- Addressing the letter to a named individual. Job-seekers must address the letter to a person — the hiring manager. And if you make the effort to get the name, make sure you spell it correctly. Do not write to the Human Resources department.
- The first paragraph must engage the reader and entice him/her to read more of your letter. Do not waste this opening paragraph with the typical boring one that many job-seekers use.
- The second and third paragraphs must show how well you fit the position you are seeking — as well as highlight key accomplishments. Focus on what you can do for the company rather than what the company can do for you.
- The last paragraph must state how you plan to follow-up the letter (usually with a phone call). Be sure to give a timeframe — and then be sure to do what you say you are going to do.
- Long (read boring) sentences and paragraphs;
- Letters longer than one page;
- Typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors;
- Simply rehashing/highlighting your resume