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Every job application needs a formal cover letter like the sample in this guide. Without a formal 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.
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?
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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 a formal cover letter sample 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: three paragraphs.
- Paragraph 1: the job you’re applying to and your biggest work accomplishment.
- Paragraph 2: the top ways you fit the job.
- Paragraph 3: why you want this job and a request for the interview.
- Cover letter font: choose a respected font (Trebuchet, Lato, Calibri, Garamond).
- Line spacing: 1.15.
- Cover letter margins: 1 inch.
Read more: Cover Letter Format
2. Create a formal cover letter header
- List your name, job title, address, email, and phone number.
- Include LinkedIn. (87% of hiring managers use LinkedIn to screen job candidates.)
- Add a blank line, the date, another blank, and the manager’s contact details.
- Use the same cover letter header in your resume for continuity.
Read more: How to Address a Cover Letter
3. Paragraph 1: say what job you’re applying for
- Start with “Dear [Hiring Manager Name],”, avoid “To Whom It May Concern” cover letters.
- Tell the job you’re applying for.
- Add your most impressive work accomplishment to keep employers reading.
Read more: How to Start a Cover Letter
4. Paragraph 2: show your understanding of the job
- Mention the top few job duties to show you understand the role.
- Share a few examples of when you excelled at those tasks.
- Do this right, and managers will get excited for your resume.
How should your cover letter look? See our guide: What Does a Good Cover Letter Look Like in 2020?
5. Prove you really want this job
- Show you’re interested in the job.
- To do it, share something you like about the company.
- Can’t think of anything? Check their mission statement online.
- This step proves you’ll work hard.
- You can do it in any paragraph, or in every paragraph.
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. Paragraph #3: end your formal cover letter with an offer
- Ask for a meeting or call.
- Reference a couple more of your skills.
- Promise to help the organization reach an important goal.
Read more: The Best Cover Letter Endings
7. Add a professional sign-off at the bottom of the page
- End with, “Best regards,”
- Include a digital version of your signature for extra professionalism.
- Add your name, phone, and email at the bottom.
Follow up next 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 your resume here.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
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.