Use block style (everything to the left)

Return Address
Top margin without your name
Avoid abbreviations (with exception of the state)
It is okay to include your phone number if it doesn’t appear in the last paragraph of the letter (preferred)

Date should appear two lines below your return address.

Inside Address
Four lines beneath the date
Give addressee’s full name, title
Company’s name
Company’s address

Can use RE: job title and #
Should be typed two lines below company’s address
Do not address “Sir” or “Madam,” or “To Whom It May Concern”

Three or four paragraphs at the most
Should be on one page
First and last paragraphs can be as short as one sentence

Paper Size, Color, Quality
8-1/2”x11” resume paper (preferably ivory or white)
Use the same paper that you have used for your resume
Do not use the stationary of current employer

Standard, business-size envelope that matches stationary
Do not hand address the envelope
Address to specific person as identified in cover letter



  • Personalize each letter
  • Be sure the letter clearly indicates your interest in the organization
  • Indicate how your qualifications or experience meet their requirements should be sufficient to show why you are applying

First Paragraph
State the position for which you are applying and how you found out about it
Example: “I would like to apply for the position of management trainee posted on the WolfWorks website.”

Second Paragraph
What can you contribute? How will your qualifications benefit the organization? Keep it brief but to the point.
Example: “In addition to my strong mathematics background, I offer significant business experience, having worked in a data processing form, a bookstore and a restaurant. In addition, the courses I have taken in Operations Management and Public Relations will prove useful in this position.”

Third Paragraph
Show (if possible) why you are the superior candidate. Mention accomplishments, examples of when you went above and beyond requirements, awards, and commendations.

Fourth Paragraph
Indicate that you look forward to hearing from them. Be sure to include your phone number if not indicated in the return address.

Complimentary Close
Keep it simple- “Sincerely”
Three Spaces
Type your name as it appears on your resume
Be sure to sign your name using black (preferable) or blue ink