cover letter mistakes

Cover Letter Mistakes You Should Avoid

It’s the first thing your employer will see and the perfect opportunity to showcase your talent, and yet cover letter mistakes are very common.

An effective cover letter can prove that you write well, think clearly and possess the qualities you need to succeed in the job.

To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together some of the most common cover letter mistakes that you should always try to avoid when applying for a new job.

Starting with Your Name

‘My name is John Smith and I want this job because…’ – this is a big no in the job world.

You should write your cover letter as if it was a real letter, the sign off will tell them your name, plus it should be on the top of your resume anyway.

What you Should do:  Always start with a relevant qualification that sells your talents to your potential employer.

So, maybe you’re a recent graduate with a passion for computer programming, tell them. Or, perhaps you’re a marketing professional with over 5 years’ experience in the industry, introduce yourself that way and tell them how it relates to the job you’re applying for.

Lack of Attention to Detail

This is probably one of the most important cover letter mistakes you should avoid.

Submitting a letter with grammar and/or spelling errors is a sure way to get screened out straight away. It shows you don’t have attention to detail and have probably rushed the application process.

You should always check facts such as the employers name, the exact job title and if you refer to the company, make sure you spell it correctly.

What You Should Do: Always use the spelling and grammar checking tools on your computer to identify some of the mistakes, but never just rely on that. Check back through and read it out loud to yourself, to make sure it flows well.

Lastly, always get someone else to proof it for you before submitting your application, a fresh pair of eyes will always pick up on mistakes you’ve missed.

Rehashing Your Resume

Your cover letter should never contain exactly the same information as your resume. It’s the first thing your potential employer will see, therefore you need to really sell your best attributes in a short and concise way.

What you Should do: Focus on two or three examples of your previous work or experience. By giving a bigger picture about how you achieved the skills you have, it will help your employer to understand more about you and how you would fit in their team.

Too Short or too Long

There are sometimes exceptions to the rule, but in general, cover letters shouldn’t go over a page and should usually fill that page. Employers won’t have time to read pages and pages, so you need to make it easy for them to pick out the main attributes and skills you possess.

What You Should Do: Always keep a cover letter concise and wrap it up after around 3 paragraphs. Remember, you don’t need to tell them everything you’ve ever done, just the best snippets to convince them to invite you to an interview.

Highlighting Inexperience

It’s easy to feel vulnerable when applying for a job, especially if you feel that your skills don’t exactly match the specifications. However, starting off a cover letter by underselling yourself or drawing attention to the skills or knowledge you are lacking is never the way to go.

What You Should Do: Be confident and always emphasise the skills you do have, rather than highlighting things you don’t know. You need to impress your employer, not show them your weaknesses.

Sending a Generic Letter

One of the most common cover letter mistakes is to send a generic copy to a range of different job titles. Employers can tell a mile of if you’ve just written one letter and sent it to everyone.

What you Should Do: A good cover letter will be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. Carefully read the job specification and try to refer to most of the points and how your skills will help you to excel in that particular job.

Over Sharing or Over Explaining

There is some information that you don’t need to include in your cover letter. You never need to explain why you want to leave your current job, or why you were let go from a previous employer. There is also no need to include personal details, such as relationship or illness, the recruiter doesn’t need to know this information.

What you Should Do: Your potential employer is looking for details about what you can offer them and how you will fit into their company, so always explain this rather than looking back to the past. Always steer clear of negativity towards a previous employer or job.

Going off Brand

Think of your cover letter as your sales pitch to your future employer. It’s the introduction to your resume, so make sure your cover letter matches up with it in terms of font, design and colour palette. Probably more important for creative jobs, but doing this still shows potential bosses that you’re consistent and have a creative side.

What you Should Do: Make sure your cover letter and resume match up, in terms of design and presentation. It should have the same header as your resume, the same font and size, plus always check the contact information is consistent.

Not Providing Concrete Examples

Expressing empty opinions about your strengths will generally not convince employers about your suitability for the job. You need to back up your skills with clear examples from previous jobs or training.

What you Should Do: Back up your statements by referencing a job or role where you successfully employed that strength. For example, instead of simply stating ‘I possess strong writing skills and an outstanding work ethic.’  Use an example – ‘Strong writing skills enabled me to revise a proposal and secure £10,000 in additional funding from the Jones Foundation.’

Don’t Skip It

Last but not least, if your employer asks for a cover letter, or even if they don’t, never skip it. The only reason you shouldn’t provide a cover letter is if they explicably ask you not to provide one.

A cover letter doesn’t have to be complicated, but you must include one.

Working for Signature Living

Signature careers

Signature Living is one of the top companies in Liverpool to work for, whether it’s surrounding hospitality, events or even marketing.

We’re always in search of fresh new talent to join our team.

Signature Living is renowned for amazing venues such as Signature Living apartments, The Shankly Hotel and 30 James Street.

Whether it’s hospitality, marketing or construction, make sure you check out our current job vacancies in Liverpool to take the next step in your career.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Patisserie Chef de Partie

 

Do you have diverse bakery experience, a large scoop of organisation and a sprinkle or two of passion? If this sounds like you, then our new Patisserie and Bakery could be your next exciting adventure.

Set to become the cherry on top at the Cunard Building, the up-and-coming Patisserie and Bakery will be based in the heart of the city. As a majestic piece of the Three Graces, you’ll work with the Royal Liver Building and the Port of Liverpool Building as your friendly neighbours.

At Signature, we’re known for doing things differently. The fantastic Patisserie and Bakery will offer the city sweet and savoury treats as well as a wondrous chocolate room that Willy Wonka would be proud of.

As Chef de Partie, you’ll join a talented team of staff and always be prepared to get ready, set, bake! You’ll have the experience and knowledge to keep a cool head and ensure that all baked goods are prepared and presented to perfection.

The key ingredients of this role include the ability to work in any section of the Patisserie and Bakery and the imagination to showcase innovative ideas alongside the Sous Chef and Head Chef.

In addition to these skills, you’ll also be confident in mentoring junior members of staff and possess the dedication and knowledge to adhere to food and health and safety regulations.

We won’t sugar-coat it, we’re a great bunch to work for. Signature Group is renowned for creating dynamic jobs and successful long-term brands in Liverpool and beyond.

Starting with one apartment in 2008 and plenty of ambition, Signature Group is now the company behind leading Liverpool hotels, bars and restaurants, including Signature Living party apartments, The Shankly Hotel, 30 James Street Hotel – Home of the Titanic and Carpathia Bar & Restaurant.

Set to open in 2017, this is an unmissable job opportunity to become our Signature star baker! We can’t wait to hear from you.

Job Purpose / Summary:

  • Assist and support the kitchen management team by ensuring a smooth efficient service of all baked goods from preparation, cooking and presentation.
  • Able to work in any section of the Bakery and demonstrate methods and recipes.
  • Manage a section of the kitchen, producing exceptional level of food quality.
  • Assist the Sous Chef and Head Chef in developing new innovative and creative baked goods.
  • Mentor and coach junior members of the team at any opportunity.
  • Ensure your areas of the kitchen is clean and tidy with the highest sanitation, storage and handling procedures. Champion this within other areas of the kitchen.
  • Provide a high standard of food that complies with food safety regulations.
  • Ensure and maintain a safe working environment for all team members.
  • Comply with Food and Health and Safety regulations.
  • Achieve company standards.
  • Deliver any other reasonable duties as required by your line manager.

Required Knowledge/Skills: 

  • Experience working as a Chef de Partie / Commi.
  • Ability and experience in working in a patisserie / bakery.
  • Knowledge of luxury hotel or restaurant standards.
  • Must have a good understanding / knowledge of baking breads, chocolate work and Patisserie.
  • Commitment to food / bakery innovations.
  • Immaculate presentation, outgoing, passionate, and excellent customer service skills.
  • The ability to anticipate customer needs, change goals and direction quickly whilst multitasking.
  • Capable of using independent judgment / solid decision-making skills ability.
  • Demonstrates sound organisational, coordinating and personal interface skills.
  • Proven comfort and experience to interact effectively with all levels of management, guests, associates, and clientele, both inside and outside of the organization.
  • Activator, self-motivated to accomplish goals, with a strong sense of responsibility.
  • Proven job reliability, diligence, dedication and attention to detail.
  • Must be flexible with working nights, weekends, and holidays.

Patisserie Commi

 

Do you known for your baking brilliance? Do you have a real passion for the kitchen? At Signature Group, we’re looking to hire a Patisserie Commis to become the icing on the cake at our exciting new Patisserie and bakery.

Opening in 2017 within Liverpool’s Grade II* listed Cunard Building, the up-and-coming bakery will be located within the heart of the city. As a majestic piece of the Three Graces, you’ll find Liverpool’s world-famous landmarks and flourishing business district right on your doorstep.

Set to fill the Cunard with the scent of sweet and savoury treats, the real golden ticket will be the bakery’s wondrous chocolate room, certain to attract tourists and locals exploring the best of Liverpool’s waterfront.

As Patisserie Commis, your role will complete the perfect mixture of skills within our team of talented staff. Assisting our Head Chef, Sous Chef and Chef de Partie, you will be given the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge in breads, chocolate work and patisserie.

The main ingredients to this diverse role include assisting the kitchen management team with overall tasks and providing a fantastic standard of food. You’ll also have the confidence to keep a cool head, ensuring that all stations are set out to the highest standard.

As part of your dynamic role, you’ll be dedicated to meeting food and health and safety regulations, paying close attention to detail to sanitation, storage and handling procedures throughout the day.

Demonstrating a natural flair for customer service, you’ll have excellent communication skills mixed with an outgoing personality. You’ll be keen to add a sprinkle of friendliness to the experience of our hotel guests and bakery customers.

Let’s not sugar-coat it, at Signature Group we’re a great bunch to work with. The ever-growing company is of the in Liverpool to work for and renowned for creating long-term, successful brands in the city.

We’re the brains behind luxury hotels and restaurants including 30 James Street Hotel – Home of the Titanic, The Shankly Hotel and Carpathia Champagne Bar & Restaurant. Our new venture will offer customers an exceptional standard of baked goods and a lasting impression.

Job Purpose / Summary:

  • Complete daily tasks as requested by the kitchen management team and assist in overall execution of duties in assigned sections
  • Ensure all stations are properly set out, prior to service and necessary corrections are made, in needed
  • Ensure safe usage of all equipment by staff
  • Champion good customer relations are maintained
  • Ensure fridge and food storage areas are maintained and that products are properly stored
  • Assist and support the kitchen management team by ensuring a smooth efficient service of all baked goods from preparation, cooking and presentation
  • Ensure areas of the kitchen is clean and tidy with the highest sanitation, storage and handling procedures
  • Provide a high standard of food that complies with food safety regulations
  • Comply with Food and Health and Safety regulations.
  • Achieve company standards
  • Deliver any other reasonable duties as required by your line manager

Required Knowledge/Skills: 

  • Experience working as a Commis previously
  • Experience in working in a bakery
  • Knowledge of all kitchen equipment and operations
  • Immaculate presentation, outgoing, passionate, and excellent customer service skills
  • Proven job reliability, diligence, dedication and attention to detail
  • Must be flexible with working nights, weekends, and holidays

How to Write a Winning Hospitality CV

If you’re in search of advice for how to write a hospitality CV, Signature Careers has got you covered.

In fact, we may even have your next job awaiting with our range of dynamic hospitality jobs in Liverpool.

But first things first, applying for a new role can be daunting. So, if you’re looking to expand your horizons, look no further than our guide to crafting a winning CV.

“The customer is always right” coined Harry Gordon Selfridge. And while the catchy phrase was popularised throughout the early 1990s, customer service is just as vital today.

That being said, fantastic customer service and hospitality skills can be tough to showcase through the written word.

But worry not! follow our steps on how to write a hospitality CV and you’ll be well on your way to success…

Showcase your experience

If you can’t mention those weeks of work experience on your CV, then when can you?

Make the most of your experience and don’t be afraid to showcase it. That voluntary work you did might not be directly related, but there’s usually a way to make it count.

Make a list of what you learnt during each experience, whether it was a full-time job or casual experience.

Did you learn organisational skills? Maybe it helped shape you into the punctual, reliable person you are today. If, so don’t forget to shout about it!

Hone in on key skills

So, you’ve talked about your skills overall. Now it’s time to hone in on the key skills you’ll need for getting that job.

For hospitality, you’ll want to focus on your ability to connect with customers, but simply saying you’re great at customer service isn’t really enough.

Be specific about your interpersonal skills, from listening and persuading customers and to forming friendly connections. These are the hospitality skills that will take you to the next level.

You may also want to think of a time that you’ve dazzled a group of people with strong leadership or talk about your sound knowledge of hygiene and safety.

If you’re a fast learner and can take feedback on board, those are a bonus too.

Show your enthusiasm

Enthusiasm will set you apart from the rest of the candidates, so it’s important to prove that you care.

Take some time to research the company. What are their core values? How do you align with their values?

Explain why you’d be the perfect fit for the team and why you’ve chosen this company over the seas of others. After all, who doesn’t love a good compliment?

Learn as much as you can about their history and successes over the years. This is also great practise for your interview, which could be just around the corner!

What makes you different?

Recruiters or managers are likely to look through a multitude of hospitality applications, so it’s important that your CV makes its mark on their memory.

How would your friends best describe your qualities? Decide what makes you unique and embrace it. The reader will be looking to get a feel for your personality.

Talk a little about what makes you the wonderful person you are. What are your hobbies? What are you interested in?

If you’re sociable and motivated, these qualities go hand-in-hand with hospitality, so it’s well worth giving them a mention.

Presentation is everything

Presentation is everything when it comes to writing a hospitality CV. If your font size is always changing and the layout is a strain on the eyes, it’s unlikely that you’ll get too far!

Set aside some time to take a look at your layout and place yourself in the shoes of the person reading it. How would you want to see a CV structured if you were recruiting? What would you prioritise?

Our advice is to start with your personal contact details and work your way down the page from there. Begin with a personal summary and then move on to listing academic qualifications, career/voluntary experience and a section to state if you have references available.

You can also find plenty of CV layout inspiration online for a better understanding of what recruiters look for. Recruitment websites including reed.com provide downloadable templates to get going.

So, we hope you enjoyed our advice on how to write a hospitality CV. We suspect you’ll be showcasing your skills and charming customers in no time! 

Don’t miss out on our Featured Jobs section of Signature Careers, where you’ll discover the latest exciting hospitality jobs in Liverpool across Signature Living venues.