Cover Letter Tips and Guidelines

The quality of your cover letter will determine the employer’s first impression of you.

The following are general guidelines to help you design your cover letter.

  • Use a business letter format.
  • Keep the letter limited to one page.
  • If you are printing a hard copy, use the same paper stock as the paper used for your resume.
  • If possible, address the letter to an individual by name, including correct title, organization and address. You can also address the letter to a "Selection Committee" or a "Search Committee."
  • Tailor the letter to the specific position and organization by highlighting your skills and abilities that are relevant to the position you are seeking; go beyond being a mere restatement of what’s already on your resume.
  • Focus on the needs of the employer, and how you can fulfill them.
  • Be positive in context, tone, and word choice.
  • Include a closing statement that expresses your desire to be interviewed, hear from the individual you are writing to, and/or taking the next step.
  • Carefully spellcheck and proofread.