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Job-Winning Cover Letter Formats
Your cover letter specifies relevant skills to a potential employer and are generally used in three instances. The first is when applying for a job that the employer posted. The second occasion is the speculative, sent when you are unsure if the employer is hiring for your desired position.The last is the networking, and sent to colleagues to pass along to their employer to inform them of your job-seeking status. Use LiveCareer's multiple cover letter samples to help you create your own.
How it Works
5 Distinct Cover Letter Components
The main sections of every well-written cover letter are the contact information, salutation, opening, body paragraphs, and closing. Contact information informs the employer how to reach you for an interview. The salutation addresses employers or hiring managers appropriately. The opening invites them to read further into the body paragraphs, which illuminate your traits at a glance. The closing respectfully finishes the letter, aiding you in getting the job you want.
Your header does not simply state your name and number. You need to include your street address and email. Make sure to use your personal contact information, not your company-given phone and email. Follow with the date and the hiring manager’s name. Finish with the employer’s address, phone, and email.
Avoid being generic in your greeting. Beginning with “Sir or Madam” is boring and shows a lack of effort. Address the specific hiring manager who is most likely to review your resume. Search the company’s website and social media—or even give the company a call—to discover who the hiring manager is.
The opening summarizes the position and how you heard about it.If there are multiple vacancies at the company, hiring managers must know immediately what position you want. They can then look at your skills in light of the job. State which website or person informed you of the opening.
Keep the body paragraphs brief but informative. Look for keywords in the job description and expand on your skills or experiences that relate to the position. Tailor your qualifications to that specific job and show how you can benefit the company. If you have applicable talents that are only concisely stated in your resume, now is the time to elaborate on them to show that you are the perfect candidate. Contain all the information in one to two paragraphs.
The closing shows that you are serious about the job.Tell the hiring manager that you will follow up within a specified period of time and that you desire an interview. Phrase your sentences to show appreciation and optimism. Use a professional closing signature that is not informal or casual, such as “sincerely”, “respectfully yours” or “regards.”
Cover Letter Formatting
Popular Cover Letter Formats
Professional Cover Letter Format
Email Cover Letter Format
Basic Cover Letter Format
Simple Cover Letter Format
Teacher Cover Letter Format
Nursing Cover Letter Format
3 Key Takeaways
Break Up Text Into 3-4 Paragraphs
Break up your cover letter into three or four readable paragraphs. Paragraphs help the letter flow and are easier to read than a single block of text. In general, the first paragraph includes your objective statement while the subsequent sections provide your experience and qualifications.
Use the Correct Address Format
At the top of your cover letter, include your return address in the proper format. This should include your name, address, email, and phone number. Below your return address, provide the recipient’s contact information. Include the recipient’s specific name and title. Avoid generic addresses such as “To Whom It May Concern.”
Provide a Signature
At the end of your letter, both type and sign your name. Signatures demonstrate authenticity and help personalize the document. Sign in ink, preferably in black or blue. Avoid automated or computer printed signatures, which are less personal. Most importantly, keep your signature professional.
5 Key Things to Remember When Choosing a Cover Letter Format
We offer a wide selection of eye-catching letter formats. Keep the following tips in mind while considering your options.
Why Recruiters Love This Type of Cover Letter
Many corporations utilize some sort of applicant tracking system (ATS) to help manage large influxes of applications. The employer decides what the ATS will look for, and then the system filters based on this input. Some things that employers screen resumes for are experience, skills, and education.
Who uses an ATS to track applicants?
You are most likely to encounter an ATS when applying for a large organization. Applying online usually means that that employer uses an ATS.
Are there ATS-friendly cover letter formats?
The type of cover letter format and resume you should use depends on the position you are applying for. LiveCareer gives you samples and tips for writing an outstanding letter.
How can you maximize your chances of making it through an ATS?
Most importantly, tailor each cover letter for a specific job and type of job posting. We can give you step-by-step instructions to help your cover letter pass through the ATS.
Build Your Cover Letter Faster & Better
Simply look at the cover letters Taking a look at cover letter samples is a good first step in writing your own letter. LiveCareer has many types to peruse through.
Formatting made easy Once you have a better understanding of how to craft a cover letter, choose an appropriate format from us to begin writing your cover letter.
Error-free cover letters Even the smallest mistakes can prevent you from making it past an ATS. Our cover letter builder gives you clear directions to avoid possible errors.
We provide expert text phrases to add to your cover letter Employers use keyword filters in their ATS, and discovering these words on your own is difficult. Our builder includes thousands of phrases for many jobs.
Download and sendWith PDF and Microsoft Word file types, your finished cover letter is simple to download. Complete your letter confidently by using our cover letter builder.
Cover Letter Formats FAQs
When applying for jobs online, is the cover letter a different format?
Online job applications are often less formal than printed ones. As a result, the information you provide should be succinct and direct. Some online applications have specific fields to fill out, whereas others allow you to upload your documents. If the latter is the case, use a simple cover letter format that features an engaging opener and a succinct body paragraph. Keep your letter to less than a half page and use bullet points to break up content. Refer to our industry examples for help.
What is the best cover letter format?
The best cover letter formats are ones which are consistent with the prospective job. For example, if you are applying for a corporate-level position with a formal hiring process, use a professional cover letter template.
If you’re applying for a part-time clerical role that doesn’t require a cover letter, use a basic format template. All fields require different information and qualifications, which often appear in the job description. Look at our cover letter example letters from other jobseekers in your field to assess the best format to help in writing your cover letter.
Should I include my salary requirements in my cover letter?
Only include salary requirements if it’s expected in your field or the employer asks for them. If that’s the case, you may include your requirements in your cover letter. When asking for a salary, keep the following tips in mind:
- Know the value of your time and experience.
- Present the high end of your acceptable salary range. For example, if your range is $20,000-$30,000, ask for $25,000-$35,000.
- Be flexible. In your letter, indicate that you’re willing to negotiate salary.
How do I format and address my cover letter?
The simplest way to format your document is to use our cover letter builder. With this handy tool, you can style and format content for thousands of specific job titles. Depending on the style, you will need a greeting, an opening paragraph, a secondary paragraph with additional qualifications, and a closing paragraph. The body of the letter should use a single-spaced professional font. When addressing your letter, include the following information about your employer:
- Name and Title (Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr.)
- Name of Company or Organization
- Street Address
- City and Zip Code
What"s a simple cover letter format I can post on job boards?
Use a basic cover letter format that provides concise hiring information. You do not need multiple paragraphs. Instead, start with a compelling introduction. Provide a few key work experiences and accomplishments that support your qualifications. You can also include bullet points to make the content more readable and concise. Because these are for job boards, keep personal information general while focusing on the original job description. You can give more specifics during a follow-up interview.
What format is used when emailing my cover letter?
Email cover letters require less formal formatting than traditional letters, but they must still be readable. Remember, you do not want to send an unfinished cover letter by mistake. As a best practice, draft your email in a separate document that you can revise. Proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes before copying into your browser or email program. Use our email cover letter templates help you organize and personalize your content for thousands of specific careers.
Use Our Online Cover Letter Builder to Find the Right Format
Effective use of our LiveCareer cover letter builder can give you an edge over the competition. A strong cover letter can help you get grab the attention of hiring managers. Our cover letter builder assists you in putting your best foot forward with:
- Suggested keywords and phrases to match the skills employers list in the job posting
- Eye-catching templates that stand out and are easy to adapt
- One-click formatting that ensures your cover letter is organized and professional
Let us help you get the job.CREATE MY COVER LETTER