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The Now, The New & The Next in Careers


4 Words You Should Not Use in Your Cover Letter

17 Dec 2015 9:14 AM | Anonymous

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.

1. HOPE

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

OR

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

Why not?

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.

OR

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!

2. HONE

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

Why not?

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 It’s an outdated and overused expression.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.

3. DRAWN

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

Why not?

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.

Alternative:

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?

4. FEEL

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.

Why not?

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.

Alternative:

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

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

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