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Afraid of making yourself look unprofessional by failing to format your cover letter properly? Yeah. You’re not alone—and it makes sense, since a badly formatted cover letter is unlikely to win you any jobs.
Good thing you’re here, then! You’re about to discover expert tips on how to format your cover letter not only correctly, but better than your competition.
This guide will show you:
- A cover letter format example better than 9 out of 10 others.
- A simple job application letter format template you can copy and use.
- What are the main elements of the correct job application letter format.
Looking for a quicker, easier solution? Our cover letter builder can take care of the formatting for you. Just add your info and watch the app arrange everything on the page, exactly the way it should be for job applications in India. Here’s what your cover letter can look like:
Pick your favourite from the 20+ professional cover letter templates and have your job application ready in minutes!
Cover Letter Format: Sample for Job Applications
[Your job title]
[Address line 1]
[Address line 2]
[Date and place of writing]
[Hiring manager’s name]
[Hiring manager’s job title]
[Company address line 1]
[Company address line 2]
Dear [Mr / Ms + Hiring manager’s name],
Start your cover letter by mentioning your job title and/or the position you are applying for. Catch the reader’s attention with an outstanding professional achievement or an impressive fact about your career. Immediately show your value by promising to achieve a specific goal for the company.
Next, talk about your suitability for the role. Show that you understand what the job and the company require of you, and provide a series of further professional achievements that prove you’re a great fit. You can use bullet points in this section to arrange your text neatly on the page. Make sure to use plenty of numbers and action verbs to make your achievements really pop!
In the third paragraph, focus on your motivation: why do you want to join this particular company? You can lean on shared values, mention the company’s product or service, and include a compliment or two. The point is to show that you’re passionate about your industry and determined to work for this company.
Close on a strong call to action: say you’d like to discuss your skills in more detail. To drive the message home, repeat your offer to achieve something relatively specific for the company (like drive ROI, bring in more customers, drive engagement, etc.).
[Your job title]
[Optional: P.S. with an extra achievement or two to make your cover letter even more memorable]
Now, let’s see how to fill this template, step by step. Here’s how to stick to the right cover letter format for job applications:
1. Use the Right Document Format for Application Letters
There’s just one way to correctly format a cover letter.
No decisions to make, no risk of choosing the wrong format. All you need to do is follow these steps to format a cover letter in Word or another text editor:
Covering Letter Format Rules
- Pick a professional font: Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, or similar in 11–12 points will be the safest choice.
- Set even margins: 1 inch on all sides of the page.
- Stick to the recommended cover letter length: under one page, split into 3–4 well-written paragraphs.
- Include the right line spacing: 1–1.15 within paragraphs; double between paragraphs.
- Left-align the contents of your cover letter. Centred or justified text is not acceptable in official letters.
- Save your file as a PDF, unless the recruiter (or the job posting) specifically asks for a different format.
- Use the right structure, including a professional business-style header (more on that in a minute).
2. Address Your Cover Letter Correctly
Chances are, this is the bit you’re here for: most people don’t know how to deal with the header of their cover letter. Let’s sort it out, once and for all.
Cover letters should use the same header format as business letters. This means that you should:
- Put your contact information in the top left corner (unless you’re using a template that has a sidebar or a stylized header). Include your full name, job title, mailing address, phone number, email address, and if applicable, relevant links (e.g. to your LinkedIn or online portfolio.
- Include the date of writing below your contact info. You can add the city you’re writing from if you wish, too.
- Write out the contact details of the person who’ll read your cover letter: full name, job title, company name, company address.
Here’s an example:
Job Application Letter Format: Header Example
Address: 2541 Rajiv Gandhi Marg
Phone: +12 34 56789012
15 August 2022, Mumbai
Human Resources Manager
845 Mithagar Road
Pretty easy so far, right?
The only challenging part can be finding out exactly who’ll be reading your cover letter, but it’s important not to miss this step. Addressing your letter directly to the right recipient will add a personal touch and show you really care, setting you apart from your competition—most of whom likely won’t bother to look for the recruiter’s name.
If you’re lucky, the name of the recruiter or hiring manager will be somewhere in the job ad. Otherwise, you may need to do some digging on the company website or LinkedIn. If all else fails, it’s fine to call the company and simply ask who’s responsible for recruitment for your role.
3. Choose a Respectful Greeting
You can’t really get the Dear someone part wrong, can you?
Yes, you can. In fact, most candidates do. Consider the following greetings (spoiler alert: they’re wrong):
Application Letter Format: Salutation
To whom it may concern,
Now, let’s see—
How would it make you feel to be addressed in this way? If you were a woman reading a letter addressed to Dear Sirs, would that put you in a favourable frame of mind? Would you rather be a human being with a name, or a non-existent Sir/Madam?
This is another reason why finding the recruiter’s name is important—so that you can address them directly in your cover letter salutation. If you really can’t figure out who’ll read your letter, go with Dear Hiring Manager or something similar. Like so:
Dear Ms Prakash,
Dear Mr Binnani,
Dear Hiring Manager,
Dear Hiring Team,
Just like using a person’s name in conversation, addressing someone directly in writing shows respect and recognition. Use this to your advantage to get the recruiter onto your side from the get-go!
4. Open Your Cover Letter on a Strong Note
With all the niceties in place, it’s time to get down to business. First up, your opening paragraph—
Proper cover letter format dictates that your first sentences should be a brief introduction of your experience, skills, and the position you’re applying for. But this shouldn’t be an excuse to make it boring—
Grab the reader’s attention with a relevant, measurable, impressive professional achievement and immediately show your value. In the final sentence of this paragraph, promise to achieve something specific for the new employer. Like so:
Covering Letter Format: Opening Example
As a graphic designer with 7+ years of experience and excellent communication skills, I’m thrilled to have come across a job opening at BlueGraphics. At DesignCity, I completed a total of 550+ projects for 300+ clients, achieving 98% customer satisfaction. I’m eager to apply my expertise and outstanding design and conceptual skills towards driving customer satisfaction and sales for BlueGraphics.
This opening paragraph does all it’s supposed to do: provides the candidate’s years of experience, key skills, and job title—but it also proves they’re great at their job and positions them as an asset to the company. And see how the numbers draw the eye?
Pro tip: Make sure to use the name of the company to which you’re applying. This proves you’ve taken the time to write a dedicated cover letter.
5. Show Your Value and Motivation in the Middle Paragraphs
Starting to get into the swing of things? Excellent, then let’s keep up the pace—
The next part of standard cover letter format is the body, usually comprised of two paragraphs. Your task here is to prove you’re the best candidate for the job, using your accomplishments from previous roles.
Put simply, in the middle of your cover letter, you need to:
- Show you understand the role and its challenges;
- Prove your experience, skills, and talents make you the best fit for handling it;
- Explain why you want to work at this company more than any other.
Let’s see it in action:
Cover Letter Format for Job Applications: Middle Paragraphs
It takes more than familiarity with Adobe CC and CorelDRAW to be an exceptional graphic designer. The ability to approach customers with a sales mindset, then identify and meet their needs with a tailored, original design, is what makes one a real asset to any design company. That’s why I’m happy to report that in previous roles, I have:
BlueGraphics’ dedication to creating thought-provoking, innovative designs that often venture off the beaten path is what drew me to apply. Your design for the Puripops billboard campaign really shows that you’re willing to put in the time and effort to provide the client with something truly unique, which is uncommon in today’s market. It would be an honour to test my creativity against your bold, rule-breaking designs.
And now that you know how it’s done, you shouldn’t have too much trouble writing a cover letter body of your own that’s just as good! Here are some more tips to keep in mind:
- When stating achievements, use plenty of numbers and action verbs. They add impact and draw attention.
- Drop in relevant keywords and skills (like software proficiencies listed in the job ad) to show you’re a good fit.
- Don’t be afraid to include a compliment or two. Even if you’ve never heard of the company, do solid research online and find something that’s worth mentioning. Perhaps you have shared values, or one of their products resonates with you in some way? Anything to show you care!
What if you’re a fresher without that many achievements to share? Read more: How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship: Full Guide & Examples
6. End on a Call to Action and an Offer
So, the hardest part is behind you!
All that’s left to do now is finish off your letter, sign it, and send it off together with your resume.
Thank you for your consideration, hope to hear from you soon—that should do, right?
Sure—if you’re aiming for average. Which you’re not, so let’s rethink this:
How about making them an offer they can’t refuse? Like this:
Format of Application Letter: Ending Example
I’d love to discuss in more detail how my skills and experience could become a valuable asset to BlueGraphics. Given the opportunity, I’d be thrilled to use my communication skills and business mindset to boost your client base and drive revenue with memorable designs.
…isn’t that a much, much better way to end a cover letter? It leaves a lasting impression and gives the recruiter a clear sign that hiring you would be the right choice.
To achieve the same effect in the ending of your cover letter, make two offers:
- To discuss your skills further: which implies that you have more to share and that you’re ready for an interview;
- To achieve a specific goal for the company, highlighting why hiring you would be beneficial.
Done right, this leaves no doubt in the recruiter’s mind that you’re a strong candidate for the job!
Still unsure about the content of your cover letter? Read more: How to Write a Cover Letter in India: Complete Guide with Examples
7. Sign Your Cover Letter and Include an Optional P.S.
Here’s the final element of your cover letter format puzzle:
Cover Letter Format: Sign-Off Example
No need to get creative here. A simple Best regards, will work in literally every case, and there’s no way anyone could take offence to it. Follow it with your full name and job title, and you’re done!
…unless you have one more achievement up your sleeve, in which case, include it as a P.S.:
Job Letter Format: Postscript Example
P.S. I can’t wait to tell you more about my submission to 2018’s Design Awards. Getting shortlisted for Best Logo Design was the highlight of my career!
Adding a postscript is entirely optional, but it can provide a valuable element of surprise that’ll make you stand out from the crowd. Hint at something impressive you’ve accomplished, promising to share more details—it’s the perfect way to politely encourage the recruiter to give you a call.
Now all that’s left to do is write your resume, attach your newly created cover letter, and wait for interview invitations!
Here’s what you need to remember about cover letter format:
- Stay on one page and use a professional font, regular margins, and even line spacing.
- Create a business-style header: your details, date, their details.
- Hook the reader in your opening paragraph with an impressive professional accomplishment.
- Use the middle paragraphs to show you’re the best candidate for the role.
- End strong on a call to action and a promise to achieve something great for the company.
- Sign off respectfully and include an optional P.S. for extra impact.
You’re all set with the complete rules for cover letter format. Good luck with your job application!
Thanks for reading! Do you still have some unanswered questions about the format of application letters? Need more covering letter format examples? Let us know in the comments below, we’re always up for a chat!