Cover Letter Format

Your cover letter should be 3 to 4 brief paragraphs, and not go over one page in length. It should follow the same general formatting as your resume, such as the font style and font size. You can use the same header as your resume as well, or use a standard business-letter format. See below for a more detailed break down of how to format your letter and what content to put in each paragraph, as well as a few sample cover letters.

Be sure to follow all directions provided by the employer. Reread the instructions to be sure! Keep a copy of your letter and all your correspondence for future reference.

Final Tips

  • Use 10 to 12 point font
  • Print your cover letter on the same high-quality paper as your resume
  • Be sure it looks neat and attractive
  • Sign your cover letter in black ink

Example Cover Letter Formatting

Check out Cover Letter Content for more information on what exactly to include in your cover letter.

Skip writing your information if you are re-using the header from your resume with the same information.

Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code

Current Date

Contact's Name
Contact's Job Title
Organization Name
City, State, Zip Code

Dear [Mr. or Ms. Last Name]:

Opening Paragraph

Identify the position for which you're applying, how you learned about the position, and why you're applying (including your interests and your strengths). You should capture the employer's attention by briefly mentioning why you're a good candidate for the position. Finally, use this paragraph to demonstrate that you've researched the organization.

Middle Paragraph(s)

Here, you should describe your interest in the organization and how you can contribute. Refer to your academic background and highlight any experience as it relates to the specific qualifications of the position—use examples! If you choose to have two middle paragraphs, one should focus on your education and one on your experiences. This shouldn't be the exact same content as your resume, but instead should sum up what you have to offer and act as an introduction and enhancement.

Bullet Point Paragraph (Optional)

 You can use bullet points to break up the text of your letter and to draw the reader's eye to your strongest points. This style should be used in or after your second paragraph, and should not restate bullet points from your resume! Unlike your resume, use complete sentences in these bullets or a sentence to introduce a billeted list. For example, you can begin with: "The skills I have gained throughout by experiences are:," "Some key strengths I can bring to the position are:," or "Highlights of my qualifications include:."

Closing Paragraph

Finally, state your desire to discuss the job further and to arrange an interview with the potential employer. Make it easier for them to respond to you by including your telephone number and email address.


(Your Signature)

Your Full Name

Enclosure: Resume

Sample Cover Letters