Designing a Cover Letter
cover letter is your first chance to make a lasting impression with a hiring
manager. For that reason, it must be professional. Here are some things to keep
in mind as you determine your letter’s design.
Jump to: Be Consistent with Headings | Use the Hiring Manager’s Name | Be Specific | Use Examples
| Choose the Appropriate Closing
| Make the Most of "Snail Mail" |
Consistent with Headings
formatting your cover letter, always use the same heading that you have used in
your resume. This makes for a consistent, well-planned presentation that’s
designed to impress.
the Hiring Manager’s Name
personalizes the document and shows attention to detail. If you do not know the
hiring manager’s name, do some online or telephone research before sending it
opening paragraph, include what job you’re interested in and a specific reason
why you are qualified for this position.
in the body of your letter any specific experience, skills, or accomplishments
that mesh with the requirements of the new job. This data should be bulleted,
rather than presented in a solid block of text. The human eye is drawn to
bulleted areas, and they summarize your qualifications in an easy-to-read
Here’s an example:
“…As my enclosed resume
indicates, my background includes more than two decades of service at U.S.
Flight with significant experience in:
- Aircraft accident investigation as a member of the U.S.
Flight disaster team.
- Security checkpoints, where I handled countless calls
- Training the Ground Security team to protect and
promote public safety.
In addition to the above
skills, I can also offer your firm:
- More than 30 years of experience in the airline
- Expertise in dealing with government agencies,
including the FAA where I facilitated communications to reduce company
- Reduced absenteeism and occupational injuries —
standards I maintained at U.S. Flight, where I achieved the best employee
safety record of all U.S. Flight cities.”
the Appropriate Closing
If the letter
is being addressed to a specific hiring manager, close your letter proactively
by indicating that you will be contacting their office within the next week to
see if you might set up a time to meet.
Make the Most of "Snail Mail"
most resumes and cover letters are sent as attachments via e-mail. However, if
you have reason to send your cover letter and resume by "snail mail,” the
documents should be printed on good bond paper (20 lbs.) with a watermark.
Choose a color that evokes professionalism; the best choices are white or
cream, though a light gray can also be considered.