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Every job application needs a formal cover letter like the sample in this guide. Without a formal cover letter letter, almost half of all employers will discard a resume. Put the right info in the right places—heading, address, salutation, and the right three paragraphs—to show you’re worth their time.
This guide will show you a formal cover letter sample and the best tips on how to write a formal covering letter step-by-step. Let's get started.
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Sample Formal Cover Letter
3277 Webster Street
Newark, NJ 07192
Staff Development Manager
Apogee Learning, Inc.
761 Duke Lane
Newark, NJ 07102
Dear Ms. Stuyvesant,
Considering Apogee’s standing as the #1 online learning institution in the U.S., I was happy to learn of the recent opening for a math and English tutor at your firm. I know you place a high value on client satisfaction, so I’d like to share that I maintained a 97% student rating from over 400 clients in my 4 years as an NTA-certified tutor at Excelsior Tutoring.
Your job ad emphasizes helping students prepare for the SAT and ACT tests and retests. At Excelsior, I helped over 200 students raise their SAT and ACT retest scores by an average of 35%. You also mention active listening skills as a key requirement. That’s so important for a tutor, and I’m pleased to say I received 5 commendations from my manager for my active listening ability.
Apogee Learning makes a concentrated effort to meet the needs of every student. I’d be happy to assist you in your mission by providing high-quality remote instruction and client interaction. Could we set up a call next week to discuss how my skills in mathematics, English, and communication can help you meet your goals?
That’s a job-getting formal cover letter sample.
Your resume matters, too. See our guide: How to Make a Resume for a Job
Want to see formal cover letter examples for a specific career? See these guides: Best Cover Letter Samples for All Careers
Formal Cover Letter Template
Here’s how to write a cover letter for a formal job application:
1. Choose a professional cover letter format and layout
- Cover letter outline: consisting of three paragraphs.
- First paragraph: mention the job you’re applying to and your biggest work accomplishment.
- Middle paragraph: describe the top ways you fit the job.
- Final paragraph: explain why you want this job and a request for an interview.
- Cover letter font: choose a respected and easily readable font (Trebuchet, Lato, Calibri, Garamond).
- Line spacing: set to 1.15.
- Cover letter margins: 1 inch on all sides of the page.
Read more: Cover Letter Format
2. Create a formal cover letter header
- List your first and last name and job title. Then add your contact information address (including zip code), email, and phone number.
- Include your LinkedIn profile. (87% of hiring managers use LinkedIn to screen job candidates.)
- Add a blank line, the date, another blank line, and then write the hiring manager’s contact details.
- Use the same cover letter header in your resume for continuity and a professional look.
Read more: How to Address a Cover Letter
3. Opening paragraph: say what job you’re applying for
- Start with “Dear [Hiring Manager Name],”, avoid “To Whom It May Concern” cover letters. Again, always try to include the name of hiring manager.
- State the job you’re applying for when writing a cover letter.
- Add your most impressive work accomplishment to keep employers reading.
Read more: How to Start a Cover Letter
4. Middle paragraph: show your understanding of the job
- In the body of your cover letter, mention a top few job duties to show you understand the role.
- Share a few examples of accomplishments that show when you excelled at those tasks.
- Do this right, and the hiring manager will get excited about your resume.
How should your cover letter look? See our guide: What Does a Good Cover Letter Look Like?
5. Prove you really want this job
- Show you’re interested in this job with this company.
- To do it, share something you like about the company.
- Can’t think of anything? Check their mission statement and find recent news about them online.
- This step proves you’ll be committed and hard working.
- You can actually do it in any paragraph, or in every paragraph. Passion helps to sell you as a candidate.
Did you know? The fastest-growing careers are in green energy, healthcare, and information security. That’s according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
6. Last paragraph: end your formal cover letter with an offer
- Ask for a meeting or call to discuss the role further.
- Reference a couple more of your skills and show how they can help your prospective employer.
- Promise to help the organization reach an important goal or overcome a challenge.
Read more: The Best Cover Letter Endings
7. Add a professional sign-off at the bottom of the page
- End your cover letter with, “Best regards,”
- Include a digital version of your signature for extra professionalism.
- Add your name, phone, and email at the bottom.
Follow up your cover letter within a week, so they don’t forget about you. Learn more: Job Application Follow-Up Email Templates
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.
Questions? Concerns? We’re here for you. If you’re still unsure how to write a job-winning cover letter for formal applications, drop me a line in the comments.
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