How to Write Great Cover Letters
- In the first paragraph, name the title of the job for which you are applying and be specific about how you heard about the position or company.
- Try to find out the name and title of the person who will be able to hire you and use the name, instead of writing "Dear Sir" or "Dear Madam."
- Write the letter based on exactly what the ad or job listing says the employer is looking for; try to give an example from your experience for every qualification listed in the ad.
- Type the letter and use paper and font that is the same or looks similar to your resume. Don't forget to sign your name.
- Reread the letter carefully and check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. It's a good idea to have someone else proofread the letter as well.
- Keep the letter brief--under 1 page. Keep the paragraphs to 2-4 sentences each.
- Say that you are enclosing a resume.
- Include your phone number in the last paragraph.
- Make sure the envelope is clearly and properly addressed.
- Send a resume without a cover letter.
- Discuss salary unless the ad or job listing requires it.
- Repeat information that appears on the resume, except in the briefest, introductory manner.
- Generalize about personal qualities or past job titles. Instead, give specifics about your skills and experience.
- Talk about what the job will do for you.
- Give unnecessary personal information.
- Include anything that you will not be able to explain in an interview.
- Send Xerox copies.
- Say you will follow up without having a specific plan to do so.
- Staple or paper clip items.
Written By: Carol Sorgen