Tips For Creating an Effective Coverletter

Posted: January 22, 2010 in Public Relations Industry Notes



1. Make sure there are NO mistakes: It is so very important to read over and over again to make sure there are no typos and all contact information is correct. Have at least two people read your cover letter to make sure that the content flows and everything sounds right.  Sometimes when we are reading are own material, we skip over the mistakes because we already know what we intended to write.

2. Keep your cover letter brief and to the point. Your letter should not go over one page. Use short paragraphs and bullet points whenever possible. Avoid excessive words when fewer words will get your point across equally. Construct your cover letter to have the same format style as your resume.

3. Request an interview or follow-up call in your closing paragraph. This gives the impression that you are eager and ready. Truth be told sometimes you have to follow-up yourself and call the employer to check the status. However be patient. At least give them a week to follow-up.


4. Do not use the same cover letter for every job that you are applying for. Change your cover letter to that particular company. If you’re applying to a number of similar positions, chances are you’re tweaking one letter and using it for multiple openings. Don’t forget to update the company, job and contact information.

5Be active, not passive. Speak with purpose and confidence that you will be an asset to the organization. When possible, put your future in your own hands with a promise to follow up. Instead of asking readers to call you, try a statement like this: “I will follow up with you in a few days to answer any preliminary questions you may have. In the meantime, you may reach me at (555) 555-5555.”

6. Make yourself standout. The purpose of a cover letter is to give the employer a more personal reason of why they should hire you. Grab the reader’s attention. Make it so that when the reader is done they will remember you.

7. Save something for the interview. The purpose of the cover letter is to give a enough personal information to entice the employer to call you back for an interview. The cover letter serves as the appetizer and the interview is the main course.

8. Don’t be repetitive. The coverletter should not be a resume in paragraph form. It should be a lead-up and pre-cursor to it. Reword your cover letter statements to avoid dulling your resume’s impact. Consider using the letter to tell a brief story.

9. Forgetting to Sign the Letter  It is proper business etiquette (and shows attention to detail) to sign your letter. However, if you are sending your cover letter and resume via email or the Web, a signature isn’t necessary.

10. Overusing  the word “I”  Your cover letter is not your autobiography. The focus should be on how you meet an employer’s needs, not on your life story. Avoid the perception of being self-centered by minimizing your use of the word “I,” especially at the beginning of your sentences.

For more information and examples visit:

  1. marielorelei says:

    I like that one of your tips is to include a request for an interview or follow up call. I’ve been told that sometimes it’s good to even suggest that you will call them to follow up. On one had this can show that you are eager and available, but on the other hand it could be interpreted as being a bit pushy.

    It might be helpful for you to expand on tip five, I’m not completely sure of what you’re alluding to with the “be active, not passive.” Do you mean in the wording of the cover letter or job seeking in general?

  2. […] Tips For Creating an Effective Coverletter by Phillip […]

  3. laur22 says:

    I like how you make a point of requesting an interview or follow-up call. My roommate recently called a company that she had interviewed with to follow up with them and see where they stood with her, and I didn’t think this was something you were supposed to do. I guess she was right! Letting a company know you are interested and going out of your way to talk to them shows determination. You make a great point that you need to be active, not passive. I have sort of had an attitude that things will happen for me, but I know now that they will not fall in my lap.

  4. […] “Tips for Creating an Effective Coverletter” by Phillip […]

  5. katiann4710 says:

    This was an awesome post! You put some great pictures and images in there, to really make it stand out. I really thought that tip number three was the most interesting out of them all. I have a really hard time asking for an interview or a call from someone I don’t know, especially if it involves, A. a job, and B. a potential future employer. Yikes, right? I am going to take the advice though from the article. Thanks for all the usefull information!
    -Kati Ann

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s