There are some differences between hard-copy and e-mail cover letters. Main differences are:
Format: in e-mail, the signature block (address, etc.) goes below your name. On hard copy, contrarily, it goes at the top of the page.
E-mail cover letters require a subject line logical and appropriate to the recipient. E-mail subject lines can make or break whether your e-mail is opened and read.
A hard copy cover letter can have a subject line too, but it’s on the letter (after recipient’s address block and before “Dear…,” and it’s seen after the letter is opened.
Signature: don’t forget a hand-written signature on hard copy. E-mails have no hand-written signatures, of course.
All cover letters must include:
- An Explanation about why you’re sending a resume. Never send a resume without a cover letter. The reader doesn’t have to guess what you asking for. So always be specific and tell the reader that “i want a permanent position in your organization”, or “i am seeking for a summer internship opportunity” etc.
- Tell specifically how you learned about the job opportunity. From a web site, a newspaper advertisement, a friend, etc.
- Highlight significant elements of your background. i.e. previous job experiences, projects, education. Your experiences must be relevant to a position you are interested in. You can be as specific as possible, if required.
- Show your attitude, enthusiasm, personality and communication skills.
- Fonts: Use professional-looking fonts like times new roman, arial or calibri. Weird fonts like comic sans are acceptable only if the cover letter is of a designer or any other artistic profile. Do NOT use different fonts in the same document.
- Avoid errors: Read your cover letter carefully and remove even minor spelling errors. Your document must be completely error-free.
Don’t forget: your cover letter is decisive that your resume will be read or not. If your cover letter is not well written, the reader won’t read your resume.