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Indent First Paragraph Cover Letter

Cover Letter Spacing Guidelines

Should you single space or double space a cover letter? How much spacing should there be between paragraphs? What about spaces between your closing and signature? How should an email cover letter be spaced? What else do you need to do to properly format a cover letter to send with a resume when applying for a job?

The format of a letter refers to the way the letter is arranged on the page. The format includes spacing, indentation, margins, and more.

When you're writing a cover letter, the spacing is important regardless of what form your letter is in. An email cover letter needs to be as properly formatted as a typed cover letter.

Read below for cover letter spacing and general formatting guidelines for both typed letter and email cover letters. Two sample cover letters - one for a typed letter and one for an email letter - are included.

Cover Letter Spacing Guidelines

  • Leave a space between your address and the date.
  • Leave a space between the heading and the salutation.
  • Leave a space between each paragraph.
  • Single-space the paragraphs in your cover letter or email message.
  • Leave a space between the final paragraph and your closing.
  • Leave a space between the closing and your signature.
  • When you're sending a typed letter, include a handwritten signature, and a typed signature underneath it.
  • When you're sending an email message, leave a space after your signature, with contact information. If you have a formatted email signature, use this for your contact information.
  • Your cover letter should be one page or less.
  • Use a 10- or 12-point font that is easy to read like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.
  • Align your cover letter to the left. In Microsoft Word, select your letter and click on Align, Text, Left.
  • Format an email cover letter just like a traditional letter with spaces in between each paragraph and your signature.

How to Use Letter Samples and Templates

Letter examples and templates help you with the layout of your letter. They also show you what elements you need to include, such as introductions and body paragraphs.

Along with helping with your layout, letter samples and templates can help you see what kind of content you should include in your document, such as a brief explanation of a lay-off.

You should use a template or example as a starting point for your letter. However, you should always personalize and customize your cover letter, so it reflects your skills and abilities, and the jobs you are applying for.                                                                                                       

Sample Mail Cover Letter Spacing

Your Name
Your Street Address
Your City, State, Zip
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address

Date

Dear Hiring Manager:

First Paragraph:
The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for.

Middle Paragraphs: 
The next paragraphs of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Make strong connections between your abilities and their needs. Use several shorter paragraphs or bullets rather than one large block of text.

Keep the paragraphs single-spaced, but leave a space between each paragraph.

Final Paragraph: 

Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position.

Sincerely,

Signature (Handwritten)

Signature (Typed)

Sample Email Cover Message Spacing

Subject: Your Name - Sample Position Application

Dear Hiring Manager:

First Paragraph:
The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for.

Middle Paragraphs: 
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Provide details on your qualifications for the job. Keep the paragraphs single-spaced, but leave a space between each paragraph.

Final Paragraph: 
Conclude your cover letter by thanking the hiring manager for considering you for the job.

Best Regards,

Your Name
____________

FirstName LastName
Email Address
Phone
Cell Phone
LinkedIn Profile (Optional)

Cover Letter Articles and Advice

Your resume and cover letter are, perhaps, the two most important pieces of your job search puzzle. Sure, your experience, skills, networking abilities, and how you perform in the interview (if you land one) will all play huge parts, but those two important documents you submit with your application can, and often do, make all the difference.

The cover letter is particularly crucial, because it’s essentially the hiring manager’s first introduction to you as a candidate. In other words, it is the very first impression you’ll make on an employer—so you’ll want it to be a good one.

When writing the cover letter introduction (meaning: the first paragraph of your cover letter), know that getting it right is what can make or break your chances of landing a job. If the interviewer is immediately turned off or disinterested or unimpressed, they’ll likely toss your application into the “no” pile without further consideration. But if you manage to write a captivating first paragraph that really grabs their attention and quickly paints a positive picture of who you are, you’ll position yourself as a strong candidate who has a much better chance of landing an interview.

Need help learning how to write a cover letter (in particular, the opening paragraph)? Here are a few tips to consider when writing that first paragraph of your cover letter:

Prove you did your homework

If you can help it, never ever start your cover letter with a generic “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir.” Instead, personalize the letter. Do some digging to find out the name of the HR manager who will most likely be reviewing your application—or your would-be boss. If you can’t figure it out, a simple “Dear Hiring Manager” will work just fine. Personalizing the salutation shows the hiring manager that you care enough about this job to have done your homework. They may also feel more connected to you if they are addressed directly.

Introduce yourself with some enthusiasm

After you greet the hiring manager (by name, hopefully) you’ll want to briefly introduce yourself. But infuse some personality into it! Yes, you’ll want to be professional and not stand out for the wrong reasons—but you don’t want to bore the employer to death or have your cover letter look like everyone else’s.

So, instead of starting off with a dull “I’m Jane and I’m interested in the marketing role.” Try something more exciting, like, “I firmly believe I’m the passionate, hardworking candidate you’ve been looking for.”

Follow up the brief introduction with a few words on why you’re interested in the job, why you’re perfect for it, and the value you’d bring to the table. You can elaborate on those thoughts later in the cover letter—but at least touch on them in this first paragraph, with some enthusiasm and passion. Remember—the opening of your letter must be an eye-opener, and not a sleep aid!

Keep it short and to the point

We know it can be hard to cram all of the above into a few short sentences, but you’ll want to do your best to keep things clear and concise. Being long-winded will cause the reader to lose interest quickly, and if that happens, the rest of the cover letter will all be for nothing. So, keep things brief and light (but professional!) and don’t dwell on any one thought for too long. Remember: you can use the interview to elaborate on any points you make here!

Keep it clean

Okay, we mean typo-free! Have someone else read your cover letter for typos, grammatical errors, or clarity issues, or consider using a service like Grammarly. Get as much feedback as possible. Submitting a sloppy cover letter sends a message that you’d be a sloppy employee—and that’s not the message you want to send. This tip goes for the entire cover letter, and all application materials, for that matter—not just this first paragraph!

Here’s a sample of a strong first paragraph:
“Dear Mr. Henry Potter, My name is Jane Doe and I’m thrilled to be applying for the position of Properties Manager that was advertised in the September edition of the Bedford Falls Times. I’m confident I am the passionate and hardworking candidate you’ve been looking for, as my skills and interests—such as x, y, and z—perfectly align with what you’re looking for. I know I can make a significant contribution to your growing organization, and hope you’ll consider for me this incredible opportunity.”

The LiveCareer website has a  cover letter builder  you can use to create the ideal cover letter introduction, one that will really help you get noticed by employers. You can also use our  cover letter examples  to see how the first paragraph of your cover letter should look.

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