Avoiding Typically Occurring Technical Mistakes
Technically speaking, a cover letter is a business letter with which you state your requests. The regular "Din 5008" sets the standard for construction. For some sample templates, take a look at some of our helpful job application guidebooks located in the Campus Center.
Greeting with "To whom it may concern" must be ruled out! You should always use the name of your contact person, especially if their name is in the job advertisement. If their name is in the advert, you can often find the name of the proper contact person on the employer’s homepage. Calling the information desk at the company you wish to contact and asking for the proper name is also an option. Always ask them to spell out the name for you, regardless of how simple the name is. Doing so will help you avoid simple mistakes: Mayer, Meier, or Meyer? If a contact person is not available, you can alternativaly greeting with "Dear Sir or Madam", "Dear hiring manager" or "Dear hiring team".
Do not forget the Inc. or Ltd. In the company name; also pay attention to the spelling with upper and lower case letters.
Tip: Take the company name from their copyright notice page (e.g. ‘© Company X’) usually found at the bottom of the page.
The subject line is written in bold. This cannot be forgotten. Outdated terms like “Subj.”, “Subject” or “Re:” before the beginning are no longer in use. The best would be to start the subject line with "Application for ...."
Unlike in many continental European applications, you do not include the word attachments at the bottom of you cover letter when applying. If you are including attachments, the employer will see them well enough.
Address lines, subject line, and text in general are not underlined.
The first word following the salutation is always written with a capital letter. This is different than in German where the first letter is almost always lower case.
Example - Cover Letter
Here you can find a sample cover letter. The text marked in red must be modulated from place to place. The length shows a realistic picture.