If you need an cover letter today, use Resume-Now’s professional templates and formats to get started. Each template is customizable and easy to format with your personal information. With our recruiter-approved formats below, you’ll quickly create a professional cover letter that gets noticed.
Choose a Cover Letter Format
The 5 Parts of a Cover Letter
Your cover letter should contain five distinct elements: a salutation, introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion, and sign off. Check out the each section below.
Your header should include your name, professional email address, phone number, city, and state.
Address the letter to the person who will receive it. If you can't find a name, direct it to the human resources department or to the department to which the position would report.
Hook the reader with your excitement about the job. Reveal any connection you have to the organization or its employees.
Use the body paragraphs to summarize your work experience and skills. Explain how your abilities could help the employer.
First, reiterate your interest in the position and value to the company. Next, thank your reader for their consideration. Sign-off with “sincerely” or “respectfully yours.”
Job-winning Cover Letter Formats
Choose a Format That Enhances Your Resume:
Your cover letter is an introduction to your resume. Pick a format that enhances to your resume format.
Align Your Cover Letter Format With the Company:
The best format for a cover letter is one suited to the employer. With an established, conservative company, avoid flashy formats.
Select a Format that Calls Attention to Your Best Qualities:
Choose a format that will allow you to express your best qualities and a bit of your personality.
Popular Cover Letter Formats
Describe Soft Skills in the Form of Accomplishments:
To communicate your personal traits, show, don't tell. Share accomplishments related to your strongest soft skills such as teamwork, communication, or problem-solving.
Tell the Hiring Manager About a Time You Helped Out:
Don't just say that you're a team player. Talk about a time you helped a co-worker or worked with others to complete an assignment on a tight deadline.
Don't Underestimate Yourself:
Even if you don't meet every requirement, you may be a great fit for the role. Use your cover letter to sell your most relevant skills.
Professional Cover Letter Formats
Lead With Your Key Qualifications:
For a position that requires specialized training, open with your certifications. For example, "I'm an aspiring nurse in the top 1% of my RN program with 50 lab hours."
Drop Hints of Your Training Throughout:
Don't restrict all mentions of your education to the intro. In the letter body, say things like, "In business school I learned … "
Use Industry Terms:
Show you're fit for a position by talking using terms relevant to the industry. For instance, if you are applying to be a coder, bring up languages like Java and C++.
Specialized Cover Letter Formats
Know Which Numbers Matter:
Just because you can quantify something doesn’t mean you should. The numbers employers care about most are those that pertaining to money, time, and people.
Know How to Find Your Numbers:
Provide obvious metrics, like market share, sales volume, and profitability. Don't forget to include people-oriented numbers, like performance rank or clients retained.
Know How to Present Your Numbers:
Show metrics in context so hiring managers can see the impact you had on your previous employers.
Entry-Level Cover Letter Formats
Emphasize Your Soft Skills:
Stress your soft skills in a compelling narrative. Employers typically want well-rounded candidates.
Stress Your Education and Training:
Even if your work history is limited, do you have relevant education and training? Weave these qualifications into your narrative.
Brag About Accomplishments and Recognition's:
Employers want the person they hire to be one that goes above and beyond. Show you're that type of person by mentioning awards and recognition's.
3 Tips for Choosing a Cover Letter Template
Consider your experience level
If you have little to no experience, you don’t need to write a lot. In this case, it’s okay to choose a format with a big, statement-making header. On the other hand, if you have a lot of experience, choose a cover letter format that allows ample writing space.
Use a template to show professional personality
While the content of your cover letter should speak volumes about who you are, you should also choose cover letter formats that represent your personality. Resume-Now offers templates that show off personality in a professional way.
Learn from the past
Did you use a bold cover letter format in the past without success? If so, consider revising the format you use. Go with something simpler and more traditional. On the other hand, if a plain format hasn’t worked out, try a more creative one.
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Cover Letter Format Best Practices
The best cover letter format can benefit from using best practices. Below are a few recruiter expectations for letters:
Keep Paragraphs Short
Keep paragraphs limited to three to four lines. Employers don’t have the time nor the desire to read lengthy paragraphs.
Customize Your Cover Letter
Take time to customize your letter for each job. Doing so will pay off. The biggest turnoff for employers is cover letters that don’t relate to the job at hand.
Give New Information
Provide information hiring managers cannot find in your resume. Doing so will make you appear more well-rounded.
Recruiter-friendly Cover Letters
Your cover letter and resume will both likely go through applicant tracking systems (ATS). The ATS scans application documents for certain elements. It scores the documents, and either discards them or sends them to a hiring manager. Help your letter pass ATS by choosing cover letter formats optimized for the software.
Make your letter easily scannable for both humans and robots. Avoid non-text elements such as symbols or graphics. This may confuse the software. When in doubt, use our cover letter builder to create a letter in minutes that passes the ATS.
Cover Letter Format FAQs
How do I write a cover letter format?
With Resume-Now, you don't have to worry about creating your own cover letter format. We have dozens of templates to choose from. You can use our expert tips to guide your writing, or you can use our cover letter builder to take the work out of crafting this essential application document.
When I apply for a job online, should my cover letter be different?
Your online cover letter should not look much different than the one you submit offline. That said, if you are able, input a "handwritten" signature into the document, which many PDFs and Word documents allow.
What is the proper layout for a cover letter?
Though the layout varies depending on the cover letter format you choose, your cover letter should contain five essential elements: a salutation, introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion, and sign off. Our cover letter templates contain each of these sections. All you have to do is fill them in. If you use our cover letter builder, you get an instant layout.
How do I start a cover letter?
Begin with a salutation like "Dear John Smith," or "To Jane Doe." If you don't know the recipient's name, opt to use a title, such as "Head of Marketing." Never use the generic “To Whom it May Concern.” If you were concerned, you would have taken time to address your letter properly.
What is the best cover letter writing online tool?
Resume-Now offers the best cover letter writing tool available online. You can select from many proven templates and easily tailor them from there. Our builder abides by cover letter writing best practices and helps job seekers create documents now that bypass ATS with ease. To top it off, it edits your document for spelling and grammar errors before you download.