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Bragging in the Cover Letter – Why It’s a Bad Idea

Do you brag during a job interview? It’s not a great strategy; it’s one thing to highlight accomplishments, but it’s another thing to brag. The same is true with your cover letter, it’s a good idea to focus on how you can help the company succeed and explain how you’d be a good fit. It’s not a good idea to brag. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t cross the line.

Show how you can help the company stay exceptional

What are your strengths? This is the time to focus on them. Show off your skills with descriptive statements like ‘I’m an expert communicator with experience bringing together diverse departments to develop a cohesive program.’ Then follow that point with an instance in which you displayed this skill. With matter-of-fact statements, backed up by examples, you can avoid falling into the bragging trap.

There’s another way to demonstrate how your skills match up with the requirements of the position. Cut through the word clutter by relating your strengths in a two-column list in the body of the letter. Label one column ‘your requirement’ and the other column ‘my qualifications.’ List the requirement and spotlight your qualifications, skills, and strengths that match up with it. This can be an effective way to show how you could be an asset in the position.

How do you fit into the culture?

Hiring is about more than just skills and qualifications. If you are a good fit for the company and its culture, that will definitely make you a stronger candidate. Use the cover letter to show that you understand the company’s culture and would fit into it. ‘Show some personality to show how you fit into their world.’ This is where your research skills come into play. As you research a potential employer, look for culture cues on the company website, social media, and review sites like Glassdoor.

How can you show that you would be a good cultural fit? Try playing up the interests and parts of your personality that would resonate most with the company. If you read that the company frequently does team lunches, mention your foodie side – or even serve up a few restaurant suggestions.

Would you say “I’m the best at my job”?

It’s important to highlight your qualifications and cultural fit; it’s also important to avoid bragging. The secret in treading the line between confidence and egotism is to phrase yourself matter-of-factly when mentioning skills. Using unsupported hyperbolic language may make you sound as if you are exaggerating your skills.

Keep the job description in mind when you’re working on your cover letter. Bragging about irrelevant information or job experience is not impressive if the experience has nothing to do with the job. Keep your resume in mind, as well: a cover letter should never conflict with the resume.

Looking for your next assignment? We can help

At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. Are you looking for your next assignment? We’re here to help, and we’d love to hear about what you’ve accomplished. We know you won’t cross the bragging line. We’re at 310.436.3650; give us a call today!