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Formatting Tips for Winning Cover Letters


Planning a home using graph paper
David Malan

How you format your cover letter, both from a content (the information you include) and a presentation (what your cover letter looks like) perspective is important. Even when applying online or via email, your cover letter needs to be properly formatted, readable, and without any mistakes.

Cover Letter Content

First of all, your cover letter needs to include your contact information (name, address, phone, email) so prospective employers can get in touch with you.

Your cover letter should include at least three paragraphs:

1. What you are applying for and where you found the job posting - First Paragraph
2. What you have to offer - Middle Paragraph(s)
3. How you will follow-up - Final Paragraph

In the first paragraph, if you are writing in response to a job posting, indicate where you learned of the position and the title of the position. More importantly, express your enthusiasm and the likely match between your credentials and the position's qualifications.

The second paragraph of your cover letter should refer specifically to the qualifications listed in the job posting and illustrate how your particular abilities and experiences relate to the position for which you are applying.

The final paragraph of your letter should reiterate your interest in the job and let the employer know how they can reach you and include your phone number and email address.

Cover Letter Format

Cover letter presentation matters as much as what you include. When writing cover letters it's important to use a basic font that is easy to read. Depending on the hiring process your cover letter may be viewed in an applicant tracking system or other online hiring system. Those systems work best reading simple text rather than fancy formatting.

It's also important for the hiring manager to be able to easily read your resume. Using a basic 12 point font will ensure that your cover letter is easy to read. Basic fonts like Arial, Verdana, and Times New Roman work well. Don't forget to leave space between paragraphs and to proof your letter before you send or upload it. Do remember that your cover letter fonts should match your resume.

Sample Cover Letter Format
This sample cover letter format includes all the information you need to include in the cover letter you submit with your resume. Use this cover letter format as a guideline to create customized cover letters to send to employers.

Cover Letter Tips
More Cover letter writing tips and suggestions for writing cover letters to send with your resume, including cover letter samples and examples.

Cover Letter Examples
When applying for a job a cover letter should be sent or posted with your resume. If you are not sure what to write, review these cover letter samples.

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