Do's and Don'ts


  • address your cover letter to a named individual. If necessary, call the company or visit their website and find out who to send it to
  • do some research and find out as much as you can about the company - again, the website is the best place to do this in most cases
  • express confidence, but not arrogance
  • send a neatly formatted and printed letter on A4 (or US letter) paper in a plain white envelope, the same color as your resume (preferably also white)
  • keep it brief, no more than one page in easily read paragraphs
  • answer the employer's question; "Why should I hire this person?"
  • use simple, uncomplicated language and sentence structure
  • clearly express your objective, and state what sort of position are you applying for
  • request action and follow up
  • provide a reachable address and phone number or e-mail if possible
  • make a copy of each cover letter to use for future reference
  • write a second time after a reasonable time, if you didn't get a response


  • ever send your résumé without a cover letter
  • write your letter by hand
  • be negative or humble
  • be over-boastful or self-aggrandizing
  • use clichés or vague, meaningless phrases
  • send a cover letter with misspellings, grammatical errors or smudges
  • send letters that are obviously photocopied or mass produced
  • list hobbies or personal interests unless they are related to the position you are applying for