15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application
Published: August 10, 2022
Are cover letters necessary? I'm not in HR, but I've been approached by applicants who wondered whether their cover letter would actually be read. My answer is one not many of them wanted to hear: "sometimes." Sometimes it will be read. Other times, you can get away with just sending in your resume — like when you network your way into applying for a position.
The truth is, you can't really predict on a case-by-case basis — and you're better safe than sorry. For the most part, having a cover letter will give you an upper hand in ways your resume doesn't. It allows you to show off your writing skills, provide details that you couldn't fit on your resume, demonstrate your passion, and show your willingness to put in as much time and effort as possible.
If you’ve ever rolled your eyes or balked at an application that required a cover letter, this guide is for you. We’ll go over how to write a cover letter and provide cover letter templates to help you perfect your own.
An application letter is a written document addressed to an employer by a job applicant, explaining why they're interested in and qualified for an open position. More commonly known as a cover letter, this document can come in the form of an email, MS Word document, or similar application template offered by the employer.
Seems fairly basic, right? Cover letters can hold different levels of importance to an employer depending on the industry you're in and the job you're applying for. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 49% of recruiters say sendign a cover letter along with your resume boosts your chance of landing the role.
If you do plan to write a cover letter, keep in mind there are certain qualities it should have that are not included in the definition above.
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 to Include in a Cover Letter
So, what should you include? We'll let the 11 templates below this list do most of the talking. No matter which one you download, pay attention to the following elements — all of which should shine through in the letter you send to your future manager.
Fill out this form to access your templates.
1. contact information.
Cover letters shouldn't just carry your contact information, but also that of the company to which you're applying. Contact info includes your phone number, email address, and any social media accounts you're willing to share and receive connections to.
Home addresses aren't required, but they can be a helpful reassurance to the employer that you already live nearby and would have no trouble coming into the office.
Avoid offering phone numbers, email addresses, or actual addresses that belong to your current employer. Using your personal Gmail address over your work email, for example, ensures your correspondence with recruiters remains separate from all of your current work communication.
2. A Personal Address Line
For as often as you see "to whom it may concern" at the top of cover letters today, do your best to avoid writing this exhausted line.
Address lines that specify a person or company grab your reader's attention much more quickly, and show the employer that you've taken the time to tailor your application letter to them. Don't have the name of the hiring manager? "Employers at [company name]" will do just fine.
A "hook" is a clever introduction that "hooks" your reader into wanting to learn more. Think about yourself as a job candidate — what makes you unique? What about your career might a recruiter be intrigued by that you can package into an interesting first sentence?
4. Why You're Qualified
It's a no-brainer that you should summarize your professional experience in your cover letter. However, today's best applications describe why this experience qualifies the applicant for the job they're applying for. For example, don't just state that you spent three years writing for a company blog. Explain that this type of work lends itself to managing your new potential employer's content calendar every week.
5. General Knowledge of the Business
Grammatical errors could mean your application is thrown in the trash, but that's not the only thing that could get your letter tossed aside. Using a generic "one-size-fits-all" cover letter — especially if you forget to change the name of the company — will also hurt your chances of landing an interview.
So, if you take the time to write a cover letter, take the time to comment on the business itself. Why are you applying to this company? What about their business stuck out to you as a professional?
Now, let's take a look at an example cover letter , what makes it effective, along with 11 templates you can download or draw inspiration from.
Cover Letter Example
The example above illustrates how to write a marketing cover letter using the elements we listed.
Besides the contact information and the address line, the first few paragraphs explain why the candidate is qualified for the position. This example uses specific data to show why they would be a good fit.
Additionally, in the second to last paragraph, the candidate discusses why they're interested in the specific company, demonstrating general knowledge of the business.
By combining all the elements to a cover letter, this is a great example to use for inspiration.
Featured Resource: 5 Professional Cover Letter Templates
14 Free Cover Letter Templates for Your Next Job Application
Template 1: basic.
The example above is a basic (but great) cover letter. The numbered sections are explained in more detail below.
The level of formality your header has will depend on the company to which you apply. If you're applying to a formal business, it's important to use a formal header to open your cover letter, like in the sample above. Put your address, the date, and the company's address. But if you're applying to a company that isn't as formal, you don't need to include yours and the company's addresses. You can still include the date, though.
Using "To Whom It May Concern" is okay, but you may want to take the time to research the name of the recruiter or hiring manager online. If you do your research and aren't confident you found the right name, then you should definitely use the generic greeting — but if you are sure, then it shows you put in the effort to find their name and it will catch the recruiter's eye.
If you have the recruiter's name, do you greet them by their full name, or by their courtesy title (i.e. Mr., Ms., or Mrs.)? Similar to the header, it depends on the company's level of formality. If you're applying to a corporate business, you may want to consider using "Mr. Snaper" instead of "Jon Snaper." If you're applying to a start-up or a business with a more casual culture, you can use "Jon Snaper," as shown in the example.
Your opening paragraph should, in 1-3 sentences, state why you're excited to apply and what makes you the perfect candidate. Get right to the point, and don't worry about explaining where you found the posting or who you know at the company. This isn't a place to go into detail about why you're a great candidate — that's for the second paragraph. Here, simply list a few key reasons in one sentence to set up the rest of your letter. Keep in mind that the recruiter may cross-reference your cover letter with your resume, so make sure the two sync up.
4. Paragraph 2: Why You're a Great Fit for the Job
Next, sell yourself and your experience by choosing one or two concrete examples that show why you're a great fit for the position. What did you do at a previous company that gave you relevant experience? Which projects have you worked on that would benefit the new company? How will your prior experience help this company grow? Stay humble in your explanation of credentials while still showing that you would be an asset to the team. Use this paragraph to show you're genuinely excited and interested in the position.
5. Third Paragraph: Why the Company Is a Great Fit for You
While it's certainly important you're a good fit for the job, it's also important that the company is a good fit for you. "A cover letter typically describes why you're great for a company — but how will you benefit from getting hired?" asks former HubSpot Team Development Manager Emily MacIntyre . "We want to know why our company appeals to you, and how it will be a mutually beneficial working relationship."
In the third paragraph, show you're serious about growing and developing your career at this new company. What impresses and excites you about the company? Is there something that you feel strongly about that aligns with the company's goals? For example, the candidate in the sample letter used this space to show his personal commitment to environmental causes aligns with the company's green initiatives.
6. Strong Closer and Signature
Don't get lazy in the final few sentences of your cover letter — it's important to finish strong. Be straightforward about your interest and enthusiasm about the new position, and tell them you're available to talk about the opportunity at any time. Be sure to include your phone number and email address. At this point, the ball is (rightly) in the recruiter's court to decide how to follow up.
Last but certainly not least, thank them for their time and consideration. Use a formal sign-off like "Best," "All the best," or "Sincerely," and finish by typing out your full name. You don't need to sign it with a pen.
Template 2: Data-Driven Marketing Cover Letter
Get it here..
When applying to a data-driven position, it might be tempting to inject your cover letter with, well, the data to describe what you've done for other employers. But in an application letter — particularly for the marketing industry — how you convey this data is just as important as the data itself.
The cover letter template above, which we created here at HubSpot, can help you present the data that's most important to you as a candidate such that it'll matter to your future employer.
Notice the three bullet points near the center of the letter above, preceded by the statement: "... I've developed a strategy that has helped the company achieve ..." This setup is important, because while you can add as many statistics as you want to this template, your data points should describe how your current/former business benefited from your work, rather than how you, yourself, benefited.
Template 3: Straight-to-the-Point Cover Letter
Harvard Business Review contributor David Silverman hailed the above cover letter example as "The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received." For context, Silverman believes there are only a handful of times when writing a cover letter is actually necessary:
- When you know the name of the hiring manager.
- When you know something about what the job requires.
- When you've been referred to the job personally.
Under those three circumstances, a straight-to-the-point cover letter like the one above could be your best bet. Because it's so concise, however, make a point to add your own letterhead above the message itself. It might be easy for a recruiter to sift through a short and sweet cover letter like the one above, but it's just as easy for it to get lost in the shuffle of their application list without a unique design or format.
Template 4: Referral Cover Letter
Just because a friend or colleague recommended you for a job doesn't mean the company is all set to hire you. Therefore, the cover letter template above is written specifically for referrals. We made this one here at HubSpot. Download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).
As you can see in the picture above, the first paragraph of the cover letter is dedicated entirely to acknowledging the circumstances of your applying: You know someone who works there — no harm in that. But there might be harm in not mentioning it to the hiring manager. Telling the reader about your connection at the company shows you're aware and confident of the actions you take to get the opportunities you're interested in.
Ultimately, it's better than the recruiter hearing about your employee connection from somebody else.
As for the rest of the cover letter, treat your message the same way you would if you had applied with no connection from within. Your skills and successes are no less important because of your internal referral.
Template 5: Photo Letterhead Cover Letter
The cover letter template above was designed by Microsoft Office, and as comprehensive as it looks, it's completely free to download and modify.
As it looks right now, this cover letter contains about half photo, half text. Feel free to shrink (and change) the image to give yourself more room to tell your story. Of course, a nice washed-out image that expresses who you are can be part of that story ...
Template 6: Digital Creative Cover Letter
This sixth template is perfect for the applicant who wants to emphasize the many different digital channels they areon. This template goes well with a resume of the same format.
As you personalize this letter with your own experience, make note of the social networks and industry software included in this template. You'll see there’s additional space along the top to add your LinkedIn and personal website to fill with your own information.
You can improve upon this template by formatting your most important highlights and accomplishments with bullet points. This will make the document easier to read for the hiring manager and emphasizes the value you provide.
Template 7: Marketing Manager Cover Letter
Our seventh cover letter comes from Monster.com. This cover letter, shown above, is focused specifically on a marketing role.
Notice how the writer includes references to important marketing metrics and terminology. If you're applying to a data-driven role, you might not want to fill the page with a story of your experience in paragraph form, like Template 1 does at the beginning of this article. Instead, consider highlighting three (or four, or five) of your successes that you believe the hiring manager would resonate most with, in bulleted form.
As a marketing professional, breaking up your letter with bulleted details like the ones above shows a respect for the hiring manager's limited time — a mentality that all marketers must understand when communicating with a brand's audience.
Template 8: Career Day Follow-Up Cover Letter
This is a unique kind of cover letter from Princeton University.
LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and Indeed might take the lion's share of your job searches online, but still some employment opportunities come out of a trade show, job fair, or similar networking event. For those occurrences, you have the follow-up cover letter template above.
This cover letter has everything you need to help an employer recall a conversation you had with him/her at a career fair. As you can see in the second paragraph, the letter is particularly useful to people who are about to graduate college.
Template 9: Logo and Watermarked Cover Letter
Here's another cover letter template from Microsoft Office. This one has a light touch of color in the design just above the letterhead, but make no mistake — the template caters to any professional looking to make a good first impression on their future employer.
Don't let the logo space on the top-right of the page confuse you. This can be the logo of the company to which you're applying — to quickly get the attention of the recruiter — or your own logo. Perhaps you freelance on the side or simply like branding yourself. This cover letter template is meant for customization.
Template 10: Data Scientist Cover Letter
This is our second template from Princeton University. While this is focused on a data scientist role, it is an excellent template to use for students applying to jobs prior to graduation.
The text emphasizes how the applicant’s academic research and projects makes them an ideal candidate for the position. The format is also simple enough to submit as a pdf, as text in an email message or an application text box.
Template 11: Business Cover Letter
The cover letter template above is perfect for entry- and mid-level marketers who want to show a little extra professionalism in their opening note to a potential employer.
The multi-colored header (you can change the color if you wish) shows just the right amount of creativity and can go quite well with a resume of the same style. If you don't have enough experience to fill the entire page, don't worry. Feel free to write to a length you think is representative of who you are and what the hiring manager wants to see.
No matter how long your final cover letter is, the above template is your opportunity to show your attention to detail — from your contact information in the top header, to the personalized address line where you can include the name of the hiring manager. Like we said, "to whom it may concern" is pretty outdated, anyway.
Template 12: Entry-Level Cover Letter
The cover letter template above, written by HubSpot, is specifically designed for entry-level applicants.
When you only have a few years experience, it's important to display how you gained your skills and what you learned from your education or internships. Additionally, it's important to mention why you want to work at the company you're applying to.
No matter your experience, the template above will help you decide what skills you want to highlight and flesh out in your cover letter.
You can download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).
Template 13: Healthcare Cover Letter
Additionally, phrases like "I'd love to put my skills to work for your clinic" and "Please contact me at your convenience and let me know how I can help you" focus on what the business will gain as a result of hiring the applicant, rather than what the applicant is looking to gain.
Template 14: Freelance Cover Letter
If you're looking for freelance work, your biggest goal is to get your strengths across quickly, so busy clients won't pass by your cover letter entirely. Additionally, if you're sending out multiple cover letters to different clients, you'll want to target each one to that client's unique goals.
For instance, if one client is looking for SEO-optimized content related to marketing, you'll want to highlight past experience writing marketing content; this will change if, for instance, the client is looking for fitness content.
For this reason, it's a good idea to structure your cover letter so you start with a) past credentials or references, and b) bullet-point information related to the client's goal, as shown in the cover letter above.
Template 15: Director Cover Letter
In the cover letter above, the candidate does a good job outlining how she succeeded in a leadership role previously: "For the past five years, I have successfully developed and maintained all data systems, including schedules and records for a business employing more than 100 people."
You'll want to demonstrate how your skills align with a Director position — both through organization and leadership — and, when possible, where you received recognition for your hard work (i.e. "I earned an award for Most Valuable Administrative Staff Member").
Write a Winning Cover Letter
Writing a cover letter is easier said than done. Don't hesitate to spend a lot of time writing and editing it. Tap into the incredible potential of AI tools, such as the HubSpot paragraph rewriter , to infuse each paragraph with a flawless touch of excellence. Or, ask a friend or family member to read it over and give you feedback. If the recruiter does end up reading it, you'll be thankful you did.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples
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:
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:
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?
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:
Here, you want to include all essential information, including:
- Phone Number
- Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
- Name of the company you’re applying to
In certain cases, you might also consider adding:
- Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
- Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.
And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:
- Your Full Address
- Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.
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:
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
Middle Management Cover Letter Example
Career Change Cover Letter Example
Management 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.
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
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Sample Cover Letter for a Job Application
What is an Application Letter?
What to include in your application letter, tips for writing a cover letter, cover letter sample and template, email cover letter sample.
- How to Send an Email Application
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Alex Dos Diaz / The Balance
What's the best way to write a letter to apply for a job? Your letter should detail your specific qualifications for the position and the skills you would bring to the employer. What’s most important is to show the employer that you’re a perfect match for the job.
Your job application letter is an opportunity to highlight your most relevant qualifications and experience. An effective cover letter will enhance your application, showcase your achievements, and increase your chances of landing an interview.
Review what to include in a job application letter, tips for writing a letter that will get your application notice, and examples of letters and email messages sent to apply for a job.
- An application letter accompanies a resume and may be uploaded to a job portal, sent via email, or even sent by postal mail, depending on the employer’s requirements.
- Application letters are an ideal way to show your interest in a job and highlight your most relevant skills.
- It’s important to match your letter to the job description and show the employer that you have the qualifications they are seeking.
A letter of application, also known as a cover letter , is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information about your skills and experience to an employer. Your letter of application is intended to provide detailed information on why you are an ideal candidate for the job.
Your application letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, what makes you a strong candidate, why they should select you for an interview, and how you will follow up.
Effective application letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify the most relevant skills that qualify you for the job.
Your application letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, explain your qualifications for the job, why you should be selected for an interview, and how you will follow up.
Unless an employer specifically requests a job application letter sent by postal mail, today most cover letters are sent by email or attached as a file in an online application tracking system.
As with all cover letters, a job application letter is divided into sections:
- The heading includes your name and contact information.
- A greeting addressed to a specific person, if possible.
- The introduction includes why the applicant is writing.
- The body discusses your relevant qualifications and what you have to offer the employer.
- The close thanks the reader and provides contact information and follow-up details.
- Your signature to end the letter .
Here’s how to ensure that your application supports your resume, highlights your most relevant qualifications, and impresses the hiring manager.
Get off to a direct start. In your first paragraph, explain why you are writing. Mention the job title and company name, and where you found the job listing. While you can also briefly mention why you are a strong candidate, this section should be short and to the point.
Offer something different than what's in your resume. You can make your language a bit more personal than in your resume bullet points, and you can tell a narrative about your work experience and career.
Application letters typically accompany resumes, so your letter should showcase information that your resume doesn't.
Make a good case. Your first goal with this letter is to progress to the next step: an interview. Your overarching goal, of course, is to get a job offer. Use your application letter to further both causes. Offer details about your experience and background that show why you are a good candidate. How have other jobs prepared you for the position? What would you bring to the position, and to the company? Use this space to emphasize your strengths .
Close with all the important details. Include a thank you at the end of your letter. You can also share your contact information and mention how you will follow up.
This is a sample cover letter. Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for an email sample.
John Donaldson 8 Sue Circle Smithtown, CA 08067 909-555-5555 firstname.lastname@example.org
September 6, 2022
George Gilhooley LTC Company 87 Delaware Road Hatfield, CA 08065
Dear Mr. Gilhooley,
I am writing to apply for the programmer position advertised in the Times Union. As requested, I enclose my certification, resume, and references.
The role is very appealing to me, and I believe that my strong technical experience and education make me a highly competitive candidate for this position. My key strengths that would support my success in this position include:
- I have successfully designed, developed, and supported live-use applications.
- I strive continually for excellence.
- I provide exceptional contributions to customer service for all customers.
With a BS degree in computer programming, I have a comprehensive understanding of the full lifecycle of software development projects. I also have experience in learning and applying new technologies as appropriate. Please see my resume for additional information on my experience.
I can be reached anytime via email at email@example.com or by phone at 909-555-5555.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this employment opportunity.
Signature (hard copy letter)
The following is a sample email cover letter to send as part of a job application.
Email Application Letter Example
Subject: Colleen Warren - Web Content Manager Position
Dear Hiring Manager,
I'm writing to express my interest in the Web Content Manager position listed on Monster.com. I have experience building large, consumer-focused, health-based content sites. While much of my experience has been in the business world, I understand the social value of this sector, and I am confident that my business experience will be an asset to your organization.
My responsibilities have included the development and management of website editorial voice and style, editorial calendars, and the daily content programming and production for various websites.
I have worked closely with health care professionals and medical editors to provide the best possible information to a consumer audience of patients. I have also helped physicians to use their medical content to write user-friendly and easily comprehensible text.
Experience has taught me how to build strong relationships with all departments in an organization. I have the ability to work within a team, as well as cross-team. I can work with web engineers to resolve technical issues and implement technical enhancements.
I am confident working with development departments to implement design and functional enhancements, monitor site statistics, and conduct search engine optimization.
Thank you for your consideration.
Colleen Warren firstname.lastname@example.org 555-123-1234 www.linked.com/colleenwarren
How to Send an Email Application Letter
If sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title you are applying for in the subject line of the email:
Colleen Warren - Web Content Manager Position
Include your contact information in your email signature but don't list the employer's contact information.
Do you have to write a cover letter when you apply for a job?
Some employers require cover letters. If they do, it will be mentioned in the job posting. Otherwise, it’s optional but it can help your chances of securing an interview. A cover letter gives you a chance to sell yourself to the employer, showcase your qualifications, and explain why you are a perfect candidate for the job.
How can you use a cover letter to show you’re a qualified candidate?
One of the easiest ways to show an employer how you’re qualified for a job is to make a list of the requirements listed in the job posting and match them to your resume. Mention your most relevant qualifications in your cover letter, so the hiring manager can see, at a glance, that you have the credentials they are looking for.
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5 AI tools that can help you land that perfect job
W hether you're looking to make a move or not currently working, the exhaustion of searching for a new job is real. But, with the help of AI tools , not every part of the process has to feel repetitive or be filled with uncertainty.
"There are a lot of specialized AI tools out there, specifically for job seekers, in terms of writing application materials, practicing for interviews, things like that," Keith Spencer, a career expert at online job site FlexJobs, told Mashable.
AI can help with a lot. Some products can determine which positions you're best suited for, while others can tailor your resume and cover letter based on a job posting. Not only does this streamline the entire process, it can also give you the best chance at landing an interview and making it through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) — a program many recruiters use to identify top applicants for a position before scheduling an interview.
Rohan Rajiv, LinkedIn's Director of Product Management overseeing its job seeker products, told Mashable that the company hears from job seekers that they have three main problems:
- When they take the time to apply for a job, they want to know that somebody noticed.
- They want to find the positions most relevant to them quickly.
- They want tactical and emotional support throughout the job-seeking process.
AI can make each of these steps a little easier. Although Spencer added a note of caution, "AI is not perfect. It's constantly being developed, updated, and trained on new information." He advises job seekers to use AI as an idea generator or stepping-off point to enhance their own work, not do all the work for them .
Play to your strengths, save some time, and give yourself the best chance at landing an interview — and prepping for one — by utilizing these five AI tools as part of your job search.
Out of the three options, ChatGPT is the most comprehensive. It can work as your career assistant, offering personalized support during the various stages of your job search.
Whether you're struggling to identify your unique skills or jobs you're suited for, tailor your resume for a specific role to make it through an ATS, or draft a captivating cover letter, ChatGPT can help — it's all about the prompts you use and the information you give it.
To start, I recommend paying $20 a month for a subscription to ChatGPT, at least while you're actively job-seeking, so you can access its GPT 4 model and plugins — although this is by no means necessary. While GPT 3.5 (the model available with the free version) can still answer your prompts, its answers will be less nuanced than those of GPT 4, which is better at complex problem-solving and understanding context.
GPT plugins (GPTs) are another matter, however. They can be extremely useful in enhancing ChatGPT's capabilities during the job search process, with plugins for everything from searching for jobs near you to preparing you for an interview based on the job description. You will need to be a ChatGPT subscriber to use plugins — and you can have multiple plugins installed , but only three can be enabled at once. Make sure you research any third-party plugins before you install them, as there is the potential for security issues .
Also note that unless you opt out of having your data used , ChatGPT's owner, OpenAI, can use anything you input and the responses the AI generates to train its models .
Now, let's get to how you can use ChatGPT to help with your job search.
Identifying your skills and finding ideal positions
To start, you'll need to give ChatGPT your resume — preferably a master one that includes all your positions and associated tasks.
"It's important to avoid sharing personal or sensitive information," said Spencer. "I recommend that you don't include your name and contact information or anything like that. You could even go a step further and make your job titles and the companies you work at a bit more generic or redacted. You don't have to give it any information you don't want to, just to ensure you're keeping yourself safe."
Once you've input your resume, you can ask ChatGPT questions to identify your key skills, your most transferable skills, and where you may lack some experience. It can also tell you which jobs you're best suited for based on the skills you already have — and if you have GPTs such as Ambition and Resume Copilot installed, the answers will likely be even more nuanced.
Here are some examples of prompts you can use:
Prompt 1: Based on my resume, what careers would I be most suited to?
Prompt 2: Please analyze my resume and point out if there are any red flags or potential detractors that an ATS could pick up on and why.
Prompt 3: What skills or other things could I work on personally and professionally to strengthen my resume and competitiveness?
Prompt 4: If I wanted to switch careers to [insert job field here], what are my transferable skills, and what skills would I need to gain to be a competitive applicant?
Tailoring your resume
Now that ChatGPT has your resume, it can recommend adjustments to ensure it aligns well with a specific role's requirements. Paste in the text from the job description to understand which keywords and phrases are probably important to the recruiter.
Here are some example prompts:
Prompt 1: Based on this job description, create a list of skills the recruiter is looking for. You can include tiers based on importance if necessary.
Prompt 2: Please highlight the keywords in this job posting and point out where my resume lists or does not list those skills.
Prompt 3: Please analyze my resume and suggest improvements to make the accomplishments stand out more prominently and give me the best chance at an interview.
Prompt 4: Are there any skills I'm not highlighting enough on my resume, and are there skills that are missing that I should include?
Drafting your cover letter
A well-crafted cover letter can make a big difference in catching a recruiter's eye. ChatGPT can generate a cover letter draft personalized to the job and your experience. This initial draft provides a great starting point, which you should refine to ensure accuracy and add a more personal touch.
If you're wondering whether you even need to include a cover letter, here's what Spencer said: "A lot of organizations say they don't read a cover letter, but even some of those organizations still like to see that you've submitted one. Others will read it, and it's really important to them.
"My viewpoint on it is, because it has the possibility of helping you achieve success, I always recommend submitting a tailored cover letter. It might be more time-consuming, but it's that quality-over-quantity approach. If I really care about a job and would really want to work there, I'm going to invest the time to write a solid cover letter."
Here are some prompts you can use to draft an initial version of your cover letter:
Prompt 1: Using my resume as a guide, please write a cover letter for the [insert job title] position at [insert company name].
Prompt 2: Could you create a cover letter that emphasizes my experience in [specific field or skill] for the job role of [insert job title]?
Prompt 3: Please draft a cover letter that aligns with the key requirements mentioned in this job description. [paste job description]
Prompt 4: Write a cover letter highlighting my transferable skills for a career switch to [insert job title].
Preparing for a job interview
Preparing for a job interview can be nerve-wracking, but ChatGPT and plugins like Job Interview can give you a feel for the questions you might be asked . You can also receive guidance on how to respond effectively.
Here are some prompts to help you prepare for an interview:
Prompt 1: What are common interview questions for a [insert job title] position, and how should I answer them?
Prompt 2: Can you provide a mock interview for the below role of [insert job title] with feedback on my responses? [paste job description]
Prompt 3: Based on the job description, what specific skills or experiences should I highlight during my interview for [insert job title]?
Prompt 4: How can I best answer questions about [specific skill or experience] in my upcoming interview for [insert job title]?
You probably already use LinkedIn , seeing as the employment-focused social media platform has over a billion members. But did you know it has been using AI for years to show you people you may know and the most relevant jobs based on your experience? As of the start of November, LinkedIn is taking its AI integration one step further, using its years of job seeker and employment data (it was founded in 2003) to inform its new generative AI and chatbot features .
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile
"The best way to utilize or harness AI is to have as much relevant data as possible," said Rajiv. "So that starts with having an updated profile, having the right skills stack to it, and making sure that the content on your profile reflects what you want recruiters to see."
Then, if you have LinkedIn Premium, you can utilize the platform's new AI tools to optimize your profile's Headline and About section .
Getting tailored insights and suggestions
If your profile is up-to-date, LinkedIn uses that information to give you "a more relevant and personalized experience," Rajiv said. "Generative AI has kind of changed the game on our ability to support a job seeker."
Before generative AI, job seekers looking for a more tailored experience usually had to spend money to go to career coaches, said Rajiv. Now, LinkedIn Premium can give you up-to-date insights about a company, tell you how you stack up against other applicants for a particular job posting, and show you where you can improve your profile to be more competitive.
Personalized connection and message recommendations
If you want to take your application to a job one step further and reach out to people who work in the company, LinkedIn Premium can recommend people you can contact and even help you craft cold messages or follow-ups to a hiring manager .
"We typically have a deeper understanding of people because of the fact that they have a profile, they've applied to jobs on our website, etc," Rajiv said. "And with this technology, now we're able to bring all of this together to support people in a way that was science fiction just 12 months ago."
Like ChatGPT, Google Bard can help you with your resume, cover letter, and interview prep. But, because it also has access to real-time information on the internet and Google's sophisticated AI algorithms, it can be more accurate for job discovery. Also, as a bonus, it's free.
"Google Bard can provide you some real-time, up-to-date information," Spencer said. "I usually recommend a job seeker use both ChatGPT and Google Bard kind of in tandem, and then you can compare the results that you get or sort of mix and match the results."
Job discovery and matching
Google Bard can analyze your skills and experience to suggest job opportunities that align with your resume. This is especially useful for finding roles you might not have considered but are well-suited for.
Customizing your resume and cover letter
Similar to ChatGPT, Google Bard can provide recommendations to tailor your resume and cover letter for specific job listings. It can also leverage Google's extensive data to offer up-to-date insights into the latest industry trends and employer preferences.
Preparing for an interview
Google Bard can help you prepare for interviews by providing industry-specific questions, insights into company culture, and tips on articulating your experience and skills effectively.
Market trends and insights
You can use Google Bard to stay informed about the latest trends in your industry, ensuring that you stay ahead in your job search. This includes updates on in-demand skills, emerging job roles, and tips on career development.
As you've probably gathered by now, a crucial part of the job-seeking process is tailoring your resume so you can land an interview. If ChatGPT and Google Bard aren't your thing, you can use JobScan 's AI to analyze your resume against specific job listings.
All you have to do is upload your resume and the job listing you're interested in. JobScan then compares the two and identifies where your skills align or aren't highlighted. It then sends you a report showing how well your resume matches the job listing and provides actionable insights on optimizing your resume to increase your chances of securing an interview.
Building a resume from scratch can be overwhelming, but ResumeGenius simplifies this process with its AI-driven approach. It uses guided steps and AI-driven recommendations to make the resume-building process straightforward and efficient — giving you tips on wording and skills that are most likely to appeal to employers. With its various templates and design options, ResumeGenius allows you to personalize your resume to your taste and the industry's standards.
How to Write a Cover Letter to a Previous Employer
- Cover Letters
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Can I Be Fired if My Employer Is Not Able to Verify Previous Employment?
How to write a retail sales position cover letter, how to write a letter to reconsider a rejected job offer.
- How to Write a Letter Checking the Status of a Job
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You could have a leg up on the competition for a job with a company you previously worked for, especially if you're applying for a job similar to one you previously had. When you construct a cover letter for a new job with the company, stress your familiarity with the company and its processes. In addition, attribute your professional success to the skills and knowledge you acquired during your previous employment. Use your knowledge of the company to create a letter that appeals to the recruiter and the hiring manager, and contact your professional network to let them know you're interested in being rehired.
Verify Previous Employment
Call the human resources department for the name of the senior recruiter, HR manager or the hiring manager for the job for which you're applying. Also, confirm that you have rehire eligibility. Verify your dates of employment. You don't necessarily need to include the precise dates in your cover letter; however, you may have to include exact dates for the company's online application process.
"Hello, I'm a former employer of ABC and I'm very interested in the job of production manager that you have advertised. I'd like to verify the dates I worked at the company for my application."
Contact Former Supervisor
Contact your former supervisor to explain that you're reapplying for a new job with the company. If you left the organization on good terms, ask for her support in your new application. She might suggest that you send her a copy of your cover letter and resume. If so, include your former supervisor's name at the bottom of your letter where you indicate the names of people to whom you're sending copies. The appropriate notation for copies is "cc:" followed by the person's name on the left margin below your signature. This is a helpful tactic for sending unsolicited cover letters -- where there is no advertised job opening -- as well as advertised vacancies.
cc: Ms. Jane Smith
Draft an introduction that expresses your interest in being rehired for the new position. Always start your cover letter with an introduction, regardless of whether you're writing to a former employer or a new company. The person who initially reads your letter may not have known you or may have a vague memory. Weave into your introduction your past experience with the company.
"I'm very interested in the production supervisor job posted on ABC Company's careers web page. I worked for ABC Company in the sales department from 2005 until 2012, when I resigned to accept a management position with another company. Information about my past performance is available through Ms. Jane Smith, who was my supervisor during my seven-year work history with ABC."
Describe Skills and Company Knowledge
Construct your second and third paragraphs as you would for any other position with another company. In your second paragraph, briefly describe your skills, qualifications and education, if applicable. Use keywords from the job posting to describe your skills in a manner that draws parallels between what the company is looking for and what you have to offer. Demonstrate your knowledge of the company and its philosophy in one or two sentences about your core competencies and professional traits.
"In the seven years I worked for ABC, I gained a number of competencies to which I attribute my professional success. I obtained certification in supply chain management and completed the company's leadership development program. I'm interested in returning to ABC because I know and appreciate the company's commitment to superior customer service and mutual respect for internal and external customers."
Ask for an Interview
Finalize your cover letter by restating your interest in returning to the company. Ask for a convenient time to stop by the office for a meeting to get reacquainted if you're sending an unsolicited cover letter. If you're applying for a job that's been advertised, express your interest in moving forward in the selection process and invite the reader to contact you for additional information or to schedule an interview.
"I'm very enthusiastic about the possibility of returning to ABC. My resume is enclosed. If you need additional information, or you would like to discuss in person the skills I have learned that would be very useful in the role of production supervisor, I'd be happy to meet with you. Please call me anytime at the number below my signature."
- Forbes: Getting Rehired by a Former Employer
- CBS Money Watch: Career Advice - How to Get Your Old Job Back
- Forbes: Five Ways to Stay in Touch With Your Old Boss
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.
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