Cover Letter Clichés You Should Avoid at All Costs

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Expressions that were once unique and impactful but have since lost their zing are known as clichés. The use of these worn-out phrases shows a lack of creativity and originality. They’ve become empty, meaningless word combinations that anyone can throw into their resume or cover letter. 

Clichés can make your job application documents look the same as everybody else’s. By using them, you are not showing your individuality. Your potential employer won’t know what makes you special—they’ll just gloss over these empty phrases and come away assuming there’s nothing unique about you. It’s okay to include one or two clichés, but too many can make you appear boring. 

If you want your cover letter to be one of a kind, you need to avoid clichés and replace them with experiences and facts about yourself. It’s all about showing, not telling the hiring manager why you’re a great fit for the job. A well-written cover letter will certainly attract their attention.

However, it can be challenging to keep things interesting and creative. If you’re struggling with your cover letter, why not outsource the job to the experts? Reach out to our professionals for help with crafting the ideal resume and cover letter for you. 

Here’s a list of 10 common clichés you should avoid like the plague.

1. “The perfect fit”

This is a widely used cliché that can make you sound arrogant and overconfident. 

You can’t guarantee that you are the perfect choice for the position. What if there are candidates who are better than you? What distinguishes you from everyone else claiming the same thing?

Show what makes you the perfect fit for the company and describe your specific skills. Instead of simply asserting to be the right candidate, talk about your achievements in previous jobs, how you accomplished them, and how they added value to your company.

2. “Team player”

This is another commonly used cliché that isn’t particularly informative. Everyone says this—and when everyone says something, it means nothing.

Instead of using this trite phrase, describe why you are a team player and how you have contributed to teams in the past. Write about the great things you’ve achieved working in a team and how you’ve skillfully resolved conflicts among its members. This will truly showcase your abilities and sound an awful lot better.

3. “To whom it may concern”

You might think this is a good choice when you don’t know your recipient’s name and want to appear professional, but you should avoid it at all costs!

It’s always better to use the hiring manager’s name. This makes your cover letter sound respectful and shows that you are genuinely interested in the company. Make an effort and do some searching if you can’t find it immediately. In case you still can’t figure it out, call the company, explain you’re interested in applying for a job, and ask for the hiring manager’s name. 

If you still can’t get the name after all that, don’t fall back on “To whom it may concern”! Just go with a nice, simple “Dear Hiring Manager.”

4. “I’m writing to apply for this position”

If you begin your cover letter with the statement above, you’ll be competing with a lot of other candidates who have the same opening. Hiring managers are already aware that you’re applying and what you’re applying for, so telling them this is just a waste of precious space you could use to highlight your unique skills and experience. 

You can mention the position you are applying for, but you should consider using your own words.

5. “Fast learner”

Most candidates use this phrase when they don’t have enough experience for the job. Why should the hiring manager take your word for it? 

Instead of using this cliché, show them that you are a fast learner. For example, if you taught yourself how to design websites or photoshop images, mention it. It will also help if you can prove that you continually strive to expand your knowledge, either as a professional or a person.

6. “Thinking outside the box”

Do you really think outside the box if you’re using this tired old expression? Demonstrate your creativity and make it more specific without using this cliché. Provide examples of how you have created and implemented new ideas and methods.

7. “Results-oriented”

The recruiter has no reason to believe you if you don’t offer proof of the results you’ve obtained. Again, you should provide evidence of your outcomes. For example, you can mention the number of new customers you’ve attracted to your company. Concrete numbers and percentages are always good to include.

Incorporating this information into your cover letter suggests that you are indeed results-oriented and pay attention to your achievements at work.

8. “As mentioned in my resume”

This is a common filler you must avoid. If all you’re doing in your cover letter is regurgitating the information from your resume, there’s hardly any point in submitting a cover letter, is there? Rather than using this cliché, complement your resume with a list of your key abilities that relate to the job description. 

9. “Strong communication skills”

Don’t just say you are a strong communicator—show the recruiter that you are! For example, if you held a position where you had to communicate with a large number of people, mention it. 

Also, use your cover letter to demonstrate your writing ability. This will allow the hiring manager to easily see whether you can communicate effectively and concisely.

10. “As a child, I always…”

Your cover letter should only consist of information relevant to the job you are applying for. It’s not a biography. Although including bits and pieces of your life story might be a good choice, you need to use your creativity. 

Can you remember something you did as a kid? Maybe you used to collect parts and build machines. At that point, you decided to become a scientist. Still, the hiring manager doesn’t need to know irrelevant details of your childhood. Be imaginative and describe the situation.

Remember: It’s important to show, not tell. You should always use your own words and let your uniqueness shine. Avoid clichés and focus on your skills and abilities instead. If you need help keeping clichés out of your cover letter and showing the recruiter why you’re worth hiring, get in touch with our experts!

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