6 Cover Letter Guidelines
Unlike resumes, which seem to have a set form, cover letters offer much more creativity to the applicant. That doesn't mean there are no guidelines, however.
In a session at a recent conference
the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater New York Chapter, Bruce A. Hurwitz, vice president of New York City-based Joel H. Paul & Associates, Inc., said that cover letters must have some order to them. Before writing yours, make sure it meets the points listed in this checklist:
- Short and sweet. This isn't your college thesis and potential employers don't have time to read a novel. Keep your cover letter to the point.
- Use bullets. Bullet points draw the eye to the most important information.
- Credentials. Tell them why you would be the perfect fit for the job. Point out how you've solved problems or made decisions at prior jobs.
- Contact information. Papers get separated. Make sure your contact information is on the cover letter. Try not to include any ridiculous e-mail addresses.
- In closing. Hurwitz said to have an appreciative close to the letter. It shows you are grateful to be considered for the position.
- Proofread. Spelling mistakes will put you in the “no” pile fast. Spell check, proofread, give it to someone else to proofread and then repeat. There's no room for errors.