Follow These 7 Tips for a Great Cover Letter

Nancy Anderson
Posted by

Grammar in everyday, professional correspondence should be revised and edited for clarity since written communication at the office is vital for projects such as reports, statistics and announcement emails. Similarly, a cover letter should have zero grammatical mistakes in order to get noticed by potential employers.

A great, personal story in a cover letter goes far. But nothing hurts a great story more than editorial mistakes and grammatical flops within your copy. Follow these seven tips to try to avoid making a crucial mistake on your correspondence.

1. Don't Copy Your Resume

A resume gives your potential boss a brief view of your professional accomplishments. Your cover letter tells your employer what you can give to the firm. This type of correspondence enhances your resume rather than copying it.

2. Personalize Your Cover Letter

Address the cover letter to a relevant person close to the position. Search the firm's website, call the office, or send an email to the person to get the name and proper spelling. Addressing a cover letter "To whom it may concern" closes this chapter of your job search very quickly. Personalize your letter by giving your potential employer an engaging story about why you want to work for the firm. Research the company thoroughly and relate how the business inspires you in some way. Personal thoughts show you invested emotional capital in your prospective employer.

3. Write Professionally

Write without colloquialisms, slang or abbreviations. Your professional correspondence should convey specific ideas concisely. Consider this type of memorandum similar to a college paper with ideas arranged in complete sentences and paragraphs.

4. Make Your Main Point First

Your opening paragraph should relay the most important concepts expressed in the cover letter. Answer the traditional five "Ws" such as who, what, where, when and why right away. Expound on these concepts later in the correspondence.

5. Stick to the Subject

Each paragraph in your letter should center around a topic sentence, and each paragraph should expand on the reasons why you should be considered for the job. Stay focused on your key points.

6. Sign Your Letter Appropriately

Your signature line should contain more than just your name. When you send the note through email, your signature should also contain further contact information possibly including your address, phone number, social media contacts and LinkedIn profile.

7. Perfect Your Letter

Run a spell checker and grammar checker, and read through your letter several times. If grammar or writing is not your thing, find someone to proofread your correspondence and help you polish it. Several online tools let users compare grammar and spelling against standard rules.

Your cover letter can be grammatically perfect while still showing your personality. A neat and tidy piece of correspondence, along with your personal story, gets noticed for the right reasons. These tips can lead to an interview, thanks to clean copy and a compelling read.


Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Kurt Smith
    Kurt Smith

    Very helpful

  • Dyujay R.
    Dyujay R.

    Well view, thanks.

  • Elaine Smith
    Elaine Smith

    Thank you so much.

  • Carlos Torres
    Carlos Torres

    Thanks for the tips. They have been highly useful.

  • Lisa Johnson
    Lisa Johnson

    Thank you for the tips...I think I did it well.

  • Jesus A.
    Jesus A.

    Great tips, thanks for sharing.

Jobs to Watch