The Do’s and Don’ts of Cover Letters
Do have a clean, readable design and consistent style – Your cover letter is your very
first encounter with a personnel manager or prospective employer. Its structure, format
and content may reveal more or less about yo urself as a future employee than you intend.
Be certain that your letter is focused, concise, clear, and well organized.
Do tailor your letter to the job for which you are applying – Your cover letter should
be targeted to emphasize selected, relevant information for each different position and
organization. Many cover letters are pointless because they just say, “here is my resume –
call me”. Form letters are always unacceptable.
Do print your letter on good quality bond paper that matches your resume – Make
sure that the print is dark and legible and the paper free of smudges and stains.
Do be proactive – If you want an interview, don’t leave the ball in the employer’s court.
You will be far more likely to schedule an interview if you take the initiative in your
letter to ask for the interview, tell the employer in the letter that you will follow up, and
actually do the follow up.
Do keep a copy for your records.
Don’t exceed one page – When you prepare a cover letter, remember the people
screening your application are busy individuals who prefer to review a well-written
Due to the lack of structure to the selection process for department managers, we have decided to do our research and figure out how to solve this problem. As of right now, department managers are being interviewed and selected the same way that store associates are, but since the position of department manager requires considerably more responsibility and intellectual work, the process has to be ...
statement that does not exceed one page. You will be on target if you include the four
“W’s” of cover letters: tell who you are, what your background is, why you are interested
and qualified for the position and when you would be available for an appointment or
Don’t hand write your letter – Hand-written letters are a taboo – they convey a
lack of professionalism and are often difficult to read.
Don’t include spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors – Nothing will
eliminate you from consideration faster than a letter that contains spelling, punctuation or
grammatical errors. Since your application will no doubt be only one of many submitted
for any given job, scrupulous attention to these details is a necessity.
Don’t repeat what is in your resume – Cover letters serve as the candidate’s
introduction to a prospective employer and needs to summarize and highlight only those
qualifications that relate specifically to the desired position. Don’t waste time and space
repeating in a letter of application information that can easily be found in the enclosed
Don’t convey an inflated ego – Expressions of self-confidence and ego are
worlds apart. Use wording in your letter that conveys confidence without arrogance and
depicts you as a team player.