Cover Letter Do's and Don'ts
As you write your cover letter, keep
the following points in mind:
- 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
- You will need to provide a cover letter when you
complete an actual application; this provides good practice.
- 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
- 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.
- Be sure some proofs all material that you submit in an
- 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
- 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
- Generally in a business letter, the closing and your signature
are flush with the left margin.
- 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.
- You do not need to repeat things that are referenced in your
- 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.
- 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?
- Do not leave anything blank on the application; if you do not
have the information, so note; if it does not apply, write "NA".
- 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.