Chicago State University
773.995.2000

Cover Letter Checklist

Formatting and General Information

  • Keep your cover letter to no more than one page in length.
  • Do not write your cover letter on letter head.
  • Start the cover letter with your physical address; below it the date.
  • Make sure your cover letter is personalized to each position and company.
  • Write ONLY in professional business language.
  • Use appropriate and simple fonts in sizes of 10 to 12 pt.
  • Font size should be consistent throughout the cover letter.
  • Margins should be no more than 1 inch on all sides.
  • The cover letter should be single spaced, but leave black lines between your contact information, the date, the company’s contact information, the greeting, each paragraph and the closing.
  • Proofread your cover letter to make sure it free of all grammatical errors.
  • Sign your letter, particularly if you are submitting a printed copy. Use a signature file rather than a script font for electronic signatures.
  • When including a cover letter with an email, either upload the entire document as an attachment or paste the entire document, including mailing addresses and the date, into the body of the email.

Contact Information of the Recipient

  • Include the name of specific person, with the appropriate prefix if known (i.e. Dr., Ms., Mrs., Mr., etc.).
  • If you do not have a specific person, address the letter to hiring team or manager (example: Dear Human Resources Team).
  • Include recipient’s job title. On the next line, include the name of the company. Afterwards, include the company’s physical mailing address.

Greeting

  • Address the letter to the person whose contact information you provided above and use a colon at the end, NOT a comma.

First Paragraph

  • Identify the position in which you are applying and state how you learned about the position’s opening.
  • Show interest in the company.

Second Paragraph

  • Use a copy of the job description to help you write this paragraph.
  • Describe your qualifications, experience and how your abilities match the needs of the company (Use specific examples as evidence).
  • Show company knowledge and match the company’s goals and values with your own.
  • Include personal characteristics relevant to the job and show why you are the best candidate.

Third Paragraph

  • Express interest in requesting an interview.
  • Provide information regarding how and when you can be contacted.
  • Thank the recipient for considering you for the available positions.

Closing and Signature

  • Include an appropriately professional closing, such as “Sincerely”.
  • If you print you cover letter, sign it in the space between your closing and your typed name.