Writing a matching cover letter to complement your resume can go a long way in strengthening your job application. This is an opportunity to provide unique insights into your brand that may not always fit on a resume.
If you’re sending your cover letter as an attachment, this is a good way to create consistency across both documents. On the other hand, sending your cover letter in the body of an email can sometimes be advantageous to maximize visibility. This guide provides expert tips to help you find the ideal format and approach according to your career goals and individual needs.
Your Cover Letter and Resume Should Match
A well-written cover letter should complement your resume in style and content. Be sure all of these elements match when you create your cover letter and resume together:
- Font and font size
- Layout, including margins and paragraph spacing
- Contact information
An easy way to make sure your cover letter and resume match is to use the same template for both documents.
How To Pick the Best Cover Letter and Resume Template
Selecting a properly structured template for both types of documents is key. Below, we’ll provide insights to help you pick the best cover letter and resume template for your unique situation.
1. Prioritize structure and readability
When applying for a job, put your qualifications, experience, and achievements front and center. Although resumes and cover letters adhere to different structures, your template should have a format that facilitates both. This means avoiding formats that feature multiple columns or unwieldy headers. Use a simple, basic template that employs a single-column, top-down approach to create a smooth reading experience for the hiring manager.
2. Avoid flashy colors and graphics
You can select an aesthetically pleasing resume template, but be tactful in balancing visual appeal with content organization. Employing flashy colors and graphics can sometimes distract the reader from your professional experience and achievements, so choose a format that won’t overwhelm your qualifications. Avoid photograph templates so you don’t invite bias or potential HR issues.
3. Choose a simple, elegant font
Choosing the right font is incredibly important when selecting your cover letter and resume template. If a hiring manager is struggling to read your documents because your font is too small or hard on the eyes, they won’t be able to engage with your content fully.
Avoid generic and overly decorative fonts such as Futura, Courier, or Comic Sans. Use a sleek, elegant, and easy-to-read font, such as Cambria, Garamond, or Calibri. For font size, opt for 11 points in most instances. This ensures your content is readable without taking up too much page space.
4. Use proper spacing and formatting
Proper spacing and formatting are crucial for any cover letter and resume template.
If your template lacks sufficient white space, your content may appear like an impenetrable wall of text. On the other hand, too much white space may cause your document to look barren or padded. Single spacing is typically recommended for cover letters. Also, have three to four lines of space between your salutation and your opening paragraph.
5. What is the ideal length for a cover letter and resume?
A cover letter should never exceed two pages, but the same can’t be said for the resume. The ideal length for your resume is entirely contingent on your years of experience and individual career goals. If you’ve spent 10 years in the technology industry and can’t list your achievements, don’t restrict yourself to a single page. But if you’re at the entry level or making a career transition, a one-page document is more appropriate. This keeps the focus of your resume on your most relevant qualifications, education, and experience.
Cover Letter and Resume Templates and Examples
Years of Experience
123 Your Street, San Francisco, CA 12345
A senior user experience (UX) designer with over 10 years of experience, specializing in UX research, design systems, UI prototyping, and user-centered design. A proven track record of managing UX teams to develop design solutions for an unparalleled UX. Adept at leading all aspects of the creative process and collaborating with C-level stakeholders.
Senior UX Designer, Employee Software Inc., San Francisco, CA
May 2015 – present
- Manage a team of over 25 UX designers to develop a new user interface (UI) for an HR software application generating $30 million in revenue, which includes coordinating all phases of design, prototyping, and quality assurance testing
- Conduct UX research to develop user stories and customer personas, including identifying design solutions to build a unified customer experience
- Interfaced with C-level executives to review user interviews and provide recommendations on large-scale enhancements to UI design
UX Designer, LinkedIn, San Francisco, CA
May 2011 – May 2015
- Coordinated with a team of web developers, application developers, and UX designers to refine the functionality and UX of a leading website for job seekers, resulting in a 15% in user satisfaction surveys
- Developed visual diagrams and wireframes for new pages and created new interactions using design thinking principles
- Provided design support for the UI development of the LinkedIn mobile application, which garnered over 3 million downloads within six months of launch
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) UX Design
University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA September 2007 – May 2011
- UX design
- UX research
- UI prototyping
- Project management
- Design systems
- NN/g UX Master Certification, 2015
- Google UX Design Professional Certificate, 2011
UX Designer | [email protected] | (123) 456-7890 | 123 Address St., San Francisco, CA 12345
January 1, 2022
Dear Mr. Jones,
With over 10 years of experience within the UX design industry, I’ve developed an advanced understanding of web development and user-centered design. As a Senior UX Designer at Employee Software Inc., I led the development of a new UI for an HR software application generating $30 million in revenue. I believe my unique approach to UX design would be a valuable asset to your organization.
Peoplesoft’s reputation for thought leadership within the HR software space draws me to apply for the position. My experience as a UX Designer for both Employee Software Inc. and LinkedIn has allowed me to develop an innovative approach to deliver a holistic experience for users that aligns with your organizational needs. I am confident that I can continue to grow your reputation as an industry leader based on the following achievements from my career:
- Managed a team of more than 25 UX designers for Employee Software Inc. and interfaced with stakeholders and C-level executives to recommend large-scale redesigns for the mobile UI
- Improved the UX for LinkedIn’s website in coordination with a team of web developers and UX designers, which improved user satisfaction by 15%
- Drove UI development and conducted wireframing for the launch of LinkedIn’s mobile app, which generated 3 million in downloads over a six-month period
I look forward to speaking with you further regarding how my strong background as a thought leader in UX design can help Peoplesoft deliver a truly unified experience for users. You may contact me via phone and email at your earliest convenience. I appreciate your time and consideration.
Years of Experience
123 Your Street, Los Angeles, CA 12345
A case manager with over 10 years of professional experience, specializing in treatment planning, mental health services, substance abuse issues, and community outreach. A strong history of providing essential resources to clients to facilitate recovery from addiction. Adept at interfacing with diverse populations and building long-term relationships with clients.
Case Manager, Los Angeles Rehabilitation, Los Angeles, CA
May 2014 – present
- Oversee more than 150 cases related to substance abuse and alcoholism and partner with multidisciplinary teams to identify appropriate treatments based on mental health assessments, background, and addiction
- Serve as a client advocate during treatment and court hearings, interface with state agencies and law enforcement, coordinate treatment plans and patient stays
- Improve positive patient outcomes by 30% in coordination with program management teams by implementing new clinical approaches to substance abuse treatment
Case Manager, San Jose Rehab Facility, San Jose, CA
May 2011 – May 2014
- Managed over 60 cases of substance addiction involving narcotics and alcohol, created documentation of patient history and medical records, and identified community resources for treatment and rehabilitation
- Enhanced case management procedures and improved communication across the facility by leading the development and implementation of standardized case review processes
Master of Science (M.S.) Social Work
University of Los Angeles, Los Angeles September 2014 – May 2016
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Social Work
University of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA September 2007 – May 2011
- Case management
- Substance abuse
- Treatment planning
- Organizational leadership
- Client relations
- Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager (C-ASWCM), Awarded 2015
- Certified Social Work Case Manager (C-SWCM), Awarded 2013
Case Manager | [email protected] | (123) 456-7890 | 123 Address St., Los Angeles, CA
January 1, 2022
Dear Mr. Roberts,
As you can see from my attached resume, I have over 10 years of experience serving as an advocate for patients suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues. During my time as a case manager at Los Angeles Rehabilitation, I oversaw more than 150 cases related to alcoholism, gambling addiction, and drug abuse. I believe that my ability to foster positive community relationships will allow me to contribute to the fast-paced clinical environment at Suncoast Health.
Your organization’s reputation for achieving positive rehabilitation outcomes is what draws me to apply for the case manager role. I am confident I can help continue to grow this reputation based on the following accomplishments from my career:
- Oversaw all aspects of case management and coordinated with multidisciplinary teams to provide appropriate rehabilitation treatments for substance abuse patients
- Served as an advocate for patients, interfaced with state agencies and legal entities, and built relationships with patients to coordinate stays, resolve payment issues, and ensure quality care
- Identified opportunities to improve case management processes and resolve communication gaps by implementing a standardized weekly case review process
I look forward to speaking with you further about how my case management expertise can aid Suncoast Health in delivering quality patient care. Please contact me via phone or email at your convenience. Thank you for your consideration.
Frequently Asked Questions: Cover Letter and Resume Examples and Advice
Should I send my cover letter as an email attachment?+
If you’re sending your application directly to the hiring manager, consider including your cover letter in the body of the email. This maximizes the visibility of your cover letter and allows you to provide a strong introduction. You can also opt to provide your cover letter as a separate PDF attachment in addition to the body of the email. Either choice is fine if the information is easily accessible to the hiring manager.
How do you align your cover letter and resume with a job description?+
Aligning your cover letter and resume with the job description is essential to the job search process. Companies aren’t interested in generic applications that can be sent anywhere; they want to see you’ve customized your documents for their organization. Incorporating key accomplishments that match the posting in both your cover letter and resume will demonstrate that you’re the ideal candidate they’ve been looking for.
When crafting your resume, focus on integrating keywords, qualifications, and experience that align with the job requirements. This will ensure compliance with applicant tracking system (ATS) and show prospective employers you have the qualifications to succeed in the position.
In your cover letter, mention something specific about the organization’s reputation, mission statement, and culture and why this draws you to apply for the role. This will show hiring managers you’re fully engaged and truly interested in the job.