Cliche Buzzwords To Avoid In Your Cover Letter
Job hunting can be a repetitive process and the chances are you’ve written more than your fair share of cover letters. It can be a challenge to think of new ideas every time you need a new cover letter and we’re here to help you!
One simple way to improve your cover letters is to get rid of all your common clichés, including words and phrases you’ve probably heard a million times.
Adjectives like dynamic, proactive, motivated, and responsible might seem like great words to describe yourself. But employers are a lot more interested in specific accomplishments than general traits.
Here are some examples;
- If you describe yourself as a "team player," instead think about what did you learn from that experience? Maybe you interacted with people in different departments, or compromised to achieve a goal?
- If you say your "detail-oriented," instead can you point to a task that required you to interpret data or help out with event planning logistics?
- If you love solving problems, describe a workplace problem you faced and the solution you discovered.
Popular phrases you should rethink;
- 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
A helpful tip to remember is if a phrase sounds familiar or like a statement you’ve heard before, maybe in a job advertisement, there’s probably a better way to get your point across.
Try to pin down concrete examples to 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 project you created and successfully managed (I’m an independent self-starter).
A final recommendation is to limit the amount of times your use the phrase "I", try changing some of them to "you" statements that highlight what the organization is looking for. Not only does this show the reader you’ve done your homework but it also demonstrates you can apply yourself to multiple situations.
For example instead of saying "I thrive in a fast-paced environment" say "Your fast-paced atmosphere requires employees who can make smart decisions under pressure. At my internship with XYZ organization, which ran on a tight schedule, I..."