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.
It took weeks to find *this* job. It took hours to get your resume right.
Almost there. You just need a cover letter.
You only get one shot.
You can’t just write a cover letter. It has to be perfect.
But… How do you write the perfect cover letter?
You know—the kind of letter that will make the employer call you up in the middle of the night?
Give us 10 minutes and you’ll know how to write a cover letter like that.
This guide will show you:
Ready? Take a look at this basic cover letter sample. What do you think makes it so special?
An example of a cover letter format for every job made with our resume and cover letter builder.
Read on! We’ll break down the formula in 8 simple steps.
Let's begin with the basics.
A (also known as an application letter or motivational letter) is a document which explains why you're sending in the resume and adds extra information. It used to literally serve as a cover for a resume (in a time when people still used paper and hunted mammoths).
All great cover letters have something in common: they’re based on a proven, effective template. Here’s what I mean:
Meet Jane, the candidate who wrote the cover letter above. She’s applying for a digital marketing manager position with a pharmaceutical company, XYZ Corp. The company is planning to launch a new flagship website.
Jane’s experience and knowledge make her a perfect candidate for this role. The purpose of her cover letter is to prove that she’ll be able to replicate her past success in the new position.
Right, so you’ve seen a perfect example of a cover letter for a job.
Now, let me explain what makes this sample cover letter great and how you can use this cover letter outline to make the most of each section.
Yup, the basics first. The header of every professional cover letter for a job application should include the following:
Optionally, you can add:
Just remember to keep it professional:
Pro Tip: Writing a cover letter with no name of the hiring manager available? In the addressee section include only the name of the department: for example, “XYZ Sales Department.”
Want to save time and have your professional job application ready in minutes? Here are a sample cover letter and a matching resume made with our resume and cover letter builder. Write your cover letter and resume here.
Resume and a sample cover letter for a job application. See 15+ resume and cover letter templates and create your job application here.
Who do you address a cover letter to?
Directly to the hiring manager who’ll read it.
The greeting of your cover letter (i.e., the salutation) might be the very first thing the hiring manager sees. There’s one great, foolproof strategy to make your greeting catch her attention:
That’s right. Her name.
If we hear or see our name, we react. Focus on what comes next. There’s a lot of science behind this:
Once the hiring manager sees her name in the greeting of your application letter, she’s going to feel like she’s found something tailored specifically for her. It will feel personal, she’ll know whatever comes next might just be the exact information she’s been looking for.
All of the following are good examples of professional cover letter greetings.
Sample cover letter greetings:
Pro Tip: Wondering whether you should use the hiring manager’s first or last name? That depends on the company culture. If you’re applying for a position with a relaxed, casual company, use the first name. For corporate cover letters, it’s safer to go with the addressee's last name.
How do you find out the hiring manager’s name?
Do some research!
There are multiple ways to find out who your hiring manager is. You can learn about them in our dedicated guide: How to Address a Cover Letter: Sample & Guide [20+ Examples]
If you’re unable to find the name by any means possible, you’ll need to write a cover letter to whom it may concern.
Who to address a cover letter to if there’s no name of the hiring manager provided?
Have a look at those sample cover letter to whom it may concern greetings:
Pro Tip: If you’re not living in Victorian England, don’t start a cover letter with “Dear Sir or Madam.”
Done with the header and greeting? Now it’s time for the meat and potatoes. The central paragraphs of your cover letter.
How to get them right?
Go for the three paragraph cover letter format:
Want to learn more about best professional cover letter formats? Read our guide: Cover Letter Formats: A Complete How-To Guide [10+ Examples]
Now, have a look at a quick breakdown of the cover letter main body.
Here’s the brutal truth:
These few sentences at the beginning of your cover letter will determine whether the hiring manager will read on.
You need to make your cover letter introduction attract and hold the hiring manager’s interest.
Have a look at these two sample cover letter opening paragraphs:
In response to your posting for the Digital Marketing Manager, I would like to express my interest in taking part in the recruitment process. As a digital marketing manager with 8+ years of experience, I am positive that I would be successful at this role.
Why is it so bad?
Because it provides no value and no details. The bottom line is basically “I’ve already done this job so I think I’d fit in.” That’s not what the hiring manager is looking for.
Now, see a properly written cover letter opening example:
As a lifelong enthusiast of XYZ’s marketing initiatives, I was thrilled to see your posting for the position of Digital Marketing Manager. I am positive I can help with XYZ’s upcoming challenges. I have experience with leading successful national online campaigns with budgets over $300,000. What is more, I have succeeded at expanding ABC’s client base by 19% since 2011.
“Wow, I’d have to be a lunatic not to hire her!”
That’s the response this cover letter first paragraph will bring.
There are a few different, effective strategies for your cover letter opening. You can highlight your achievements, show how well you know your prospective employer’s needs, or base the intro on your enthusiasm.
Even professional writers struggle to make a perfect intro to their pieces. We know that starting a cover letter can be daunting, that’s why we’ve put together a dedicated guide for you. Give it a read: How to Start a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples]
You see a job posting from your dream employer. The name of the job is the same as your current position. You’ve been a very successful professional so far.
This means, to get that job you just have to show off your best assets in your application letter, right?
Your cover letter is not a trophy case.
What to write in a cover letter’s second paragraph?
You need to get the hiring manager exactly what she’s looking for. You have to show that you’re going to satisfy the company’s specific needs.
Remember Jane, our digital marketing manager candidate? The XYZ company to which she’s applying needs:
Let’s have a look at how Jane managed to show that she’s both (1) and (2).
Sample cover letter for a job application in digital marketing:
In my current position at ABC, I have supervised all phases of our online marketing initiatives, both technical and creative (1). Last year, my key challenge was to design and optimize nine product websites for ABC’s most strategic products and improve our SEO results as well as enhance the UX (2). Here we are a year later:
See how it’s done?
In the first sentence, show that you’re an expert in your field. But don’t keep on bragging. The remaining part of your cover letter’s second paragraph should be all about how your previous experiences will help your future employer press ahead with their plans.
Job seekers impress employers by identifying transferable skills related to new positions. People often apply to new positions, so it’s likely you’ll not have the exact experience requested. But employers would rather know how your past experiences will inform future decisions. You were a hostess? Relate those management and organizational skills to the Executive Assistant position.
What if you’re creating a cover letter for an internship and don’t have a wealth of professional experience to present? Don’t worry, we’ve got a dedicated guide to show you how to write a good cover letter and land your dream internship: How to Write a Cover Letter For an Internship [+20 Examples]
Your future employers have needs. If they’re willing to hire you, it’s because they think you’ll satisfy those needs.
But what they also want is for you to actually enjoy working with them. They want your future job to feel rewarding to you—that way, they know you’re more likely to stay with them for a longer period of time.
The key to writing a perfect cover letter third paragraph is showing the hiring manager why you want this job, not just any job.
Here’s the easiest way to do it:
Have a look at this cover letter example:
I know that XYZ’s current plans involve developing a comprehensive online portal focused on healthcare-related issues (1). This project is a perfect match for my personal and professional interests and an exciting opportunity to create a unique online base of knowledge for patients and healthcare professionals (2). I would love to leverage my knowledge of SEO marketing and online growth marketing to achieve groundbreaking results with this initiative (3).
Pro Tip: How long should a cover letter be? In general, relevant and short cover letters are best. Three paragraph tops. Your go-to word count shouldn’t exceed 300 words.
Wondering how to write a good cover letter for a job application when there’s no job offer? Want to see some general cover letter writing tips? Read our handy guide, 35+ Successful Cover Letter Tips, Advice & Guidelines (With Examples), and find out about effective cover letter strategies for different types of cover letters!
So far so good:
Your cover letter shows that you have relevant skills. You’ve explained your motivation. What could possibly go wrong?
Actually, a lot.
You still have a cover letter ending to write. And it’s the decisive part.
It has to amplify the general impression you’ve made with the previous paragraphs. It has to make the hiring manager excited as she starts reading your resume.
How to make the best cover letter ending?
Long story short: by providing value.
Tell the hiring manager that you’re looking forward to meeting in person and discussing how your experience and knowledge can help your future employer in fulfilling their goals.
Like in this cover letter example:
I would welcome the chance to discuss your digital marketing objectives and show you how my success at ABC can translate into digital and online marketing growth for XYZ.
Two worst cover letter mistakes you can make in the final paragraph are:
There are some easy tricks you can use to write an effective cover letter closing paragraph. Make sure to read our guide, How to End a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide [+20 Examples] and check them out!
Once you’ve written the body of your cover letter, you just need to put a formal closing at the very end.
Write “sincerely” and follow it with your full name. Adding your handwritten signature is optional, but it’s recommended for more formal cover letters.
If you’re not a fan of the well-worn, “sincerely,” feel free to use any of the following synonyms:
Sample cover letter sign-offs:
The ones listed above are going to be your safest bets. Still not what you’re looking for?
Have a look at some alternative cover letter sample salutations:
Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to repeat your basic contact information, such as your LinkedIn profile, email address and telephone number below your sign-off.
All of the above sections are must-haves in a good cover letter format.
But there’s one special trick you can use:
Why is the “P.S.” so important?
Because it’s like a magnet for the hiring manager’s eyes. It screams: “you cannot miss this information.”
Use the postscript to tell the hiring manager about something impressive about your career (1), even if it’s not strictly related to the job opening.
And say that you’d be happy to provide them with more details (2) if they find it interesting.
Like in our cover letter example:
P.S. — I would also value the opportunity to show you (2) how my e-detailing solutions grew the combined sales of three ABC flagship products by a record-breaking 13% in one year (1).
Don’t just send a cover letter in Word. Select the most important bits and paste them into your resume cover email: How to Email Your Resume to Get More Job Offers (Examples). It’ll immediately work magic on the recruiter.
Worried you might miss something? Don’t worry, we’ve got a checklist guide for you: What to Include in a Cover Letter (15+ Examples & A Complete Guide)
All good cover letters are based on a similar, proven template. To write a cover letter that gets you the job, follow the 8 steps we covered:
And for the final advice:
Keep it short.
Do you have any questions about how to create a successful cover letter? Want to share an example of a cover letter? Give us a shout in the comments and we’d be happy to reply!
Need some help writing a letter of recommendation for employment? Check out our free downloadable recommendation letter templates for.
So, you want to apply for a job? Normally, application documents include a resume, any relevant certificates, work portfolios, and possibly also a motivational letter. However, the actual application itself takes place in the cover letter, where you address the recipient directly and explain why you are interested in the advertised position and what qualifications you have. In the past, these documents were filed in an application folder. Nowadays, most applications are made online, either via e-mail or an input page on the company’s website.
However, regardless of whether you apply by mail or online, some rules apply to every type of application: while the resume, which consists of pure facts, is structured according to standard guidelines, the cover letter has more freedom when it comes to form, while also adhering to a loose structure. More freedom, however, often means more effort. If you want to score points with your cover letter, you have to focus it much more on the position in question, rather than your resume. Ideally, your cover letter should take into account the company you are targeting, the industry, your motivation, and the individual job advertisement. The cover letter is usually the first impression a manager, recruiter, or HR manager gets of you, which is why it is so important to try and impress as much as possible with this opening text. It is not enough to rely on samples, examples, and templates when writing a cover letter – even if they can be found everywhere on the internet. What you have to consider in detail when formulating a cover letter can be found in this article.
Use this sample reference letter when a colleague, former team member, student, or acquaintance asks for a personal recommendation. Be sure to modify this reference letter template with specific examples from your experience with that person.
First, when someone asks you for a reference letter, think whether you can actually give them a good recommendation. If you’re not sure you can recommend them without thinking twice, it’s best to politely decline sending the referral letter rather than be forced to lie (or make negative comments ruining the other person’s chances).
If you’re sure you can write a positive professional reference letter, follow this process:
At any case, you might need to spend half an hour or so to write a good recommendation letter, but if you have good things to say, this person is worth it.
Dear [insert name],
I am writing to recommend [employee_name]. [He/ She] worked with us at [company_name] as a [employee_job_title] and [reported to me/ worked with me] in my position as [insert your job title].
As an employee, [employee_name] was always [insert quality]. During [his/her] time in my team, [he/she] managed to [insert example].
I’ve always put a premium on [insert quality] among my team members and [employee_name] never failed to deliver. An example was when [insert example].
[Employee_name] is a delight to work with and I wouldn’t hesitate to hire [him/her] again.
Should you have any further questions about [him/her], feel free to reach me at [phone number].
[Your name and signature]
Dear Mr. Skywalker,
I am writing to recommend Leia Thompson. She worked with me at Acme Inc. as a Senior Product Manager and reported to me in my position as VP of Engineering.
As an employee, Leia was always reliable and resourceful. During her time in my team, she managed to conduct high-impact user research and make a number of key recommendations that resulted in an improved product (and subsequently increased sales).
I’ve always put a premium on initiative and willingness to learn among my team members and Leia never failed to deliver on both fronts. An example was when she suggested we create a regular internal meetup where more senior employees could answer questions from other employees about their work. She was the first to take advantage of the knowledge these meetups offered and implemented it in her own work.
Leia is a delight to work with – a team player with a positive, can-do attitude all the way. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire her again if the opportunity arose.
Should you have any further questions, feel free to reach me at +10000000.
VP of Engineering, Acme Inc.
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A proof of employment letter (i.e, an employment verification letter) is a formal correspondence, often written by an employee's employer, to a requesting party, for the purpose of validating that employee's work history. When you write an employment verification letter, you.
No matter what stage you are at in your career, a cover letter is an important document to demonstrate your experience and fit for the position you are applying. It's a way to explain specific scenarios and call out essential skills that aren't already covered in your resume.
When crafting the content for your cover letter, it's critical that you keep it concise, even leveraging bullet points to point out key messages. The hiring manager does not have time to sit down and read a memoir, they may only have a few short minutes to review your application in its entirety.
When you are a recent graduate applying for an internship or early in your career, your cover letter should contain appropriate scenarios that demonstrate your ability to perform the responsibilities listed in the job description.
Refer to a time you took the lead on an important project or how you introduced a new system to improve productivity. Once you get more experience, your cover letter is a great place to call out key statistics and sales growth numbers, because you'll have more measurable results to draw upon.
Your cover letter is your opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition. Use this coveted space to demonstrate your experience, knowledge, and performance. Leave the hiring manager with no doubt that you could perform the job duties at the highest level.
To help you craft the best cover letter, we’re providing you with some examples to review. Let the content inspire your own cover letter. Think about the most important things you have done in your career thus far and use these experiences to your advantage in your cover letter.
It’s essential that you customize each cover letter to the job that you are applying. After all, each position values different experiences and responsibilities, and you will want to showcase different situations and career highlights based on the specific job you are seeking. This will only increase your chances of securing that coveted interview.
Follow these basic guidelines and get inspired by the following Cover Letter Examples to grab the hiring manager's attention and give yourself a better chance of landing an interview.
1) Cover Letter Example for Student/Graduate
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2) Cover Letter Example for Middle Management
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3) Cover Letter Example for Career Change
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4) Cover Letter Example for Management
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5) Cover Letter Example for a PhD Application
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6) Cover Letter Example for Senior Executive
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Standard, short notice, retirement: we've put together resignation letter templates you can use when quitting a job with practical advice.