Cover Letter Tips

  • Tailor your letter as much as possible to the target the reader and industry.
  • Write to a specific person using his/her title.
  • Research the company thoroughly.
  • Communicate your capabilities in ways that describe how you will meet needs specified in the job description.
  • Expand on your resume; do not simply repeat information on it.
  • Always refer to the accomplishments on your resume that relate to the immediate benefits that you can contribute to this employer.
  • Use action words to relate your accomplishments.
  • Make sure the letter is well organized and carefully worded.
  • Use appropriate language.  Avoid the use of clichés, slang, or contractions.
  • Emphasize concrete reasons why the employer should be interested in you and avoid flowery phrases describing growth, challenge, advancement, etc.
  • Avoid sounding desperate.  You want the employer to know that you are interested in a particular job, but not that you can't live without it.
  • Be honest and sincere, try to give an impression of modest confidence.
  • Realize that the reader will view the cover letter as an example of your written communication skills.
  • Avoid using the personal pronoun "I".
  • Avoid being too formal.  You want to come across as a "real" person.
  • In closing your letter, suggest a course of action.  Ask for a specific day for an appointment or suggest a time to meet for an interview.
  • Type your cover letter or use a word processor, using a professional business style.
  • Keep it to one page.
  • Proof read and sign your letter.  Typographical errors are not acceptable.
  • Never use a photocopied form letter or pre-printed letter.


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