How to Set Up Correct Spacing for a Cover Letter
There are several components that go into writing a good cover letter. Using the appropriate spacing can help your cover letter get noticed by hiring managers as well as make sure you present yourself in a professional manner right from the start. This article will discuss how to set up spacing for your cover letter and tips for formatting your cover letter as well as provide a cover letter template and examples you can use when writing your own.
Why is spacing for a letter important?
Spacing for a letter is important primarily because it makes a letter easily readable. Spacing your letter correctly can also ensure a clear and organized appearance rather than a letter that is jumbled together and difficult to read. Additionally, practicing proper spacing in your letters can also help establish yourself as professional as possible to the recipients of your letter(s).
How to set up spacing for a cover letter
Here are steps you can take when setting up spacing for your cover letter:
- First, begin by adding your name.
- Then, insert a single space. Add your address.
- Next, insert a single space. Add your phone number.
- Fourthly, insert a single space. Add your email address.
- Next, insert a single space. Add the date you are writing the letter.
- Then, insert a single space. Add the company name of the recipient.
- Next, insert a single space. Add the address of the company.
- Follow this by inserting a single space. Begin the letter with ‘Dear [hiring manager/interviewer].’
- Then, insert a single space. Include the first paragraph of your cover letter.
- After that, insert a single space. Include the second paragraph of your cover letter.
- Next, insert a single space. Include the third paragraph of your cover letter.
- Then, insert a single space. Write your cover letter conclusion.
- Next, insert a single space. Write ‘Sincerely,’
- Follow the last step by inserting three spaces. Add your name and title.
- Finish the cover letter by signing your name in the area with three spaces between ‘Sincerely’ and your typed name and title.
These steps are meant to be used as a guide when formatting and writing a business letter. You can also review examples to see the specific components you should include in a cover letter, such as the date your letter is being sent and the closing paragraph.
Tips for cover letter spacing
Here are some tips you can implement when formatting your cover letter to ensure proper spacing:
- Use standard one-inch margins when formatting a cover letter
- Align all paragraphs in your cover letter along the left side of the page
- Keep your cover letter to three or four paragraphs, if possible
- Use single spaces when formatting your cover letter
- Leave a space between addresses, dates, heading, greeting and each new paragraph
- Input a minimum of three spaces after the closing statement (such as ‘Sincerely’) and your name and signature
- Include a handwritten signature when sending a physical/hardcopy letter
- Use a font that is 10 or 12 points and is easily readable such as Calibri or Times New Roman
When using templates, examples or other samples of cover letters it is also important to customize each letter with your personal information and experience as it relates to the job you are applying for.
Cover letter spacing template
The following is a template you can use as a guide when formatting the spacing of your cover letter:
[Your name] [Space] [Your address] [Space] [Your city, state and zip code] [Space] [Your phone number] [Space] [Your email address] [Space] [Date you are writing the letter] [Space] [Dear hiring manager or interviewer name]: [Space] [First paragraph: Use the first paragraph of your cover letter to introduce yourself and why you are writing. You should include the title of the position you are sending in a resume for as well as how you found the job opening if applicable.] [Space] [Body paragraphs: Include two or three body paragraphs in your cover letter that go into detail about why you would be a good candidate for the position you are applying for. You can use specific examples and include mentions of skills or experience that were asked for in the job listing. Try to keep paragraphs short or consider using a bulleted list if appropriate. Include a space between each new paragraph.] [Space] [Concluding paragraph: Wrap up your cover letter by iterating your thanks to the interviewer/hiring manager for their time and consideration. You can also let them know that you are available at certain times if they have any questions or need more information to consider you as a candidate.] [Space] [Sincerely,] [Space] [Space] [Space] [Your signature] [Your name]
Cover letter spacing example
Here is an example of a cover letter using proper spacing throughout:
Carlos Thomas 786 Read Street Tampa, Florida 37691 (555) 555-5555 [email protected]
February 12, 2020
Dear Mr. Marcos:
I am writing to apply for the event coordinator position you currently have open at Anita’s Events in Tampa. With over 10 years of experience in event management and coordination, I believe that my skills and qualifications closely match that of the ideal candidate you are looking to fill this position.
I am currently working as the event coordinator at Edison’s Events and have headed multiple events of all varieties during my time in this position. I work directly with clients to ensure the events we plan and coordinate for them not only meet their expectations but exceed them.
The types of events that I have managed include corporate meetings, tradeshows, holiday parties, product launches, various types of gatherings and festivals. My dedication to providing unmatched customer service and staying abreast of the event management industry has allowed me to:
- Increase my company’s overall revenue by 37% over the last two years
- Achieve and maintain a customer service rating of five stars
- Attract crowds that have exceeded 7,500
- Improve the company’s overall brand recognition and customer database
I have attached my resume to this letter to provide more details as to why I would be a great candidate for this position. In my resume, you will find further examples of my work-related successes as well as the skills and experience that qualify me for this job opportunity. My resume also provides additional details as to the events I have coordinated in various industries including nonprofits, supermarket chains and car dealerships.
If you would like more information related to my experience and qualifications or to set up a meeting, please do not hesitate to contact me at (555) 555-5555. Thank you for time and consideration.
Sincerely, Carlos Thomas
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Cover Letter Spacing and Margins
- Cover Letter Format
- Salutation and Greeting
- Who To Address When Unknown
- How To Start A Cover Letter
- How To End A Cover Letter
- Best Cover Letter Font And Size
- Cover Letter Spacing
- Cover Letter Length
- Key Elements Of A Cover Letter
- How To Write An Address
- Official Letter Format
- Cover Letter Opening
Find a Job You Really Want In
Writing a standout cover letter is about more than just having great content. Coming off as professional in both form and function is going to help you get noticed by hiring managers.
That means using proper spacing, margins, indentation, and length. Do these things correctly and your cover letter will be well-organized, clear, and easy to read.
Whether you’re sending a physical cover letter or an email, we’ll provide guidelines to make your cover letter format perfect. We’ll also show you a sample cover letter for both a physical copy and an email version.
Your margins should be 1-inch on all sides, but if youâ€™re going over one page , then you can consider making the margins smaller
Your cover letter should be similar to your resume with font and font size, which should be no larger than 12-point font.
A cover letter should be between 200-300 words, but try to keep it on the shorter end if possible.
Cover Letter Spacing Guidelines
Proper cover letter length, cover letter examples, margins and alignment in a cover letter, guidelines for cover letter font, sending your cover letter, final thoughts.
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We’ll start with proper cover letter spacing, which is the first thing any hiring manager is going to notice upon first glance. Follow these rules and your page will look professionally done.
Spacing varies slightly depending on if you’re sending a physical cover letter or a digital cover letter.
Physical Copy Guidelines:
Single-space your cover letter
Start with your contact information in the following order:
Your name Your current address City, state, zip code Phone number Email address
Add one space
Write the date
Add the contact information of the letter’s recipient in the following order:
Hiring manager’s name Company Address Company city, state, zip code Hiring manager’s phone number Hiring manager’s email address
Write your salutation
Write 3-4 paragraphs, with one space between each one
Add one space after your final paragraph
Write your closing sign-off (e.g., Sincerely)
Put three spaces between your closing and your typed name
Put your signature in the space between your closing and your typed name
Tip: You can use the same header for your cover letter as your resume.
Email Cover Letter Spacing Guidelines:
Start with a salutation
>Write 3-4 paragraphs, with one space between each one
Add two spaces
Write your contact info in the following order
Full name Position Phone number Email address
If you have a formatted email signature , you can use that for step 8. You can add a digital signature between your closing and contact info if you think it looks snazzy (or, better yet, you think your prospective employer will think it looks snazzy).
Tip: When emailing a cover letter, keep your subject line clear and professional. State your name, the position title, and the fact that you’re sending along documents for an application. It should look something like “Donald Duck — Sales Representative Application.”
Just like your resume, your cover letter should never exceed one page . Ideally, the body of your cover letter should be between 200-300 words (aiming for the lower end of that spectrum is your best bet). Hiring managers have to sift through tons of these cover letters, so keeping things short and sweet is beneficial.
A cover letter should have three paragraphs, four at the most.
Opening paragraph. Your opening paragraph should introduce yourself and your background, grab the reader’s attention with a big accomplishment, and let the company know why you’re applying. If you were referred by someone in the company, this is a good place to mention it.
Body paragraph(s). Your middle paragraph(s) should focus on your professional qualities and experiences that relate to the company for which you’re applying. Don’t repeat credentials from your resume, because the hiring manager has probably already looked at it. Dig deeper and highlight why you’re the perfect fit for the position.
If you’re having trouble deciding which elements of your professional history are best to include here, read the job description again. Note the required qualifications and significant responsibilities.
Then, look back on your experience for moments where you applied similar skills or achieved results comparable to what the new company wants to achieve. Any time you can give percentages, dollar figures, or numbers to describe your duties, it will be more impactful.
Closing paragraph. Your closing paragraph thanks the employer for considering your application. You can also express how eager you are to learn more about the role and the company.
Cut out unnecessary information and you should have no trouble fitting everything in a 300-word count maximum.
Tip: Never address your cover letter with “To whom it may concern” . Do your best to find the name of the person who will be reading your cover letter, and address it to him or her. If your best efforts turn up nothing or you’re still unsure, use “Dear Hiring Manager” or one of its alternatives .
Physical copy example:
Jonathan Cash 123 Apple Street Anywhere, CO 12345 (999) 765-4321 [email protected] August 22, 2020 Phyllis Vance 789 Company Lane Somewhere, CO 56789 (543) 210-9876 [email protected] Dear Ms. Vance, I was excited to see a job posting for the Sales Representative position on NextCompany.com. I have been working in sales since I was a child with my first lemonade stand, and have 6+ years of formal experience working in sales. During my time at CurComp, I have developed my knowledge of marketing strategies, my ability to generate interest in new products, and my skill at maintaining strong, lasting customer satisfaction. My proudest achievements as a sales representative have been exceeding sales quotas by 10% or more each quarter, closing $900,000 in 2018 (25% above goal), and ranking as the top salesperson in the company in Q2 of 2019. Helping customers see the value of products that I truly believe in is the greatest source of satisfaction in my professional life. I would be thrilled to be in a position where I could implement my proven strategies to sell products offered by NextCompany, which have garnered the attention and excitement of industry experts for years. Thank you for considering me for the Sales Representative position. I look forward to discussing the role further and learning how my brand of salesmanship could fit into NextCompany’s business model. Sincerely, Jonathan Cash
Email cover letter example:
Dear Pat Murphy, ABC Inc. needs an Accountant who is determined, organized, and has years of expereince maintaining financial records. Luckily, I meet all three of those criteria. After getting an MBA with a specialization in Accounts from the University of Florida, I began working in the financial sector. For more than six years, I’ve helped companies upkeep and maintain financial records, run risk assessments, and handle all payroll and invoice documentation. I’ve also dedicated my Saturday’s performing pro bono accounting consultation for a local food bank. I was glad to see that ABC is also greatly involved with aiding the impoverished areas of our city, which further drew me to apply for this role. In my current position with XYZ Corp., I lead a team of 12 junior accountants managing a total of $10M+ in assets and cash. By setting up a new invoice system for contractors, I was able to reduce overhead by 8% and increase the efficiency of contracted projects by 6%. My proudest moment at XYZ, though, was finding a budgetary error that was bleeding over $15,000 monthly from the company. When I identified and fixed this problem, XYZ awarded me “Top Performer of the Month” in January 2020. With me, you get more than a regular CPA — you get a top-notch presenter who thrives in collaborative, deadline-driven work environments. I look forward to speaking more about how I can help XYZ achieve its goals in the years to come. Sincerely, Joanne Diggerly Johnston, HI 54321 (555) 432-1098 [email protected]
Like most documents, your cover letter should be aligned to the left. You should use 1-inch margins on all sides, but if you’re going over one page, then you can consider making the margins smaller. But really, if you’re sticking to our cover letter length guidelines (more on that below), then you should have no issues with standard 1-inch margins.
At no point should you indent any of your paragraphs. And don’t go bigger than 1-inch margins, because it’s going to look super obvious that you’re trying to make the letter’s content look beefier than it is.
If you’re writing your cover letter in Microsoft Word, you can change margins by pressing Page Layout followed by Margins . If you’re writing your cover letter in Google Docs, you can change margins by pressing File and then Page Setup .
A good rule of thumb is to make your cover letter as aesthetically similar to your resume as possible. That means using the same font. Basic, everyday fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, or Calibri are all good options.
Font size should generally be 12-point. If you’re trying to include more content, you could consider bringing that down to 10-point, but play around with margins as well to see which option allows you more space while keeping the letter visually pleasing .
Things to avoid like the plague are: underlining, highlighting, colored lettering, and CAPITALIZING. You can consider using bold or italicized text but use these sparingly to emphasize the key points of your cover letter. And if you choose to use bold, don’t also use italics (and vice versa).
Tip: Look at whether your prospective company uses “serif fonts” (tails at the end of letters, like in Times New Roman) or “sans serif” fonts (no tails at the end, like Arial). Then, use a font in the same style for your resume and cover letter.
If you’re sending your cover letter as a file, make sure to give it an appropriate name. For example, “John-Doe-Cover-Letter” tells the recipient exactly what the file is.
Be advised that many companies use an applicant tracking system when reviewing resumes and cover letters, so using a compatible file format like PDF or .doc is your best bet.
Sending your application documents as PDFs ensures that formatting will remain consistent across devices and operating systems. That makes it a strong choice most of the time, unless the employer specifically asks you not to send a PDF. Instructions directly from the employer always trump any advice we give here.
Cover letter spacing and margins might be the last thing on your mind, but they’re the first thing that a hiring manager or recruiter is going to notice. A bit of creativity is great when you’re applying for jobs, but some standards exist for a reason.
Stick to 1-inch margins and single-spaced, unindented paragraphs, and you’ll be off to a great first impression .
Careerservices.illinoisstate.edu. “ PDF .”
Owl.purdue.edu. “ Quick Formatting Tips // Purdue Writing Lab .”
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Matthew Zane is the lead editor of Zippia's How To Get A Job Guides. He is a teacher, writer, and world-traveler that wants to help people at every stage of the career life cycle. He completed his masters in American Literature from Trinity College Dublin and BA in English from the University of Connecticut.
Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.
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How To End A Cover Letter (With Examples)
How To Write An Official Business Letter (With Format And Examples)
How to Sign a Cover Letter (With Examples)
How To Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out In 12 Easy Steps
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Cover Letter Spacing – A Complete Guide
- What's the proper cover letter spacing?
Use a cover letter template
Key takeaways on cover letter spacing.
We all love the feeling of sending in the perfect cover letter, complete with an impressive list of qualifications and skills.
However, many of us focus our attention on the content without considering the format and correct cover letter spacing.
As silly as this may seem, employers look for applications that display meticulous organization. They want to know that their employees can follow instructions and write professionally.
Too much or too little white space in a cover letter can disorient the reader. Luckily, there is an easy way to ensure your cover letter is perfect.
Are you ready to take your cover letter to the next level? In this article, you'll learn:
- How to space your cover letter
- Where to add extra spaces
- How to change spacing settings on Google Docs and Microsoft Word
- Why use a cover letter template
- Where to get a cover letter template
What's the proper cover letter spacing?
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You should format cover letters in single spacing. However, you must leave one extra space between each paragraph.
It includes spacing between the greeting and opening paragraph, the final paragraph and closing, and the closing paragraph and your name.
View these cover letter examples for a clear picture of spacing.
Those using Google Docs can set the default spacing on your document before beginning.
- Click on the "Format" drop-down menu at the top of the document
- Select "Line & Paragraph Spacing"
- Select "Single"
Those using Microsoft Word can follow these steps before beginning:
- Click "Design" on the top menu of the document
- Select "Paragraph Spacing"
- Select "No Paragraph Space"
If you forgot to set single spacing before typing, you could adjust spacing later. Select all of the text and follow the steps above to match your document type.
If you need more tips, here are our guidelines for how to format a cover letter .
Most of us are applying to multiple jobs at once. Finding and applying to jobs can be exhausting, and you must tailor every cover letter to the company and position to which you are applying.
Luckily, there is a shortcut. You can build each one from a cover letter template .
Several other benefits of cover letter templates include:
- Prioritization: It can be challenging to know which information matters most to employers. Templates will show you where each section belongs.
- Professionalism: Templates are well-organized and pleasing to the eye. Hiring managers who view countless applications daily will appreciate your attention to detail.
- Saves time and effort: Cover letter templates are easy to use. They allow you to breeze through formatting and move on to the more important content.
When you write your next cover letter, remember these tips:
- Ensure that you single space your document.
- Set single spacing as the default on your document, or adjust spacing at the end.
- Add extra spaces in between each paragraph.
- Consider cover letter templates.
- Prioritize your information.
Your professional cover letter will make a great first impression on your future employer.
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Cover Letter Layout Example and Formatting Tips
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Cover Letter Layout Tips
How to use a cover letter template, cover letter template with layout, example of a cover letter.
- Tips for an Email Cover Letter
Image by Colleen Tighe Â© The Balance 2019
When writing a cover letter (as you should do each time you submit a resume as part of a job application), the layout of your letter is very important. Layout refers to the way the words are set up on the page, including headings, spacing, and font. You want to use a layout that makes your letter both easy to read and professional.
Read below for advice about how to lay out your letter, as well as a template for a cover letter.
When laying out a cover letter, you want to follow the layout of a typical business letter.
Heading. A business letter begins with your contact information, and then the employer’s contact information, if it's available.
Letter spacing. It's important to properly space the layout of the cover letters you send, with space between the heading, the greeting, each paragraph, the closing, and your signature. Single space your letter and leave a space between each paragraph. Also, remember to left-justify your entire letter.
Font and font size. When selecting a font, use a simple font like Arial, Verdana, Courier New, or Times New Roman. Your font size should be no smaller than 10-pt. but no larger than 12-pt. In choosing your font size, 12 pt. is probably the best—you don’t want to irritate a hiring manager by making him or her have to squint to read your font.
The cover letter template below shows the layout for a typical cover letter. Use the template to structure your own cover letter. It will give you advice on how to space your letter, what font to use, and how to justify your page.
What's Included in the Letter
The template also briefly describes what kind of content should go in each paragraph. Use this information to help you begin writing your own letter, tailored to reflect your own career history, professional qualifications, hard and soft skills , and your knowledge about the job and employer to which you are applying.
You can also review examples of cover letters for advice on how to word your cover letter.
When using a format or a sample letter, remember to be flexible. You can add or remove paragraphs to fit the needs of the particular job description. Your letter doesn't have to exactly match the template.
Write Customized Cover Letters
Also, keep in mind that your best strategy is to write a customized cover letter for each job to which you are applying. Hiring managers can tell when they’ve been sent a generic cover letter; they are more likely to be interested in candidates who have taken the time to write unique letters that specifically address the job opening they are offering.
Heading The first section of your cover letter should include information on how the employer can contact you. If you have contact information for the employer, include that. Otherwise, just list your information. This section should be single-spaced and left-justified, with a space between your contact information and your employer’s contact information.
Your Contact Information
Your Name Your Address Your City, State Zip Code Your Phone Number Your Email Address
Employer Contact Information
Name Title Company Address City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
Each of your body paragraphs should be single-spaced, with a space between each paragraph. The first paragraph of your cover letter should include information on the position you are applying for, including the job title. You should state how you heard about the job, and (briefly) explain why you think you are an ideal candidate for the position.
(space between paragraphs)
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Mention why you are qualified for the job and how your skills and experience are a match for the position for which you are applying. Provide specific examples to prove your skills and experience; these examples will “pop” on the page if you provide them in a bulleted format.
Final Paragraph: Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow up with them regarding the status of your application.
Handwritten Signature (for a hard copy letter)
This is a cover letter sample. Download the letter template (compatible with Google Docs or Word Online) or read the example below.
Sample Cover Letter
Kelly Timmons 62 Beacon Street Huntington Station, NY 11746 555-123-4568 firstname.lastname@example.org
August 17, 2020
Ms. Maribel Jones Human Resources Manager Belview Electronics 123 Main Street Huntington, NY 11743
Dear Ms. Jones:
I was excited to find the Customer Service Representative position on the Careers page of the Belview Electronics website. I believe I would be a good fit for your company because I have all of your required qualifications, as well as extensive experience in customer service and the electronics industry.
I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and I am fluent in both English and Spanish. In addition, I worked as a customer representative for a local plumbing company while I was in college. I have excellent phone skills and the ability to multitask. In addition, I am well organized, and proficient in most word processing and spreadsheet programs. My schedule is very flexible, and I would be happy to work evenings or weekends as necessary.
Thank you so much for your consideration. I’ve included my resume so you may further review my qualifications for the position. My cell phone is 555-123-4568, and my email is email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you so we can arrange an interview.
Kelly Timmons (signature for a hard copy letter)
Tips for Sending an Email Cover Letter
When you are sending your letter via email include your name and the job title in the subject line of your message:
Subject: FirstName LastName – Manager Position
List your contact information in your signature, rather than in the body of the letter:
FirstName LastName Your Email Your Phone Number Your LinkedIn Profile URL (optional)
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The cover letter is one of the most challenging documents you may ever write: you must write about yourself without sounding selfish and self-centered. The solution to this is to explain how your values and goals align with the prospective organization's and to discuss how your experience will fulfill the job requirements. Before we get to content, however, you need to know how to format your cover letter in a professional manner.
Formatting your cover letter
Your cover letter should convey a professional message. Of course, the particular expectations of a professional format depend on the organization you are looking to join. For example, an accounting position at a legal firm will require a more traditional document format. A position as an Imagineer at Disney might require a completely different approach. Again, a close audience analysis of the company and the position will yield important information about the document expectations. Let the organization's communications guide your work.
For this example, we are using a traditional approach to cover letters:
- Single-space your cover letter
- Leave a space between each paragraph
- Leave three spaces between your closing (such as "Sincerely" or "Sincerely Yours") and typed name
- Leave a space between your heading (contact information) and greeting (such as, "Dear Mr. Roberts")
- Either align all paragraphs to the left of the page, or indent the first line of each paragraph to the right
- Use standard margins for your cover letter, such as one-inch margins on all sides of the document
- Center your letter in the middle of the page; in other words, make sure that the space at the top and bottom of the page is the same
- Sign your name in ink between your salutation and typed name
Organizing your cover letter
A cover letter has four essential parts: heading, introduction, argument, and closing.
In your heading, include your contact information:
- phone number
- email address
The date and company contact information should directly follow your contact information. Use spacing effectively in order to keep this information more organized and readable. Use the link at the top of this resource to view a sample cover letter - please note the letter is double-spaced for readability purposes only .
Addressing your cover letter
Whenever possible, you should address your letter to a specific individual, the person in charge of interviewing and hiring (the hiring authority). Larger companies often have standard procedures for dealing with solicited and unsolicited resumes and cover letters. Sending your employment documents to a specific person increases the chances that they will be seriously reviewed by the company.
When a job advertisement does not provide you with the name of the hiring authority, call the company to ask for more information. Even if your contact cannot tell you the name of the hiring authority, you can use this time to find out more about the company.
If you cannot find out the name of the hiring authority, you may address your letter to "hiring professionals" - e.g., "Dear Hiring Professionals."
The introduction should include a salutation, such as "Dear Mr. Roberts:" If you are uncertain of your contact's gender, avoid using Mr. or Mrs. by simply using the person's full name.
The body of your introduction can be organized in many ways. However, it is important to include, who you are and why you are writing. It can also state how you learned about the position and why you are interested in it. (This might be the right opportunity to briefly relate your education and/or experience to the requirements of the position.)
Many people hear of job openings from contacts associated with the company. If you wish to include a person's name in your cover letter, make certain that your reader has a positive relationship with the person.
In some instances, you may have previously met the reader of your cover letter. In these instances it is acceptable to use your introduction to remind your reader of who you are and briefly discuss a specific topic of your previous conversation(s).
Most important is to briefly overview why your values and goals align with the organization's and how you will help them. You should also touch on how you match the position requirements. By reviewing how you align with the organization and how your skills match what they're looking for, you can forecast the contents of your cover letter before you move into your argument.
Your argument is an important part of your cover letter, because it allows you to persuade your reader why you are a good fit for the company and the job. Carefully choose what to include in your argument. You want your argument to be as powerful as possible, but it shouldn't cloud your main points by including excessive or irrelevant details about your past. In addition, use your resume (and refer to it) as the source of "data" you will use and expand on in your cover letter.
In your argument, you should try to:
- Show your reader you possess the most important skills s/he seeks (you're a good match for the organization's mission/goals and job requirements).
- Convince your reader that the company will benefit from hiring you (how you will help them).
- Include in each paragraph a strong reason why your employer should hire you and how they will benefit from the relationship.
- Maintain an upbeat/personable tone.
- Avoid explaining your entire resume but use your resume as a source of data to support your argument (the two documents should work together).
Reminder : When writing your argument, it is essential for you to learn as much as possible about the company and the job (see the Cover Letter Workshop - Introduction resource).
Your closing restates your main points and reveals what you plan to do after your readers have received your resume and cover letter. We recommend you do the following in your closing:
- Restate why you align with the organization's mission/goals.
- Restate why your skills match the position requirements and how your experience will help the organization.
- Inform your readers when you will contact them.
- Include your phone number and e-mail address.
- Thank your readers for their consideration.
A sample closing:
I believe my coursework and work experience in electrical engineering will help your Baltimore division attain its goals, and I look forward to meeting with you to discuss the job position further. I will contact you before June 5th to discuss my application. If you wish to contact me, I may be reached at 765-555-6473, or by e-mail at jwil[email protected]. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Although this closing may seem bold, potential employers will read your documents with more interest if they know you will be calling them in the future. Also, many employment authorities prefer candidates who are willing to take the initiative to follow-up. Additionally, by following up, you are able to inform prospective employers that you're still interested in the position and determine where the company is in the hiring process. When you tell readers you will contact them, it is imperative that you do so. It will not reflect well on you if you forget to call a potential employer when you said you would. It's best to demonstrate your punctuality and interest in the company by calling when you say you will.
If you do not feel comfortable informing your readers when you will contact them, ask your readers to contact you, and thank them for their time. For example:
Please contact me at 765-555-6473, or by e-mail at [email protected]. I look forward to speaking with you. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Before you send the cover letter
Always proofread your cover letter carefully. After you've finished, put it aside for a couple of days if time allows, and then reread it. More than likely, you will discover sentences that could be improved, or grammatical errors that could otherwise prove to be uncharacteristic of your writing abilities. Furthermore, we recommend giving your cover letter to friends and colleagues. Ask them for ways to improve it; listen to their suggestions and revise your document as you see fit.
If you are a Purdue student, you may go to the Writing Lab or CCO for assistance with your cover letter. You can make an appointment to talk about your letter, whether you need to begin drafting it or want help with revising and editing.
Click on the link at the top of this resource for a sample cover letter. Please note that this sample is double spaced for readability only. Unless requested otherwise, always single space your professional communication.
The following are additional Purdue OWL resources to help you write your cover letter:
- Cover Letter Workshop- Formatting and Organization
- Example Employment Documents
- Cover Letters 2: Preparing to Write a Cover Letter
- Cover Letters 3: Writing Your Cover Letter
- Cover Letter Presentation
- Job Search Documents for Working Class Positions