See cover letter templates and examples that get jobs and learn how to write your cover letter in no time. Plus: free cover letter samples and tips from HR pros.
With your tonnes of experience, certifications out the wazoo, and skills galore, you know you’ll nail the interview.
And, with your tailored CV and impressive cover letter, you have the documents to get you there.
All that will be for nothing if you don’t address the cover letter correctly with a great cover letter header.
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.
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For more on writing cover letters that’ll blow employers away, visit these other guides:
- How To Write a Cover Letter in 10 Minutes (10+ Examples)
- What to Include in a Cover Letter: Outline & 10+ Examples
- 33+ Cover Letter Tips, Advice & Dos and Don'ts
- Cover Letter Format: Examples You Can Copy and Use
- How to Start a Cover Letter—Introduction, 20 Examples
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)
[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]
Here’s what that looks like in practise:
Nicole D. Gonzales
Customer Service Representative
October 25, 2019
Human Resource Manager
Catch 23 Games
3112 Upton Avenue
West Bethel, ME 04286
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 colour or having an alternate style.
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 mobile 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 CV.
- 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 CV and cover letter. It could be an HR manager or the person who may become your immediate supervisor.
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3. Match Cover Letter Headings with CV Headers
There’s one hard and fast rule regarding cover letter headers—
It should always match the CV header.
But, it doesn’t mean that the rules for heading a cover letter apply precisely to your CV heading section.
You won’t include the date of writing or the company’s details on the CV.
Rather, it should match stylistically:
- Choose a cover letter font that matches the typeface you chose for your CV.
- Whichever alignment (left, centre, or right) you choose for your CV 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 CV and cover letter.
- Highlight your name similarly. If you increase the font size of your name on the CV, do the same in your application letter header.
- Select the same cover letter template as your CV template. If the CV 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 CV 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 CV, 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:
- Open a blank document in either Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
- Set margins to be 1” on all sides of your document (usually the default).
- Set line spacing to be 1.00 or 1.15 (also usually the default setting).
- Start with your personal information at the top.
- Leave a full line break, then add today’s date.
- Leave another full line break before giving the company’s details and addressing the cover letter directly to a specific person.
- Leave one final line break before moving on to the cover letter salutation and introductory paragraph.
Here’s a simpler version:
- Open a blank document in either Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
- Copy and paste our cover letter heading template into the document.
- Replace with your information.
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.
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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!