StandOut CV

8 short cover letter samples + writing guide

Andrew Fennell photo

If you want to secure the job of your dreams, make sure that your CV grabs the attention of recruiters.

But how do you achieve this?

You must create a compelling cover letter to introduce and accompany your CV.

A short cover letter will quickly establish rapport with hiring managers, prompting them to open your CV.

This article, including eight short cover letter examples (with templates) plus our writing guide, will demonstrate how to write your own enticing cover letter and get noticed in the job market.

CV templates 

Short cover letter sample – Admin

Admin short cover letter sample

Hi [Recruiter name],

I would like to express my interest in the role of [Job title] as advertised on [Website name].

I am currently working in a [Current role] role for [Current employer] where I am responsible for [Core responsibilities of role + quantified achievement if possible]

I’m looking for a new challenge that will allow me [Aspirations + mention of suitable skill]

It would be great to hear from you and I am available to interview at any time.

[Phone number] [Email]

Short cover letter sample – Customer service

Customer service short cover letter sample

I’d like to apply for the position of [Job title] as advertised on [Website name].

With [Number of years’ experience] in [Type of position(s)] for [Name(s) of previous companies], I have gathered extensive [Core responsibilities] in [Type of setting].

In my current role with [Current employer], I am responsible for [Core responsibilities of role + quantified achievement if possible]

My role has given me [Aspirations + mention of suitable skill].

I believe my skill sets and product knowledge will allow me to fit perfectly with the requirements you are seeking in a candidate, and I am available for an interview at short notice.

Kind regards,

CV builder

Short cover letter sample – Sales

Sales short cover letter sample

I am excited to apply for the role of  [Job title] as advertised on [Website name].

I am currently working in a [Current role] role for [Current employer], where I am responsible for [Core responsibilities of role + quantified achievement if possible].

I’m seeking a new opportunity that will enable me to [Aspirations + mention of suitable skill].

I look forward to hearing from you soon, and I am available to interview at any point.

Short cover letter sample – School leaver

School leaver short cover letter sample

I am a dedicated student with excellent [Core skills], looking to apply for the [Job title] position at [Company name].

In my current position as a [Current role] at [Current employer], I [Core responsibilities of role + quantified achievement if possible].

I am keen to showcase my [Aspirations + mention of suitable skill].

I am available for an interview from [Insert date], and I am very keen to discuss how my skill set can benefit [Company name’s] success.

Short cover letter sample – IT

IT short cover letter sample

Hi [Recruiter name]

I am writing to apply for the position of [Job title] as advertised on [Website name].

I am currently working in a [Current role] role for [Current employer], where my duties include [Core responsibilities of role + quantified achievement if possible].

I’m looking for a fresh opportunity that [Aspirations + mention of suitable skill].

Please contact me to arrange an interview at any time that is convenient for you, as I am keen to discuss my qualifications.

Short cover letter sample – Creative

Creative short cover letter sample

I am excited to apply for the [Job title] role at [Company name], as advertised on [Website name]. With over [Number of years] years of experience in [Core responsibilities of role], I am keen to bring my [Skills] to your [Team/company].

During my career working for [Current employer], I have established an in-depth understanding of [Core responsibilities of role + quantified achievement if possible]

Additionally, I [Aspirations + mention of suitable skill].

Please do get in touch with me to arrange an interview when you can to talk about my qualifications, capabilities, and additional achievements.

Best regards,

Short cover letter sample – Education

Education short cover letter sample

I hope you’re well.

I am writing concerning the advert for a [Job title] at [Name of educational setting]. Over the past [Insert number] years, I have [Core responsibilities of role + quantified achievement if possible].

When I taught/worked at [Name of educational setting], I implemented [Core responsibilities of role + quantified achievement if possible].

I am seeking a new opportunity that will allow me [Aspirations + mention of suitable skill].

I am keen to talk to you more about the job role, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Short cover letter sample – Graduate

Graduate short cover letter sample

I trust you’re doing well.

I am writing to apply for your [Job title] role at [Company name], as it offers an exciting opportunity to leverage my passion for [Core responsibilities].

As a [Current role], I have a strong foundation in [Core responsibilities of role + quantified achievement if possible].

While pursuing my degree, I thrived in courses focused on [List of course modules].

I also successfully [Core responsibilities of role + quantified achievement if possible].

I look forward to the chance to talk more about my qualifications and how my skills can benefit your company’s success. I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience.

Why write a short cover letter?

Your cover letter  is a preliminary message that introduces your CV when you apply for a job.

It must convince the hiring manager to open your CV and potentially invite you to an interview – but they get hundreds of applications every day, so they don’t have much time to read each one.

So writing a short cover letter can help you get your point across quickly and ensure that more recruiters read your CV.

How to write a short cover letter

Now that you have seen some good examples of cover letters to accompany your CV, let’s look in more detail at how you’ll go about writing your own, and what content you should include .

Write in the body of your email/message

Write cover letter in body of email

You should always write your cover letter in the body of the email . Alternatively, if you are sending your application via a job board, you can use the messaging system. But don’t attach your cover letter as a document.

Why is this?

Your cover letter should immediately captivate the recruiter from the very second they access your job application.

If they have to go through the effort of opening a document to read it, this slows everything down and they probably won’t bother to open it.

Address the recruiter by name

To begin your cover letter, grab the recruiter’s attention with a warm greeting – and use their name if you can find it.

Here are some quick ways to find a recruiter’s name.

  • Double-check the job advert – Often, you can find the person’s name and email address within the job ad itself.
  • Company website –  If you are applying directly to a company, you can locate contact info about the head of the department or recruitment team on their website in the “About Us” section.
  • LinkedIn –  If you can pinpoint the specific team and company related to the job vacancy, a speedy search on LinkedIn can help you find the person who’s likely in charge of the application.

There’s no need to stress if you can’t work out the hiring manager’s name – you’re not alone.

Just begin your cover letter with a friendly “Hi” – this is perfectly fine in this circumstance.

Your greeting should strike a balance between being friendly and professional – but not excessively relaxed, yet not too formal.

Consider addressing the recruiter using:

  • Hi [insert recruiter’s name]
  • Hi [insert department/team name]

Steer clear of traditional greetings, like “Dear sir/madam” unless you’re applying to extremely formal companies.

Write in a friendly but professional manner

When you’re writing a cover letter, you must find a middle ground between professionalism and demonstrating your personality and communication skills .

If you’re too casual, you come across as unprofessional. On the flip side, being excessively formal makes you look like you lack social skills.

Aim for that sweet spot when you sound both friendly and professional.

Start with something like, “I hope you’re well” – this adds a personal touch to your cover letter. What’s more, make sure that your spelling and grammar are impeccable, as mistakes can raise concerns for recruiters.

Highlight your relevant skills

Your cover letter aims to encourage recruiters to open your CV. You can do this easily by quickly telling recruiters about your relevant skills tailored to the positions you’re applying for.

Scan over the job descriptions you’re applying to and note down the most significant skills and qualifications the hiring manager is requesting.

Next, when creating your cover letter, make your relevant skills the key focus.

Tell them why you’re the best-qualified applicant and how your skill set is directly relevant to the job.

Doing so provides recruiters with all the reassurance they need to look at your CV and consider you for the position.

Cover letter key words

Add some quantified achievements

To give your cover letter that extra edge, add quantified achievements. These are specific accomplishments, with added numbers, that show your value to would-be employers.

For example, if you are a sales representative , you could say you have boosted sales by 20% in your past role and completed 50 customer calls daily with a 96% satisfaction rate. Or that you decreased project turnaround time by 30%.

Quantified achievements give a hiring manager proof of your impact in the workplace and can significantly increase your chances of securing a job interview.

Write succinctly

When you’re applying for a job, remember – recruiters and hiring managers are usually incredibly busy and likely short on time.

So, be sure to get your message across to them as swiftly as possible. Ideally, in the shortest amount of time.

Keep your cover letter brief and to the point. If you create a rambling cover letter, this will only overburden recruiters, as they are going through countless emails daily.

Keep your cover letter between 3 and 6 sentences long. Don’t use wordy language – keep your sentences short and sweet.

For example, rather than saying, “I am writing to notify you that I am applying for the position of…”, you can just say, “I’d like to apply for the position of…”

Concise and wordy comparisons

Here are a few more tips on how to keep your cover letter snappy and succinct:

  • Use action verbs –  Select action verbs that get your message across. For example, don’t say, “I was responsible for the management of projects.” Instead, say, “I managed projects.”
  • Be direct –  Get straight to the point. Say what your purpose and intentions are plainly, and avoid unneeded introductions. Write something like, “I am interested in the position of Creative Director at your company.”
  • Avoid redundancy –  Don’t repeat anything you have mentioned previously in your CV. Your cover letter introduces your CV – it doesn’t duplicate it.

Add a professional signature

To conclude your cover letter, include a professional signature at the very bottom. This gives a recruiter your essential contact details.

Not only does a professional signature provide various ways of getting in touch with you, but it also gives a very polished look and demonstrates that you understand how to communicate in the working environment.

Your professional signature should include:

  • A friendly sign-off – For example, “Kind regards” or “Best regards.”
  • Your full name – That’s your first name and surname. For example, “Joe Bloggs.”
  • Your telephone number – The phone number you use most often. For example, your mobile number.
  • Your email address – A professional email address. For example, [email protected] . Avoid unprofessional emails such as [email protected].

Optionally, you could include the following in your professional signature:

  • Your professional title – For example, “Graphic Designer” or “Customer Service Representative.”
  • Your professional social network – For example, LinkedIn.

Here are some examples of professional signatures at the bottom of a cover letter:

Short cover letter signatures

What to avoid in a short cover letter

When you’re writing your cover letter, avoid making these everyday errors.

Attaching your cover letter as a separate document

The goal of your cover letter is to instantly greet and connect with the recruiter who opens it. So, avoid attaching your cover letter as a separate document – this slows the process down considerably. What’s more, the recipient probably won’t even open it.

Always write your cover letter in the body of your email or within the job site messaging system so recruiters can read it immediately.

Heading your cover letter with your address

There is simply no need to write your address on a cover letter, as it wastes lots of valuable space at the top.

You should use this space to grab the hiring manager’s attention and present your keenness and qualifications for the role.

Recruiters want to know what talents and qualifications you contribute to the company. So, it’s better to start with a professional greeting and a short introduction that catches their attention.

Also, placing your address at the top of a cover letter can make it look a little outdated.

In today’s age of digital job applications and online submissions, hiring managers prioritise the content of your cover letter over conventional formatting .

Leading with your home address can take up valuable space – it just isn’t necessary unless the job posting specifically asks for it.

The better option? Put your name, phone number, and email address at the bottom of your cover letter after you have described why you’re the perfect candidate for the job.

How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

Background Image

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

You’ve perfected your resume. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, let’s get started with the basics!

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

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

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

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

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

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

how to write cover letter

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

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

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

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

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

structure of a cover letter

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

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

Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template

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

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

cover letter templates

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

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

Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header

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

contact information on a cover letter

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

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

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

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

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

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

matching resume and cover letter

Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And voila! You have your hiring manager.

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

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

Here are several other greetings you could use:

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

Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, let’s get started...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Google Search

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

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

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

Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You’d write something like:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action

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

In the final paragraph, you want to:

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

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

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

Step #8 - Use the right formal closing

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

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

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

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

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional email
  • Relevant Social Media Profiles

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

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

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

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

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

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

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

Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?

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

5+ Cover Letter Examples

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

College Student Cover Letter Example

college or student cover letter example

Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

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

Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

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

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

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

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

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

resume examples for cover letter

Key Takeaways

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

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

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

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

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How To Write a Cover Letter for a CV (With Examples)

how do i write a cover letter to accompany my cv

Tips for Writing a Cover Letter for a CV

Proofread before sending, cover letter template, cover letter sample, sending an email cover letter, more cover letter examples.

When you apply for a job with a  curriculum vitae  (CV), it's important to include a cover letter, also known as a covering letter. This letter allows you to make a favorable first impression, using narrative in your own tone of voice to catch the reader’s attention and encourage them to seriously review your attached CV.

Like a resume, a CV summarizes your skills and experience. The  difference between a CV and a resume  is length, the focus on credentials, and what the documents are used for. Typically, a CV is required to apply for roles in academia, scientific research, and medical fields. 

While your CV provides a detailed—and often lengthy—look at your experience and credentials, the cover letter is an opportunity to call out your most important qualifications and make a compelling case for your candidacy for the role at hand. Here's what you need to know to write a successful curriculum vitae cover letter. 

Tailor the Letter to Fit the Organization

The CV cover letter should be  tailored to respond to the unique and specific requirements  requested by each organization you are approaching. 

Do not use the same cover letter for every job you apply to, even though it may seem like a timesaver. 

Each letter needs to provide detailed information about why are you are qualified for the specific job in question, and it should outline the reasons for your interest in the company or organization. Being specific is advantageous. Even if you're applying for two similar roles in two different hospitals, the two hospitals may serve different populations or require slightly different responsibilities for people in the role. Your letters to each hospital should reflect that. 

Use your cover letter to identify the skills or experiences most specific to the job, rather than copying directly the information in your CV.

What to Include

As a candidate, it's tempting to feel like the cover letter is unnecessary, since it is likely that all the pertinent information is included in your CV. Still, as you can see, the cover letter is a helpful tool in your application. Here's what to keep in mind as you write a cover letter. 

Format Matters

The content of your cover letter should be brief and structured. Aim for 3-5 paragraphs in your letter.  Start with a salutation. Your letter should address the relevant contact, whose name often appears in the job advertisement. Avoid “Sir” or “Madam” if possible.

If the letter recipient's name isn't provided, try these  tips to determine the correct contact person . 

Start With an Introduction

Typically, the first paragraph will be an introduction—if you are applying to a job ad, mention it here. Mention the job title, any reference number, and where and when you saw it. The first paragraph is also where you should mention if someone referred you to the position. 

The Body of the Cover Letter

The body of the letter—the second and third paragraphs—should highlight your relevant skills and experience. Highlight your  transferable skills , achievements, and versatility. Explain what you can contribute and what makes you stand out from your competition. Include mention of your current or last job, qualifications, and professional and academic training, tailoring your information to make it as relevant as possible to the organization or job applied for.

In the body of the cover letter, you can mention personality traits relevant to the role at hand. You can also use this space to call out why you're interested in this specific role, at this specific company. Potential employers and hiring managers will appreciate it if you can show you've read the job ad and researched the company. 

Avoid lengthy repetition of information covered in your CV. Unlike a CV, it is acceptable to write a cover letter in the first person.

Conclude the letter by succinctly summarizing why an employer may want to meet and employ you. Include a polite expression of interest in further dialogue with the recruiter. Do mention that you would like the opportunity to discuss your suitability further in a personal interview and that you await a response in due course.

Follow Instructions 

In some cases, an advertisement will indicate that a more substantial letter is required. 

Always follow specific instructions and include any information if it is specifically requested. For instance, some employers may ask you to include your current salary or your desired salary range. 

Make Sure the Letter Reads Well 

Ensure that your CV cover letter flows freely. You do not need to precisely match every point on the job description. The reader should be left with an overall impression that you are a potentially valuable addition to the workforce.

The letter should be readable and engaging. 

Negative information of any sort should be avoided in your cover letter, as well as on your CV.

You'll want to be sure your letter is free from grammar or spelling errors. It should also be clearly presented—that means using standard formatting, and common  readable fonts  (such as Times New Roman or Verdana) in an appropriate size. 

This is a cover letter example. Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Depending on the employer's submission requirements, cover letters can be submitted online with your CV, uploaded online, or mailed. Be sure to follow the application instructions and follow the directions on how to apply. Consider this template for how to structure your letter: 

Belinda Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555

October 25, 2021

Clark Lee, PhD Biology Department Chair Northwestern University 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

Dear Dr, Lee:

I am writing to apply for the position of assistant professor in the Biology department, as described in the Northern University website. The opportunity to teach biology appeals to me, and I believe I can be an asset to the department due to my experience as a field biologist, as well as my work as an adjunct professor at Southern State University. In accordance with your job description, I have the following skills:

• Experience lecturing to large audiences

• Experience with learning management systems and course design

• Ability to assist with labs for other professors

• Experience with grant writing and research

I have enclosed my curriculum vitae so you may examine my work and research experience, the papers I’ve published, and my educational background.

I can be reached anytime by email at or my cell phone, 555-555-5555. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this position.

Signature (hard copy letter)

Belinda Applicant

When you are sending your cover letter by email, list your contact information in your signature rather than at the top of the letter. List your name and the job title in the subject line of the message. 

Here are more examples of cover letters that you can use as a starting point for your own correspondence.

More From Forbes

How to craft a compelling cover letter.

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During the job application process, you should always submit a cover letter alongside your resume. This is particularly important when you’re applying for more competitive, senior positions.

A carefully crafted cover letter allows you to grab the recruiter’s attention and explain to them why you're the best candidate for the job.

But this will only happen if it’s well-written, so your cover letter needs to be persuasive, concise, and engaging. That’s a lot of pressure on just a few sentences, but getting it right will boost your chances of getting a response.

Here is how to craft a compelling cover letter, along with some top tips to increase your chances of securing an interview.

Understand how to set out your cover letter

Your cover letter should appear in the body of an email or as a message if you’re applying through a job site. You should avoid attaching your letter as a separate document, otherwise the recipient is unlikely to read it.

It’s also important that you keep your cover letter short and sweet, remembering that recruiters are busy people and they have to review a lot of applications every day.

With that in mind, it’s best to stick to between 4 and 6 short and snappy sentences.

Make your subject line appealing

The first thing the recruiter will see when they open their inbox is the subject line and a bad subject can instantly ruin your chances of them opening your email at all.

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Instead, you need to stand out and give them a reason to read on.

Don’t simply label the email with the job title or the phrase ‘job application’. Go one step further to prove you are the perfect candidate in just a few words.

What this means is providing a subject line that is a short summary of your experience. For example, ‘project manager with 15 years experience’ or ‘web developer with JavaScript experience’.

Kick-off with a strong introduction

The purpose of your cover letter is to engage the reader instantly and make them want to review your resume and get to know more about you.

So you need to kick off with a strong introduction.

This means addressing the recipient by their name, whether that’s the hiring manager or the employer. You might need to do a little research to find this information, either using the job description, LinkedIn, or the company website.

You should also try to steer clear of overly formal greetings like “Dear sir/madam” and instead, take a professional but friendly tone starting with ‘hello’ or ‘hi’.

Next, your introductory sentence should outline which role you're applying for and demonstrate what makes you the most suitable candidate for the role.

Crafting a compelling cover letter can be the key to securing your next role.

Showcase your most relevant skills and experience

It can be tricky to know what to include in your cover letter , but the body of your email (or message) should be made up of three or four sentences that highlight your key skills and experience.

You can use the job description to determine which skills and abilities are most important to the employer. That way, you can highlight these and show them what you have to offer.

You should also provide examples from past roles that prove how your previous experience has shaped you and made you the ideal candidate.

Just remember that you only have a few sentences in which to impress them, so first focus on any requirements that are essential to the job. That way, the reader can instantly see that you’re a good fit.

This will encourage them to open your resume.

End with a strong call to action

You should conclude your letter by once again expressing your enthusiasm for the role and stating your desire to secure a personal interview.

Remember, recruiters are busy people, so it’s also important to thank them for taking the time to read and consider your application.

Proofread your letter very carefully

Once you've finished writing your cover letter, you need to proofread it thoroughly to make sure there are no errors. In fact, it’s best to do this several times.

A polished and compelling cover letter should not have any spelling or grammatical mistakes.

This looks unprofessional and sloppy, so take the time to re-read your application. You might even consider using an online spell checker or have a friend or family member review your letter before you send it off, just to be sure.

A well-structured cover letter, complete with tailored, impactful writing is the key to standing out in a crowded job market, and help you to land a job quicker than the average time of 3.8 months.

So, if you hope to secure an interview, be sure to use these tips and insights to craft an engaging and compelling cover letter. It may only be a few sentences long, but it really can give you a competitive edge.

Andrew Fennell

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Putting a little extra effort into these materials can help you make a good first impression with potential employers.


Fam Pract Manag. 2021;28(5):4-5

Applying for jobs can be exciting — and stressful. Business experts recommend diligent attention to developing your resume or CV (curriculum vitae) and writing a cover letter as these are the first things that any future employer will see about you. The CV and cover letter are concise ways to share details about your skills and accomplishments. A good CV and cover letter do not get you the job, but they may make you more likely to get an interview. A CV is basically a list of your education, accomplishments, and specific skills. It is normally accompanied by a cover letter that tells potential employers more about you, what you are looking for in a new job, and why you are the right person for the job they have advertised.

A CV for medical professionals includes several different sections. It should start with your full name and contact information. In the business world, most CVs include a concise, descriptive statement about your skills, but this is not always included on medical CVs.

The next section describes your education and training. Include your undergraduate degree, any graduate studies, medical school, residency, and fellowship. Extra training can be inserted here as well (for example, competency in obstetric ultrasound or colonoscopy, or extra training in evidence-based medicine or quality improvement).

The CV continues with descriptions of previous related jobs (it's OK to leave out your bartending stint in college), any presentations or publications, substantive committee work (e.g., if you chaired a committee, contributed to a significant change in practice, or spent a lot of time on a project), and relevant volunteer work. CVs feature very little narrative except to provide brief explanations where a bulleted list does not suffice.

Most physician employers are relatively conservative, so experts recommend using a simple font and limited color in your CV. Physician CVs can be as long as they need to be, but be careful to avoid including facts that are not relevant to medicine.


A cover letter allows you to expand on the bulleted list of accomplishments included in your CV. The cover letter is a place where you can be specific about why you are interested in a particular position and why your skills would be a good fit. While the CV lists all your accomplishments, the cover letter highlights unique skills that make you a good candidate for the job. It is important to do your homework, make sure you address the letter to the person doing the hiring, and demonstrate that you have read about the position and the organization by making specific statements about them.

Cover letters have three main components: 1) an introduction, 2) a short list of relevant work that highlights one or two positions or accomplishments, and 3) a conclusion. They should be no longer than one page. If you are applying for your first job out of residency, you can talk about the skills you have gained during your training and how they would be a good match for the job. You should write different cover letters for each job and not use a standard template. Each letter should include a specific detail about the particular practice, whether it is the patient population, the job description, or the location. You want to make sure the hiring manager knows that you are interested in that specific job.


Writing effective CVs and cover letters allows you to present yourself and your accomplishments in a professional and clear light. Putting a little extra time into these materials may make all the difference in getting the job you desire.

To help you write an effective CV:

Creating a standout CV . American Medical Association.

How to write a curriculum vitae . American Academy of Family Physicians.

How to write a medical CV . International Journal of Surgery Oncology .

What makes a good CV? FPM .

To help you write an effective cover letter:

Everything that physicians need to know about cover letters . Physicians Thrive.

How to write a cover letter . Harvard Business Review .

Physician cover letters: why writing a good one is as important as ever . NEJM CareerCenter.

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Three excellent cover letter examples

Cover letters are the first chance you have to impress an employer – they’re not just a protective jacket for your CV. Here’s our guide on what to include and how to format them

  • More CV and cover letter templates
  • Looking for a job? Explore the range of vacancies on Guardian Jobs and find the perfect role for you

The first thing a potential employer sees in your job application is the cover letter. This doesn’t just support your CV – it’s an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd and persuade the recruiter to put you through to the next round.

Be wary of spending hours on perfecting your CV at the expense of your cover letter. If you need some inspiration on what to include and what format to use, here are our helpful guides – just remember not to copy them as exact templates.

1. Standard, conservative style

This is ideal for sectors such as business, law, accountancy and retail. For more creative sectors, a letter like this might be less appealing, and could work against you.

Dear Mr Black, Please find enclosed my CV in application for the post advertised in the Guardian on 30 November. The nature of my degree course has prepared me for this position. It involved a great deal of independent research, requiring initiative, self-motivation and a wide range of skills. For one course, [insert course], an understanding of the [insert sector] industry was essential. I found this subject very stimulating. I am a fast and accurate writer, with a keen eye for detail and I should be very grateful for the opportunity to progress to market reporting. I am able to take on the responsibility of this position immediately, and have the enthusiasm and determination to ensure that I make a success of it. Thank you for taking the time to consider this application and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. Yours sincerely

2. Standard speculative letter

This may vary according to the nature of the organisation and the industry you’re applying to.

Dear Mr Brown, I am writing to enquire if you have any vacancies in your company. I enclose my CV for your information. As you can see, I have had extensive vacation work experience in office environments, the retail sector and service industries, giving me varied skills and the ability to work with many different types of people. I believe I could fit easily into your team. I am a conscientious person who works hard and pays attention to detail. I’m flexible, quick to pick up new skills and eager to learn from others. I also have lots of ideas and enthusiasm. I’m keen to work for a company with a great reputation and high profile like [insert company name]. I have excellent references and would be delighted to discuss any possible vacancy with you at your convenience. In case you do not have any suitable openings at the moment, I would be grateful if you would keep my CV on file for any future possibilities. Yours sincerely

3. Letter for creative jobs

We’ve used the example of a copywriter but you can adapt it for your profession. The aim of a creative letter is to be original and show you have imagination, but understand what the job entails. Balance is essential: don’t be too wacky, or it will turn off the reader.

Dear Ms Green, · Confused by commas? · Puzzled by parenthesis? · Stumped by spelling? · Perturbed by punctuation? · Annoyed at the apostrophe? (And alliteration?) Well, you’re not alone. It seems that fewer and fewer people can write. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who can read. So they’ll spot a gaffe from a mile off. And that means it’s a false economy, unless you’re 100% sure of yourself, to write your own materials. (Or to let clients do it for themselves.) To have materials properly copywritten is, when one considers the whole process of publishing materials and the impact that the client wishes to make, a minor expense. Sloppiness loses clients, loses customers. There is an answer. Me. Firm quotes are free. You can see some of what I do on my multilingual website at [insert web address]. If you’d like, I can get some samples out to you within 24 hours. And, if you use me, you’ll have some sort of guarantee that you can sleep soundly as those tens of thousands of copies are rolling off the presses. Luck shouldn’t come into it! With kindest regards

Other helpful resources

How to write a perfect CV and cover letter

Applying for jobs without experience? How to build and sell your skills

Five steps to the perfect graduate CV

School-leavers and graduates: how to write your first CV

How to write a personal statement for your CV

CV templates to fit every stage of your career

Looking for a job? Browse Guardian Jobs for your next career step.

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Cover Letters

Your cover letter is just as important as your resume. You have written your resume as a document that represents you, and the recruiting manager has written a position description that reflects the organization’s needs. A cover letter ties them together. It’s more specific than a resume and highlights projects or efforts that align with the requirements of the position or program.

You should plan to submit a cover letter along with your resume (or CV) for every position or program you apply for. The only exception is if the internship/job posting specifically notes not to include one.

  • Alignment: Left aligned, after the header
  • Length: 1 page and 3-4 paragraphs at maximum

Date, Recipient, Salutation

  • Date: This is first after your header. Spell out the month and include the year.
  • Recipient: This comes after the date and is usually 3-5 lines. Include the organization’s name, the name and title of the person you are addressing (if you have this information), and the organization’s address or other contact information (if you’re able to find this).
  • Salutation or Greeting: If you are addressing a specific person, use their name in the salutation (“Dear Firstname Lastname” or “Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname”). If not, use something generic such as “hiring manager,” “hiring committee,” or “selection committee.”

Letter Body

The body of your cover letter should be a maximum of 3-4 paragraphs and address 3 main points: what you know about the organization, what you are applying for, and what you can do for them.

  • Introduction and Interest (paragraph 1): Include what you are applying for, what you know about the organization, and why you are interested
  • The Evidence (paragraph 2): Outline what you can do for them, make a case for why you are the candidate to hire
  • The Connection (paragraph 2-3): Make the connections between the desired qualifications listed in the posting to your experience and skills.
  • The Closing (paragraph 3-4): Reiterate your interest, express gratitude, and note that you look forward to hearing from them. Also, provide contact information if it is not in the header.

Use “Sincerely” followed by your full name on the next line. This is your electronic signature. You can use a script font if you prefer or keep it the same as the rest of the letter.

  • Cover letter sample 1 (pdf) , showing paragraph style
  • Cover letter sample 2 (pdf) , showing bullet style
  • Cover letter sample 3 (pdf) , showing preferred name and bullet style
  • Attend a cover letter presentation to get started. Check the calendar for upcoming sessions
  • Read more tips and advice on the blog
  • Bring a draft in for a cover letter review


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  1. 12 CV cover letter examples

    A cover letter for your CV, or covering note is an introductory message that accompanies your CV when applying for a job. The purpose of the cover letter is simple… Persuade the reader to open your CV. Learn how to write a cover letter properly, and you will hugely increase your chances of getting responses and landing job interviews.

  2. How To Write a Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)

    Middle paragraph (s) Closing paragraph. Letter ending and signature. Your cover letter should be one page long and use a simple, professional font, such as Arial or Helvetica, 10 to 12 points in size. Your letter should be left-aligned with single spacing and one-inch margins. Show Transcript.

  3. How to write a cover letter for your CV

    Sign off professionally. Finish your cover letter with a friendly term such as, "kind regards" followed by your name. Then add a professional signature to the bottom, like the one below; This makes the cover letter look professional and ensures that recruiters have; Your full name. Phone number. Email address.

  4. How To Format a Cover Letter (With Outline and Examples)

    If you're providing a hard copy of your cover letter, handwrite your signature and also include your full typed name. Download Cover Letter Outline Template. To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file. Related: Creating the Perfect Cover Letter (With Template and Example)

  5. How To Write the Perfect Cover Letter (With Template and Example)

    Include the name of the person to whom you are writing as well as the company name and address just above the salutation. In the salutation, greet the hiring manager by name. If you don't know the name of the person, consider greeting the hiring department or the department with which you would be working if hired. 3.

  6. 8 short cover letter samples + writing guide

    Write in the body of your email/message. Address the recruiter by name. Write in a friendly but professional manner. Highlight your relevant skills. Add some quantified achievements. Write succinctly. Add a professional signature. What to avoid in a short cover letter. Attaching your cover letter as a separate document.

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

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

  8. CV Covering Letter

    Depending on the employer's instruction, you can send the CV cover letter by email, as an email attachment, upload it online, or mail a copy. For an email CV letter, include your name and job title in the subject line and write the CV letter in the email body. Use an easily readable font like Verdana, Courier New, or Times New Roman.

  9. How To Write a Cover Letter for a CV (With Examples)

    Avoid lengthy repetition of information covered in your CV. Unlike a CV, it is acceptable to write a cover letter in the first person. Conclude the letter by succinctly summarizing why an employer may want to meet and employ you. Include a polite expression of interest in further dialogue with the recruiter. Do mention that you would like the ...

  10. The CV Cover Letter: What It Is and How to Write It Well

    How to write a CV cover letter. You can use the following process to write an effective CV cover letter: 1. Identify the requirements for the position. Read the job description well and identify employer expectations in relation to academic achievements, education, skills, and experience. Make a list of these expectations.

  11. How to Write a Cover Letter For Any Job + Expert Tips

    Place your name, city, state, ZIP code, phone number and email address in your cover letter heading. Your email address should be professional like "[email protected]," and not personal like "[email protected]." Include links to your LinkedIn profile or professional online portfolio if you have one.

  12. How to write a cover letter to accompany your CV

    You have introduced yourself and touted your experience, sum up by asking them to consider you as a candidate for the position. "Please consider me an excellent candidate for the position." It's simple and straight-forward and asks them to take action. The whole letter should be one page long and end with saying thank you and using the word ...

  13. How to Write a Cover Letter: Guides & Examples

    Cover letter paragraph 1: The introduction. The position you are interested in and why you are applying for it - a brief introductory passage that covers three things: Why you're writing the letter. What job role you are applying for. How you found out about the job. Something like:

  14. How To Craft A Compelling Cover Letter for your job search

    A well-structured cover letter, complete with tailored, impactful writing is the key to standing out in a crowded job market, and help you to land a job quicker than the average time of 3.8 months.

  15. How to write the perfect cover letter (With examples)

    1. Begin by introducing yourself. To start your cover letter, introduce yourself. This means including your full name, your specific interest in the position and the reasons you've chosen to apply. If you got a referral to the job from another party, ensure to mention this in the first paragraph. 2.

  16. 5+ Matching CV Cover Letter Template Examples

    1. Diamond. Diamond is the jewel in the crown of our CV cover letter template selection. The name comes from the diamond theme in the CV template, which is reflected in the bullet points, icons and health bars. Note how the templates complement each other perfectly, they're bound to create a good impression.

  17. Cover Letter Examples 2024 for All Job Applications

    Our examples demonstrate several different ways to open your cover letter and address the recruiter. Firstly, you should include the job title and reference (if provided) above the first line of your letter. If you have a name for the recruiter or hiring manager, you should use this to open the letter. 'Dear Sarah Green' or 'Dear Mrs ...

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

    Here's the optimal format for writing a cover letter. Step 1 is to start with your header. This should include your name, contact information and the employer's contact information. And pro tip here, whatever you do in terms of formatting and font styling, so font size, the font you select, et cetera, try and keep it consistent with what's on ...

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  21. Cover Letters

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  22. How To Email a CV to a Recruiter (With Examples and Tips)

    To email a CV, follow these steps: Find and enter the recipient's work email address. Mention the reason for sending your CV in the subject line. Greet the recipient by name in the email and inform them who you are and why you're sending them your CV. Close the email politely and give your full name.

  23. How to send a cover letter by email (With guide and example)

    From the drafted cover letter, copy and paste the content into the body of the email. Remove dates and contact information and check to see the pasted text has aligned correctly. 9. Include an email signature. Most email services have a function that allows you to automatically include a signature.

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    Do this in the first line or two of your student cover letter, and you can then mention why you're interested in the job and where you found the vacancy. You can also express your interest in working for the company itself. 4. Talk about why you're the best candidate.