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.