Skip Navigation LinksDurham Portal > Working > Job Search Help > Cover Letter Do's and Don'ts

Cover Letter Do's and Don'ts

Cover Letter Do's…

  • Do make sure the cover letter is personalized to the receiving individual
  • Do address the specific position being advertised
  • Do get to the point – the cover letter is a summary not a story
  • Do make sure your cover letter is free of spelling and grammar errors
  • Do sign your cover letter
  • Do use the same header and font as your resume
  • Do include salary expectations only when requested
  • Do keep a copy of your cover letter for your files
  • Do search the correct address of the company
  • Do send a cover letter with every resume

Cover Letter Don'ts…

  • Don't use a template or generic letter for every company or position of interest
  • Don't end your letter passively, be assertive showing your initiative to follow-up
  • Don't assume the spelling of the contact name – ask!
  • Don't avoid using “I” to start every sentence
  • Don't use coloured paper
  • Don't focus just on soft skills in the content of the cover letter
  • Don't use a referring person's name (a network contact) without their permission
  • Don't use To Whom it May Concern to direct the letter
  • Don't beg or appear desperate in your letter
  • Don't use fancy bullets



Copyright © 2010 Durham Region