Cover Letter Tips and Taboos

Your cover letter needs to be:

Do's and Don'ts of Cover Letter Writing

  • DO address someone in authority whenever possible. Get a name.
  • DO show that you've done your research.
  • DO convey your enthusiasm and commitment. Be positive.
  • DO balance warmth and professionalism.
  • DO present something unique about you.
  • DO be appropriate, yet stand out.
  • DO initiate follow-up.
  • DO remain brief and focused.
  • DO write clearly and simply.
  • DO state the position your are applying for and point out your qualifications.
  • DO tailor your letter to the needs of the company.
  • DO proofread.
  • DON'T rely on correspondence. After researching, contact the employer directly. Try to get the interview without using a letter first.
  • DON'T send out a form letter to several companies. Targeted and personalized letters are more effective.
  • DON'T focus on negatives or areas where you lack strength. NEVER apologize for not having a particular skill.
  • DON'T mention salary/wage expectations. (Unless requested to)
  • DON'T use first names. (Unless requested to)
  • DON'T claim things that are not true.
  • DON'T forget to sign your letter.
  • DON'T use abbreviations. Take time to spell things out.