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proper spacing for writing a letter

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Cover Letter Spacing Guidelines

Cover Letters

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Cover Letters

Cover Letter Spacing Guidelines

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Alison Doyle
Updated May 21, 2018

Should you single space or double space a cover letter ? How much spacing should there be between paragraphs? What about spaces between your closing and signature? How should an email cover letter be spaced? What else do you need to do to properly format a cover letter to send with a resume when applying for a job?

The format of a letter refers to the way the letter is arranged on the page. The format includes spacing, indentation, margins, and more.

When you’re writing a cover letter, the spacing is important regardless of what form your letter is in. An email cover letter needs to be as properly formatted as a typed cover letter.

Read below for cover letter spacing and general formatting guidelines for both typed letter and email cover letters. Two sample cover letters – one for a typed letter and one for an email letter – are included.

Cover Letter Spacing Guidelines

  • Leave a space between your address and the date.
  • Leave a space between the heading and the salutation.
  • Leave a space between each paragraph.
  • Single-space the paragraphs in your cover letter or email message.
  • Leave a space between the final paragraph and your closing.
  • Leave a space between the closing and your signature.
  • When you’re sending a typed letter, include a handwritten signature, and a typed signature underneath it.
  • When you’re sending an email message, leave a space after your signature, with contact information. If you have a formatted email signature , use this for your contact information.
  • Your  cover letter should be one page or less.
  • Use a 10- or 12- point font  that is easy to read like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.
  • Align your cover letter to the left. In Microsoft Word, select your letter and click on Align, Text, Left.
  • Format an email cover letter just  like a traditional letter  with spaces in between each paragraph and your signature.

How to Use Letter Samples and Templates

Letter examples and templates help you with the layout of your letter. They also show you what elements you need to include, such as introductions and body paragraphs.

Along with helping with your layout, letter samples and templates can help you see what kind of content you should include in your document, such as a brief explanation of a lay-off.

You should use a template or example as a starting point for your letter. However, you should always personalize and customize your cover letter, so it reflects your skills and abilities, and the jobs you are applying for.

Sample Mail Cover Letter Spacing

Your Name
Your Street Address
Your City, State, Zip
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address


Dear Hiring Manager:

First Paragraph:
The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for.

Middle Paragraphs: 
The  next paragraphs  of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Make strong connections between your abilities and their needs. Use several shorter paragraphs or bullets rather than one large block of text. Keep the paragraphs single-spaced, but leave a space between each paragraph.

Final Paragraph: 

Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position.


Signature (Handwritten)

Signature (Typed)

Sample Email Cover Message Spacing

Subject: Your Name – Sample Position Application

Dear Hiring Manager:

First Paragraph:
The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for.

Middle Paragraphs: 
The  next section  of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Provide details on your qualifications for the job. Keep the paragraphs single-spaced, but leave a space between each paragraph.

Final Paragraph: 
Conclude your cover letter by thanking the hiring manager for considering you for the job.

Best Regards,

Your Name

FirstName LastName
Email Address
Cell Phone
LinkedIn Profile (Optional)

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The Balance Careers

How to Write a Business Letter

Letters & Emails

  • Business Letters
  • Employee Letters
  • Referral Letters
  • Thank You Letters
Letters & Emails

Business Letters

How to Write a Business Letter

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signing a business letter

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Alison Doyle
Updated June 24, 2018

Do you need to write a business letter? Not sure about the best layout to use or what to include in your letter? It’s important that all the business letters you write are properly formatted and professional in appearance.

When you are writing to prospective employers, colleagues, professional and business connections, the layout of your letter is almost as important as what you are writing.

If the letter isn’t formatted correctly, doesn’t have enough space between paragraphs, and uses a non-traditional font style or size, it can reflect poorly on you.

Business Letter Writing Guidelines

Here are guidelines for writing a business letter, so all your correspondence makes the best impression.

Business letter margins should be about 1″ all around. This gives your professional letter an uncluttered look. You should align your text to the left; this is how most documents are aligned, so it will make your letter readable.

Letter Spacing
Leaving space in your letter creates a clear, uncluttered and easy to read look that the reader will appreciate. Your letter should be in block format: the entire letter should be aligned to the left and single-spaced except for a double space between paragraphs.

Font Size
The traditional font size for a professional letter is 12. The font should be Times New Roman or Arial. However, if you are using letterhead, the letterhead may be in different font size and style.

Font Style
There is no need to use different styles within a professional letter. Use a uniform font (book print font such as Times New Roman or Arial) and avoid underlining, italicizing, or bolding. However, if you are using letterhead, the letterhead may be in a different font style.

Letter Text
Business letter text should be clean and readable. Avoid writing your letter in one large block of text. Break your text into several concise paragraphs. These paragraphs should be aligned to the left; this allows for easier reading. When you have completed your letter, ask someone else to read it for you. Have them glance briefly at the letter. Is there too much text on the page? Is it easy to see the distinct paragraphs?

Contact Information
The first section of your letter should include your contact information and the contact information of the person you are writing, too. Also, include the date you are writing at the top of your letter.

Letter Salutation

Unless you know the reader well and typically address them by their first name, you should include the person’s personal title and full name in the salutation (i.e., “Dear Mr. James Franklin”). If you are unsure of the reader’s name, include his or her title (i.e., “Dear Executive of Marketing”). If you are unsure of the reader’s gender, simply state their full name and avoid the personal title (i.e., “Dear Jamie Smith”). If you are unsure of the reader’s gender, name, and title, simply write, “To Whom It May Concern .” Leave one line blank after the salutation.

Letter Paragraphs

Professional letter paragraphs should be relatively concise. The first paragraph may include a brief friendly opening and a concise explanation of your reason for writing. The second paragraph (and any subsequent paragraphs) should expand upon your reason for writing. The final paragraph should restate your reason for writing and, if applicable, state your plan of action (or request some type of action be taken by the reader).

When you’re writing a business letter or email message it’s important to close your letter in a professional manner, so you’re letter, in its entirety, is well-written and professional.


When you are sending a paper letter, finish the letter with your signature, handwritten, followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name.

Finally, don’t forget to spell check and proofread your letter before you send it. Again, ask a family member, friend or colleague to review it for you. It’s always good for another pair of eyes to take a look because it’s hard to catch our own mistakes.

Business Letter Format
Review a formatted business letter with information on what to include in each section of your letter.

Business Letter Examples
Business letter examples for a variety of business, professional and employment-related correspondence, including letter and email message samples and templates.

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