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How to write a great cover letter in 2024: tips and structure


A cover letter is a personalized letter that introduces you to a potential employer, highlights your qualifications, and explains why you're a strong fit for a specific job.

Hate or love them, these brief documents allow job seekers to make an impression and stand out from the pile of other applications. Penning a thoughtful cover letter shows the hiring team you care about earning the position.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to write a cover letter — and a great one, at that.

What is a cover letter and why does it matter?

A professional cover letter is a one-page document you submit alongside your CV or resume as part of a job application. Typically, they’re about half a page or around 150–300 words.

An effective cover letter doesn’t just rehash your CV; it’s your chance to highlight your proudest moments, explain why you want the job, and state plainly what you bring to the table.

Show the reviewer you’re likable, talented, and will add to the company’s culture . You can refer to previous jobs and other information from your CV, but only if it helps tell a story about you and your career choices .

What 3 things should you include in a cover letter?

A well-crafted cover letter can help you stand out to potential employers. To make your cover letter shine, here are three key elements to include:

1. Personalization

Address the hiring manager or recruiter by name whenever possible. If the job posting doesn't include a name, research to find out who will be reviewing applications. Personalizing your cover letter shows that you've taken the time to tailor your application to the specific company and role.

2. Highlight relevant achievements and skills

Emphasize your most relevant skills , experiences, and accomplishments that directly relate to the job you're applying for. Provide specific examples of how your skills have benefited previous employers and how they can contribute to the prospective employer's success. Use quantifiable achievements , such as improved efficiency, cost savings, or project success, to demonstrate your impact.

3. Show enthusiasm and fit

Express your enthusiasm for the company and the position you're applying for. Explain why you are interested in this role and believe you are a good fit for the organization. Mention how your values, goals, and skills align with the company's mission and culture. Demonstrating that you've done your research can make a significant impression.

What do hiring managers look for in a cover letter?

Employers look for several key elements in a cover letter. These include:

Employers want to see that your cover letter is specifically tailored to the position you are applying for. It should demonstrate how your skills, experiences, and qualifications align with the job requirements.

Clear and concise writing

A well-written cover letter is concise, easy to read, and error-free. Employers appreciate clear and effective communication skills , so make sure your cover letter showcases your ability to express yourself effectively.

Demonstrated knowledge of the company

Employers want to see that you are genuinely interested in their organization. Mention specific details about the company, such as recent achievements or projects, to show that you are enthusiastic about joining their team.

Achievements and accomplishments

Highlight your relevant achievements and accomplishments that demonstrate your qualifications for the position. Use specific examples to showcase your skills and show how they can benefit the employer.

Enthusiasm and motivation

Employers want to hire candidates who are excited about the opportunity and motivated to contribute to the company's success. Express your enthusiasm and passion for the role and explain why you are interested in working for the company.


A cover letter should be professional in tone and presentation. Use formal language, address the hiring manager appropriately, and follow standard business letter formatting.


How do you structure a cover letter?

A well-structured cover letter follows a specific format that makes it easy for the reader to understand your qualifications and enthusiasm for the position. Here's a typical structure for a cover letter:

Contact information

Include your name, address, phone number, and email address at the top of the letter. Place your contact information at the beginning so that it's easy for the employer to reach you.

Employer's contact information

Opening paragraph, middle paragraph(s), closing paragraph, complimentary close, additional contact information.

Repeat your contact information (name, phone number, and email) at the end of the letter, just in case the employer needs it for quick reference.

Remember to keep your cover letter concise and focused. It should typically be no more than one page in length. Proofread your letter carefully to ensure it is free from spelling and grammatical errors. Tailor each cover letter to the specific job application to make it as relevant and impactful as possible.

How to write a good cover letter (with examples)

The best letters are unique, tailored to the job description, and written in your voice — but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a job cover letter template.

Great cover letters contain the same basic elements and flow a certain way. Take a look at this cover letter structure for ref erence while you construct your own.

1. Add a header and contact information

While reading your cover letter, the recruiter shouldn’t have to look far to find who wrote it. Your document should include a basic heading with the following information:

  • Pronouns (optional)
  • Location (optional)
  • Email address
  • Phone number (optional)
  • Relevant links, such as your LinkedIn profile , portfolio, or personal website (optional)

You can pull this information directly from your CV. Put it together, and it will look something like this:

Christopher Pike

San Francisco, California

[email protected]

Alternatively, if the posting asks you to submit your cover letter in the body of an email, you can include this information in your signature. For example:

Warm regards,

Catherine Janeway

Bloomington, Indiana

[email protected]

(555) 999 - 2222


2. Include a personal greeting

Always begin your cover letter by addressing the hiring manager — preferably by name. You can use the person’s first and last name. Make sure to include a relevant title, like Dr., Mr., or Ms. For example, “Dear Mr. John Doe.”

Avoid generic openings like “To whom it may concern,” “Dear sir or madam,” or “Dear hiring manager.” These introductions sound impersonal — like you’re copy-pasting cover letters — and can work against you in the hiring process.

Be careful, though. When using someone’s name, you don’t want to use the wrong title or accidentally misgender someone. If in doubt, using only their name is enough. You could also opt for a gender-neutral title, like Mx.

Make sure you’re addressing the right person in your letter — ideally, the person who’s making the final hiring decision. This isn’t always specified in the job posting, so you may have to do some research to learn the name of the hiring manager.

3. Draw them in with an opening story

The opening paragraph of your cover letter should hook the reader. You want it to be memorable, conversational, and extremely relevant to the job you’re pursuing. 

There’s no need for a personal introduction — you’ve already included your name in the heading. But you should make reference to the job you’re applying for. A simple “Thank you for considering my application for the role of [job title] at [company],” will suffice.

Then you can get into the “Why” of your job application. Drive home what makes this specific job and this company so appealing to you. Perhaps you’re a fan of their products, you’re passionate about their mission, or you love their brand voice. Whatever the case, this section is where you share your enthusiasm for the role.

Here’s an example opening paragraph. In this scenario, you’re applying for a digital marketing role at a bicycle company:

“Dear Mr. John Doe,

Thank you for considering my application for the role of Marketing Coordinator at Bits n’ Bikes.

My parents bought my first bike at one of your stores. I’ll never forget the freedom I felt when I learned to ride it. My father removed my training wheels, and my mom sent me barrelling down the street. You provide joy to families across the country — and I want to be part of that.”

4. Emphasize why you’re best for the job

Your next paragraphs should be focused on the role you’re applying to. Highlight your skill set and why you’re a good fit for the needs and expectations associated with the position. Hiring managers want to know what you’ll bring to the job, not just any role.

Start by studying the job description for hints. What problem are they trying to solve with this hire? What skills and qualifications do they mention first or more than once? These are indicators of what’s important to the hiring manager.

Search for details that match your experience and interests. For example, if you’re excited about a fast-paced job in public relations, you might look for these elements in a posting:

  • They want someone who can write social media posts and blog content on tight deadlines
  • They value collaboration and input from every team member
  • They need a planner who can come up with strong PR strategies

Highlight how you fulfill these requirements:

“I’ve always been a strong writer. From blog posts to social media, my content pulls in readers and drives traffic to product pages. For example, when I worked at Bits n’ Bikes, I developed a strategic blog series about bike maintenance that increased our sales of spare parts and tools by 50% — we could see it in our web metrics.

Thanks to the input of all of our team members, including our bike mechanics, my content delivered results.”

5. End with a strong closing paragraph and sign off gracefully

Your closing paragraph is your final chance to hammer home your enthusiasm about the role and your unique ability to fill it. Reiterate the main points you explained in the body paragraphs and remind the reader of what you bring to the table.

You can also use the end of your letter to relay other important details, like whether you’re willing to relocate for the job.

When choosing a sign-off, opt for a phrase that sounds professional and genuine. Reliable options include “Sincerely” and “Kind regards.”

Here’s a strong closing statement for you to consider:

“I believe my enthusiasm, skills, and work experience as a PR professional will serve Bits n’ Bikes very well. I would love to meet to further discuss my value-add as your next Director of Public Relations. Thank you for your consideration. I hope we speak soon.


Tips to write a great cover letter that compliments your resume

When writing your own letter, try not to copy the example excerpts word-for-word. Instead, use this cover letter structure as a baseline to organize your ideas. Then, as you’re writing, use these extra cover letter tips to add your personal touch:

  • Keep your cover letter different from your resume : Your cover letter should not duplicate the information on your resume. Instead, it should provide context and explanations for key points in your resume, emphasizing how your qualifications match the specific job you're applying for.
  • Customize your cover letter . Tailor your cover letter for each job application. Address the specific needs of the company and the job posting, demonstrating that you've done your homework and understand their requirements.
  • Show enthusiasm and fit . Express your enthusiasm for the company and position in the cover letter. Explain why you are interested in working for this company and how your values, goals, and skills align with their mission and culture.
  • Use keywords . Incorporate keywords from the job description and industry terms in your cover letter. This can help your application pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS) and demonstrate that you're well-versed in the field.
  • Keep it concise . Your cover letter should be succinct and to the point, typically no more than one page. Focus on the most compelling qualifications and experiences that directly support your application.
  • Be professional . Maintain a professional tone and structure in your cover letter. Proofread it carefully to ensure there are no errors.
  • Address any gaps or concerns . If there are gaps or concerns in your resume, such as employment gaps or a change in career direction, briefly address them in your cover letter. Explain any relevant circumstances and how they have shaped your qualifications and determination.
  • Provide a call to action . Conclude your cover letter with a call to action, inviting the employer to contact you for further discussion. Mention that you've attached your resume for their reference.
  • Follow the correct format . Use a standard cover letter format like the one above, including your contact information, a formal salutation, introductory and closing paragraphs, and your signature. Ensure that it complements your resume without redundancy.
  • Pick the right voice and tone . Try to write like yourself, but adapt to the tone and voice of the company. Look at the job listing, company website, and social media posts. Do they sound fun and quirky, stoic and professional, or somewhere in-between? This guides your writing style.
  • Tell your story . You’re an individual with unique expertise, motivators, and years of experience. Tie the pieces together with a great story. Introduce how you arrived at this point in your career, where you hope to go , and how this prospective company fits in your journey. You can also explain any career changes in your resume.
  • Show, don’t tell . Anyone can say they’re a problem solver. Why should a recruiter take their word for it if they don’t back it up with examples? Instead of naming your skills, show them in action. Describe situations where you rose to the task, and quantify your success when you can.
  • Be honest . Avoid highlighting skills you don’t have. This will backfire if they ask you about them in an interview. Instead, shift focus to the ways in which you stand out.
  • Avoid clichés and bullet points . These are signs of lazy writing. Do your best to be original from the first paragraph to the final one. This highlights your individuality and demonstrates the care you put into the letter.
  • Proofread . Always spellcheck your cover letter. Look for typos, grammatical errors, and proper flow. We suggest reading it out loud. If it sounds natural rolling off the tongue, it will read naturally as well.


Common cover letter writing FAQs

How long should a cover letter be.

A cover letter should generally be concise and to the point. It is recommended to keep it to one page or less, focusing on the most relevant information that highlights your qualifications and fits the job requirements.

Should I include personal information in a cover letter?

While it's important to introduce yourself and provide your contact information, avoid including personal details such as your age, marital status, or unrelated hobbies. Instead, focus on presenting your professional qualifications and aligning them with the job requirements.

Can I use the same cover letter for multiple job applications?

While it may be tempting to reuse a cover letter, it is best to tailor each cover letter to the specific job you are applying for. This allows you to highlight why you are a good fit for that particular role and show genuine interest in the company.

Do I need to address my cover letter to a specific person?

Whenever possible, it is advisable to address your cover letter to a specific person, such as the hiring manager or recruiter. If the job posting does not provide this information, try to research and find the appropriate contact. If all else fails, you can use a generic salutation such as "Dear Hiring Manager."

Should I include references in my cover letter?

It is generally not necessary to include references in your cover letter. Save this information for when the employer explicitly requests it. Instead, focus on showcasing your qualifications and achievements that make you a strong candidate for the position.

It’s time to start writing your stand-out cover letter

The hardest part of writing is getting started. 

Hopefully, our tips gave you some jumping-off points and confidence . But if you’re really stuck, looking at cover letter examples and resume templates will help you decide where to get started. 

There are numerous sample cover letters available online. Just remember that you’re a unique, well-rounded person, and your cover letter should reflect that. Using our structure, you can tell your story while highlighting your passion for the role. 

Doing your research, including strong examples of your skills, and being courteous is how to write a strong cover letter. Take a breath , flex your fingers, and get typing. Before you know it, your job search will lead to a job interview.

If you want more personalized guidance, a specialized career coach can help review, edit, and guide you through creating a great cover letter that sticks.

Ace your job search

Explore effective job search techniques, interview strategies, and ways to overcome job-related challenges. Our coaches specialize in helping you land your dream job.

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

3 cover letter examples to help you catch a hiring manager’s attention

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How To Write A Cover Letter (Definitive Guide + Template)

Mike Simpson 0 Comments

cover letter interview example

By Mike Simpson

cover letter interview example

So you want to learn how to write a cover letter…

But let me ask you this:

Have you ever been on a blind date?

It can be overwhelmingly nerve wracking.

There you are, all dressed up in your finest, ready to sit down across the table from someone you know absolutely nothing about, and hopefully survive the meeting without too much trouble.

At the absolute best, you two hit it off.

Things are great and you discover through your first awkward meeting that you’re perfect for each other and destined for years of happy togetherness.

At the worst, you’re forced to sit across from someone you have absolutely nothing in common with.  

You spend the entire date suffering through what can feel like absolute eternity, stumbling through awkward starts and stops in the conversation..

But what if you each had a cheat sheet?

A sort of pre-blind date rundown of who you’re going to meet?

A cheat sheet that includes all sorts of vital information like who you are and what you can bring to the relationship. It would make things so much easier, right?

Now, what if you not only had this cheat sheet, but you got to look at it and decide if you even wanted to go on that date in the first place?  Even better, right?

FREE BONUS PDF CHEAT SHEET : Get our "Perfect Cover Letter" Cheat Sheet that gives you a Step-by-Step Process that will help you produce a perfect cover letter.


In the business world, interviews are a lot like blind dates.

Employers sit down with potential employees and over the course of the meeting, both parties try to learn enough about each other to decide if working together is   good idea or a bad idea…just without the awkward hug/kiss thing at the end…hopefully.

See…not so far off from our blind date scenario from earlier…but there is ONE big difference.  

Did you know that companies do have those little cheat sheets on potential employees and that they do ‘pre-screenings’ before the offer to interview is even considered?

That’s right! They do.

Every single piece of information you send a company you’re applying to is going to be thoroughly looked at to determine your potential for compatibility, starting with your cover letter.

“But wait,” you say, “what’s a cover letter, and more importantly, why do I need to send one along with my resume?”

Don’t worry, we’re going to explain exactly what it is…and so much more.  

In fact, over the course of this article, we’re going to discuss a number of things you’ll need to know in order to make your cover letter not only right for who you are and what you bring to the table…but tailor it so it’s absolutely perfect for your first blind date…er, we mean…the job you’re applying for.

What Is A Cover Letter Anyway?

Before you learn how to write a cover letter, you first need to understand what it is!

A professional cover letter is a short, single page letter you should include with every application and/or resume you send out.  

It’s a quick way for you to introduce yourself to an employer and gives them a taste of you …not just your skills (which they will get by looking at your resume.)  

Not only does it act as an introduction, it will also let whoever is reading it (hiring managers) know exactly why you are sending them your information as well as potentially help open the door to future meetings…and interviews!  

Remember, first impressions count…even when they’re on paper, so let’s make sure yours is as perfect as possible. 

Why Do I Need One?

Okay, so I get what a cover letter is, but why do I have to write one?   Shouldn’t my resume be strong enough on its own?    

Ideally, yes, you want to make sure the resume you are submitting is as strong as possible and perfectly tailored to the job you’re applying for (more on tailoring in a bit) but simply sending it in without including a cover letter can work against you. 

As we outlined in our article “ How to Make a Resume 101 ,” a resume is a document that summarizes your skills, abilities and accomplishments.   A well made one should clearly spell out what you can do …but does little to explain who you are.  

That’s where a cover letter comes in. 

A good cover letter serves a multitude of purposes beyond simply letting the hiring manager know the proper way to spell your name.    

It gives potential employers information about you that they wouldn’t get just from looking at your resume alone. 

cover letter interview example

To bring it back to our dating analogy from earlier…a well written cover letter is a little bit like a friend meeting with your date and telling them all the best things about you before you even get there.  

It’s an opportunity for you to reach out as an individual, not just as an applicant .  

It should highlight your qualifications as well as demonstrate how you stand out from the rest of the hundreds (or thousands) of other qualified job seekers .  

It should also showcase why you’re the right choice for the position…what makes you the “ Perfect Candidate ”…and all this is accomplished before you’re invited to the date, er…I mean interview…

But what if I’m applying for a job that just asks me to send in my resume…do I still need to send in a cover letter? 


Sending in a resume without a cover letter is a missed opportunity you can’t afford to take in this competitive job market.  

Not only does a good cover introduce you and all your best qualities, it’s also an opportunity to help explain away any concerns a prospective employer might have about your ability to do the job they’re hiring for .  

The last thing you want to do is turn in a resume or application for a job you’re perfect for and have it get tossed before you even make it to the interview stage because there was something that made an employer question your abilities. 

Have a gap in employment on your resume?   – Use your cover letter as an opportunity to explain it:  

In the middle of switching careers and finding that your skills , while applicable to the job you’re applying for aren’t traditionally considered to be a match? Use your cover letter to detail why you should be considered anyway.  

These days submitting a cover letter is just good form!  

Many times employers expect cover letters even if they don’t explicitly ask for one.  

A job seeker who sends in a resume without a cover letter is essentially letting an employer know they’re happy doing just the bare minimum…and that’s just not the way we like to do things!

By writing a solid cover letter, even when not asked for one, you’re taking that extra step as a job seeker and reinforcing that you’re not only enthusiastic about the opportunity but that you’re also motivated to do what it takes to get in the door for that face to face meeting.

**A WORD OF WARNING …if a company specifically asks you NOT to send a cover letter…then don’t.   Always follow the instructions as outlined by a potential employer.

How To Format Your Cover Letter

“So I need to write a cover letter for a job application…what makes a good one?”

Because your cover letter is your first opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills to your potential employer, it’s critical that you make sure you’re doing everything you can to make your cover letter layout as flawless and business-appropriate as possible.

(This is why we spent a little extra time expanding on Cover Letter Format in our companion guide, “Best Cover Letter Format Guide.” Click the link to check it out now!)

The next question you might be asking yourself is, “How long should a cover letter be?”

Ideally you want to keep your letter between 3-5 paragraphs in length and definitely no longer than one page.

The eternal struggle regarding what to include in a cover letter continues to rage on.  In our opinion the best cover letter is informative without being overly long or rambling .  

Each paragraph should serve a purpose and shouldn’t be excessively lengthy or confusing.  

Remember, the hiring manager is going to be faced with potentially thousands of cover letters so your goal is to make sure yours is brief enough to still be read but detailed and interesting enough to make them want to learn more about you .

Speaking of standing out, this isn’t the time to get creative with fonts, designs, colored paper, or showcase your artistic talents with doodles on the margins.  

A cover letter, like every other piece of paperwork you submit to a potential employer, is a professional document and should look like one.  

Use fonts that are simple and professional like Arial , Times New Roman , or Verdana and be sure to set your font size between 10 and 12 points .

Let’s take a look at standard cover letter formatting:

  • Start by first including your personal contact information.   ( You want to make sure your future boss can contact you for that interview, right? )
  • Follow that by the date you are writing the letter and then the company contact information .   Be sure to separate each section with a space…it makes your letter easier to read. 

If you are mailing a hard copy of your letter, make sure when you get to the bottom and your salutation to double space .   It will give you room to sign your letter.   If you are emailing your letter, or submitting it electronically and can’t sign it with your autograph, it’s still important to leave that double space.

Here’s A Good Format Template

Your Address

City, State, Zip

Your Best Contact Phone Number

Your Professional Email

Your Personal Branding Website  

Employer Name

City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Mrs. Last Name:*

PARAGRAPH 1:   Because this is your opening paragraph, you want to make sure it’s strong and draws the reader in.   Explain why you are writing.   Describe the job you are applying for, including the position and job title. 

PARAGRAPH 2:   Now we move into the actual text of the letter.   This is where you get to introduce yourself and tell your potential employer why you are qualified to do the job you are applying for.   This is your chance to let them know what you have to offer and why your skills and knowledge are perfect for the position.   Don’t forget to tailor based off your research! 

PARAGRAPH 3-4:   If needed, these are the paragraphs where you can explain away any concerns an employer might have about your ability to do the job. It’s also where you can share accomplishments , success stories, and any other bits of information that will help convince the hiring manager that they have to bring you in for an interview.

FINAL PARAGRAPH:   This is where you wrap up your letter.   Make sure to thank them for considering you for the job and let them know they should feel comfortable reaching out to you with any questions or concerns not addressed in your letter/resume.   This is also the paragraph where you let them know how you plan on following up with them.  

Finally, be sure to direct the hiring manager to your   Your Personal Branding Website so that they are able to get a feel for who you are as a person.  This simple step can land you way more interviews!

Sincerely (or any other closing comment),

Signature/Typed Signature Your Personal Branding Website

* You want to always try to address your cover letter to someone specific.   Unfortunately that information is not always available.   If you find yourself writing a letter and unsure of who to address it to, use “Dear Hiring Manager,” or “Dear Recruiter.”  

* Don’t use “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” as those are considered outdated and you run the risk of offending someone.   You can also call the company directly to ask to whom you should address your letter.

* In some instances you can completely forgo the opening salutation and just start with a subject line, but we suggest at least making an effort to find out who to address it to.   It makes the letter much more personal and shows your dedication to the position.

NOTE: For more information please read our “how to address a cover letter” article .

“Tailoring” Your Cover Letter

Now that we’ve covered the general format of a cover letter, it’s time to dive into the content!

Let’s pretend for a moment you’re the hiring manager and you’ve just gotten this letter:


To Whom It May Concern,

I recently came across your job post looking for a Production Office Coordinator for the educational television series, “Wonder Kids.”   I think my skills and experience would be a good match for the position and I am submitting my resume to you in the hopes of obtaining an interview.

For the past eight years I have worked as a Production Office Coordinator on a variety of other shows, providing crucial administrative support as well as maintaining and managing the day to day operations of a busy production office.   I am familiar with all aspects of production including contracts, budgets, proper paperwork distribution, and travel coordination.   I pride myself on my organizational skills as well as my ability to run an efficient staff of over 10 employees.    

I am attaching my resume which outlines all my past work experiences as well as a detailed listing of my qualifications and skills.   I look forward to the possibility of speaking with you about this position.

Blanche D. Oatmeal


Zzzzzz. Oh, sorry. Was I napping? Ugh what a snoozer!

Although professional, this is a generic cover letter and if you ask me, pretty bland.

It reveals little about Blanche beyond the fact that she thinks she’s qualified for the job and that she’s been in the industry for over 8 years. A letter like this is the bare minimum when applying for a job… and you’re not the bare minimum .

Don’t forget, you’re the perfect candidate , and a good cover letter is a great first way to let potential employers know that!

Rather than submitting a snooze-worthy letter that will blend into every other letter the hiring manager is going to read, you’re going to tailor your letter and help make sure it really stands out.

If you’ve spent any amount of time reading our other blog posts or watching our videos, you’re probably familiar with our world-famous “ Tailoring Method “.

cover letter interview example

Now what you might not know, is that the Tailoring Method can actually apply to other parts of your interview as well, including how to write a great cover letter.

You see, there’s a tremendous amount of power in identifying what the company’s desired strengths and characteristics are for the employee they want to hire .

Because demonstrating that you have these Qualities is going to put you in the drivers seat in terms of getting an offer from your interview.

So you need to identify what those “ Qualities ” are, and infuse them into your cover letter and support them with a real example from your past (and where necessary, a success story ).

This is done by taking the time to do careful research of the company and the position .

Here, let’s spice up Blanche’s letter a bit…starting with paragraph one.

First thing you want to keep in mind is, those poor hiring managers are reading tens of hundreds of cover letters and after a while, they’re all going to start blending together…make your stand out…in a good way!

Dear Mr. Sorensen:

When I saw the job posting looking for a Production Office Coordinator for the educational television series, “Wonder Kids,” I knew I had to submit my resume. I am a hard-working and enthusiastic Production Office Coordinator with over eight years of practical hands on experience and am ready for my next adventure! I am currently looking for an opportunity to continue working within the industry and know my skills and experiences would be a good fit for the position and the “Wonder Kids” team overall.

Much better, right?

This is how you want to start a cover letter!  

Not only is it a break from the cookie cutter style cover letters that regularly flood a hiring manager’s desk, it shows that the applicant is excited to be applying for the job .  

It also lets the hiring manager know the applicant isn’t just looking for a job, but that they’re looking to be a part of a team.

The letter is also properly addressed to who is actually reading it.   Remember, “To Whom It May Concern,” and “Dear Sir or Madam” are too generic and can come across as lazy.  

While we’ve already said it is okay to use “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Recruiter,” going that extra mile can make all the difference with a weary reader.   Don’t forget, you want to stand out!

Let’s keep reading…

As a Production Office Coordinator, my skills include scheduling, contracts, paperwork distribution, and budgeting.   I’m also comfortable dealing with vendors, hiring and managing staff, and ensuring the smooth day to day operations of a busy office.   My experience has included both small and large budget companies, and as a result, I am familiar with the need to be adaptable and find myself excited by the prospect of a challenge.

Again, personal , engaging , and dynamic . This letter helps the hiring manager know that the applicant is ready for any challenge and that they’re adaptable.

Now we get into the meat of the letter and where you can brag a bit about what you bring to the table.  Let’s say that through her research, Blanche discovered that the company she’s interviewing with really values someone who excels in (has the “ Quality “) “attention to detail.”

Well, she better darn make sure she highlights that Quality and supports it with an example or examples from her past .

I am proud of my attention to detail and as a result of my experiences with companies of different sizes and budgets, have been able to develop skills not normally associated with the more traditional Production Office Coordinator role, including graphic design, managing social media and web development.   I enjoy working with a wide variety of people and am a multitasker, diligent self-starter and eager team player. 

Nicely done, Blanche!  

A little bit of subtle bragging while showcasing something the applicant is proud of accomplishing for the company overall without coming across as arrogant or too boastful.

The next paragraph is where you can engage the company on a one on one level and show how much research you’ve done on them and their current projects .

I also wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that my interest in working for you extends beyond my desire to simply be a Production Office Coordinator.   I grew up on the show “Wonder Kids” and consider them to be a huge part of my early education.   I am a strong believer in quality children’s programming and have always felt that “Wonder Kids” provided not only entertainment, but educational value as well.   If hired, I would be proud to be a part of the “Wonder Kid” family and help continue that legacy for future generations.

The applicant is letting the hiring manager know that they’re not just blindly applying to the company but that they genuinely know a bit about them and that they have a passion for what the company does .

Okay, Blanche, time to bring it home.

Thank you for taking the time to review my resume and consider me for this position.   You can contact me with any questions by emailing me at [email protected] or by calling me at 555-555-5555.   I would also love if you could take a look at my website, blancheoatmeal.com.  

I look forward to the possibility of discussing this exciting opportunity with you.

When an applicant wraps up their letter this way, they’re outlining the next steps they hope the company will take (contacting them for an interview) and ensuring that the information they need to do that is right there in front of them.

By making it easy for them and including phone numbers and other contact information, a perfect candidate is empowering the employer to take the action the candidate wants.  

By including their personal branded website , the applicant is also inviting the hiring manager to get to know even more about them and what they bring to the table.

When wrapping up your letter with follow up information, tread lightly but confidently.   Whatever you do, don’t push too hard in this paragraph. You don’t want to appear manipulative or controlling.

Remember, you want a job interview…not a restraining order 😉

Warmest regards,


Now that is a great example of a cover letter that will get a hiring managers attention!

By keeping it short and sweet, you’re not overwhelming them with a ton to read…but at the same time by making it engaging, tailored , and personal, you’re ensuring that it stands out and highlights you in a positive way.

In our opinion this a wonderful example of how to end a cover letter that you should take into consideration when working on yours.

A good cover letter closing will leave a great taste in the hiring manager’s mouth and will go a long way to securing an interview.

If after sending your cover letter and your resume you don’t hear from the company in a couple of days, a quick “wanted to be sure you had received my application” email is an entirely appropriate follow-up, even without telling them that you will be following up first.

If you do end up needing to write a follow-up note, you absolutely should slip in a line like “I really think my (skills and talents that are relevant to the job) would be great for (the company), and want to make sure my application didn’t get lost or submitted incorrectly.”

You can also throw in something again about why you want to work at that company – mention some company values or exciting projects to show that you’ve done your research and are really interested in them specifically.

Sample Cover Letter Used Above

Cover Letter  Template Word

Here is the complete cover letter as written above if you would like to download it...

Top 10 Cover Letter Tips & Hacks

  • SHORT AND SWEET:   Your cover letter should never go over a single page.   Keep it clean and concise.   Keep your sentences focused and avoid using flowery words.
  • KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND GO FOR IT:   Make sure you let your potential employer know exactly what you are bringing to the job.   They have a need and you are there to fill it.   Tell them how you are going to accomplish that.
  • TAILOR! TAILOR! TAILOR!:   Don’t be vague or generic.   Make sure your letter is clearly targeted to the job you are going for as well as the company you want to be hired by.   Do your research ahead of time.
  • COVER LETTERS ARE LIKE SNOWFLAKES – NO TWO ARE ALIKE:   Unless you’re launching a direct mail campaign, make sure you’re fine tuning each and every cover letter you sending out so it focuses on the specifics of the job you are applying for. 
  • KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE:   Make sure you are addressing your letter directly to the proper individual.   Do your research and find out who will be reading it…and absolutely make sure you have the proper spelling of their name.   If you can’t get a name, make sure to address it “Dear Hiring Manager,” or “Dear Recruiter.”   Don’t use “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” as those are considered outdated. 
  • PROOFREAD!:   The fastest way to end up in the circular file is by submitting a sloppy letter.   Double check to make sure your spelling and grammar are correct.    
  • THE KEY TO SUCCESS LIES WITH KEYWORDS:   Pay careful attention to what is said in the job postings.   Look for key words and phrases in the description and make sure to echo those in your letter but don’t overstuff your letter. 
  • BE PROFESSIONAL:   Keep the focus of your letter on the job you are applying for.   Introduce yourself but don’t go into too much detail or bring up anything unrelated to the job.   Do not speak badly of past employers or trash talk prior jobs.
  • LINK IT UP:   Make sure your letter includes a link to your personal branded website.   A cover letter is a great introduction into who you are and what you can bring, and by including a link to your personal website, you’re allowing a potential employer to really explore everything you potentially can bring to the position.
  • FOLLOW UP!:   Demonstrate your dedication to the position by making sure to follow up on all your contacts if possible.   Don’t become annoying, but at the same time, if you don’t reach out, you run the risk of being forgotten.

Common Mistakes

We’ve covered what what should be in a cover letter, but what should you NOT put in your cover letter?

  • Rule number one of cover letters is…proofread. Proofread. Proofread. Oh, and then proofread it again. We don’t care if you’re writing the cover letter to end all cover letters. If you’re serious about a job you’re applying for…take the time to read your letter before you send it off. This includes making sure that not only are you spelling things correctly and that your grammar and punctuation is spot on, but that you’re also double checking the basics like the company name and the position you’re applying for.
  • Lying about your past experiences or over inflating what you’ve done. Everyone’s allowed to brag a bit in their cover letter…as long as it’s true. Don’t lie to the company or yourself. If a company has nothing that appeals to you, you wouldn’t enjoy working there – and they’d rather not have you – so why bother applying?
  • Talking about why you quit your last job. Remember, this is sort of like a blind date. Nobody wants to hear about your ex…and absolutely DO NOT TRASH YOUR PAST EMPLOYERS.
  • Salary requirements. Save that for the interview.
  • Getting too personal. The letter is a great way to introduce yourself, but remember…keep it about the position and keep it professional. The paragraph where you talk about the company can contain tidbits about you (I grew up watching the “Wonder Kids”) but don’t let it get too personal (After my alcoholic parents divorced and my father left the country to join the Amsterdam Travelling Cat and Flea Circus, the “Wonder Kids” were the only steady and constant positive in my life.) Save that for your therapist.

The Different Types of Cover Letters

As a job seeker, you need to be aware that there are different types of cover letters that align to the different ways jobs are posted and how you’re involved in the application process .  

In most cases, the basic cover letter layout we went over earlier in this article can be used as a solid foundation for whatever you write…but we’re here to help you rise above the competition which means making that extra effort. 

You’re the Perfect Candidate and that means ensuring that your cover letter is exactly right for whatever type of posting you come across.

So let’s take a look at what you might come across in your job-seeking travels.

Job Posting

A job posting is when an employer advertises an opening within their organization that they would like to fill.  

This can be anything from a notice in a newspaper , to a posting on the company website . 

Make sure you read the posting carefully and pay close attention to the description of the job.  

This is when you will begin to start tailoring your cover letter!

Try to figure out exactly what Qualities (skills and abilities) the company values and make sure you highlight these in your cover letter.

As you go through the post, identify the key words and phrases that are used .  

When you write your cover letter, make sure you use these keywords and phrases (but don’t just copy and paste the ad word for word). 

As always, do your research beforehand and use that information to help tailor your letter and showcase how you would be a welcome addition to their team.

Application Cover Letter

For many entry level positions, the application process is fairly simple and straight forward.  

You’ll go into wherever it is you want to work and ask for an application.  

They’ll hand you a pre-printed form and you’ll sit down and fill it out before turning it back in.  

Many job seekers who are applying for these types of positions will simply turn in their application after filling them out. 

Submitting a well written cover letter along with your application will make you stand out to a prospective employer.  

You’re showing them that you are willing to do the work to get the job and that can go a long way towards getting hired.  

It’s also a great idea for individuals who are new to the job market and might not have prior employment history . 

You always want to start out your letter with a personal salutation, so if possible, when picking up an application, ask for a few days to fill it out before returning it as well as the name of the individual who will be reviewing it.  

While most employers are happy to let you take an application and bring it back later, there is always the possibility you will be asked to fill it out on the spot.   For situations like this, always make sure you bring a copy (or two) of a pre-prepared cover letter and resume with you so you can hand them in all together . 

Before heading out to pick up applications, make sure you have a few letters already typed up and pre-tailored to the locations you plan on applying to.  

Yes, it means taking a bit more time at the beginning of your application process, but it will be well worth it and again demonstrates to the employer that you are invested in the position.

Online Application Cover Letter

Many companies these days utilize online job posting websites like Brass Ring and Monster to advertise available positions.  

While this might seem like a convenience for you (hey, you can apply for jobs in your living room while wearing your pajamas all day!) it actually means your odds of getting an invitation to interview is going to be tougher than it would be if you were mailing in your information.

Why?   Three little letters…ATS.

What’s ATS?

ATS , or Applicant Tracking System , is a computer based screening program used to filter applicants.  

The program scans thousands of applications and quickly discards those that don’t fit the specific algorithm it’s been programmed with.  

While that might sound like a great way to streamline the hiring process, it also means that whatever you submit has to be carefully crafted to ensure that it makes it through this robotic filter.  

If not done properly, your submission could be discarded before ever being seen by a living human being…and we definitely don’t want that!

The first thing you want to do is wrap your head around the idea that you are going to first be facing a robot and that it’s been programmed to get rid of you.   Okay, maybe not you specifically (we’ll save the Terminator analogies for another post) but certainly your application.

So how do you beat the bot?   By thinking like one.

Start by reading the job description carefully.  

Because the computer is going to be programmed to select only the candidates that perfectly match what the company is looking for, you need to make sure you are the right fit.  

Re-read the posting until you clearly understand exactly what the company is looking for and that you are absolutely able to fill that spot with the skills , qualities , experience and education you have. 

Tailoring your letter is something you should do for every position you apply for, but when it comes to online applications that are likely to be run through ATS, it’s absolutely vital.  

You want to make sure that your cover letter is specific to the job you are applying for.

Clearly state the title you are applying for and verify that it matches the title in the posting .  

Pay extra attention to the details of the position and the description of the job.   Many of the key words the bot is programmed to respond to will be in there.  

Use those same descriptions and key words in your cover letter and resume, but do it judiciously.  

Try not to repeat them more than two times.   Stuffing your letter with keywords might seem like an easy way to guarantee success, but it’s more likely to result in your application being flagged by the program and rejected . 

Make sure to carefully check your letter for spelling and grammar errors.  

This is a basic rule you should follow no matter what, but in this case, it’s even more crucial that your submission material is flaw free.  

While a human can read a letter and usually figure out what you mean regardless of tiny problems or a misspelled word here or there, a bot is looking for exact matches…not “close enough.”  

Keep this in mind when using acronyms as well.   To avoid the risk of an acronym being rejected by the bot, use both the acronym as well as the spelled out words. 

Ultimately you want your application to make it through ATS and into the hands of an actual human.  

It’s a delicate balancing act between being specific enough to pass ATS and still engaging enough to catch the attention of the hiring manager.   It’s tough, but it can be done!

Cold Call Cover Letter

A cold call cover letter is a letter you send out along with your resume to a company you want to work for that has NOT advertised any openings .  

Generally this is something you do when you find a company that you really want to work for but they don’t have any openings that fit your skills or they’re not soliciting for applicants. 

Applying for a job that doesn’t exist can be a risky venture, but it can also be a smart one.  

If you’re the Perfect Candidate (and you are!) you could potentially gain early consideration for an opening that comes up down the road.   Best case scenario, they think you’re so absolutely amazing that they find a job for you! 

Keep in mind, you’re not the only person on this planet who has submitted a cold call cover letter and resume, and you’re asking a company for a job that doesn’t exist…which means you have to make sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that whatever you send in is absolutely perfect.

Remember, the company is NOT asking for people to submit to them , so you need to figure out what it is that you offer that makes you worth considering.   What can you bring to the table that they don’t already have and why should they take the time to look at your materials?

The first step for cold contacting a company is doing your research.  

Of course, as a student of The Interview Guys , you’re already well versed in the art of researching, but when it comes to a cold contact like this, you have to go above and beyond in your digging.  

You want your cover letter to contain knowledge of specific current situations within the company and how you can help .  

Just writing to a company and telling them how much you love them and want to work for them very rarely results in a job offer.  

You’re more likely to get a thank you note and a package of free corporate bumper stickers than an offer of employment. 

Open your letter with a solid salutation addressed to a specific individual.  

Because this is a cold contact, it’s absolutely imperative that you address your letter to exactly the right person.   You want to make sure that your information ends up with whoever is most likely to hire you.  

Open your letter with a generic salutation and you run the risk of it being either immediately tossed or passed onto someone who can’t do anything with it except send you that package of corporate bumper stickers.  

Make sure during your research that you determine exactly who should receive your information and address it to them.

The body of your letter is going to be critical to your success in this adventure.   You want to make sure that you open with a paragraph so strong, so focused, so dynamic, that whoever is reading it can’t help but keep reading.   You want the first paragraph your intended audience reads to hook their attention and draw them in, and this will come from your research. 

Have you found something in your digging that indicates that the company has a need you can fill?  

Are they preparing for an expansion and you know they’re going to need someone with your skills in the very near future?  

Is there an aspect of their business that is lagging and you know you can help strengthen it? 

** SIDE NOTE :   Make sure you are careful when addressing a failure within a company, even if you are offering them a solution.   You want them to see you as a viable answer to their problem, not an annoying upstart pointing out their flaws.  

It’s a delicate balance, but we have faith in you!

Follow up your opening paragraph by expanding on your key strengths and skills and how you plan on using them to benefit your target company .  

Try to include achievements and examples of how you’ve succeeded in the past and be prepared to back it up with proof should they reach out to you . 

Another great way to help strengthen your chances of securing an interview (and possibly a job) is to mention any connections you have to the company.  

Be sure you let whoever you are name dropping know that you’re doing this…you want to make sure if they get asked about you they have nothing but good things to say about you!   It’s a good idea to put this information early in your letter.   People are much more likely to read your letter if they see that you have a personal connection.

Close your letter out with options on how to move forward to the next step.  

While your ultimate goal with your letter and resume is a job interview, you might not feel comfortable straight out asking for one in a cold call situation.   Of course, if you are…more power to you…but if you feel that a softer approach is called for, try asking instead for information about their hiring practices, job fairs, a tour of the company or even for an informational interview .

What’s an informational interview?

An informational interview is one where you sit down with someone who works in a career or job you want to learn more about.   You’ll learn about what they do, what skills they need to have in order to succeed in their position and what it’s like to work where they work.  

It is NOT an interview for a job…but it could potentially lead to one down the road as whoever you are doing the interview with is now personally acquainted with you.

Remember, the key to success with a cold call cover letter depends on a number of factors including timing and how well you understand the company you are submitting to as well as how thorough your research is. 

Recruiter’s Ad Cover Letter

Many companies these days have turned their entire employee hiring process over to executive search firms staffed by highly trained recruiters.  

These recruiters might work with a number of companies (their clients) and are usually focused on a very specific category of job placement (e.g., engineers, paralegals, etc.).  

The recruiters will often place ads which allows them to pull together large numbers of qualified job candidates.  

Then they’ll go through those candidates and present the best of the best to their clients in the hopes that one of them (or more) will be hired.

To put it bluntly (and in keeping with our blind date analogy) recruiters are the matchmakers of the job world.   The companies tell the recruiters who they are looking for and the recruiters go through the piles of candidates they have on hand and try to find the best fit. 

When you respond to an ad placed by a recruiter and submit your cover letter and resume, you’re not usually submitting it for a specific job…rather you’re providing them with your information and skill set in the hopes that it matches up with a job assignment or opening they get from their corporate clients…and that means you have to take a totally different approach to how you write your cover letter.

Because a recruiter is looking for a specific set of skills to fill open positions , they will almost always start by first looking at your resume before ever looking at your cover letter.

Hang on, if they’re looking at my resume and ignoring my cover letter, then why even include one?

Don’t worry…your cover letter will get looked at…just not right away…which is why the information contained within it needs to be a little different than the information you would normally put into a cover letter.

If after reading your resume a recruiter decides you are a good fit for the position, they’ll turn to your cover letter for more information about you…and what they’re looking for is fairly specific .

A cover letter to a recruiter needs to quickly answer questions they might have about your eligibility and willingness to do the job they are pitching you for .  

You want to use your cover letter to explain what you can do, what you are qualified to do, and what you require in order to accept the job if it’s offered to you.

Start your letter out with a personal salutation.   You are essentially going to be represented by your recruiter so it’s a good idea to know who is passing your information around.

Your first paragraph should be a quick introduction into what you are and what you do.   They need to know what you are currently doing and where you are doing it.   You should also include in this section why you are looking for a new job and what you hope to get out of establishing a relationship with your recruiter.

The second paragraph should outline your skills and accomplishments as well as your background.   This is the paragraph where you lay out exactly why you believe you would be an asset to the recruiter’s clients. 

The third paragraph should cover the jobs and industries you are looking for employment in.   It’s also the paragraph where you discuss your salary history as well as your current salary range requirements. 

** SALARY SIDE NOTE :   Normally with cover letters you do NOT want to include salary information.   We’ll discuss this more in depth later on in this article, but for now, be aware, this is one of the few times when it’s not only acceptable, it’s necessary.

Make sure you also include whether or not you’d be willing to travel or relocate.  

Finally, make sure you include your availability and when you would be able to start a new job if offered.

Recruiter Cold Call Cover Letter

Submitting a cold call cover letter and resume to a recruiter is a lot like submitting a cold call cover letter to a company; you’re reaching out to someone who is not soliciting for applicants in the hopes of being considered for a position that may or may not exist .

When we went over Recruiter Ad cover letters, we told you that the recruiters would look at your resume first and your cover letter second…which in that scenario is true.  

In this scenario, where you are reaching out to them rather than responding to an ad or solicitation they’ve generated, they are absolutely going to look at your cover letter first…if for no reason other than to figure out who you are and why you’re contacting them. 

The best way to ensure that your letter and information gets a serious look is by doing your research on the recruiter you are contacting ahead of time.  

Recruiters are usually very specific about who they’re looking for and what they’re recruiting for, so it’s important that you contact someone who represents the field you are qualified to work in.

The first paragraph is where you introduce yourself.   Let the recruiter know who you are and what you are/what you do.   You also want to let them know what you would like to do and what sort of job you are looking for and why you are looking for a new job.   Make sure you are specific and provide any details you think might help them in matching you with the right company should an opportunity arise.

The second paragraph should outline your skills and accomplishments as well as your background.   This is the paragraph where you lay out exactly why you believe you would be an asset to the recruiter’s clients and should be included in their pile of potential pitches.   It’s also the paragraph where you let the recruiter know clearly what type of work you are interested in, be it full time, part time, permanent or freelance.   Make sure you decide ahead of time and stick with it.   A recruiter needs to know your level of commitment to the jobs they are submitting you for.

The third paragraph is where you discuss your salary history as well as your current salary range requirements. 

** SALARY SIDE NOTE PART DEUX :   As we said above with Recruiter Ad Cover Letters, discussing your salary in a cover letter is normally not done.   We’ll discuss this more in depth later on in this article, but for now, be aware, this is one of the few times when again it’s not only acceptable, it’s necessary.

Finally, make sure you include your availability and when you would be able to start a new job if offered. 

With a recruiter cold call letter, you don’t normally include how you plan to follow up with them.  

Recruiters are incredibly busy and are highly trained in what they do.   Although you might be tempted to reach out to them, hold off.   Bothering them isn’t going to get you anywhere.  

If they see something in you that warrants their attention, they will reach out to you.

Direct Mail Campaign Cover Letter

A Direct Mail Campaign is where a job seeker sends out hundreds of letters and resumes to potential employers in the hopes of securing an interview or position.  

Although similar to the Cold Call Cover Letter in that you are submitting to companies that aren’t currently advertising positions, it’s a much less focused process and involves you sending the same cover letter and resume out to everyone in the hopes that someone responds back.

When you do a Direct Mail Campaign Cover Letter, you want to avoid anything that would specifically apply to one company over another.  

Because you’re sending this same letter out to multiple companies, you want to be general enough for it to apply broadly, but not so general that it works against you.

Your cover letter should start out by introducing the reader to who you are and what you do as well as what job you are seeking. 

The next paragraphs should detail your skills and experience with the job you are seeking and why you are qualified to do it.

Finally, be sure to wrap your letter up with information on how the company can contact you if interested. 

**A WORD OF CAUTION WITH DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGNS:   While it might seem like this method is more efficient than targeting and tailoring your information for specific companies and jobs, it can also work against you.   Most hiring managers can quickly recognize a direct mail letter and will discard it as ‘spam.’

Referral Cover Letter

A Referral Cover Letter is one you send after someone who works with the company or has contacts within the industry refers you .  

It is similar to any other company cover letter with the exception of the opening paragraph.

Make sure to introduce yourself and also mention the individual who referred you to the company or position.  

If possible, include anything specific your contact has told you about the position or the person you are reaching out to .

Once you have finished your introductory paragraph, use the rest of your letter to discuss your skills , education , background , training … anything that will help to show that you are a good fit for the position .

Finally make sure you close your letter with your plans for following up with them and how they might contact you with any questions.

Blind Posting Cover Letter

A blind job posting is one in which a company posts a job opening but decides to remain anonymous.  

A company might decide to blind post for a high profile position they don’t want to call attention to so as not to appear lacking in leadership.  

Other times it’s meant to build excitement and mystery to help increase the number of applicants. 

Submitting to a blind listing means tailoring your letter to the company is going to be difficult…but it doesn’t have to be impossible…and that extra bit of sleuthing can help really elevate your application above the rest of the entries. 

A good place to start is by taking a closer look at the posting.   Is there a fax number or email included?   Sometimes you can get lucky, and with a bit of internet digging, trace those backwards to find out what company those are attached to .   The same goes for a physical address or P.O. Box.

Look for key phrases as well.  

Is the company referencing anything specific like “we have been ranked number one in employee retention and satisfaction for the past five years.”?  

Type that phrase into your favorite search engine and see what pops up. 

Of course, the goal of figuring out who the company is isn’t so you can reveal how smart you are in your letter…rather, it’s to help with your tailoring process.  

Proving you’re a master detective could potentially backfire…especially if you’re wrong.   Instead of bragging about your digging skills, use what you learn to help show why you’re a perfect fit for the job.

How do you address a cover letter for a blind posting?  

Ideally you want to make sure your letter is personal and that means addressing it to a specific individual, but in a situation like this, you have to consider other options.  

In the event you figure out exactly what company is hiring for…and there is absolutely NO DOUBT about their identity, then you could potentially go online, look at their website and see who is overseeing hiring…but we’re going to strongly caution you against this.   Again…you could be wrong…or worse…look creepy and stalkerish.  

This is one instance when using “Dear Hiring Manager” is perfectly acceptable.

Once you get this all done, it’s time to tackle the content of your letter.   Again, because this is a blind posting, it’s going to be tough tailoring your information.  

That means you have to pay extra close attention to exactly what the posting says.  

Go over it carefully and pay attention to exactly what the company is looking for.  

Make sure you highlight exactly how you fit what they’re looking for and include examples demonstrating your skills, knowledge and experience .  

If the posting contains specific instructions, be sure to follow them to the absolute letter.   This is a good thing to do no matter what, but in a blind posting, it can be the make or break.

In a normal job posting where you know who you are applying to, your closing paragraph should always include how you plan on following up with the company.  

Unfortunately with blind job postings, that’s not possible.   Regardless, you want to make sure your final paragraph is strong and lets the hiring manager (whoever they are) know that you are looking forward to the possibility of discussing the position in greater detail at an in person interview.

Internship Cover Letter

An internship is a great way to get your foot in the door and learn more about a company/career you are thinking of pursuing.  

Just because it’s an internship and not an actual job doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it just as seriously.

Make sure when you’re addressing your letter that you’re sending it to the right individual.   Many times with internships they’re facilitated by the educational institution you’re attending and will provide you with specific contact information.  

If you are securing your own internship and not receiving university assistance with the process, make sure you do your research ahead of time and find out who will be reading your letter. 

Start out your letter by clearly stating your intent to secure an internship so there is no confusion and your letter ends up in the wrong pile…or worse, the trash.

Always include your educational background information ; what you’re studying and where .

As you continue into the body of your letter, don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by your lack of “work” experience.   When applying for an internship, it’s okay to have less experience than someone who is employed in the field you are entering.   In fact, it’s expected!  

An internship is an opportunity to learn.   Including a paragraph about what you hope to take away from this internship and how it will help you achieve your long term goals is a great way to show enthusiasm and set you apart from the crowd .

No Prior Work Experience Cover Letter

If you’re just entering the job market or a recent graduate, it can be intimidating writing cover letters without any experience.  

Not to worry!

It’s still absolutely essential to send out a cover letter…we just have to tailor it a bit differently. 

Writing a cover letter for an entry level position, or to a job you have no experience in is very similar to the letter you would write as an intern.   It’s perfectly fine to highlight your non-employment related experiences… if they are relevant to the job.

For recent graduates, make sure to include where you went to school and how what you’ve studied relates directly to the job you are applying for .

Volunteer experiences ,  internships ,  related classes , projects ,  leadership experiences ,  extracurricular activities  and your skills that pertain to the position you’re applying for all can and should be mentioned in your cover letter .

A lack of experience doesn’t mean you’re allowed to have a lack of knowledge about what you’re applying for and the company you’re applying to.  

That means you still have to do your research!  

Make sure you know everything you can about the company . Visit their website . Read their blog . Get inside their corporate heads and figure out how you and what you bring are the perfect fit !

If the job posting has buzzwords, be sure to include those in your letter and make sure they relate to the skills you’ve got.

Finally, as with any and all cover letters, be honest, be succinct, be professional.

Check out our new blog post that covers 12 great cover letter examples!

 Let’s Talk About Salary, Baby

As promised, we’re going to quickly discuss if and when you should bring up salary requirements in your cover letters.

Generally you DO NOT and SHOULD NOT include this information in your cover letters (with the exception of the two Recruiter specific letters we discussed above).  

If an employer does not require you to include any salary information (including history, requirement or range) then don’t put it in there.  

There is a time and a place for the salary discussion and we cover that in our article “ How To Negotiate Salary During The Interview Process. ” 

If an employer asks you for your salary information but doesn’t require it, hold off on passing that information on until it becomes an actual requirement.

But what do you do if an employer says you must include this information in order to apply?  

One way to tackle this tricky subject is to give a salary range.   Make sure you do your research ahead of time to determine what your job is worth and be sure to make your range realistic.   Also make sure that you are able to be flexible within that range should your employer decide to negotiate. 

Another way to answer this question is to state that your requirements are negotiable and that you are willing to factor in things like benefits and the actual position itself.

No matter what you put down, be sure to state clearly that your salary requirements are flexible and open to discussion. The last thing you want to do is lock yourself into a rate that is so high you lose the job or so low you find yourself being offered far less than what you’re worth .

Keep in mind that although most employers have a salary range for a position already figured out before you even walk through the door, it’s not set in stone.   If you are the Perfect Candidate (and you are!) a good employer will figure out how to pay more for you if they feel that will get you to accept the job…  

This won’t happen, however, if you lock yourself into a number too early in the game.    

So why is it okay to tell a recruiter my salary history and range but not a potential employer?

When you give an employer salary information, you are limiting your ability to negotiate.   Without the ability to negotiate, you run the risk of being offered or accepting a job for less than you deserve.

A recruiter, however, needs to know your salary information so they can use that information when pitching you for jobs to their clients.  

A recruiter is paid only after they fill a position for a client, and that fee is covered by the client themselves.  

Usually that fee amounts to a percentage of whatever the first year’s compensation for the new employee ends up being which means it’s in the recruiter’s best interest to try to get you as high a rate as possible. 

Recruiters also need to know this information so they can avoid pitching you for jobs that are lower than your range .  

It doesn’t do them any good to have an employer offer to hire you and have you turn it down because you aren’t happy with the salary. 

However, to prevent yourself from being locked into a situation where you are again faced with being offered too little or asking for too much, keep your answers in range form and base those numbers off of real world examples and your research.

Cover Letter Samples

Ok, so we’ve basically covered everything you could ever need to know about cover letters.   But I know what you might be thinking…

“Can I get a cover letter sample or two please Mike?   I’m basically an expert now but it would be much easier if I could just start with a cover letter template.”

Look, we covered a ton of stuff in this article so I don’t blame you.   So what we decided to do is enlist the help of our friends over at vault.com who have a treasure trove full of great cover letter samples that you can use as a guideline for your own letter.

But here’s the deal.   Hiring managers are smart AND have access to these websites as well, so you don’t want to simply choose a sample cover letter and then just completely rip it off.   Take the time to make it your own, because it will pay off in the long run.

Copying a cover letter example word for word will only make you sound like someone other than yourself, and that is not what we are trying to do here!

Ok so Vault separates their cover letter templates into four distinct categories, so go ahead and click the link below that applies to your situation the most:

Cold Call Cover Letters

Direct mail cover letters, response to ad cover letters, referral letters.

Those four categories above should give you enough examples of cover letters to get you prepared for writing your own!

If after sending your cover letter and your resume you don’t hear from the company within a couple of days, a quick “wanted to be sure you had received my application” email is an entirely appropriate follow-up, even without telling them that you will be following up first.

If you do end up needing to write a thank you note , you absolutely should slip in a line like “ I really think my (skills and talents that are relevant to the job) would be great for (the company), and want to make sure my application didn’t get lost or submitted incorrectly. ”

You can also throw in something again about why you want to work at that company – mention some company values or exciting projects to show that you’ve done your research and are really interested in them specifically.

And don’t forget to study as many cover letter examples as you can!  Especially the cover letter example that we laid out for you in detail in this article.

So there you have it!   How To Write a Cover Letter 101 .  

By following what we’ve laid out here for you, your cover letter is going to be a single paged professional introduction aimed at getting you in the door and on your way to an interview .  

By using our tailoring method and infusing the body of your letter with keywords and the qualities the employer is looking for, you’ll be positioning yourself for a spot at the top of their list of potential candidates.

Just remember, dating analogies aside, it’s probably a good idea to leave the flowers and chocolates at home.

FREE : "Perfect Cover Letter" PDF CHEAT SHEET

Get our handy "Perfect Cover Letter" cheat sheet.

In it you'll get a step-by-step process that will let you craft the perfect cover letter.


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Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com.

His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others.

Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

About The Author

Mike simpson.

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Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

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cover letter interview example

The 46 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right

Amanda Zantal-Wiener

Published: May 22, 2024

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.

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

Keep reading for 40+ cover letter examples, then check out tips for cover letter formatting and what makes a cover letter great.

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

Table of Contents

Customizable Cover Letter Examples

Best cover letter examples, short cover letter examples, creative cover letter examples, job cover letter examples, career cover letter examples, what’s on a cover letter, what makes a great cover letter.

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 interview example

5 Free Cover Letter Templates

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

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

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

What 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.

4. 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 interview example

cover letter interview example

26. Law Cover Letter Example

cover letter interview example

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.

Professional Cover Letter Templates

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50 Sample Cover Letters

Excellent sample cover letters to get the job you want. Select the right one for you.

A resume without a convincing cover letter makes little impact and will probably land up in the trash can.

Image of cover letter on yellow background with text "sample cover letters"

A specific, personalized cover letter that highlights your suitability for the job will grab the reader's attention and ensure your resume gets serious consideration for the job opportunity.

Research has shown us what works when writing a cover letter and what doesn't. These sample cover letters, each designed for a specific job type, use these key criteria to provide a practical and persuasive example.

Customize the sample cover letter below that you want and create your own personal and unique job resume cover letter.

How to write your resume cover letter

  • Keep it to one page in length. The reader does not have time to go through pages of text before deciding whether to look at your resume or application. They want a cover letter that is to the point and easy to read.
  • Get the readers attention straight away. You can do this with the appearance and layout of your letter. It should be in a clear and easily readable font, well laid out, and if you are mailing your letter use good quality stationery.
  • Customize each cover letter with a proper address, do not use To Whom It May Concern . Cover letters are most effective when addressed to an individual.
  • Personalize the greeting by getting the name of the reader. Call the company and get the full name and correct spelling of the recipient. Addressing the letter to someone by their name grabs their interest.
  • State your objective in the first paragraph to keep the reader's interest. Why are your writing this letter? What is the benefit of reading this letter for the recipient? Build an immediate connection to the reader.
  • The second paragraph is the right place to highlight your specific skills and abilities and how they meet the requirements of the job opportunity. Summarize why you are the right person for the job. Relating your strengths to the needs of the company and the job immediately indicates that you have spent time thinking about the position.
  • Keep it short and to the point so that you don't lose the reader's interest.
  • Your closing should also be concise. Make a strong closing statement and motivate the reader to take action. Let the reader know what you want - an interview, an opportunity to call. Explain when, where and how you can be contacted.
  • You can proactively tell the reader that you will follow up at a  certain point in time. Thank the reader. Find out more about writing a cover letter at What is a Cover Letter

Sample Cover Letters

Select the cover letter sample you need and rework it for your own requirements.

Accounting Clerk Cover Letter

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How to follow up on your job application

It is appropriate to follow up on your job application if you have not heard back from the employer after a reasonable period of time. Use this polite and professional job application follow up email .

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15 Short Cover Letter Examples & Step-by-Step Guide for 2024

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You’re preparing your job application, and your resume is all set and ready to go.

But the job market is competitive, and you know hiring managers don’t spend a lot of time on individual applications.

Unfortunately, your resume only has so much space for you to convey your skills and experience. How can you tell your full story without losing the hiring manager’s interest?

This is where the short cover letter comes into play.

In this article, we’re going to cover:

  • What Is a Short Cover Letter?

6 Steps to Writing a Short Cover Letter

15 short cover letter examples.

By the end of this guide, you'll be equipped with all the tools needed to create a short cover letter that stands out.

So, let's get started!

What Is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a document you can submit alongside your CV or resume for a job application.

When done right, a cover letter complements your resume by adding a personal touch to your job application. It's your chance to speak directly to the hiring manager, giving life to the bullet points on your resume.

Think of it as a conversation starter. Unlike a resume, it lets you get into the details of your skills and experiences and express your enthusiasm for the job, not just list your qualifications.

This personal introduction can be a game changer for your job application since it helps paint a complete picture of you as a professional, using your own words.

Do you still think your resume needs improvement? Check out our detailed guide to learn how to make a resume .

How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

The ideal length of a cover letter is usually between half a page and one page.

The word count is typically between 250 and 400 words. However, if the job ad specifies how long the cover letter should be, then make sure you abide by that. 

Generally, your cover letter should never be longer than the recommended length. Hiring managers don’t want to read your life story, and if they see a very long cover letter, they probably won’t even bother with it.

Just make sure to pay attention to your cover letter’s format , too. It should have at least three paragraphs consisting of three to five sentences each, but no more than six paragraphs. 

This helps give your cover letter a neat layout and makes it easier to read.

When Should You Write a Short Cover Letter?

There are certain situations when a short cover letter is the best companion to your resume, including: 

  • Requirement from the job ad. If the job ad specifically asks for a brief cover letter, it's important to stick to that. This both shows attention to detail and that you can follow instructions.
  • Restricted character limit.   When you’re applying through an online platform that has strict word count or character limits, you may want to write a short cover letter. This way, you can stay within the required limits without sacrificing any essential information.
  • Email application. If you're expanding your professional network or sending a job application through email, the person receiving your message may prefer something brief and to the point. A shorter cover letter gets your message across without overwhelming the reader, and it makes it more likely that they'll read and remember your application.
  • Industry standard. Certain industries, like tech startups, value straightforward communication. Here, a short cover letter can make a stronger impact than a longer one. It shows the hiring manager that you can communicate effectively and that you value the reader's time.
  • Limited experience. If you're early in your career or amid a career change and you don't have a lot of relevant experience, a short cover letter can be more powerful. It allows you to focus solely on what you can offer, so every word counts.

Writing a short cover letter is easy once you know the process.

Just follow these simple steps:

#1. Plan Ahead of Writing

Before you write your cover letter , create an outline.

Having an outline for your short cover letter can help you write a more effective text, and it can help you see which crucial points you’ve covered.

An outline also helps keep your cover letter focused and coherent. It makes sure you stick to the most relevant details of your background, without any unnecessary details that could make you go over the word count.

#2. Take Time to Reflect

To get the ball rolling on writing your short cover letter, start by asking yourself some questions.

The goal of these questions is to help you pinpoint what the hiring manager wants to know and to make sure every word on your cover letter adds value to your job application.

Here are some questions your short cover should always answer:

  • What excites you about this company and this specific role?
  • Which of your skills and achievements are most relevant to the job ?
  • How have you made a measurable contribution in your previous roles?
  • How can you, based on everything so far, contribute to the company?

Don’t worry if the first draft of your text doesn’t look perfect. Any writer can tell you that the perfect text takes time and careful editing.

#3. Follow the Standard Cover Letter Structure

Your short cover letter should always be structured neatly and follow the same guidelines a regular cover letter would.

Here’s what that includes:

  • Cover Letter Header. The very top of your short cover letter should include a header. We recommend choosing something that matches your resume. This is where your essential contact information is going to be, along with the hiring manager’s contact details.
  • Personalized Greeting. Always address your cover letter to the person who’s going to be reading it. Do some research to find their name, and forget the age-old “To Whom It May Concern.” We recommend using something like “Dear Ms. Smith” or “Dear Axel Smith" for a professional yet personalized touch.
  • Opening Paragraph. The first paragraph is the introduction to the rest of your cover letter. Use it to mention your background, such as your education or job title , and explain why you’re interested in the role. Include one or two of your most impressive achievements to pique the hiring manager’s curiosity and make them read the rest of your cover letter.
  • Main Body. The next paragraphs should focus on how you’re qualified for the position and why the hiring manager should choose you over other applicants. Emphasize your essential skills and any relevant certifications that make you stand out from the crowd. Mention why you’re a good match for the company, such as the common values you share with them or how you look forward to working on some of their interesting projects.
  • Conclusion. End your cover letter by quickly recapping your key selling points, then add a call to action and a professional closing line. Urging the hiring manager to get in touch with you to discuss your application increases the likelihood that they actually will.

short cover letter structure

#4. Shorten Your Text

Once you’ve written your cover letter, it’s time to make sure it’s short.

It’s easy to get carried away when writing. When you’re describing your professional experience and passion for the industry you’re applying to, you might feel like there’s a lot you need to explain.

But the key to writing a short cover letter is to cut away everything that doesn’t need to be there.

Hiring managers don't have time to lose, and they quickly skim through tons of applications. If you want your short cover letter to grab their attention, you need to make sure you’re only focusing on the most important information and that your text is easy to follow.

While editing your text, remove any mention of skills or experiences that aren’t relevant to the job you’re applying for. You want every sentence in your brief cover letter to be impactful and memorable, not a novel about your life story.

#5. Proofread Carefully

One of the biggest cover letter mistakes is forgetting to double-check for any spelling errors.

Typos and bad grammar are some of the biggest deal-breakers for hiring managers. In fact, nearly 80% of hiring managers will reject an application if they see spelling mistakes .

Always read your cover letter carefully to catch any mistakes, and use tools like Grammarly or QuillBot to double-check your spelling and grammar.

You can even get a friend or relative to read your cover letter for you, just in case you and the spell-checking tool let something slip by.

#6. Use a Cover Letter Template

Design can’t be ignored when you’re writing a short cover letter.

After all, before the hiring manager reads your cover letter, they’re going to look at it. And with less text on the page, how your cover letter looks becomes increasingly important.

That’s why, when creating your cover letter, you have to carefully adjust the layout, tweak the page margins, set the line spacing, choose the most appropriate font, and make sure your text never exceeds the word count.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that hard.

Just use one of our cover letter templates ! Try our free resume builder and pick one of our resume templates to create a matching application in minutes.

We've collaborated with hiring experts worldwide to create templates that check all the boxes when it comes to industry requirements and visual appeal. Try them now for a stress-free application process!

short cover letter templates

Need some inspiration? Check out these short cover letter examples for different professions and levels of experience.

#1. College Student Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information:

Jamie Smith  

College Student  


[email protected]  

Sacramento, CA  


Amanda Johnson

Made Up Marketing Group

456 Maple Drive

Boston, MA 01235

Dear Ms. Johnson,

As a recent Boston University Business Administration graduate with a marketing focus, I am excited to apply for the entry-level marketing position at Made Up Marketing Group. My academic and hands-on experience, including a significant project that boosted a local bookstore's online sales by 20% in three months, has equipped me with solid marketing principles and digital tool proficiency.

My internship at Bright Innovations honed my skills in social media campaigns, consumer data analysis, and event coordination, deepening my understanding of consumer behavior and targeted marketing. I admire Made Up Marketing Group's innovative branding and commitment to team creativity and growth. I am eager to bring my background and passion to your dynamic team.

Looking forward to discussing how I can contribute to your company's success.

Jamie Smith

Check out a full college student cover letter example here.

#2. Substitute Teacher Short Cover Letter Example

Contact information:

Liam Thompson

Substitute Teacher


[email protected]

Providence, RI


Principal Jennifer Walters

St. Mary Academy - Bay View

Riverside, RI

Dear Principal Walters,

I'm eager to express my interest in the substitute teacher role at St. Mary Academy - Bay View for the 2023-2024 school year. My BA degree and varied teaching experience from early childhood to high school have honed my adaptability and ability to create engaging learning environments.

My commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive classroom aligns with St. Mary Academy's values. My organizational skills, strong work ethic, and genuine passion for education can help me effectively manage classrooms and keep students engaged. I'm enthusiastic about the opportunity to join your team and contribute to your students' academic and personal growth.

Looking forward to discussing how my experience can support St. Mary Academy's mission.

Best regards,

Check out a full substitute teacher cover letter example here.

#3. Barista Short Cover Letter Example

Contact information: Alex Johnson Barista   555-789-1234   [email protected]   Seattle, WA   linkedin.com/in/made-up-person

TO:  Mr. John Smith   Hiring Manager   Brewista Café   123 Coffee Lane   Seattle, WA

Dear Mr. Smith,

I'm eager to apply for the barista position at Brewista Café. With three years of hands-on experience, I'm confident I can bring the skill and dedication your team needs. My quick and accurate work resulted in a 20% tip increase in just three months, and I'm no stranger to busy shifts, often handling over 200 orders daily.

I excel at making various drinks quickly without compromising quality, ensuring customer satisfaction and team productivity. Additionally, I engage with customers, meeting their needs and recommending drinks based on their preferences. I always pitch in to help the team, be it restocking or cleaning, especially during slow business hours.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to discussing how I can contribute to your team.

Sincerely, Alex Johnson

#4. Nurse Practitioner Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information: Velma Rivers Board Certified Nurse Practitioner 555-123-4567 [email protected] Denver, CO linkedin.com/in/made-up-person

TO: Hiring Team Hearty Health Medical Inc. Denver, CO

Dear Hiring Team,

I am enthusiastic about the Nurse Practitioner position at Hearty Health Medical Inc. Your commitment to accessible and quality care aligns perfectly with my professional goals. With my Master of Science in Nursing, board certification, and extensive clinical experience, I am well-prepared to contribute to your telehealth platform.

My background includes treating a wide range of conditions and an active NP license in multiple states, ensuring I understand diverse healthcare needs. My proficiency in online healthcare tools and Independent Prescriptive Authority equips me to provide comprehensive care remotely.

I am excited about the opportunity to support your vision of making healthcare more accessible through telehealth. I look forward to discussing how my clinical expertise can help advance Hearty Health Medical's mission.

Please reach out to arrange an interview at your convenience.

Velma Rivers

Check out a full nurse practitioner cover letter example here.

#5. Attorney Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information: John Smith Attorney 555-123-4567 [email protected] Arizona, USA linkedin.com/in/made-up-person

TO: Hiring Manager Elevate Arizona, USA

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to express my interest in the Junior Commercial Attorney position at Elevate. With over three years of legal practice experience, I have provided extensive transactional support to business clients, including drafting, reviewing, and negotiating commercial contracts, with an emphasis on NDAs.

Elevate's focus on enhancing contractual infrastructure deeply resonates with my commitment to delivering high-quality legal solutions. I am eager to review and negotiate contracts and work collaboratively within the team.

Elevate's dedication to innovation in the legal industry resonates with my career goals and values. I am excited about the opportunity to bring my legal skills and dedication to excellence to your team.

Sincerely, John Smith

Check out a full attorney cover letter example here.

#6. Retail Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information: Jordan Martinez Retail Talent Specialist 123-456-7890 [email protected] Seattle, WA linkedin.com/in/made-up-person

TO: Talent Management Team Aritzia

Dear Talent Management Team,

I'm excited about the Specialist Retail Talent Management position at Aritzia. Your dedication to fostering high-performing teams aligns perfectly with my work ethic and professional goals. I’m confident that my talent management experience in the world of retail will help me ensure the right fit, cultural integration, and team potential.

My focus has always been on fair practices, smooth transitions, and optimized compensation to support team stability and productivity. Your holistic approach to performance assessment resonates with me, and I believe I can help foster a motivated workforce.

I'm eager to bring my skills and passion to your team. Please feel free to contact me so that we may discuss how I can contribute to your growth and success.

Warm regards, Jordan Martinez

Check out a full retail cover letter example here.

#7. Actor Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information: Chris Parker Actor & Theater Enthusiast   555-123-4567   [email protected]   Los Angeles, CA linkedin.com/in/made-up-person  

TO: Casting Director Local Theatre X Production X Los Angeles, CA

Dear Casting Director,

I'm thrilled about the Kids Production X casting call at Local Theatre Y. The captivating storyline aligns perfectly with my passion for children's theater. With experience in entertaining and engaging young audiences, I'm well-suited for vibrant characters.

I'm particularly drawn to Character Z, but open to other roles. My work ethic, dependability, and availability make me an excellent long-term addition to Local Theatre Y. I bring patience, enthusiasm, and a knack for connecting with kids.

I'm eager to contribute my acting prowess, energy, and dedication to Kids Production X. Please find my headshot and resume attached.

Looking forward to auditioning and discussing further.

Warm regards, Chris Parker

Check out a full actor cover letter example here.

#8. Digital Marketing Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information: Jamie Williams Digital Marketing Associate 555-123-4567 [email protected] Austin, TX linkedin.com/in/made-up-person

TO: Alexandra Smith Marketing & Events Manager Marketing Agency X Austin, TX

Dear Ms. Smith,

I am excited about the Digital Marketing Associate position at Marketing Agency X. With over two years of digital marketing experience, I've led successful campaigns across various platforms, optimizing results and managing donor platforms.

My proficiency in tools like Google Analytics and strong project management skills can make me a valuable asset to your team. I am eager to contribute to your mission of enhancing brand awareness and fundraising through data-driven marketing.

Please contact me for an interview to explore how I can support your goals.

Sincerely, Jamie Williams

Check out a full digital marketing cover letter example here.

#9. IT Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information:  Roger Valdorf Desktop Analyst   555-123-4567   [email protected]   Denver, CO linkedin.com/in/made-up-person  

TO:   Wendy Welton Hiring Manager FakeTech Group Denver, CO  

Dear Ms. Welton,

I'm writing to express my interest in the Desktop Analyst position at FakeTech Group. My experience in providing technical support, both on-site and remotely, aligns well with your company's values of innovation and user-focused technology.

I am drawn to FakeTech's commitment to continuous learning and inclusivity. Throughout my career, I've sought to deepen my technical knowledge and ensure all users feel valued.

I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my skills can benefit FakeTech Group. Please feel free to contact me to schedule a conversation.

Warm regards, Roger Valdorf

Check out a full IT cover letter example here.

#10. Sales Short Cover Letter Example

Alex Thompson   Sales Representative   555-123-4567   [email protected]   Austin, TX   linkedin.com/in/made-up-person

Ms. Emily Stevens   Hiring Manager The IT Support Center   Austin, TX

Dear Ms. Stevens,

I'm writing to express my interest in the IT Support Center's Sales Representative role. With a strong background in sales and client relationship management, I believe I'm an ideal fit for this position.

My Business degree from the University of Texas and experience in sales have equipped me with essential skills, including proficiency in tools like Salesforce for efficient data management. In my current role at TechSolutions, I've successfully closed deals, boosted company revenue, and achieved high client retention rates.

I excel in connecting with decision-makers, understanding their needs, and working collaboratively within a team. I'm excited about the opportunity to contribute to your team and share your commitment to skill development and inclusive customer support.

I look forward to discussing how I can make a valuable impact. Please reach out to me via email or phone to arrange an interview.

Sincerely, Alex Thompson

Check out a full sales cover letter example here.

#11. Business Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information: John Doe   Business Development Specialist   555-123-4567   [email protected]   New York, NY   linkedin.com/in/made-up-person  

TO: Chet Jones Hiring Manager   Pear Inc. New York, NY  

Dear Mr. Jones,

I came across the Business Development Representative role at Pear Inc. and was immediately intrigued. Your vision aligns with my passion for driving business growth through meaningful connections.

In my previous role, I consistently exceeded quarterly goals by at least 23%, showcasing my ability to communicate effectively with C-level executives and craft compelling proposals. I'm proficient in SalesForce and experienced in account management.

I'm excited about the opportunity to contribute to Pear Inc.'s mission. Please contact me to schedule a discussion about my application.

Best wishes, John Doe

Check out a full business cover letter example here.

#12. Graphic Designer Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information: Jordan Smith   Graphic Designer   555-321-4321   [email protected]   San Francisco, CA   linkedin.com/in/made-up-person  

TO:  Lucy Pleasant Hiring Manager Tech Company X San Francisco, CA

Dear Ms. Pleasant,

I discovered the Remote Graphic Designer role at Tech Company X and was instantly drawn to your creative approach and company culture.

With expertise in Adobe tools, project management, and social media, I've crafted impactful designs and collaborated effectively with diverse teams. My commitment to delivering quality work aligns with your values.

I'm excited about the opportunity to contribute my design skills and collaborate remotely with your team. Please contact me at the provided phone number or email address so that we may discuss my application further.

Sincerely, Jordan Smith

Check out a full graphic designer cover letter example here.

#13. Team Leader Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information: Jessica Martin Team Leader 657-390-2145 [email protected] Orlando, FL linkedin.com/in/made-up-person

TO: Hiring Manager XYZ Digital Solutions Remote

I'm writing to express my interest in the Team Leader position at XYZ Digital Solutions. With extensive experience in leading teams and driving project success, I believe I'm well-suited for this role.

My leadership is marked by strong communication, fostering collaboration, and promoting innovation. I've successfully trained and mentored teams, enhancing productivity and building a supportive and goal-oriented culture. Proficient in digital tools, I enhance team efficiency and stay ahead of industry trends.

I'm enthusiastic about the opportunity to bring my proactive leadership and commitment to excellence to XYZ Digital Solutions. I look forward to discussing how my experience can contribute to your team's success.

Jessica Martin

Check out a full team leader cover letter example here.

#14. Receptionist Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information: Sarah Miller Front Desk Receptionist 555-123-4567 [email protected] San Francisco, CA linkedin.com/in/made-up-person

TO: Hiring Manager Permanente Luxury Inn Santa Clara, CA 189 Sunflower Boulevard

Dear Front Desk Team,

I am excited to apply for the front desk receptionist role at the Permanente Luxury Inn, Santa Clara. My experience in customer service, cash handling, and efficient management of front desk operations aligns well with the requirements of this position.

I thrive in fast-paced environments, ensuring guests feel welcome while managing check-ins, check-outs, and cash transactions. My proficiency in keycard and POS systems, coupled with my ability to multitask, positions me to integrate seamlessly into your team.

I am confident that my commitment to excellent customer service will contribute to the Permanente Luxury Inn’s reputation for guest satisfaction. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my skills can align with your team's goals.

Please contact me to arrange an interview at your convenience.

Sarah Miller

Check out a full receptionist cover letter example here.

#15. Dental Assistant Short Cover Letter Example

Contact Information: Jane Smith   Dental Assistant   555-123-4567   [email protected]   Seattle, WA   linkedin.com/in/made-up-person  

TO: Washington State Department of Corrections   Health Services Team   Seafair Lows, WA   [email protected]  

I'm applying for the Dental Assistant position at Seafair Lows Corrections Center. As a registered Dental Assistant with a comprehensive background in direct chairside assisting, patient communication, record-keeping, and inventory management, I am well-equipped to meet the demands of this role.

My experience extends to creating a comfortable environment for patients, maintaining meticulous records, and ensuring the smooth operation of dental procedures. I am adept at working within the unique parameters of a correctional facility, prioritizing quality care and strict adherence to safety protocols.

Enclosed are my resume and professional references for your review. I am keen to contribute my skills to the Seafair Lows Corrections Center team and would welcome the chance to discuss this opportunity further.

Thank you for considering my application.

Check out a full dental assistant cover letter example here.

Key Takeaways

You’ve made it to the end of our article!

Hopefully, now you feel confident about writing your short cover letter.

Before you go and submit your job application, let’s briefly go over the main points we discussed:

  • You should always include a cover letter with your job application, even though some hiring managers are divided about them. A short cover letter is a great choice to satisfy both types of hiring managers without taking a risk.
  • Short cover letters are recommended if you have less relevant experience or you’re changing careers. You can focus on the experience you do have and keep your text brief.
  • Pick an appropriate cover letter template to enhance your presentation. Use our free resume builder and choose a cover letter template to match, so you have a stylish job application that shows off your attention to detail.
  • Your short cover letter will probably take several drafts. The best way to write it is by asking yourself important questions and then shortening your text until you fit the desired word count.
  • Always proofread your cover letter before submitting it. Even a small typo or grammatical error could detract from your professionalism and make the hiring manager reject your application.

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