Cover Letter “Do’s and Don’ts”
This final chapter provides a basic checklist for use in evaluating cover letters youhave written, before they are finalized and mailed. It provides a basic list of“do’s” and “don’ts” that can be used as a last minute check to ensure maximumcover-letter effectiveness and impact.
COVER LETTER “DO’S”
1.Keep all cover letters to a single page, no exceptions!2.Be brief and concise.3.
Eliminate any unnecessary words that add nothing to clarity or meaning.
4.Proofread for poor grammar, spelling, and typos; they can be deadly!5.Always address letters to a
never to a general function.6.Unless responding to an ad where instructions specify differently, al-ways send letters directly to functional managers rather than the humanresources or employment department.7.Even where ads specify you are to send your response to human re-sources, do the necessary research and send a second copy directly tothe manager of your target function.8.Keep job descriptions brief and pithy.9.Focus your letter on
results and achievements, not just job re-sponsibilities.10.Highlight significant accomplishments with bullet points; make surethey are seen!11.Include compensation requirements, but only if you are certain theywon’t screen you out from an otherwise attractive opportunity.12.Include geographical preferences or restrictions, but not if they are likelyto screen you out from an otherwise highly desirable opportunity.13.Except when using the resume letter, be sure to include a well-writtenresume as an attachment to the cover letter.14.Stick to standard business letter formats; avoid the creative or exotic.15.Use only commonly recommended type styles.16.Make effective use of “white space,” making your letter easy to read.17.Use standard business paper, 20- or 24-pound bond, either white or buffin color.