Proper Cover Letter Format: How To Format A Cover Letter In 2021?

Usually, if you are trying to get a new position, there is a necessity to write both a CV and a cover letter. Of course, there is a percentage of people who have never been writing this type of text and treat it as a waste of time. Nevertheless, a proper cover letter format with the needed content will certainly higher your chances for success when compared with other candidates.

It is not as difficult as might seem at first, and help you out with writing, we’ve decided to discuss this topic in detail. Simply continue reading this article, and you will receive all the necessary data in a matter of seconds.

Why Is A Cover Letter Needed?

First, this is not just a letter but a short document that is usually asked for as a necessity for the applying process. The necessity of this doc depends on the company’s requirements. That’s why you’d better clarify this information before writing it.

This variant of formal writing usually includes 3 paragraphs explaining why you are sending your letter for this company’s specific position. Here you need to include only those types of skills and experience necessary for this firm and not everything you have been responsible for. Sometimes this brief info is enough for deciding for you as a better candidate.

Don’t spend your time clarifying if there is a necessity in such a writing type.

What Is A Proper Format For A Cover Letter?

Usually, when we hear the word “format” or “How to format a cover letter in 2021” we are not entirely sure what it means. So let’s clarify this moment at the very beginning. Formatting relates to such crucial factors as size and type of the chosen font, margins of the document, spacing, number of paragraphs, type of doc, and spacing between lines. There are lots of other small details of the format for a cover letter that we will discuss further in the article.

You might think that such small details aren’t as meaningful, but let’s imagine that the recruiter couldn’t open your doc because of the wrong type of document. It will be much easier for a hiring manager to open another candidate’s resume than searching for the needed tool for a couple of hours or trying to contact you to help out with this problem, don’t you agree? Also, the minimum spacing between words and letters can make it extremely inconvenient to read your letter.

The next variant is when everything is done correctly with all the spacing, structure, and saving of the document. Then there won’t occur any problems of such a type in the job cover letter format. And the chances of getting an offer can be a little bit higher; it is for sure.

Formatting A Cover Letter Heading

The necessity of heading is pretty apparent; here, you are sharing the contact data about yourself, which is needed to the HR manager for quick interaction with you. According to the common writing style, this text should have the same font as the rest of the letter and be placed on the left or in the middle of the document at the top of the page. Nevertheless, many new versions of a proper format for a cover letter are now proposing to use various fonts and icons to make this part more noticeable.

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It doesn’t matter what option is better for you; a standard one or a new updated version, but the information mentioned there should be the same. Here is the data they should be certainly mentioned:

  • Address. If you want to be detailed about your location, you may specify the city, street, and zip code. Nevertheless, lots of candidates now prefer to leave this data confidential and mention only state and city. Both variants are okay for a proper format of a cover letter.
  • Name. It is clear that you’d better include both first and last name and make the font slightly bigger. In order to highlight this part from the rest of the text.
  • Email. This address should look formal and professional. Please create a new email account if your old one looks like this – [email protected]
  • Phone Number. Usually, the application process is online, and hiring managers are rarely using this data. However, there might be a necessity to check if the mentioned state coincides with the mentioned phone number code. This information will be highly important for a proper format for cover letter.         
  • Links to social networking platforms such as LinkedIn or your website will be great to mention as well. This might be a bonus for you as a candidate if these WebPages look professional.       

After specifying personal information, you’d better mention the date and a usual standard greeting for the HR manager. In the outdated temples of the best format for cover letter, you can still find a detailed specification of the HR manager’s name, firm, firm’s address with the zip code, state, city, and country. However, right now, it is uncommon to mention all this data in the cover letter heading.

Online Cover Letter Format Of Addressing A Hiring Manager

When you are working on completing your letter, every little detail is important and can be decisive for the hiring process. This part of salutation to a hiring professional is crucial, and you need to use an appropriate greeting, it is for sure.

If talking about an ideal situation when you know the name and title of the hiring professional, you only need to fill in this info. However, sometimes the situation can be the opposite. For instance, you have spent lots of time and still haven’t found the full name of the person you need to send your cover letter. What is the correct format for a cover letter addressing in such a situation? In this case, you can contact the company you want to apply to and ask for this kind of information. Please, mention something about you and your need for such private data.

In case none of the above recommendations have helped, then you can use another option. Simply mention the general format of the greeting, for instance, “Dear Hiring Manager.” One more great option to stand out from all the other candidates applying for the same position is to greet a department or team you are trying to apply to.

How To Set Up A Cover Letter Body Structure?

In order for a recruiter or a hiring manager to find all the needed information in a matter of seconds, you’d better follow the general structure of the main body and cover letter setup.

It isobvious that each letter should start from the intro part. Here you will need to draw the attention of the hiring professional:

  • introduce yourself;
  • mention the position you are applying for; 
  • write why you are the most ideal candidate for such a case; 
  • and also don’t forget to mention the source where you have found this specific job offer. 

Don’t overwhelm your text with too much information at the very begging. Just try to create a good impression and provoke a genuine interest in your cover letter’s reader.

It is better to deep into your most fundamental accomplishments and needed experience in the middle part of the properly formatted cover letter. Be precise in this part, and don’t try to include all the facts in a couple of short paragraphs. It is totally impossible to do this and still follow an online cover letter format. The best recommendation for a successful letter completion is to check the company’s requirements and specify only the kind of experience they are searching for. You may mention how your skills and experience can help the company to reach a certain goal.

At the end of your writing, you’d better thank you for reviewing your letter, write an inspiring call-to-action phrase, and mention your contact data once again.

If you have to make a proper closing part and layout of the cover letter, that means you have almost completed this tiring writing process. Only a couple of steps are separating you’re the final phrases of the letter.      

The Best Conclusion For Your Cover Letter

As in all the above-discussed part, here you should stick to the same conception of formal writing and include such words as sincerely, cordially, best regards, best, and others. Please avoid informal phrases in your writing.

The signature importance in the cover letter format for a job is not as necessary as it was a couple of years ago. Just include your full name there. Nevertheless, if you are a big fan of the old-fashioned writing manner, you may use your e-signature in conclusion. It won’t be considered a mistake.

Cover Letter Format For Job Search

Now when we have discussed the structure of this kind of writing and general requirements for formatting a cover letter, let’s continue with specific recommendations. Here is a couple of them:

  • Size of the font. If talking about the font size, you should stick to the usual standards of something between 10 and 12. The bigger font might create a wrong misunderstanding of your unprofessionalism, while a smaller one will just make it harder to find the needed information in your cover letter.
  • Style of the chosen font. You should not forget about proper cover letter format for a resume is the formality of this writing. It should look professional and don’t distract from finding the necessary information. That’s why such classical and even sometimes dull versions as Arial and New Roman will be just perfect for this purpose. 
  • The format of the document. Some companies prefer to mention the format of the document you should send, but usually, such information is omitted, and you should choose the format by yourself. The best option in such a situation is just save everything in PDF format. In such a way, the hiring manager won’t have any difficulties with opening your doc. If you are choosing PDF, don’t forget to use the proper name of this doc. It definitely contains your name and the type of writing you are sending.
  • Margins form cover letters, so don’t forget to adjust them as well. The general recommendation to margins is either 1 or 1.5. Of course, you may change them according to your preferences, but don’t go too extreme in this process. You’d better follow general requirements.

About The Length Of Your Letter

Usually, we ask lots of questions about how you format a cover letter or how to set up a cover letter, but we forget there the length norm also exists, and we should follow them.

The too-long letter might be just unread because once a recruiter opens a 3-page text, he/she understands how unprofessional and unprepared this specific candidate. The same is with short and uninformative letters, as well. So, stick to the general requirements which we are going to discuss below.

A usual standard is something between the length of the full page and its half. When counting the word number, it is something between 230 and 430 words on average. Use only that kind of information that will be important for the hiring professional for this specific position. You will have no trouble with the brief and informative structure of your text.

Some candidates prefer to make their cover letter extremely short not to waste the hiring professional’s time. They hope that their letter will be read and use less than 130 words in such a way. Well, this is not a bad idea, though you should be really professional to cope with this challenging task – include everything in this short writing. This choice should depend mainly on your writing skills and nothing more.

How Should A Cover Letter Be Formatted For Emails?

We have already discussed so much information about cover letter layouts and formation, so in order not to waste your time anymore. We’ve decided to mention only major points about digital cover letter format here.

  • Subject line. To look more professional while sending your CV and cover letter, you’d better mention your full name and position in this field. It will be much easier for a recruiter to check such kind of email.
  • Salutation. Use any polite form of the greeting, which we have earlier discussed in the article.
  • Intro part. You should intrigue a reader and force him/her to review your writing till the end. Try to impress the hiring manager right away.
  • The main part. Here you will need to share your real experience, which can help organizations solve their urgent task. For coping with this task, you should just review a job description and stick to their requirements while writing.
  • Call-to-action. Thank the recruiter for the time he has to spend reviewing your letter and sharing your interview desire. This is like a psychological trick and sometimes may help you in your job search.
  • Contact Data. At the end of your mail, you’d better mention all the necessary information for contacting you and for getting additional information about you as an expert. So links to other resources such as LinkedIn, for instance, are great.

Hope that you have not got any additional questions about how to format a cover letter for a resume after reviewing all this information. There is nothing difficult in this writing process, simply follow the general standards for this type of writing, and you will certainly get the needed offer. Your professionalism and motivation for this specific position should be evident after reviewing the letter. A usual hiring expert wants to find only these two factors in an ideal candidate.

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