstrating one of your top hard skills, lead nurturing, and showcasing how you can collaborate with trainees, communicate effectively and educate new employees on processes and client relations,” says Huhman. “You’re proving that you can meet the communication standards and marketing knowledge they’re seeking.”

Cut the millennial speak. “You shouldn’t just say that you want the job or that you love your industry. You have to show your passion,” says Huhman. “Share why your career path best suits you and how your love for your work drives and motivates you. For example, answer some questions about what made you want to enter the field, how your personality helps you succeed and what past experiences influenced your career decisions.”

“ Embellishing in a cover letter is one way to set yourself up for letting down your future employer once you’ve been hired,” warns Huhman. Steer clear of touting skills you don’t really possess or overselling your impact on a key project at your current employer. “The best-case scenario is that lying on a cover letter creates uncomfortable situations. Worst case scenario? [You’ll lose the] job because [you are] not the candidate they were looking for.”

8. Flattery

“When you’re looking for a job, do your best to bring your authentic self to the table. As the old saying goes, people hire people. Often, you’re hired because the hiring manager likes you — not just because you can do the work,” says Copeland. “Nobody likes insincere flattery. It leaves an impression that you aren’t authentic and therefore can’t be trusted. In business, especially in an employee/employer relationship, trust is paramount. Avoid being insincere, and focus on building a true relationship with your future hiring manager.”

9. “Please feel free”

Ending your cover letter with a clear call-to-action is key, but instead of being gentle, be direct. Show your confidence and prove to the recruiter that you know you wrote a compelling cover letter by wrapping up with a more self-assured request for an in-person interview or phone screen.

10. “Dynamic”

“Get away from stuffing cover letters full of clichéd phrases and think clear, honest and impactful. Think in terms of telling a story,” says resume expert Anish Majumdar. “You’re not a dynamic, agile leader who can deliver rapid marketing and biz dev ROI in rapidly-changing environments.” Instead, you are someone who thrives on helping companies “more fully realize their vision, and have some amazing successes on the marketing and business development front that you’d like to discuss.”

11. “Significant”

Instead of tiptoeing around the impact you’ve had at your current company with words like “significant,” “measurable” or “huge,” get specific. Nicole Cox, Chief Recruitment Officer at national recruiting firm Decision Toolbox, advises job seekers to, “substantiate your accomplishments with numbers. Some recruiters prefer to see actual numbers (such as ‘cut manufacturing costs by $500,000’), while others prefer percentages (‘cut manufacturing costs by 15 percent’). Either way, provide enough context to show the impact. If your objective was to cut manufacturing costs by 10 percent, make it clear that you exceeded the goal.”

12. “Really, truly, deeply”

Flowery language and excessive adverbs can come off as insincere. “Don’t get me wrong, you need to share your accomplishments in your cover letter. Nobody else will do it for you. But, you want to come across as confident , not arrogant,” says Copeland. “Fluffy jargon will risk turning off the hiring manager.”

13. Cut, Copy & Paste

Resist the temptation to write a cover letter that regurgitates what you’ve outlined in your resume . Instead, recognize the opportunity that a cover letter presents. “Use the cover letter as an opportunity to highlight the parts of your resume that align to the job,” says Copeland. “And, add things you don’t normally include in your resume that are relevant to the work. For example, I once coached a job seeker who was a university administrator. He was interested to work for a large hotel chain. Although he didn’t have direct hotel experience, his hobbies included both real estate investing and managing a fitness franchise location. This information was critical to him landing a job with the large hotel company.”

14. “Self-Starter,” “Detail-Oriented,” and “Forward-Thinker”

These are what’s known as “frequent offenders” amongst cover letter and resume experts. They are overused and carry little weight these days. “Treat a cover letter as a chance to make a human connection , not a formality,” says Majumdar. “What gets you excited about this job? What have you been up to recently that they’d find interesting? What should they know about you that they couldn’t discern by reading your resume? All great points to touch on in this letter.”

15. Synonyms Out of A Thesaurus

While it may be tempting to head to thesaurus.com to add a few high-brow words and smart-sounding phrases, resist the temptation. Be yourself. Be honest. “This is a prime opportunity to showcase skills,” says Majumdar. Words like “change,” “execute,” “communicates” and “relationship building” will all get the job done effectively when paired with strong anecdotes and authenticity.

This article first appeared on Glassdoor.com.

words to not use in a cover letter

Today's Wordle Hints & Answer - May 9, 2024 (Puzzle #1055)

May 9’s Wordle answer shouldn’t be too hard to solve as it is a ubiquitous food item that one can buy at gas stations and grocery stores. While the answer only has one vowel, finding the correct positions of other letters first is more important. While it is possible to guess the answer in less than six attempts, you will have a better chance if you use some hints or starting words that give a slight advantage.

You can also use Wordle ’s hard mode to solve today’s answer, as finding most letters requires more strategy. Once you figure out the correct spots for a few letters, you won’t be able to use them in other spots in this mode . This will prevent players from using random guesses and be a bot more strategic with their attempts.

10 Wordle Strategies To Keep Your Streak Alive

With six guesses and thousands of possible daily words, keeping a Wordle streak alive can be tricky. Here are some strategies players can follow.

Best Starting Words For Todays Wordle Answer

Three starting words to help you solve wordle.

If you do not want to use hints immediately, you can also use some starting words to give you an upper hand for today’s Wordle . This will let you conserve some of your attempts and discover some key elements from the answer, such as consonants, vowels, or even most of the letters. You can use three starting word options, one of which will practically solve the answer, while the others might be challenging to follow up on.

Using the best starting words and combos might work for todays answer, but the three starting words below have been hand-picked for todays Wordle solution.

Challenging Start Word For Today's Wordle

  • Shares no consonants with today's answer.
  • Shares no vowels with today's answer.
  • No letters are in the correct position for today's answer.

Medium Start Word For Today's Wordle

  • Shares one vowel with today's answer.
  • Three letters are in the correct position for today's answer.

Easy Start Word For Today's Wordle

  • Shares one consonant with today's answer.
  • Four letters are in the correct position for today's answer.

If you need some tips to solve most Wordle questions, check out this video by BuzzFeedPlayer on YouTube.

Save Your Wordle Streak: Hints For Today's Wordle Answer

May 9 #1055.

There might be a point where you might need to use hints after a few attempts. For such situations, it is recommended to use some relevant hints that will give you a fair idea about the answer without spoiling it . We’ve provided four hints below that should point in the right direction and give enough information so that you can solve March 9’s Wordle answer faster.

5 Letter Words Wordle Hasn't Used Yet (Updated Daily)

Wordle, the popular word-guessing game hosted by The New York Times, has over 1,700 words remaining as possible solutions.

Today's Wordle Answer

Since there are only six attempts, it’s not worth wasting your last attempt on a guess to solve today’s Wordle answer . Instead, it will be prudent to use the actual answer so that you can carry forward your streak and have better luck with tomorrow’s puzzle. But if you used all of the suggested starting words mentioned earlier, you would have been able to solve today’s answer in two to three attempts.

May 9’s Wordle answer is JERKY .

Last 10 Wordle Answers

If you’re wondering which answers Wordle has already used, here’s a list of the past 10 answers.

Other Games Like Wordle

There are many other games similar to Wordle that you can try next. These games are easy to complete and shouldn’t take too long. They will also feel familiar to seasoned Wordle players as they might have rules and mechanics similar to those you may already be accustomed to. Here are four more games you can add to your daily puzzle-solving playlist.

Video Credit: BuzzFeedPlayer/YouTube

Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android

Released October 1, 2021

Developer(s) Josh Wardle

Publisher(s) The New York Times Company, Josh Wardle

Genre(s) Puzzle

Today's Wordle Hints & Answer - May 9, 2024 (Puzzle #1055)

IMAGES

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VIDEO

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  1. 15 Cover Letter Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

    Failing to provide support for claims. Not optimizing your cover letter with keywords. Repeating information from your resume. Using the wrong tone or style. Failing to include a strong call-to-action in your closing. Forgetting to proofread before submitting your cover letter.

  2. 15 Words and Phrases to Never Include in a Cover Letter

    10. "Dynamic". "Get away from stuffing cover letters full of clichéd phrases and think clear, honest and impactful. Think in terms of telling a story," says resume expert Anish Majumdar. "You're not a dynamic, agile leader who can deliver rapid marketing and biz dev ROI in rapidly-changing environments.".

  3. Cover Letter Mistakes and What to Say Instead

    Keep it brief, but not too brief. "I'm applying for the _______ position. I've attached my resume for your consideration. Thank you.". A cover letter is a letter to your potential boss. At the very least, your cover letter should have a couple of paragraphs that detail why you are the perfect candidate for the job.

  4. 7 Cover Letter Phrases to Avoid in 2023

    5. "I'm the best candidate because…". Confidence is good, but arrogance is not. And even if you're sure that you'd be an absolutely fantastic choice, you don't know you're the best. Imagine reading through six cover letters in a row from people who all claim to be "the best candidate.".

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    15 Things You Shouldn't Include. What to Include in a Cover Letter. Photo: katleho Seisa / Getty Images. There are some things that should not be included in a cover letter when you apply for a job, review a list, and the reasons why you shouldn't include them.

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    Cover Letter Mistake #1: Lack of research. Thanks to the Internet, there's little excuse to not personalize your cover letters. Whenever possible, research the name of the hiring manager or recruiter (if it's not listed on the actual job post) and the company who's filling the position, and use this information to customize your opening document.

  7. Words and phrases you should never include in your cover letter

    It's not really necessary to state "I think" anywhere in your cover letter because, by its nature, everything you've written is what you think. Attaching "I think" to any sentence can ...

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    Avoid possible confusion by being upfront about just how much expertise you have. As a final defense against cover letter clichés, reread your letter and look for any "I" phrases and statements you can change or eliminate. You may have quite a few "I" statements, naturally, since you're writing about yourself in the first person.

  9. 15 Words and Phrases to Never Include in a Cover Letter

    9. "Please feel free". Ending your cover letter with a clear call-to-action is key, but instead of being gentle, be direct. Show your confidence and prove to the recruiter that you know you wrote ...

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    Cover Letter Don'ts. Mistake #1: Don't Overuse "I" Your cover letter is not your autobiography. The focus should be on how you meet an employer's needs, not on your life story. Avoid the perception of being self-centered by minimizing your use of the word "I," especially at the beginning of your sentences. Mistake #2: Don't Use a Weak Opening ...

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    3. Experience. It's very easy to say 'experience' too frequently in your cover letter, so try these alternatives to keep things varied: "My experience with cloud systems makes me" —> "My expertise in cloud systems makes me". "I'm looking to build more experience in marketing" —> "This position would help me become a ...

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  15. 4 Words You Should Not Use in Your Cover Letter

    Certain words appear in almost every cover letter. I've explained below why you don't want to use 4 of these too-common words and what some alternatives might be. If you want to make your cover letter stand out, do some editing and make sure to avoid these words completely. You might be surprised at the result. 1. HOPE. e.g.

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  21. Why You Should Avoid Overusing 'I' In Your Cover Letter

    One assumption to be avoided by the overuse of "I" is you are more interested in what the company can do for you instead of vice versa. According to QuintCareers.com, this is a common mistake among recent grads and inexperienced job hunters. One feature of your cover letter is to let the employer know what attributes you can bring to the ...

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  26. 15 words and phrases to never include in a cover letter

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  27. Today's Wordle Hints & Answer

    5 Letter Words Wordle Hasn't Used Yet (Updated Daily) Wordle, the popular word-guessing game hosted by The New York Times, has over 1,700 words remaining as possible solutions. Today's Wordle Answer

  28. Words and Phrases to exclude from a Cover Letter

    Here are 15 words and phrases that are simply dragging your cover letter down. Cut 'em! Take the expert advice below to craft the best cover letter possible and let your personality, not robotic prose, shine through. 1. "To Whom It May Concern". Generic salutations, while professional, can be a bit sterile.