University of Houston-Victoria

Curriculum and Student Achievement

Checklist for Cover Letters

Cover letters are also known as application or job letters. They generally accompany a resume when you apply for a position.

  • Use the following list to check and revise your cover letter.
  • Does the letter follow a standard business format?
  • Does the letter include the date?
  • Does the letter include an inside address with your contact information (street address, city, state)?
  • Does your letter include your employer’s contact information (contact person’s name, position/title, company, street address, city, state)?
  • Does the salutation use the contact person’s name?
  • Is the salutation followed by a colon?
  • Does the first paragraph of the letter give details about the position being sought, including when and where you learned of the available position?
  • Does the first paragraph give the reader an idea of why you are qualified for the job?
  • Does each paragraph within the body of the letter have a topic sentence?
  • Does each sentence in each body paragraph develop the topic sentence?
  • Are the qualifications given in each body paragraph tied specifically to the position and organization being applied to? Are they presented as benefits? Are they the best ones (look back at the job ad and the resume) to mention for this position and organization?
  • Are the qualifications mentioned developed in more detail than in the resume?
  • Are transitions between paragraphs and sentences smooth and logical?
  • Did the final paragraph thank your reader for his or her consideration of your application?
  • Does the last paragraph ask for an interview? Does it refer the reader to the resume?
  • Does the last paragraph give accurate and complete contact information (times, phone numbers, email)?
  • Is the entire letter free from grammar and spelling errors?
  • Did you print the letter on the same paper as the resume?
  • Did you indicate that you have an enclosure (the resume) at the bottom of the resume?
  • Is the letter signed?