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Written by Karl KahlerKarl Kahler

How to format cover letters (2024)

6 min read
How to format cover letters (2024)
Artwork by:Evgeniya Skubina
Unlock new career opportunities and create convincing cover letters with cvapp.nz: we'll help you kickstart your career journey and find your next job role with ease.

Cover letters are powerful career tools that can help you capture the attention of potential employers and get hired faster. With countless applications flooding employers' inboxes or stacking up on employer’s desks, a well-crafted cover letter can differentiate you from other candidates with similar qualifications. Ultimately, when cover letters are crafted and structured correctly, they can help you stand out from the crowd and get you hired faster! 

Here are our top 10 tips for creating a compelling cover letter: 

1. Select an impressive cover letter header

At cvapp.nz, we’ve made choosing the right cover letter header easy. Whether you’re looking for a modern or creative design template, we’ve got a wide range of options that make customising your header to suit your unique style and industry easy. Headers should contain important contact details so that employers can get in touch, including your name, email address, contact number and links to professional sites such as LinkedIn. Since headers are usually the first visual element employers notice, it’s important that your cover letter header is compelling and appropriate for the job you’re applying for. 

2. Capture the attention of employers with an appropriate, friendly cover letter greeting

It’s always best to opt for friendly, warm and professional cover letter greetings. Employers want to feel acknowledged and respected, so it’s important that your greeting conveys a sense of professionalism and politeness. We recommend choosing a greeting such as “Dear Mr. Lambert,” or “Tēnā koe, Mrs. "Rawiri." 

3. Craft a convincing cover letter introduction

A well-written cover letter introduction provides potential employers with a snapshot of your career background and professional potential. In your introduction, you’ll want to briefly summarise who you are as a professional, your motivations for applying for the role, and any value you can offer to the role. By providing an overview of your background, you establish credibility and capture the attention of your employers from the beginning – go you! It’s also a great idea to express your motivations for applying for the job role in your cover letter introduction. You can share what excites you about the opportunity or describe how the company's mission and values align with your own. This demonstrates your genuine interest and helps create a connection between you and your potential employer. Woop! 

4. Expand upon your career potential in your body paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your cover letter are your chance to elaborate on your career background and professional potential. In this section, you can provide more details about  relevant career experiences, expertise and accomplishments to give potential employers a comprehensive understanding of your suitability for the job role. In these paragraphs, you can expand upon any previous roles, illustrating the specific responsibilities you held and the achievements you accomplished, or emphasise your unique skills and abilities that make you a valuable asset to potential employers. We know you’re special: let employers know you’re incredible, too. 

5. Finish your cover letter with a compelling call to action

When closing your cover letter, you’ll want to finish with a captivating call-to-action statement that motivates potential employers to take the next step: reaching out! A call-to-action statement prompts employers to get in contact, for example: “I’d love to discuss this opportunity with you at your earliest convenience.” By strengthening your cover letter with a strong call-to-action, you can effectively convey your interest in the position and encourage employers to reach out for further discussion or schedule an interview. Simple yet effective! 

6. Choose a sensible font

Selecting an appropriate font when crafting your cover letter is essential as it can play a significant role in shaping a positive first impression with potential employers. Choosing a font that is hard to read or inappropriate can harm your chances of getting the job role, and employers may find it hard to take your job application seriously. We’ve made it easy to choose a sensible font: all of the fonts in our cvapp.nz Cover Letter Builder are expert-approved. Yup, it’s that easy!

7. Keep paragraphs short – employers aren’t looking for a novel! 

Cover letter paragraphs should be brief and to the point – cover letters that contain excessive material or are overly wordy run the risk of being thrown out by employers! Prioritise highlighting the most relevant and outstanding details. Short paragraphs allow for better readability, enabling potential employers to quickly scan through your cover letter and identify key points about your professional background. 

8. Be smart with spacing

Your cover letter margins should ideally be set at 1 inch, and the overall space and layout of your cover letter should be visually appealing. Content should be organised in clear and logical manner and use appropriate spacing between sections. Crafting a well-structured and visually appealing cover letter can help grab the attention of the reader and make a positive impression. Luckily, all of our cvapp.nz cover letter templates have been formatted by the experts, so you don’t have to worry about formatting and spacing issues! 

9. Keep your cover letter on one page

Again, no one wants an overly wordy cover letter! It’s important to keep your cover letter brief and efficient, and most cover letters should be limited to one page only. This ensures that employers can easily read your cover letter and determine whether you’re a good fit for the job role.

10. Start your cover letter off right with one of our professionally designed cover letter templates 

So, are you ready to create an impressive cover letter? Ka pai! Check out our Cover Letter Builder for professionally-designed, customisable cover letter templates. We’ll help you stand out from the crowd and advance your career potential. What are you waiting for? 

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