1. Marshall Loeb claims that the quality of writing in your cover letter will decide if you get an interview. Really? Marsh, don't make me laugh. If you have a point form cover letter with the right stuff in it, I will call you. In fact, I like bullet points best because they are easier to read.
Also, if I have a hundred resumes to review and your cover letter contains no readily visible keywords, I might dump you then and there. Keywords, Marshall, keywords. Very important. But your writing style? Unless, it's moronic, I don't care. Lots of smart people can't write.
2. Send it to a specific person. "To whom it may concern" shows you haven't done your home work. Yeah, but if it was easy to get names internally, we'd all be rich.
3. Describe your most recent accomplishment and how it relates to the job you want. Yes, I agree. Someone sent me a resume that featured something he did 20 years ago as a major accomplishment. I know, it's like riding a bike; once you've done it you never lose it. (Sister, please!).
4. Don't repeat stuff from your resume. Marsh, Marsh: do include stuff from your resume. Just make it a short headline so it packs a quick punch. And, if something is especially important for this job, follow the headline with a more detailed description than you have space for in the resume.
5. Tell us your goal: (1) Tell us what the company needs (2) how you can help (3) why that's good for you. Research the website, newspapers, annual reports to find out about the firm. Great.
6. End with a call-to-action. Ask the employer to call or email you. Then call or email within a week. Go ahead, tell them what to do; they ain't gonna listen. But, follow up within a week. Yash!
8. Proofread spelling and grammar. Don't send the wrong cover letter. Don't forget to attach your resume. If you were not born into your working language, get someone who was to read your resume. Do not trust someone who came here after the age of ten. I critiqued the resume of a smart woman who came from China. She told me that her friend, who came to Canada at age ten had checked it for her. It was still full of errors.
Reference: Career Journal