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.