10 Basic Principles of Writing Cover Letter  

10 Basic principles of writing cover letter:

  1. Take the time to research each employer's organization and personalize each letter. Indicating that you know something about the company shows that you are careful and interested in the employer. This approach is much more effective than sending out hundreds of identical form letters.
  2. Highlight one or two of your most significant accomplishments or abilities to show you are an above average candidate. Selecting only one or two special attributes helps your chances of being remembered. Be brief; demonstrate that you understand the value of the reader's time.
  3. Use a polite, formal style that strikes a balance between confidence in yourself and respect for the employer. Be clear, objective, and persuasive rather than simply describing your background.
  4. Be positive in tone, content, and expectations. Do not add details about yourself, your past experience, or your preparation that may call attention to your weaknesses or raise questions about your confidence or ability to do the job.

  5. Use active voice and powerful action verbs in your writing to hold the reader's interest and convey a sense of energy.
  6. Group similar items together in a paragraph; then organize paragraphs so that they relate to each other logically. Avoid writing that lumps together unrelated information without a strong topic sentence to tie the information together. Remember it is your responsibility to organize the information for the reader.
  7. Always back up general statements with specific facts or examples. Documentation creates credibility and reduces uncertainty and abstraction for the reader.
  8. Avoid jargon and cliches. It is tempting to use ready made phrases such as "self-starter," "proven leadership skills," "excellent interpersonal skills," etc., but using today's buzz words can suggest parroted formulas rather than original thought.
  9. Check the spelling and grammar in all correspondence. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation, or English usage errors or if you need help in organizing your letters, bring your correspondence to a professional for assistance.
  10. Never misrepresent yourself by overstating your experience or skills. Even if you do not have every qualification sought by the employer, stick to the facts and tell the truth by emphasizing your strengths.