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You are here: The Job Explorer > Cover Letter > Cover Letter Writing Tips > Cover Letter Do's and Don'ts

Cover Letter Do's and Don'ts

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As you write your cover letter, keep the following points in mind:

  1. There are several purposes in having you attach a cover letter:
    • You might wish to apply to teach in Loudoun County and the Principal may be able to let someone know that you are available, based on the impression that the material made on him/her.
    • You will need to provide a cover letter when you complete an actual application; this provides good practice.
  2. Use this cover letter as an opportunity to "sell"  yourself to a prospective employer.  Explain how you would benefit and how the school could benefit from your presence.
  3. Make sure you look up the name and address (watch spelling) of the principal or whoever is supposed to receive the application material.  There should be no reason to address a letter "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam".  This is especially important when you send an actual application - be sure to use the correct name, title and address.
  4. Be sure some proofs all material that you submit in an application.
  5. Use proper format for the letter; please check out the samples that have been prepared for you.  For example:
    • Show your COMPLETE return address as well as phone number
    • There should be an inside address in the letter - in other words, the name of the person to receive the letter and his/her complete address.
    • Provide an appropriate salutation, i.e., Dr., Mrs., Ms. Mr. followed by the last name.
    • Offer an appropriate closing and be sure to include your signature
    • Generally in a business letter, the closing and your signature are flush with the left margin.
  6. Use a readable font - Arial and New Times Roman tend to be good choices; use appropriate size - 12 cpi is the best choice for the size. Watch indentations, tabs and margins and be consistent - if you indent the first line of one paragraph, you should indent the first line of every other paragraph.
  7. You do not need to repeat things that are referenced in your resume.
  8. Include all of the items requested in the ad or in the application; for example, if the ad asks you to have reference letters mailed directly to the superintendent's office, do not include them in your packet.
  9. When you complete the application, carefully review directions:
    • should it be typed or handwritten?
    • do the directions ask you to print?
    • does the form ask for first to list your first or last name?
  10. Do not leave anything blank on the application; if you do not have the information, so note; if it does not apply, write "NA". 
  11. You might want to make a copy of the application and use the copy as a "practice set" since the application that you mail should not contain any whiteouts, deletions, etc.




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