Cover Letter Do's and Don'ts

Published: 07-26-2006
Here is a short list of items to think about when finishing up that all-important cover letter to your favorite airline. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make yours count.


  • Write to a specific person (not "To whom it may concern")
  • Call the company and ask the operator whom to address your pilot resume to if not certain
  • Personalize your cover letter body to that particular airline; no one cover letter for all employers!
  • Bullet your significant qualifications
  • Use the same paper as you used to print out your resume
  • Have another set of eyes proofread
  • Highlight how the company would benefit by hiring you. Avoid using "I" too many times
  • Name drop in the first sentence if applicable
  • 24 lb or heavier white or off-white paper works best
  • Use the enclosure (enc.) statement below your signature
  • Sign it


  • Any spelling or grammar errors
  • Make it wordy or lengthy. You have mere seconds to grab an airline's attention
  • Exaggerate or lie
  • Have different times on your cover letter than are on your resume
  • Be pushy or demanding for an interview
  • Not using bullet points to highlight qualifications
  • Slang or cliches
  • Write in email-style colloquialism. It needs to be written in good old fashioned, professional style.
  • Forget to sign your signature with black or blue ink
  • Send a resume without a cover letter
  • Use paper clips to hold together your cover letter and resume
  • Hand write address information on the envelope

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