There are three ways to set up your cover letter format, which we illustrate later on this page: Block Style, Semi-block Style, and Modified Block Style.
The importance of creating a good impression with your cover letter cannot be under estimated. A sloppy, or poorly formatted letter is only going to tell the person reading it that you don't care enough to make an effort.
If your cover letter is poor quality, then it's highly likely that your work will be as well. After all, if you are not going to make some sort of an effort here, why would an employer think that you will be any different if you got the job?
In todays competitve job market, you need every advantage that you can get. And that starts right here - with your application and cover letter! Do it right, and impress those that sort through the job applications. You will stand a much better chance of passing that first initial screening, and getting an interview.
Block style is the most common business letter format. Here is an example:
You will notice that the paragraphs are not indented. You will also notice that everything is justified to the left side of the page.
Most books on writing cover letters encourage you to use this layout for your letter. However, any of these three are acceptable.
This is an example of a letter done in the semi-block style:
Semi-block style is characterized by certain parts of the letter being offset. This is usually the header, where you put your name and address. Also, it includes the date and the signature line at the bottom of the letter. These two elements should be aligned with one another, though they are offset from the rest of the letter.
Modified block style has a combination of Block and Semi-block styles.
In this format, the paragraphs are not indented, but parts of the letter are offset to the right of the page, including the date and signature block. Again, these two offset elements should be aligned with one another.
Any of these three styles can successfully be used for your cover letter.
Check your letter with our free Cover Letter Content Checklist.