From The NonProfit Times Management Tips page:
Resumes seem to have a set form while cover letter get free reign. Don’t forget that the creativity behind a cover letter still needs some guidelines, according to Bruce A. Hurwitz, vice president of New York City-based Joel H. Paul & Associates, Inc., a national executive search firm for the nonprofit sector.
Hurwitz set the ground rules for cover letters at Fundraising Day in New York held by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater New York Chapter.
Check out his cover letter checklist:
-Short and sweet. This isn’t your college thesis and potential employers don’t have time to read a novel. Keep your cover letter to the point.
-Use bullets. Bullet points draw the eye to the most important information.
-Credentials. Tell them why you would be the perfect fit for the job. Point out how you’ve solved problems or made decisions at prior jobs.
-Contact information. Papers get separated. Make sure your contact information is on the cover letter. Try not to include any ridiculous e-mail addresses.
-In closing. Hurwitz said to have an appreciative close to the letter. It shows you are grateful to be considered for the position.
-Proofread. Spelling mistakes will put you in the “no” pile fast. Spell check, proofread, give it to someone else to proofread and then repeat. There’s no room for errors.