Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cover Letter Best Practices

Cover Letter Best Practices

A well-written cover letter introduces you, prompts the reader to want to know more about you, and establishes your credentials. A good cover letter partners nicely with your resume and a strong networking process.

  1. Address letter to specific person whenever possible.
  2. Ensure all comments are in good taste.
  3. Personalize letter with:
    A comment about the recipient organization.
    Contractions such as “you” and “I.”
  4. Keep sentences/paragraphs simple and short.
  5. State a problem the organization has that you can solve.
  6. Use a conversational, direct style.
  7. Create professionally printed stationery with contact information included on each page (as applicable),
  8. Use good grammar with all words spelled correctly.
  9. Demonstrate that you are ready for and enjoy a challenge.
  10. Personally sign letters to be posted via U.S. mail.
  11. Use pen with contrasting ink with pleasing color.
  12. Indicate how and when you will follow-up.
  13. Send unsolicited cover letters and resumes early in the week.
  14. Print each letter individually.

    Ensure that cover letter puts you in positive light and creates a good first impression.