Job Letter and Resume Checklist

Includes material from Kitty Locker, Business and Administrative Communication, 6th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2003)

Checklist for Job Letters


Format

  • Include your address, the company address, and the date.
  • Address the letter to a specific person at the company, including his or her job title; do not use “To whom it may concern” or “Mr. President.”
  • Use first paragraph to demonstrate that you possess the major credentials (if a specific job was advertised) or to capture the reader’s interest (if no job was advertised).
  • Use the second paragraph to focus on your relevant skills and experience.
  • Use the final paragraph to requests an interview and/or to relate when you are available for it.
  • Refer to your resume if it is enclosed or attached.
  • Use a professional close, such as “Sincerely.”

Content

  • Use first paragraph to specify which position you are applying for and to discuss how you learned about the job.
  • Include your contact information.
  • Tailor the letter to the specific company and position to which you are applying.
  • Exhibit specific knowledge of the company.
  • Use keywords and terms from the field.
  • Make sure that the details you provide support your qualifications for the position, and that there is a clear link between your experience and what you could contribute to the company in the future.
  • Make sure your content sets you apart from other applicants.
  • Conclude in a positive way.

Visual Impact

  • Make your text visually fill the page (if you need to, list courses or references, or add “Summary of Qualifications”).
  • Make your name easy to read – large font, surrounded by white space.
  • Make headings clear and easy to skim – bold rather than all caps or italicized

Style and Mechanics

  • List duties and accomplishments in parallel structure.
  • Do not use I.
  • List jobs in reverse chronological order (starting with most recent).
  • On any subsequent pages, put your name and page 2.
  • Avoid typos and other errors.
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