How To Format a Cover Letter – The Easy Way

How To Format a Cover Letter – The Easy Way


Maybe you’ve experienced this: poring over cover letter templates online or in books, trying to find the perfect one that will get you hired – but none seem to fit. If that sounds like your experience, here are some valuable hints.

Should you use a template?

It’s fine to use the templates that you find online and in books to base your cover letter on. Visually, they will probably work fine. But don’t just reword these samples. There’s one important reason that won’t work for you: these samples aren’t designed to get you called back for an interview. They are simply there to demonstrate a visual format. So you really need to write the content yourself.

Content over format

The real secret to “formatting” a cover letter is to focus on the content, not the format. That’s why it really helps if you are willing to do some research. You ought to go out of your way to find out what the needs are of the company you are applying to. The hiring manager – the person reading the letter – will understand what his company needs. If you can show him that you can meet that need, he will definitely have a reason to call you.

So do some research, and find out what it is that the company really needs from an applicant. That’s the key to getting the hiring manager to call you back on the spot – show you have what the company needs. A little research goes a long way.

Keep it basic

When you keep in mind that the single purpose of your cover letter is to get the hiring manager to call you for an interview, everything is simpler. Just focus on a formatting style that will get your message across. Keep the format of your letter clean, readable, not too long, and to the point. Use any decent-looking template you find. Don’t worry too much about how it looks. Just focus on fixing the problem of the hiring manager.

Ultimately, it’s not how the letter looks that matters. It’s what it says. You can settle for a letter that looks a little bit ugly, as long as it demonstrates that you are exactly the person the employer needs. So don’t obsess over the appearance. Instead, focus on connecting your application with the needs of the company. This will dramatically increase your chances of getting an interview.



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