116 brilliant Cover L etters
2 Not including your own full contact details
I would recommend that you start all your
letters with a professional-looking letterhead.
It is vital that the reader can spot, at a glance,
not only your name but also precisely how to
get in contact with you. Put your name at the
very top, followed by your key contact details – address, phone number,
email address and so on. Place your address on one line, with your phone
numbers on the next, and finish with your email address.
To find out exactly how to put together your own letterhead, please
take a look at Chapter 1, page 5: Structure: building your skeleton
3 Inappropriate email addresses
Whilst having no email address at all on your letter is clearly a problem,
it’s not something I see very often. Far more common is the use of fun or
jokey email addresses.
Whilst these may be fine for corresponding with friends and family,
employers will probably regard more ‘serious’ email addresses as simply
You might have taken time to put together a brilliant cover letter, but if
your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org then it may harm your
chances. I would suggest you open a new email account to use for pro-
fessional purposes (e.g. Hotmail or Yahoo!) and keep your professional
correspondence separate from your personal correspondence.
To learn more about how to handle email addresses, please see Chapter
1, page 7: Structure: building your skeleton letter.
4 Losing the reader’s interest with your opening
The primary goal of your opening paragraph is, of course, to explain to
the reader why it is that you are writing to them.
start all your letters with
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