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How to Format a Cover Letter adpated from Indeed.com

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a one-page document you might send to employers with your CV to apply for jobs. Typically, a cover letter’s format is three paragraphs long and includes information like why you are applying for the position, a brief overview of your professional background and what makes you uniquely qualified for the job.

Cover letter format by section

1. Date and contact information

If you’re submitting a digital copy online, feel free to leave off your specific address and just use your city and state, phone number and email—and leave off the company and hiring manager’s contact information altogether:

Date

Your Name

City, State

Phone Number

Email Address

You might also want to include

Hiring Manager’s Name

Company Name

Company Address

Company City, State, ZIP Code

2.Salutation/ Greeting

Start your cover letter off on the right foot by addressing the hiring manager. If you can, find out the name of the hiring manager for the role you’re applying for.

If you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, stick with “Dear Hiring Manager.” Avoid outdated greetings, such as “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.

3. Opening paragraph

The opening paragraph is your chance to catch the hiring manager’s attention, introduce yourself and enthusiastically tell the employer why you’re applying for the job. You’ll want to make this paragraph specific to each job listing you apply for. Include why you’re excited about the job and the company, and how the job lines up with your career goals. Avoid making this paragraph sound formulaic by including keywords from the job posting and matching your skills to the employer’s requirements.

4. Middle paragraphs

It’s time to dig into your most relevant experience and talk about the specific qualifications and skills that make you the perfect candidate. In one or two paragraphs, make the connection between your previous accomplishments and your readiness for this new role. Think of these paragraphs as a way to pitch yourself as the ideal match for the role. Employers will likely have read your resume already, so avoid repeating the bullet points.

5. Closing paragraph

The main goal of your closing paragraph is to thank the employer for their time and consideration and to indicate your availability for interview .

6.Complimentary close and signature

Choose a complimentary closing that is friendly yet formal, followed by your first and last name. Closings you might consider include:

Sincerely

Regards

Best

Respectfully

Thank you

Thank you for your consideration

Avoid closings like Cheers, Warm regards, Thanks a ton or Yours truly, as these may be considered too casual or affectionate.

If you’re providing a hard copy of your cover letter, make sure to handwrite your signature, plus your full typed name.

Here's an example of a cover letter

Credits:

Created with images by www_slon_pics - "despaired businessman business" • geralt - "job search application" • geralt - "building neon sign communication" • geralt - "bulletin board stickies post-it" • geralt - "dream job application location" • kaboompics - "woman girl people"