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Cover Letter Do's and Don'ts

You have an impressive resume, you know how to present yourself well in an interview, you know what kind of position you are best suited for . . .now all you need is a chance to get your foot in the right door. Just what can you do to make that happen?

Make sure you write a knockout cover letter, advise career planning specialists. "A cover letter is your chance to explain to an employer why he or she should consider you for the job," says Jennie Z. Rothschild, Ph.D., executive director of Jewish Vocational Service on Reisterstown Road in Pikesville. "The best cover letters are specific and give examples that directly relate to the job you are trying to get." "Your cover letter is a targeted sales tool which should be tailored to the specific position you are seeking," adds Ann Harrell of the Johns Hopkins University Career and Life Planning Center on Alexander Bell Drive in Columbia.

The cover letter is also a good opportunity to show potential employers your writing skills, says Jennie Rothschild, and for those job seekers whose native language is not English, a chance to show that you are comfortable with the language. Whatever your writing and language skills are, though, make sure that your letter has no mistakes. "Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!" emphasizes Ann Harrell.

A cover letter, like most business correspondence, says Ms. Rothschild, has three basic parts:

Jennie Rothschild suggests these additional DOs and DON'Ts:



-Carol Sorgen
Writer for Employment
For more information on cover letters and resumes please visit our complete resume center at ResumeCenter