How to Write a Cover Letter in 2023 + Examples
After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!
You’ve perfected your resume.
You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.
You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.
But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.
Now you’re stuck wondering how to write a cover letter ...
Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think.
In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.
- What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
- How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
- How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
- What excellent cover letter examples look like
New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!
So, let’s get started with the basics!
What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)
A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume).
Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .
A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume.
A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.
How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:
Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.
If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.
The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:
- Header - Input contact information
- Greeting the hiring manager
- Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
- Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
- Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
- Formal closing
Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:
How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step.
Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template
A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.
So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?
You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!
As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.
Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header
As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:
Here, you want to include all essential information, including:
- Phone Number
- Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
- Name of the company you’re applying to
In certain cases, you might also consider adding:
- Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
- Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.
And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:
- Your Full Address
- Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.
Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager
Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.
The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .
That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.
No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.
So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this.
The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.
So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:
And voila! You have your hiring manager.
Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”
If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.
Here are several other greetings you could use:
- Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
- Dear Hiring Manager
- To whom it may concern
- Dear [Department] Team
Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction
First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.
Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.
So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .
The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..
- Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.
See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.
Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.
Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.
So now, let’s make our previous example shine:
My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.
See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?
Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.
So, let’s get started...
Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job
This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.
But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.
For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:
- Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
- Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
- Excellent copywriting skills
Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:
In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.
Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:
- Google Search
Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.
Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company
Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.
Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.
The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.
After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary .
Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.
How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:
- What’s the company’s business model?
- What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
- What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?
So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.
Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.
Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.
You’d write something like:
I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device.
I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.
What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):
I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.
See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have.
The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.
Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.
So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.
Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action
Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.
In the final paragraph, you want to:
- Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
- Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
- Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.
And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:
So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.
Step #8 - Use the right formal closing
Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.
Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:
- Best Regards,
- Kind Regards,
And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.
Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?
- Professional email
- Relevant Social Media Profiles
Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor
Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?
- Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
- Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?
Do you successfully convey that you’re the right pro for the job?
- Did you identify the core requirements?
- Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?
Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?
- Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
- Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?
Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?
Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?
5+ Cover Letter Examples
Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).
College Student Cover Letter Example
Middle Management Cover Letter Example
Career Change Cover Letter Example
Management Cover Letter Example
Senior Executive Cover Letter Example
Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .
Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume
Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught.
After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.
...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.
If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.
Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.
Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:
- A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
- A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
- Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
- There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
- Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations
At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…
- How to Write a Motivational Letter
- How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
- Most Common Interview Questions and Answers
15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application
Published: August 10, 2022
Are cover letters necessary? I'm not in HR, but I've been approached by applicants who wondered whether their cover letter would actually be read. My answer is one not many of them wanted to hear: "sometimes." Sometimes it will be read. Other times, you can get away with just sending in your resume — like when you network your way into applying for a position.
The truth is, you can't really predict on a case-by-case basis — and you're better safe than sorry. For the most part, having a cover letter will give you an upper hand in ways your resume doesn't. It allows you to show off your writing skills, provide details that you couldn't fit on your resume, demonstrate your passion, and show your willingness to put in as much time and effort as possible.
If you’ve ever rolled your eyes or balked at an application that required a cover letter, this guide is for you. We’ll go over how to write a cover letter and provide cover letter templates to help you perfect your own.
An application letter is a written document addressed to an employer by a job applicant, explaining why they're interested in and qualified for an open position. More commonly known as a cover letter, this document can come in the form of an email, MS Word document, or similar application template offered by the employer.
Seems fairly basic, right? Cover letters can hold different levels of importance to an employer depending on the industry you're in and the job you're applying for. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 49% of recruiters say sendign a cover letter along with your resume boosts your chance of landing the role.
If you do plan to write a cover letter, keep in mind there are certain qualities it should have that are not included in the definition above.
5 Free Cover Letter Templates
Five fill-in-the-blank cover letter templates to help you impress recruiters.
- Standard Cover Letter Template
- Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
- Data-Driven Cover Letter Template
You're all set!
Click this link to access this resource at any time.
What to Include in a Cover Letter
So, what should you include? We'll let the 11 templates below this list do most of the talking. No matter which one you download, pay attention to the following elements — all of which should shine through in the letter you send to your future manager.
Fill out this form to access your templates.
1. contact information.
Cover letters shouldn't just carry your contact information, but also that of the company to which you're applying. Contact info includes your phone number, email address, and any social media accounts you're willing to share and receive connections to.
Home addresses aren't required, but they can be a helpful reassurance to the employer that you already live nearby and would have no trouble coming into the office.
Avoid offering phone numbers, email addresses, or actual addresses that belong to your current employer. Using your personal Gmail address over your work email, for example, ensures your correspondence with recruiters remains separate from all of your current work communication.
2. A Personal Address Line
For as often as you see "to whom it may concern" at the top of cover letters today, do your best to avoid writing this exhausted line.
Address lines that specify a person or company grab your reader's attention much more quickly, and show the employer that you've taken the time to tailor your application letter to them. Don't have the name of the hiring manager? "Employers at [company name]" will do just fine.
A "hook" is a clever introduction that "hooks" your reader into wanting to learn more. Think about yourself as a job candidate — what makes you unique? What about your career might a recruiter be intrigued by that you can package into an interesting first sentence?
4. Why You're Qualified
It's a no-brainer that you should summarize your professional experience in your cover letter. However, today's best applications describe why this experience qualifies the applicant for the job they're applying for. For example, don't just state that you spent three years writing for a company blog. Explain that this type of work lends itself to managing your new potential employer's content calendar every week.
5. General Knowledge of the Business
Grammatical errors could mean your application is thrown in the trash, but that's not the only thing that could get your letter tossed aside. Using a generic "one-size-fits-all" cover letter — especially if you forget to change the name of the company — will also hurt your chances of landing an interview.
So, if you take the time to write a cover letter, take the time to comment on the business itself. Why are you applying to this company? What about their business stuck out to you as a professional?
Now, let's take a look at an example cover letter , what makes it effective, along with 11 templates you can download or draw inspiration from.
Cover Letter Example
The example above illustrates how to write a marketing cover letter using the elements we listed.
Besides the contact information and the address line, the first few paragraphs explain why the candidate is qualified for the position. This example uses specific data to show why they would be a good fit.
Additionally, in the second to last paragraph, the candidate discusses why they're interested in the specific company, demonstrating general knowledge of the business.
By combining all the elements to a cover letter, this is a great example to use for inspiration.
Featured Resource: 5 Professional Cover Letter Templates
14 Free Cover Letter Templates for Your Next Job Application
Template 1: basic.
The example above is a basic (but great) cover letter. The numbered sections are explained in more detail below.
The level of formality your header has will depend on the company to which you apply. If you're applying to a formal business, it's important to use a formal header to open your cover letter, like in the sample above. Put your address, the date, and the company's address. But if you're applying to a company that isn't as formal, you don't need to include yours and the company's addresses. You can still include the date, though.
Using "To Whom It May Concern" is okay, but you may want to take the time to research the name of the recruiter or hiring manager online. If you do your research and aren't confident you found the right name, then you should definitely use the generic greeting — but if you are sure, then it shows you put in the effort to find their name and it will catch the recruiter's eye.
If you have the recruiter's name, do you greet them by their full name, or by their courtesy title (i.e. Mr., Ms., or Mrs.)? Similar to the header, it depends on the company's level of formality. If you're applying to a corporate business, you may want to consider using "Mr. Snaper" instead of "Jon Snaper." If you're applying to a start-up or a business with a more casual culture, you can use "Jon Snaper," as shown in the example.
Your opening paragraph should, in 1-3 sentences, state why you're excited to apply and what makes you the perfect candidate. Get right to the point, and don't worry about explaining where you found the posting or who you know at the company. This isn't a place to go into detail about why you're a great candidate — that's for the second paragraph. Here, simply list a few key reasons in one sentence to set up the rest of your letter. Keep in mind that the recruiter may cross-reference your cover letter with your resume, so make sure the two sync up.
4. Paragraph 2: Why You're a Great Fit for the Job
Next, sell yourself and your experience by choosing one or two concrete examples that show why you're a great fit for the position. What did you do at a previous company that gave you relevant experience? Which projects have you worked on that would benefit the new company? How will your prior experience help this company grow? Stay humble in your explanation of credentials while still showing that you would be an asset to the team. Use this paragraph to show you're genuinely excited and interested in the position.
5. Third Paragraph: Why the Company Is a Great Fit for You
While it's certainly important you're a good fit for the job, it's also important that the company is a good fit for you. "A cover letter typically describes why you're great for a company — but how will you benefit from getting hired?" asks former HubSpot Team Development Manager Emily MacIntyre . "We want to know why our company appeals to you, and how it will be a mutually beneficial working relationship."
In the third paragraph, show you're serious about growing and developing your career at this new company. What impresses and excites you about the company? Is there something that you feel strongly about that aligns with the company's goals? For example, the candidate in the sample letter used this space to show his personal commitment to environmental causes aligns with the company's green initiatives.
6. Strong Closer and Signature
Don't get lazy in the final few sentences of your cover letter — it's important to finish strong. Be straightforward about your interest and enthusiasm about the new position, and tell them you're available to talk about the opportunity at any time. Be sure to include your phone number and email address. At this point, the ball is (rightly) in the recruiter's court to decide how to follow up.
Last but certainly not least, thank them for their time and consideration. Use a formal sign-off like "Best," "All the best," or "Sincerely," and finish by typing out your full name. You don't need to sign it with a pen.
Template 2: Data-Driven Marketing Cover Letter
Get it here..
When applying to a data-driven position, it might be tempting to inject your cover letter with, well, the data to describe what you've done for other employers. But in an application letter — particularly for the marketing industry — how you convey this data is just as important as the data itself.
The cover letter template above, which we created here at HubSpot, can help you present the data that's most important to you as a candidate such that it'll matter to your future employer.
Notice the three bullet points near the center of the letter above, preceded by the statement: "... I've developed a strategy that has helped the company achieve ..." This setup is important, because while you can add as many statistics as you want to this template, your data points should describe how your current/former business benefited from your work, rather than how you, yourself, benefited.
Template 3: Straight-to-the-Point Cover Letter
Harvard Business Review contributor David Silverman hailed the above cover letter example as "The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received." For context, Silverman believes there are only a handful of times when writing a cover letter is actually necessary:
- When you know the name of the hiring manager.
- When you know something about what the job requires.
- When you've been referred to the job personally.
Under those three circumstances, a straight-to-the-point cover letter like the one above could be your best bet. Because it's so concise, however, make a point to add your own letterhead above the message itself. It might be easy for a recruiter to sift through a short and sweet cover letter like the one above, but it's just as easy for it to get lost in the shuffle of their application list without a unique design or format.
Template 4: Referral Cover Letter
Just because a friend or colleague recommended you for a job doesn't mean the company is all set to hire you. Therefore, the cover letter template above is written specifically for referrals. We made this one here at HubSpot. Download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).
As you can see in the picture above, the first paragraph of the cover letter is dedicated entirely to acknowledging the circumstances of your applying: You know someone who works there — no harm in that. But there might be harm in not mentioning it to the hiring manager. Telling the reader about your connection at the company shows you're aware and confident of the actions you take to get the opportunities you're interested in.
Ultimately, it's better than the recruiter hearing about your employee connection from somebody else.
As for the rest of the cover letter, treat your message the same way you would if you had applied with no connection from within. Your skills and successes are no less important because of your internal referral.
Template 5: Photo Letterhead Cover Letter
The cover letter template above was designed by Microsoft Office, and as comprehensive as it looks, it's completely free to download and modify.
As it looks right now, this cover letter contains about half photo, half text. Feel free to shrink (and change) the image to give yourself more room to tell your story. Of course, a nice washed-out image that expresses who you are can be part of that story ...
Template 6: Digital Creative Cover Letter
This sixth template is perfect for the applicant who wants to emphasize the many different digital channels they areon. This template goes well with a resume of the same format.
As you personalize this letter with your own experience, make note of the social networks and industry software included in this template. You'll see there’s additional space along the top to add your LinkedIn and personal website to fill with your own information.
You can improve upon this template by formatting your most important highlights and accomplishments with bullet points. This will make the document easier to read for the hiring manager and emphasizes the value you provide.
Template 7: Marketing Manager Cover Letter
Our seventh cover letter comes from Monster.com. This cover letter, shown above, is focused specifically on a marketing role.
Notice how the writer includes references to important marketing metrics and terminology. If you're applying to a data-driven role, you might not want to fill the page with a story of your experience in paragraph form, like Template 1 does at the beginning of this article. Instead, consider highlighting three (or four, or five) of your successes that you believe the hiring manager would resonate most with, in bulleted form.
As a marketing professional, breaking up your letter with bulleted details like the ones above shows a respect for the hiring manager's limited time — a mentality that all marketers must understand when communicating with a brand's audience.
Template 8: Career Day Follow-Up Cover Letter
This is a unique kind of cover letter from Princeton University.
LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and Indeed might take the lion's share of your job searches online, but still some employment opportunities come out of a trade show, job fair, or similar networking event. For those occurrences, you have the follow-up cover letter template above.
This cover letter has everything you need to help an employer recall a conversation you had with him/her at a career fair. As you can see in the second paragraph, the letter is particularly useful to people who are about to graduate college.
Template 9: Logo and Watermarked Cover Letter
Here's another cover letter template from Microsoft Office. This one has a light touch of color in the design just above the letterhead, but make no mistake — the template caters to any professional looking to make a good first impression on their future employer.
Don't let the logo space on the top-right of the page confuse you. This can be the logo of the company to which you're applying — to quickly get the attention of the recruiter — or your own logo. Perhaps you freelance on the side or simply like branding yourself. This cover letter template is meant for customization.
Template 10: Data Scientist Cover Letter
This is our second template from Princeton University. While this is focused on a data scientist role, it is an excellent template to use for students applying to jobs prior to graduation.
The text emphasizes how the applicant’s academic research and projects makes them an ideal candidate for the position. The format is also simple enough to submit as a pdf, as text in an email message or an application text box.
Template 11: Business Cover Letter
The cover letter template above is perfect for entry- and mid-level marketers who want to show a little extra professionalism in their opening note to a potential employer.
The multi-colored header (you can change the color if you wish) shows just the right amount of creativity and can go quite well with a resume of the same style. If you don't have enough experience to fill the entire page, don't worry. Feel free to write to a length you think is representative of who you are and what the hiring manager wants to see.
No matter how long your final cover letter is, the above template is your opportunity to show your attention to detail — from your contact information in the top header, to the personalized address line where you can include the name of the hiring manager. Like we said, "to whom it may concern" is pretty outdated, anyway.
Template 12: Entry-Level Cover Letter
The cover letter template above, written by HubSpot, is specifically designed for entry-level applicants.
When you only have a few years experience, it's important to display how you gained your skills and what you learned from your education or internships. Additionally, it's important to mention why you want to work at the company you're applying to.
No matter your experience, the template above will help you decide what skills you want to highlight and flesh out in your cover letter.
You can download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).
Template 13: Healthcare Cover Letter
Additionally, phrases like "I'd love to put my skills to work for your clinic" and "Please contact me at your convenience and let me know how I can help you" focus on what the business will gain as a result of hiring the applicant, rather than what the applicant is looking to gain.
Template 14: Freelance Cover Letter
If you're looking for freelance work, your biggest goal is to get your strengths across quickly, so busy clients won't pass by your cover letter entirely. Additionally, if you're sending out multiple cover letters to different clients, you'll want to target each one to that client's unique goals.
For instance, if one client is looking for SEO-optimized content related to marketing, you'll want to highlight past experience writing marketing content; this will change if, for instance, the client is looking for fitness content.
For this reason, it's a good idea to structure your cover letter so you start with a) past credentials or references, and b) bullet-point information related to the client's goal, as shown in the cover letter above.
Template 15: Director Cover Letter
In the cover letter above, the candidate does a good job outlining how she succeeded in a leadership role previously: "For the past five years, I have successfully developed and maintained all data systems, including schedules and records for a business employing more than 100 people."
You'll want to demonstrate how your skills align with a Director position — both through organization and leadership — and, when possible, where you received recognition for your hard work (i.e. "I earned an award for Most Valuable Administrative Staff Member").
Write a Winning Cover Letter
Writing a cover letter is easier said than done. Don't hesitate to spend a lot of time writing and editing it. Or, ask a friend or family member to read it over and give you feedback. If the recruiter does end up reading it, you'll be thankful you did.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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How to Write a Cover Letter (Cover Letter Tips + Free Templates)
A well-written cover letter to accompany your resume can help you stand out to employers and significantly impact a hiring manager’s decision to call you for an interview .
David Grimes, director of people and talent operations at Taulia LLC, told us, “I sincerely appreciate cover letters, as they signal to me an amplification of interest and offer an additional opportunity to convey that [job candidates] have taken the time to truly review the position or organization and see an alignment.”
He notes that “when done well, a cover letter can provide a window into the candidate as they picture themselves at our organization.”
So, if you’re wondering if you need a cover letter for a job, or you’re asking, “what is a cover letter for a resume?” and you want to know how to create a cover letter effectively, look no further!
In this guide, we’ll address the following:
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a one-page business document that should complement a CV or a resume in a job application. Its purpose is to:
- Introduce you to hiring managers.
- Provide details about your qualifications.
- Tell employers why you want to work for them.
- Illustrate why you’re the best match for the job.
- Explain circumstances like job hopping or gaps in employment.
Pro tip Did you know? 41% of job seekers replicate their resumes in their cover letters — a huge mistake. Your cover letter should complement your resume, not repeat it.
How to write a cover letter for a resume in 10 steps
Follow the simple steps below to make a cover letter that wows prospective employers.
STEP 1 Prepare to write your cover letter.
Preparation is key to writing a cover letter that stands out. Having your essential information ready will save you time and ensure you put your best foot forward.
First, review the job requirements and compare them to your relevant qualifications.
Then make a checklist of your:
- Notable accomplishments from previous jobs and volunteer work .
- Skills that match the required skills in the job ad. Include a mix of hard and soft skills .
- Educational qualifications, including certificates and licenses.
- Awards and honors.
Next, if you haven’t already, research the company to:
- Get an idea of the culture and their mission and values so you can tell the hiring manager how well you fit and why.
- Take note of the company’s news and press releases so you can highlight how you can help them reach their goals or congratulate them on a milestone.
- Learn the hiring manager’s name, so you can address your cover letter to them.
STEP 2 Choose a cover letter template
Want to know how to write the perfect cover letter? Use a cover letter template . Why? Because cover letter templates ensure your cover letter is in the correct cover letter format , they’re ATS-friendly and they are designed by professionals.
We have hundreds of templates to help you get started on the right track. Pick from modern, creative, or simple styles to match your CV or resume template and build a professional cover letter in minutes. Not sure if a template’s right for you? Try one for free!
STEP 3 Add your contact information.
Place your name, city, state, ZIP code, phone number and email address in your cover letter heading. Your email address should be professional like [email protected] and not personal like [email protected]. Include links to your LinkedIn profile or professional online portfolio if you have one.
STEP 4 Add the recipient’s address.
First, write the current date followed by a space. Then include the hiring manager’s name and title, company address and hiring manager’s email address (in that order).
It should look like this:
Pro tip Always follow instructions in the job ad. If an ad directs you to address your cover letter to a human resources team member or the HR department, use the information the prospective employer provides for the recipient’s address.
STEP 5 Address the hiring manager (by name).
Here’s a tip for how to address a cover letter correctly: Use the hiring manager’s name (unless the job ad specifies a department or HR team member), avoiding titles like “Mr.” or “Mrs.” unless you are certain of the person’s gender.
“Dear [hiring manager’s full name],” but if your research doesn’t turn up a name, then use “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Hiring Team.” If you know their title, then write “Dear [Title].
Don’t use informal language like “Hello,” or “Hi,” or old-fashioned salutations like“Dear Sir or Madam,” or “To Whom it May Concern,” to greet the person reading your letter.
Pro tip Did you know? 45% of hiring managers read an applicant’s cover letter before their resume.
- Dear Lucy Garcia,
- Dear Ms. Lowe,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Vice President of Marketing,
- Hey Mr. Jones,
STEP 6 Grab the hiring manager’s attention with a powerful cover letter introduction
The opening sentences of a cover letter are like an elevator pitch . They should clearly and concisely tell hiring managers why you’re interested in the job and they’ve got to be compelling.
But how do you start a cover letter in a way that intrigues hiring managers and makes them want to read more?
The following tips and examples can help you write a cover letter opening that gets attention.
Exude confidence, passion and enthusiasm.
“I was excited to see that Tech Solutions — a company I respect for its innovation — has an opening for an experienced lead producer .”
Talk up your skills and experience.
“With seven years of experience in production for leading start-up companies in Silicon Valley, I have in-depth knowledge of cyber security and cloud computing and know my way around artificial intelligence .”
Show you’ve done some research.
Mention an interesting fact or statistic from an article, news story or the company’s website.
“When I saw that WILCO Services was touted in Business Magazine for being one of the most inclusive companies in the world, I knew I had to apply for the marketing associate position.”
- Highlight an impressive accomplishment, award or honor and use numbers when possible.
Tell a story about why you are applying.
“When I was a child, I spent my days in the city parks around my neighborhood, listening to birds sing and watching squirrels jump through trees. Those days instilled a passion in me for wildlife that has intensified over the years and, combined with admiration for the animal rehabilitation programs at Prospect Park Nature Conservancy, led me to apply for the Wildlife Technician position at the conservancy. ”
Mention a shared contact (if you’re sure it’s a positive connection).
“ Jayne Peck told me you had an opening on your graphics team, and I’m thrilled to apply for the role. You and I know Jayne from Volunteers for the Bay, where I volunteered on the cleanup crew in 2017.”
STEP 7 Explain why you’re the best candidate for the job in your cover letter body paragraphs.
The body of a cover letter should paint an in-depth picture of your professional life while providing insight into your personality. It’s your chance to show the potential employer what you’re made of.
Here’s what to write in a cover letter body paragraph, no matter your background:
- If you have work experience in your target role or industry, detail your work accomplishments and use numbers to quantify the results of your actions.
- If you’re applying for your first job , connect the new opportunity with a personal or school project, extracurricular activity or internship.
- Highlight your most relevant skills and explain clearly how you can apply them to the job.
- If you think you’re a shoe-in for the company’s culture, show it! For example, if you enjoy volunteering for social justice causes and you are applying to a nonprofit organization focused on social justice, then explain why the company’s mission is meaningful to you.
- If you’re changing careers, explain your motivation and emphasize your transferable skills to how you can contribute to the company’s success. Career change cover letters that emphasize transferable skills are more effective because they show prospectives that you can perform the work with little or no experience.
Pro tip Did you know? 83% of hiring managers surveyed said they would hire a candidate who sent a strong cover letter, even if their resume wasn’t up to par.
STEP 8 Write your closing paragraph.
When you write a cover letter closing statement, make it clear that you’re excited about the possibility of working for the employer and that you are confident you have the expertise to be successful at the job.
You must also thank your reader for their time and consideration, and perhaps most importantly, end with a call to action that encourages the reader to follow up with you.
Remember that you’re writing a cover letter to a specific person, so thank them for their time and consideration. You should also encourage the recipient to follow up (e.g., “I look forward to further discussing my qualifications with you.”).
Here are a few examples of how to create a cover letter closing paragraph.
Pro tip A “call to action” in your cover letter closing paragraph shows hiring managers that you’re serious about the job and confident in your qualifications.
STEP 9 Sign off.
What goes in a cover letter ending isn’t complicated, but you have to get it right if you want a chance at the job.
That means you must be respectful, polite, professional and formal.
- Best regards,
- Kind regards,
STEP 10 Proofread your cover letter
Knowing how to write a cover letter for a job isn’t all there is to making a cover letter. You have to proofread it at least once before sending your job application letter to a potential employer. Typos and cover letter formatting mistakes can reduce your chances of getting hired. When you’ve finished proofreading, have someone else read it for you too, just to be sure it’s job application-ready.
And there you go! That’s how to write a good cover letter.
What should a cover letter look like?
All cover letters follow a basic business letter structure that looks like this.
What to include in a cover letter
A professional cover letter must contain:
Your contact information
The current date
The hiring manager’s name and title
The company’s address
The hiring manager’s email address
A salutation (greeting)
An opening paragraph
A closing paragraph
Cover letter writing checklist
- Did you choose a cover letter design that matches your resume?
- Are your name, location, phone number and email address up to date and displayed at the top of your cover letter?
- Did you add a link to your professional portfolio or website and your current LinkedIn profile (if you have them)?
- Did you add the current date at the top of your cover letter?
- Did you address your letter to the hiring manager by name and include their title, email address and the correct company address?
- Did you greet the hiring manager, recruiter or HR associate by name or title?
- Did you use a polite but formal greeting?
- Are the first few sentences of your cover letter clear and compelling?
- Do you convey enthusiasm for the job?
- Did you effectively express how you can apply your skills, experience and achievements to the target job to help the company achieve its goals?
- Did you highlight one or two things you like about the company, such as their values or culture, and why?
- Did you thank the reader for their time?
- Did you end your cover letter with a call to action?
- Did you use a proper, formal closure to end your letter?
How to make a cover letter fast
A professional cover letter template is the best place to start a cover letter . Download one for free to create a cover letter from scratch, or use one of our expertly designed templates with our Cover Letter Builder to make a cover letter in minutes.
Our templates frame your qualifications with the correct formatting , and they meet the latest applicant tracking system (ATS) requirements.
Our builder makes writing a cover letter a snap with:
- Job-specific phrases and skills: No matter the job you’re applying for, we give you the right words and relevant skills you can incorporate with just one click.
- Step-by-step guidance: Get expert advice at every step to help you present your best self and get the job.
- Easy customization: Write a cover letter for every job application and save as many versions of it as you need.
- Multiple download formats: Save and export your cover letter as a PDF, DOCX or plain text.
Pro tip Always match your cover letter template to your resume template for a polished job application. Use our resume builder to create a matching resume and cover letter!
Cover letter tips
We’ve given you almost all the advice for writing a good cover letter that you’ll need to start creating a cover letter, but we’ve saved a few pointers for last.
Here are our top five tips for how to make a cover letter effectively.
TIP #1 Follow instructions. This is probably the most important tip for writing a cover letter. Read the job description carefully and do what it says. If the job posting says to send your letter as a PDF, don’t send a Word document. If it tells you to send your cover letter as an email attachment, then do so. If the job posting says to write your cover letter in the body of an email, then do that. If you fail to follow all instructions in a job ad, you will likely not be considered for the position.
TIP #2 Tailor your cover letter to the job. Hiring managers know a generic cover letter when they see one — and they usually ignore them. That’s why it’s critical to customize your cover letter to show your enthusiasm for the specific job and company you’re applying to. To do this, use keywords from the job description when they apply to you. Doing so also ensures ATS software can find you and signals to hiring managers that you meet their requirements.
Our Cover Letter Builder makes it fast easy to customize a cover letter for every job you target.
TIP #3 Don’t apologize. Never point out the skills and experience you lack. If you are qualified for the job but don’t have much experience in the field, don’t apologize. Instead, focus on experiences like volunteering, school projects and community service you’ve done that make you a good fit and play up your transferable skills.
TIP #4 Don’t overshare. While writing a cover letter to explain a career change or job gap is a good idea, sharing every detail about your life or career is not. Keep away from the following topics every time you create a cover letter:
- Political views.
- Current or past salary or salary expectations for the target job.
- Exaggerations and lies (about anything).
- Personal details such as marital status, family background, financial situation, ethnicity or religious beliefs
- Negative thoughts about your former boss, company or coworkers.
- Irrelevant personal hobbies.
- Details about work from more than three years ago that doesn’t pertain to your target job.
TIP #5 It’s possible to be too enthusiastic. We stress the importance of conveying enthusiasm when you write a cover letter because you should. However, use caution when displaying your zeal. Keep your tone professional, be genuine and never present yourself as desperate.
Cover letter examples
Cover letter examples for top jobs.
Get inspired with our professionally crafted cover letter examples for top jobs and industries. You can use them with our builder to make a cover letter that’s as unique as you are.
- Executive assistant
- Customer service representative
- Educational assistant
- Case manager
- Payroll specialist
Cover letter examples by situation
Example of how to make a cover letter when you have no experience.
Use this example to help you write a career change cover letter.
Here’s what to include in a cover letter if you have employment gaps.
Example of how to write a “cold call” cover letter.
This example shows how to write a cover letter for a job that isn’t advertised.
Here’s how to write a cover letter for a temporary to a permanent position.
Example of a cover letter for a job with the same company.
Example of a job application letter when you’re seeking a promotion.
How to write a cover letter : important takeaways
Let’s recap the basics of what to include in a cover letter one more time:
- A cover letter is a one-page document that complements your resume without repeating it.
- Address the cover letter to the hiring manager. If you don’t know who to address the cover letter to or can’t find their name, then address them as “Hiring Manager,” by their title, or address the department.
- Write a cover letter introduction that immediately grabs the hiring manager’s attention and compels them to keep reading.
- It’s a good idea to use a professionally designed cover letter template to ensure your cover letter is formatted correctly.
- A good cover letter is a custom cover letter. Tailor yours to your target job and use keywords from the job description if they fit your abilities.
How to make a cover letter FAQ
How long should a cover letter be.
A cover letter should cover one half-a page minimum and it should never be more than one-page long. Aim to concisely express your points in about 250-500 words.
How do you write a cover letter for a job application?
To make a cover letter effectively, use a standard business letter format, include your contact details and the potential employers’ contact information, address the hiring manager if possible, and in 250-500 words, explain how your achievements, skills, and work experience make you the best fit for the job. Introduce yourself and show enthusiasm for the job in the first paragraph, then in one or two paragraphs, detail exactly why you’re the best fit for the position. Ensure you address situations such as job gaps, a career change, or a move to a new location, and wrap it up in a compelling closing paragraph that reiterates your interest in the job and invites the hiring manager to contact you for an interview.
How to address a cover letter without a name?
It’s always best practice to try to find the hiring manager’s name when writing a cover letter because it personalizes your letter and emphasizes your interest in the position by showing you’ve done your homework. It also creates a connection with the hiring manager and conveys that you’re willing to go the extra mile, which is a quality most hiring managers want to see in prospective employees. But if you don’t have a name, it’s acceptable to write “Dear hiring manager,” “Dear [Title],” or “Dear [Department Name] to address your cover letter.
Can I send an email cover letter for a resume?
Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to send a cover letter in an email message, unless the job description states to attach it. Be sure to attach your resume to the email and let the hiring manager know it’s attached.
Is a cover letter necessary?
Yes! Unless a job posting specifically states not to send one, writing a cover letter for a job application is a must if you want to stand out from the competition. Sending a cover letter along with your resume shows recruiters that you are a professional who is sincerely interested in the job and willing to go the extra mile for it — traits employers look for in job candidates.
What to write in a cover letter?
Generally, cover letters should tell employers why you’re the best fit for your target job. Write about your background and how it fits the job, show your personality, and explain precisely what you can do for the employer and how. It’s also a good idea to explain unique situations like job gaps and the reasons for a career change in a cover letter.
Of course, you should also include your name, contact information, links to professional profiles, the employer’s address, addressee’s name and title, a greeting, a job applicant’s contact information, the employer’s address, a compelling introduction, a strong closing inviting the hiring manager or recruiter to follow-up and a formal signoff.
What does a cover letter look like?
A good cover letter looks like a classic business letter. Some cover letter templates have splashes of color, like this one:
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How to Write a Cover Letter in 2023
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Kellie Hanna, CPRW
Career advice expert.
Kellie is a Certified Professional Resume Writer with 20+ years of experience in digital media and is passionate about helping job seekers navigate their careers. She earned a B.A. in English and writing from Temple University.
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Stand out from other job applicants with free, professional cover letter templates. Cover letters are a perfect complement to your resume and provide an effective opportunity to show your personality and enthusiasm for a position. Focus on writing a compelling cover letter and let a professionally designed template do the rest.
These free cover letter templates are perfect for any stage of your career, whether you're looking to land an internship or your dream job. If you're applying for a corporate position, you may want to opt for a simple cover letter template. There are a variety of other cover letter designs available, from basic cover letter templates to creative cover letter templates.
Each of these cover letter templates is customizable in Word , so you can add your own text, change design elements, and more. Print out your cover letter or download it for free to use for online job applications. Once you've customized the perfect cover letter, explore resume templates that will match your cover letter design, or download free business cards for your next networking event.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Zety Cover Letter Maker
What is a cover letter builder and should i use one.
A cover letter builder is an online app or piece of software that helps you generate a cover letter online with interactive forms and templates. The cover letter creator provides the right kind of information employers want to see, giving you expert tips and suggestions while you’re building your document.
Since a cover letter maker typically generates the whole letter for you, and takes care of the layout automatically , using one will save you precious time and allow you to make a different cover letter for every job application quickly and stress-free . And, before you run off thinking you don’t need a cover letter after all, know that cover letters are still necessary in 2023 .
What is the best cover letter builder online?
Zety is the best online cover letter generator. Our cover letter app is filled with features that will make the process of writing a cover letter fast and painless—features that you won’t find on other apps of this kind. You can generate cover letters for as many applications as you need. Here’s everything our software offers:
- Feature-rich cover letter builder.
- 18 professional cover letter templates , with dozens of varied color schemes and fonts.
- Resume Builder & CV Maker (with templates matching your cover letter).
- The option to duplicate your cover letters to make small adjustments and apply to many job offers at once.
- Built-in content for your cover letter and suggestions tailored to your job title and industry.
- Real-time cover letter checker with improvement tips.
- Multiple formats to download your cover letter as: PDF, Word, and TXT.
- Printing documents directly from the app.
- Ability to save an unlimited number of documents in the cloud.
- 14-day trial without feature restrictions.
What is the best cover letter format in 2023?
The best cover letter format in 2023 is one that follows a specific structure and flow, while being easy to read and visually appealing. Here’s how to format your cover letter:
- Keep a clean header , in the top-left corner of the page.
- Make your name visible by increasing the font size.
- Ensure your contact details stand out.
- Set sufficient margins on all sides : one inch is a good rule of thumb.
- Left-align all the content , don’t use justification.
- Use line spacing of 1 or 1.15.
- Put double spaces between paragraphs.
- Sign with your full name.
- Make sure your cover letter is only one-page long.
- Always download and send your cover letter in PDF.
Adjust the spacing so that you only need one page ( the ideal cover letter length ), and that it doesn’t look too busy. Chances are, hiring managers won’t even bother reading a cover letter that’s badly formatted and uninviting. Read our guide on how to format a cover letter for all our tips.
What should a good cover letter include in 2023?
A cover letter for a resume should contain details about your experience and abilities, as well as all the reasons why you want to work for a specific employer. You can read our guide on what to include in a cover letter for more information, but here’s a list of the main cover letter parts :
- Cover letter header : name, professional title, phone number, email, social media links, date, recipient’s details, and company’s name.
- Proper cover letter greetings . Read more on how to address a cover letter to do it right.
- A good cover letter introduction that hooks the reader.
- A second paragraph explaining why you’re the perfect candidate. It serves as your offer to the employer and highlights your achievements.
- A third paragraph proving that you’re eager to join the company. It shows your motivation.
- A great cover letter closing paragraph that must read as a call to action for your reader.
- The sign-off line, with a repetition of your contact details to encourage your reader to pick up the phone and invite you for an interview.
- A post-scriptum (P.S.), if you want to add something impressive about your career or make the recruiter even more curious about what you can offer.
Do I need a different cover letter for every job application?
Yes, you should send a unique cover letter for each job application , along with a tailored resume. Every company is different, and they all look for different things in candidates. For example, some may prefer hard skills , so you should focus on describing yours in your cover letter, but some may favor, soft skills . Your cover letter should also touch on company values or other unique factors that caused you to apply, and you can’t do that without writing a separate cover letter for each company. Besides, since you should tailor your resume , that means you must adjust your cover letter too, as the tasks and skills you describe will be different. That is why you need to learn how to write a cover letter , or an entry-level cover letter if you’re a fresher.
Sounds tedious? Relax! Write a general cover letter , duplicate it in our app, and let it generate new cover letters for you, based on the job titles you input. Not a fan of the first draft? Drag and drop other pre-written paragraphs to tailor your cover letter quickly and easily
Can the cover letter builder help with my resume, too?
When you create a cover letter in our builder, you will also be given the option to build a resume. Our 18 professional resume templates match our cover letter templates, so you can make and send a set of documents, complementing each other both in looks and content. All the features in our cover letter builder are also available in our resume builder. That includes pre-written content tailored to your profile and job title, as well as a resume check feature that will score your document and tell you how to improve it. Check our list of the best resume builders available online to see how our software performs compared to other apps of this kind.
How should my cover letter complement my resume?
The point of a cover letter is to provide more details about what’s in your resume (here’s how to write a resume , if you haven’t done it yet, or want to make sure you’ve done it right), as well as show the recruiter how motivated you are to join their team . A cover letter should therefore be written based on the jobs, tasks, achievements, and skills that are on your resume.
Carefully read the job offer and make sure your resume experience and resume skills are tailored to what’s important for the company.With those in mind, in your cover letter, describe what you’ve done in the past and what you can do for the new employer with as many details as possible. A great way for your cover letter to complement your resume is also mentioning your values and the way you work , as a resume is mostly factual and focused on skills and achievements. Make sure you read all of our cover letter tips to ace the recruitment process.
Can I have my cover letter reviewed when I’ve finished building it?
One of the most useful features of our cover letter generator is the cover letter check function . Once you’ve written and formatted your cover letter online, the app will score it and give recommendations on how to improve it to meet recruiters’ standards. The Zety Cover Letter Builder will also provide an overall review and grade for your application letter , so you can predict how well it will perform in your job hunt against other candidates. To score your cover letter, our software compares your document with thousands of other cover letters made for the same job title. With the Zety Cover Letter app, you’ll no longer be sending applications blindly, unsure of whether they’re actually any good. If you follow all the creator’s tips, you’ll only ever send top-notch cover letters and resumes.
Are there any good cover letter examples that I can look at?
Our cover letter builder will generate an application letter for you, and will provide you with pre-written content, tailored suggestions, and career-expert tips. You won’t have to spend much time tailoring it for it to match your resume and the job offer. However, it is still essential to understand what recruiters are looking for in applications for specific job titles. And this largely depends on the jobs, experience levels, and industries they hire for. To help you, we have created hundreds of free cover letter examples for any job application . There’s a guide for everyone, no matter your experience level and industry. We also have 500+ free resume examples for you, so you can make sure your resume is far above average, too.
Can I download my cover letter in Word?
In our cover letter creator, you can download your cover letter in PDF, Word (Docx), TXT, JPEG and even SVG. You can download your generated cover letter in Word if you think you might need to update it in the future, but we strongly recommend you to tailor your documents inside our app. The cover letter layout will be automatically adjusted, each version will be reviewed, and you can store as many as you need in your account, online. If you download your cover letter in Word to send it right away, bear in mind that it’s highly advisable to always send a cover letter in PDF. This file format will ensure your cover letter looks and reads the same on every possible device and software. With Word, you’re risking that some recruiters will be unable to even open your application. If you’re still set on a Word cover letter, here are our favorite Word cover letter templates to download and fill in .
Is Zety safe and legit?
Is Zety’s cover letter builder free?
You can use Zety Cover Letter Builder for free to generate cover letters, resumes, and CVs. The app follows the “try before you buy” credo—you pay once you’re satisfied with the results. Downloading a printable cover letter as a PDF or MS Word .doc file from Zety costs just 2.99 USD for a two-week trial. Pricing may vary depending on the plan and subscription.
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How to Send an Email Cover Letter (Examples)
By Status.net Editorial Team on November 15, 2023 — 13 minutes to read
An email cover letter is an opportunity for you to introduce yourself, highlight your qualifications, and explain why you’re the perfect fit for the job. Here are a few pointers to help you craft an effective email cover letter:
- Subject Line: Your subject line should clearly indicate the purpose of your email. Mention the job title you’re applying for and your full name, e.g., “Marketing Manager Application – Jane Doe.”
- Salutation: Address the hiring manager by their name, if possible. If you don’t know their name, a simple “Dear Hiring Manager” will suffice.
- Introduction: In the opening paragraph, you should mention the job title you’re applying for, where you found the job posting, and a brief introduction of yourself.
- Body: The body of your email cover letter should elaborate on your qualifications and experiences that are relevant to the job. Focus on showcasing your skills, achievements, and how you can contribute to the company’s success. Be sure to tailor your content to the specific job and company, demonstrating that you’ve done your research.
- Closing: Wrap up your email cover letter by thanking the hiring manager for considering your application. Express your enthusiasm for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position.
- Signature: Sign off with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your full name, email address, and phone number.
One more tip: as email systems can sometimes strip out formatting or not display it consistently, it’s best to stick to simple formatting options, such as bold text, bullet points, and clear paragraph breaks. If you want to include additional information, such as your resume, consider attaching it as a PDF file to ensure consistent formatting across different devices and email platforms.
Key Elements of a Cover Letter
Subject line essentials.
Your email cover letter should start with a compelling subject line that quickly grabs the recipient’s attention, especially since it’s competing with other emails in their inbox. Keep your subject line concise, clear, and informative. For example, you could use a format like: “Marketing Coordinator Application – Jane Smith” or “Re: Job Application for Graphic Designer (Job ID: 12345)”. Tailor your subject line to the company and position, so the recipient can easily identify your message’s purpose.
Email Signature and Contact Information
An email signature is an essential part of creating a professional presence in your email cover letter. Your email signature should include your full name, phone number, and any relevant links, such as your LinkedIn profile or online portfolio. This makes it easy for the recipient to contact you regarding your application. For example:
The Importance of Professional Email Address
A professional email address sets a good first impression and shows that you’re serious about your job search. Avoid using email addresses that are unprofessional or include personal information. Stick to a simple format like [email protected] or variations that include your first initial and last name.
Selecting the Right File Name
When attaching your resume or other documents, choose a file name that clearly identifies the content and includes your name. This makes it easy for hiring managers to locate your documents among numerous other files. For example, “JaneSmith_Resume.pdf” or “CoverLetter_JohnDoe.docx” are appropriate file names.
Understanding File Types
Submitting your documents in the appropriate file format ensures that they’re easily accessible and readable by the recipient. The most commonly accepted file formats are .doc, .docx, and .pdf. It’s a good idea to stick to these formats unless the job posting specifies otherwise. In most cases, PDF files are preferred as they maintain consistent formatting across different devices and platforms.
How To Create an Effective Cover Letter
Creating the greeting.
Begin your cover letter with a formal yet friendly greeting. Address the hiring manager by name if possible; you can find this information from the job posting, company website, or LinkedIn. If the manager’s name is unattainable, go for general but professional salutations such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern.”
Describing Your Experience and Skills
Showcase your relevant experience in the opening paragraph of your cover letter. Briefly pinpoint the role you’re applying for and how your background aligns with the position. Avoid regurgitating your resume; instead, focus on what unique skills make you the perfect candidate for the job.
As you describe your skills, use clear and concise language. Structure this section with bullet points to make it easy for the employer to read and digest:
- Skill 1: Why it’s relevant
- Skill 2: How it’ll benefit the company
- Skill 3: Examples of how you’ve used it before
Detailing Your Achievements
Next, outline your most significant and relevant achievements. These can include promotions, academic success, or other awards. Focus on accomplishments that display your skills, strategic thinking, and leadership capabilities. Use data to back up your claims – incorporate specific numbers and percentages indicating how you made a difference in your previous positions.
Following the Employer’s Instructions
Carefully read the job posting and any instructions provided by the employer when crafting your cover letter. If they ask for specific formatting or mention certain keywords, comply with their requests. You demonstrate your attention to detail and ability to assimilate by following their instructions.
Optimizing the Closing Examples
A strong closing further supports your candidacy and invites the employer to take further action. Reiterate your enthusiasm for the role and express your desire to contribute to the company’s success:
Example 1 : “I am excited about the opportunities posed by this role and am confident that my skills will allow me to excel at [Company Name]. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my application further.”
Example 2 : “Thank you for considering my application. I believe my expertise in [Skill/Area] will greatly benefit [Company Name]. I look forward to discussing how I can contribute to your team.”
Remember to include your contact information and sign off professionally using “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” or a similar phrase.
Formatting Your Email Cover Letter
Choosing the right font and spacing.
When writing your email cover letter, start with a clean and easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Select a font size between 11 and 12, which is generally considered standard for professional correspondence. Use single-spacing throughout the body of your email cover letter and consider adding a space between each paragraph for better readability.
Ensuring Correct Spelling and Grammar
Before sending your email cover letter, thoroughly proofread it for any spelling or grammar errors. To catch mistakes, use the built-in spell checker in your email client, or consider using third-party tools. Additionally, reading your email cover letter out loud can help spot any awkward phrases or inconsistencies.
Formatting and Structure Tips
Here are some tips to format your email cover letter effectively:
- Subject line : Make sure to include a clear and concise subject line, such as “Job Application – Your Name – Job Title.” This will make it easy for the recipient to identify the purpose of your email.
- Salutation : Address the hiring manager by their first and last name, if you can find it, or use a general greeting like “Dear Hiring Manager.”
- Introduction : Introduce yourself and mention the position you’re applying for. Briefly explain why you’re a strong fit for the role.
- Body : Highlight your relevant experience and skills in 2-3 short paragraphs. Use specific examples to support your claims.
- Call-to-action : End your email cover letter by thanking the hiring manager for their time and mentioning that you’re looking forward to their response.
- Sign off : Use a professional closing, such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely,” followed by your full name. Don’t forget to include your contact information such as your email address and phone number below your name.
Key Tips for a Successful Email Cover Letter
Tuning your email message.
When writing an email cover letter, your message should be clear and concise. Use a professional yet friendly tone to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role. Start with a clear subject line that includes the job title and your full name. In the body of the email, briefly introduce yourself and mention the position you’re targeting. You can also add a line that highlights your skills or experience relevant to the job. Make sure to proofread your email content to avoid grammatical errors and maintain a polished appearance.
Using Cover Letter Templates
Using a cover letter template can be a helpful starting point. It provides a layout that ensures a consistent, professional presentation. Look for a template that matches the industry and job you’re applying for, while still allowing you to showcase your personality. Try to find a balance between a visually appealing design and an easy-to-read format. Always tailor the content to the specific job you’re applying for, as hiring managers can easily spot a generic, one-size-fits-all cover letter.
Sending a Test Email
Before hitting send on your cover letter and resume, send yourself a test email. This practice will ensure that the email arrives in your inbox correctly and that the formatting is intact. It will also give you a chance to review the email from the recipient’s perspective, so you can make any necessary adjustments. Check for broken links, and make sure your attachments (like your resume) are in a commonly used format, such as PDF. This step is important for ensuring your application’s success, as a poorly formatted email could impact your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.
How To Manage the Application Process
Understanding the job description.
When applying for a job, it’s important to carefully read and understand the job description. This will help you tailor your cover letter and resume to the specific requirements and needs of the position. Look for keywords and phrases that describe the responsibilities and qualifications, and be sure to highlight your relevant experience in your application materials.
Researching the Company
Before sending your email cover letter, research the company to gather useful information. This will help you demonstrate your interest and knowledge of the organization in your cover letter. Look for the company’s mission, values, and recent news. Try to find ways to relate your experience and skills to the company’s goals and culture.
Using LinkedIn in Job Search
In your job search, don’t forget to leverage LinkedIn. Connect with people in your industry, and follow companies and influencers relevant to your career objectives. You can also find job postings on LinkedIn, and even apply directly using your profile. Customize your LinkedIn URL and use it as part of your email signature to make it easy for potential employers to learn more about you.
Part-Time and Summer Jobs
If you’re looking for part-time or summer jobs, your email cover letter should reflect the specific nature of these positions. Focus on your flexibility, availability, and willingness to work irregular hours. Highlight relevant skills and experiences, even if they’re not directly related to the position. This will show your adaptability and eagerness to learn.
Managing the Follow-Up
After sending your email cover letter and resume, consider following up with the company if you haven’t heard back within a week or two. A polite email or phone call can help keep your application front of mind and demonstrate your continued interest in the position. However, be respectful and avoid being pushy or overly persistent. Remember that hiring managers are often very busy and may take some time to respond.
Advanced Cover Letter Strategies
Using a cover letter builder.
A cover letter builder can be a valuable tool in crafting an impressive cover letter. These online tools often provide customizable templates and step-by-step guidance to help you structure your content. Plus, they can save you time by automating the formatting process.
To get started, you can search for a reputable cover letter builder and follow the prompts. Make sure to choose a template that matches the tone and style of the job you’re applying for. Then, input your information and adjust the prewritten text to reflect your experiences and skills.
Emphasizing Your Qualifications
To stand out, you should highlight your relevant qualifications. To do this, carefully review the job posting and note the key requirements. Then, match your skills and experiences to those points, using specific examples to demonstrate your capabilities.
For example, if the job requires strong time-management skills, mention how you successfully managed multiple projects simultaneously in a previous role. Use numbers and metrics, where possible, to emphasize your achievements. This targeted approach can help you catch the attention of a potential employer.
Highlighting Professional Achievements
Your cover letter should showcase your professional achievements, demonstrating how your accomplishments make you the ideal candidate. To do this effectively, include specific examples that illustrate your strengths.
For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, you could mention specific sales targets you’ve met or exceeded in the past, or discuss how you broke new ground by securing a big client.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the key steps in writing an email cover letter.
To write an effective email cover letter, follow these steps:
- Start with a concise and professional subject line.
- Address the recipient professionally and use an appropriate greeting.
- Engage the reader with a strong opening sentence or paragraph.
- Highlight your relevant skills, experience, and achievements.
- Show enthusiasm for the company and position.
- Include a call-to-action, encouraging the employer to review your attached resume.
- Close your cover letter with a professional sign-off.
How should I customize my cover letter for different job applications?
Customizing your cover letter for each job application can boost your chances of success. Focus on these areas:
- Research the company and use your insights to show genuine interest and knowledge about their business.
- Study the job requirements and emphasize your skills and experiences that match well with the position.
- Address the hiring manager by their name if you can find it, or use a generic salutation.
- Mention any connections or referrals that might be relevant to the position or company.
What are some effective tips to make my email cover letter stand out?
To make your email cover letter stand out, consider these tips:
- Keep it concise and to the point, ideally no longer than one page.
- Use a professional, easy-to-read font.
- Break up your text with bullet points, bold text, or subheadings to emphasize key messages.
- Avoid cliches and overused phrases; be genuine and use your own voice.
- Proofread your cover letter multiple times and ask someone else to review it for errors or suggestions.
- Follow any specific instructions provided by the employer in the job posting.
What examples should I include in my email cover letter?
Including real-life examples in your cover letter can help demonstrate your expertise and suitability for the position. Follow these guidelines:
- Choose examples that are relevant to the job requirements and company values.
- Describe your achievements and successes in a specific, quantifiable manner.
- Focus on instances where your actions led to positive outcomes or improvements.
- Structure your examples using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) for clarity.
Do I attach the cover letter to the email or include it in the body?
Including your cover letter in both the email body and as an attachment is a good approach. By doing this, you ensure that the hiring manager sees your cover letter, regardless of their email settings or preferences. Save your cover letter as a PDF to preserve formatting.
What should I put in the subject line when sending my cover letter and resume via email?
A compelling and professional subject line is important for capturing the attention of the hiring manager. Consider these guidelines:
- Include your name and the job title or position you are applying for.
- Use clear, concise language.
- Make sure the subject line matches any instructions provided by the employer in the job posting.
- An example could be: “Jane Doe – Marketing Specialist Application”
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- Cover Letter vs. Letter of Interest vs. Letter of Intent
Why do cover letters still exist?
Writing cover letters for applications is tedious and may seem pointless – but you need one now more than ever.
Job applications are not fun, but most parts of the process seem to be a necessary evil. Proofread your CV, prepare for a marathon of interviews , send a thank-you email after each one. Yet, one step of the employment application process seems curiously outdated: composing a cover letter.
Not only do many of us hate writing cover letters , but they often seem pointless . One 2017 survey showed only 26% of US recruiters consider cover letters important in the hiring process. If nothing else, cover letters feel as outdated as a faxed CV – and especially now, in a market favouring workers, should job applicants really have to waste time on the step they hate so much?
Yes, some recruiters still say. Ultimately, your cover letter is “your one opportunity” to stand out – to show off what specifically you bring to the position in a way that you can’t fully describe in your CV or with an online profile. And perhaps surprisingly, cover letters may be more important than ever.
The labour of letters
Traditionally, we’re told cover letters build on your resume. They showcase your personality; they explain why a specific role excites you. But that’s precisely why job hunters loathe writing them – it takes a long time to craft one, and then tweaking it or writing a new one from scratch for every single job application takes even longer.
Cranking out a cover letter can feel especially daunting if writing isn’t your forte. It’s easier to understand why candidates in creative industries might need a good cover letter. But for others, a sharp cover letter may seem an excessive ask for a job requiring specific technical skills (and maybe no writing at all).
Spending hours on a draft can feel even more tedious when contrasted with simpler application processes such as LinkedIn’s Easy Apply, which requires a single click. It’s often unclear why a particular company requires more from candidates at the initial application stage. And, when some recruiters openly acknowledge they don’t read cover letters – at least not as soon as an application crosses their desk – it’s difficult to know how much effort you should put into a cover letter at all.
It’s well known, after all, that many companies use online portals that don’t send your application to a human right away; AI and algorithms scan your CV for keywords, and throw it out if those targeted terms aren’t on it. In that case, why write a cover letter for an application that may get rejected before it even reaches a person?
More relevant than ever?
Yet, experts argue there’s never been a more important time to include a solid cover letter with your application.
First, writing a decent, detailed letter is indicative that you’ll put some work in to secure the role. “I look at it as kind of wearing make-up to an interview. It’s showing that you’re taking it seriously – you’re willing to put in some effort,” says Kristie Loescher, senior lecturer of management at the University of Texas, Austin, who teaches business communications.
Companies may ask for cover letters – over simpler application processes like Easy Apply – because it influences the quality of applicants. With simple processes, recruiters may get a lot of resumes that don’t match the job description, or people who are “just out there fishing”, says Loescher. But a cover letter immediately adds to your application, and proves you care about this particular role. Loescher, for example, says when she reads cover letters, she’s looking for passion and enthusiasm; she wants to find “people who are really excited about wearing [the University of Texas’s] burnt orange”.
Cover letters also matter because you can use them to explain any gaps – something relevant to many people who’ve been made redundant or dropped out of the workforce during the pandemic, says Kimberly McNeil, HR knowledge advisor at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). McNeil says even though it’s a job-seeker’s market, many people are acting on epiphanies they’ve had during the pandemic to seek out work that is more meaningful to them or gives them more flexibility. That means that for many roles, the cover letter remains “pivotal” to setting yourself apart.
Explaining your motivation is also particularly important if you’re trying to change careers. If you’re applying for a creative job, but have been in a corporate environment your whole career, how can you convince them you’re actually creative? In your cover letter, experts say, using persuasive language and concrete examples will do the trick. “It’s addressing concerns without naming concerns,” says Loescher. Your cover letter can help pre-emptively answer questions a hiring manager may have when they read your CV, and help increase your chances of securing an interview.
Act like it’s ‘going to come into play’
Importantly, not every company, sector or position is going to treat a cover letter equally. Some will give them more weight than others, to identify a certain skill or passion; some simply want to see one attached, as a signal that the candidate didn’t apply just because they could do it in one click.
For instance, especially at big corporations, McNeil says your cover letter may very well may go unread, at least at first. But it may come into play further on in the application process – and could potentially be read by multiple people. At smaller companies, especially start-ups, it may come into play a lot sooner. Tinier companies may not have the kind of AI-monitored application portals that big firms do, “so it is possible that the cover letter may be the applicant’s introduction to the employer”, says McNeil.
The writing process is still onerous, however. Loescher recommends keeping a cover letter template handy, and simply filling in the blanks with bits relevant to that role or company. You do want to be specific and original, and don’t want to sound scripted, but efficiency is key to staying sane. You need to balance the effort of writing one, says Loescher, “with the possible chance that it may make a difference”.
You can never know for sure when in the process a recruiter will read your cover letter. “I think a lot of times, we get bogged down with thinking ‘will it or won’t it [be read]’,” says McNeil. “Just assume that it’s going to come into play at some point.”
This means as a candidate, you have to respond accordingly – however pointless it may feel.
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