Categorized | Advice

Top 6 Cover Letter Do’s

Posted on 11 November 2008

A well-crafted cover letter, packaged with a resume, is like wearing the perfect coat over eveningwear; there are only certain kinds of outerwear that can be worn with that type of attire. For example, you would not wear a ski jacket over an evening dress. While some may down play the importance of the cover letter, it is essential to create a well-written letter to get an interview.

Here are six ideas to follow when writing that all important letter:

Idea 1: Start with matching paper for letter, resume and envelope

A coordinated look will give the impression that you care about the details. Officemax, Staples or your local office supply store have many paper types and colors to choose from. Paper color is also an important consideration. If you are seeking a job in a traditional field, such as accounting or law, you’ll want to stick with neutral colors such as white, cream and off white. However, with a non-traditional, more creative field such as graphic design, a little more color may be acceptable. If you are unsure what color to go with, stick to what is traditional.

Idea 2: Always address the letter to someone, not Sir or Madam

A quick way to guarantee that your resume and letter will be trashed is to address it to Sir or Madam, or worse, To Whom It May Concern. If the job ad does not list the hiring authorities’ name, a call to the receptionist at the company should help you fill in this essential detail.

Idea 3: Try some of these key words

Your cover letter will be read within a few seconds at the most. To maximize its impact, try sprinkling your letter with some of the following key words: drive, motivation, confidence, dedication, money saved, and profit. Companies want to know how you can help them save and earn money.

Idea 4: Keep your letter one page

While you may have a lot you want to share, keep your letter to one page. Your resume will answer additional questions the hiring authority may have.

Idea 5: Spell check and proofread

Your computer spell check may not catch all the spelling errors. You’ll want to read over the letter a few times and have a friend read it over as well. They may catch errors you did not find.

Idea 6: The envelope is important too

A scribbled name and address on the envelope does not cut it with many employers. When you type their name and address on the envelope, you send the message that you care about being neat and professional. Also, be sure to address the envelope to a specific person, not only their title, and be sure their name is spelled correctly.

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Resume Tips says:

    Excellent advice Khan: “A quick way to guarantee that your resume and letter will be trashed is to address it to Sir or Madam, or worse, To Whom It May Concern. If the job ad does not list the hiring authorities’ name, a call to the receptionist at the company should help you fill in this essential detail.” However, in some cases it may be nearly impossible to get a contact name. The receptionist may have been instructed not to give out the contact name. In these cases, the person in charge of hiring knows that you will not be able to get a hold of his name. This will work in your favor, of course. When all else fails, use “Dear Hiring Professional,” “Dear Hiring Manager for ______ Position” or replace the salutation with “Re: insert position.”

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