Technical Guidelines For A Cover Letter

Structure | Technical Guidelines | Tips

[NOTE: Refer to Tips For Writing an Effective Cover Letter before you begin.]


  • Use white, high content cotton bond paper with matching envelopes. Use the same paper for the resume.

  • Fold the letter only twice - two even folds.

  • A letter - quality typed is mandatory. For sharpest contrast, check the toner or ink in your printer.

  • Grammar and spelling must be perfect. Have someone review your letter before mailing.

  • Use block or semi-block form. Modify top and bottom margins so your letter will be centered on the page.

  • Be sure you are writing to the appropriate person. Most letters describing vacancies indicate the person to be contacted. If necessary, make a call to identify the person to whom the position reports.

  • The employer's name must be spelled correctly and the title written accurately.

  • Avoid too many "I's". You will have to use this personal pronoun several times, but avoid beginning every sentence with it. Vary language, and read your letter aloud to get a sense of the flow. Try to come across as someone so interesting that the employer will be eager for the next step - a personal meeting - the interview.

  • "Sincerely" is an appropriate closing.

  • Type your name (legibly) below your signature. Your address will be at the top of the letter. Give your telephone number in the final paragraph.

    **This may be a good time to consider whether the message currently on your answering machine conveys the professional image you ideally wish to communicate to your future employer!

  • Try to make this letter sound uniquely like you. A cover letter can convey the personality of the writer in a way the resume cannot.

  • Most vacancy announcements will state clearly whether the employer wants credentials sent at once, or prefers to request them after an interview.

  • Enclosure is typed at the bottom left margin if a resume or other material is included.