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Cover Letter Formats

If you’re struggling to put pen to paper or you simply know that writing isn’t your strong suit, know this: you are not alone. Most job seekers find this part of building their job application toolkit painful and intimidating.

But at the end of the day, creating a compelling cover letter is a necessary step in the application process. Recruiters may not read cover letters as often or as carefully as they used to, but many still look to these documents to help differentiate similar candidates and to get an idea of jobseekers’ communication skills. What’s more, one-third of hiring leaders from small- and medium-sized businesses consider it a fatal mistake to omit a cover letter from an application.

What Is the Correct Format for a Cover Letter?

One of the most important parts of the job search is learning to write standout cover letters but many jobseekers get stuck wondering how to format their letters.

Here are a few cover letter formatting elements to keep in mind:

  1. A greeting that is personalized to the recruiter or hiring manager
  2. An engaging opening paragraph that explains which position you are applying for, why you are applying, and what has motivated you to apply to this specific position.
  3. A second paragraph with a “hook” that describes what you have to offer the company and the skills and qualifications that you will bring to the table.
  4. Additional information can be added using short paragraphs or a bulleted list that highlights skills and achievements that you want to be sure the hiring manager notices.
  5. A closing paragraph that recaps the body of the letter and thanks the reader for taking time to review your qualifications.

In addition, the correct cover letter format is no more than one page. If you have limited work experience, less than a page is adequate. Cover letters should be formatted using a standard font that is easy to read. Sticking with fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial are always safe bets.

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While employers will accept many cover letter formats, it’s important to choose one that helps you jump off the page. Check out LiveCareer’s Best Cover Letter Format to give your application a sleek look and feel.

The modern header adds a bit of color and makes your name more memorable to the reader. Then, you have a few paragraphs to discuss your qualifications and how you feel you would fit into the organization.

This format uses bullet points to highlight some key strengths in your candidacy, but this is optional. Just make sure to follow standard cover letter best practices, like addressing the reader by name, thanking them for their time in your closing paragraph, and being concise in your statements.

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If you’re a no-frills, no-fuss kind of person looking for a cover letter layout that won’t overshadow who you are and what you’ve accomplished professionally, then our Simple Cover Letter Format could be just what you need.

The clean, straightforward look means that you have more space to tell your unique story, prove how you can add value to the organization, and address any concerns that your resume may have raised.

Just don’t forget to start with a strong, engaging opening that sums up how you can contribute to the organization and why you’re the best person for the job.

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Our Professional Cover Letter Format is a great tool that can help you give your application an air of competency and confidence—and show potential employers who you are and how you might contribute to the workplace.

Do keep in mind that you’ll want to customize the template to reflect your own personal job search. That means addressing the reader by name and speaking directly to the terms listed in the job description. While it can be tempting to focus your argument on why the job is right for you, remember to discuss your qualifications in relation to how you could contribute on the job.

And whether or not you use bullet points, as this format does, make sure that your statements are as clear and concise as possible. Good communication is an essential skill for every professional.

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If an employer asks for job applications to be submitted by email, our Email Cover Letter Format is just what you need. The key here is to make your letter short, easy to read, and compelling.

First, make sure that your email subject line says something about your candidacy. For example, “seasoned marketer applying for brand manager role.” This way the employer will want to know what makes you a seasoned marketer and how you might fit into their organization.

While there are plenty of things you could discuss in you cover letter, make sure your points aren’t just rehashing what’s on your resume. For more tips, check out our full article on writing email cover letters.

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The formatting standards for cover letters are always evolving, and it’s a good idea to stay on top of the latest trends. Our Cover Letter Format 2017 aligns with all the essentials of the current job market and is a great tool to use in your search.

In the header, you don’t need to include anything more than your name, phone number, email address, and perhaps a general location. Including a full mailing address is no longer expected.

After detailing your qualifications in the context of the job at hand, make sure to thank the employer for their consideration and re-emphasize why you’d be a great addition to the team.

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Getting a nursing job will require a solid cover letter that speaks to your professionalism and qualifications for the job. What’s more, as a nurse, good interpersonal communication skills are crucial, and your cover letter should reflect your ability to convey essential information in critical moments.

Our Nursing Cover Letter Format is a great starting point for putting your own letter together. Just remember to adjust the example with two to three key points that illustrate why you feel you would be a good fit for the position.

Besides your qualifications, remember to follow classic cover letter best practices, like addressing the reader by name. Click here for more nursing cover letter examples.

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As you hope to land that next great job, you’ll want to choose a cover letter format that appeals to a wide variety of employers. Our Cover Letter Format 2016 adheres to all of the current formatting best practices and gives you a great starting point for telling your story.

The 2016 format is light on design frills, with the exception of the bold header. We recommend using a clean, easy-to-read font and splitting up your letter into a few short paragraphs.

And remember, a common cover letter writing mistake is being too vague. So include details and metrics when discussing your qualifications so that potential employers can see exactly what you can bring to the table.

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When it comes to writing a great cover letter, the simplest designs often allow the content of your letter to shine through the most. Our Basic Cover Letter Format is a perfect tool for getting started with your application.

However, a stripped down format doesn’t mean stripped down writing. So make the the template work for you by starting your letter by sharing a brief and compelling introduction that explains who you are and what you have to offer. Then, you can highlight a few skills or accomplishments which illustrate these points further.

Since employers read many applications, keep your letter short and sweet. You can also use bullet points, as shown in this format, to make your points even more digestible.

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Writing cover letters is always a challenge, but it’s also an essential step in landing your next job. If you are a teacher looking to put your best foot forward in your application, our Teacher Cover Letter Format is for you.

You want your letter to demonstrate not only your level of experience but also what you personally have been able to accomplish in your career. Don’t be afraid to let your passion and personality show, while also touching on the key requirements listed in the job description.

Using specific examples and any relevant metrics from your experience will make your story more credible and memorable to the reader. For more information on this topic, have a look at our teacher cover letter examples.

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