Dear Mr. or Ms. [NAME],
A Full Block Format Cover Letter is a standardized cover letter that many hiring managers are acquainted with. It contains the usual information that should be included but ‘Full Block’ tends to refer to a format where both left and ride sides of text align. It gives the cover letter a neat uniform look. Often the spacing to accommodate the alignment can make the format look awkward. In those cases you have two choices use hyphenation to break up words or do not use full block at all. Many advise against the full block format cover letter as it looks too formal and you may want your cover letter to have a friendlier more conversational look. But in several cases especially in academia or other fields the full block format cover letter is perfectly acceptable.
Whatever format you choose to use it is the content that matters. There should typically be three to four paragraphs. The first should introduce your purpose. The second (and third) paragraphs should detail what makes you the perfect candidate. The last should close out with a request for an interview. You can find plenty of great cover letter samples on LiveCareer.com.
Block Paragraph Format Cover Letter Template
The following is a template for a cover letter written in block format. Block format is the most common format for a professional business letter.
Read below for information on block format, other similar formats, and a sample cover letter in block format.
What is Block Format?
In block format, everything including your contact information, the date, the employer’s contact information, the body of the letter, and the greeting and closing, is all left justified.
It is a clean and professional look for your letter.
In this format, the letter is also single-spaced, with the exception of a space between each paragraph (as well as a space above and below the date, and above and below the salutation and signature).
If you don't have contact information for the employer, start your letter directly after your contact information.
How to Use a Letter Template
A letter template is a great starting point for your own letter. You can use a template to decide the best way to format your letter so that it looks polished and professional. You can also use a template to decide what information to put in each paragraph of your letter.
However, a template is only a jumping-off point. You can, and should, make any changes to the template that you want. You can add to or remove anything from the template to fit your personal circumstances. For example, if you do not know the name of the employer, you do not have to include a salutation.
You can also change the style and format of the cover letter template. For example, if the letter is in Arial font, and you want your letter to be in Times New Roman, you can change the font.
Make sure that your letter includes information specific to you, and is organized in a way that highlights your skills and qualifications.
Finally, be sure to proofread your letter before submitting it thoroughly.
Block Format Cover Letter Template
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name (or other salutation):
First Paragraph: Why You Are Writing. Remember to include the name of a mutual contact, if you know someone at the organization. Mention the job you are interested in and where you heard about the position. State that you think you are an ideal candidate for the job. Be clear and concise.
Middle Paragraphs:What You Have to Offer. Convince the readers that they should grant the interview or appointment you requested in the first paragraph. Make connections between your abilities and their needs. Use specific examples from past work experiences to prove your skills and qualifications.
Final Paragraph: How You Will Follow Up. It is your responsibility to follow up if feasible. State that you will do so and provide the professional courtesy of indicating when (one week's time is typical).
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name
Modified Block Format Option
Another formatting option is to create a modified block format cover letter.
With this format, your name, address, and the date are on the top right, and the closing and your signature are on the bottom right. The employer's contact information (and the remainder of the letter) is left justified.
To get the information such as your name, address, date, closing, and signature on the right side of the page, beginning writing at the center of the page.
It is a slightly more informal format for a letter. This is a format you can use with someone you are at least somewhat familiar with.
A third option is a semi-block format. Like the modified block format, your name, contact information, and the date are on the top right, and the sign-off and signature are also on the right. However, there is also an indentation at the start of each paragraph. It is the most informal letter format.
How to Send an Email Cover Letter
If you're sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message. Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information. Start your email message with the salutation.
More Cover Letter Samples
Review sample cover letters for a variety of scenarios including a follow-up letter, inquiry letters, job/industry specific sample cover letters, cold contact and referral letter samples.