Writing an effective cover letter
The following list contains important points to remember when writing a cover letter.
Some points on the list are more important than others. Some points are flexible, but all
add to (or steal from) the quality of your letter.
1. Address the letter to a specific person rather than to a title. Of course, if you don’t have
a contact person you have little choice; but you should at least avoid opening with “to
whom it may concern” – this is much to cold and impersonal.
2. Use a strong, dynamic opening that grabs the reader’s attention….do your best.
3. Avoid repeating information that already appears in your resume. Do not list work
experience without specifically addressing how it relates to the position for which you
are applying. Always ask yourself: why am I including this piece of information? If
you don’t have a clear reason, don’t include it.
4. Avoid using too many “I”s. The cover letter should be more about what the reader
needs and how you can help to meet those needs.
5. Never say anything negative in a cover letter. It flags you as a potentially difficult
6. Do not mention any inside contacts (people you may know who already work for the
company you are applying to) unless they can help you get the job.
7. Be specific about what you like about the company to which you are applying. This
shows that you actually know something about the organization.
8. Do not make salary demands or give salary expectations unless specifically requested to
provide them. A cover letter is generally not the proper place to address salary
concerns, these things are usually dealt with in the interview.
9. Promise to make a follow-up call yourself, or at least make it clear that you are
available to be contacted.
10. Avoid boring closing statements…..again, this is purely subjective. Do your best, but
don’t over compensate. Keep things clear and simple.