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Keep your cover letter short. Brevity is critical. One or two paragraphs – under 150 words- should be sufficient. A cover letter is more of a “cover note.”

Always use standard cover letter protocol. Just because it’s an email doesn’t mean you should abandon standard business letter writing. Make sure to include a salutation (Dear Ms. Roth) and a standard closing (such as Sincerely or Yours truly). Leave blank lines between paragraphs. Avoid using emoticons, abbreviations, wild colors, etc.

What should be included in the E-Cover “Note”? There should be a statement about who you are; what job you’re applying or hoping for; how you heard about this job; and an indication of your knowledge of the organization.

Take advantage of keywords. Use keywords pertinent to the job you are seeking, and focus on key industry buzzwords and critical skill sets.

Don’t waste your subject line. Don’t ever leave the subject line of your email blank. Use the subject line to entice the reader into your cover letter. If you are applying to a specific position, mention the job title for easy reference.

Justify your left-hand margins. Avoid indenting and other formatting devices because formatting is often altered in electronic transmission.

Never hit “send” without thoroughly spell checking and proofreading your email cover note. Don’t just rely on your email software’s spellchecker. Take the time to really proofread it. A simple typo could undermine a brilliant cover letter.

Be sure to test your message before sending it to the company. Even if you’re sure your letter is perfect, send it to a friend or another one of your e-mail accounts first and check for the content and style one more time.