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Extras: A Cover Tip Sheet

Quick tips to incorporate while writing your cover letter:

• Use good paper and the proper business letter format.

• A three to five line block in the top right or left corner of the page containing your name and contact information (home street address, city, state, ZIP code, phone number, email address), and the date. (Separate the date from the block by one line.)

• Another multi-line block, flush left, one space below the date and one space above the greeting. This block contains the addressee's full name, title, and address, including city, state and ZIP code.

• Use a personalized salutation (not, for example, "To Whom It May Concern"). Make an effort to find out who will be receiving your letter. If necessary, telephone the company and ask. If you do not find a specific name, address the letter to "Hiring Manager," "Human Resources Manager," or simply "Manager." Use a colon after the greeting, not a comma. The greeting should address a specific person in a formal manner: "Dear Ms. Jones," not "Dear Mary:"

• Paragraphs should be separated by a line of space without indentation.

• The closing should read "Sincerely," followed by your signature underneath, then your full name in print underneath that. Always leave enough room for your signature between the closing and your name when you print your cover letter.

In addition, you should always:

• Use a thesaurus (judiciously). A little variety in your vocabulary can go a long way.

• Check your spelling. Can't stress this enough as childish as it may sound.

• Proofread carefully. And don't rely solely on spell check—it's not perfect. It won't catch words that are spelled correctly but are mistyped or used improperly (e.g., from/form, see/sea, your/you're).

• Have a friend read it. A new pair of eyes can see things you might be missing because you're so familiar with the text.

This may sound like a pretty big fuss for such a short letter, but a great cover letter can be the difference between you getting the job or continuing on your search.

Sample of a Cover Letter

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