Cover Letter Design: 5+ Tips & Examples for Success (2023)

Recruiters go through hundreds of resumes and cover letters each day.

This means the key to getting hired is making it through their initial scanning methods.

This scanning involves checking the basics, and one of the most basic parts of your cover letter is how you design it.

The design you choose can help you stand out, direct the recruiter’s attention, and leave a lasting impression. What is there to consider when designing your cover letter?

Keep on reading below to find out!

Cover letter templates

Check out these cover letter examples from 50+ different job titles to inspire your own writing.

Why does design matter for a cover letter?

Much like with your resume design, it all comes down to impression. Recruiters are under severe pressure to sort through all of the applications that come across their desks as quickly as possible.

This means it’s important to create an immediate impression.

One of the best ways to create an impression on someone who is on auto-pilot is to cause disruption.

You want to catch the recruiter’s attention, give them something that makes them pause and hold your application for an extra second, something that holds their eye and centers them. “Hold on, this one looks good”.

That’s what you’re going for.

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Design choices are an excellent way to accomplish this.

What needs to go into my cover letter design?

Optimize your header

If you’re including a cover letter on top of your resume, your header will be the first thing the recruiter looks at. Think about what information recruiters want from your resume header. They want to find your name, contact information, and spot anything that individualizes your application.

This means your name should be the largest font of all text in your cover letter, and there should be clear sections dedicated to your contact information.

You can personalize your header by introducing a color scheme and resume headline.

Take a look at Marcellus’ header on his network engineer’s resume to see all of this in action.

Cover Letter Design: 5+ Tips & Examples for Success (1)

Be sure to update any links you’re including in your cover letter as time goes on.

While we all know to update the body of your cover letter and ensure it’s specialized to each position you’re applying for, you may forget to update your contact information and header.

Ensure you’re including a professional email address and update your voicemail, too.

Pro tip
Write a descriptive title that showcases details about your speciality or experience level. For example, if you’re a web developer, you could say “Full Stack Web Developer” or “Back End Developer” to give more context.

Think about your color scheme

As mentioned, the color you use in your cover letter can draw attention and convey personality. While I wouldn’t recommend using color in the main body of your cover letter, it can be used to accent essential sections. For example, your title can be included in color.

The key number is three. One color for main headings, one color for your body (I’d recommend one shade lighter than your main headings), and an accent color to highlight the important stuff.

When Pavel was applying for a job with, he matched his resume colors to Booking’s famous blue.

Cover Letter Design: 5+ Tips & Examples for Success (2)

Using photos

Beyond simply including a photo of yourself, including a photo of a personal logo can help a cover letter stand out.

Not only does this allow you to use photographs to your advantage in states where personal photographs are prohibited, but it’s also professional.

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This is especially true for freelancers. You can go on to include personal photographs in your resume thereafter.

How does it look on paper?

Part of the design process is thinking about how your cover letter looks from beginning to finished product. This means checking how your design translates across different mediums.

Are your colors as vibrant in print as they were in design?

Is your font legible when printed out, can you read it without having to zoom in?

You never know what format the recruiter will request your application to be sent in, so you should ensure you’re putting your best foot forward every time.

Tip: Using different resume paper styles can add to the individuality of your application and cover letter!

Be consistent

Remember, your cover letter is the icing on the cake of your resume. They should compliment one another.

This doesn’t mean your cover letter should be designed in the exact same way as your resume, in fact, in most cases it shouldn’t be.

But, they should lie in the same design family. One great feature of Enhancv’s resume builder is the ability to write your cover letter and choose from the same great template, color, and text styles.

You can have a resume and cover letter that go hand-in-hand.

Cover Letter Design: 5+ Tips & Examples for Success (3)

Our favorite cover letter designs

1. Default Cover Letter

The default cover letter design was our first, and we’ve never stopped loving it. It’s perfect for matching the Enhancv resume design you all know and love, and is functional for everything a cover letter should accomplish.

With the bold typeface, simple sections, and sleek backgrounds, the default cover letter is perfect for every job from entry-level all the way to executive.

Cover Letter Design: 5+ Tips & Examples for Success (4)

2. Compact cover letter

Much like our compact resume template, the compact cover letter is direct and to-the-point. It can be used to give a quick introduction to the recruiter and further direct them to your resume where they can comb through the fine details.

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This type of cover letter is perfect for when you’ve already been referred to a job and have already introduced yourself, or when for seasonal work.

Cover Letter Design: 5+ Tips & Examples for Success (5)

3. Modern cover letter

The modern cover letter is the perfect middle-point between the compact and default cover letters. Each section is downsized to provide more room for the body of your cover letter, while still leaving room for your personal photo or logo.

This is perfect for applying to high-level senior roles where great detail of your prior accomplishments and desire to work for the organization is needed.

Cover Letter Design: 5+ Tips & Examples for Success (6)

Frequently asked questions

Why is the cover letter important?

Most jobs require you to submit a cover letter with your resume and application. A cover letter is important because it directly speaks to the employer, showing them why you’re the right fit for the job.

In this one-page cover letter, you can cover your main skills and achievements, your relevant experience to the position you’re applying for, and any other information that shows that you’re passionate about the role.

What font should you use in your cover letter?

Your cover letter should always be written in a standard, easy-to-read font like Times New Roman or Arial. It should be 12pt or slightly bigger.

Your cover letter is not the place to experiment with fun new fonts. It’s best to keep it professional.

Who should you address the cover letter to?

We recommend that you try to find the actual hiring manager’s name before defaulting to the “Dear Hiring Manager” line.

Check the job description first to see if they’ve listed the hiring manager’s name.

If their name isn’t there, you can do some research on LinkedIn to see if you can find the hiring manager there. Otherwise, you can call or email the company to ask them who you should address your cover letter to.

If neither is an option, it’s acceptable to address the cover letter as: “Dear Hiring Manager”.

Can a cover letter be two pages?

No, you should always keep a cover letter to one page. Hiring managers read a ton of job applications. They only have time to read one-page cover letters. If you make it two, they likely won’t read it.

Can a cover letter have bullet points?"?

Yes! Bullet points are a great way to organize your thoughts in a cover letter.

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The entire cover letter shouldn’t be written with bullet points, but some parts of it can be. For example, when highlighting your accomplishments, you can list them off with bullet points to make a bigger impact.

Can a cover letter be an email?

Short answer, it doesn’t matter. Unless the hiring manager specifically said how they want the cover letter sent, you can either attach it to the email or write it as the body of the email. Up to you!

Should you sign your cover letter?

If you’re sending your cover letter over the computer, you don’t need to include a formal signature. Instead, use a professional sounding sign off, like “Sincerely”, and then type your full name underneath.

How should you export your cover letter?

Exporting your cover letter as a PDF is the best option. You’ll have confidence that your cover letter format won’t change, no matter what computer or browser the hiring manager is reading it from.

Cover letter design is about nailing the basics

With your cover letter, it comes down to the basics. Make sure to provide enough space to the essential information you’re including by sectioning off your header where you can include your name and contact details.

Stick to three simple colors to direct attention, detail, and highlight important elements. You should ensure to match your cover letter to your resume so the recruiter gets you in one cohesive package.

Using Enhancv, you can pick the background, template, font, colors, and more to personalize both your resume and cover letter in this fashion. No need to worry about margins and spacing, we’ve got that covered!

Match your cover letter to your resume perfectly by using Enhancv’s resume builder. You can choose customizable resume templates that suit your style. Looking for inspiration on what to write? We have resume examples covering hundreds of different job roles.

Make your move!

Your resume is an extension of yourself.
Make one that's truly you.


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What are the top 5 tips for a cover letter? ›

How to write a cover letter for a job: 5 essential tips
  • Customize your letter. ...
  • Supplement your resume, don't repeat it. ...
  • Include keywords and supporting details. ...
  • Address any missing pieces. ...
  • Proofread and ask for feedback.

How do you write a successful cover letter example? ›

Writing Your Cover Letter: Format and Structure

Keep cover letters short—three or four paragraphs and less than one page. Use the active voice, keeping your tone positive and professional. Avoid beginning too many sentences with “I”. Read your cover letter aloud to catch repetitious words and typos.

What are 3 keys to a successful cover letter? ›

Tailor each cover letter to one specific position. Use industry jargon specific to your career field. Identify the employer's key words and use them. Make all statements positive.

What are the 5 essential things a covering letter should have? ›

When writing a cover letter, specific information needs to be included: a contact section, a salutation, an introduction to the hiring manager, information on why you are qualified for the job, a closing, and your signature. The way the information is listed and the format depend on how you are sending your letter.

What are 5 common cover letter mistakes? ›

Here are a few common cover letter mistakes to avoid.
  • Focusing too much on yourself. ...
  • Sharing all the details of every single job you've ever had. ...
  • Writing about something uncomfortable. ...
  • Writing a novel. ...
  • Rehashing your resume. ...
  • Being too trite. ...
  • Being a superfan of the company. ...
  • Typos.
Jan 8, 2016

What is a simple example of a cover letter? ›

Dear Ms. Hinch, Having graduated from college and spent a year in a call center, I am now ready to take on a customer-facing role in retail. I am accustomed to dealing with customers, resolving complaints, and ensuring satisfaction – skills that would enable success at Parath.

How do you write a simple cover letter example? ›

Basic Cover Letter Structure—Checklist
  1. Dear (hiring manager name)
  2. Paragraph #1: introduction and a big job-fitting achievement.
  3. Paragraph #2: key skills and why you fit the job.
  4. Paragraph #3: your passion + why you want in.
  5. Paragraph #4: your call to action.
  6. Formal closing.
  7. Add a P.S. to add value.
Feb 23, 2023

What are the best sentences to start a cover letter? ›

A Universal Method for Starting a Cover Letter

Dear [First Name], I was excited to come across the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. As a [Current Job Title] with [# of Years] years of experience, I have become competent in [Relevant Skills & Job-Related Abilities].

What is the most successful cover letter format? ›

A block format cover letter is the most common cover letter format. All the information on the page is aligned to the left side, and the text uses single-line spacing, with double-spacing between paragraphs. Most free cover letter templates for G-Docs and other programs follow the block format.

What makes a cover letter stand out? ›

The most effective cover letters tell a story about why you are qualified for the role. Familiarize yourself with the job description. Explain how your experience qualifies you for the requirements listed. Be concise: Hiring managers often skim cover letters.

What is the most effective cover letter? ›

An effective cover letter is directed towards a specific position or company, and describes examples from your experience that highlight your skills related to the role. You want to convince the reader that your interest in the job and company are genuine and specific.

What are 4 things that should not be included in a cover letter? ›

Make sure you avoid the following cover letter don'ts.
  • Spelling mistakes. For any job position you may be applying for, this is a cardinal sin. ...
  • Personal information. Employers are not interested in your personal life. ...
  • Salary expectations. ...
  • Too much information. ...
  • Negative comments. ...
  • Lies or exaggerations. ...
  • Empty claims.
Aug 12, 2022

What are the four 4 important parts of a cover letter? ›

A cover letter is comprised of several sections: your contact information, a salutation, the body of the cover letter, an appropriate closing, and a signature. Review the structure of a cover letter, what to include in each part, and examples.

What not to say in a cover letter? ›

15 Things You Shouldn't Include
  • Any Spelling or Grammar Errors. ...
  • The Wrong Company Name or the Wrong Name of the Contact Person. ...
  • Anything That Isn't True. ...
  • Paragraphs That Are Too Long. ...
  • Your Salary Requirements or Expectations. ...
  • Negative Comments About a Current or Past Employer. ...
  • Information Not Related to the Job.
Mar 5, 2021

What are three do's and three don'ts with a cover letter? ›

Do tell the employer how you can be of benefit to the company. Don't rehash your resume. Use your cover letter to highlight the aspects of your resume that are relevant to the position. Don't forget to personally sign the letter (if mailing the letter).

How do you sell yourself in a cover letter? ›

Tips for selling yourself in a cover letter
  1. Quantify your accomplishments. ...
  2. Reference your career aspirations. ...
  3. Express your enthusiasm for the job. ...
  4. Limit your content to one page. ...
  5. Request feedback before submitting the application. ...
  6. Include your contact information.
Jun 30, 2022

How to avoid starting every sentence with i in a cover letter? ›

One possibility is to use "my" now and then: instead of "I am experienced in ...", write "My fields of experience include ...". Another possibility is to use references to previous sentences: instead of writing "I developed the method of ... . I applied it to the problem of ... ." write "I developed ... .

What does a good cover letter looks like? ›

There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you're the perfect candidate for the job & why you're passionate about working in the company you're applying to. Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual, without any fluff or generalizations.

What is the three most common cover letter mistakes? ›

Using the same cover letter for every application. Writing without first researching the company and position. Discussing irrelevant work experience or a lack of experience.

What are the best lines to end a cover letter? ›

Say thanks. Make sure to offer thanks for their time and consideration, and choose a professional closing salutation such as, “Sincerely,” “Best regards” or “Thank you for your consideration.” Avoid overly familiar phrases like, “Yours,” “Cheers” or “Take care.”

What is the golden tip for a cover letter? ›

5 golden cover letter rules

Remind the recruiter what they're looking for. Tell them you are what they're looking for (and explain how you fit the job description) Demonstrate why you are the best choice with examples. Keep it simple.

What are the 6 cover letter tips that were provided? ›

Six Steps to a Great Cover Letter
  • I. Use Interviewer's Name and Job Title. ...
  • II. Follow Standard Format. ...
  • III. Win the 30-Second-Sort. ...
  • IV. Spark Interest—Letter Opening. ...
  • V. Sell Your Skills and Qualifications—Letter Body. ...
  • VI. Take Action—Letter Conclusion.

What are the first 3 sentences of a cover letter? ›

Here's a simple-but-powerful cover letter introduction template to use as an example: Dear [First Name], I was excited to come across the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. As a [Current Job Title] with [# of Years] years of experience, I have become competent in [Relevant Skills & Job-Related Abilities].

What is impressive on a cover letter? ›

Cover letters should include a standout opening, relevant skills and qualifications, and a strong finish with a call-to-action — all within one page and unique to each application.

How can I make my cover letter attractive? ›

The career experts share tips on how to write a cover letter that stands out:
  1. Address the letter to a specific person. ...
  2. Clearly state the purpose of your letter. ...
  3. Don't rehash your entire resume. ...
  4. Use action words and don't overuse the pronoun “I” ...
  5. Reiterate your enthusiasm and thank the reader. ...
  6. Be consistent in formatting.
Jul 23, 2019

What are 9 guidelines of a good cover letter? ›

How to write a cover letter step by step:
  • Set the Correct Formatting.
  • Make a Heading.
  • Address Your Recruiter.
  • Say Who You Are.
  • Talk About Relevant Skills and Experience.
  • Prove Your Motivation to Join.
  • Ask for an Interview.
  • Leave a Formal Sign-Off.

What is the best last sentence for a cover letter? ›

You want to be confident, not pushy. Say thanks. Make sure to offer thanks for their time and consideration, and choose a professional closing salutation such as, “Sincerely,” “Best regards” or “Thank you for your consideration.” Avoid overly familiar phrases like, “Yours,” “Cheers” or “Take care.”

What not to put in a cover letter? ›

15 Things You Shouldn't Include
  1. Any Spelling or Grammar Errors. ...
  2. The Wrong Company Name or the Wrong Name of the Contact Person. ...
  3. Anything That Isn't True. ...
  4. Paragraphs That Are Too Long. ...
  5. Your Salary Requirements or Expectations. ...
  6. Negative Comments About a Current or Past Employer. ...
  7. Information Not Related to the Job.
Mar 5, 2021


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