Cover Letter Format & Content header

Cover Letter Format & Content

Formatting Basics


  • Be concise - 1 page maximum length
  • Use paragraph form
  • Do not indent paragraphs
  • Single space your work


  • Tailor your cover letter to the job description by demonstrating that you meet or exceed the requirements of the job
  • Use industry-specific wording
  • Show that you have researched the company and position
  • Ensure you have addressed it to the appropriate contact
  • Do not use abbreviations or prepositions
  • Ensure no spelling or grammar errors
  • Start sentences with variety (avoid starting each sentence with ‘I’)
  • Do not repeat sentences from your resume
  • Proofread your document

Standard Cover Letter Format

Your Address
City, Province Postal Code


Contact Name, Contact Job Title (if provided)
Company Name
Company Address
City, Province Postal Code

Re: Job Title (Ad #)

Dear (Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr., Hiring Committee, etc.)

Opening Paragraph (1 paragraph)

  • Begin with an interesting first sentence that recognizes your skills, experience, and/or passion for the job
  • Identify the job title and company name
  • Tell how you heard of the position
  • If you have a contact within the company or have been recommended for the job, mention the person here
  • Provide 1-2 sentences about why you are a good fit for the job

Body Paragraph/s (1-2 paragraphs)

  • Highlight most marketable skills, experiences, and attributes, beginning with those that are most important/relevant and working your way down to those that are least
  • Use examples to support skills
  • Cater to employer’s needs based on the job description
  • Include pertinent education, training, and experience (work, volunteer, clubs, etc.) and skills gained from them
  • Typically provide full job/program titles and company/school names

Closing Paragraph (1 paragraph)

  • Begin with summary statement as to why you are a good fit or have a passion for the job
  • Assertively request to meet with them for an interview
  • Provide follow-up information, including your phone and email address
  • Thank the reader for their consideration


Your signature if mailing a copy (leave 2 blank lines for this)

Your Name (typed)