Cover Letter Heading: Examples, Templates & Tips for Headers

If you don’t address a cover letter right, it’ll be worse than “return to sender.” Don’t lose your dream job over something so simple as creating a cover letter header.

Cover Letter Heading: Examples, Templates & Tips for Headers

With your tons of experience, certifications out the wazoo, and skills galore, you know you’ll nail the interview.

 

And, with your tailored resume and impressive cover letter, you have the documents to get you there.

 

However— 

 

All that will be for nothing if you don’t address the cover letter correctly with a great cover letter header.

 

Don’t worry.

 

In this article, you’ll get:

  • A great sample cover letter heading for you to copy and use for yourself.
  • Tips for what to include in a cover letter header and what to leave off.
  • How to determine the best cover letter header format to use.
  • Advice and guidelines for how to address a cover letter correctly.

 

For more on writing cover letters that’ll blow employers away, visit these other guides:

sample cover letter example

 Create a cover letter that matches the design of your resume—pick from 18 professional templates and get a powerful resume + cover letter combo now.

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1. Sample Cover Letter Header Template

 

To start things off, here’s a simple cover letter heading for you to reference or copy-paste into your job application:

 

[Your First and Last Name]

[Your Job Title or Branding Statement] (optional)

[Phone Number]

[Email Address]

[LinkedIn Profile URL]

 

[Today’s Date / Date of Writing]

 

[Hiring Manager’s First and Last Name]

[Hiring Manager’s Professional Title]

[Name of Company]

[Company Street Address]

[City, State, Zip Code]

 

Easy, right?

 

Here’s what that looks like in practice:

 

Nicole D. Gonzales

Customer Service Representative

207-836-9670

nicole.gonzales@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/nicolegonzales

 

October 25, 2019

 

Marsha Lesniak

Human Resource Manager

Catch 23 Games

3112 Upton Avenue

West Bethel, ME 04286

 

Now— 

 

Let’s dive into exactly...

 

2. What to Include in a Cover Letter Heading

 

Technically, a cover letter’s header is just the topmost portion—the part with your (the sender’s) information. It can stand out visually by being a different color or having an alternate style.

 

However— 

 

In some cases, a cover letter builder or cover letter template may include the entire address area in the heading. In this case, it’s divided into three portions: the sender’s info (that’s you), the date of writing, and the recipient’s info (that’s them). 

 

Let’s look at each one separately to determine how to address a cover letter:

 

Cover Letter Heading: Personal Information

 

Your cover letter address goes at the very top, just like the standard business letter format.

 

Recommended personal details include:

  • Your name - Give your full first name and last name.
  • Phone number - Give your cell phone number to be sure they’ll reach you.
  • Email address - Choose a professional email address (john.smith@...) and a standard email provider (...@gmail.com). One look at joemoney69@hotmail.com and they’ll toss your cover letter.
  • LinkedIn URL - LinkedIn is the standard professional networking site, so your profile URL will be seen, whether you give it to them or not. Make sure you update your LinkedIn profile before you send your job application.

 

Optional info in the cover letter address include:

  • Your job title - Include your professional title below your name if it’s relevant to the job. Leave it off when changing careers, as the hiring manager may preemptively dismiss your application before seeing how well you actually fit the role.
  • Your address - Adding an address on a cover letter was a standard, but it’s not so necessary in the digital age.
  • Social media profiles - Include any relevant social media handles or URLs, such as a link to your Behance page when you’re a designer.
  • Personal website - If you have a portfolio of projects or a website with more detailed professional information, include that link on your cover letter header.

 

Here’s what to avoid in a cover letter heading:

  • Profile photo - Never include a photo on a cover letter header. If you do need to attach a headshot, do that in the accompanying resume.
  • Super-personal information - Omit your date of birth, social security number, race, religion, sexual orientation or other similar details which can be used to discriminate against you.
  • Second phone number - If you have a landline and a cell, just give your cell. Two numbers will only confuse the hiring manager.

 

Cover Letter Header: Date of Writing

 

The date of writing goes just below your address on a cover letter, as it does on any formal letter.

 

Include today’s date with the full month name, the day, and the year.

 

Here’s how that looks:

 

November 1, 2019

 

One popular variation is to include the city from which you’re writing the letter, like this:

 

Brooklyn, November 10, 2019

 

My suggestion is to include the city name only when you choose to leave your full address off the cover letter letterhead.

 

Cover Letter Head: Recipient’s Information

 

Finally, their info.

 

This is not technically part of the “cover letter header,” but is instead called the “inside address.”

 

For the addressee, include the HR manager or hiring director’s name, their professional title below that, and then the company’s address information.

 

Here’s an example:

 

Calvin C. Jordan

Head of Marketing

Creative Enterprises 365, LLC

1438 Young Road

Boise, ID 83716

 

Check out the company’s about page, view their LinkedIn profile, or the job description. If those don’t work, give the receptionist a quick call.

 

But, how to address a cover letter with no name?

 

If you’re really unable to locate a name, address it to “Hiring Manager.” Then, in the cover letter salutation, you can say something like “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Expert Hint: Who do you address a cover letter to? Always try to find the name of the person who’ll be reviewing your resume and cover letter. It could be an HR manager or the person who may become your immediate supervisor.

3. Match Cover Letter Headings with Resume Headers

 

There’s one hard and fast rule regarding cover letter headers— 

 

It should always match the resume header.

 

But, it doesn’t mean that the rules for heading a cover letter apply precisely to your resume heading section.

 

You won’t include the date of writing or the company’s details on the resume.

 

Rather, it should match stylistically:

  • Choose a cover letter font that matches the typeface you chose for your resume.
  • Whichever alignment (left, center, or right) you choose for your resume address, align the address on your cover letter the same way.
  • Use the same margins—you should have a one-inch border for both your resume and cover letter.
  • Highlight your name similarly. If you increase the font size of your name on the resume, do the same in your application letter header.
  • Select the same cover letter template as your resume template. If the resume header is in a blue-and-white design, don’t choose orange and green on your cover letter heading.

Expert Hint: Line spacing in both the resume and cover letter header should be 1.00 (single line spacing) or 1.15 (just a tad over). Also, it’s best to use 11 or 12pt font size for the heading of your cover letter and resume, except for your name, which you may style differently.

4. How to Head a Cover Letter Quickly & Easily

 

Whether your tool of choice is Microsoft Word or Google Docs, here’s how to create a cover letter heading: 

 

  1. Open a blank document in either Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
  2. Set margins to be 1” on all sides of your document (usually the default).
  3. Set line spacing to be 1.00 or 1.15 (also usually the default setting).
  4. Start with your personal information at the top.
  5. Leave a full line break, then add today’s date.
  6. Leave another full line break before giving the company’s details and addressing the cover letter directly to a specific person.
  7. Leave one final line break before moving on to the cover letter salutation and introductory paragraph.

 

Or— 

 

Here’s a simpler version:

 

  1. Open a blank document in either Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
  2. Copy and paste our cover letter heading template into the document.
  3. Replace with your information.

 

Done!

Expert Hint: Leave a full line break after each cover letter header section. It should resemble your info, line break, date of writing, line break, recipient’s details, and one more line break before the cover letter salutation.

Key Points

 

Here’s a quick recap on creating a great heading for cover letters:

  • Use a formal letter format when addressing a cover letter.
  • Choose the correct line spacing, font size, and margin width for your document.
  • Start by including your personal details at the top, including your name, phone number, and email address most importantly.
  • Add the date of writing below your address on a cover letter.
  • Finally, add the hiring manager’s info over the company’s details.

 

Got any questions on cover letter letterheads or how to address a cover letter? Can’t figure out who to address cover letter to or want a few more cover letter header examples? Let’s talk about it in the comment section below, and thanks for reading!

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Christian Eilers
Career Expert at ResumeLab
Christian Eilers is a resume expert and a career advice writer at ResumeLab. His insights and career guides have been published by Business Insider, FitSmallBusiness, Business News Daily, OppLoans, First for Women, and UpJourney, among others. Christian offers comprehensive advice on career development and each step of the job search, from start to finish and beyond. His guides cover looking for new jobs, sending application documents such as resumes and cover letters, acing interview questions, and settling into the new position. Since 2017, he has written over 200 in-depth, meticulously-researched career advice articles in collaboration with the most renowned career experts in the world. Hundreds of thousands of readers visit Christian’s articles each month. Christian majored in Communication & Culture, Anthropology at the City University of New York. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and learning about cultures and traditions from around the world.

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