BlogCover LettersCover Letter Header Guide + Headings Examples & Templates

Cover Letter Header Guide + Headings Examples & Templates

cover letter header (2)

A cover letter header is a functional section at the top of the document reserved for contact information and date of writing. It's the first thing most recruiters will see when examining your letter. Because of this, you want to ensure this section is polished to perfection to leave a strong first impression on the recipient and convince them to read the rest of the document.

In this article, we’ll explore the intricacies of creating a strong cover letter heading and give you examples to help you visualize what you’ve learned. Whether it’s your first time writing a cover letter or you’re looking to improve your skills, you’ll learn how to make an outstanding header.

Key Takeaways

  • A cover letter header is the first section of your document, where you should list your and the recipient’s contact information, along with the date and location of the writing.

  • You can include optional details in your cover letter heading, like your LinkedIn profile, relevant social media accounts, personal website, and portfolio.

  • Your header should be designed to be catchy, easy to read, and consistent with the rest of your cover letter.

What Is a Cover Letter Header?

how long a cover letter should be

A cover letter header is the top part of the document that should include your contact information, the date and location of writing, and the recipient’s details. Its main purpose is purely functional, as it should provide recruiters and hiring managers with the sufficient information they need to get in touch with you.

The goal of a well-designed cover letter header is to set the stage for the rest of the document. Its layout and format will indirectly demonstrate your professionalism, dedication, and attention to detail.

A clean and organized cover letter header enhances the overall readability of the document. It makes it easy for the recruiter to:

  • Transition to the rest of the writing

  • Focus on your skills and qualifications

  • Find specific details that they need

  • Identify your cover letter among a stack of others

Finally, using the same design language in your cover letter as you did in your resume will further showcase your expertise and make your application more noteworthy. Recruiters will more likely remember the information from both documents and combine it to create a complete picture of your personality and competence.

What Is a Cover Letter Heading?

The term “cover letter heading” is often used interchangeably with the cover letter header. However, it can also refer to the specific headings of each section in your cover letter.

For instance, you can include a “Contact Information” heading in the cover letter header to label it specifically. That way, you can clearly emphasize the sections of your cover letter to make it easier for the reader and to guide them.

Still, due to the simple nature of cover letters, there’s typically no need to point out each section. They usually only have contact information and the body of the text, which makes it easy to distinguish its individual parts. This practice is more commonly used when highlighting resume sections.

3 Essential Elements of a Cover Letter Header

Every cover letter header should include three key components, so let’s examine what they are.

#1. Personal Information

Your personal information should be prominently displayed at the top of your cover letter header. Here are the details to include:

  • Full name

  • Job title

  • Phone number

  • Email address

On top of that, you should also include your LinkedIn profile. Other optional information you can add to this section include a personal website, portfolio, and social media profiles relevant to the role you’re applying for.

Having personal information neatly displayed at the beginning of your cover letter allows recruiters to easily contact you if they are interested in your application.

#2. Date of Writing

Your cover letter heading should include the date of writing and location. You can write the full date or a shortened version in the MM/DD/YYYY format. For example, “April 23, 2024” and “04/23/2024” both work. For location, mentioning a city is enough.

Dating a cover letter is important as it highlights relevance and shows that your application is ongoing. Recruiters, hiring managers, and employers consider this information when scheduling your interview and even when receiving your follow-up email.

#3. Hiring Manager's Information

The hiring manager’s contact information is vital as it demonstrates that you wrote a cover letter to a specific person and company. Moreover, personally addressing the hiring manager helps you build rapport right off the bat.

This adds a personal touch to a formal document and helps you stand out. It also indicates that your cover letter is tailored to the role that you’re applying for and will highlight relevant skills and experiences.

The details you should include are:

  • Hiring manager’s name

  • Job title

  • Company’s name

  • Company’s address

Optional Elements for a Cover Letter Header

Let’s examine the above-mentioned optional elements you can add to your cover letter heading in depth.

#1. Professional Social Media Profiles

Professional social media profiles are becoming increasingly common in the business landscape. LinkedIn is a staple social media network for professionals, but you can also include links to relevant Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), and even TikTok or Pinterest accounts.

#2. Personal Website or Portfolio

Personal websites and portfolios showcase your work before you’re given a chance to demonstrate it. Therefore, if you have them, you should include a link in your cover letter header.

#3. Current Job Title

Including your current job title in your cover letter header gives recruiters and hiring managers quick insight into your ongoing responsibilities and skills needed to carry them out.

#4. Address (Optional)

While mentioning the address in your cover letter and resume used to be mandatory, it’s now optional and can be omitted if it’s not relevant to the role. Even if you decide to include it, you should only add your city for privacy reasons.

4 Indispensable Tips for Crafting an Impactful Cover Letter Header

Now, let’s check out some expert tips to help you polish your cover letter header to perfection.

#1. Catch the Attention of the Reader

You should design your cover letter header to catch the attention of the reader. For instance, you can pick a professional cover letter font and increase the size of your name to make it stand out.

The standard font size for the body of your cover letter is between 10 and 12 pt. You can increase your name by 2–4 pt to make it more prominent and your cover letter instantly recognizable.

#2. Be Consistent in Cover Letter Design

The design for your cover letter heading should match the design of the rest of the document. Keeping the format, layout, and overall style of your letter consistent makes it easy for hiring managers to focus on its contents.

You can achieve that by:

  • Using one typeface for the entire document and maintaining consistent size.

  • Having uniform spacing between paragraphs.

  • Including one type of bullet point symbol.

For bonus points, you should ensure that the design of your cover letter header also matches the design of your resume header.

#3. Prioritize Readability and Clarity

Clarity and readability are essential in cover letter design. Using typefaces that are too hard to read, including busy graphics, having too much color, and otherwise lacking order and consistency throughout the letter, can have detrimental effects.

You don’t want any elements in your cover letter that draw attention from its main purpose, which is to showcase your motivation, skills, and accomplishments. That’s why a simple cover letter header that only lists the necessary information is usually the best way to go about it.

#4. Don’t include overly personal information

You should avoid adding any information that is considered sensitive to your cover letter heading. This includes details about your gender, religious and political affiliations, race or ethnic origin, and more. You also shouldn’t put your photo in your cover letter or resume.

Not only is this type of information unnecessary, but it can result in immediate elimination of your job application. That’s because employers don’t want to risk facing charges for discrimination in their hiring practices.

Key Differences Between Resume and Cover Letter Headers

The biggest difference between resume and cover letter headers is in the amount of information they provide. A resume header typically only has your contact details and no date of writing. On the flip side, cover letter headers should be dated and should have the recipient’s contact information.

In essence, cover letters should follow business letter formatting where the header serves to introduce the reader to a salutation before the body of the letter. Resumes feature different layouts since they have more sections than cover letters. These sections are more independent and most of them usually come with headings, which you won’t find in cover letters.

4 Cover Letter Header Examples and Templates

Let’s put into practice what we’ve learned so far and check out some cover letter header examples:

#1. Traditional Header Example

This traditional cover letter header example can give you an idea of what yours should look like if you’re in classic fields like law and finance:

#1. Traditional Header Example

John Matthews Accountant 4974 North Street Lynchburg, VA 24501 434-942-0297

Staten Island, 05/09/2024

Lance Chavez Hiring Manager Diamond Finances 3113 Anmoore Road Staten Island, NY 10301

#2. Modern Header Example

This modern cover letter header sample is perfect for candidates in fields like marketing or technology, where trends are important:

#2. Modern Header Example

Nathan Blum Front-End Developer 951 Jail Drive Gilson, IL 61436 309-876-7660

Pasadena, 07/10/2023

Katherine Smith Hiring Manager Platform Soft 4827 Nickel Road Pasadena, CA 91101

#3. Creative Header Example

You can take inspiration for a header from this creative cover letter template if your career includes design and inventiveness:

#3. Creative Header Example

Janine Walton Graphic Designer 3943 Kemper Lane Salt Lake City, UT 84111 801-813-1857

Jacksonville, 10/02/2023

Janet Carter Hiring Manager Golden Ratio Designs 4353 Brannon Avenue Jacksonville, FL 32044

#4. Header for Cover Letter with Unknown Recipient

Here’s how you can write your cover letter heading when you don’t know the name of the recipient, so you address them by their professional title:

#4. Header for Cover Letter with Unknown Recipient

Harriet Sarno Civil Engineer 4318 Maryland Avenue Saint Petersburg, FL 33714 737-522-9489

New York, 12/11/2023

Hiring Manager Steel Core Constructions 2856 Small Street New York, NY 10014

Cover Letter Header FAQs

#1. Should your cover letter have the same header as the resume?

Yes, your cover letter should have the same header as the resume. That way, you’ll display consistency and cohesion, creating a professional set of job application documents. This shows attention to detail and makes it easier for recruiters to distinguish you from other candidates.

#2. What is the headline of a cover letter?

The headline of a cover letter is a brief and catchy line you should include in the subject of the email you’re sending. Before submitting a cover letter, you should write an engaging headline along the lines of “5 Reasons Why I’m An Excellent Candidate For [Job Position].”

#3. Does a cover letter have a title?

A cover letter should have the title of the file. Before you send your letter as a PDF, DOC, or any other type, you should name it something recognizable so it can be distinguished. For example, you can use your full name or a shortened version if that’s too long.

Final Thoughts

The importance of a well-designed cover letter heading in 2024 cannot be understated, as it’s the first thing hiring managers see when checking out your document. You only get one chance at leaving a good first impression and persuading the hiring manager to read your letter with enthusiasm.

Remember to be consistent with your cover letter heading format and layout, and make sure to proofread and double-check everything for accuracy. The last thing you want is a misspelled phone number or email address to stop you from getting an interview call. Best of luck with your cover letter writing endeavors!

Kervin Peterson
Kervin Peterson
Career Coach
Whether you need help preparing for an interview, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, or creating a resume, you can rest assured that our dear Kervin Peterson can help! Kervin is a man who can turn obstacles into experience with his eyes closed, always striving to bring the most to the table. Other than being a career coach, he’s a new dad and loves nothing more than hitting the gym and spending time with his family!

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