How to Create a General Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)
Template for General Cover Letter
5 tips to create a master cover letter template, general cover letter examples: entry-level, creative, and career change, how to create a general cover letter: key insights.
You've decided that you're going to strike out in a new direction, hit up several job fairs, and find several new positions to apply for.
But you don't want to spend the time to create a new cover letter from scratch every time you apply.
This is where a general cover letter template can help you out.
Creating a general cover letter, also called a master cover letter, can allow you to minimize the time you take to write each cover letter for each individual job, while also allowing you to create a personalized cover letter which tells your story .
A master cover letter template is a multipurpose document which promotes all of your skills and work experience, while also pointing to major highlights from your resume.
In this article, we will touch on:
- What a template for a general cover letter looks like.
- How to create a general cover letter without it becoming generic.
- What to do if a cover letter isn't required.
- Examples of different cover letter templates tailored to the needs of entry level, career-change, and creative job positions.
Want to save time by creating a custom general cover letter? Enhancv has over 500+ Cover letter examples updated for 2022 . Check it out, and you'll be able to find tips to create your own master cover letter.
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[hiring manager's name]
[hiring manager's position within the company]
Dear [Hiring manager's name]
I recently found the listing for [job position title] and I was excited to apply for the position because [company name] is a major player in the field. As I examined more about your company through your website, I learned that my skills and abilities make me a valuable asset to your company. I also feel like my personality and work style would allow me to fit seamlessly into the culture at your workplace.
Let's talk a bit more about why I feel like I'm the perfect candidate. The application for this position that I found on [name of place, i.e. company website, job board] states that the ideal candidate would have proficiency in [mention a unique skill or specilization that you have], which is also an area of expertise that I have gained experience in. I currently work at [name of current company], where I have significantly contributed to the overall organization of the company by [Skill or Task]. In fact, during this [Period of Time], I've worked with a team who has raised our [Relevant Goal] by [%]. This was a major key performance indicator for my team and me, and we significantly contributed to the overall goals of the company.
Over my career, I have prided myself on my ability to problem solve and adapt to any situation, as well as lead groups of team members to complete their goals. Given my track record with [skill], I've helped establish a culture of success at [Current Company].
Thank you for taking the time to read this cover letter. I'm really looking forward to learning more about the [Position name] role. If you need any more information from me on my end, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
[Your Full Name]
If you want to create a master cover letter, one that you will use for multiple positions, then you should create a personalized document which can be easily altered to add new details which apply to the position.
The best cover letters are ones that showcase both the passion you have for the position, and the relevant skills that you bring to the table that make you the ideal candidate.
You can do this even when keeping 90% of the words the same.
Don’t believe me?
Here are some tips to keep in mind when crafting a master cover letter:
1. Minimize Work By Keeping Most of the Wording
The best thing about having a general cover letter is that you can keep almost 90% of the wording the same, and still create a personalized cover letter.
But how do you do this?
You can do this by creating spots within the document for personalization, like spaces where you can put in your hiring manager's name, the name of the company that you're applying for, as well as the position's name.
If you want to go one step further, skim over the company's vision and values, which you can easily find in a job description.
With an easy-to-follow, plug-and-play cover letter for multiple jobs, you can cut the work down from almost a half an hour to several minutes.
This way, you can crank out several cover letters for different job applications.
2. Show That You've Read the Job Description
Cover letters and resumes are completely different animals.
Your resume is something that is entirely yours: your work experience , your unique skills , and your education.
But your cover letter is for someone else to read.
Essentially, a resume is a one-way street, but a cover letter is an intersection of ideas and personalities.
Show the hiring manager you care within the first paragraph by learning a bit about the company, either through:
- Their website
- Their executive's social media posts
- Promotional material
- Through people that you know who work for them
According to the Harvard Business Review , it's important to do your research before applying for a position. You can glean information about the culture and values of the company, just by looking through the company's website.
More often than not, you can find a lot of information about the company in the job application. You may be able to find the mission statement of the company.
And please, whatever you do, try to find the name of the hiring manager. Try to avoid using the generic, "Dear hiring manager," salutation at the start of your cover letter.
3. Quantify Your Accomplishments
When creating a general cover letter, try to include accomplishments that you can quantify. This isn't always easy to do.
But if you look at your experience with the last company you worked for, what were the exceptional milestones throughout your time.
Did you help contribute to a major financial goal at your company?
For example, if you were on the sales team when you reached a profit increase of 7% for the first quarter of 2020, share about that. You played a role in that achievement, so mention your part.
You can also tie back into a specific skill that helped you lead to a key performance indicator.
Maybe you played an important role with updating the communications of your team by introducing them to a messaging program to help collaboration in the workplace.
You can point out the number of people who adopted using the platform, and show how productivity increased as a result of it.
4. It's Not Always about You
A cover letter is a place to brag about yourself, specifically about the skills and achievements that have led to your success.
However, mentioning your role within a team can show a hiring manager you are a team player, one that loves to collaborate and be involved in projects.
You can also mention your current manager, and the role that they have played in your life.
5.What To Do If A Cover Letter Is Optional
For some jobs that you apply to, cover letters will be optional.
One bit of advice: sending a generic, basic cover letter can hurt your chances of getting the job.
Instead, either send a more personalized cover letter, like a master cover letter, which is personalized to the business that you're applying for, or don't send one at all.
Entry-Level Cover Letter Sample
Dear Hiring Manager,
I am applying for the position of Drug Research Specialist (Entry Level) that I came across at PANDA Corp. I believe that my academic experience matches your requirements.
During my studies, I have gained experience in the field of medicine and pharmaceuticals. Moreover, during my master’s program, I’ve completed my diploma in Pharmaceutical Research, which helped me in better understanding the processes and best practices in drug development.
Additionally, under the ImunoHelp program, I have undergone various professional and self-development training. Each training permanently added to my skill set.
Having spent the last seven years of my life outside the United States, my home country has made me multicultural. My vibrant experience traveling and studying at different institutions, in UAE, USA, Portugal, and France have undoubtedly contributed to my open-mindedness, creativity, and adaptability, as well as working in a diverse and multilingual team.
I’m excited to have the opportunity to discuss how my skills can help your company grow. I’m available for an interview at your convenience.
If you choose to build your general cover letter off of the one listed above, your hiring manager will take one look at it, and hope that another organization hasn't snatched you up yet.
Work experience isn't the only thing that a hiring manager is looking for. Even if you have minimal work experience, you can always highlight your area of studies and why it was effective in gaining skills.
Creative Cover Letter Sample
Dear Mr. John,
Having recently completed my Master of Arts degree in Gender, Feminist, and Women's Studies, I am a passionate advocate for advancing the scholarship, publicity, and works of marginalized communities and underrepresented women of color.
I was excited to see the Publicity and Digital Marketing position at ACME Inc. because it fits well with my PR and communications experience and skills in gender advocacy, social issues, and political science.
With 4 years of experience in social media management and public relations for SaaS companies, here is what I can offer specifically to ACME Inc.:
Using social media, I can bolster the reach and visibility of promotional events and digital media coverage. As the previous communications lead of a gender advocacy center, I can engage young adult demographics by bringing products and events to life using strategic marketing plans and innovative channels.
I can analyze and harness social media analytics to reach demographics most likely to resonate with the ideal ACME customer.
Lastly, my academic experience in political and social sciences has given me a strong attention to detail, research skills, and precise communication skills.
I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how I am the best person for the Publicity and Digital Marketing position at ACME Inc.
When you check out the example above, you see someone who is excited about the position, and has learned a little about the company to which they're applying.
Give concrete, authentic examples of why you want to be a part of their team because these examples help bolster your credibility.
If you are a social media expert, and you really enjoy the advocacy programs at a company, you can use it as an example of how you are passionate about driving views to the site.
Career Change Cover Letter Sample
My name is Nicholas and for the past 5 years, I’ve been the general manager for Coffi&Biscuits where I managed to increase the YoY revenue of the shop 10x in the past three years.
I was excited to see the Business Development Manager position for Bootstrap IO, as it is a career change that I’m looking forward to making.
Managing a team of 15 taught me a lot about budgeting, planning, and organizing the workload. I can help you with expanding your team in the next quarter and reach your goal of launching your new product across the United States.
I’d love to jump on a Zoom meeting with you to further discuss joining the team. I’m available at your disposal.
When writing a cover letter, like the example above, always explain to the hiring manager how hiring you will help their company.
If you can show a hiring manager through practical examples that you're willing to jump on board the team, and lead them toward success, then you're going to get an interview.
- A properly crafted simple cover letter can save you time, while also sharing your story.
- Try to keep most of the words you use for each cover letter by creating spaces for personalization
- Show that you've read the job description and know a little bit about the company in the first paragraph of your cover letter.
- Quantify your accomplishments
- Share credit when credit is due.If you're interested in crafting a customizable, easy-to-use general cover letter, then Enhancv's Cover Letter Builder is the tool that you need. When using the CL Building you can receive feedback on your cover letter and craft custom cover letters for each position that you're applying to.
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General Cover Letter Sample & Writing Tips
- What to Include in the Letter
How to Address a Cover Letter
General cover letter sample, before you send your letter, sending an email cover letter, review more examples.
When you apply for a job, you may be required to submit a cover letter with your resume. Even if it isn't required, it's typically a good idea to write one when you're applying for jobs . A well-written cover letter helps you stand out in a sea of candidates, making it more likely you'll be selected for an interview.
Your cover letter should highlight the points on your resume that make you a superior candidate for the position you are seeking. It should not simply recap your resume, but rather point out details and expand on specific key assets that are essential for success in the job.
What Information to Include in the Letter
Think of your cover letter not just as an introduction or a statement of intent to apply for a job , but as a golden opportunity to market yourself , your skills, your qualifications, and your training to an employer.
As a powerful marketing document, its primary purpose is to persuade a hiring manager to give a closer review to your resume than the typical quick scan.
You're in charge here, so highlight the accomplishments and experience that will make you a compelling candidate. Be choosy!
The Body of the Letter
Start off the body of your letter with pertinent information about how you were referred to the opportunity and your interest in the position.
The bulk of the letter, however, should focus on your qualifications for the job, relevant training, and why you would make an excellent candidate. You can cover this ground in a few paragraphs or take advantage of bullet points.
Ideally, your letter will be easy to read—use action-oriented language, and avoid very long paragraphs, which can be taxing on the eye. Remember, you don't want to duplicate your resume here. Instead, you want to connect the dots for the hiring manager between the posted job and your experience.
And, aim to "show, not tell"—that is, instead of saying, "I'm very detail-oriented," you could say, "At Company X, I ran the marketing newsletter, sent to 50,000 customers, from start to finish, ensuring that it went out in a timely manner, included all the relevant promotions from 15 departments, and was free from any errors."
In closing, you can include your plans for following up with the hiring manager: “I will call next week to follow up on the status of my application.” You should also thank them politely for their time. Use a business-like closing , such as “Sincerely,” “Best Regards,” or “Yours Truly,” followed by your name and signature (on a hard copy).
If you're emailing the cover letter, you can include an email signature.
Keep length in mind . Your cover letter should not be more than a page in length, and a half-page is likely preferable.
Sometimes a job posting lists the name of the hiring manager, and in that case, you should address your letter to him or her. In cases where a name isn’t listed, you should make an effort to find out the right person to whom to address your letter.
It’s always better to address your application materials to the appropriate hiring manager.
If you can’t find his or her name by reviewing the company's corporate website or calling their front office, you may use the address of the company and an alternative salutation, such as “Dear Hiring Manager." Here are tips for how to address a cover letter , along with helpful examples.
You can use this sample as a model to write a cover letter. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below. Use this sample as inspiration—do not copy it directly.
General Cover Letter (Text Version)
Adam Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555 firstname.lastname@example.org
July 14, 2020
Beauford Lee Head of Academic Affairs Business City College 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Lee:
I am writing in reply to the classified ad you posted seeking to fill the position of Graduate Student Advisor for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree program at ABC College.
Having earned my Master of Arts degree in Academic Advising from XYZ University, I understand the importance for informed academic counseling and program planning in a higher education environment.
I have also experienced first-hand the comforting effect of being able to contact an advisor who genuinely cares for the professional growth and success of students.
During my career as an electrician prior to my graduate studies, I was elected Chairman of the Executive Board where I sat as the union’s representative to the apprenticeship advisory board. In this capacity, I was able to be an effective advisor to apprentices who were experiencing scholastic problems that threatened their future in the industry. I particularly enjoyed working with older apprentices who were seeking a career change and had problems adjusting to the obligations of work, school, and family life.
I believe that both my educational background in Academic Advising and my work-related duties of counseling and advising students enrolled in learning programs qualify me for consideration for the position of Graduate Student Advisor. I look forward to discussing how my skills can be of value to ABC College as it prepares to move into the new millennium. Thank you for your time, consideration, and forthcoming response.
Adam Applicant (hard copy letter)
Always carefully proofread your letter. The last thing you want to do is make a typo in the name of the company! Also confirm that you have the email or snail mail address correct.
It can be helpful to also take one last look at the job posting. Review the job requirements , and then confirm that your letter shows that you fit the bill. For a second opinion, you can reach out to a friend and ask for feedback on the letter.
When you're sending your cover letter by email you don't need to include the employer contact information or your contact information at the top of the letter. Instead, list your contact information in your email signature under your name.
Looking for more examples of how to write a cover letter? Review more cover letter samples for a variety of career fields and employment levels, including an internship cover letter sample, as well as entry-level, targeted, and email cover letters.
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The 23 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right
Published: September 21, 2023
Fun isn’t something typically associated with writing a cover letter. But the cover letter examples below show that it’s possible to have a little fun with your job search — and maybe even make yourself a better candidate in the process.
45% of job seekers don't include a cover letter when applying for a job. But this is a mistake, because your cover letter is a chance to tell the stories your resume only outlines. It's an opportunity for you to highlight your creativity at the earliest stage of the recruitment process.
Are you ready to showcase your unique skills and experience? Or are you looking for more tips and cover letter inspiration?
Keep reading for 20+ cover letter examples, then check out tips for cover letter formatting and what makes a cover letter great .
5 Free Cover Letter Templates
Five fill-in-the-blank cover letter templates to help you impress recruiters.
- Standard Cover Letter Template
- Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
- Data-Driven Cover Letter Template
You're all set!
Click this link to access this resource at any time.
Cover Letter Examples
- Standard Cover Letter Example
- Data-Driven Cover Letter Sample
- Entry-Level Cover Letter Example
- The Cover Letter That Explains 'Why,' Not Just 'How'
- The 'We're Meant for Each Other' Cover Letter
- The Cover Letter with H.E.A.R.T.
- Short-and-Sweet Cover Letter Example
- The Short Story
- The Bare Bones Cover Letter
- The Breezy Follow-Up
- The Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
- The Internship Cover Letter
- The Brutally Honest Cover Letter
- The Pivot Cover Letter
- The Graphic Design Cover Letter
- Consulting Internship Cover Letter Example
- Nonprofit Referral Cover Letter Example
- General Email Inquiry Cover Letter Example
- Post-Phone-Call Cover Letter Example
- Mission-Driven Graduate Cover Letter Example
- Short Recommendation Cover Letter Example
- Professor or Research Position Cover Letter Example
- Director Cover Letter Example
- Editorial Cover Letter Example
- Promotion Cover Letter Example
- Law Cover Letter Example
Customizable Cover Letter Examples
In a hurry for a cover letter example you can download and customize? Check out the ones below from HubSpot’s cover letter template kit .
1. Standard Cover Letter Example
Download a Customizable Copy of This Cover Letter Example
This standard cover letter hits all the right notes: It includes a space to give a brief summary of your experience, as well as a space to delve in-depth into the specific responsibilities of your current role. You also have the chance to describe the challenges you’ve mastered in previous roles, showing that you’re capable of facing any problem that comes your way.
Why We Love It
We love this cover letter because it allows you to describe the high points of your career while still being professional, personalized, and succinct.
2. Data-Driven Cover Letter Sample
Numbers are worth a million words — or that’s how the saying should probably go (if only we could include pictures in cover letters). Citing data and statistics about your achievements at your current company is an assured way to capture a hiring manager’s attention. Most hiring managers don’t read the entire letter, so a bulleted summary of your achievements can be a powerful way to increase the effectiveness and scannability of your message.
We love this cover letter because it’s adaptable to any role. Even if you don’t work in a data-centric role, you can include any enumerable achievement. If you’re in a creative industry, for instance, you can include the number of creative assets you designed for your current company.
3. Entry-Level Cover Letter Example
Applying to your first job can be stress-inducing, to say the least. You can increase your chances of getting that first interview by including a cover letter that explains how your education can help you succeed in the role you applied for.
Look no further than this example from HubSpot. While other cover letter samples give experienced professionals the opportunity to share their experience at length, this one gives you the chance to describe your personal and professional attributes. You can then convey how you can use your knowledge to help your target company reach its goals.
We love this cover letter because it’s easy and simple to use for a student who has little experience in their target industry — including those who haven’t yet completed an internship.
Looking for more? Download the entire kit below.
5 Professional Cover Letter Templates
Fill out the form to access your templates., best cover letter examples.
What does a good cover letter look like in practice, and how can you make yours stand out? We found six examples from job seekers who decided to do things a bit differently.
Note: Some of these cover letters include real company names and NSFW language that we've covered up.
1. The Cover Letter That Explains 'Why,' Not Just 'How'
You may already know how to talk about how you’ll best execute a certain role in your cover letter. But there’s another question you might want to answer: Why the heck do you want to work here?
The Muse , a career guidance site, says that it’s often best to lead with the why — especially if it makes a good story. We advise against blathering on and on, but a brief tale that illuminates your desire to work for that particular employer can really make you stand out.
Here’s another instance of the power of personalization. The author of this cover letter clearly has a passion for this prospective employer — the Chicago Cubs — and if she’s lying about it, well, that probably would eventually be revealed in an interview.
Make sure your story is nonfiction and relatable according to each job. While we love a good tale of childhood baseball games, an introduction like this one probably wouldn’t be fitting in a cover letter for, say, a software company. But a story of how the hours you spent playing with DOS games as a kid led to your passion for coding? Sure, we’d find that fitting.
If you’re really passionate about a particular job opening, think about where that deep interest is rooted. Then, tell your hiring manager about it in a few sentences.
Why This Is A Great Cover Letter
This example shows how effective personalization can be. The writer is passionate about the employer, drawing from her own childhood experience to communicate her enthusiasm.
Further reading: Sales Cover Letter Tips
2. The 'We're Meant for Each Other' Cover Letter
This cover letter example is a special one because it was submitted to us here at HubSpot. What does the letter do well? It makes a connection with us before we've even met the letter's author.
"Content Marketing Certified" shows the applicant has taken the content marketing certification course in our HubSpot Academy (you can take the same course here ). Our "records" indicate he/she did indeed give an interview with us before — and was a HubSpot customer.
The cover letter sang references to a relationship we didn't even know we had with the candidate.
The letter ends with a charming pitch for why, despite him/her not getting hired previously, our interests complement each other this time around.
(Yes, the applicant was hired).
This cover letter example does an excellent job of building rapport with the employer. Despite not getting hired for previous roles they applied for at HubSpot, the writer conveys exactly why they are right for this role.
Read more: Customer Service Cover Letter Tips
3. The Cover Letter with H.E.A.R.T.
HubSpot has a lot of H.E.A.R.T. — Humble, Empathetic, Adaptable, Remarkable, Transparent. Our Culture Code is the foundation of the company's culture, the driving force behind our mission to help millions grow better , and serves as the scaffolding for our hiring practices. Recruiters at HubSpot look for applicants that demonstrate how they embody the Culture Code and job description, paying extra attention to cover letters that are super custom to HubSpot.
In another HubSpot submission, a HubSpot applicant writes about how she found out about HubSpot, why she likes the company, and how her professional experience aligns with H.E.A.R.T.
HubSpot's recruiting team was impressed with her dedication to the company and how she went beyond what was asked for by linking her portfolio in her closing paragraph.
Featured Resource: 5 Free Cover Letter Templates
Download our collection of 5 professional cover letter templates to help you summarize your professional journey and land your dream job – whether it's at your first or fifth company.
Short Cover Letter Examples
4. the short-and-sweet cover letter.
In 2009, David Silverman penned an article for Harvard Business Review titled, " The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received. " That letter has three complete sentences, as follows:
One might argue that this particular letter is less than outstanding. It’s brief, to say the least, and the author doesn’t go into a ton of detail about what makes him or her qualified for the job in question. But that’s what Silverman likes about it — the fact that the applicant only included the pieces of information that would matter the most to the recipient.
"The writer of this letter took the time to think through what would be relevant to me," writes Silverman. "Instead of scattering lots of facts in hopes that one was relevant, the candidate offered up an opinion as to which experiences I should focus on."
When you apply for a job, start by determining two things:
- Who might oversee the role — that’s often included in the description, under "reports to." Address your letter to that individual.
- Figure out what problems this role is meant to solve for that person. Then, concisely phrase in your cover letter how and why your experience can and will resolve those problems.
The key to this standout cover letter is research — by looking into who you’ll be reporting to and learning more about that person’s leadership style, you’ll be better prepared to tailor your cover letter to focus on how you can create solutions for them.
Read here for more tips on how to land your dream job .
5. The Short Story
Basha Coleman began her cover letter with a short story. The goal of this short story is two-fold:
- Detail the experience she already has with the organization.
- Stand out to the hiring team.
You'll notice that her short story follows a typical narrative arc: It has a conflict/obstacle, a turning point, and a positive outcome, all created with a goal to emphasize a theme or point. In this case, Coleman is emphasizing her existing affinity with the brand and her triumphs within the program so that she can continue on her career path.
Like the second example in our list, this cover letter does an excellent job of conveying the applicant’s existing affinity for the brand. If you are applying to a company you love, don’t be shy about showing it and explaining why.
6. The Bare Bones Cover Letter
In today's job market, cover letters aren't always necessary. Even though many recruiters won't ask for or even read them, cover letters can still be effective and convey personality to a reader. Writing a strong cover letter can help you better convey your interest in the position and company.
This template from The Balance Careers puts together the essential components of a short cover letter: excitement about the position, your qualifications, and a call-to-action for the recruiter to follow up with you. Combining these central aspects in a well-written, compelling narrative will go a long way in convincing readers to hire you.
This letter is organized and concise. The inclusion of bullet points to highlight key skills and help the recruiter skim the document is a nice touch.
Check out this post for more useful cover letter tips .
7. The Breezy Follow-Up
In this cover letter, Amanda Edens is following the instructions the hiring manager gave by forwarding an email with resume and writing samples attached.
Not only does Amanda include links to relevant writing samples that are live on the web, but she also closes with a strong final paragraph that:
- Summarizes the expertise she has relevant to the posting
- Emphasizes that she doesn't want to simply get a job but rather help the organization accomplish their goals
- The reader gets everything they need in an organized and thoughtful manner.
8. The Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
In this cover letter the candidate, Michelle, plays up her prior music industry experience to build a connection with Epic Music Group. If you have specific industry experience for the role you are applying for, be sure to highlight that.
It’s clear that she’s passionate about not only the music industry, but Epic as a whole. She’s done so much research on the company that she knows what software programs they use, and happens to be proficient in it to help convey value to the hiring manager.
This example further illustrates the importance of research. Make sure you understand the culture of the company to which you’re applying before you send a completely unfiltered cover letter — if you don’t, there’s a good chance it’ll completely miss the mark.
In just three short paragraphs, the applicant uses their company research to drive home why they are the perfect fit for the role — emphasizing industry experience as well as software knowledge specific to the company. All of this communicates that she’d be able to start with very few hiccups while getting up to speed.
Further reading: 15 Cover Letter Templates
9. The Internship Cover Letter
Maybe you’re just getting started in your career and looking to land the right internship to gain experience in your field. In this case, you’ll need to highlight more of your educational background and transferable skills since you won’t have as much professional experience to highlight.
The cover letter above is a great example of how to emphasize your skills and accomplishments when applying to internships or entry-level positions. A few things the applicant does well:
- Highlights relevant extracurriculars and affinity networks. In this case, the applicant is applying for a business analyst position, so mentioning their involvement in a FinTech group makes sense.
- Previous internships in relevant fields: Our applicant points out that they’ve interned as a Business Analyst at another firm. Pointing out that they’ve done the role before will help make their case for fit.
- Highlight other useful skills: This applicant is fluent in both English and German. If an international company or an organization needs bilingual support, knowing multiple languages is an asset.
This cover letter example illustrates how you can leverage your education and background to get the gig even when you don’t have much working experience. Highlighting previous internships or experience in related fields can go a long way in convincing hiring managers you’re the perfect candidate for the role.
Further reading for recent graduates:
- How to Find a Job After College
- Writing a Cover Letter for an Internship
Creative Cover Letter Examples
10. the brutally honest cover letter.
Then, there are the occasions when your future boss might appreciate honesty — in its purest form. Livestream CEO Jesse Hertzberg, by his own admission, is one of those people, which might be why he called this example " the best cover letter " (which he received while he was with Squarespace):
As Hertzberg says in the blog post elaborating on this excerpt — it’s not appropriate for every job or company. But if you happen to be sure that the corporate culture of this prospective employer gets a kick out of a complete lack of filter, then there’s a chance that the hiring manager might appreciate your candor.
"Remember that I'm reading these all day long," Hertzberg writes. "You need to quickly convince me I should keep reading. You need to stand out."
The applicant did their research on the company’s culture and executed this cover letter flawlessly. It’s funny and shows off the applicant’s personality all while making it clear why they are a good fit for the role.
- How to Stand Out and Get Hired at Your Dream Company
- How to Find Your Dream Job
11. The Pivot Cover Letter
Making a career switch? Your cover letter can be an excellent opportunity for you to explain the reasoning behind your career change and how your transferable skills qualify you for the role.
Since the role she is applying for is more visual, it’s important to both show and tell why you’re a good fit.
This cover letter strikes the perfect balance between creativity and simplicity in design while putting the applicant's career change into context. The copy is clean, with a creative font choice that isn’t distracting from the content, but still demonstrates the applicant’s knack for design.
12. The Graphic Design Cover Letter
When applying for more creative roles, the design of your cover letter can say just as much as the words on the page. Take the graphic designer letter example below.
It’s got so much going for it:
- Pop of color
- Clean layout
- Interesting fonts
Besides the style elements, this example also doesn’t skimp on the key skills recruiters are looking for. Using metrics, the applicant proves their value and why they would be a great fit.
This cover letter thoroughly conveys the applicant’s skills and qualifications using a variety of visual elements and emphasizing their greatest achievements.
Pro tip: If you're applying for a graphic design job, share a link to your graphic design portfolio website , even if it's not an application requirement.
Job Cover Letter Examples
Next up, let’s go over some classic cover letter examples for jobs, especially if you’re applying to internships or only have a few years of experience. The below cover letters follow the golden rules and don’t deviate too much from the standard — which is ideal if you’re applying to positions in more traditional industries.
13. Consulting Internship Cover Letter Example
Many internship applicants are early on in their careers or are still in college. That means they’ve yet to gather enough experience to offer tangible proof of their ability to do the job. That means that a cover letter is the place where an internship applicant can shine.
This cover letter example highlights the applicant’s skills in a bullet-point format. That makes it easier for an overburdened hiring manager to get the essence of her points, quickly, if they’re only skimming cover letters. Not only that, but this applicant personalized the letter in every single sentence. She shares information about her prior conversations with some of the company’s employees and mentions the company’s name at every turn.
While she only has one prior consulting job, she deftly mentions the skills she developed in that role and ties them into her desired position at Quantcast Product Group.
This cover letter example does a fantastic job advertising the applicant’s soft skills in a highly scannable format — while still going heavy on the personalization. Don’t be shy to lightly play with formatting to get your point across and to imbue the letter with your passion for a company.
14. Nonprofit Referral Cover Letter Example
This cover letter example for a nonprofit job hits the ground running by right away inserting the name of one of the nonprofit’s Superintendents. That’s an excellent way to get a recruiter’s attention and make you stand out from the slush pile, even if you’re only just out of school, as is the case for this applicant.
If you’ve received an internal recommendation for a position, you’d be wise to open your letter with that information. Don’t worry about it feeling too stilted or strange — remember, hiring managers only skim letters. Your goal is to make sure they get information about you that they otherwise won’t get from your resume.
With only three full paragraphs, this cover letter example is short, sweet, and to the point. No time is wasted, and it also goes over the critical basics, such as skills and experience.
This nonprofit cover letter includes a recommendation from an internal employee at the target organization, making it more likely to stand out from the slush pile. We also love that it doesn’t skimp on the basics, such as skills, enthusiasm, and experience.
15. General Email Inquiry Cover Letter Example
Even if a job opportunity isn’t available at an organization yet, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be. You can always send a general inquiry cover letter, like the one in this example.
This email cover letter for a political campaign internship is short and sweet, but includes the critical information the campaign coordinator needs to consider the applicant for any new positions that may open up.
The best part about this cover letter is that it can be easily customized from one political campaign employer to the next. While it does include a level of personalization, it’s brief and can be easily changed to address the specific political candidate.
When sending general inquiries like this one, it’s essential to make the personalization aspect as pain-free as possible for yourself. That may mean including only one sentence or two, knowing that a general inquiry might not be replied to.
This email cover letter example hits all the right notes while keeping it brief and to-the-point. While we don’t recommend choosing this format for a formal cover letter, it works if you’re sending a general inquiry to an employer over email. It’s also a good example to follow if you’re still in college or have very little experience.
Read more: How to Write a Letter of Interest
16. Post-Phone-Call Cover Letter Example
If you get a phone call from a potential employer and they invite you to send your resume, pat yourself on the back — that is such a win. In your cover letter, be sure to mention that right away, like this example does.
A hiring manager or an executive at a company likely has a lot of tasks on their plate, which means that they may forget about your call from one week to the next. That is totally okay, which is why this example starts with a reminder that the applicant and the letter recipient spoke back on January 31st. It also has a few more details about why they started speaking in the first place.
Aside from leveraging the phone call that’s already occurred, this cover letter also does an excellent job explaining why the applicant is an ideal choice for the job. It goes into detail about skills and previous experience with a high level of enthusiasm, and includes a promise to follow up at the end.
This cover letter example includes two things that will immediately draw the recipient’s attention: A phone call they’ve already had, and a mutual contact at their organization. The job and internship search can be grueling; never be afraid to use everything you have at your disposal to improve your standing over other applicants.
Read more: How to Start a Cover Letter
17. Mission-Driven Graduate Cover Letter Example
This cover letter example from a recent B.A. graduate wowed us from the first sentence. The applicant right away explains her attained degree and her specific career interests, then dives into the aspects of her experience that make her such a great candidate.
It's so personalized to the employer’s own mission that it’s difficult to stop reading it. Even if the hiring manager isn’t a science or health professional, they would be able to effectively gauge the applicant’s suitability for the role by the expertise she shows in her cover letter alone. The applicant explains at length why she’s excited to work for that specific hospital. The organization serves Aboriginal populations, which aligns with her own values and research interests.
In the last paragraph, she summarizes what she knows about the employer in one sentence, then describes how each of her experiences supports the employer’s mission. That is an exceedingly clever and meaningful way to align yourself with an organization at a deeper level.
If you’re applying to a mission-driven organization, don’t be shy about showing your excitement and expertise. You don’t need a lot of experience to show that your values align with those of your target organization. This cover letter example is especially good inspiration if you’re making a career change, have only just a few internships under your belt, or are graduating from college.
18. Short Recommendation Cover Letter Example
Referral or recommendation cover letters don’t need to be too long, and this is a great example of that. It immediately leverages a mutual connection at the company. The mutual connection recommended that the applicant contact the hiring manager for a role, which is a piece of information we always recommend you frontload in your letter.
This specific cover letter comes from an applicant with little experience, making it a good example to follow if you’re switching careers or just out of college. Instead of talking about their experience, the applicant uses anecdotal evidence to convey their enthusiasm for working at that company.
The writer also goes over their most salient skills, such as being able to speak multiple languages. They also explain how their degree directly applies to the target role. We love that the candidate highlights their leadership abilities and makes that an effective selling point for being hired.
This cover letter doesn’t go on for too long, which we love. It’s simple and sweet and provides all the information the hiring manager needs to look more closely at the applicant’s resume and make an interviewing decision.
19. Professor or Research Position Cover Letter Example
Academic or research position cover letters might require a little more information than the typical cover letter — and this is one such example. Why is it okay to go a little longer? Because the letter is not only a way to supplement the PhD candidate’s academic CV, but to provide a writing sample for the search committee.
We love this cover letter because it expresses the candidate’s enthusiasm for teaching and explains her instructional ethos, such as providing out-of-the-classroom opportunities, championing communication, and encouraging students to step out of their comfort zone. The applicant also suggests courses she may be able to teach at the target institution, and expresses her interest in developing new courses as needed.
She also suggests how she can enhance the college’s extracurricular programming by offering study abroad courses, which shows not just an interest in teaching but adding to the school’s overall culture.
While this letter goes for a little longer than recommended, it serves as a fantastic writing sample and explains the applicant’s research background at length. If you’re applying to academic or research roles, don’t be afraid to go into detail about what most excites you in terms of research interests.
20. Director Cover Letter Example
This cover letter example — for a Director of Catering position at a university — doesn’t waste any time. The applicant right away says that they’re a strong candidate for the role, then jumps right into three salient qualifications that make him a great fit.
We love how the applicant uses bullet points and bold text to guide an overburdened hiring manager through the cover letter — and to give them permission to scan it, if needed. If the hiring manager would like more information or actual examples of the skills, they merely need to read the rest of the bullet point paragraph.
As mentioned, light formatting can be beneficial to your cover letter, as it draws the recruiter’s eyes and prevents them from having to fish for the information they’re looking for.
This short, sweet cover letter includes the critical information a hiring manager or high-level executive needs to make an interview decision. We love the use of formatting that doesn’t stray too much from regular cover letter conventions, and we like that the applicant kept all other paragraphs extremely brief.
21. Editorial Cover Letter Example
Applying for an editorial or journalistic position? Like a cover letter example we shared earlier, you can take a more storytelling approach to capture the hiring manager’s attention. This cover letter example does that effectively by telling an anecdote that directly mentions the newspaper where they’d like to work.
This immediately draws the reader in and tells them that this application isn’t random at all; the applicant would like to work at the newspaper because they’ve read it every morning. Not only that, but they have a favorite reporter on the newspaper’s staff. The applicant then jumps into the specific reason they want to take an editorial position at the Baltimore Sun.
The cover letter includes all pertinent information, such as how previous positions have equipped the applicant to take on this job. It closes with enthusiasm after keeping the reader rapt every step of the way.
The applicant uses storytelling to — you guessed it — apply for a position that needs storytelling skills. If you’re applying for a data-driven position or a graphic design position, why not showcase those skills in the cover letter itself? We like that this letter doesn’t diverge too much from cover letter conventions while still differentiating itself.
22. Promotion Cover Letter Example
In this cover letter example, the applicant already works for the employer and wishes to apply for the next position to move up in their career. We like that the letter cites the applicant’s extensive knowledge of the organization, which will no doubt give them an advantage over external applicants.
Not only that, but the applicant also references their experience before they started working at the employer and uses that information to make their candidacy even more desirable.
Lastly, this letter includes a healthy level of enthusiasm for the university and the position — something that is never extra in a cover letter.
This cover letter example does an excellent job showing the candidate’s knowledge of their current organization while stating why they’re a natural fit for the promotion. Plus, the letter includes information on the applicant’s relevant activities outside of work — if you’re involved in any organizations that might help you do your job better, be sure to include them.
23. Law Cover Letter Example
This law cover letter example jumps right into personalization, a bold move that will serve you well if you’re genuinely interested in a company and want to stand out. The applicant cites the recipient’s recent article on bond litigation, then ties that into the role they’d like to get at the law firm.
The applicant then goes into his skills and the feedback he’s received from past managers. This is an excellent way to introduce your skills without sounding dry — or even unfounded. By citing positive feedback you’ve received, you’ll imply that others have praised you for having those skills, and that you’re not only "tooting your own horn." (In cover letters, it’s absolutely okay to toot your own horn — that’s what they’re for. But if you can cite others’ remarks, that also helps.)
At just two and a half paragraphs, this letter is exceedingly short but no less effective. It’s an excellent example of how to personalize your letter quickly while still conveying the essentials of a cover letter.
This short cover letter example keeps it brief while still creating high impact. The applicant personalizes the letter immediately, cites external feedback, and conveys enthusiasm. This letter proves you don’t need to write a novel about an employer to sway the hiring manager into giving you an interview.
Now that we've shown you some excellent examples, let's talk about how you can create the best cover letter for your dream job.
What is a good cover letter?
A cover letter is used to show your interest in the role, passion for the company, and the impact you've had in previous positions. Good cover letters should include a standout opening, relevant skills and qualifications, and a strong finish with a call-to-action — all within one page and unique to each application.
What’s on a cover letter?
Before you start writing your cover letter, let's cover a few basic must-haves you'll want to include. If you’re looking for more detailed instructions, check out this guide to writing a cover letter .
Add a simple, but pleasant greeting to address the recruiter or hiring manager.
- Dear Sir or Madam Alternatives
- Cover Letter Greetings
Write a catchy introduction that explains why you’re interested in the role.
- How to Write an Introduction
- Tips for Writing a Good Introduction Sentence
This is the heart of your cover letter. It outlines your relevant experience and why you’d be a great fit for the role. You can highlight special skills, experiences, professional achievements, or education to help make your case.
- How to Write About Your Professional Background
- Professional Bio Examples
- LinkedIn Bio Examples
In this paragraph, add a call-to-action by expressing interest in an interview. Offer your contact information and sign off.
- Email Closing Line Examples
- Tips for Writing Conclusions
What does a cover letter look like?
Besides showing off your skills and qualifications, cover letters give you the opportunity to present a clear, concise, and compelling writing sample. It shows off your personality and your ability to convey ideas.
That's a lot of information to include on a single page, so it can help to have a clear structure to start with.
Check out our fillable cover letter templates to see how you should organize the content of your cover letter.
What makes a great cover letter?
A cover letter is personal, but it also needs to help you reach a goal and help the hiring team understand how you could perform that role with their company. This complexity can make cover letters really tough to write.
Because cover letters are difficult to write, many come off as boring, basic, or confusing for hiring managers to read. But the tips below about the qualities that make a cover letter great can help you take your cover letter from basic to bright.
Start with this quick video, then keep reading for more tips:
Begin with an introduction that's personal. It should capture the reader's attention and address your recipient by name. Then, add a compelling opening sentence that emphasizes your interest in the specific role.
Helpful Cover Letter Introduction:
"Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],
In an increasingly digitized world, where customer-centric strategies are vital for business success, I am thrilled to apply for the [Job Title] position at HubSpot."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Introduction:
"To Whom it May Concern,
I am applying for the [Job Title] position at HubSpot. I have some experience in marketing and can help your clients grow their businesses."
Relevant Professional Experience
It can be tempting to use the same cover letter for every job. After all, it's about your experience, isn't it? But it's not enough to rephrase the work history in your resume.
Recruiters and hiring managers are looking to fill a specific role, so you need to show how your experience translates to their unique needs.
So, the body of a great cover letter should showcase the specific professional experiences that are relevant to the job you're applying for. Emphasize your accomplishments and skills that directly relate to what the job needs.
To speed up this part of the cover letter writing process, start by creating a list of your transferable skills . Drafting this list can help you quickly focus on the skills to highlight in your cover letter.
Then, use AI tools to summarize job descriptions and narrow in on where your experience and the needs of the role you're applying for overlap. This post is full of useful AI assistant tools if you're new to AI.
Helpful Cover Letter Experience:
"At [Company Name], I had the opportunity to assist a global ecommerce retailer in enhancing their online customer experience. By conducting in-depth market research and customer journey mapping, I identified pain points and areas of improvement in their website navigation and user interface."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Experience:
"I also worked with an ecommerce retailer to improve the customer experience. We did some surveys and training, and they were happy with the results."
To make your cover letter stand out, add specific examples that show how you've solved problems or gotten results in past roles.
Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible, using data to give the reader a clear understanding of your impact.
Helpful Cover Letter Example:
"I lead a team of five content writers while increasing website traffic by 18% year-over-year."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Example:
"I have a great track record of leadership and achieving fantastic results."
Research and Company Knowledge
Hiring teams aren't hiring anyone with the skills to do the job. They're hiring a person they'll work alongside at their specific company.
So, to show that you're not just looking for any job anywhere, share your knowledge of the company's industry, values, and culture in your cover letter. Spend some time on the company website and take notes on what makes this business interesting to you and why you would want to work there.
Then, explain how your skills align with the company's mission and goals and explain how you could add to their chances of success. This will showcase your interest in the company and help them see if you are a good cultural fit.
Helpful Cover Letter Research:
"I was particularly drawn to HubSpot not only for its industry-leading solutions but also for its exceptional company culture. HubSpot's commitment to employee development and fostering a collaborative environment is evident in its recognition as a top workplace consistently. I strongly believe that my passion for continuous learning, self-motivation, and dedication to contributing to a team will make me a valuable asset to HubSpot."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Research:
"I have been inspired by HubSpot's commitment to inbound marketing and its comprehensive suite of solutions. HubSpot's dedication to providing valuable content and fostering meaningful relationships aligns with my own values and aspirations."
Your cover letter needs to pack in a lot of important information. But it's also important that your cover letter is clear and concise.
To accomplish this, use professional but easy-to-understand language. Be sure to remove any grammar or spelling errors and avoid lengthy paragraphs and avoid jargon or overly technical language.
You may also want to use bullet points to make your letter easier to skim. Then, proofread your cover letter for clarity or ask a friend to proofread it for you.
- Guide to Becoming a Better Writer
- Tips for Simplifying Your Writing
Helpful Cover Letter Writing:
"In addition to my academic accomplishments, I gained valuable practical experience through internships at respected law firms.
Working alongside experienced attorneys, I assisted in providing legal support to clients. This hands-on experience helped me develop a deep understanding of client needs and enhanced my ability to effectively communicate complex legal concepts in a straightforward manner."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Writing:
"Furthermore, as a complement to my academic accomplishments, I have garnered invaluable practical experience through internships at esteemed law firms.
Throughout these placements, I actively collaborated with seasoned attorneys to conduct due diligence and furnish clients with comprehensive legal support. Notably, these experiences fostered a profound comprehension of client necessities, whilst honing my legal acumen to articulately convey intricate legal principles within a lucid and concise framework, adhering to applicable precedents and statutes of limitations."
Genuine Interest and Enthusiasm
Find ways to convey your passion for the role and how excited you are to contribute to the company you're applying to. At the same time, make sure your interest feels authentic and outline how it aligns with your career goals.
Your ultimate goal is an enthusiastic letter that feels honest and leaves a lasting positive impression.
Showing excitement in writing doesn't come naturally for everyone. A few tips that can help you boost the genuine enthusiasm in your letter:
- Record audio of yourself speaking about the role, then use voice-to-text technology to transcribe and add these sections to your letter.
- Choose your words carefully .
- Write in active voice.
Helpful Cover Letter Tone:
"I am genuinely enthusiastic about the prospect of joining [Company/Organization Name] as an accountant. My combination of technical proficiency, eagerness to learn, and strong attention to detail make me an ideal candidate for this role. I am confident that my dedication, reliability, and passion for accounting will contribute to the continued success of your organization."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Tone:
"Honestly, I can hardly contain my excitement when it comes to reconciliations, financial statement analysis, and tax regulations! Engaging in spirited discussions with professors and classmates has allowed me to foster an unbreakable bond with the fascinating world of accounting, and I'm positively bursting with enthusiasm at the prospect of applying my skills in a professional setting."
End your cover letter on a strong note. Summarize your top qualifications, restate your interest in the position, and express your interest in future communication.
Then, thank your reader for their time and consideration and include your contact information for easy follow-up.
To make your conclusion memorable, think about what parts of your letter you'd most like the hiring manager to keep top of mind. Then, consider your word choice and phrasing. If you're feeling stuck, this list of ways to close an email can help.
Helpful Cover Letter Conclusion:
"Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to further discuss how my qualifications align with the needs of Greenpeace. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.
Together, let's make a lasting impact on our planet.
Unhelpful Cover Letter Conclusion:
"Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my qualifications further and how I can contribute to Greenpeace's mission. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.
We’d like to add another stage to the job search: experimentation.
In today’s competitive landscape, it’s so easy to feel defeated, less-than-good-enough, or like giving up your job search. But don’t let the process become so monotonous. Have fun discovering the qualitative data we’ve discussed here — then, have even more by getting creative with your cover letter composition.
We certainly can’t guarantee that every prospective employer will respond positively — or at all — to even the most unique, compelling cover letter. But the one that’s right for you will.
So, get inspired by these examples and templates. Write an incredible cover letter that shows the hiring team at your dream job exactly who you are.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. This article was written by a human, but our team uses AI in our editorial process. Check out our full disclosure to learn more about how we use AI.
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