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Advice / Job Search / Cover Letters

Your Quick Guide to Cover Letter Headings

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Bailey Zelena; Tony Anderson/Getty Images

Let’s say you just wrote the best cover letter ever conceived by any mortal being. But no matter how amazing it is, this genius creation is completely and utterly useless if after a hiring manager or recruiter reads it, they can’t reach out and invite you to an interview or find out anything more about you. And hiring managers are busy people, so you want to make that all as easy as possible by including a clear, professional cover letter heading.

Here’s what to include in a cover letter heading, answers to some common questions, a template, and three examples of what your end product should look like.

What should you include in your cover letter heading?

Your cover letter heading should always include your:

  • Full name
  • Location: No need to include a street address. City and state alone usually does the trick nowadays. If you’re applying from out of the area (and it’s an in-person role or remote job that requires you to be in specific states, for example) you might add “Relocating to:” or whatever describes your situation so the hiring manager knows you didn’t make a mistake.
  • Email address: Keep it professional and don’t use your current work email.
  • Phone number: Personal cell or home number, please!

You might also include the following depending on the situation:

  • Pronouns: If you’re comfortable sharing.
  • LinkedIn URL: If you have a LinkedIn profile (and in most cases you should), add it to your heading so hiring managers can easily learn more about you.
  • Other relevant URLs: If you have a personal website or portfolio that’s relevant to the job you’re applying to, go ahead and link it right on your resume. You can also add links to social media profiles if they’re professional and help show you’re qualified for the job.

Traditional business letter formatting dictates that you also include the name and address of the recipient in your heading. Since no one sends cover letters through the mail anymore, you typically don’t need to worry about this. However, Smith says, it “could be relevant if you’re applying to a traditional, formal company.”

Should your cover letter heading match your resume heading?


If you’re submitting your cover letter as an email attachment or uploading it to a job application, “Be sure the cover letter heading matches your resume,” Smith says. That could mean copying the same exact heading or including all the same information if you’d like. But most importantly, make sure there are no discrepancies—for example, the same phone number and email address should appear on both documents. “I’ve seen it all,” Smith says, “and it gets confusing when job seekers include multiple ways to contact them.”

Does your cover letter heading go in the header of the document?


If you’re submitting your cover letter online, chances are both it and your resume will pass through an applicant tracking system (ATS). ATSs are programs used by employers to organize candidates, and while they’re advanced, they’re not perfect. Some ATS software will drop header and footer text when displaying cover letters and resumes to hiring managers. So better to play it safe and put your cover letter header at the top of the main text of the document.

Even if you’re using identical headers between your cover letter and resume in the same document, copy and paste rather than using the header function.

What if you’re sending your cover letter in the body of an email?

If you’re sending your cover letter in the body of an email, an actual heading is unnecessary—and might lead to some confusion on the other side. Instead, Smith recommends that you use the subject line as an opportunity to include your name and the job title you’re applying for upfront, and then “include typical heading info in your email signature,” Smith says. That means sign off with your name, and add your phone number, location, pronouns, and relevant links below that.

Cover letter heading template

If you want a no frills cover letter template, you could copy and paste our template below—we won’t tell anyone. (If your cover letter is going into an email, just paste this at the end rather than the beginning.) Feel free to play with the formatting—for example, by making your name larger, combining some info onto the same lines, adjusting the spacing, or using bold, italics, and—for the links only to avoid confusion—underlines. Just don’t forget to delete any fields you’re not including.

[Full Name]
[City, State]
[Email address]
[Phone number]
[Linkedin URL] | [Personal website, portfolio, or relevant social media profile url]

Cover letter heading examples

Here are a few example cover letter headings:

Thomas Chang
Chicago, IL

Alia Farukh
Relocating to: Washington, DC | 999-999-9999 | she/her |

Benjamin Andrew White
Phone: 111-111-1111 — Email: benawhite@email.comPronouns: he/they
Portfolio: — Twitter: @bennydrew