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How To Write a Cover Letter [Inspiring Examples]

Landing your dream job starts with making a great first impression, and a well-crafted cover letter is your opportunity to do just that. A cover letter not only showcases your experience and skills but also allows you to express your personality and enthusiasm for the position. In this article, we’ll break down the process of writing a cover letter and provide you with examples and templates to make your application shine.

Purpose of a Cover Letter

A cover letter is a vital part of your job application. It’s your chance to make a great first impression and showcase your skills, experience, and enthusiasm. Its primary purpose is to complement your resume, giving a glimpse of who you are as a candidate and what you bring to the table.

Part 1Types of Cover Letters

There are typically three main types of cover letters:

1. Job Application Cover Letter

This type of cover letter is used when applying for a specific job opening. Make sure you tailor it to match the job requirements.

Example:
Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to apply for the Marketing Coordinator position at X Company. With my strong marketing background and experience managing social media campaigns, I am confident I would be an excellent fit for this role.

2. Prospecting Cover Letter

This type of cover letter is not in response to a job opening, but rather is sent to a company you’re interested in working for to inquire about potential positions that suit your qualifications.

Example:
Dear Hiring Manager,

As a dedicated programmer with experience in web development, I’m highly interested in exploring potential opportunities at ABC Tech. I’ve followed your projects closely and believe my skills would make a valuable addition to your team.

3. Networking Cover Letter

This type of cover letter is used when seeking help from your professional network to find job leads or make connections.

Example:
Dear [Contact Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I am currently seeking new opportunities in the field of finance, and I remembered the great insight you offered during our previous conversations. Would you happen to know anyone in your network who might be hiring?

Part 2Key Components of a Cover Letter

1. Contact Information

Place your contact details at the top of the letter, including your name, address, phone number, and email. If you’re sending the cover letter via email, include this information in your email signature instead.

2. Salutation

Address the hiring manager directly, using their name, if possible. If you don’t know their name, use a professional greeting such as “Dear Hiring Manager.”

3. Opening Paragraph

Start strong by expressing your interest in the position and concisely stating why you’re an excellent fit for it.

4. Body

In one or two paragraphs, highlight your best qualifications, relevant experience, and the value you would bring to the company. To make it easy to read, use bullet points or bold text to emphasize major accomplishments.

5. Closing Paragraph

End on a high note by reiterating your enthusiasm and how you’re looking forward to the opportunity to discuss further. Thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration.

6. Complimentary Close and Signature

Use a professional close like “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your name, and if applicable, your contact information if you’re sending a physical letter.

Related: How to End an Email Professionally (Examples)

Part 3Research and Preparation

Company Information

Before you start writing your cover letter, research the company you’re applying to. Get a clear understanding of their history, mission, and products or services. Knowing these details will help you tailor your cover letter to show your genuine interest in the company. Some sources for research include the company’s website, social media accounts, and any recent news articles.

Example 1: “I was impressed to learn about your company’s dedication to sustainability and your award-winning line of eco-friendly products.”

Job Description and Requirements

Review the job description thoroughly in order to understand what the employer is looking for in a candidate. Highlight the main responsibilities and qualifications, and use this information to focus on how your skills and experience align with the job requirements.

Example 2: “As requested in the job description, I have experience in project management, client communication, and meeting tight deadlines.”

Your Relevant Skills and Experience

Make a list of your skills and experiences that relate directly to the role you’re applying for. This will help you showcase your value to the employer and demonstrate how you’re a great fit for the position. Be specific and provide examples wherever possible.

Example 3: “In my previous role as a marketing coordinator, I successfully managed a campaign that led to a 20% increase in website traffic and a 15% increase in online sales.”

Assessing Company Culture

Understanding the company culture is essential to ensure that you’re a good fit for the organization and can adapt to its working environment. Read through their mission statement, employee reviews, and social media content to get a sense of the company’s values and work atmosphere.

Example 4: “During my research, I noticed your emphasis on collaboration and teamwork, which aligns with my belief in creating strong relationships with colleagues to achieve common goals.”

Use the information you gather from research and assessment to create a compelling, tailored cover letter that highlights your strengths and shows your genuine interest in the company.

Part 4How to Write a Perfect Cover Letter

Format and Structure

When writing a cover letter, stick to the traditional format of a business letter. Keep it to one page and organize it into three to four short paragraphs. Use a standard font, such as Arial or Times New Roman, and make sure your font size is between 10 and 12 points.

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Header and Contact Information

At the top of the document, list your contact information including your name, address, phone number, and email address. If you’re sending the cover letter via email, put this header information in your email signature instead.

Example:

John Doe 123 Main Street City, State, Zip Phone: (555) 555-5555 Email: john.doe@email.com

Opening Paragraph

Start your cover letter with a strong and attention-grabbing opening paragraph. Introduce yourself and mention the position you’re applying for. If someone referred you to the job, mention their name and relationship to you. State your purpose and express interest in the company’s mission.

Example:
Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to apply for the Marketing Manager position at X Company. I was excited to see the opening, as I have been a long-time admirer of your organization’s commitment to sustainability.

Body of the Letter

In the body of the letter, showcase your relevant skills and experiences. Use specific examples from your resume to demonstrate how you fit the job requirements. Highlight your accomplishments, but do not repeat your resume verbatim. Tailor your cover letter to the job posting and company.

Example:
In my current role as a Social Media Coordinator, I developed a comprehensive social media strategy that resulted in a 25% increase in organic engagement. By using targeted advertising and relevant content, I expanded the reach of the brand and attracted new customers.

Closing Paragraph

In the closing paragraph, restate your interest in the position and your confidence in your ability to succeed in the role. Express gratitude for the opportunity to apply and thank the reader for considering your application. If applicable, mention your availability for an interview and provide your phone number or email.

Example:
I am confident that my skills and experiences make me a strong candidate for the Marketing Manager position at X Company. Thank you for considering my application. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further and am available for an interview at your convenience. Please feel free to contact me at (555) 555-5555 or john.doe@email.com.

Signature

End your cover letter with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely,” followed by your name and contact information if not already provided.

Example:

Sincerely,

John Doe Phone: (555) 555-5555 Email: john.doe@email.com

Part 5How to Customize a Cover Letter

Matching with Job Description and Requirements

To customize your cover letter, start by analyzing the job description and requirements. Identify key responsibilities and qualifications to address them in your letter. Focus on your strengths and experiences that align with what the employer is seeking. When discussing your skills, use strong action verbs and quantify your accomplishments when possible. This demonstrates your suitability for the position.

Example 1:
In my previous role as a project manager, I successfully delivered 15 projects on time and within budget, achieving a 97% customer satisfaction rate.

Tailoring Language and Tone

Your cover letter’s tone should align with the company culture. Research the company to understand its values and communication style. Adjust your language to mirror the organization’s tone while maintaining a professional demeanor. Show both enthusiasm and genuine interest in the position and company.

Example 2:
As someone who values innovation and collaboration, I am excited about the prospect of joining your dynamic team and contributing to your ongoing success in creating cutting-edge products.

Applying Personal Touch

To set yourself apart from other job seekers, include unique aspects of your background and experiences. In your opening paragraph, mention any personal connections or significant reasons why you’re interested in working for that specific organization. This personal touch shows your commitment and makes your cover letter more memorable.

Example 3:
Having been a long-time admirer of your organization’s dedication to sustainability, I am thrilled to see the Project Coordinator opening that supports this important initiative.

Cover Letter for Different Situations

Job seekers may encounter different situations when applying for jobs, such as career changes, gaps in employment, or relocation. Customize your cover letter to address these scenarios by emphasizing your transferable skills, explaining gaps succinctly, or mentioning your motivation for moving.

Example 4:
Although my background is in sales, the skills I’ve developed—strong communication, client relationship-building, and problem-solving—will allow me to excel in the account management role you are seeking to fill.

By customizing and adapting your cover letter for each job application, you increase your chances of catching the employer’s attention and demonstrating your suitability for the role. Remember to keep it brief, focused, and genuine.

Cover Letter Templates and Examples

Part 6Professional Cover Letter Templates

Template 1:

 

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to express my interest in the [job title] position at [company name]. With my extensive experience in [your field], I am confident that I can make a significant contribution to your team.

In my previous role at [previous company], I [state an accomplishment or responsibility relevant to the job posting]. This experience honed my [skills or qualifications] and prepared me for a role like the one you are advertising.

I am particularly interested in [specific aspect of the company or job] because [provide your reasoning]. I believe that my passion for [topic] and my expertise in [skills or qualifications] will make me a valuable asset to your team.

I have attached my resume for your review and would welcome the opportunity to discuss my application further in an interview. Please feel free to contact me via phone at [your phone number] or email at [your email] to arrange a time that works best for you.

Thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you soon.

Sincerely,
Your Name

Template 2:

 

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I am writing to apply for the [job title] position at [company name]. With a strong background in [your field], I am confident in my ability to contribute to the success of your team.

My experience at [previous company] allowed me to develop the skills necessary to excel in this role. During my time there, I was responsible for [describe a duty or accomplishment]. This has prepared me well for the challenges that the [job title] position presents.

The opportunity to work at [company name] excites me because [explain why you’re drawn to the company or the position]. My [skills or qualifications] align with the needs of your team, and I am eager to contribute my expertise to your organization.

Please find my resume attached for your review. I would appreciate the chance to discuss my qualifications and the position further in an interview. You can reach me by phone at [your phone number] or email at [your email].

Thank you for considering my application.

Best regards,
Your Name

Part 7Cover Letter Templates: Creative Field

Template 1:

Hello [Recipient Name],

I am reaching out to apply for the [job title] role at [company name]. My background in [your field] has prepared me to bring innovation and a unique touch to your creative team.

I was fortunate enough to work at [your previous company], where I accomplished [mention a relevant accomplishment]. This experience helped me refine my [skill or qualification] that I can now apply to the position at [company name].

I am drawn to [company name] because of its [specific quality or aspect of the company]. My [skills or qualifications] are well-suited to this role, and I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with your talented team.

Attached, you’ll find my resume for your review. I would appreciate the chance to discuss my candidacy and the position in more detail. You can contact me at [your phone number] or [your email].

Thank you, and I look forward to the possibility of working with you.

Best regards,
Your Name

 

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Template 2:

Dear [Recipient Name],

As someone who thrives in [your field], I couldn’t help but be excited when I came across the posting for the [job title] position at [company name]. I am confident that, with my [skill or qualification], I can bring a fresh perspective and valuable contributions to your team.

At my previous position with [previous company], I [mention a relevant accomplishment]. This achievement taught me the importance of [a lesson or skill related to the job you are applying for].

What really appeals to me about [company name] is [specific quality or aspect of the company]. My [skills and interests] make me an ideal fit for your diverse team, and I am eager to contribute in a meaningful way.

Please find my attached resume for your perusal. I welcome the chance to further explore the possibilities of the position in a conversation with you. Don’t hesitate to contact me at [your phone number] or [your email].

Thank you for taking the time to review my application.

Sincerely,
Your Name

Part 8Short Cover Letter Template

In some cases, a short and concise cover letter may be more appropriate, especially for job postings that specifically request a brief cover letter.

Template:

 

Dear [Recipient Name],

I recently came across the [job title] position at [company name], and I am excited to express my interest in the opportunity. With my skills in [your field], I am confident in my ability to contribute positively to your team.

Previously, I worked at [previous company], where I [mention a relevant accomplishment]. My [skills or qualifications] make me an ideal candidate for this role, and I am eager to contribute these abilities to your organization.

Please find my resume attached for your review. I would be grateful for the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications and the position. You can reach me at [your phone number] or [your email].

Thank you for considering my application.

Sincerely,
Your Name

Part 9No Experience Cover Letter Template

When you don’t have direct experience, focus on your transferable skills, education, and enthusiasm for the role.

Example: Although I am new to the finance industry, my strong analytical skills and academic achievements in my recent Bachelor of Business Administration make me an ideal candidate for this entry-level Financial Analyst position.”

Template:

 

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to express my interest in the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. Although I do not have any direct experience in this field, I am excited to learn and contribute my skills to your team.

As a recent graduate in [Your Field of Study], I have developed a strong foundation in [Skills or Knowledge Relevant to the Position]. Through my coursework and extracurricular activities, I have honed my [Soft Skills or Transferable Skills] and developed a passion for [Industry or Job Function].

I am drawn to [Company Name] because of its reputation for [Company Values or Achievements]. I am impressed by the company’s commitment to [Specific Values or Goals], and I believe that my skills and enthusiasm would make me a valuable addition to your team.

Although I do not have direct experience in this field, I am a quick learner and am eager to gain new skills. I am confident that my [Transferable Skills] would be an asset to your team, and I am excited to contribute to [Specific Project or Goal] at [Company Name].

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further and learn more about the position.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Part 10Career Change Cover Letter Template

If you’re making a career change, highlight your transferable skills and experiences that are relevant to the new industry.

Template:

Dear [Recipient Name],

I am writing to express my interest in the [job title] position at [company name]. Although my background is in [previous industry], I am excited and prepared to transition into the [new industry] and bring my unique perspective and diverse skill set to your team.

In my previous experience at [previous company], I developed a strong foundation in [relevant skills or experiences]. However, I have come to realize that my true passion lies in [new industry or job function], and I am eager to make a career change to pursue this passion.

I am drawn to [company name] because of its reputation for [company values or achievements], and I believe that my skills and experience would make me a valuable addition to your team. Specifically, I am confident that my [relevant skills] would be transferable to the [new industry or job function], and I am excited to learn and grow in this new role.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further and learn more about the position.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Part 11Cover Letter Best Practices

Proofreading and Editing

Before submitting your cover letter, take the time to proofread and edit it. Check for spelling and grammar errors, as well as inconsistencies in formatting. If possible, ask a friend or colleague for a fresh pair of eyes to review the letter. This will help ensure your language skills shine, and showcase your attention to detail.

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Length of a Cover Letter

Keep your cover letter concise – aim for no more than one page. Avoid unnecessary information, and don’t repeat what’s already on your resume. Instead, focus on how your skills align with the job requirements and your enthusiasm for the role.

Example: Be concise with your work history – limit yourself to 2-3 relevant experiences and describe how they have prepared you for the position at hand.

Example: If you’ve worked extensively abroad, briefly mention your language skills and international experiences, but don’t dwell on them – let your resume provide the details.

Following up After Submitting

After you’ve submitted your cover letter and resume, wait a week or two before following up with the hiring manager. Be polite and express your ongoing interest in the position. This shows you’re proactive and keen on the opportunity, but be mindful not to come across as overbearing.

Example: Send a brief, polite email asking if they’ve received your application and whether they need any additional information from you.

Don’t forget to use a clear, left-justified format for your cover letter. It helps maintain a professional appearance and makes it easy for the hiring manager to read. Use bullet points, bold text, and other formatting tools to highlight essential information and make your application stand out.

 

Asking for Advice

Reach out to those in your network with experience in your industry or the company you’re applying to. They can provide insights about the company culture, requirements, or even job-specific information. Always be respectful and appreciative of their time, and don’t forget to thank them for their assistance. Related: Thanking Someone [30 Responses for Professional Scenarios]

Example: If you have a friend working at the company you’re applying to, ask them about the essential skills required for the position and how you can tailor your cover letter accordingly.

Example: If you’re uncertain about a particular aspect of the job, consult a mentor or former colleague for advice on how to address it in your cover letter.

Sharing Your Cover Letter for Feedback

Having someone from your network review your cover letter can help identify any potential issues and ensure your cover letter effectively highlights your work history and soft skills. Be open to constructive criticism and edit your cover letter accordingly. Related: Constructive Criticism: When and How to Give and Take It

Example: Share your cover letter draft with a former colleague who is familiar with your work accomplishments so that they can provide feedback on whether you’ve effectively conveyed your strengths in the cover letter.

Example: If you have a friend or mentor with strong writing skills or experience reviewing job applications, ask for their feedback on your cover letter’s tone and formatting. This can help you ensure your cover letter is engaging and easy to understand.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should a cover letter include?

A cover letter should include your contact information, the date, the employer’s contact information, a salutation, an introduction that grabs their attention, a paragraph highlighting your relevant skills and qualifications, an explanation of how you can contribute to the company, a closing paragraph, and a sign off.

How to start a cover letter?

Start your cover letter with a strong opening sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. Mention the position you’re applying for and a brief reason why you’re a good fit.

Example:
As a highly skilled marketing professional with five years of experience in creating engaging campaigns, I am excited to apply for the Marketing Manager role at X Company.

How long should it be?

A cover letter should be no longer than one page, with around 250-400 words.

Example:
Introduction: 40-50 words
Qualifications and skills: 120-150 words
How you can contribute: 80-100 words
Closing paragraph: 30-40 words

How to write a casual cover letter?

Maintain a professional tone but use casual language and relatable examples.

Example:
Hey [Employer’s Name],

I recently came across your job posting for a Graphic Designer, and since I’m a design geek with a passion for creating eye-catching visuals, I couldn’t help but apply to join your awesome team!”

What is the best cover letter format?

Use a simple and organized format, including clear headings, paragraphs, and bullet points when necessary.

Example:
Heading / contact information
Salutation
Introduction
Bullet points of relevant experience (3-4 points)
Paragraph on how you can contribute
Closing paragraph

Posted in: Job Interview