A good cover letter does more than introduce yourself to the hiring manager and show that you can follow directions. It’s a sales pitch, one that highlights your most important skills and qualifications and helps you stand out from the competition.
However, even the best-written and most persuasive cover letter is useless if you make one mistake: Fail to feature your contact information in the right place, and you’ll lose the reader’s attention before you get a chance to impress them further.
Contact Information Elements in a Cover Letter
You should add key identifying details about yourself whether you're preparing a written or an email cover letter.
In the case of a written letter, you should also include information about the recipient.
Your information (for both written and email letters) should indicate:
- Name: Add your full name.
- Street address: State the address where you currently live.
- Location: Also include your city, state, and zip code.
- Phone number: Mention the number where you can most easily be reached.
- Email address: This is only needed for written cover letters. For email cover letters, the email itself serves as a record of your email address. Be sure to include a professional handle for your email contact information, preferably a variant of your name or initials.
- Preferred method of contact: Indicate the quickest way to contact you from the available options you provide—be it a mobile phone number or email contact information.
Your recipient's information (only included in written cover letters) should include:
- Name: This should be the full name of the recipient, if you have it. If needed, check the company website or LinkedIn to find out the hiring manager's name. If you cannot determine the contact's name, use the name of the department in the contact information. For example, "Dear Hiring Manager."
- Title: Add the job title of the recipient—for example, "Sales Manager."
- Company: State the recipient's company name.
- Address: Include the address of the recipient's company.
- Location: Add the city, state, and zip code of the recipient's company.
Including the name of the hiring manager in a written cover letter can help it reach them more quickly, particularly if their company is overwhelmed with mail.
How to Format Contact Information in a Cover Letter
Where you put the information depends on whether you're preparing a written or an email cover letter. But the general order of the information is the same in either case.
Put Contact Information at the Top of Written Cover Letters
If you are writing a cover letter to print and mail, or scan and upload to a job board, add information on how the prospective employer can contact you at the top of the letter.
Follow standard business-letter format. List your contact information first—at the top left of the document. Use single spacing and a consistent font, and format it as a block of text. Include your name, street address, city, state and zip code, phone number, and email address on single-spaced separate lines.
Add a space, and then add the letter date, the recipient’s name, title, company, address, and city, state, and zip code on single-spaced separate lines.
Here’s a sample format of contact information for an applicant and the company addressed.
Contact Information in a Hard Copy Letter
Your City, State, and Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
Name of Recipient
Title of Recipient
City, State, and Zip Code
Insert Contact Information at the Bottom of an Email Cover Letter
The standard business style for email communications is different because the size of the device where the recipient is viewing the letter may not allow for a quick visual scan of the full text the way a piece of paper does. Instead of listing your contact information at the top, include it in your signature. Do not include the employer's contact information.
Your signature can also omit your street address and location if you prefer. But you should provide your name and phone number. You can also include relevant links to your social profiles, such as your business website or LinkedIn profile. These can help to establish you as an authority in your field and indicate your stature in your profession.
Here's a sample template for contact information in an email:
Contact Information in an Email Signature
Your Phone Number
Your website address (portfolio or LinkedIn profile URL)
A small graphic like a business logo is acceptable in your signature but avoid large images that distract from the text. Keep graphics simple and professional.
Put Your Preferred Method of Contact in the Body of the Cover Letter
Since you'll be including more than one method of contact at the top or bottom of the letter, it's important to indicate your preferred contact method in the main text of the letter. This makes it easier for the recipient to reach you at a source that you will check. For this reason, your preferred method of contact should be the one you check the most often.
If you're sending a written cover letter and check email frequently by day, you might write, “You can reach me during business hours at the email address above” at the end of the letter before the signature. In an email message, end with this sentence: "I look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to contact me on my mobile phone number in the signature below." This way, the recipient will have no doubt about where to reach you.
Save the Contact Information in Templates
It’s best to use the same basic format above every time you share your identifying information in a letter or an email. If you prefer to send email cover letters, save each template in a file, and copy and paste it into cover letters as needed. If your contact info changes, you'll only need to update it in one place.
Using a consistent contact information template will ensure that you avoid mistakes that can lead to communication lapses and boost the odds of hearing back on that dream job.
Review Cover Letter Examples
Review cover letter examples for many different occupations and get templates you can use to write your own letters.
- Regardless of whether you send a cover letter by post or by email, it’s essential to feature your contact information in a prominent spot.
- In written letters, follow business-letter format and place your contact information at the top of the page, followed by the date and contact details of the recipient.
- In email messages, include your contact information, including your phone number and email address, in your email signature.
- Using templates can help you ensure that your contact details are included in every cover letter you send to prospective employers.