cover letters

Things to omit from your cover letter

Things to omit from your cover letter. We spend our time giving you advice on what recruiters expect from a good cover letter. But do you know what not to include? Here is our list of things to avoid.

There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to. Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual, without any fluff or generalizations.

A cover letter

A cover letter is a document sent alongside your CV when applying for jobs. It acts as a personal introduction and helps to sell your application. A cover letter is necessary as it gives you the chance to explain to an employer why you’re the best candidate for the job.

What are the 3 types of cover letters?

There are three main types of cover letters: the application cover letter, the prospecting cover letter, and the networking cover letter. Short emails (we call these “non-cover letter cover letters”) are also an effective and increasingly common way to introduce your resume.

6 Things to omit from your cover letter

1. age

Even if it is obviously prohibited, age discrimination exists. Just look at the low employment rate of seniors! So no need to stretch out a pole to the recruiter from the cover letter.

2. personal details

“I sometimes get letters saying ‘I’m applying because I just got divorced and I really need to work…’. Whether you are married, divorced, PACS, hardened single, or have X children… it doesn’t matter! This information has nothing to do with a cover letter, nor in the CV for that matter,” insists Judith Tripard, senior consultant at Clémentine.

3. Job search deadline

To say that one has been looking for work for 10 months makes the candidate look hopeless.  Even if mentalities have changed slightly, recruiters still prefer job candidates to job seekers.

4. A repetition of the CV 

The letter must be catchy and therefore synthetic. There is no question about detailing your entire professional career. The CV is made for that.

5. Salary 

“To specify “I am currently at such remuneration and I claim so many thousands of euros per year is prohibitive”, warns Judith Tripard. Indeed, there is no question of talking about salary before even having met the recruiter. You must first convince him to receive you for an interview and then convince him that you are THE candidate.

6. The state of your relationship with your employer (or former employer)

Phrases like “I’m leaving because I don’t get along with my direct manager”, and “I’m actively looking for a job because I’m no longer in tune with my company’s strategy” should be banned. Trying to get a recruiter’s attention by insisting that you can’t stand anything or anyone is anything but wise.

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