I cite only one example, of somewhat high-profile blogger/consultant, who says: I think it may be a field-specific and/or generation issue: some people, and some fields (humanities/law/medicine) have more attachement to older traditions and think a letterhead is a crucial part of correspondence etiquette. In my experience in mathematics in the US, no one gives a flying flip how you format your cover letter; in all likelihood, no one will read it.
Using department stationary is common, though far from universal and I don't think affects anyone's thinking one way or the other.
-OR- 2) academia is so irredeemably petty that getting this right is actually an important sign of success in an academic position.
Either answer doesn't make academia sound like a place you'd want to work.
A letterhead is a printed heading stating a person's or organization's name, contact information, and address.
You’ll often find that companies use a company letterhead to formalize documents, however using a personal letterhead has the same effect.This practice extended to the English with houses large enough to have guest rooms, where the etiquette is to provide headed notepaper of your own for your guests to use. There are strong and conflicting opinions on this ("it would set off a red flag" to not use institutional letterhead, etc.vs "I put those letters at the bottom of the pile.") We should ask ourselves, as academics: if we are evaluating people's job applications using such incredibly fine distinctions in academic etiquette, either: 1) we are prioritizing completely useless information and probably introducing a good deal of bias against folks like international students and first-gen college students along with it!Official institutional business will have "Office of the Chancelor" in the letterhead or "Office of XYZ Department Chair." If the chancellor or department chair were to apply for jobs, they would probably still use institutional letterhead but not have this "Office of the __" line in the letterhead.Using your institutional letterhead is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL when applying for academic jobs. Everyone knows that you are not speaking on behalf of the institute, the letterhead is an indication of your membership in that scholarly community.Including a city and state can also be a great conversation starter. Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. It is you as a person who is applying, not you as a representative for your university. Y would probably look very negatively on an application on such lerterhead, as would Univ. Letterheads are intended for your official business of your position at X as teacher, researcher etc.I have faith that people are not actually making such important decisions using trivia.I therefore suggest that the original poster should choose whichever option allows them to make the content of their letter clearer, i.e., if you need the space for more information, don't use the letterhead!It’s always good to at least indicate your city and state on a letterhead because it gives the reader a better sense of where you are, triggering an immediate connection with you. If you are applying for a job, hiring managers often want to see where you live to get a better sense of where you’re going to be commuting from.