As a job seeker, you’ve probably spent a lot of time perfecting your cover letter. You’ve got your opening and closing lines down, found a unique way to talk about your skill set, and spent time making sure it’s personalized for the job you’re applying for. So, the work is done, right? Not quite.
We’ve previously shared tips on writing a better cover letter and what to include, but is there anything you should leave out? Yes! Buzzwords and clichés have a habit of popping up in cover letters, which is one of the last places they should appear.
Here are five phrases to remove from your cover letter immediately.
"I believe I’m a qualified candidate for the position."
There are many qualified candidates for the position, and many of them are applying right alongside you. What makes you stand apart from them? How are you uniquely qualified for the position? Don’t just state that you are qualified – explain how you are qualified. Explain how your mix of work experience and skills can help the company achieve its business goals. Think about what makes you stand out as a candidate and emphasize those traits and experiences. Also, leave out phrases such as “I think” or “I believe” as they don’t project the level of confidence you’ll be looking for in a cover letter.
"I am a team player, but also skilled at working independently."
These are not the unique skills mentioned in the previous tip. In fact, employers expect this of all employees, so don’t waste time with filler phrases like these. Basic skills expected of any employee don’t need to be listed in your cover letter.
"I am a self-starter with great communication skills."
Just like filler phrases, buzzwords shouldn’t have a spot in your cover letter. The person reading your cover will likely skip over these clichés looking for the meat of your cover letter, so do them a favor and don’t include them at all. Instead, include real-world examples that demonstrate that you’re creative, hard-working, and flexible (all buzzwords, by the way). Show, don’t tell.
"I am the best candidate for the job."
Are you sure? You don’t know what the rest of the candidate pool looks like. Confidence is great in a cover letter, but you don’t want to come across as arrogant. Stick to sharing your work experiences and demonstrating how your skill set has been an asset for other organizations. The hiring manager will be able to spot the value you’ll bring to the position.
"This job will help me..."
Your cover letter should not focus on your needs. It should focus on the needs of the hiring organization and how you can help them solve their problems. The hiring manager cares about finding the right person for the job, not about how this job will help you achieve your dreams. Focus on the company and how you can help them.
Writing a truly effective cover letter isn’t always easy, but being rewarded with a fulfilling new job makes the effort worth it.
If you are looking to hire an IT, Accounting, or Finance professional, or work in any of those fields and looking to advance your career, you can contact Equis Staffing via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (818) 444-0100.