The cover letter or email cover letter provides you with the opportunity to tailor your resume by telling the prospective employer how you can be of benefit to the organization. It will allow you to highlight aspects of your background that are not already discussed in your resume and that might be especially relevant to the organization you are contracting or to the position you are seeking. Resume should have a cover letter when you send it out. Unlike the resume, which may be mass-produced, a cover letter is most effective when it is individually focused on the particular requirements of the organization in question.
A good cover letter should supplement the resume and motivate the reader to review the resume. Begin the cover letter with your street address 12 lines down from the top. Leave three to five lines between the date and the name of the person to whom you are addressing the cover letter. Make sure you leave one blank line between the salutation and the body of the letter and between paragraphs. After typing “Sincerely,” leave four blank lines and type your name. This should leave plenty of room for your signature.
The following guidelines will help you write good cover letters:
- Be sure to type your letter; ensure there are no misspellings.
- Avoid unusual typefaces, such as script.
- Address the letter to an individual, using the person’s name and title. To obtain this information, call the organization. If answering a blind newspaper advertisement, address the letter “To Whom It May Concern” or omit the salutation.
- Be sure your cover letter directly indicates the position you are applying for and tells why you are qualified to fill it.
- Send the original letter, not a photocopy, with your resume. Keep a copy for your records.
- Make your cover letter no more than one pageor one window filled in an email cover letter.
- Include a phone number where you can be reached.
- Avoid trite language and have someone read the letter over to react to its tone, content and mechanics.
- For your own information, record the date you send out each letter and resume.
Sample Cover Letter (PDF)