Best Ways To Title Your Cover Letter File

Titling your cover letter appropriately can help your letter get through to a recruiter without any issues. What should you know about how to title your cover letter?

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By Ho Lin 3 minute read

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Cover Letter Title

So you’ve completed your cover letter and resume, and now all that’s left to do is finish your job application and send it off to the hiring manager. However, there’s one important element of your cover letter you need to think about before you send it the cover letter: the cover letter title is one of those extra touches that can cut your job search short much more easily. If you’re looking for the best cover letter tips, here are a few things to consider about your cover letter title.

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What Is a Cover Letter Title?

A cover letter title is what you name your cover letter file when you attach it to your email or when you send it to a potential employer through a job application website. It’s truly the first impression the hiring manager gets when they see a job seeker’s cover letter, which means it’s just as important as your opening paragraph or anything else you write for a great first impression.

Note that a cover letter title is not the same as the cover letter greeting or salutation. The salutation is what you put on a professional cover letter to address it to human resources. This typically includes your contact information, including your phone number, as well as an introductory phrasing. When it comes to this, avoid generic phrases like “Dear hiring manager,” “To whom it may concern,” or “Dear sir or madam.” Instead, use the hiring manager’s name, like “Dear Ms. Smith” or “Dear Prof. Graham.

A Few Ways To Title Your Cover Letter

What is your best option when you’re trying to have a good cover letter title? Here are three top options.

1. Just your name

The first option is quite simple. Just use your full name. Your title may look something like “Linda_Thomas.pdf.” Use whatever name you regularly sign things with, including a middle initial or middle name if you commonly use one.

2. Your name and the company you’re applying to

Another option is to include your name and the name of the company you’re applying to. This title template would look like “Linda_Thomas_Dollar_General.pdf.” Adding the company name connects your cover letter to the new job effectively.

3. Your name and the job title you’re applying for

You can also include your name and the job posting that you’re applying for. In this case, it would look like “Linda_Thomas_Customer_Service_Representative.pdf.” This showcases that you know what job listing you’re looking for, and it helps remind a recruiter of the job title you’re applying to before they even open the letter.

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Cover Letter Title Tips To Keep in Mind

Because you’ll rarely see cover letter examples including a file name, it’s important that you understand how to write your own. Here are a few tips.

  • Stay consistent
  • Use underscores or dashes instead of spaces between words
  • Save your cover letter in PDF or .docx
  • Make sure you’ve proofread the title before applying

Most of the time, as long as your document includes your name, you can name it whatever you like. However, keeping the cover letter title consistent makes writing your cover letter a bit simpler, as you’ll never really have to think about what you want to name the file when you download it from your resume builder.

If you’re emailing your professional resume to the hiring manager, you might also want to use this strategy for the subject line of the email. Opt for something simple but effective like, “Job Application for Franklyn Bingham.” Start the subject line with “Job Application” or “Resume,” then fill in the rest with at least your full name and potentially the company name or your job title.

FAQ: Cover Letter Titles

Have questions? We’re here to help.

It’s very important that your cover letter title isn’t just a random jumble of numbers or letters. However, the exact style of the name you give your cover letter isn’t as important. It’s most important that it’s easy to read, includes your full name, and doesn’t include any extra characters at the end of the file name. This is your first impression, so it’s important to keep it as professional as possible.

No, this isn’t necessary. You should include it in the salutation, with phrasing like “Dear Mr. Smith,” but it’s not necessary to put the interviewer’s name in the title. You’ll typically be submitting your cover letter directly to the interviewer, so you don’t have to signal who the letter is for.

As long as you’re consistent, your cover letter title is typically fine. The format should include your full name, but this is commonly the only requirement for a cover letter title. This includes camelCase (“ShawnPowellCoverLetter”), underscores (“Shawn_Powell_Cover_Letter”), and dashes (Shawn-Powell-Cover-Letter”). All of these can be read as professional as long as you use them regularly.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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