Cover Letter Layout
When writing a cover letter (as you should do each time you submit a resume as part of a job application), the layout of your letter is very important. Layout refers to the way the words are set up on the page, including headings, spacing, and font. You want to use a layout that makes your letter both easy to read and professional.
Read below for advice about how to lay out your letter, as well as a template for a cover letter.
Cover Letter Layout Tips
When laying out a cover letter, you want to follow the layout of a typical business letter.
A business letter begins with your contact information, and then the employer’s contact information.
It's important to properly space the layout of the cover letters you send, with space between the heading, the greeting, each paragraph, the closing, and your signature. Single space your letter and leave a space between each paragraph. Also, remember to left-justify your entire letter.
When selecting a font, use a simple font like Arial, Verdana, Courier New, or Times New Roman. Your font size should be no smaller than 10-pt. but no larger than 12-pt. In choosing your font size, 12 pt. is probably the best – you don’t want to irritate a hiring manager by making him or her have to squint to read your font.
How to Use a Cover Letter Template
The cover letter template below shows the layout for a typical cover letter.
Use the template to structure your own cover letter. It will give you advice on how to space your letter, what font to use, and how to justify your page.
The template also briefly describes what kind of content should go in each paragraph. Use this information to help you begin writing your own letter, tailored to reflect your own career history, professional qualifications, hard and soft skills, and your knowledge about the job and employer to which you are applying.
You can also review examples of cover letters for advice on how to word your cover letter.
When using a format or a sample letter, remember to be flexible. You can add or remove paragraphs to fit the needs of the particular job description. Also, keep in mind that your best strategy is to write a customized cover letter for each job to which you are applying. Hiring managers can tell when they’ve been sent a generic cover letter; they are more likely to be interested in candidates who have taken the time to write unique letters that specifically address the job opening they are offering.
Cover Letter Template with Layout
The first section of your cover letter should include information on how the employer can contact you.
If you have contact information for the employer, include that. Otherwise, just list your information.
This section should be single-spaced and left-justified, with a space between your contact information and your employer’s contact information.
Your Contact Information
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
Employer Contact Information
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
Each of your body paragraphs should be single-spaced, with a space between each paragraph. The first paragraph of your cover letter should include information on the position you are applying for, including the job title. You should state how you heard about the job, and (briefly) explain why you think you are an ideal candidate for the position.
(space between paragraphs)
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Mention why you are qualified for the job and how your skills and experience are a match for the position for which you are applying. Provide specific examples to prove your skills and experience; these examples will “pop” on the page if you provide them in a bulleted format.
(space between paragraphs)
Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow up with them regarding the status of your application.
Handwritten Signature (for a mailed letter)