The do’s and don’ts of cover letters

Published April 19th, 2017 - 11:47 GMT
Convincing a future hiring manager that you’re the perfect candidate will require you to write a cover letter. (Pexels)
Convincing a future hiring manager that you’re the perfect candidate will require you to write a cover letter. (Pexels)

When applying for jobs in an ever-competitive professional world, setting yourself apart from other job seekers can be a hard thing to achieve. Especially that today, more than ever, a simple CV is not always sufficient. Apart from writing the perfect CV, supplements such as portfolios and examples of previous achievements are now considered an instrumental part of job hunting.

Read more: Getting your CV to the top of the pile 

Moreover, building a professional persona that is attractive to hiring managers requires work on different levels that range from professional online profiles, to interview communication skills, and presenting yourself as the perfect candidate through various forms of written communication.

Indeed, convincing a future hiring manager that you’re the perfect candidate will require you to write a cover letter. Although writing a cover letter can seem like a simple task to some, it is not so simple in reality.

Here are some important do's and don’ts of cover letter writing:-

The Don’ts:

Don’t send out your CV to a perspective employer without including a cover letter. Especially if you are applying for a managerial or a senior position, skipping the cover letter is rarely tolerated.

Don’t waste your time and your potential manager’s time by using the first paragraph to introduce yourself. Simply use it to grab their attention by reasoning why you’re qualified for the job.

Don’t be instructive by using phrases such as “kindly find attached herewith” or “as you can tell from my attached CV.” Simply state the highlights you want the manager to pay the most attention to.

Don’t expect action to be taken. You have to request them. Tell the manager, for example, that you’re available for an interview and specify a timeframe that works for you. If you say that you will be following up after a certain period of time, do so!

Don’t send out a cover letter than is not grammatically correct or has typos and misspelled words. Read your cover letter over and over again to make sure it’s well-written. Ask for help if need be.

Don’t write out your CV. The cover letter is supposed to highlight the most important qualification and accomplishments and to elaborate on the most relevant details. By writing out your CV in a letter format, you end up boring the potential manager without offering any added value.

Don’t include your cover letter in an email body, rather attach separately along with your CV and portfolio (if applicable). You can easily attach your cover letter when you apply for jobs on

Read more: Make your CV stand out for the right reasons

The Do's:

Do address your letter to an individual, if possible. Try to avoid addressing to “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Company Representative.”

Do write a new cover letter for each different position and try to avoid using the same cover letter for many jobs. Employers can easily tell if your cover letter has been recycled or if it is irrelevant.

Do use simple language and avoid jargon. Write short, clear sentences and do not overcomplicate your letter with long and technical terms.

Do write cover letters that are unique to you and that highlight your best qualities. Avoid copying and pasting online templates. If you need help getting started, check out com’s professional writing services.

Do talk about the requirements of the job and how you will satisfy them. Focus on what you can do for the company rather than what the company can do for you.

Do set yourself apart from other job seekers by giving specific examples as evidence to prove your professional claims.

Do keep your cover letter brief and less than one page.

By Saif Haddad 

This article originally appeared in

This article and all other intellectual property on is the property of Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from


© 2000 - 2022 Al Bawaba (

You may also like