There are rules regarding style, arrangement, formatting, punctuation, etc., that distinguish a bad-written letter from the perfect one. Many word processors offer help in formatting and arranging the letter, but it does not hurt if you know how to do it because if you don’t, you will not choose wisely when the word processor suggest you options.
There is a relatively strict format for cover letters that should always remain the same. This format is boring and standard, but important. Here are some quick formatting pointers:
To be effective, your cover letter should follow the basic format of a typical business letter and should address three general issues:
1. First paragraph: Why you are writing. 2. Middle paragraphs: What you have to offer. 3. Concluding paragraph: How you will follow-up.
Email cover letters
If the job posting asks you to send an attachment, send your resume as an MS Word document. However, many employers do not accept attachments. In these cases, paste your resume into your email message. Use a simple font and remove the fancy formatting. Don’t use HTML because the employer may not see a formatted message the same way you do.
After formatting email cover letter, send it to yourself first to test that the formatting works. If everything looks good, send it to the employer.
Make sure you spell check and check your grammar and upper and lower cases. They are just as important in an email cover letter as in paper cover letters.
These rules apply for all kinds of cover letters
· Always use a word processor to type out a cover letter.
· Do not use bright, shiny colors and fancy fonts that are difficult to read. Keep your colorful side for family and friends.
· Do not use many different font types and font sizes in your letters.
· Bold and italic make a piece of text stand out from the rest. This is true when you have in bold or italic a couple of words, which you want to emphasize, not when half of your letter is bold and/or italic. Such a heavy overuse of bold and/or italic is unacceptable in formal letters.
· Do not allow your format to distract attention from the good things you say about yourself in your cover letter.