Cover Letter FormatsFormatting a cover letter can be frustrating but Jobscan walks you through cover letter formats from A to Z in this complete guide.
Why Your Cover Letter Format is Important
The format you choose for your cover letter determines which information you include as well as the order in which it is distributed. It determines how the hiring manager perceives you and helps develop his or her first impression of you.
Types of Cover Letter Formats
Cover letters are used for many different reasons, so the proper format for each one varies. There are three main types of cover letters: the application cover letter, the prospecting cover letter, and the networking cover letter. Short introductory emails (we call those “Non-Cover Letter Cover Letters”) alongside your resume are also considered cover letters.
Application Cover Letter
This is the standard cover letter used alongside a resume during a job application. The application letter is geared toward a certain job, and it is tailored to the skills and specifications listed in the job posting.
The application cover letter is a tool used to sell yourself as a job candidate. It supplements your resume and expands upon relevant parts of your work history and qualifications.
Prospecting Cover Letter
Like the application cover letter, the prospecting cover letter is written by a job seeker to a company of interest. However, this type of cover letter inquires about open job positions in general. It is not a response to a specific job posting.
Networking Cover Letter
The networking cover letter is the black sheep of the cover letter family. This type of cover letter is the most casual and tends to be the shortest. It still comes from the job seeker, but rather than being sent to a company, it is sent out to former colleagues, mentors, friends and other contacts. It informs the recipient of the person’s status as a job seeker and asks them for help in their job search.
The “Non-Cover Letter” Cover Letter
This cover letter is simply an introduction to your resume. It is professional but very short. This type of cover letter is great to use when a formal cover letter is not requested in the job posting.
The “Non-Cover Letter” cover letter does not follow a specific format. It usually includes a greeting, simple body explaining your experience and your interest in the company and a closing with reference to any attachments such as your resume, portfolio, samples or any other requested documents.
If you are emailing your resume, it is always a good idea to write a quick, professional email to go along with it. It should be short--a couple of paragraphs is sufficient--and the tone should remain casual but professional throughout.
How to Setup Your Cover Letter
Application Cover Letter
The application cover letter should be set up in the same order as a job interview. Think about the flow of conversation in a job interview and use it to format you cover letter.
- Contact Info
- Full name, address (including zip code), phone number and email address
- Always address the hiring manager by name. If you don’t know it, consult the company website or give the office manager a call to find out.
- A simple, “Bill” is all you need in your greeting.
- Who are you?
- What skills and accomplishments best describe you and are also relevant to the job position?
- Body (1-2 paragraphs)
- What do you know about the company already?
- Why are you applying for this specific job?
- What can you bring to the company and job position?
- Refrain from sounding too desperate with phrases like, “I can’t wait to hear more about this position”. A good alternative is “I’m looking forward to finding out if I’m a match for this position”.
- Mention any attachments
- Use “Sincerely”, “Yours” or “Best” before signing your full name.
Example of an application cover letter
Prospecting Cover Letter
The prospecting cover letter is setup much like the application letter. The only differences occur in the opening. The body might change slightly based on the company, but many times it will remain the same.
- Contact Info
- Why are you reaching out?
- What interests you about the company?
- Body (1 paragraph)
- Who are you?
- What skills do you have that could help the company in general?
- What have you accomplished in your career that could be of interest to the company?
Example of an prospecting cover letter
Networking Cover Letter
The networking cover letter, being different in purpose than the first two, keeps only the contact info and closing the same.
- Contact Info
- Can be more casual than the other cover letter greetings if you have a relationship with the person.
- Why are you reaching out? Do you want referrals? Recommendations?
- What kind of job/company interests you?
- What skills and accomplishments should they be aware of in order to help you out?
- What do you hope to accomplish in your next position?
Example of an networking cover letter
Cover Letter Formats by Country
Unlike resumes, for which the guidelines vary extensively by country, cover letters are the same or very similar regardless of the country in which you are applying.
The United States, United Kingdom and Australia all use similar cover letter formats. There are, however, certain adjustments you might have to make.
When applying in other countries, you should be aware of differences in formality of language and ways of speech. For example, phrases that are common in the United States might not be common in places like Australia.
Another aspect to be aware of is pictures. Job seekers in the UK and Europe often add headshots to their resumes or cover letters. However, in the United States, pictures are highly discouraged. Since companies in the U.S. are legally not allowed to hire based on race or gender, hiring managers will often reject applications with pictures in an effort to protect the company.
Cover Letter Formats FAQ
Do I have to include my address on my cover letter?
It is good practice to always include your address on your cover letter. If the hiring manager likes what they read, they will easily be able to locate your information and track you down for an interview.
What if you don’t have a direct contact at the company for which you are applying?
You should always find the name of a contact at the company and direct your cover letter specifically to that person. Check the company website, LinkedIn, or even call the company’s office to find the name of the hiring manager.
How do I write a cover letter without work experience?
If you don’t have work experience, you can still follow the basic cover letter format. In place of experience, expand upon relevant coursework or skills and explain how that experience makes you a good candidate for the job.
Can I include my salary requirements in my cover letter?
While salary expectations are an important conversation during the hiring process, the cover letter is not the place for it. Interviews, whether on the phone or in person, are an appropriate and expected time to discuss salary.
How do I include attachments with my cover letter?
If sending my email, any attachments should be mentioned during the closing of your cover letter. Keep in mind that .docx and PDF files work best to avoid issues.
How do I use a cover letter format?
You can use our cover letter formats (above) as a guideline for your own cover letter. Simply add your own information and experience in the order listed.
Do different jobs require different types of cover letters?
Generally, a basic cover letter format works for any job application. If a job posting requires a different type of cover letter, it should be clear in the description.
Should I always include a cover letter?
No. In fact, you should not include a cover letter unless the job posting specifies.
What if I fax my cover letter?
The format of your cover letter remains the same whether you email, fax or deliver it in person. However, attachments will need to be sent separately if they are not attached in an email.
Do teachers need to include cover letters?
Teachers, and all professionals, should only include a cover letter when it is asked for by the interviewer or specified in the job posting.
Jobscan Learning Center The Jobscan Cover Letter Learning Series
Part 1: Cover Letter Writing Guide
Jobscan’s Guide to Writing an Effective Cover Letter
Part 2: Cover Letter Formats
Formatting a cover letter can be frustrating but Jobscan walks you through cover letter formats from A to Z in this complete guide.
Part 3: Cover Letter Templates
Cover letter templates are a great starting point for writing your cover letter, here is our advice on how to choose and use cover letter templates.
Part 4: Cover Letter Examples
Cover letter examples can be helpful or confusing to a job seeker. Here is Jobscan's top advice on using the best cover letter examples.
Letters are the common way people use to communicate their need for jobs whether advertised or not. It is always important to write a convincing cover letter that takes into account all the requirements of such writing else, you may not get the desired response from your potential employer. You can also see Formal Letter Templates.
Accountant Job Application Cover Letter Template Word Doc
sampleletterz.com | Job application cover letters are extremely formal documents and are ideally the one which casts a first impression in the minds of the recruiter. Therefore, the choice of words and more importantly the format of writing is of utmost importance. These cover letters are mostly drafted in the form of either Microsoft Word or PDF format with proper left indentation and a professional salutation and ending phrase.
Administrative Cover Letter Template Editable Download
A cover letter, though not a compulsion for application for any job, is an extremely useful tool which can be used by prospective applicants to give the interviewer or the employer a brief idea or a conception of their interest and the expertise level. The format of cover letter should be extremely formal and crisp and should contain a qualitative view of the resume attached.
Bookkeeper Resume Cover Letter Template Free Download
careerfaqs.com.au | The format and style of content for cover letters, however, remain almost the same irrespective of the job profile that a candidate appears for. However, the content of the cover letter should portray his or her interest level and experience in the particular job profile (i.e. book keeping as is the case here).
Printable Broadcast Cover Letter Template Free Download
mass.gov | A cover letter, at certain cases, can also be a qualitative or a descriptive form of the resume stating the key achievements and establishments in the various fields and domain. This helps in creating credibility for the particular applicant which increases his chances of getting an interview call. Ideally, users should quantify his achievements in such cases.
Email Resume Cover Letter Template Word Editable
sampleletterz.com | In cases when the applicants communicates for a particular job application via email, the cover letter content most often is drafted in the form of an email with which the resume is attached. The content of such emails are pretty simple with an appropriate subject line stating in a precise and concise manner, the key experience that the applicant has in the related fields.
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Short Cover Letter Format
The first and foremost thing is to understand why you are writing a cover letter then going down to its specific format. Let us dwell with these two aspects for now. The main ideal of writing a cover letter is to provide a quick insight of yourself to your employer. such a letter templates is the first thing that such persons will see before delving further into your CV or other documents attached.
You should always try hard as you can to refrain from sounding as selfish or in self-praise but rather focus on justifiable qualities and abilities. The main point is to indicate how such skills that you posses will add up to the requirements of the job.
The format of cover letter must be geared towards conveying a professional message. While this is standard practice, the same may relaxed depending on the specific firm that you are addressing and a spot check on what is expected will best reveal the finer details.
What is Cover Letter and CV?
It is quite common for people to confuse cover letter with CV. However, it should be noted that both are distinct documents. A cover letter is one that is used by a person to give a concise brief of any documents or papers attached with it. A CV or curriculum vitae on the other hand is a detailed document that lists the details of an individual like his educational qualification, experience and his skills.
The main purpose of a CV is to help a person land a job. On the other hand, a cover letter can be sent across with proposals and requests as well. Like in order to request a sponsorship, a Cover Letter for Students is also sent to the prospective sponsor.
How to Write a Business Proposal Cover Letter?
A business proposal cover letter often accompanies a business plan and comes in handy to grab the attention of the prospective investors, thereby encouraging them to go through the proposal. Here is how a business proposal cover letter should be written. Always write it on the company stationery or include the company logo when using the electronic means.
Make sure to include the name, address and contact details of the company in the header. This should be followed by the name of the recipient, along with the contact information and company details. Next should be the date. Always address the recipient in a formal manner in the letter. The conclusion of the letter should be formal too. A Consulting Cover Letter can also be written in the same way.
How to Build a Cover Letter?
Whether you are writing an Accounting Cover Letter or a job application cover letter, it is essential that you follow the correct format. Here is how you can build a cover letter. Start with the contact information of the sender and the recipient. Make sure that you write a perfect introduction. You should also ensure that you are well aware of who the person is to whom you are addressing the cover letter. Give a brief and concise account of what you have got to offer. The concluding paragraph should also be an impressive one with a call for action option added to it in a professional manner.
How to Write a Cover Letter for Rental Application?
A cover letter for a rental application is different from a Business Cover Letter though the format might be more or less same. In a rental application cover letter, you need to include the details of the recipient and the sender. The first paragraph should introduce the applicant and his requisition. In the second paragraph a brief account of the applicant should be included like his job details, reason for seeking a place on rent etc. The letter should be concluded with a call for action where the contact details of the applicant should be included.
What to Include in a Cover Letter?
It is extremely important that you include all the crucial segments and information in a cover letter. It should be noted that these components often remain the same irrespective of whether you are writing a job application cover letter or a Career Change Cover Letter. You should include the following in a cover letter. Sender’s information like name and contact details Date Recipients contact details Subject Salutation Opening paragraph Middle paragraph Closing paragraph with contact details
What to Write in a Cover Letter for a Job?
When writing a cover letter for a job you should ensure that it is an impressive one as this is the first impression that you make on the screening committee or your prospective employer. Every job cover letter, be it an IT Manager Cover Letter or an office assistant cover letter should comprise of a brief account of the applicant’s educational qualification, experience and skills. It should also comprise of a concise description of the various projects handled by the candidate. The concluding paragraph with a call for action should comprise of the contact details of the candidate, thus making it easier for the employer to contact him.
How to Make a Resume Cover Letter on Word?
You can find a wide range of cover letter templates online like Banking Cover Letter Templates , resume cover letter templates etc. However, if you want to design a resume cover letter yourself, you can easily do it on MS Word. Select File and Click on New. Select the Resume Cover Letter option and select the template you prefer.
This will be automatically added to your Word desktop. The template will comprise of all the essential segments and sections. You can use this as it is or you can customize it as per your needs. Once you are happy with the format, enter all the relevant content in the sections. Proofread the letter before mailing it.
Benefits of Cover Letter Templates
Using cover letter templates be it an Internship Cover Letter Templates or a sponsorship cover letter template, has a number of benefits. Let us take a look at what these are.
- 1. Using the cover letter templates help the user in saving a lot of time when drafting a perfect cover letter.
- 2. A cover letter template is designed by experts and thus is in sync with the latest industrial trends.
- 3. Using a cover letter template ensures that you include all the important segments in your letter and do not miss out on anything crucial.
- 4. A cover letter template helps you to design a professional looking cover letter.
Such a letter must precisely include a distinct heading, an introduction of yourself, your arguments and a closing. The First Job Cover Letter heading comprises of the addresses of both the writer and the recipient along with other forms of contacts. It is important to put in proper spacing to separate between the various information that stand distinct.
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