cover letter outline example

Cover Letter Outline Guide With Expert Examples

cover letter outline example

Written by Mark DeGrasso

May 22, 2023.

When it comes to job applications, your cover letter is often the first impression you make on a potential employer. It’s important to make sure that your cover letter stands out from the crowd and showcases your qualifications and experience in the best possible light. One of the best ways to do this is to follow a well-structured cover letter outline. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the elements of a successful cover letter outline, with expert examples and tips to help you create a standout application.

Why The Right Cover Letter Outline is Important

The job market is more competitive than ever, and recruiters and hiring managers often have hundreds of applications to sort through for a single position. Your cover letter is your chance to make an impact and convince the reader that you’re the right candidate for the job. A clearly structured and well-organized cover letter helps you to do just that, allowing you to highlight your relevant experience and qualifications and demonstrate why you’re a great fit for the role.

When it comes to crafting a cover letter, having a strong outline is essential. Not only does it help you to organize your thoughts and ideas, but it also ensures that you don’t miss any important details that could make or break your application. A good cover letter outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion, each of which serves a specific purpose.

The introduction is where you introduce yourself and explain why you’re applying for the position. This is your chance to grab the reader’s attention and make a strong first impression. In the body paragraphs, you should highlight your relevant experience and qualifications, and explain why you’re the best candidate for the job. Use specific examples and data to back up your claims, and be sure to address any concerns or questions that the reader may have.

Finally, the conclusion is where you wrap up your cover letter and reiterate your interest in the position. You should also thank the reader for their time and consideration, and include your contact information so that they can get in touch with you if they have any further questions or want to schedule an interview.

In addition to having a strong outline, it’s also important to tailor your cover letter to the specific job and company you’re applying to. This shows that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in the position, and can help you stand out from other applicants.

Overall, taking the time to craft a well-structured and tailored cover letter can make all the difference in your job search. By following a strong outline and highlighting your relevant experience and qualifications, you can convince recruiters and hiring managers that you’re the right candidate for the job.

Generate Better Cover Letters With AI

In an increasingly digital age, it’s essential to leverage smart tools to ensure you stand out in the job market. One such tool is an AI Cover Letter Generator , which can take your application to the next level. This cutting-edge tool offered by YourCoverLetter.com employs advanced AI algorithms to create a perfectly tailored and persuasive cover letter, aligned with the job description and your unique profile. Just input your job description and details about your skills and experience, and let the AI do the rest. It’s a simple, efficient, and effective way to boost your chances of landing that dream job. Check out the AI Cover Letter Generator today, and let AI streamline your cover letter writing process.

Cover Letter Header Example and Tips

When it comes to creating a cover letter, the header is just the beginning of the process. While it is important to make sure that your contact information and the details of the employer are clearly presented, there are a few other things to keep in mind when crafting this section of your cover letter.First and foremost, it’s important to make sure that your header is tailored to the specific job you’re applying for. This means that you should do some research on the company and the position, and use that information to inform your header. For example, if you’re applying for a job at a tech startup, you might want to use a more modern font and include your LinkedIn profile or website in addition to your phone number and email address.Another important thing to keep in mind is that your header should be consistent with the rest of your cover letter. This means that you should use the same font and formatting throughout, and make sure that your header is aligned with the rest of the text.Finally, it’s important to remember that your header is just the first impression that your potential employer will have of you. While it’s important to make sure that it’s clear and professional, it’s also important to use the rest of your cover letter to showcase your skills, experience, and enthusiasm for the job. So don’t be afraid to get creative and let your personality shine through!

Cover Letter Salutation Example and Tips

The salutation is one of the most important parts of your cover letter, as it sets the tone for your entire application. It’s your greeting to the employer, and should be tailored to the person you’re addressing and the tone of the position you’re applying for. A well-crafted salutation can help you stand out from other applicants and make a great first impression.

When addressing the hiring manager, it’s important to be professional and not too informal, while also showing that you have done your research on the company and understand the tone and style of their communication. This will help you demonstrate that you’re a good fit for the organization and that you’re serious about the position.

Here’s an example of a strong cover letter salutation:

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

Notice how the salutation is personalized with the hiring manager’s name. Addressing the employer by name is always preferable to using a generic “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”. It shows that you have taken the time to research the company and find out who will be reading your letter.

When crafting your salutation, it’s important to do your research on the company and use a greeting that matches their tone and style of communication. For example, if you’re applying for a job at a creative agency, you might use a more informal greeting that reflects the company’s laid-back culture. On the other hand, if you’re applying for a job at a law firm, you should use a more formal greeting that reflects the seriousness of the position.

Finally, it’s important to avoid using overly informal language or humor in this section. While you want to show your personality and enthusiasm for the position, you don’t want to come across as unprofessional or disrespectful. Stick to a tone that is polite, friendly, and professional, and you’ll be off to a great start.

So remember, when writing your cover letter, take the time to craft a strong salutation that demonstrates your professionalism, research, and understanding of the company’s tone and style. With a little effort, you can make a great first impression and stand out from the competition.

Cover Letter First Paragraph (Intro & Purpose) Example and Tips

The first paragraph of your cover letter is your chance to make a great first impression. It should introduce yourself, explain why you’re applying for the position, and grab the reader’s attention. This section is critical because it sets the tone for the rest of your cover letter.

When writing your first paragraph, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not just introducing yourself, but you’re also selling yourself. You want to convince the reader that you’re the best candidate for the job and that you’re excited about the opportunity to work for their company.

Let’s take a look at an example:

As a highly experienced marketing manager, I was excited to see that ABC Company is seeking a candidate with my qualifications. With over 10 years of experience in the marketing industry, I am confident that I could make a valuable contribution to your team.

In this example, the candidate clearly introduces themselves as a marketing manager and highlights their years of experience in the industry. They also express their excitement about the opportunity to work for ABC Company.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing the first paragraph of your cover letter:

  • Introduce yourself and include your current job title and experience level.
  • Explain why you’re interested in the position and why you think you would be a good fit for the company. Do some research on the company and mention specific things that you admire about them.
  • Keep the tone positive and enthusiastic. Show your passion for the industry and the role you’re applying for.
  • Avoid using generic phrases like “I’m writing to apply for the position of…” Instead, try to be more creative and engaging.

Remember, the first paragraph of your cover letter is your chance to make a great first impression. Use it wisely!

Cover Letter Second Paragraph (Qualifications & Experience) Example and Tips

The second paragraph of your cover letter is a critical section that can make or break your chances of landing the job. It’s your chance to showcase your qualifications and relevant experience that make you the ideal candidate for the position. To do this, you need to tailor your cover letter to the specific job requirements. Read the job description carefully and identify the key skills and experiences that the employer is looking for. Then, highlight your own skills and experiences that match these requirements. For example, if the job requires strong communication skills, you could mention your experience in leading presentations or facilitating meetings. If the job requires project management experience, you could highlight your experience in managing budgets, timelines, and teams. It’s important to use specific examples and achievements to demonstrate your abilities. This not only shows that you have the skills and experience required for the job, but also helps you stand out from other candidates who may simply list their qualifications without any supporting evidence. For instance, if you’re applying for a marketing position, you could mention how you increased website traffic by 50% through a successful social media campaign. Or, if you’re applying for a management role, you could highlight how you reduced employee turnover by 20% through a new employee engagement program you implemented. Quantifying your achievements is also a great way to show the impact you have made in previous roles. This could include metrics such as revenue generated, cost savings, or customer satisfaction ratings. By providing concrete numbers, you demonstrate that you are results-driven and have a track record of success. In summary, the second paragraph of your cover letter is your chance to shine and demonstrate your qualifications and relevant experience. By tailoring your cover letter to the specific job requirements, using specific examples and achievements, and quantifying your impact, you can make a strong case for why you are the ideal candidate for the job.

Cover Letter Second Paragraph (The Call to Action) Example and Tips

The call to action is an essential part of your cover letter, as it shows your eagerness to move forward in the hiring process. This is your chance to make a strong impression and convince the employer that you are the right fit for the job. To make your call to action effective, it’s important to be assertive and confident in your language. Use phrases like “I would be honored” or “I am excited” to convey your enthusiasm for the role and the company. This will show the employer that you are genuinely interested in the position and eager to contribute to their team.In addition to expressing your enthusiasm, it’s also important to ask for the next step in the hiring process. This could be an interview, a phone call, or even a follow-up email. Make it clear that you are ready and willing to move forward in the process and that you are eager to learn more about the position and the company.Finally, be sure to thank the reader for considering your application and express your interest in hearing back from them. This shows that you are respectful and professional, and that you value their time and consideration.Overall, the call to action is a critical part of your cover letter, and it’s important to get it right. By being assertive, confident, and enthusiastic, you can make a strong impression and increase your chances of landing the job.

Cover Letter Closing and Signoff Example and Tips

The closing of your cover letter is just as important as the opening. It’s your last chance to make a good impression on the employer and leave them with a positive feeling about you as a candidate. Your closing should be professional, courteous, and match the tone of the letter.

When it comes to choosing a signoff, there are a variety of options to choose from. Some common signoffs include:

  • Best regards,
  • Respectfully,
  • Yours truly,
  • Warm regards,
  • With gratitude,
  • Kind regards,
  • All the best,
  • Looking forward to hearing from you,

When choosing a signoff, consider the tone of your letter and the relationship you have with the recipient. If you’re applying for a job, you may want to choose a more formal signoff, such as “Sincerely” or “Respectfully.” If you’re writing to a friend or colleague, you may opt for a more casual signoff, such as “Take care” or “All the best.”

Once you’ve chosen your signoff, be sure to include your name and any contact information you want to share. This can include your phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile.

Remember, the closing of your cover letter is your last chance to make a positive impression on the employer. Make sure everything is spelled correctly and that the formatting is consistent and easy to read. A well-crafted closing can leave a lasting impression and set you apart from other candidates.

Discover Inspiring Cover Letter Examples

When it comes to job applications, a cover letter can be the key to standing out from the crowd. But where do you start? A good first step is to explore Cover Letter Examples to understand what a high-quality cover letter looks like. By visiting YourCoverLetter.com , you’ll find a broad selection of real-world examples across various industries that can serve as a fantastic starting point. These examples can guide you in showcasing your skills , experiences, and unique attributes in a compelling way. So, start exploring the variety of Cover Letter Examples on our site today to kickstart your successful job application journey.

Cover Letter Outline FAQs

Now that you have a better understanding of how to structure your cover letter, you may still have some questions about how to make your application stand out. Here are some frequently asked questions about cover letter outlines.

  • Should I address my cover letter to a specific person? It’s always better to address your cover letter to a specific person, if possible. This shows that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in the company and the position. Addressing your cover letter to a specific person also makes it more likely that your application will be read by the right person. You can often find the name of the hiring manager on the company website or on LinkedIn. If you can’t find a specific name, you can use a generic salutation such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Recruiter”.
  • What if I don’t have any directly relevant experience? If you don’t have direct experience in the field or industry you’re applying for, don’t worry. Many employers are willing to train the right candidate, especially if they have transferable skills and a strong work ethic. Focus on transferable skills and experiences that demonstrate your ability to learn quickly and adapt to new environments. For example, if you’re applying for a sales position but don’t have any sales experience, highlight your customer service skills and your ability to communicate effectively with clients.
  • How long should my cover letter be? Your cover letter should be no more than one page long. Keep your writing concise and focus on the most important information. Use short paragraphs and bullet points to make your cover letter easier to read. Remember, your cover letter should be a teaser that entices the employer to read your resume and invite you for an interview.
  • What’s the best way to make my cover letter stand out? The best way to make your cover letter stand out is to customize it for the specific job you’re applying for. Don’t just copy and paste a generic cover letter. Take the time to research the company and the position, and tailor your cover letter to highlight your relevant experiences and skills that match the job requirements. Use specific examples and bullet points to make your achievements stand out. For example, instead of saying “I’m a hard worker”, say “I consistently exceeded my sales targets by 20% and received the Employee of the Month award three times in the past year”.

Remember, your cover letter is your chance to make a great first impression and stand out from the competition. Follow these guidelines and expert examples for a strong cover letter outline, and you’ll be well on your way to impressing potential employers and landing your dream job.

Table of Contents

5 Elements Every Cover Letter Outline Needs

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What is a Cover Letter Outline?

1. cover letter header: your first impression, 2. first paragraph: grab their attention and never let go of it, 3. body paragraph: tell your story, 4. call to action, 5. sign-off.

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You just found the perfect job posting, but when you went to apply, you were told that you need a cover letter.

Don't stress one bit!

Cover letters don't have to be complicated, but they are an important piece of the application process.

Sending a cover letter opens up the opportunity for an interview by sharing your story–your triumphs, accomplishments, and skills–to a hiring manager.

It's like getting one foot in the door.

In this article, we're going to look at all the major elements of a cover letter outline, and discuss:

  • How does a cover letter header function?
  • How can you grab the attention of the reader in your opening paragraph?
  • How can you breathe life and personality into your cover letter in the body paragraphs?
  • What is a call to action, and how to use that to get yourself an interview?

If you're interested in learning more about how to craft a killer cover letter, Enhancv has 500+ Cover letter examples which have been updated for 2022.

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Cover letters are a professional letter sent to a hiring manager which shows your skills and abilities in the job that you're applying for. The format for a cover letter outline helps you to know exactly what you need to include, and what you can keep out.

Often overlooked, cover letter headers are an important part of the cover letter structure because they provide all the information that a hiring manager needs to contact you.

But it's more than just your personal information.

A properly formatted cover letter header shows a hiring manager that you've done your research and learned more about the company, as well as addressing the letter to a specific hiring manager.

Let's check out the major elements of a cover letter header:

  • Your Personal Information : This first section of the cover letter header includes your name, your email address, and your phone number. You may also want to include your address and the current job title.
  • Date : Include the date on which you wrote the letter.
  • The addressee's information : This may take some time to find, but look for the hiring manager's name, their position within the company, as well as the name of the company and the mailing address.
  • Salutation : The last section of the header, the salutation, allows you to address the letter to a specific person - Dear Mr./Ms. [hiring manager's name]

It's critical to put in a bit of effort to find the hiring manager's name and their position in the company, as this shows that you have gone above and beyond and have researched the position more fully.

Try to avoid the generic sounding , "Dear hiring manager" in the salutation.

Before you write the body of the letter, look over your resume header and cover letter header to make sure that they match. Any mistakes in grammar or spelling, as well as addresses and contact information, can cause your resume and cover letter to be thrown out.

If you create a general cover letter template, a cover letter which you can use when applying for several jobs, you won’t need to update your own personal information for each cover letter.

Let's dive deeper into how to start your cover letter by looking at ways to captivate the reader.

The first paragraph of your cover letter outline should open strong by explaining why you are the ideal candidate for the position, and why you think you'll fit well within the company.

Start by providing the name of the position that you are applying for and express interest in the position.

Show that you've learned a little about the company's culture, values, and mission. One of the best ways to find more content about the company is to look through the job application itself. There, you may find the values and vision of the company written for new applicants.

Here are some other places that you may ‌find information about the company that you can include in the first paragraph of your cover letter:

  • The company website
  • Executives' social media accounts
  • From family or friends who have worked at the company
  • Marketing and email materials.

The first paragraph is a brilliant spot to share about what interests you about becoming a part of the team, but avoid focusing the entirety of your cover letter on what you love about the company.

You can quickly mention your admiration for the company, and then head onto sharing about yourself and what makes you a great fit for the company as well.

We know, you don't like to talk about yourself.

We get it, but in a cover letter, you can leverage your experiences to show that you're the best person for the job.

Ultimately, your cover letter should weave a compelling narrative about why you are the most competent person for the job.

This is the place where you can explain why the skills and abilities that you've gained over years of experience in your field will make you the ideal candidate to fill the position.

One quick note about the tone of your cover letter: it should appropriately match the tone of the job application and the company that you're applying for.

If you're applying for a creative company, one that uses informal language in the job application, social media posts, and marketing materials, you may be free to use a little more informal language when you are explaining about your achievements.

However, if you're applying for a more conservative company, like a financial institution or a law firm, air on the side of caution and keep it as formal as possible.

Here are three things to remember about tone when writing a cover letter:

  • Use strong action words to describe your accomplishments.
  • Avoid sharing personal details, including negative feelings about your current workplace or your current manager.
  • Be humble, and include others who have helped you along the way, like your current manager and other team members.

Highlight Hard and Soft Skills

Hard skills are technical skills that you gain through schooling and work experience, while soft skills are people skills, which are developed as you collaborate in a team setting. Both are great to put on a cover letter because they show your level of competency to work in a team environment or independently.

Some soft skills that you can include on your cover letter include:

  • Verbal and written communication
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Adaptability
  • Ability to work within a team

Use Concrete, Quantitative Examples

Try to stick to quantitative results based information when you are sharing about your professional skills and accomplishments .

For example, if you are part of the sales team at your current company and watched profits increase, mention, "In the first quarter of 2020, I was on a team that spearheaded an initiative that increased profits 5%, even during the economic downturn."

By including percentages and actual, tangible numbers, the hiring manager can see and evaluate how much your work has been beneficial to your current company.

Now that you've hooked the reader with your achievements, reel them in with a great call to action.

The last paragraph in the cover letter format is a call to action, the place where you can address to the hiring manager about your willingness to apply for the position.

Be persuasive here, and since you've already got your foot in the door, try to pry it open a bit more to get that interview.

If a hiring manager has read through your cover letter, there's a good chance that they would like to speak to you more about interviewing for the position.

Your call to action should be focused on getting the hiring manager to follow-up with you, either through an interview or for further discussion.

This last section of your cover letter can be a simple "Sincerely" followed by your name. You can also add a personal touch by signing the cover letter just above your name.

  • The cover letter header is your first introduction with the hiring manager, so format it correctly and make sure it matches your resume.
  • Grab the attention of the reader by tailoring the first paragraph of your cover letter to the company and position that you're applying to.
  • Set the tone of your body paragraph by using strong, action words, as well as data driven results.
  • Share your interest in the position and your desire to be interviewed for it with a call to action.

If you need a bit of help with crafting your own custom cover letter, check out Enhacv's Cover Letter Builder . The CL builder offers you the ability to create a cover letter from scratch using superior templates and advice from experts in their field.

I like to think that cover letters are first impressions, and with the help of the CL builder, you can create the perfect first impression.

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60+ Cover Letter Examples in 2024 [For All Professions]

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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 .

cover letter example for career change

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 

cover letter example for a recent graduate

  • 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

Cover Letter Example for Middle Management

  • 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

cover letter example for business manager

  • 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

cover letter example for phd

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

cover letter example for senior executive

  • 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 

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 

cover letter examples

  • 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 

best 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

Cover Letter Example for Digital Marketing

  • 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 

Cover Letter Example for Graphic Designer

  • 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

Cover Letter Example for Administrative Assistant

  • 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

Cover Letter Example for Front Desk

  • 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

Cover Letter Example for Human Resources

  • 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 

Cover Letter Example  for Sales Agent

  • 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

Cover Letter Example for Receptionist

  • 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

Cover Letter Example for Information Technology

  • 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

Cover Letter Example for Real Estate Agent

  • 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

Cover Letter Example for Teacher

  • 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

Cover Letter Example for Project Manager

  • 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

Cover Letter Example for Paralegal

  • 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.

40+ More Cover Letter Examples and Guides 

Couldn’t find a cover letter example for your field? Do not worry.

Below you can find a number of other cover letter examples for different fields and industries:

  • Acting Cover Letter Examples
  • Accounting Cover Letter Examples
  • Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Architecture Cover Letter Examples
  • Attorney Cover Letter Examples
  • Barista Cover Letter Examples
  • Bartender Cover Letter Examples
  • Business Cover Letter Examples
  • Business Analyst Cover Letter Examples
  • College Student Cover Letter Examples
  • Computer Science Cover Letter Examples
  • Construction Cover Letter Examples
  • Consultant Cover Letter Examples
  • Customer Service Cover Letter Examples
  • Data Analyst Cover Letter Examples
  • Data Entry Cover Letter Examples
  • Dental Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Digital Marketing Cover Letter Examples
  • Elementary Teacher Cover Letter Examples
  • Engineering Cover Letter Examples
  • Executive Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Finance Cover Letter Examples
  • Graphic Design Cover Letter Examples
  • Healthcare Cover Letter Examples
  • Human Resources Cover Letter Examples
  • IT Cover Letter Examples
  • Law Cover Letter Examples
  • Management Cover Letter Examples
  • Marketing Cover Letter Examples
  • Mechanical Engineering Cover Letter Examples
  • Medical Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Nurse Practitioner Cover Letter Examples
  • Physician Cover Letter Examples
  • Project Manager Cover Letter Examples
  • Receptionist Cover Letter Examples
  • Retail Cover Letter Examples
  • Sales Cover Letter Examples
  • Social Work Cover Letter Examples
  • Software Engineer Cover Letter Examples
  • Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Examples
  • Teacher Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Team Leader Cover Letter Example

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:

cover letter structure

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!

cover letter examples templates

#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. 

For example:

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 

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: 

  • How to Write a Resume
  • Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
  • Cover Letter Format (w/ Examples & Free Templates)

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cover letter outline example

  • Resumes and Cover Letters

Cover Letter Outline (With Examples)

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Table of Contents

A graphic with the words "Cover Letter Outline"

A cover letter is a simple communication explaining why you, out of all the applicants available, are the best pick for the job. Every company doesn’t require cover letters, but they represent the skills and background experience that help you stand out from the crowd.  Before putting the digital pen to paper for your cover letter outline, it’s crucial to understand proper cover letter formatting and etiquette to ensure you set the right tone. 

Begin by choosing traditional, commonly accepted professional fonts such as Calibri or Arial, and set your font size between 10 and 12. 

Every paragraph on your cover letter should be left-aligned and double-spaced. A spacing of 1 – 1.15 between lines is traditional, and lastly, the margins should be spaced 1 inch on both sides. 

Most of these settings, except the spacing, are default settings on Microsoft Word. Make sure to keep your cover letter outline in PDF format to preserve the professional layout you’ve created.

A graphic outlining the formatting of a cover letter

Another critical step before you sit down to write your letter is to craft a cover letter outline. Doing so allows you to structure your points—namely, why you’re a perfect candidate—throughout your paragraphs to engage the hiring manager. 

Over time, the structure has become standardized to match the following cover letter outline template:

  • A header with contact information and the date
  • A customary greeting
  • An opening, middle, and closing paragraph
  • A complimentary close and signature

A well-structured, logically progressing cover letter outline signals professionalism and level-headedness to the reader and demonstrates that you have put thought and effort into your work to make your cover letter outline stand out among other applicants.

A graphic detailing the outline of a cover letter: A header with contact information and the date A customary greeting A hook An opening, middle, and closing paragraph A complimentary close and signature

Writing Your Cover Letter

First, begin with a header that provides relevant contact information: 

Street Address

City, State ZIP

Month Day, Year

Employer Name

An appropriate greeting will follow this:

Dear Mr./Ms. (name): 

Ultimately, the body of your cover letter is the crux of your argument and the main contributor to your likelihood of success. Your goal is to persuade the person reading your letter that you have the skills, experience, and passion for filling the role they are missing. 

Generally, the first paragraph should  hook  the reader’s interest while showcasing your knowledge of the company, why the job interests you, and how you learned about the opportunity. 

The second paragraph handles your background and qualifications, referring the employer to your enclosed resume. 

The concluding paragraph summarizes the first two paragraphs, expanding your skills and knowledge while reiterating the finer points. It should explain how your capability meets the company’s needs for the particular job.  

Stand out; don’t stand aside. Toot your own horn a little regarding your interest in the company’s work, your ethical standards, and any prior achievements you’re proud of to set yourself apart from the other entries. 

For best results, consider following the method of the four P’s: prime, promote, persuade, and proofread.

A graphic detailing the four pillars of cover letter writing: prime, promote, persuade and proofread

The first and most crucial step in getting a potential employer to take your cover letter seriously is to engage them with a hook and prime them to form a positive initial impression of you. 

It’s too easy for hiring managers, who spend too long staring at similarly-formatted pieces of paper, to gloss over your cover letter and not give you a second thought. 

It’s not their fault; if you’ve ever read a long wall of uninteresting text, you know the feeling. That’s why it’s crucial to hook your reader immediately so that the reviewer pays attention to what you have to say rather than casually glancing over.

One of the simplest ways to catch the reader’s attention is to include the name of the person you are writing to. 

“Dear Mr. Davis,

As an experienced writer with a range of experience in technical and analytical writing, I’m thrilled to apply for your technical writing position at Fluid Solutions.”

If you don’t know who that is, address the hiring department. Demonstrating that you’ve done a little digging to correctly reference your potential future employer goes a long way to creating a positive impression.

Based on the development of your cover letter outline, the following line in your writing should be a hook. Tout a particular skill you’ve developed, tell a story of how you contributed to solving a problem in a prior workplace. 

For example:

“I interact well with people, and those social skills benefit me when it comes to resolving problems. As a teacher at X, I had a parent come into the office furious over his child’s grades. Before I went into the conference room, a coworker warned me that he was ‘really mad.’ To her surprise, when we emerged from the room, he was laughing and shaking my hand.”

When considering the scope of your achievements, “. . . find three things about yourself that you want to highlight. Focus all of your communication on those three elements.”  (   The Guardian

Ask yourself the following questions and craft a 1-2-line response:

  • What distinguishes me from other applicants?
  • What interpersonal skills have I developed in my work experience?
  • What skills make me a unique asset to the team?

Now for the best part—the chance to sell yourself. If necessary, expand on your skill set and describe what you know and love about the company:

“Continuing to develop my writing craft is one of my greatest life pursuits. After graduating from Such-and-Such college with my English degree, I’ve had the opportunity to broaden my skill set on several technical and analytical writing assignments working with different companies, including Special Writing Co., We Write, Inc., and Writers for Life.”

A foreknowledge of your potential future employer’s work ethic expectations and company values suggests to the hiring manager that you’re willing to follow departmental guidelines, which is a valuable trait in an applicant.

Most of all, you should express your enthusiasm for your job. Ask yourself: why do you love doing what you do? 

It’s a simple question, but at the heart of the matter, employers are looking for passionate individuals that can contribute to a healthy work environment.

Persuade (Call to Action)

Just like putting a beautiful bow on a gift, wrapping up with a persuasive closing paragraph, including a call to action, is an integral part of your cover letter outline.

You want to avoid going through all the hard work of selling yourself and expressing your personality, then leave the letter without a persuasive closing.

Encourage the hiring manager to call you for an interview or visit your website. The bottom line is that once the hiring manager reaches “Sincerely,” they should have a reasonable expectation of how to move forward with the hiring process. 

“Thank you for considering me. As someone who’s always had a gift for words and has continued to develop that skill set, I’m excited to learn more about this position. As one of your writers, I’ll have the opportunity to create exceptional projects for our clients. To discuss the opportunity to work together more, please contact me at [email protected]

Here is an example when all is put together:

An example of a cover letter

Always review your work carefully to check for grammar errors, repetition, and non-sequiturs to ensure your cover letter outline is as brilliant as it can be. 

Consider the tone of your cover letter outline and keep it brief. Remember, your cover letter is one of many of the hiring manager will read. Trimming down your unwieldy sentences to get right to the point improves their readability.

The Bottom Line

A cover letter is one of many factors contributing to your chance of getting hired. Still, for some companies, it’s an ample opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism, skills, and personality. 

All told, it’s a chance to advertise yourself, and what could be better?

Further reading:  Cover Letter Tips For First Time Job Applicants, Proper Business Letter Format

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

How to Write a Cover Letter For an Internship

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How to Create Your Own Cover Letter Outline (5 Easy Examples to Follow)

Learn how to create your own cover letter outline through this guide.

cover letter outline example

There are different ways to write a cover letter. 

Despite the structure of most applications being similar, there are some noticeable differences. It all depends on what you choose to highlight to your hiring manager. 

While it can be difficult, it’s quite simple when you’re following an effective cover letter outline.

So in this guide, we’ll be going over 5 types of basic cover letter outlines, including how to create your own. This is applicable to professionals at all levels and those of you making a drastic career change. 

Without further ado, let’s dive right in. 

Why Is an Outline Important for Your Cover Letter? 

It helps you write a more thoughtful application.

Think of the outline process as a battle plan for war.  

Without a strategy based on factors such as the number of your troops and the terrain, you’re more likely to lose the battle. 

In terms of writing a cover letter, it means organizing your thoughts and tailoring your application to win the favor of your hiring manager. But what you write about and focus on depends on factors such as:

  • Professional strengths
  • Years of experience
  • Transferable skills
  • Job description
  • Company culture

Having everything laid out makes it less likely for you to forget any important details. 

It becomes more straightforward to write a coherent application that flows well. Moreover, it helps you write faster since it guides your train of thought so you’ll know what to be thinking about. 

As opposed to writing from scratch, you won’t be as distracted by other thoughts or ideas. 

What Makes a Good Outline for a Cover Letter?

A good cover letter outline ensures you’re not missing any key bits of information. The same applies to resume outline . 

Here’s an example of what an outline for your header section could look like:

  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Personal address
  • Company name
  • Name/title of the person you’re addressing

If your entire cover letter is structured like this before writing, it becomes easier to make a concise and well-put-together application. 

That said, a cover letter should include :

  • Header section
  • Greeting and salutation
  • Opening paragraph
  • Closing paragraph

5 Basic Cover Letter Outline Examples to Follow

There are multiple ways to outline and structure your cover letter. 

However, it’s not the same for everyone since we’re all at different stages in our professional careers. 

Some of you may have years of experience whereas some of you may not . The former group of job seekers could want to focus on how experienced they are. In contrast, the latter could want to focus on an alternative aspect. 

With that in mind, follow or take inspiration from the outline below that’s most relatable to you. These are especially useful if you’re writing from a Google doc or Microsoft Word document. 

Cover Letter Outline 1: Highlight Your Skills and Experience

Director of marketing cover letter

The director of marketing cover letter template is a good example of highlighting your skills and experience. 

Here’s a general overview of the outline used:

  • State the position you’re interested in and provide a brief introduction of your work background
  • Expand on your introduction by describing an overview of key job responsibilities 
  • Focus on a previous role where you carried out relevant duties and mention results
  • Share your areas of expertise and objectives which show how you’re a good fit 
  • Thank the reader for their time and imply the next steps

Cover Letter Outline 2: Highlight Your Results

Event planner cover letter

The event planner cover letter sample positions the job seeker as the ideal candidate to hire. This is because of their years of experience alongside the results they’ve achieved in the industry. 

  • State how you came across the job posting and briefly introduce yourself 
  • Write about your industry experience and achievements 
  • Use bullet points to list further accomplishments with data 
  • Mention other skills and technical proficiencies
  • Leave a personal note, thank the reader for their time, and drop your contact details

Cover Letter Outline 3: Highlight Your Academic Background

Research assistant cover letter

The research assistant cover letter sample emphasizes your academic background alongside your passions. 

  • State the position you’re interested in and provide an introduction by mentioning your qualifications and career goals
  • Explain how your academic experiences have helped you develop your skills
  • Share how your experiences improved your technical proficiencies (feel free to also share the work aspects you’re most passionate abou
  • Summarize how you’d be a good fit for the role

Cover Letter Outline 4: Highlight Your Passion and Interest

Senior Analyst cover letter

The senior analyst cover letter has more implications for the future value the applicant could bring to the table. 

  • State the position you’re interested in and why you’re keen to work for the company
  • Share relevant job responsibilities you carried out in the past
  • Write down the aspects of those job responsibilities that fueled your passion
  • Explain how you further developed your skills
  • Clarify your career goals and imply the next steps

Cover Letter Outline 5: Highlight How You’re a Strong Cultural Fit

Recent graduate cover letter

This is quite similar to the previous outline. However, the recent graduate cover letter template has a stronger focus on how the candidate aligns with the company culture. 

  • Introduce yourself and mention how you meet the hiring criteria 
  • Share a bit about your personal background by talking about your passions and interests
  • Write about a time when you carried out relevant job responsibilities
  • Talk about what excites you the most about the job opportunity 
  • State your career goals and imply the next steps

How to Create Your Own Cover Letter Outline 

The main elements of writing a good cover letter involve:

  • Contact details
  • Introduction
  • Professional background 
  • Workplace achievements
  • Passions and interests
  • Call to action

You can customize the structure of your cover letter in the order of your preference as long as it includes the elements listed above. 

1. Understand Your Strengths

The structure of your cover letter depends on your strengths. 

From the outlines above, you may have noticed that they’re based on different things. Although each of them has its own competitive advantages, they all help the candidate explain why they’re the best person for the job, which is the whole point of a cover letter . 

So to determine what you’re going to focus on, first understand your strengths. Here are some questions to consider: 

  • What are your strongest areas of expertise? 
  • What are you most passionate about? 
  • How do you align with the company culture? 

2. The Header Section

This includes your contact information as well as the greeting and salutation. Fill out what’s essential here such as your name and the date. If you can, address your employer by their name too. It demonstrates both your commitment and level of research skills. 

3. Figure Out How You’re Going to Introduce Yourself 

In the opening paragraph, think about how you’re going to introduce yourself. 

You could share some highlights of professional summary . For example, your biggest accomplishments and corporate skills. 

Or, first talk about how you came across the job opportunity and a goal or passion you’re actively pursuing. Was there something about the company mission that caught your attention and motivated you to apply?

Here are some other areas you could focus on to introduce yourself:

  • Academic background
  • Mutual connections
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Work results

4. Structure the Main Body

After the introduction in the opening paragraph, it’s now time to move into the main body of your cover letter. This can be made up of more than one paragraph. The first could focus on your experience and workplace achievements, then the next could focus on your academic background, and so forth. 

There are different aspects of your career to talk about. Prioritize your strengths as well as what’s most relevant and important first. 

5. Show Your Enthusiasm

The final paragraph of your main body summarizes everything discussed. Once again, you’re expressing your interest and enthusiasm.

Mention how everything you’ve written about in the main body will benefit them. 

Another option is to share how you could help them reach their goals. Remind them of how your objectives align to imply you’re a good fit for the organization. 

6. The Next Steps and Signoff

This is your closing paragraph. It’s usually the shortest part of your cover letter but it’s not only where you thank the recruiters for their time. 

Make the next steps you’re looking forward to clear such as:

  • Scheduling an interview
  • Following up via email
  • Reiterating how you could be of assistance

Or alternatively, you could do a final statement about how your objectives align with the company mission if you haven’t already. From there, it’s followed by a signoff with your full name. A digital signature is optional.

50+ Professional Cover Letter Examples Broken Down 

Want to see what makes the best ATS cover letters?

In a separate guide, we’ve broken down more than 50+ professional cover letter examples . 

Under each sample template, we go through what makes each of them effective. So, you can take inspiration from this to improve your application and chances of landing an interview at your dream company! 

Is There a Point in Outlining Your Cover Letter When You Can Generate One Automatically? 

You might be surprised at this but cover letter outlines aren't always necessary…

There’s a method you could use to skip the outline process. In fact, doing this allows you to skip more than half of the writing process without having to do much yourself.

All you need to do is the following: 

  • Sign up for a free account on Rezi
  • Have a completed resume in the dashboard
  • Go to the “AI cover letter” tab
  • Enter the following information:
  • Position/title
  • Position highlight
  • Skills highlight
  • Finally, press “AI writer ready”

Then, wait for the AI writer feature to create your cover letter by itself. As it uses information from both your resume and the job description, it ensures a personalized application that meets the hiring criteria. 

Watch the short clip below to see how it works! 

cover letter outline example

There’s a Reason Why Rough Sketches Are So Useful

A rough sketch helps an artist get into their creative flow. It also makes it easier for them to articulate their thoughts and ideas. 

Likewise, a cover letter outline simplifies the entire writing process. 

Everything becomes more straightforward when you have a strong foundation. Spend a few minutes outlining your application and it’ll minimize the number of edits and rewrites you’ll have to do once it’s completed. 

Explore Rezi 🔥 Comes with 5,000 AI Credits, and is free forever, no credit card required.

Create your Europass CV

The Europass CV builder makes it easy to create your CV online. You can use it to apply for a job, education or training opportunities as well as volunteering.

The best-known CV format in Europe

The Europass CV is one of the best-known CV formats in Europe. It is easy-to-use and familiar to employers and education institutions.

You will first have to create your Europass profile with information on your education, training, work experience and skills. After you complete your Europass profile, you can create as many CVs as you want with just a few clicks. Just select which information you want to include, pick your favourite design and Europass will do the rest. 

You can create, store and share CVs in 31 languages . You can download your Europass CV, store it in your Europass Library share it with employers, with  EURES  or other job boards.

How to create a good CV

Remember that your CV is your first opportunity to communicate your skills and experiences to a future employer. It is a snapshot of who you are, your skills, your educational background, work experiences and other achievements.

Present your experience clearly

Highlight examples of your skills and experiences matching the job you are applying for. Pay close attention to the details published in the vacancy notice.

Tailor your CV

Make sure you update the ‘About Me’ section to highlight why you are the best person for the job. Do not include a full detailed history. Focus on facts and main points that match the job you have in mind.

Make it readable

Make sure your CV is easy to read. Use clear and simple language.  Use strong verbs (e.g. ‘managed’, ‘developed’, ‘increased’).

Use reverse chronological order

Always list the most recent experience on the top followed by previous ones. In case of long gaps in working or learning, include an explanation.

Polish and fine-tune

Check for spelling and grammar mistakes, provide a professional e-mail address, and add a professional photograph of yourself.

Your Europass profile

Your Europass profile is the place to keep a record of all your skills, qualifications and experiences. If you keep your Europass profile up-to-date then you will always have all the information you need to create tailored CVs and job applications quickly.

Good luck with your applications!

Find support through EU services

Eures the european job mobility portal, working abroad in other eu countries, education and training in other eu countries, you may be interested to read.

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Create your Europass Cover Letter

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Develop your skills through volunteering

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Managing your personal information in Europass

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IMAGES

  1. How to Write a Cover Letter for Any Job in 8 Steps (2023)

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  2. 32 Best Sample Cover Letter Examples for Job Applicants

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  3. 20 Cover Letter Templates to Download: Free for Your Resume

    cover letter outline example

  4. Cover Letter Format: How to Format Your Cover Letter in 2023 (2023)

    cover letter outline example

  5. 13 Free Cover Letter Templates For Microsoft Word Docx And Google Docs

    cover letter outline example

  6. Cover Letter

    cover letter outline example

VIDEO

  1. How To Write A Cover Letter (Example Included)

  2. How To Write a Cover Letter: Top 3 Tips, Format & Examples

  3. The PERFECT Cover Letter In 5 MINUTES Or Less

  4. How To Write a Cover Letter With No Experience (2024)

  5. How To Write A Professional Cover Letter (Example Included)

  6. How to Write a Cover Letter

COMMENTS

  1. How To Write a Cover Letter Outline (With Template)

    3. Include the employer's contact information. If you know the hiring manager's name and the company's name, address and phone number, leave space to include it. Otherwise, this is one part of your outline that you may leave out. 4. Date your cover letter. Your cover letter outline should include room for the date.

  2. Outline for a Cover Letter: Guide for 2024 [+ Examples]

    List up to 3 achievements or examples of skills (and, if possible, prove them with numbers). Tell a short story about your most prominent achievement. Use resume power words and resume keywords for maximum impact (yes, they work with cover letters, too). This part of the cover letter outline is going to be the longest.

  3. Cover Letter Outline & Free Template for 2024

    Below, we've included a cover letter outline template, a short guide to getting your structure right, and an example that you can download and start using right now. Our free-to-use cover letter builder can make you a cover letter in as little as 5 minutes. Just pick the template you want, and our software will format everything for you.

  4. 200+ Professional Cover Letter Examples for Job Seekers

    Employer name. Company Name. Street address. City, State. Salutation. Dear [Hiring Manager's Name], Opening Paragraph (Introduction) Your cover letter opening should contain a self-introduction. Write about who you are, where your expertise lies, where you found the job posting, and why you want to apply for the job.

  5. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

    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.

  6. Free Cover Letter Template for Your Resume (Copy & Paste)

    Pantheon. The "Pantheon" cover letter template's bold header projects confidence, making it ideal for executives. 2024. Designed for the modern job seeker, our "2024" cover letter template is perfect for people in any industry. Classic. "The Classic" cover letter template is clean, traditional, and the perfect format to start off your application.

  7. Cover Letter Outline as Suggested by Career Experts [+Tips]

    Refer the recruiter to your resume. Remind them about the professional contributions you can bring to the employer. End your cover letter with a call to action and ask them to contact you for an interview or further discussion. Complimentary Closing and Sign-Off. Sincerely/Best regards, Your Full Name.

  8. Cover Letter Outline Guide With Expert Examples

    In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the elements of a successful cover letter outline, with expert examples and tips to help you create a standout application. Why The Right Cover Letter Outline is Important. The job market is more competitive than ever, and recruiters and hiring managers often have hundreds of applications to sort ...

  9. Cover Letter Format (w/ Examples & Free Templates)

    Check out our guide on how to start a cover letter effectively! #4. Cover Letter Body. The body of your cover letter usually consists of 1-3 paragraphs and is where you convince the recruiter that you're the right person for the job. We have a few pointers to help you do that: Don't just rehash your CV.

  10. Cover Letter Outline

    The format for a cover letter outline helps you to know exactly what you need to include, and what you can keep out. 1. Cover Letter Header: Your First Impression. Often overlooked, cover letter headers are an important part of the cover letter structure because they provide all the information that a hiring manager needs to contact you.

  11. How to Format a Cover Letter: Examples for 2024

    In a nutshell, this is how to format a cover letter: Use one-inch margins, single line spacing, and 11 to 12-pt font. In the top-left corner, put your contact details, city and date, and the employer's contact details. Open with a personal salutation.

  12. 60+ Cover Letter Examples in 2024 [For All Professions]

    Consultant Cover Letter Example #10. Digital Marketing Cover Letter Example #11. Graphic Designer Cover Letter Example #12. Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Example #13. Front Desk Cover Letter Example #14. Human Resources Cover Letter Example #15. Sales Agent Cover Letter Example #16.

  13. How to Write a Cover Letter (Expert Tips & Examples)

    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.

  14. How to Format a Cover Letter: Examples & Tips for 2024

    GOOD EXAMPLE. Dear Mr. Jones / Dear Ms. Jones, Dear Alex Jones, Dear Alex, Pick the first variant ( Dear Mr. / Ms. Lastname) if you're formatting a cover letter for a federal job or any other position with a formal work environment. Most business cover letters for corporate positions fall under this category, too.

  15. The Best Cover Letter Examples for Any Job Seeker

    The Cover Letter Example. Here's an example of an impact cover letter where the writer's hard skills and successes stand out: Dear Russ Roman, I have a problem. See, my inbox currently (and embarrassingly) hosts 1,500 unread emails—including newsletters from at least 50 different brands.

  16. Cover Letter Outline (With Examples)

    Prime. Promote. Persuade (Call to Action) Example. Proofread. The Bottom Line. A cover letter is a simple communication explaining why you, out of all the applicants available, are the best pick for the job. Every company doesn't require cover letters, but they represent the skills and background experience that help you stand out from the crowd.

  17. PDF Cover Letter Guide

    New to cover letter writing Anatomy of a Cover Letter 3 Applying to a specific opportunity Sample Letter: Response to a Job Lead Worksheet: Interpreting a Job Description 4 & 5 Sending an internship inquiry Sample Letter: General Inquiry Worksheet: Organization/Agency Information 6 & 7 Seeking further inspiration Weak-Better-Best Sample ...

  18. How to Create Your Own Cover Letter Outline (5 Easy Examples to ...

    Cover Letter Outline 1: Highlight Your Skills and Experience. The director of marketing cover letter template is a good example of highlighting your skills and experience. Here's a general overview of the outline used: State the position you're interested in and provide a brief introduction of your work background.

  19. The Graphic Design Cover Letter Guide (Examples & Templates)

    ️ Turn your notes into an outline. The best way for new writers to tackle writing projects is by breaking them down via outlines. Borrowing from the elements listed earlier, designate an introduction, two or three paragraphs for the body, and a sign-off. ... Entry-level graphic design cover letter example. Hi Jane Doe, I came across the ...

  20. Create your Europass CV

    The best-known CV format in Europe. The Europass CV is one of the best-known CV formats in Europe. It is easy-to-use and familiar to employers and education institutions. You will first have to create your Europass profile with information on your education, training, work experience and skills. After you complete your Europass profile, you can create as many CVs as you want with just a few ...