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How To Write a Cover Letter for a CV (With Examples)
Tips for Writing a Cover Letter for a CV
Proofread before sending, cover letter template, cover letter sample, sending an email cover letter, more cover letter examples.
When you apply for a job with a curriculum vitae (CV), it's important to include a cover letter, also known as a covering letter. This letter allows you to make a favorable first impression, using narrative in your own tone of voice to catch the reader’s attention and encourage them to seriously review your attached CV.
Like a resume, a CV summarizes your skills and experience. The difference between a CV and a resume is length, the focus on credentials, and what the documents are used for. Typically, a CV is required to apply for roles in academia, scientific research, and medical fields.
While your CV provides a detailed—and often lengthy—look at your experience and credentials, the cover letter is an opportunity to call out your most important qualifications and make a compelling case for your candidacy for the role at hand. Here's what you need to know to write a successful curriculum vitae cover letter.
Tailor the Letter to Fit the Organization
The CV cover letter should be tailored to respond to the unique and specific requirements requested by each organization you are approaching.
Do not use the same cover letter for every job you apply to, even though it may seem like a timesaver.
Each letter needs to provide detailed information about why are you are qualified for the specific job in question, and it should outline the reasons for your interest in the company or organization. Being specific is advantageous. Even if you're applying for two similar roles in two different hospitals, the two hospitals may serve different populations or require slightly different responsibilities for people in the role. Your letters to each hospital should reflect that.
Use your cover letter to identify the skills or experiences most specific to the job, rather than copying directly the information in your CV.
What to Include
As a candidate, it's tempting to feel like the cover letter is unnecessary, since it is likely that all the pertinent information is included in your CV. Still, as you can see, the cover letter is a helpful tool in your application. Here's what to keep in mind as you write a cover letter.
The content of your cover letter should be brief and structured. Aim for 3-5 paragraphs in your letter. Start with a salutation. Your letter should address the relevant contact, whose name often appears in the job advertisement. Avoid “Sir” or “Madam” if possible.
If the letter recipient's name isn't provided, try these tips to determine the correct contact person .
Start With an Introduction
Typically, the first paragraph will be an introduction—if you are applying to a job ad, mention it here. Mention the job title, any reference number, and where and when you saw it. The first paragraph is also where you should mention if someone referred you to the position.
The Body of the Cover Letter
The body of the letter—the second and third paragraphs—should highlight your relevant skills and experience. Highlight your transferable skills , achievements, and versatility. Explain what you can contribute and what makes you stand out from your competition. Include mention of your current or last job, qualifications, and professional and academic training, tailoring your information to make it as relevant as possible to the organization or job applied for.
In the body of the cover letter, you can mention personality traits relevant to the role at hand. You can also use this space to call out why you're interested in this specific role, at this specific company. Potential employers and hiring managers will appreciate it if you can show you've read the job ad and researched the company.
Avoid lengthy repetition of information covered in your CV. Unlike a CV, it is acceptable to write a cover letter in the first person.
Conclude the letter by succinctly summarizing why an employer may want to meet and employ you. Include a polite expression of interest in further dialogue with the recruiter. Do mention that you would like the opportunity to discuss your suitability further in a personal interview and that you await a response in due course.
In some cases, an advertisement will indicate that a more substantial letter is required.
Always follow specific instructions and include any information if it is specifically requested. For instance, some employers may ask you to include your current salary or your desired salary range.
Make Sure the Letter Reads Well
Ensure that your CV cover letter flows freely. You do not need to precisely match every point on the job description. The reader should be left with an overall impression that you are a potentially valuable addition to the workforce.
The letter should be readable and engaging.
Negative information of any sort should be avoided in your cover letter, as well as on your CV.
You'll want to be sure your letter is free from grammar or spelling errors. It should also be clearly presented—that means using standard formatting, and common readable fonts (such as Times New Roman or Verdana) in an appropriate size.
This is a cover letter example. Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Depending on the employer's submission requirements, cover letters can be submitted online with your CV, uploaded online, or mailed. Be sure to follow the application instructions and follow the directions on how to apply. Consider this template for how to structure your letter:
Belinda Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555 firstname.lastname@example.org
October 25, 2021
Clark Lee, PhD Biology Department Chair Northwestern University 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321
Dear Dr, Lee:
I am writing to apply for the position of assistant professor in the Biology department, as described in the Northern University website. The opportunity to teach biology appeals to me, and I believe I can be an asset to the department due to my experience as a field biologist, as well as my work as an adjunct professor at Southern State University. In accordance with your job description, I have the following skills:
• Experience lecturing to large audiences
• Experience with learning management systems and course design
• Ability to assist with labs for other professors
• Experience with grant writing and research
I have enclosed my curriculum vitae so you may examine my work and research experience, the papers I’ve published, and my educational background.
I can be reached anytime by email at Belinda.email@example.com or my cell phone, 555-555-5555. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this position.
Signature (hard copy letter)
When you are sending your cover letter by email, list your contact information in your signature rather than at the top of the letter. List your name and the job title in the subject line of the message.
Here are more examples of cover letters that you can use as a starting point for your own correspondence.
How to write a cover letter for your CV
If you want to land the best jobs, you need to accompany your CV with a strong cover letter.
In this guide, I will show you how to write a cover letter that will get you noticed by employers and ensure you land plenty of interviews.
Starting with a basic overview…
To write an effective cover letter you must:
- Apply a professional format and layout
- Address the recipient by name
- Explain why you are suitable for the job you are applying for
- Explain why you are applying for the job
- Encourage the recruiter to open your CV
What is a cover letter?
Before you delve into this guide, it’s important to understand what a cover letter is, and what it’s purpose is.
Having a good understanding of these 2 factors will help you to create a really effective cover letter.
A cover letter is simply an introductory note which you send to recruiters and employers, when sending your CV
Here’s an example of a typical cover letter
What’s the purpose of a cover letter?
The purpose of your cover letter is to do the following 3 things;
- Introduce yourself
- Build rapport with the recruiter or employer
- Encourage them to open your CV
Cover letter format
Before you start to write your cover letter, you need to understand the basics of formatting one, and the structure to follow.
Using the correct format will ensure that your cover letter is easy for busy recruiters to read, and that you can highlight the important information that they want to see.
Use the following tips to format and layout your CV for best results.
Write your cover letter in the body of your message or email
The number one cover letter formatting rule to remember is, write your cover letter in the body of your email (or messaging box if you are sending via a job website ).
Never attach your cover letter as a separate document.
You want your cover letter to be instantly visible to recruiters and employers, form the moment they open your application.
If you attach it separately, you simply slowing down the process, and run the risk of having your application ignored (especially if it takes a long time for the document to open).
So, always write your cover letter in the body of your application message if you want to make an instant connection with the recipient.
Quick tip: If you are writing your cover letter in an email, use an eye-catching subject line that tailors your skills to the jobs. E.g. Developer with 5 years web app experience
Cover letter layout
Every cover letter will be different of course, but try to stick to this basic layout as much as possible, in order to provide the right information, in a logical order.
This will help you to build rapport with readers, and sell yourself to them in the short window of their attention you have.
Start by addressing the recipient
The first thing you need to do in your cover letter, is address the person you are approaching.
Follow with a friendly greeting
You want to appear professional when applying for jobs, but you also need to be friendly and personable.
So, follow with a friendly greeting such as;
- Hope you’re well
- I hope this email finds you well
Always remember that your message will be read by a real person, and they will appreciate being treated well.
Explain which job you are applying for
Once you’ve greeted and warmed up the recruiter with a friendly opening, it’s time to get to the point.
Let the recruiter know exactly which job you are applying for.
Remember that some recruiters will be working scores of vacancies, so be as specific as you can.
Explain why you are suitable for the job
In the body of your cover letter, you should provide a brief explanation of what makes you suitable for the job you are applying for.
This is ultimately what will encourage a recruiter or hiring manager to open your CV .
I will cover how to do this in more detail in the “W hat to include in a cover letter ” section of the guide.
Sign off in a friendly and professional manner
Remembering that your cover letter is a means of communication with the person receiving it – sign off in a friendly yet professional way.
Use a term like;
- Kind regards
- Look forward to hearing from you
Finish with a professional signature
Finally, at the very bottom of your cover letter, add a professional signature .
This will ensure it looks professional, and provide the reader with instant access to your contact details.
Quick tip: If you are writing a cover letter in email, format your signature to make it look extra-professional, and save it as your default signature for all of your outgoing mails.
How to start a cover letter
To start a cover letter, you should always aim to address the recipient by name – this is the best way to start building rapport.
But you are probably thinking, “How do I find their name??”
There are a few ways you can find the name of the person handling the vacancy
- On the job advert – sometimes the name and email address will be on the job advert itself
- Company website – If you’re applying directly to a company, you can often find the recruitment team or head of department on the company About us section
- LinkedIn – If you can determine the company and team for the vacancy, a search on LinkedIn can often uncover the most likely person to be handling the applications.
“What if I can’t find a name?”
If you can’t find a name, don’t panic – you won’t always be able to.
Simply address the recruiter with the word “Hi” – that’s all you can do in that instance.
Don’t use the phrase “ Dear sir or madam” – It’s very old-fashioned and impersonal.
How long should a cover letter be?
A cover letter should be short and sweet.
The purpose of a cover letter, is simply to persuade recruiters to open your CV, so it doesn’t need to be long .
You only need 3 – 6 sentences to write a good cover letter.
You have to bear in mind that recruiters and hiring managers are busy people, so you need to move them on to opening your CV quickly – or you might lose their attention.
What to include in a cover letter
The content you include in your cover letter will determine whether or not the recruiter is impressed by you, and if they will go on to open your CV.
So, it’s crucial that you include the information they want to see.
Here’s what to include…
Firstly, read the job advert properly
Before you start writing your cover letter, you must ensure that you understand what the recruiter wants from applicants.
Study the job advert carefully, and pick out the most important candidate requirements.
Focus mainly on hard skills such as languages, IT systems, industry experience etc.
Don’t focus on personal skills (such as adaptability, teamwork etc,) as they are needed for most jobs and won’t make you stand out.
Once you know what the recruiter wants from a successful candidate, try to reflect those attributes when writing the below points.
If you’re an experienced candidate, employers will mainly be interested in the work you have done in your industry, tools you are familiar with, type of projects you have worked on etc. so make these a focal point of your cover letter.
If you are less experienced (like a graduate or school leaver) focus on adding transferable skills from your studies, that can be carried over to the workplace.
Length of experience
Recruiters will need to know how much experience you have.
- Are you a graduate?
- Senior with 15 years of experience?
If the role you are applying for requires certain qualifications, then it’s crucial to mention them in your cover letter.
However, if the job advert doesn’t ask for them, or you simply know qualifications aren’t important to perform the role – then you can leave them out.
What you are currently doing
Recruiters will want to know what your current situation is, so be sure to inform them.
- Are you currently working in a similar role?
- Have you just left school?
- Are you immediately available, or do you have to work notice?
Your motivation for applying
One question that recruiters will often ask when they receive an application is, “ why is this person applying for the role ?”
And you need to answer that question in your cover letter.
Your reasons for applying should be positive, and suggest that you are looking to make a firm commitment to the employer.
Do write: “After spending 2 years as senior manager at my current firm, I am looking to take a step up to manage a bigger team in a more specialist market”
Don’t write: “ I’ve recently been fired from my old job, so I need a new one quickly”
Results you’ve achieved for employers
If you’re an experienced candidate, it’s a good idea to allude to the kind of results you have achieved for your current or previous employers.
Maybe you have;
- Saved them money
- Brought on new customers
- Improved processes
- Made plenty of sales
Only give an overview in your cover letter to keep things brief – save the detail for your CV .
How to end a cover letter
To end a cover letter , you should do 2 things; provide a strong call-to-action, and sign of professionally.
Provide a strong call to action
What is a call to action?
It’s simply a request to the reader to take a specific action…
In the case of your cover letter, the action you want the recruiter to take is open your CV.
So it can be helpful to write a line like,
“Please find my CV attached” near the bottom of your cover letter, to encourage readers to do so.
Sign off professionally
Finish your cover letter with a friendly term such as, “kind regards” followed by your name.
Then add a professional signature to the bottom, like the one below;
This makes the cover letter look professional and ensures that recruiters have;
- Your full name
- Phone number
- Email address
Cover letter samples
To give you some ideas and inspiration for writing your cover letter, here are 6 example cover letters .
Customer service cover letter
Applying for customer service roles.
This customer service cover letter is short and to-the-point – it quickly delivers a host of reasons why this candidate would be valuable in a customer service role.
See also: sales assistant cover letter example
Finance cover letter
Applying for finance and accounting roles.
This cover letter outlines the candidate’s finance knowledge, and how they could apply it in the workplace
Graduate cover letter
Applying for graduate/student roles.
Graduate’s cover letters are a little longer than most, as they don’t have as much experience, so need to describe their education and transferable skills.
Sales cover letter
Applying for sales roles.
This cover letter boasts the candidate’s ability to make sales and drive revenue.
Project management cover letter
Applying for Project manager roles.
An overview of the candidate’s project manager skills and the types of projects they deliver, are enough to entice recruiters here.
Teacher cover letter
Applying for teaching roles.
This teacher cover letter provides a brief synopsis of the candidate’s teaching abilities and the types of lessons they teach.
Cover letter mistakes
When writing your cover letter, be sure to avoid some of these common mistakes…
Don’t attach your cover letter as a separate document
You want the contents of your cover letter to instantly greet and connect with the recruiter opening it – so attaching it as separate document will slow that process down.
It doesn’t make sense to attach it as a separate document when you can write in the body of your email or message.
Don’t write a whole side of A4
Your cover letter should be a brief introduction and overview of your suitability for the job.
If you write too much, you risk boring the reader and they might skip past your application.
Save the in-depth details for your CV.
Don’t copy and paste the same cover letter
When your applying for lots of jobs, it can be tempting to simply copy and paste your cover letter into every application.
Whilst this will save you time, it will have a negative effect on your applications.
If you don’t take the time to tailor your cover letter for every job, it’s likely that you will miss some of the key requirements for each job, and therefore you will not make as good as impression as you could have.
It’s OK to work from a template, to keep the structure and some important points that you might repeat for most applications – but always tailor each cover letter to the job spec, for best results.
Don’t use “Dear sir or Madam”
This greeting many have worked well in the 1800’s, but it’s dated and impersonal now.
A simple “Hi” is a friendly and professional way to start your cover letter nowadays.
How to write a cover letter – conclusion
Your cover letter is a crucial tool in the quest to land interviews in the job market.
If you follow the advice above, you should be able to create a concise and powerful cover letter that will excite recruiters, and take you one step closer to landing that dream job
Good luck with your job search!
21+ Cover Letter Examples in 2024 [For All Professions]
No matter where you are in your career, or what job you’re applying for, submitting a cover letter with your resume is a must .
Done right, a cover letter will effectively complement your resume and explain to the hiring manager in more detail why you’re the right person for the job.
Writing a cover letter, however, is easier said than done.
You have to effectively demonstrate that you’ll be able to perform the responsibilities listed in the job description and that you’d be a better fit for the company compared to other candidates.
And unless you’re a professional writer, this can be a very hard task.
Fortunately, we created these cover letter examples to inspire you and help you get started with your own cover letter!
Let’s dive in!
21 Cover Letter Examples
#1. career change cover letter example .
Here’s what this cover letter does right:
- Has an ideal length. This cover letter includes all the relevant information for the hiring manager without getting into too much detail.
- Relevant introduction. The candidate explains that they’re changing careers and why they want to work in this new field from the get-go.
- Explains their related experience. The candidate explains how their previous experience in retail sales can help them succeed in PR.
Check out our guide video guide to learn how to write a Cover Letter that gets you HIRED!
#2. Recent Graduate Cover Letter Example
- Personally greets the hiring manager. The candidate has taken the time to find the hiring manager’s name and address them by it, which makes the opening of the cover letter much more personal.
- Wraps up with a call to action. The candidate wraps up the cover letter by suggesting a meeting with the hiring manager, which makes them more memorable.
- Explains why the candidate is the right person for the internship. In this cover letter for an internship , the candidate explains how they’ve previously interned in a different firm, which gives them the experience to succeed in this role.
Have you just graduated from college? Make sure to check out our guide on writing an entry-level cover letter from start to finish!
#3. Middle Management Cover Letter Example
- Use of bullet points. The candidate presents the information in a concise and reader-friendly way, making it easy for the hiring manager to find their key achievements.
- Formal closing. The candidate has used a formal and polite tone to conclude their cover letter, which combined with a call to action makes them look professional and passionate about getting the job.
- Explains how the company would benefit from hiring them. The candidate outlines exactly what they could do for the company, which not only highlights their skills but also shows they’ve done their research on the company’s needs.
#4. Business Manager Cover Letter Example
- Detailed header. In addition to the must-have contact details, this candidate has also included their professional Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, making it easy for the hiring manager to look more closely into their career.
- Concise and to the point. This candidate has used short paragraphs and bullet points to make the cover letter easy to skim through.
- Wraps up with a call to action. By letting the hiring manager know they’ll be contacting them soon, they’re more likely to make an impression.
Check out this article for a complete writing guide and an inspiring business manager resume sample.
#5. Ph.D. Cover Letter Example
Here’s what this cover letter does right:
- Attention-grabbing introduction. In the opening paragraph, this candidate explains why they’re passionate about pursuing a Ph.D. in great detail.
- Explains the candidate’s qualifications in detail. The candidate builds on their passion by explaining how they’re also qualified for the degree because of their education history and academic achievements.
#6. Senior Executive Cover Letter Example
- Professional and minimalistic template. This senior executive has used a professional but minimalistic template that lets their work experience do the talking.
- Achievement-oriented opening paragraph. Right from the get-go, this candidate explains what makes them so good at their job, effectively grabbing the hiring manager’s attention.
- Wraps up with a call to action. By suggesting to have a meeting and discussing how they can help the company meet its goals, the candidate stands more chance to make a positive lasting impression.
#7. Architect Cover Letter Example
- Modern resume template. This architect has picked a template that perfectly matches his industry, as it is professional and modern at the same time.
- A personal greeting to the HR. They address the hiring manager by their first name, which helps make a better first impression.
- Measurable achievements. By quantifying their achievements, the candidate proves their achievements instead of just claiming them.
Struggling with your architect resume ? Check out our full guide!
#8. Business Analyst Cover Letter Example
- Detailed contact information. The candidate has listed both their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, providing the HR manager an opportunity to learn more about the candidate.
- Mentions what the candidate can do for the company. This cover letter doesn’t just explain why the job would be great for the candidate, but also how the candidate would benefit the company. Win-win, right?
- Error-free and reader-friendly. It’s super important for the cover letter to have no spelling or grammatical errors and be reader-friendly. This candidate made sure they did both.
Need a resume alongside your cover letter? Check out our guide on how to write a business analyst resume .
#9. Consultant Cover Letter Example
- Professional cover letter template. Being an experienced consultant, this candidate has picked a professional template that doesn’t steal the spotlight from their achievements.
- Experience and achievement-oriented. The candidate has effectively elaborated on their top achievements relevant to the job.
- Highlights the candidate’s passion. To show they want the job, this candidate has also explained how passionate they are about their profession.
For more advice on landing a job as a consultant, check out our guide to writing a consultant resume .
#10. Digital Marketing Cover Letter Example
- Creative cover letter template. This digital marketer highlights their originality by picking a creative cover letter template.
- Lists the candidate’s awards. The candidate has taken advantage of the cover letter to list their most noteworthy awards in the industry.
- Concludes with a call to action. As they used a call to action to conclude their cover letter, the HR manager will be more likely to remember them.
Want to take your digital marketing resume to the next level? Check out our guide!
#11. Graphic Designer Cover Letter Example
- Detailed contact information. The candidate has included additional contact information such as their website link, as well as their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.
- Ideal length. This cover letter is concise, which means that the HR manager is more likely to read it from start to finish.
- Draws attention to the candidate’s strong points. Although this candidate is a recent college graduate, they’ve managed to effectively show that they have enough knowledge and experience to do the job right.
Read this guide to write a graphic designer resume that’s just as good as your cover letter!
#12. Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Example
- Minimalistic cover letter template. The candidate picked a well-designed but minimalistic template for their cover letter.
- Focused on skills and achievements. This cover letter is packed with the candidate’s skills and achievements, proving he can be an excellent employee.
- Formal closing. Politeness can go a long way and the candidate has used this to their advantage to make an impression.
Our article on how to write an administrative assistant resume can help you take your job application to the next level.
#13. Front Desk Cover Letter Example
- Modern cover letter template. This template incorporates memorable colors and clear lines, which make the cover letter very visually appealing.
- Attention-grabbing introduction. Using an attention-grabbing intro, the candidate is more likely to make an impression.
- Calls the HR to action. By including a call to action, the candidate is reminding the HR of their immediate availability.
#14. Human Resources Cover Letter Example
- It is concise and to the point. The candidate doesn’t dwell on unimportant details the HR won’t be interested in.
- Uses a traditional cover letter template. The cover letter design is more on the conventional side, which fits the industry better.
- Highlights the candidate’s strong points. The candidate has rich work experience and they use the cover letter to elaborate on it.
This HR resume guide can help you get your resume just right.
#15. Sales Agent Cover Letter Example
- Attention-grabbing cover letter template. As a salesperson, this candidate knows how important first impressions are, so they’ve picked a catchy cover letter template.
- Has an ideal length. At the same time, they’ve also made sure to keep their cover letter at just the right length.
- Lists the candidate’s career highlights. The candidate has made perfect use of the space by mentioning their most impressive professional achievements.
Check out this sales agent resume guide to create an attention-grabbing sales resume .
#16. Receptionist Cover Letter Example
- Modern but minimalistic cover letter template. The template’s design hints the candidate is creative but professional at the same time.
- Uses a catchy introduction. The candidate has used an attention-grabbing opening paragraph to catch HR’s attention.
- Concludes the cover letter formally. The candidate proves that they’re polite and well-spoken, a quality very much important for the role they’re applying for.
Take your receptionist resume to the next level with this receptionist resume guide .
#17. Information Technology Cover Letter Example
- Mentions measurable achievements. Numbers make an impact, which is why this candidate has included measurable achievements.
- Lists both soft and hard skills. The candidate has mentioned a great mix of soft and hard skills, showing how well-rounded they are.
- Contains relevant contact information. The candidate’s GitHub, website name, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles are all great additions to the resume.
Looking for tips to help you write a great IT resume ? Check out our guide!
#18. Real Estate Cover Letter Example
- Ideal length. Short and to the point, this cover letter is bound to get noticed by the HR manager.
- Wraps up with a call to action. This candidate reinforces the HR to call them back through a final call to action.
- Mentions the right skills. On top of their sales accomplishments, the candidate touch upon important soft skills such as customer service and communication .
This real estate resume guide will help you take your resume from good to great.
#19. Teacher Cover Letter Example
- Mentions relevant contact information details. This candidate has included optional (but relevant) contact information details, such as their LinkedIn, Quora, and Medium profiles.
- Achievement-oriented. The candidate has elaborated on their achievements in more detail throughout their cover letter.
- Highlights the candidate’s passion. For some jobs, being passionate is much more important than for others. Teaching is one of these jobs, which is why this candidate explains their passion for the job.
Our guide on how to write a teacher resume has all the tips you need to land the job.
#20. Project Manager Cover Letter Example
- Leverages a catchy introduction. Through a catchy introductory paragraph, this candidate is sure to grab the HR’s attention and get them to read the rest of their cover letter.
- Lists measurable accomplishments. This candidate explains exactly what they’ve achieved using numbers and hard data.
- Personally greets the HR. A personal greeting sounds much better than “Dear Sir/Madam,” and the candidate knows this.
This guide on how to write a project manager resume can help you perfect your appication.
#21. Paralegal Cover Letter Example
- Minimalistic cover letter template. This cover letter design looks good but doesn’t steal the show from the candidate’s abilities.
- Mentions the candidate’s academic achievements and extracurricular activities. Although the candidate is a recent graduate, they’ve used the cover letter to explain they have enough skills and achievements to do the job.
- Lists measurable achievements. The candidate proves they did well in their internship by mentioning quantifiable achievements.
Check out this paralegal resume guide to perfect yours.
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application, alongside your 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 give the hiring manager more insight into what makes you a good candidate and help them make up their mind about whether they should invite you for an interview. A bad cover letter, though, will get ignored (at best) and lose you the job (at worst).
So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.
The first thing to remember is that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you shouldn’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume and call it a day.
Optimally, you should use your cover letter to shed more light on your skills and qualifications, as well as explain anything you didn’t have space for in your resume (e.g. a career gap or why you’re changing careers).
If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, though, putting all this together might seem pretty tough.
Fortunately, you can follow our tried-and-tested format to make the experience much easier:
- Header - Input your contact information.
- Greeting the hiring manager - Open the cover letter with a “Dear Sir or Madam,” or use the hiring manager’s name if you know what that is.
- Opening paragraph - Grab the hiring manager’s attention by getting straight to the point. Mention what your professional experiences are, and what role you’re applying for.
- The second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Mention your top 2-3 achievements, your top skills, why you want to work in that specific industry, and whatever else is relevant.
- The third paragraph - End your cover letter with a call to action. E.g. “I would love to meet personally and discuss how I can help Company X.”
- Formal closing - Something like this: “Thank you for your consideration. Best, John Doe.”
Here’s what this looks like in practice:
9 Tips to Write a Cover Letter (the Right Way)
Now that we've covered the basics, let's talk about cover letter tips . Below, we'll give you all the knowledge you need to take your cover letter from "OK" to "great."
#1. Pick the right template
A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.
And what’s a better way to leave a good impression than through a professional, well-formatted, and visual template?
You can simply pick one of our tried-and-tested cover letter templates and you’ll be all set!
#2. Add your contact details on the header
The best way to start your cover letter is through a header.
Here’s what you want to include there:
- Phone Number
- Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
- Name of the company you’re applying to
Optionally, you can also include the following:
- 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 content portfolio site or blog.
#3. Greet the hiring manager the right way
Once you’ve listed all your relevant contact information, it’s time to address the hiring manager reading your cover letter.
A good practice here is to find the hiring manager’s name and address them directly instead of using the traditional “dear sir or madam.” This shows that you’re really invested in the company and that you took your time to do some research about the job.
So, how can you find out the hiring manager’s name?
One way to do this is by looking up the head of the company’s relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably the Head of Communications or the Chief Communications Office.
Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of server at a restaurant. In that case, you’d be looking to find out who the restaurant manager is.
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.
If you still can’t find out the hiring manager’s name, here are several other greetings you can use:
- Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
- Dear Hiring Manager
- To whom it may concern
- Dear [Department] Team
#4. Create an attention-grabbing introduction
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 problem with most cover letter opening paragraphs, though, is that they’re usually extremely generic, often looking 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.
As you can probably tell, this opening paragraph doesn’t tell the hiring manager anything other than that you’ve worked the job before - and that’s not really helpful in setting you apart from other candidates.
What you want to do, instead, is 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.
My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed its 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 my excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the role of X at Company Y.
The second example shows how the candidate is a top performer. The first just shows that they’ve worked a sales job before.
Which one are YOU more likely to invite for an interview?
#5. Show you’re the perfect person for the job
One great thing about cover letters is that they allow you to expand more on the top achievements from your resume and really show the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job.
A good way to do that is to first read the job ad and really understand what skills/experiences are required, and then to ensure that your cover letter touches upon the said skills or experiences.
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 and management process end-to-end. This means I created the ad copy and images, as well as 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
#6. Explain why you’re a great company fit
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 .
To convince the hiring manager that you’re a great company fit, do some research on the company and find out what it is you like about them, or about working there. You want to know things like:
- What’s the company’s business model?
- What’s the company's 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?
Then, turn your top reasons for liking to work there into text and add them to your cover letter!
#7. Wrap up with a call to action
To make the end of your cover letter as memorable as possible, you want to:
- Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Mention anything you’ve left out that you think could help the hiring manager make up your mind.
- Thank the hiring manager for their time. After all, it never hurts to be polite.
- Finish the cover letter with a call to action. A call to action is a great way to make your cover letter ending as memorable as possible.
#8. Write a 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 in a cover letter:
- Best Regards,
- Kind Regards,
#9. Proofread your cover letter
Last but not least, make sure to always proofread each and every document that you’ll be including in your job application - cover letter included.
The last thing you want is to be claiming you’re a great candidate for the job with a cover letter full of typos!
For an even more comprehensive guide on how to write an impactful cover letter , check out our article !
Cover Letter Writing Checklist
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have some questions about cover letters? Check out the answers below:
1. How do I write a simple cover letter?
To write a cover letter that’s simple but also professional, make sure to include a header with your personal information, a formal greeting to the hiring manager, an attention-grabbing opening paragraph, a second paragraph explaining why you’re a good candidate for the job, and a formal closing (preferably with a call to action).
2. What are the 3 parts of a cover letter?
The three parts of a cover letter are:
- The introduction , namely the header, the greeting to the hiring manager, and the opening paragraph.
- The sales pitch is usually the body of the cover letter.
- The conclusion involves a formal closing and a signature line.
3. What makes a great cover letter?
A great cover letter should be personalized for each job you’re applying for, instead of being overly generic. It’s also preferable to address the hiring manager by their name and not use the overly-used “Dear Sir/Madam.”
To make a great first impression, you should mention 1-2 of your top achievements in your opening paragraph - the more job-specific they are, the better. Also, don’t stop at showing the hiring manager why you’re a great candidate for the job. Make sure to also talk about how you’re a good culture fit for the company.
Last but not least, wrap up your closing paragraph with a call to action to give the hiring manager a little extra something to remember you by.
4. When is a cover letter necessary?
Unless the job ad specifically states otherwise, you should always include a cover letter with your job application .
Even if the hiring manager doesn’t read it, you will look more professional simply by including one.
And that’s a wrap! We hope our cover letter examples and writing tips will inspire you to write a cover letter that will land you your next job.
If you’re looking for more invaluable career advice and articles, make sure to check out our career blog , or any of these related articles:
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- Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
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Writing Your Cover Letter
What is a cover letter.
A cover letter is a document that serves as an introduction to your résumé and provides the reader with additional context about your skills and qualifications when considering your application. Not only does it reiterate your enthusiasm and qualifications for the opportunity, but it also serves as mini writing sample which can be extremely helpful when applying for a position that requires strong written communication skills.
Constructing A Cover Letter
Much like your position-specific résumé, a cover letter should be uniquely tailored for each opportunity you apply to. Researching the organization and position prior to writing your letter will provide helpful guidance on content to include and attributes to draw attention to. In addition, here are a few other general rules you should follow when formatting your cover letter.
There are two options for arranging the contact section on your cover letter: using formal business letter formatting or mirroring the contact section of your résumé.
1 . Formal business-style cover letters should follow a standard block format which aligns all text to the left margin and includes an outgoing address (your contact information), the date, an incoming address (your recipient’s contact information), followed by the salutation.
2. If mirroring the contact section of your résumé, your contact information should be centered on the page (or however it appears on your résumé) with the date, recipient’s contact information, and salutation aligned to the left margin.
When constructing the body of your cover letter, the content should be separated into four main paragraphs based on the skills and/or experiences you wish to highlight to your reader. These paragraphs should be written without indentation and contain the sentiments outlined below.
- Why are you writing this cover letter? Specifically mention the position and company to which you are applying
- Make a connection with the reader by mentioning a common professional acquaintance, sharing the name of the company representative you spoke with at a career fair, or expressing how a certain aspect of the position or organization related to you personally
- Conclude the paragraph with a statement that identifies the skills, knowledge, and/or experience(s) you plan to discuss in the next two paragraphs
Focus on one skill or experience you want to write about in each paragraph, then make sure that each one…
- Explains why you are a strong fit for the position and organization
- Shows that you possess the skills/qualifications listed in the position description by providing specific examples of past work, internship, classroom, volunteer, or leadership experiences
- Illustrates why/how your past experiences and skills can add value to the organization
- Thank the reader for reviewing your application materials
- Reiterate your interest in the position/organization by referring to them by name
- Express your willingness to follow up with more information if needed
- Provide your phone number and email address for contact if your contact section does not mirror your résumé
Valediction (signature line)
- Leave a paragraph space after your closing paragraph for your valediction; sentiments such as “Sincerely”, “Kind regards”, “With appreciation”, and “Respectfully” can all be used and should be followed with a comma
- Leave at least two to three paragraph spaces between your valediction and your typed name to include a printed signature – even if you are not physically printing and signing the letter
Cover Letter Sample
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These slides will offer tips and resources for resume and cover letter preparation for applying to RN positions.
Exploring the Benefits and Limitations of AI in Your Job Search
On average, around 250 applications are submitted per corporate job listing. That gives you a about a 0.40% chance of getting selected. Consequently, many job seekers are using AI to enhance their chances of landing the gig.
Optimizing a LinkedIn profile or resume, enhancing a cover letter, or crafting a stellar follow-up email are all examples of how AI might help increase your chances or, at the very least, help you stand out. But what are the downsides to using this kind of software for something as important, and often personal, as a job search? In this article, we’ll cover the benefits, along with some of the limitations, of using artificial intelligence as your stand-in recruiter.
Let’s start with the benefits. As many job seekers know, conducting a thorough job search can be…taxing. There are hundreds of job listings to sift through, hiring documents to optimize, and keywords to capitalize on. So, how can AI potentially help you cut time and boost your odds? Let’s dive in.
First, understanding application tracking systems and why they’re important
Applicant tracking systems (ATS), commonly used by employers to screen applicants, have made optimizing your resume and cover letter more important than ever. With over 75% of companies now relying on these AI-powered systems, a resume that hits all the marks is imperative to securing an interview.
An applicant tracking system is a computer software program that manages the initial stages of the hiring process (scanning the resume and cover letters). So, what does this have to do with optimizing your hiring documents? A lot, actually. Resume scanning software relies solely on keywords to determine if your resume is a match—so making sure yours is full of the right ones could be the difference between making it to the next stage or moving on to the next prospect.
Optimizing your resume and cover letter
Generative AI has proven to be a whizz at writing essays, but job seekers could also use it to write their resumes. AI-powered tools have the ability to generate a CV or identify weaknesses in existing ones. And the exciting news is that using AI to write a resume could potentially increase a candidate's chances of securing a job by up to 8%.
The best way to gain a competitive edge is to research the most relevant keywords in the job or industry you’re applying to and integrate them throughout your resume and CV. You can even take it a step further by asking it to highlight your most applicable qualifications for the job—talk about a leg up. Try using this prompt to get the most accurate results for you.
"Please scan my resume and highlight any keywords or skills relevant to the [insert job title or industry] role. Provide me with feedback and suggestions on how I can improve my resume to increase my chances of getting hired."
It's that simple.
You can use AI tools like ChatGPT or Interview Warmup from Google, which ask typical interview questions and analyze your voiced or typed responses for areas to improve. With a tool like ChatGPT, you can engage the AI chatbot to simulate a hiring manager for the company you’re interviewing with, and request it to generate interview questions specific to the position. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and you can never be too prepared for a job interview. These tools won’t replace human interaction, but can certainly help you to feel confident and prepared.
Keep in mind that AI tools or chatbots don’t have the ability to advise or provide feedback on charm, politeness, or cultural courtesies—so consider the feedback with caution—don’t solely rely on it.
Automate the application process
Many people often face challenges when beginning their job search, whether because they don’t know where to look or which roles to pursue. Fortunately, there’s a host of AI-powered tools that can match a candidate's skills, experience, and preferences with the right job opportunities. These tools not only save time but also assist applicants in making informed decisions about their career path.
Take advantage of job boards like LinkedIn and Indeed, which use machine learning to match skills and qualifications with the best job listings for you. By inputting your resume or experience, you can enhance your application visibility and increase your chances of finding relevant job opportunities. Then, sit back and let the AI-driven algorithms present you with the top job listings that align with your qualifications.
While AI is impressive, it does come with limitations. Applying for a job, despite its formal nature, remains a distinctly human process. Yes, logistics and qualifications are involved, but it’s also about fitting in with a company as an individual—something AI, despite its best efforts, cannot help you with.
Don’t solely rely on AI to write a resume or cover letter
It’s worth mentioning that AI-generated CVs or resumes may lack the authentic touch that employers appreciate, and there is always a possibility of including errors. AI systems learn only from their developers, so if the information is outdated, the chances of inaccuracy is very possible. Some content could be sourced from outdated news articles, contain obsolete jargon, or highlight irrelevant qualifications. Besides, it’s important to add a unique touch of individuality to your hiring documents, something that AI simply cannot do.
Do not ignore privacy and security when using AI job search platforms
Generally, you should always practice discretion when sharing personal information online, and it’s no different in the case of AI. As these tools continue to evolve, they may collect user interactions for the purpose of improving their performance. Although security guidelines protect user data, new technology is always vulnerable to potential risks. Practice caution and avoid sharing sensitive information such as financial data, passwords, and other private details.
Don’t use AI as a stand-in for you
AI falls short when it comes to replicating the human element. While it can compile factual information about your achievements, skills, and qualifications, it lacks the ability to emulate the personal touch that a successful resume or CV presents to hiring managers. These documents are not meant to be dry and mundane, only listing off qualifications. Rather, they are tools designed to highlight your unique qualities and persuade employers that you are the ideal fit for them.
Download our infographic to learn more about AI’s potential impact on your next career move or access more great resources for your job search here .