How to Format a Cover Letter

General Formatting Tips:

·        Font type- a clean line font like Aerial or Calibri or Open Sans.

·        Font Size- 16-18pt for your name at the top and 11-12pt for the body.

·        Margins- 1 inch margins.

·        1-2 pages.

·        Align your text to the left. No indentation for a new paragraph.

·        Use a bolded headline before each paragraph.

·        Only bold your name and headlines.

·        Edit spacing and content to fit a full paragraph on the first page, start the new paragraph on the next page. For example, don’t have the beginning of paragraph 2 on the first page and the end of paragraph 2 on the second page. Depending on the sizes of your paragraphs, you can play with the font type and size to make it look good. Calibri tends to be smaller than Aerial. Ideally, your cover page should be around 1.5 pages long.


How long are cover letters?

The sweet spot for the length of a cover letter is 1.5 pages long. However, there are exceptions to this depending on the field you are in. For example, if you are in the academic research field, then you could very well have a 3 page cover letter. People applying for post-doctoral research positions in academia may include a research proposal in their cover letter which could take up additional length. The take away here is to reach out to people in your field and see what the standard is and use your own judgement to determine what is best for you. In most situations, the cover letter will be around 1.5 pages.

Need more help in writing your cover letter?

You can purchase our cover letter template in a Microsoft word document at our Etsy Shop- Click here