LETTER WRITING CHECKLIST OVERVIEW The cover letter should consist by robpearson


									                                                            LETTER WRITING CHECKLIST

OVERVIEW                                                  ACTION (short closing paragraph of 2 or 3
The cover letter should consist of 3 or 4 short               • Request an interview.
paragraphs that present relevant information in               • Restate phone number and/or e-mail address
concise, straightforward text. Target the letter to a             and the best time to reach you.
specific position, company, or industry. Use the              • Express appreciation for the interviewer’s
cover letter to emphasize the most important                      time and consideration.
information from the resume, add new information,
and show how you match the requirements described         WRITING STYLE AND TONE
in the job description.                                   Word Choice
                                                              • Be concise and straightforward in wording.
ATTENTION (short opening paragraph of 2 or 3                  • Use active verbs most of the time.
sentences)                                                    • Vary sentence length and structure to create
Choose an appropriate introductory paragraph or                   interest.
combine elements of these to create your own                  • Use targeted topic sentences and strong
opening paragraph:                                                transition words and phrases to effectively
    • Summary Opening – Present your strongest,                   connect information for the reader.
        most relevant qualifications (usually                 • Check and recheck spelling, grammar, and
        education for a student or recent graduate).              punctuation.
    • Name Opening – Mention the name of a                Positive Emphasis
        person who is well known to the reader and            • Be positive in tone and wording.
        who has given you permission to use his or
                                                              • Avoid word choices with negative
        her name.
    • Source Opening – Identify the source of
                                                          Focus on Employer Needs
        your information (i.e., UTD CareerWorks).
                                                              • Show how you will benefit the employer.
                                                              • Use more second-person (you, we) than
PROMOTION (1 or 2 short paragraphs)
                                                                  first-person (I, me, my) pronouns.
Present key qualifications for the job, including
emphasizing some piece of information from the                • Use introductory phrases to avoid beginning
resume, adding relevant information that did not fit              too many sentences with I.
in the resume, and information demonstrating
qualifications presented in the job description.          THINGS TO REMEMBER
Remember these must be short paragraphs, so be               • Target the letter to a specific job, company,
selective in what you present.                                 or industry.
     • Use a businesslike tone; eliminate boasting           • Preferable to address letter to a specific
         or exaggeration.                                      person by name.
     • Cite specific achievements and relevant               • Demonstrate knowledge of the organization
         activities.                                           and the position.
     • Demonstrate knowledge of the organization.            • If faxing or mailing, sign the letter.
     • Link education, experience, and personal              • Create an acceptable, professional business
         qualities to the job requirements.                    letter format.
                                                             • Read the letter out loud so you hear how it
                                                               will sound to the interviewer.

                                               UTD Career Center
                                                 March 2007

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