How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

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After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!

You’ve perfected your resume. 

You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.

You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.

But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.

Now you’re stuck wondering how to write a cover letter ...

Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.

  • What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
  • How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
  • How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
  • What excellent cover letter examples look like

New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!

So, let’s get started with the basics!

What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. 

A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:

how to write cover letter

Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.

The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:

  • Header - Input contact information
  • Greeting the hiring manager
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  • Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
  • Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
  • Formal closing

Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:

structure of a cover letter

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step. 

Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?

cover letter templates

You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!

As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.

Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header

As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:

contact information on a cover letter

Here, you want to include all essential information, including:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.

And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:

  • Your Full Address 
  • Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.

matching resume and cover letter

Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.

The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .

That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this. 

The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.

So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And voila! You have your hiring manager.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Here are several other greetings you could use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .

The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..

  • Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

So now, let’s make our previous example shine:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.

See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?

Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.

So, let’s get started...

Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job

This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.

But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.

For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.

Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company

Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.

Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.

How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.

Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.

Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.

You’d write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device. 

I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.

What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):

I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.

See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have. 

The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.

Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.

So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.

Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action

Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.

And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:

So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.

Step #8 - Use the right formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional email
  • Relevant Social Media Profiles

Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?

Do you successfully convey that you’re the right pro for the job?

  • Did you identify the core requirements?
  • Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?

Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?

Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?

5+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).

College Student Cover Letter Example

college or student cover letter example

Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .

Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught. 

After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.

...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.

If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.

Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.

resume examples for cover letter

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
  • A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
  • Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
  • There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
  • Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…

  • How to Write a Motivational Letter
  • How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
  • Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

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16 Secrets for Writing Cover Letters That Get You Hired

I can write a solid resume, interview well, and make sure that my online presence is on point.

The one thing that’s always been a struggle? The dreaded cover letter.

Cover letters can be absolute torture, and it feels like there are a million ways to screw them up. Is yours too formal or informal? Too long or short? Too much information or too vague?

There’s an upside, though: Making your cover letter awesome doesn’t have to be a long, difficult process. In fact, as I’ve written more and more cover letters over time (and started helping dozens of other people write theirs), they’ve actually become (gasp!) fun.

Below, I’ve listed the 16 most important tips I’ve learned to make crafting a cover letter into an easy and pain-free process. Half of the tips are related to what you write, and the other half are tiny things that’ll make sure your cover letter is better than the rest. By the end of the list, there’s no way a hiring manager will be able to shuffle you to the bottom of the pile. Or you know…delete your email…

8 Tips for Cover Letters That Grab Hiring Managers’ Attention

1. Describe a pain point

Here’s the most important question any cover letter should answer: What problem would hiring you solve?

Notice that this question is about the company’s problem, not your desire to land the job! Tricky, I know.

But think about it: If a company has put up a job description, it means they have a pain point and need a solution. For example, if a company is hiring a web designer, it means they don’t think their current layout is up to snuff and they’re looking for someone who can get them there. That’s the problem they need solved, and that’s what your cover letter should make clear in first few sentences.

2. Don’t regurgitate your resume

This is a tip that you’ve probably heard before, but it happens all the time : Don’t use your cover letter to simply restate your resume!

Your cover letter is the perfect place to expand on things that your resume doesn’t detail, illustrate the more intangible reasons why you’re perfect for the job, and explain any particular circumstances that warrant discussion (for example, if you’re making a sudden or drastic career change).

Skillcrush: 22 Things to Remove From Your Resume Immediately

3. The tone should match the company

Cover letters are great for companies not only because they can see if you can solve the problem at hand, but also because they give hiring managers a sense of whether or not you understand the company culture.

How do they figure this out? Tone.

Take a look at a company’s website, how its social media is phrased, and how its employees talk about it online. Is this company a little more informal and fun? Is it buttoned-up and corporate? Your cover letter should be written in a tone similar to that of the company’s copy. Obviously put a professional spin on it, but keep the company’s culture in mind.

4. Keep the focus on the company

Hiring managers assume that if you’re applying to a particular job, that must mean you really want that job. Thus, you don’t need to spend your entire cover letter reiterating how badly you want the job and how great the experience would be for you .

It’s okay to spend one or two sentences tops explaining your love for the company, but then it’s time to turn the tables.

The majority of your cover letter should be illustrating to a potential employer what hiring you would do for their company. Again, focus on the pain point: What talents and skills do you have that would help this organization tremendously?

5. Use your numbers

A big problem I’ve seen in lots of cover letters is that they tend to be very vague in describing any notable accomplishments or achievements.

For example, instead of saying that you have had “a great deal of success as an email marketer,” use your numbers: “I spearheaded an entire newsletter redesign that resulted in a 500% increase in our open rate, which proves…”

Numbers also add intrigue and leave hiring managers wanting to hear more!

Psst! This tip holds true for resumes! ( More here .) Adding numbers and statistics is a solid way to stand out!

6. Make your anecdotes short

While examples can make your cover letter super effective, many people make the mistake of including unnecessary or irrelevant information when using anecdotes that make them drag on and lose their umph .

My personal rule is to make any example or story no longer than three sentences so that you can avoid going overboard and wasting valuable space. Here’s how to break it down:

  • Sentence 1: Introduce the skill you’re highlighting.
  • Sentences 2: Explain the situation where you showed off this skill.
  • Sentence 3: What was the end result? Explain what it did for the company and what it proves about your character.

7. Make your opening line memorable

If the big opener to your cover letter is “I’m applying for Position X at Company Y” or “My name is…” it’s time to press the backspace button. There are two things wrong with both of these phrases:

  • They’re redundant, so you’re taking up precious space! A hiring manager is already going to know your name from your application as well as which position you’re applying for. No need to repeat it.
  • They’re generic and unmemorable. Give your hiring manager something to get excited about or be intrigued by.

So, how can you start a cover letter with something that has a little more pizzazz? Try opening with a favorite short anecdote, a quote that best describes you as a professional, or your personal tagline.

8. Everything should relate to the job description

As you write (and then read through) every line of your cover letter, ask yourself: How does this sentence relate to the job description? If you find yourself going on tangents or including facts that don’t prove your ability to excel at the job or understand the company culture, take it out.

And if you need some help making sense of exactly what will prove you are qualified for the job at hand, check out these 10 Tips for Deciphering Tech Job Listings .

8 Tips for Putting the Finishing Touches on Your Cover Letter

1. Research whom to address your letter to

Scrap the “To Whom It May Concern” greeting and do some research to find out who will be reading your cover letter.

In some cases, employers will be super helpful and straight up tell you whom to address that cover letter to. If you aren’t so lucky, a quick Google search can help, or if you have a connection to a potential employer, have a professional contact ask around to see if they can get a name.

If all else fails and you really want to avoid the dreaded “To Whom It May Concern” line, feel free to shoot the company an email. I did this before when I was applying to a company that had a plethora of people on its editorial and HR teams and I had no idea who’d be hiring me.

Here’s the quick template I used:

I’m applying to [name of company]’s [name of job title] position, and I was having some trouble figuring out whom specifically to address the cover letter to. Is there a particular person or department I should direct it to?

Thanks so much for your time!

[Your name]

2. Be smart with hyperlinks

If you’re going to use hyperlinks in your cover letter, there are two important things to keep in mind. First, try not to include more than two or three links tops in a cover letter (like an online portfolio or personal website). All links should be relevant, and your cover letter shouldn’t be used as a dumping ground for everything you’ve ever created!

Second, make sure you add context to a hyperlink to both draw attention to it and to make the hiring manager understand that it’s worth his or her time to click on. For example, if you’re referencing a recent design project you did, add that said project can be found “in my online portfolio” and add a hyperlink.

3. Delete extra images, clipart, emoticons and emojis

This is a no-brainer: Regardless of how “chill” the company says it is, keep clipart, emoticons, emojis, cute pictures of your puppy, and any other images OUT of your cover letter!

Squeeze an emoji into a cover email if you’re SUPER confident it’s appropriate. Otherwise, steer clear.

4. Keep it short (like, really short)

I’ve seen dozens of cover letters in the past month, and the biggest issue across the board is that people make their cover letters way too long.

Here’s the general rule of thumb to follow: Your cover letter should be a single page (no more!) and around 300-350 words. If you’re writing a cover email, three to five sentences works (since you usually have attachments or links for a hiring manager to click on).

5. Keep your font professional (and normal)

True story: I once received a cover letter from a friend where he’d had kept his writing to one page—but it was in eight-point font. Yikes.

Your cover letter font size should be normal (aim for between 10-point and 12-point), and your font should be straightforward and professional. Favorites include Arial, Times New Roman, and Georgia. Just say no to Curly Q or Comic Sans.

Skillcrush: 8 Free Font Pairings You Have to See

6. Break up your paragraphs

Nothing provokes fear in people faster than a wall of text. Hiring managers get a visual of your physical cover letter before they ever read it, and if their first reaction is, “Oh god, it’s all one paragraph!” that’s not a good sign.

Instead, break up your cover letter into smaller paragraphs of three or four sentences each. It’s so much more aesthetically pleasing, and the person reading your cover letter will thank you.

7. Cut the vague professional jargon

As with in a resume, using phrases like “team player,” “self-motivated,” or “results driven” only makes your cover letter generic and unmemorable. Use more lively language, or better yet, use specific examples to prove your point.

8. Re-read your cover letter over (and over and over)

Editing is the most tedious but also the most necessary part of any cover letter writing you do. Start by printing your cover letter out and reading it aloud. I also recommend reading the cover letter starting with the last sentence and working your way up.

Another pro tip: Definitely get someone else to read your cover letter. In many cases, you might think your writing is pristine, but a friend will find at least a couple typos and point out some places where your wording is a little clunky.

Getting that perfect cover letter doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. Use these tips and you’ll be snagging the job (and impressing potential employers with your savvy) in no time!

Skillcrush: The Ultimate Guide the Perfect Email Cover Letter

Lily is a writer, editor, and social media manager, as well as co-founder of The Prospect , the world’s largest student-run college access organization. She also serves in editorial capacities at The Muse, HelloFlo, and Her Campus. Recently, she was named one of Glamour’s Top 10 College Women for her work helping underserved youth get into college. You can follow Lily on Twitter at @lkherman

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How To Write An Amazing Cover Letter That Will Get You Hired (Template Included)

Writing a cover letter can be one of the most stress inducing aspects of the job search.

The reason writing them is so difficult is because we don’t have a defined framework to follow.

If you need to update your resume, you download a template and fill in the blanks. When you’re applying to jobs, the employer lays out the fields you need to complete right there in the application.

But when you’re writing a cover letter, you probably find yourself staring at a blank Word document wishing the right words would will themselves onto the page.

Most of us don’t consider ourselves to be the next Walter Isaacson, and the task of crafting the perfect story sits well outside of our comfort zone. It doesn’t help that most of the advice out there on the subject is vague at best.

I did a quick Google search for “How To Write A Cover Letter.” Here are a few things the “experts” recommend:

  • Assess the employer’s needs and your skills. Then try to match them in the letter in a way that will appeal to the employer’s self-interest.
  • Arrange the points in a logical sequence; organize each paragraph around a main point.
  • Basic fonts like Arial, Calibri, Helvetica , Verdana, and Open Sans work well. A font size of 10 or 12 points is easy to read. Standard margins are 1” on the top, bottom, and left and right sides of the page.
  • Be sure to include positive traits like “Focused,” “Hard Working,” and “Results Oriented”

While all of this advice is technically correct, did you feel your confidence skyrocket when you went back to type out that first sentence?

Yeah, me neither…

Infographic - Breakdown of Writing A Cover Letter That Gets Results

Writing A Cover Letter That Actually Gets You Hired

Here’s the thing – most career “experts” out there give vague advice that they’ve seen work in their corner of the market. It doesn’t get too specific because many career coaches (even recruiters) have never been through the application process at a world class company. They don’t know the nitty gritty.

When they do give specific advice, it’s usually tailored to a niche – software development, tech sales, finance, etc. But what works for one person in one industry or role might not work for a similar person in a different situation.

I’m hoping to change things with this article.

Over the course of this post, I’m going to lay out the cover letter strategies that thousands of my clients have used to land jobs across industries and at companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Deloitte, ESPN, American Express, and more.

If you’re not getting the results you want from your resume or cover letter, check out my free resume builder . It lets you create a recruiter-approve, ATS-friendly resume in minutes and it’s 100% free (no fees, subscriptions or limits!).

The Truth About Cover Letters

Before we dive into the actionable stuff, I want to provide some context on where cover letters fit in the hiring process.

Cover letters are a strange animal. People seem to think that they are the missing link that will suddenly skyrocket the response rates of potential employers.

When I asked my audience to choose between a guide on cover letters, resumes or LinkedIn profiles, cover letters won out by a significant margin.

The truth is, in the mind of a recruiter/hiring manager, your cover letter is a tie breaker that is only read after the rest of your application has been reviewed. 90% of hiring managers don’t even read cover letters. However, over half of employers noted that they prefer candidates who submit a cover letter:

Cover Letter Statistics Infographic

This leaves us in an interesting place.

We need to craft a good cover letter to help boost our chances, but we don’t want to spend several hours doing so because there are far better ways to spend our time to get results during the job search. If you follow the networking and value-add strategies in my other articles , those strategies are going to be far more effective at breaking ties than a 3-5 paragraph document.

My hope is that this guide will give you a framework that enables you to efficiently craft cover letters that are more likely to get you hired.

The 7 Cover Letter Mistakes That Cost People Jobs

If we want our cover letter to be as effective as possible we need to make sure we avoid the mistakes that employers hate to see, yet most people still make.

In order to be as accurate as possible, I went out and spoke to recruiters from Google, Microsoft, and a few Wall Street firms on top of my own research. Then I cross referenced that information with the several hundred cover letters that have come across my desk at Cultivated Culture.

After all was said and done, here are the 7 most common mistakes people make on cover letters that will cause recruiters to throw out their application:

1. Typos, grammatical errors, and general sloppiness

This is the most obvious and most common issue. Over 70% of recruiters noted that they would automatically toss a cover letter with some type of spelling or grammatical error. The good news is that it’s also the easiest mistake to fix.

Before you submit your cover letter, make sure it’s reviewed by at least two other parties. You might want to consider hiring a professional editor/proofreader as they’re not too expensive for a short document and they will pick up on things most people would miss. It’s easy enough to find one on Upwork .

Another trick you can use is including an obvious mistake about 75% of the way through. If you have “catching Justin Beiber’s sweaty t shirt at a concert” sitting in there and someone doesn’t call you out, you know they probably didn’t read it very carefully.

2. Going over a single page

99% of the resumes and cover letters I receive are over a single page. Funnily enough, 99% of the recruiters I speak to tell me that they absolutely hate resumes and cover letters that are more than one page.

The ideal length for a cover letter is 3-5 paragraphs. Changing the margins, font, and font size are all fair game – just keep things on one page, ok?

3. Regurgitating your resume in a slightly different format

Your cover letter is a space for you to truly differentiate yourself. If you’re just taking the bullets on your resume and turning them into full sentences, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity.

Use the cover letter to show a little personality and share something that people wouldn’t know if they just scanned through your resume (more on that in a sec).

Remember, this is a tie breaker. If your cover letter isn’t holding people’s attention it’s probably going to lose out.

4. Focusing on training or arbitrary credentials instead of results

Many of us feel unqualified for the jobs we want. As a result, we try to twist our experience to match the traditional qualifications for our target role.

The problem with this approach is that you are competing against people who qualify for the traditional credentials, no matter what role you’re applying for. If you try to beat them at their own game, you’re going to lose 9 times out of 10.

Am I saying you should forget about trying to spin your experience to position yourself well? Absolutely not. However, adding that business class on your resume when you’re 4-5 years out of college isn’t going to help much.

Instead, focus your time outside of work on building tangible results that you can showcase in your cover letter (and resume). If you want to be a developer, take a few coding courses and build something cool. If you want to be in digital marketing, land a few clients and run their ads for them.

Telling a story about how you took proactive steps to build experience in a field will beat traditional credentials in most cases. Companies love to see that you’re hungry to learn.

5. Not addressing your cover letter to an actual person

I die a little bit inside when I see cover letters addressed as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern.”

Anyone who reads that is immediately going to mentally bucket it as impersonal. It’s far better to address your cover letter to an actual human, even if it doesn’t end up in their hands. Here is my strategy.

Let’s say I’m applying for an Account Manager role at Google:

Writing Effective Cover Letters - Google Account Manager Role Screenshot

I’m going to head over to LinkedIn and start by working to find the specific person who would manage the role I’m applying for. If I can’t find them, or I’m unsure, then I’ll aim for the most senior person that my target role would fall under.

The ladder for Account Managers typically follows with Senior Account Manager, Account Director, and VP. I’m going plug in “Account Director” under LinkedIn’s title filter to cover all of the bases there. Then I’m going to add “Google” in the company filter and “Greater New York Area” in the location filter:

Writing Effective Cover Letters - LinkedIn Search Filters For Identifying Contacts

That search is going to bring up a slew of people that I could address directly in my cover letter:

Screenshot of Account Directors in LinkedIn Search for Cover Letter

Regardless of who reads your cover letter, they’ll know that you did your research. On top of that, your cover letter might even make it into the hands of the person you addressed it to!

6. Failing to showcase any personality

As mentioned earlier, your cover letter is one of the few opportunities for you to truly differentiate yourself from the competition. If you’re applying for jobs online (which I don’t recommend), the only thing you have to sell yourself is your resume, your cover letter, and your application.

Instead of rehashing the experience on your resume, tell a story about how you got that experience.  Make it unique and personable. I had the most success when I talked about how I transitioned from a job in medicine to the tech world by starting a side business generating leads for real estate agents. I’d speak openly about the challenges I faced, the mistakes I made, and why I went through it all in the first place.

Use this space to tell your story. Remember, people don’t buy what you do – they buy you why you do it.

7. Writing about an uncomfortable situation

While we’re on the topic of telling stories, there is one thing you want to avoid – talking about something extremely uncomfortable. What might have worked for your college essay isn’t going to work here.

You want to keep things professional. It’s okay to talk about business-related mistakes and challenges, but try to steer away from deeply personal stories. They are far more likely to hurt than help.

If your cover letter doesn’t violate any of the rules above, you’re off to a good start!

The Anatomy Of A Highly Effective Cover Letter

When I was job searching, one of the most frustrating things was trying to get a clear picture of what to include in my resume/cover letter/application. There is so much conflicting “expert” advice online it makes you feel like you’re shooting in the dark.

When I started Cultivated Culture, I began tracking how different factors influenced the success of my students. After working with hundreds of job seekers over the past few years, I’ve found a strong correlation between the following factors and a high rate of successfully landing interviews:

1. Capitalize On Your Cover Letter’s Header

Most people don’t realize that when they hit “submit” on their app, their cover letter gets scanned by a robot that’s looking for specific words and phrases.

One of the major keywords the look for is a matching or relevant job title. If you’re applying for a Project Manager role, are you including Project Manager, Project Management, PMP, or something similar in your cover letter? That’s what the robot is looking for and the header is a great place to inject it. I recommend dropping it in right below your name.

Once you get past the robots, your cover letter is going to end up in the hands of a real human.

We want to make it as easy as possible for this person to learn more about us and get in contact if they want. I always recommend that you include the following right at the top of your cover letter:

Email Address – Make sure it’s simple and professional. 76% of applications are rejected for having unprofessional email addresses. Also, don’t forget to hyperlink it! You want the employer to be able to click and get in touch.

Examples of good and bad email formatting for cover letters

LinkedIn Profile – A recent study showed that applications that include a link to a comprehensive LinkedIn profile increase their chances of hearing back by 71%!

Phone Number – If they like what they read, make it easy for them to pick up the phone and dial.

Relevant Links – Your header is also a great place to share links to things like Github, relevant social profiles, personal websites, your blog, etc.

Finally, a lot of people ask me about including a location. I don’t recommend adding your location when writing a cover letter unless the application requires it.

Your address and location are private, personal information and putting them on a resume or cover letter that you're upload across the internet is a major risk. You're putting yourself at the mercy of the company's data practices and, if they don't follow good data security practices , you could end up doing your best Jason Bateman impression chasing down data thieves in Florida.

2. Tell A Story In Your Opening Paragraph

This is an overarching theme that you want to include in each section of your cover letter.

Science has proven that people are more likely to remember information (or candidates in this case) when it’s delivered in the form of a story. Stories also help build a positive psychological association with the reader (or recruiter/hiring manger here).

Remember Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code ?

Da Vinci Code Promo Poster

It was a novel about cryptic clues in some of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings leading to to holy grail. While the book itself is fictitious, the artists, pieces, and much of the history behind them is accurate.

Now, if you asked most people about their opinion on art history, they’d tell you it was boring. They’d also groan in disappointment if you tried to get them to read a book on the subject. However, Dan Brown’s novel skyrocketed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list and became an international sensation. In fact, it caused applications for art history degrees to jump up 25% in the years following its publication.

Why were all of these people suddenly interested in field previously considered to be “boring?” Because Dan Brown fed historical facts in the context of an interesting story!

We’re aiming to do the same in our cover letter – specific examples below.

2. Talk About Why You’re Interested In The Company

In the first section of your cover letter, you want to briefly talk about why you are interested in the role and the company. Remember, we want to drive the message through a story.

When I was applying at Google, I wanted to work there because they were a household name that was focused on cutting edge technology, but they also cared about impacting lives. Here is the story I used to drive that point home:

I wanted to recount a story from my referral [Name]. He’s in the education vertical and spends a significant amount of time at rural schools. When he was down in South Carolina, a teacher asked him about the possibility of getting wifi for the town and its students. [Name] said he would do his best and upon returning he asked around. He sent an email to Astro Teller who responded and they discussed the feasibility of implementing project Loon in the area. I don’t think it panned out but the fact that the communication took place over a tiny town in South Carolina sold me. That’s the kind of stuff I want to be doing.

If you don’t have a story that immediately jumps to mind, the best way to get one is by talking to people who work at the company. Look up the company’s mission or their core values beforehand and ask that person to tell you about the best example they’ve personally experienced.

You can check out this article if you want to know how to find someone’s corporate email address.

3. Highlight What You Bring To The Role

The second section of your cover letter should showcase what you’re going to bring to the role by talking about your past achievements. Be sure to use measurable metrics (actual numbers and quantitative results) to support your points.

If you’re coming from a non-traditional background (and don’t feel like you’re “qualified”) this is the time to address that objection. Here is another excerpt from my Google cover letter that addresses my background using measurable results:

You might notice that there isn’t much “traditional” digital experience on my resume. That is because, coming from a scientific background, I needed to take a different path. In an effort to gain experience, I created my own agency called OpenWater Analytics. I specialized in using AdWords to generate real estate leads for private communities. I managed the entire sales process from cold outreach, to closing, to servicing the accounts on your platform.
Most recently, I helped a community in South Carolina sell every listing on their site (about 15 homes) in less than 6 months. Our cost per lead was half of the competition and we did it all for less than the commission the realtor would have made on a single house (including ad spend).

When I wrote this, I didn’t have much digital experience to speak to. Rather than trying to spin what I had, I went out and built the experience myself by starting a digital marketing firm. Again, if you feel like your experience is lacking, get out there are create your own!

4. Reference Your “Value Validation” Project

If you’ve read my article on How To Get A Job Anywhere With No Connections , you know that I always advocate for creating what I like to call a “Value Validation Project.”

This consists of having a conversation with someone at the company you want to work for and identifying their largest challenge or upcoming initiative. You then use that information to research on your own and come up with several solutions/suggestions for your contact.

In the final section of your cover letter you want to mention this project and include a call to action to discuss it. It could look something like this:

In hopes of learning more about [Company], I had a meeting with [Name]. She told me that her team’s largest challenge was upselling customers into the company’s new, complementary platform. She noted that, despite the platform increasing retention and lowering costs for clients, the upfront cost to onboard was a major obstacle.
In my previous role, we dealt with a similar situation. Our clients were receptive to adopting a new platform despite the data showing that it would be beneficial for all parties. I spearheaded an initiative where we tested and analyzed several revenue models that maximized adoption rates and profit margins. In the end, we increased adoption rates by 30% without impacting revenue.
Using the information that [Name] gave me, I outlined the process in detail as it relates to your platform. I believe that your team could implement these strategies immediately and see similar results. If you’d like me to send it to you, please let me know! My email is [email protected].

This section is incredibly powerful because it shows that you are not only interested, you went ahead and proved out the value you could bring to the team. Additionally, the call to action can lead to conversations with the very people who will make the decision to hire you!

Cover Letter Templates – Steal The Exact Cover Letter I Used At Google, Microsoft, & Twitter

At this point you should have a solid understanding of the science behind writing a killer cover letter. You should also have a good handle on what mistakes to avoid so your cover letter makes an awesome first impression.

Now we need to apply all of that to ink on paper! In order to make that easy for you, I’m including a copy of the cover letter templates that I used to land an interview at Google so you can see exactly how I wrote it.

Context For The Template

Before we dive into the exact cover letter template, I want to give you some context so you can better understand the content of the letter.

I was applying for a Digital Advertising Sales Account Manager at Google’s offices in New York. I started by doing some research on LinkedIn to find who I believed to be the hiring manager (her name was Emmy).

I knew that my non-traditional background was a big red flag for most employers so my goal was to proactively address it in my cover letter by calling it out, talking through what I’d done to build the right skills, and highlight the results I’d achieved from those efforts.

Finally, I had spoken to several Google employees who all told me that “Googliness” (cultural fit) was a huge factor in the company’s hiring decisions. If I wanted to have a chance, I needed a compelling narrative around why I wanted to work for them and why I was a good fit.

With all of that in mind, here’s the cover letter I wrote:

Austin’s Cover Letter Template

Dear Emmy Anlyan,
I grew up with Google. When I was seven years old, I used to sneak down to my Dad’s office at five in the morning to play video games. I still remember opening the browser and seeing the bright, multi-colored letters above the search box for the first time. I’ve always been interested in the tech space and, while my background has mainly been in the sciences, I’m ready to dive head first into the digital world.
I believe I would be a great fit for the Digital Advertising Sales Account Manager role because I have a deep understanding of the businesses that partner with Google and how they define success.
Understanding how these small businesses worked was critical to my success, and I believe those skills will help Google acquire happier, more successful customers who are inclined to spend. In addition, I’ve done some research on your team and have come to understand that your largest challenge is around successfully growing smaller accounts at scale. Based on my experience, I’ve put together a few suggestions below this letter – I’m happy to chat through them in more detail if you’d like.
I wanted to close with a quick story about Google that solidified my choice to apply. My referral, [Name of Referral] , works in the education vertical. He services the southeast and many of his accounts are rural. On his last visit down there, in a South Carolina town of 1,500 with no wifi, a teacher asked him if Google could help bring the internet to them.
When [Name of Referral] made it back to the office, he emailed Astro Teller asking about the potential for Project Loon to help bring this town in the 21st century. To his surprise, Astro wrote him back within the week mentioning that he’d look into it.
While things didn’t pan out, the fact that director of Google’s moonshot project division wrote back an employee about an elementary school in South Carolina blew me away. That is the kind of work I want to be doing.
Thank you for taking the time to read my note, I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be considered for this position.
Best, Austin

Download A Free Copy Of Austin’s Cover Letter Template

If you want a copy of that cover letter template with the header included and everything formatted, here’s a link to a copy on my Google Drive.

After you click through the link, just hit File > Make A Copy > Organize to add it to your own Google Drive! You can also download it in a variety of formats.

If you still have questions or thoughts about writing an awesome cover letter, drop a comment below — I’m happy to reply with an answer!

Want the inside info on landing a dream job regardless of your background and without applying online?

Click here to get the 5 free strategies that my students have used to land jobs at Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and more without applying online.

I teach people how to land jobs they love without traditional experience and without applying online. Connect with me and follow along on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/abelcak/

If this article was helpful, share it .

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How to Write a Cover Letter

Resumes receive all the glory and attention, but don’t ignore your cover letter. Here's how to write one that stands out.

cover letter to get hired

Getty Images

The cover letter makes a case for why you’re the person the company should hire.

Somebody hiring you for a job will skim your resume, or may use an applicant tracking system to review it, but they will read your cover letter if considering you for a position .

Resumes are a vital tool for landing a job, and no job seeker should rush writing it, but the cover letter is worth lavishing time and attention on, too.

So if you’re looking for tips on how to write a cover letter, open up a document, and let’s get writing.

What Is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a letter that you’ll submit to an employer along with your resume and anything else, like a portfolio of your work, when you apply for a job. The cover letter makes a case for why you’re the person the company should hire.

If your resume is analogous to your brain – offering the facts and the logical reason why you should be hired – the cover letter is your heart – possibly striking an emotional chord with the employer and at least getting to the heart of the matter of why you, and no one else, is right for the job.

The resume should convince the employer that you have the background for the job; the cover letter should make it clear that you’re going to be an amazing employee and a pleasure to work with. After all, if all goes well, these people may be hanging out with you on their lunch break or working closely with you when you’re dealing with stressed out or difficult clients. That's arguably almost as important as you actually being capable of doing the work you're being hired for. And because of that, an employer would like to have a sense of your personality and who you are. A well-crafted cover letter can do that.

Choosing a Header

So how should you start the cover letter? Most resume experts will tell you to try and find the hiring manager's name, if at all possible. Assuming you have it, then you'd go with "Dear Mr. Smith" or "Dear Ms. Smith." You might want to address the person by their first name, according to Jennifer Fishberg, founder of Career Karma Resume Development & Career Services, which is based out of Highland Park, New Jersey.

That is, if you’ve already had contact with the person, or there has been a referral, going with a first name might be fine, Fishberg says.

“But if you’re unsure, err on the side of the formal,” Fishberg says.

And what if you’re applying blindly and have no idea who is going to read the cover letter? Perhaps the classic and tried-and-true “To Whom It May Concern”?

That would be a hard no, according to Fishberg.

“’To Whom It May Concern’ is a non-starter,” she says. “It just screams that this is one of a hundred mass-produced letters you've sent out and couldn't be bothered. Part of the job of the cover letter is to humanize you to the reader, so an impersonal greeting doesn't help your cause there,” Fishberg says.

So what should you go with? “If you really can't find a name, then ‘Dear Hiring Team’ can work,” Fishberg says.

The Opening

So once you’ve addressed whom you’re writing to, as you can imagine, you’d better seem pretty compelling quickly. You’re competing with a lot of job applicants.

“A strong cover letter grabs the reader's attention from the first line,” Fishberg says.

Easy to say, not always easy to pull off. But Fishberg suggests that you might want to highlight what you know of your employer’s “pain points” and your ability to offer solutions. Your employer has some sort of problem or wouldn’t need to hire somebody. The employer hopes that by hiring you, you will solve those problems.

“Start with an attention-grabbing sentence,” says Deb Harrison, a former high school English teacher and now growth and change consultant who has worked with companies in recruiting and with individuals searching for jobs. She is based out of Montgomery, New York.

Harrison says that attention-grabbing sentence might involve a relevant quote, statistic or anecdote. But don’t go overboard with your quotes, statistics or anecdote. “Make it clear in the first paragraph why you are applying for the specific job,” Harrison says.

Writing the Body

OK, you feel good about how you’ve addressed whoever is reading your letter. You’ve got the reader hooked. Now here’s where things can either soar or start to fall apart.

There’s so much to think about, including:

Length. Most job sites will encourage you to write a cover letter that’s half a page to a page long. Harrison says that “recruiters have a lot to look through, so too much information may not even get read, but it should provide enough to stand out to the recruiter.”

Tone. “Type like you are speaking in an interview ,” says Pete Milne, managing director of Robert Walters North America, a professional recruiting firm. “It is so easy to be overly formal in written form.”

That may sound like the opposite of what you want since formal would seem to equate being professional, but no, Milne asserts. Being overly formal can really backfire.

“The tendency to use bigger words or complex language is tempting in order to show your intelligence levels. However, long sentences, difficult to read paragraphs and convoluted language are all signs of poor communication,” he says. “No one should have to dissect what you are trying to say. Make it obvious and super easy to read.”

Milne adds: “Also, imagine the shock when you turn up to an interview and sound nothing like your highly formal, legal-sounding cover letter. Stay true to yourself and be confident with your real tone of voice and personality.”

Details. As in, they matter, but don't go overboard here either. “Stick to the important stuff – a cover letter isn’t a biography,” Milne says. “As much as I encourage professionals to spend a good amount of time on a cover letter, there also needs to be an understanding that this will likely be scanned over by your prospective employer – hence the need to keep the language simple. See a cover letter as your highlights reel."

And only, Milne adds, including the highlights that are relevant to landing the job.

But if you feel like your cover letter needs a little something else, even if it has nothing to do with the job, you can probably get away with it, within reason, according to Milne.

“There is no harm in including that you are an avid surfer, but don’t go on about it unless you like to compete on a professional level, and tie in how getting to the finish line is a core makeup of your personality," Milne says. "All roads lead back to whether you will be good at this particular job or not.”

You may start to feel like this cover letter is as hard to write as a novel or television script, but you don’t have to close with a powerful ending for the ages or a cliffhanger, fortunately. Harrison advises that in your final paragraph and sentences you encourage the reader to take action – that is, reply to you (and be sure to provide your contact information). She also suggests you reiterate your enthusiasm for the position and thank the reader for considering your application.

Kyle Elliott, a career coach who lives in Santa Barbara, California, had a suggestion for the ending, if you have room and think it needs more punch.

"Because social proof is powerful, a creative and powerful way to end your cover letter is with a testimonial from a supervisor, colleague or client. You don't need to ask for an entire letter of recommendation here either. You can repurpose a testimonial from your LinkedIn profile or take a snippet from a performance review you received at work," he says.

And there you go. You’re done. Almost.

Review Your Cover Letter

That was just a first draft. You need to look over your cover letter again, especially if you really want this job . There are a lot of pitfalls that you want to make sure you didn’t stumble into while writing your letter.

For instance, you shouldn't only worry about typos or misspelling names, but getting basic facts incorrect.

“Frustratingly, the No. 1 thing that professionals can often get wrong in a cover letter is the company name or role that they are applying for,” Milne says.

Think about how that looks to a recruiter or potential employer, misnaming the company or even the type of job you’re applying for.

“Often the reason this happens is because job hunters typically use the same cover letter for multiple applications – barring a few tweaks,” Milne says.

"A copy and paste job when it comes to cover letters is lazy and can be borderline offensive or off-putting to recruiters or organizations depending on how obvious it is that you are firing off the same cover letter to multiple organizations," Milne says.

Repetition can also be a problem. In other words, are you repeating everything in the cover letter that you put in the resume? Not a great idea, according to Elliott.

“You want to avoid the common mistake of summarizing your resume when writing your cover letter. Instead, use your cover letter as an opportunity to express your interest in the company and role, as well as what sets you apart from other candidates,” Elliott says.

Sure, you knew that already – but it’s still easy to fall into the repetitive trap.

“Specificity is your friend when writing your cover letter. Give specific examples as to why you're drawn to this company compared to its competitors,” Elliott says. “Additionally, explain what distinguishes you from other applicants. If you offer a specific type of experience, knowledge or skill, be sure to call this out in your cover letter.”

Final Tips on Writing a Cover Letter

Finally, the important thing is to take writing a cover letter seriously.

"Cover letters often get a bad rap these days, both from job seekers and from the hiring side," Fishberg says. "Treating the cover letter as an obligatory nuisance is a missed opportunity to differentiate yourself from other applicants."

And if you can differentiate yourself, you'll have really pulled something off. You may even get hired .

"The perfect cover letter is the one that shows you've done your homework and understand this particular job and this company's needs. It's not one-size-fits-all," Fishberg says.

Tags: money , careers , cover letters

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The 23 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right

Amanda Zantal-Wiener

Published: December 14, 2023

I've sent plenty of cover letters throughout my career, so I know it isn't usually fun to write one. Fortunately, the cover letter examples I painstakingly gathered below show that it’s possible to have a little fun with your job search — and maybe even make yourself a better candidate in the process.

 person types of a cover letter

I was shocked upon learning 45% of job seekers don't include a cover letter when applying for a job. I definitely don't recommend following the crowd on this matter because your cover letter is a chance to tell the stories your resume only outlines.

It's an opportunity for you to highlight your creativity at the earliest stage of the recruitment process.

→ Click here to access 5 free cover letter templates [Free Download]

Are you ready to showcase your unique skills and experience? Or are you looking for more tips and cover letter inspiration?

Keep reading for 20+ cover letter examples, then check out tips for cover letter formatting and what makes a cover letter great .

cover letter to get hired

5 Free Cover Letter Templates

Five fill-in-the-blank cover letter templates to help you impress recruiters.

  • Standard Cover Letter Template
  • Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
  • Data-Driven Cover Letter Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Cover Letter Examples

  • Standard Cover Letter Example
  • Data-Driven Cover Letter Sample
  • Entry-Level Cover Letter Example
  • The Cover Letter That Explains 'Why,' Not Just 'How'
  • The 'We're Meant for Each Other' Cover Letter
  • The Cover Letter with H.E.A.R.T.
  • Short-and-Sweet Cover Letter Example
  • The Short Story
  • The Bare Bones Cover Letter
  • The Breezy Follow-Up
  • The Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
  • The Internship Cover Letter
  • The Brutally Honest Cover Letter
  • The Pivot Cover Letter
  • The Graphic Design Cover Letter
  • Consulting Internship Cover Letter Example
  • Nonprofit Referral Cover Letter Example
  • General Email Inquiry Cover Letter Example
  • Post-Phone-Call Cover Letter Example
  • Mission-Driven Graduate Cover Letter Example
  • Short Recommendation Cover Letter Example
  • Professor or Research Position Cover Letter Example
  • Director Cover Letter Example
  • Editorial Cover Letter Example
  • Promotion Cover Letter Example
  • Law Cover Letter Example

Customizable Cover Letter Examples

In a hurry for a cover letter example you can download and customize? Check out the ones below from HubSpot’s cover letter template kit .

1. Standard Cover Letter Example

cover letter examples: standard cover letter

Download a Customizable Copy of This Cover Letter Example

This standard cover letter is among my favorite approaches because it hits all the right notes: It includes a space to give a brief summary of your experience, as well as a space to delve in-depth into the specific responsibilities of your current role.

You also have the chance to describe the challenges you’ve mastered in previous roles, showing that you’re capable of facing any problem that comes your way.

Why I Love It

I love this cover letter because it allows you to describe the high points of your career while still being professional, personalized, and succinct.

2. Data-Driven Cover Letter Sample

cover letter examples: data driven cover letter

Numbers are worth a million words — or that’s how I think the saying should go (if only we could include pictures in cover letters).

Citing data and statistics about your achievements at your current company is an assured way to capture a hiring manager’s attention.

Over the years, I've learned most hiring managers don’t read the entire letter, so a bulleted summary of your achievements can be a powerful way to increase the effectiveness and scannability of your message.

I love this cover letter because it’s adaptable to any role. Even if you don’t work in a data-centric role, you can include any enumerable achievement.

If I worked in a creative industry, for instance, I could include the number of creative assets you designed for your current company.

3. Entry-Level Cover Letter Example

cover letter examples: entry-level cover letter

Many of us have had "first job jitters" (that's what I'm calling it) when applying for our first career opportunity.

However, my experience taught me to increase my chances of getting that first interview by including a cover letter that explains how my education can help me succeed in the role I applied for.

In fact, HubSpot staff writer Erica Santiago says highlighting her education was key to snagging her first role out of college.

"When I graduated from journalism school, I only had a couple of internships under my belt and maybe some writing clips — not enough to compete with most young professionals with more experience," she recalls.

"So, I highlighted the classes I took such as 'News Reporting and Writing' or 'Electronic News Gathering," she says, "And I explained the assignments I did and how they gave me real-world experience in interviewing and reporting."

She says that's how she got her first job as a digital journalist for WSVN in Miami.

If you need help understanding how to highlight your education in a cover letter, look no further than this example from HubSpot.

While other cover letter samples give experienced professionals the opportunity to share their experience at length, this one gives you the chance to describe your personal and professional attributes.

You can then convey how you can use your knowledge to help your target company reach its goals.

I love this cover letter because it’s easy and simple to use for a student who has little experience in their target industry — including those who haven’t yet completed an internship.

Looking for more? Download the entire kit below.

5 Professional Cover Letter Templates

Fill out the form to access your templates., best cover letter examples.

What does a good cover letter look like in practice, and how can you make yours stand out? I  found six examples from job seekers who decided to do things a bit differently.

Note: Some of these cover letters include real company names and NSFW language that I've covered up.

1. The Cover Letter That Explains 'Why,' Not Just 'How'

You may already know how to talk about how you’ll best execute a certain role in your cover letter. But there’s another question you might want to answer: Why the heck do you want to work here?

The Muse , a career guidance site, says that it’s often best to lead with the why — especially if it makes a good story.

I advise against blathering on and on, but a brief tale that illuminates your desire to work for that particular employer can really make you stand out.

cover letter that explains "why" with a story about a childhood experience with the chicago cubs

Image Source

Here’s another instance of the power of personalization.

The author of this cover letter clearly has a passion for this prospective employer — the Chicago Cubs — and if she’s lying about it, well, I'm sure that would eventually be revealed in an interview.

Make sure your story is nonfiction and relatable according to each job. While I love a good tale of childhood baseball games, an introduction like this one probably wouldn’t be fitting in a cover letter for, say, a software company.

But a story of how the hours you spent playing with DOS games as a kid led to your passion for coding? Sure, I’d find that fitting.

If you’re really passionate about a particular job opening, think about where that deep interest is rooted. Then, tell your hiring manager about it in a few sentences.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This example shows how effective personalization can be. The writer is passionate about the employer, drawing from her own childhood experience to communicate her enthusiasm.

Further reading: Sales Cover Letter Tips

2. The 'We're Meant for Each Other' Cover Letter

This cover letter example is a special one because it was submitted to us here at HubSpot. What does the letter do well? It makes a connection with us before we've even met the letter's author.

We're meant for each other cover letter submitted to HubSpot

"Content Marketing Certified" shows the applicant has taken the content marketing certification course in our HubSpot Academy (you can take the same course here ).

Our "records" indicate he/she did indeed give an interview with us before — and was a HubSpot customer.

The cover letter sang references to a relationship we didn't even know we had with the candidate.

The letter ends with a charming pitch for why, despite him/her not getting hired previously, our interests complement each other this time around.

(Yes, the applicant was hired).

This cover letter example does an excellent job of building rapport with the employer. Despite not getting hired for previous roles they applied for at HubSpot, the writer conveys exactly why they are right for this role.

Read more: Customer Service Cover Letter Tips

3. The Cover Letter with H.E.A.R.T.

HubSpot has a lot of H.E.A.R.T. — Humble, Empathetic, Adaptable, Remarkable, Transparent.

Our Culture Code is the foundation of the company's culture, the driving force behind our mission to help millions grow better , and serves as the scaffolding for our hiring practices.

Recruiters at HubSpot look for applicants that demonstrate how they embody the Culture Code and job description, paying extra attention to cover letters that are super custom to HubSpot.

In another HubSpot submission, a HubSpot applicant writes about how she found out about HubSpot, why she likes the company, and how her professional experience aligns with H.E.A.R.T.

cover letter that details experience according to hubspot values: humble, empathy, adaptability, remarkable, and transparent.

HubSpot's recruiting team was impressed with her dedication to the company and how she went beyond what was asked for by linking her portfolio in her closing paragraph.

Featured Resource: 5 Free Cover Letter Templates

Cover-Letter-Templates

Download our collection of 5 professional cover letter templates to help you summarize your professional journey and land your dream job – whether it's at your first or fifth company.

Short Cover Letter Examples

4. the short-and-sweet cover letter.

In 2009, David Silverman penned an article for Harvard Business Review titled, " The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received. " That letter has three complete sentences, as follows:

Short and sweet cover letter example with only three sentences

One might argue that this particular letter is less than outstanding, and I'll also admit it's an older example.

It’s brief, to say the least, and the author doesn’t go into a ton of detail about what makes him or her qualified for the job in question.

But that’s what Silverman likes about it — the fact that the applicant only included the pieces of information that would matter the most to the recipient.

"The writer of this letter took the time to think through what would be relevant to me," writes Silverman. "Instead of scattering lots of facts in hopes that one was relevant, the candidate offered up an opinion as to which experiences I should focus on."

When you apply for a job, start by determining two things:

  • Who might oversee the role — that’s often included in the description, under "reports to." Address your letter to that individual.
  • Figure out what problems this role is meant to solve for that person. Then, concisely phrase in your cover letter how and why your experience can and will resolve those problems.

The key to this standout cover letter is research.

By looking into who you’ll be reporting to and learning more about that person’s leadership style, you’ll be better prepared to tailor your cover letter to focus on how you can create solutions for them.

Read here for more tips on how to land your dream job .

5. The Short Story

Basha Coleman began her cover letter with a short story. The goal of this short story is two-fold:

  • Detail the experience she already has with the organization.
  • Stand out to the hiring team.

short cover letter example from basha coleman that starts with a short story about her existing experience with pepsi

I notice her short story follows a typical narrative arc: It has a conflict/obstacle, a turning point, and a positive outcome, all created with a goal to emphasize a theme or point.

In this case, Coleman is emphasizing her existing affinity with the brand and her triumphs within the program so that she can continue on her career path.

Like the second example in our list, this cover letter does an excellent job of conveying the applicant’s existing affinity for the brand. If you are applying to a company you love, don’t be shy about showing it and explaining why.

6. The Bare Bones Cover Letter

In today's job market, cover letters aren't always necessary. Even though many recruiters won't ask for or even read them, cover letters can still be effective and convey personality to a reader.

Writing a strong cover letter can help you better convey your interest in the position and company.

This template from The Balance Careers puts together the essential components of a short cover letter: excitement about the position, your qualifications, and a call-to-action for the recruiter to follow up with you.

Combining these central aspects in a well-written, compelling narrative will go a long way in convincing readers to hire you.

short cover letter example with summarized bullet points

This letter is organized and concise. The inclusion of bullet points to highlight key skills and help the recruiter skim the document is a nice touch.

Check out this post for more useful cover letter tips .

7. The Breezy Follow-Up

In this cover letter, Amanda Edens is following the instructions the hiring manager gave by forwarding an email with resume and writing samples attached.

short cover letter example from Amanda Edens with bullet points and breezy language

This short cover letter is the result. I especially admire how she uses casual and breezy language to convey personality and enthusiasm, and she keeps her paragraphs succinct.

Not only does Amanda include links to relevant writing samples that are live on the web, but she also closes with a strong final paragraph that:

  • Summarizes the expertise she has relevant to the posting
  • Emphasizes that she doesn't want to simply get a job but rather help the organization accomplish their goals
  • The reader gets everything they need in an organized and thoughtful manner.

8. The Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

In this cover letter the candidate, Michelle, plays up her prior music industry experience to build a connection with Epic Music Group. If you have specific industry experience for the role you are applying for, be sure to highlight that.

Cover Letter Example: Admin Cover Letter

It’s clear that she’s passionate about not only the music industry, but Epic as a whole.

She’s done so much research on the company that she knows what software programs they use, and happens to be proficient in it to help convey value to the hiring manager.

This example further illustrates the importance of research.

Make sure you understand the culture of the company to which you’re applying before you send a completely unfiltered cover letter — if you don’t, there’s a good chance it’ll completely miss the mark.

In just three short paragraphs, the applicant uses their company research to drive home why they are the perfect fit for the role — emphasizing industry experience as well as software knowledge specific to the company.

All of this communicates that she’d be able to start with very few hiccups while getting up to speed.

Further reading: 15 Cover Letter Templates

9. The Internship Cover Letter

Maybe you’re just getting started in your career and looking to land the right internship to gain experience in your field.

In this case, you’ll need to highlight more of your educational background and transferable skills since you won’t have as much professional experience to highlight.

Cover Letter Examples: Internship Cover Letter

The cover letter above is a great example of how to emphasize your skills and accomplishments when applying to internships or entry-level positions. A few things the applicant does well:

  • Highlights relevant extracurriculars and affinity networks. In this case, the applicant is applying for a business analyst position, so mentioning their involvement in a FinTech group makes sense.
  • Previous internships in relevant fields: Our applicant points out that they’ve interned as a Business Analyst at another firm. Pointing out that they’ve done the role before will help make their case for fit.
  • Highlight other useful skills: This applicant is fluent in both English and German. If an international company or an organization needs bilingual support, knowing multiple languages is an asset.

This cover letter example illustrates how you can leverage your education and background to get the gig even when you don’t have much working experience. Highlighting previous internships or experience in related fields can go a long way in convincing hiring managers you’re the perfect candidate for the role.

Further reading for recent graduates:

  • How to Find a Job After College
  • Writing a Cover Letter for an Internship

Creative Cover Letter Examples

10. the brutally honest cover letter.

Then, there are the occasions when your future boss might appreciate honesty — in its purest form.

Former Livestream CEO Jesse Hertzberg, by his own admission, is one of those people, which might be why he called this example " the best cover letter " (which he received while he was with Squarespace):

Brutally honest cover letter example

As Hertzberg says in the blog post elaborating on this excerpt — it’s not appropriate for every job or company.

But if you happen to be sure that the corporate culture of this prospective employer gets a kick out of a complete lack of filter, then there’s a chance that the hiring manager might appreciate your candor.

"Remember that I'm reading these all day long," Hertzberg writes. "You need to quickly convince me I should keep reading. You need to stand out."

The applicant did their research on the company’s culture and executed this cover letter flawlessly. It’s funny and shows off the applicant’s personality all while making it clear why they are a good fit for the role.

Further reading:

  • How to Stand Out and Get Hired at Your Dream Company
  • How to Find Your Dream Job

11. The Pivot Cover Letter

Making a career switch? Your cover letter can be an excellent opportunity for you to explain the reasoning behind your career change and how your transferable skills qualify you for the role.

Cover Letter Example: Creative Pivot Cover Letter

It’s clean but effective.

Since the role she is applying for is more visual, it’s important to both show and tell why you’re a good fit.

This cover letter strikes the perfect balance between creativity and simplicity in design while putting the applicant's career change into context.

The copy is clean, with a creative font choice that isn’t distracting from the content, but still demonstrates the applicant’s knack for design.

12. The Graphic Design Cover Letter

When applying for more creative roles, the design of your cover letter can say just as much as the words on the page. Take the graphic designer letter example below.

sandra barnes cover letter

It’s got so much going for it:

  • Pop of color
  • Clean layout
  • Interesting fonts

Besides the style elements, this example also doesn’t skimp on the key skills recruiters are looking for. Using metrics, the applicant proves their value and why they would be a great fit.

This cover letter thoroughly conveys the applicant’s skills and qualifications using a variety of visual elements and emphasizing their greatest achievements.

Pro tip: If you're applying for a graphic design job, share a link to your graphic design portfolio website , even if it's not an application requirement.

Job Cover Letter Examples

Next up, let’s go over some classic cover letter examples for jobs, especially if you’re applying to internships or only have a few years of experience.

The below cover letters follow the golden rules and don’t deviate too much from the standard — which is ideal if you’re applying to positions in more traditional industries.

13. Consulting Internship Cover Letter Example

consulting cover letter

Many internship applicants are early on in their careers or are still in college. That means they’ve yet to gather enough experience to offer tangible proof of their ability to do the job.

That means that a cover letter is the place where an internship applicant can shine.

This cover letter example highlights the applicant’s skills in a bullet-point format. That makes it easier for an overburdened hiring manager to get the essence of her points, quickly, if they’re only skimming cover letters.

Not only that, but this applicant personalized the letter in every single sentence. She shares information about her prior conversations with some of the company’s employees and mentions the company’s name at every turn.

While she only has one prior consulting job, she deftly mentions the skills she developed in that role and ties them into her desired position at Quantcast Product Group.

This cover letter example does a fantastic job advertising the applicant’s soft skills in a highly scannable format — while still going heavy on the personalization.

Don’t be shy to lightly play with formatting to get your point across and to imbue the letter with your passion for a company.

14. Nonprofit Referral Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: nonprofit referral

This cover letter example for a nonprofit job hits the ground running by right away inserting the name of one of the nonprofit’s Superintendents.

That’s an excellent way to get a recruiter’s attention and make you stand out from the slush pile, even if you’re only just out of school, as is the case for this applicant.

If you’ve received an internal recommendation for a position, you’d be wise to open your letter with that information. Don’t worry about it feeling too stilted or strange — remember, hiring managers only skim letters.

Your goal is to make sure they get information about you that they otherwise won’t get from your resume.

With only three full paragraphs, this cover letter example is short, sweet, and to the point. No time is wasted, and it also goes over the critical basics, such as skills and experience.

This nonprofit cover letter includes a recommendation from an internal employee at the target organization, making it more likely to stand out from the slush pile.

I  also love that it doesn’t skimp on the basics, such as skills, enthusiasm, and experience.

15. General Email Inquiry Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: general internship inquiry

Even if a job opportunity isn’t available at an organization yet, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be. You can always send a general inquiry cover letter, like the one in this example.

This email cover letter for a political campaign internship is short and sweet, but includes the critical information the campaign coordinator needs to consider the applicant for any new positions that may open up.

The best part about this cover letter is that it can be easily customized from one political campaign employer to the next.

While it does include a level of personalization, it’s brief and can be easily changed to address the specific political candidate.

When sending general inquiries like this one, it’s essential to make the personalization aspect as pain-free as possible for yourself. That may mean including only one sentence or two, knowing that a general inquiry might not be replied to.

This email cover letter example hits all the right notes while keeping it brief and to-the-point. While we don’t recommend choosing this format for a formal cover letter, it works if you’re sending a general inquiry to an employer over email.

It’s also a good example to follow if you’re still in college or have very little experience.

Read more: How to Write a Letter of Interest

16. Post-Phone-Call Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: post phone call

If you get a phone call from a potential employer and they invite you to send your resume, pat yourself on the back — that is such a win. In your cover letter, be sure to mention that right away, like this example does.

A hiring manager or an executive at a company likely has a lot of tasks on their plate, which means that they may forget about your call from one week to the next.

That is totally okay, which is why this example starts with a reminder that the applicant and the letter recipient spoke back on January 31st. It also has a few more details about why they started speaking in the first place.

Aside from leveraging the phone call that’s already occurred, this cover letter also does an excellent job explaining why the applicant is an ideal choice for the job.

It goes into detail about skills and previous experience with a high level of enthusiasm, and includes a promise to follow up at the end.

This cover letter example includes two things that will immediately draw my attention: A phone call they’ve already had, and a mutual contact at their organization.

The job and internship search can be grueling; never be afraid to use everything you have at your disposal to improve your standing over other applicants.

Read more: How to Start a Cover Letter

17. Mission-Driven Graduate Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: mission driven

This cover letter example from a recent B.A. graduate wowed me from the first sentence.

The applicant right away explains her attained degree and her specific career interests, then dives into the aspects of her experience that make her such a great candidate.

It's so personalized to the employer’s own mission that it’s difficult to stop reading it.

Even if the hiring manager isn’t a science or health professional, they would be able to effectively gauge the applicant’s suitability for the role by the expertise she shows in her cover letter alone.

The applicant explains at length why she’s excited to work for that specific hospital. The organization serves Aboriginal populations, which aligns with her own values and research interests.

In the last paragraph, she summarizes what she knows about the employer in one sentence, then describes how each of her experiences supports the employer’s mission.

That is an exceedingly clever and meaningful way to align yourself with an organization at a deeper level.

If you’re applying to a mission-driven organization, don’t be shy about showing your excitement and expertise. You don’t need a lot of experience to show that your values align with those of your target organization.

This cover letter example is especially good inspiration if you’re making a career change, have only just a few internships under your belt, or are graduating from college.

18. Short Recommendation Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: short recommendation

Referral or recommendation cover letters don’t need to be too long, and this is a great example of that. It immediately leverages a mutual connection at the company.

The mutual connection recommended that the applicant contact the hiring manager for a role, which is a piece of information I  always recommend you frontload in your letter.

This specific cover letter comes from an applicant with little experience, making it a good example to follow if you’re switching careers or just out of college.

Instead of talking about their experience, the applicant uses anecdotal evidence to convey their enthusiasm for working at that company.

The writer also goes over their most salient skills, such as being able to speak multiple languages. They also explain how their degree directly applies to the target role.

I  love that the candidate highlights their leadership abilities and makes that an effective selling point for being hired.

This cover letter doesn’t go on for too long, which we love. It’s simple and sweet and provides all the information the hiring manager needs to look more closely at the applicant’s resume and make an interviewing decision.

19. Professor or Research Position Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: professor or research

Academic or research position cover letters might require a little more information than the typical cover letter — and this is one such example. Why is it okay to go a little longer?

Because the letter is not only a way to supplement the PhD candidate’s academic CV, but to provide a writing sample for the search committee.

I love this cover letter because it expresses the candidate’s enthusiasm for teaching and explains her instructional ethos, such as providing out-of-the-classroom opportunities, championing communication, and encouraging students to step out of their comfort zone.

The applicant also suggests courses she may be able to teach at the target institution, and expresses her interest in developing new courses as needed.

She also suggests how she can enhance the college’s extracurricular programming by offering study abroad courses, which shows not just an interest in teaching but adding to the school’s overall culture.

While this letter goes for a little longer than recommended, it serves as a fantastic writing sample and explains the applicant’s research background at length.

If you’re applying to academic or research roles, don’t be afraid to go into detail about what most excites you in terms of research interests.

20. Director Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: director

This cover letter example — for a Director of Catering position at a university — doesn’t waste any time.

The applicant right away says that they’re a strong candidate for the role, then jumps right into three salient qualifications that make him a great fit.

I love how the applicant uses bullet points and bold text to guide an overburdened hiring manager through the cover letter — and to give them permission to scan it, if needed.

If the hiring manager would like more information or actual examples of the skills, they merely need to read the rest of the bullet point paragraph.

As mentioned, light formatting can be beneficial to your cover letter, as it draws the recruiter’s eyes and prevents them from having to fish for the information they’re looking for.

This short, sweet cover letter includes the critical information a hiring manager or high-level executive needs to make an interview decision.

I  love the use of formatting that doesn’t stray too much from regular cover letter conventions, and I  like that the applicant kept all other paragraphs extremely brief.

21. Editorial Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: editorial

Applying for an editorial or journalistic position? Like a cover letter example I  shared earlier, you can take a more storytelling approach to capture the hiring manager’s attention.

This cover letter example does that effectively by telling an anecdote that directly mentions the newspaper where they’d like to work.

This immediately draws the reader in and tells them that this application isn’t random at all; the applicant would like to work at the newspaper because they’ve read it every morning.

Not only that, but they have a favorite reporter on the newspaper’s staff. The applicant then jumps into the specific reason they want to take an editorial position at the Baltimore Sun.

The cover letter includes all pertinent information, such as how previous positions have equipped the applicant to take on this job. It closes with enthusiasm after keeping the reader rapt every step of the way.

The applicant uses storytelling to — you guessed it — apply for a position that needs storytelling skills. If you’re applying for a data-driven position or a graphic design position, why not showcase those skills in the cover letter itself?

I  like that this letter doesn’t diverge too much from cover letter conventions while still differentiating itself.

22. Promotion Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: promotion

In this cover letter example, the applicant already works for the employer and wishes to apply for the next position to move up in their career.

I  like that the letter cites the applicant’s extensive knowledge of the organization, which will no doubt give them an advantage over external applicants.

Not only that, but the applicant also references their experience before they started working at the employer and uses that information to make their candidacy even more desirable.

Lastly, this letter includes a healthy level of enthusiasm for the university and the position — something that is never extra in a cover letter.

This cover letter example does an excellent job showing the candidate’s knowledge of their current organization while stating why they’re a natural fit for the promotion.

Plus, the letter includes information on the applicant’s relevant activities outside of work — if you’re involved in any organizations that might help you do your job better, be sure to include them.

23. Law Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: law

This law cover letter example jumps right into personalization, a bold move that will serve you well if you’re genuinely interested in a company and want to stand out.

The applicant cites the recipient’s recent article on bond litigation, then ties that into the role they’d like to get at the law firm.

The applicant then goes into his skills and the feedback he’s received from past managers. This is an excellent way to introduce your skills without sounding dry — or even unfounded.

By citing positive feedback you’ve received, you’ll imply that others have praised you for having those skills, and that you’re not only "tooting your own horn."

Pro-Tip: In cover letters, it’s absolutely okay to toot your own horn — that’s what they’re for. But if you can cite others’ remarks, that also helps.)

At just two and a half paragraphs, this letter is exceedingly short but no less effective. It’s an excellent example of how to personalize your letter quickly while still conveying the essentials of a cover letter.

This short cover letter example keeps it brief while still creating high impact. The applicant personalizes the letter immediately, cites external feedback, and conveys enthusiasm.

This letter proves you don’t need to write a novel about an employer to sway the hiring manager into giving you an interview.

Now that I've shown you some excellent examples, let's talk about how you can create the best cover letter for your dream job.

What is a good cover letter?

A cover letter is used to show your interest in the role, passion for the company, and the impact you've had in previous positions. Good cover letters should include a standout opening, relevant skills and qualifications, and a strong finish with a call-to-action — all within one page and unique to each application.

What’s on a cover letter?

Before you start writing your cover letter, let's cover a few basic must-haves you'll want to include. If you’re looking for more detailed instructions, check out this guide to writing a cover letter .

Add a simple, but pleasant greeting to address the recruiter or hiring manager.

Learn more:

  • Dear Sir or Madam Alternatives
  • Cover Letter Greetings

Write a catchy introduction that explains why you’re interested in the role.

  • How to Write an Introduction
  • Tips for Writing a Good Introduction Sentence

Work Experience

This is the heart of your cover letter. It outlines your relevant experience and why you’d be a great fit for the role. You can highlight special skills, experiences, professional achievements, or education to help make your case.

  • How to Write About Your Professional Background
  • Professional Bio Examples
  • LinkedIn Bio Examples

In this paragraph, add a call-to-action by expressing interest in an interview. Offer your contact information and sign off.

  • Email Closing Line Examples
  • Tips for Writing Conclusions

What does a cover letter look like?

Besides showing off your skills and qualifications, cover letters give you the opportunity to present a clear, concise, and compelling writing sample. It shows off your personality and your ability to convey ideas.

That's a lot of information to include on a single page, so it can help to have a clear structure to start with.

Check out our fillable cover letter templates to see how you should organize the content of your cover letter.

HubSpot Cover Letter Template

What makes a great cover letter?

A cover letter is personal, but it also needs to help you reach a goal and help the hiring team understand how you could perform that role with their company. This complexity can make cover letters really tough to write.

Because cover letters are difficult to write, many come off as boring, basic, or confusing for hiring managers to read. But the tips below about the qualities that make a cover letter great can help you take your cover letter from basic to bright.

Start with this quick video, then keep reading for more tips:

Personalized Introduction

Begin with an introduction that's personal. It should capture the reader's attention and address your recipient by name. Then, add a compelling opening sentence that emphasizes your interest in the specific role.

Helpful Cover Letter Introduction:

"Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],

In an increasingly digitized world, where customer-centric strategies are vital for business success, I am thrilled to apply for the [Job Title] position at HubSpot."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Introduction:

"To Whom it May Concern,

I am applying for the [Job Title] position at HubSpot. I have some experience in marketing and can help your clients grow their businesses."

Relevant Professional Experience

It can be tempting to use the same cover letter for every job. After all, it's about your experience, isn't it? But it's not enough to rephrase the work history in your resume.

Recruiters and hiring managers are looking to fill a specific role, so you need to show how your experience translates to their unique needs.

So, the body of a great cover letter should showcase the specific professional experiences that are relevant to the job you're applying for. Emphasize your accomplishments and skills that directly relate to what the job needs.

To speed up this part of the cover letter writing process, start by creating a list of your transferable skills . Drafting this list can help you quickly focus on the skills to highlight in your cover letter.

Then, use AI tools to summarize job descriptions and narrow in on where your experience and the needs of the role you're applying for overlap. This post is full of useful AI assistant tools if you're new to AI.

Helpful Cover Letter Experience:

"At [Company Name], I had the opportunity to assist a global ecommerce retailer in enhancing their online customer experience. By conducting in-depth market research and customer journey mapping, I identified pain points and areas of improvement in their website navigation and user interface."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Experience:

"I also worked with an ecommerce retailer to improve the customer experience. We did some surveys and training, and they were happy with the results."

Useful Examples

To make your cover letter stand out, add specific examples that show how you've solved problems or gotten results in past roles.

Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible, using data to give the reader a clear understanding of your impact.

Helpful Cover Letter Example:

"I lead a team of five content writers while increasing website traffic by 18% year-over-year."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Example:

"I have a great track record of leadership and achieving fantastic results."

Research and Company Knowledge

Hiring teams aren't hiring anyone with the skills to do the job. They're hiring a person they'll work alongside at their specific company.

So, to show that you're not just looking for any job anywhere, share your knowledge of the company's industry, values, and culture in your cover letter.

Spend some time on the company website and take notes on what makes this business interesting to you and why you would want to work there.

Then, explain how your skills align with the company's mission and goals and explain how you could add to their chances of success. This will showcase your interest in the company and help them see if you are a good cultural fit.

Helpful Cover Letter Research:

"I was particularly drawn to HubSpot not only for its industry-leading solutions but also for its exceptional company culture. HubSpot's commitment to employee development and fostering a collaborative environment is evident in its recognition as a top workplace consistently. I strongly believe that my passion for continuous learning, self-motivation, and dedication to contributing to a team will make me a valuable asset to HubSpot."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Research:

"I have been inspired by HubSpot's commitment to inbound marketing and its comprehensive suite of solutions. HubSpot's dedication to providing valuable content and fostering meaningful relationships aligns with my own values and aspirations."

Clear Writing

Your cover letter needs to pack in a lot of important information. But it's also important that your cover letter is clear and concise.

To accomplish this, use professional but easy-to-understand language. Be sure to remove any grammar or spelling errors and avoid lengthy paragraphs and avoid jargon or overly technical language.

You may also want to use bullet points to make your letter easier to skim. Then, proofread your cover letter for clarity or ask a friend to proofread it for you.

  • Guide to Becoming a Better Writer
  • Tips for Simplifying Your Writing

Helpful Cover Letter Writing:

"In addition to my academic accomplishments, I gained valuable practical experience through internships at respected law firms.

Working alongside experienced attorneys, I assisted in providing legal support to clients. This hands-on experience helped me develop a deep understanding of client needs and enhanced my ability to effectively communicate complex legal concepts in a straightforward manner."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Writing:

"Furthermore, as a complement to my academic accomplishments, I have garnered invaluable practical experience through internships at esteemed law firms.

Throughout these placements, I actively collaborated with seasoned attorneys to conduct due diligence and furnish clients with comprehensive legal support. Notably, these experiences fostered a profound comprehension of client necessities, whilst honing my legal acumen to articulately convey intricate legal principles within a lucid and concise framework, adhering to applicable precedents and statutes of limitations."

Genuine Interest and Enthusiasm

Find ways to convey your passion for the role and how excited you are to contribute to the company you're applying to. At the same time, make sure your interest feels authentic and outline how it aligns with your career goals.

Your ultimate goal is an enthusiastic letter that feels honest and leaves a lasting positive impression.

Showing excitement in writing doesn't come naturally for everyone. A few tips that can help you boost the genuine enthusiasm in your letter:

  • Record audio of yourself speaking about the role, then use voice-to-text technology to transcribe and add these sections to your letter.
  • Choose your words carefully .
  • Write in active voice.

Helpful Cover Letter Tone:

"I am genuinely enthusiastic about the prospect of joining [Company/Organization Name] as an accountant. My combination of technical proficiency, eagerness to learn, and strong attention to detail make me an ideal candidate for this role. I am confident that my dedication, reliability, and passion for accounting will contribute to the continued success of your organization."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Tone:

"Honestly, I can hardly contain my excitement when it comes to reconciliations, financial statement analysis, and tax regulations! Engaging in spirited discussions with professors and classmates has allowed me to foster an unbreakable bond with the fascinating world of accounting, and I'm positively bursting with enthusiasm at the prospect of applying my skills in a professional setting."

Memorable Conclusion

End your cover letter on a strong note. Summarize your top qualifications, restate your interest in the position, and express your interest in future communication.

Then, thank your reader for their time and consideration and include your contact information for easy follow-up.

To make your conclusion memorable, think about what parts of your letter you'd most like the hiring manager to keep top of mind. Then, consider your word choice and phrasing. If you're feeling stuck, this list of ways to close an email can help.

Helpful Cover Letter Conclusion:

"Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to further discuss how my qualifications align with the needs of Greenpeace. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.

Together, let's make a lasting impact on our planet.

[Your Name]"

Unhelpful Cover Letter Conclusion:

"Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my qualifications further and how I can contribute to Greenpeace's mission. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.

I’d like to add another stage to the job search: experimentation.

In today’s competitive landscape, it’s so easy to feel defeated, less-than-good-enough, or like giving up your job search.

But don’t let the process become so monotonous. Have fun discovering the qualitative data I’ve discussed here — then, have even more by getting creative with your cover letter composition.

I certainly can’t guarantee that every prospective employer will respond positively — or at all — to even the most unique, compelling cover letter. But the one that’s right for you will.

So, get inspired by these examples and templates. Write an incredible cover letter that shows the hiring team at your dream job exactly who you are.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. This article was written by a human, but our team uses AI in our editorial process. Check out our full disclosure to learn more about how we use AI.

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Her Agenda

7 Smart Cover Letter Tips To Get You Hired

T he job market has a reputation for favoring employers, which could make standing out from the pack a challenging task. Matched with a decline in hiring — a whopping 23.8% a year in the United States alone — you may find yourself scrambling to gain that competitive edge. However, your cover letter can help you shine. 

Drafting a cover letter is often considered a cumbersome task for job seekers looking to address issues that can cause employer disinterest — from gaps in employment to lack of experience. The cover letter has become a game-changer in improving the chance of candidates securing their next role. In this article, we discuss quick and easy cover letter tips to help improve your job prospects.

An Attention-Grabbing Opener

Be direct when addressing the hiring manager or recruiter reviewing your application. Shy away from the sir/ma’am greeting. LinkedIn is a great starting point to narrow in on this information. Do your research. It’s vital to lead with achievements, discuss how they apply to the role, and maintain your reader’s attention. Remember, hiring managers are scanning and waiting for details to jump out at them.

Show Confidence

Be confident. Have you ever heard of the phrase fake it until you make it? Apply it. Whether you’re a seasoned applicant or venturing into the unknown, you should adopt the right mindset. Know your worth and what you bring to the table. Compile a short list of examples — that apply to the job — and weave them throughout your cover letter.

Be Professional

Infusing your cover letter with a pinch of personality never hurts. After all, employers want a clear understanding of who you are to determine if you’re a cultural fit. Be mindful of your audience. Avoid using slang, jargon, emojis, or humor that hiring managers can misunderstand or deem inappropriate. Further, maintain respect at all times.

Flex Your Skillset

Does your ability to persuade decision-making impress your boss? Are you praised for your ability to shape top-performing teams? Share your wins. A cover letter is a perfect tool to educate a potential employer about your skill set and how it relates to the job opening.

State Goals/Expectations

Employers have goals and expectations and you should have a pulse on matters to you. Are you looking to learn and grow but are unsure about growth opportunities? Make it explicit. Share that you are interested in learning and growing with [company]. Detail what you love most about the [company] and how you would be a valuable asset to their culture.

Good Grammar Is Important

Always proofread your cover letter, then read it again. You can catch basic spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors that may turn off a potential employer. Draft your cover letter in a Word document or leverage editing tools such as Grammarly.

Summarize your thoughts and extend a genuine thank you. After all, hiring managers and recruiters spend countless hours reviewing applications daily. Be mindful that the time you put into your cover letter mirrors the effort hiring managers take to evaluate your application.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

This article 7 Smart Cover Letter Tips To Get You Hired was originally published on HerAgenda.com

7 Smart Cover Letter Tips To Get You Hired

  • Grades 6-12
  • School Leaders

☘️ St. Patrick's Day Activities: Books, art ideas, experiments, and more!

These Teacher Cover Letter Examples Will Help You Land Your Next Role

Your guide to a killer cover letter that will get you that interview.

Teacher Cover Letter Examples

Whether you are sending out resumes hoping to land your first teaching job or looking to shift to a new school or district, one fact remains the same: All the best credentials, experience, and passion will go unnoticed without a strong cover letter. The main rule? Sell yourself the way a publicist would. Cover letters aren’t a time for modesty. They’re a time to highlight your accomplishments and make your passion for teaching known. Below you’ll find our tips for creating the best cover letter possible and our top teacher cover letter and CV examples.

3 top tips for crafting a teacher CV or cover letter:

Keep it short and sweet..

You’ve only got about 30 seconds to capture a hiring director’s attention, so start with what we call “the elevator pitch.” Imagine you have the time between the elevators closing on one floor and opening again on another floor to sell yourself. Instead of rehashing everything on your resume, use the space to craft a paragraph or two that will convince them you are a standout candidate and are worth moving on to the next step.

Emphasize why you’re a great match.

Read the job description and find the overlap between the skills you bring to the table with the skills they need. If the job description calls for certain qualities or uses specific language, repeat them in your cover letter! The ultimate goal for your cover letter is to say, “You’ve got a problem? I’m the ideal person to solve it.” Be professional and use concrete examples.

Individualize!

Tailor each and every cover letter to fit the specific school, district, and job for which you’re applying. Research the school and its culture. That way, you can address their expectations and also use specific examples of achievements in your history to show why you’re the right candidate for the position.

Top teacher cover letter examples:

1. first-time teacher.

This letter is friendly and enthusiastic. It uses concrete examples and experiences related to student teaching while showcasing exactly why the applicant wants to become a teacher.

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2. Another first-time teacher example

This version of a cover letter calls out the specific skills the applicant has and hopes to bring to the table.

3. Experienced elementary teacher

Not every teacher stays in their job until retirement. If you’re looking for a new position, your cover letter should clearly state your experience. This example also makes it obvious that the candidate researched the new district and discusses why she would be excited to join. The candidate also includes references at the bottom of the cover letter.

4. Another experienced elementary teacher

It doesn’t hurt to have additional examples! This teacher cover letter clearly showcases the school’s goals and addresses how this teacher specifically can help. She did her research!

5. Summer school teacher

As school lets out for summer, many teachers still need to earn an income. With competition tight, this cover letter stands out as the candidate states her qualifications as well as her ability to train other staff members.

6. Assistant teacher

With this letter, the applicant took a slightly different approach. The letter breaks down the most relevant accomplishments into bullet points. Those will jump out at the hiring manager, who will likely scan through a ton of applications.

7. Special education teacher

This letter is similar to a standard teacher cover letter, yet it also stresses the specific qualifications and experiences of a special ed teacher. For example, this candidate included how they modified the curriculum to meet the needs of a wide range of learners. In this particular cover letter example, the teacher was looking to move into a leadership role, so this serves as a template for someone looking to transition into management as well.

8. School counselor

This cover letter emphasizes the applicant’s academic achievements, especially with regard to the psychology education required for many counselor positions. It also talks about the characteristics that make this person the ideal candidate for this position.

9. School guidance counselor

We liked this cover letter because it pulls specific metrics that are not in the resume—including the number of students the candidate worked with and the funding obtained for special needs programs.

10. Library media specialist

This cover letter oozes confidence! As with any specialist position, the candidate hones in on how her specific skills and background make her qualified for this role.

11. High school English teacher

This cover letter covers a lot of ground. It points out the candidate’s strengths for teaching and assessing knowledge in the specific subject. It also presents the special techniques the candidate uses to teach students at the high school level.

12. Technology teacher

Taking a very professional approach to writing a cover letter shows that the contender is serious. This letter points out the specific skills that best prove why this candidate is a great fit for the position.

13. Music teacher

A music teacher requires knowledge of multiple instruments and a love of music and music theory. This cover letter showcases the candidate’s background and why they feel music is an important part of the education experience.

14. Drama teacher

Drama teachers often go above and beyond just teaching a class. They host auditions and rehearsals for after-school productions. This cover letter shows the candidate’s knowledge of curriculum, directing a show, and even marketing efforts!

15. Foreign language teacher

Foreign language teachers need to display their knowledge of the particular language as well as showcase how well they can immerse students in the culture. This cover letter discusses the teacher’s plans to incorporate curriculum as well as help facilitate induction of students into the German Honor Society.

16. Sports coach

This cover letter has a terrific opening line that sets the candidate apart from the get-go. It also clearly covers the candidate’s qualifications, from knowledge and experience to attitude and philosophy. This cover letter example also works well for PE teachers.

17. ESL teacher

Teaching English as a second language obviously requires a distinct skill set. This cover letter showcases key communication skills and lets the hiring director know the specific language fluency.

18. Math teacher

Touching on the highlights of their resume without rehashing it completely (who wants to read something twice?), this candidate points out their qualifications and certifications as well as their versatility in teaching different types of students.

19. Pre-K teacher

Teaching pre-K takes patience, creativity, and flexibility. This cover letter effectively highlights the candidate’s communication and problem-solving skills as well as the personal qualities that make them great at their job.

20. Business teacher

This cover letter provides excellent background about the teacher in a way that’s appropriate for business. It shares the necessary information clearly and concisely.

21. International school teacher

Working at an international school requires a certain skill set, and this letter highlights the teacher’s language skills as well as their ability to create effective lessons on relevant topics while providing students with the support they need to succeed.

Do you have more great teacher cover letter examples? Share in the comments below.

Plus, check out tips for teacher job fairs and the most common teacher interview questions., want more articles like this be sure to subscribe to our newsletters .

Looking for teacher cover letter examples? Here are 18 great samples, along with guidelines and advice for writing your cover letter.

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