It's not wrong, it's just one of my pet peeves: using the word "various" in a cover letter. And I wonder if employers don't feel the same way.
About 90% of the cover letters I see have the word "various" in them. Heck, some have it several times. "Various this" and "various that," as if the more various your experience the stronger job candidate you are. Usually not!
In today's world of job search, it's an employer's market. Most employers would prefer a specialist over a generalist. And believe me, no matter what your career field, you're competing with specialists.
So your best tactic is to look like a specialist with clearly defined skills and experience — not a jack-of-various-trades.
Writing a New Cover Letter?
If you're writing a new cover letter, I strongly suggest you not use "various" at all. Just pretend the word doesn't even exist. You'll see, your letter will be just fine... even stronger without it.
How to Edit a Cover Letter
When I work on a cover letter that has the word "various" in it, the first thing I do is see what happens if I just delete the word. Does the sentence lose anything? Usually not. For example:
I worked on various website projects including site design and content development.
Delete "various" so it reads:
I worked on website projects including site design and content development.
See how the second version is shorter, more direct, and doesn't lose a bit of meaning?
What to Say Instead of "Various"
If I run into a case where the sentence loses its meaning without the word "various." I think of another word or phrase to use instead.
Here are some examples of how I would replace "various" with something else.
Option 1: "A number of"
My experience includes various types of legal cases including civil litigation.
My experience includes a number of legal cases including civil litigation.
Option 2: "Diverse"
With my background working with various types of clients, I am familiar with some very subtle training issues.
With my background working with a diverse group of clients, I am familiar with some very subtle training issues.
Option 3: "Several"
There were various times when I solved customer IT problems without having to issue a tech support ticket.
There were several times when I solved customer IT problems without having to issue a tech support ticket.
Option 4: "A range of"
I presented various options to the group.
I presented a range of options to the group.
What other ways can you think of to get around using "various" in your cover letter? Tell us in the comments section!
Need ideas for what to write in your cover letter? Check out these: