Cover Letter Spacing Guidelines

Shot of a young woman using a laptop to write her cover letter.
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Technology has made it easier than ever to apply to jobs. But there’s one part of the process that’s hard to automate: cover letters.

Maybe that’s why so few candidates write them. Only 42% of applicants say that they submit this crucial document when they apply for a job. However, most hiring managers still want to see cover letters from job applicants. Even if they didn’t, it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity to sing your praises to decision-makers. Write a thoughtful, professional cover letter, and you’ll stand out from the competition before you’ve even spoken with the hiring team.

If it’s been a while since you’ve written a cover letter—or any formal business correspondence—you might feel a little intimidated. Even the formatting requirements can feel confusing when you’re rusty.

The good news is that there’s a clear formula for organizing your cover letter. These cover letter spacing guidelines will help you compose a message that makes the best possible impression.

Cover Letting Spacing Overview

The format of a letter refers to the way the letter is arranged on the page. The format includes spacing, indentation, margins, and more.

When you're writing a cover letter, the spacing is important regardless of what form your letter is in. An email cover letter needs to be as properly formatted as a typed cover letter.

Read below for cover letter spacing and general formatting guidelines for both typed and email cover letters. Two sample cover letters, one for a typed letter and one for an email letter, are included.

Cover Letter Spacing Guidelines

  • Format an email cover letter just like a traditional business letter, with spaces in between each paragraph and your signature.
  • Align your cover letter to the left.
  • Single-space the paragraphs in your cover letter or email message.
  • When you're sending a typed letter, include a handwritten signature and a typed signature underneath it.
  • When you're sending an email message, follow your signature with your contact information. If you have a formatted email signature, use this to close your message.

Your cover letter should be one page or less. Use a 10- or 12-point font that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.

How to Use Letter Samples and Templates

Cover letter examples and templates can help you visualize the layout of your letter. They also show you what elements you need to include, such as introductions and body paragraphs.

Along with helping with your layout, letter samples and templates can help you see what kind of content you should include in your document, such as a brief explanation of a layoff.

You should use a template or an example as a starting point for your letter. However, you should always personalize and customize your cover letter, so it reflects your skills and abilities, and the jobs you are applying for.

Remember that hiring managers want candidates who are passionate about this particular job, not just any job. Use your cover letter as a sales document to persuade the hiring team that you’re the right person for the job.

Review Sample Cover Letters

Here's an example of a properly spaced and formatted printed cover letter, as well as a sample email message.

Sample Spacing for a Printed Document

Your Name
Your Street Address
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address

Date

Dear Hiring Manager:

First Paragraph: The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for.

Middle Paragraphs: The next paragraphs of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Make strong connections between your abilities and their needs. Use several shorter paragraphs or bullets rather than one large block of text. Keep the paragraphs single-spaced but leave a space between each paragraph.

Final Paragraph: Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position.

Signature: Sincerely,

Signature (Handwritten)

Signature (Typed)

Sample Spacing for an Email Message

Subject: Your Name - Sample Position Application

Dear Hiring Manager:

First Paragraph: The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for.

Middle Paragraphs: The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Provide details on your qualifications for the job. Keep the paragraphs single-spaced but leave a space between each paragraph.

Final Paragraph: Conclude your cover letter by thanking the hiring manager for considering you for the job.

Signature: Include your contact information in your signature at the bottom of your email message.

Best Regards,

Your Name

____________

FirstName LastName
Email Address
Phone
LinkedIn Profile (Optional)