A lot of confusion exists as to exactly what details belong in a cover letter letterhead and just where to put them, and it's normal to have questions.
After all, you want every advantage possible when you're job hunting. Increase your chance of being called in for an interview by creating a cover letter letterhead that is visually impressive and loaded with the details a recruiter is trying to find.
Steps for writing a cover letter letterhead
1. Choose a style
The cover letter and resume should look like they belong together. Choose bold, matching fonts and text sizes for the documents.
If your resume already has a header or you've selected a resume template that appeals to you, it's best to choose a header that matches it.
2. Pick the letterhead position
The letterhead contains your name and contact information, so you want it to stand out and be easy for the recruiter to find. The header works equally well whether you place it at the top left, center, or right of the page. The key is making sure it matches the one on your resume.
3. Make sure your name stands out
Your name goes in the first line of the cover letter letterhead. Use bold or italicized text and slightly larger letters, and stick with a font that delivers a classic, professional appearance, like Times New Roman or Arial.
4. Include traditional contact information
Add your city, state, and phone number under your name. Applicants are expected to provide these traditional pieces of basic information. Plus, most recruiters use the phone to schedule interviews, so leaving this data off could cost you the chance of getting the job. You do not, however, need to include your street address if you don't want to.
5. Add your email address
Put your email address under your phone number in the header. If it's something whimsical or inappropriate for the workplace, it's a good idea to open a new professional-sounding email to use for your job search.
6. Include technology-based contact information
Technology is part of modern life, and today's recruiters expect to see evidence of basic technological skills in your resume and cover letter. Adding a link to your online portfolio or LinkedIn profile shows a certain amount of tech-savvy that's appealing in the modern job market.
7. Put a subject line
To enhance readability, skip down a row to leave a bit of white space between the cover letter header and subject line. Lead with RE: which means 'Regarding', followed by the name of the position or the classified listing number so the hiring manager knows immediately which role you're seeking.
8. Properly greet the recruiter
Use a classic, formal salutation, such as 'Dear'. followed by the recruiter's name. This shows respect, and it's best to follow traditional protocols when you're applying for a new job. If you can't find the recruiter's name, it's okay to write 'Dear Hiring Manager'. Avoid outdated salutations, like 'Dear Sir' or Dear Madam'.
Cover Letter Header Examples
Looking at an example of an effective cover letter letterhead can help you get ideas for creating one of your own.
The first example below includes a high level of detail, like street address and the name of the hiring manager, and the second example is more general.
Joe Q. Applicant
1234 Job Seeker Boulevard
Any City, Ohio 12345
(Leave blank to create one row of white space.)
RE: Marketing Position
Dear Ms. Smith,
This is an example of a centered cover letter letterhead. With this style, it's important to note that the salutation and body of the letter remain left-justified.
Betty J. Jobseeker
(Row of white space)
If you need help building a cover letter that catches a hiring manager's attention, check out LiveCareer's Cover Letter Builder. This tool quickly gives you a cover letter that's personalized and helps your application stand out.