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How to format a cover letter in 2024: examples and tips

Karl Kahler

It just might be the most important letter you’ll ever write. Your carefully crafted cover letter could lead to lifelong job satisfaction, buy you a house or put your kids through college. And so you wonder if cover letter format is important? 

You know your field, you know your skills and you know the people you want to work for. Now all you have to do is write them a one-page letter. Every journey to a dream job begins with a standout resume and a stellar cover letter.

But whether you’re a rocket scientist or a railroad worker, you may experience brain freeze when faced with this blank piece of paper and this seemingly simple task. And it IS a simple task, though it isn’t necessarily easy. 

It’s actually one of the ultimate feats of persuasive writing — a one-page letter so irresistible that it lands the writer a new job. It’s the kind of letter that can change your life. So what are the secrets to getting this crucial part of your job application right? What is the appropriate format for a cover letter? How do you start and end a cover letter? What do employers look for in a cover letter?

How to format a cover letter

While the content of your application letter will be completely unique, the elements are standard. The proper cover letter format includes:

  • The greeting
  • The body, or middle paragraphs
  • The conclusion and call to action
  • The signature or sign-off

Now that you understand the components of a cover letter format, here are our top 10 tips to cover letter formatting, writing and design. Below is a complete cover letter format sample follow by our top 10 tips to cover letter formatting, writing and design. 

Cover Letter format example

1. Start with a well-designed cover letter header.

Good cover letter layout starts with a header, an electronic version of what used to be called a letterhead. This is the space at the top of the page containing your name, address, phone number and email. (Sometimes the mailing address is omitted, and sometimes people add their contact info for LinkedIn or other platforms.) 

The main purpose of the header is to convey your critical contact information so that the potential employer knows how to reach you. 

But the secondary purpose of the header is also important: to provide an attractive design element at the top of the page. Everything below the header will be black body text, which hopefully will be interesting to read but unfortunately isn’t very interesting to look at. 

The header is critical because it’s the one place on the page where you have any real design options. You can opt for color, creative use of typography and other touches that start your page off with a visual bang. That doesn’t mean it should be garish or loud, but it should be pleasing to the eye. 

You can check out Resume.io ’s collection of cover letter format examples to get an idea of some good design options for your header. 

Letter of Interest vs. Cover Letter

A letter of interest and a cover letter are similar but not identical documents used to apply for a job. Here we explore the differences and discuss how to write each of them to maximize your chances of getting the job that’s right for you in 2024.

2. Engage the hiring manager with an appropriate cover letter greeting.

In old-timey days, it used to be OK to write “To Whom It May Concern,” “Dear Sir or Madam,” or even “Gentlemen” in a cover letter greeting . But those days are long gone. 

Always try to address your letter to a specific person. If the job posting doesn't mention the hiring manager's name, do some research, and make a call if necessary, to find out who the decision-maker is on the job you want.  (But don’t even THINK of misspelling that person’s name, and be sure you know what title they prefer.)

Psychologists have found that people get a little thrill from reading their own names, and it tends to make them to sit up and pay attention. Also, a letter addressed to a specific person is more likely to be answered than a letter sent to an entire department. In some cases you may find that the name of the hiring manager or recruiter is purposefully undisclosed, and if so, you might need to say something more generic like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear (Company Name) Hiring Team.”

3. Write an irresistible cover letter introduction.

In the opening paragraph of your cover letter, you need to make an opening statement that sets up a make-or-break case. Find a way to introduce yourself, identify the job you are seeking, and provide a preview of why you are eminently qualified for this job. Your cover letter introduction should strike the right tone of voice from the outset — friendly, enthusiastic, confident, competent, but never arrogant or conceited. Your introduction should grab the reader’s attention, but for the right reasons. 

Above all, your opener should make a positive first impression and give your reader a reason to read on. 

Here’s an example of a good cover letter introduction :

After graduating with a BA degree in Hotel Management from Miami University, my first role in the hospitality industry set the tone for my career. I was sent on a year’s placement for Marriott to London during the 2012 Olympics, helping their London hotel network to organize events and promote their services at the various sporting venues.

4. Make your case in the body of the cover letter.

In the body of your cover letter, you must build a persuasive case that you are the right candidate for the job. You might need to boast a little bit, and that’s OK, because if you don’t promote your candidacy for this job, nobody else will. 

Talk about your work experience, and be specific about your accomplishments in past jobs. Wherever possible, use facts and figures (numbers, dollar figures, percentages) to quantify your achievements and work history. Also, go where your resume can’t by relating an anecdote about a problem you once faced and how you resolved it. 

A commonly asked question is: Are bullet points acceptable in a cover letter? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is: Use them sparingly and think about whether they benefit the visual look and reading flow of your cover letter. What you don’t want is to turn your cover letter into a second resume. 

The body of your letter can also mention your  education , certifications and relevant skills. And you may choose to discuss your aspirations for the future, specifically as they relate to the position you’re applying for. Be sure to study the job description carefully, and demonstrate that you meet the job requirements. (But obviously, you need to remain truthful, because any falsehoods in a job application will come back to haunt you.)

The tone of your writing is also important. To match the language and the level of formality, check out your prospective employer’s website, social media accounts and any other material you can find. 

Here’s an example of the body of a cover letter:

During my teenage and college years, I worked at my parents’ hardware store and have a strong understanding of what goes into a successful retail business. I managed the inventory, sorted the pricing and ran the promotional calendar. I was passionate about the trade, so assisting customers who are always in need of practical advice was a pleasure.

A step into becoming a tradesperson myself was entirely natural, and after fifteen years of building up a local clientele, it is time for my career to come full circle. I have a huge number of contacts in the business and am sure I would attract many customers your way.

I understand the profile of customers that visit your store and am able to help in terms of ensuring suitable stock for project purchases and helping to coordinate the best promotions. Tradespeople love to take advantage of a bargain, so the role of a retail assistant is to point them in the right direction. I increased sales by 20% year-on-year when I worked in retail previously – you have to be proactive, or the customers will go elsewhere.

5. Conclude your cover letter with a call to action.

Your closing paragraph can include a recap, a thank you and anything else important that you haven’t said yet. But your conclusion should also contain a call to action — a suggestion that you would be delighted to come in for an interview, or even just to talk by phone. You might also want to say that you’re always reachable at the contact info provided.

Make it clear from your close that you’re serious about this job and that you are genuinely eager to follow up.

Finish up with an appropriate sign-off phrase, such as “Sincerely,” “Respectfully” or “Best regards.”Then type your name below that, or add your signature if you’re planning on mailing this letter or delivering it in person.

Be sure to proofread your letter carefully, and ideally find a good editor to revise it for you. Typos and other English errors are among the top reasons cover letters and resumes are rejected. 

Here’s an example of how you might write the conclusion of your cover letter:

I would welcome the chance to visit and understand more about your operation, your plans for the future and how I might be able to contribute.

Simon Pringleton

6. Make a sensible font your first formatting choice.

Good choices for a cover letter format start with a good font . Use a modern, attractive, easy-to-read cover letter font, nothing too flashy or exotic, nothing that calls attention to itself. You want people to be reading your text, not staring at your odd font choice. 

Choose a font size between 10 and 12 points — any smaller and it’s hard to read, any larger and it starts to look like a Mother Goose book.

Align text left, in a style known as “ragged right” because it leaves space to the right of the last word in each line. Justifying text from margin to margin makes the page look like it’s filled with solid blocks of black text, and it sometimes stretches words horizontally to reach the margin. 

7. Keep paragraphs short.

Keep paragraphs short, add a space between them, and do not indent. 

It used to be OK to send a business letter with no spaces between paragraphs, provided you indented each paragraph. But these days, unless you’re typesetting a book, you need non-indented paragraphs with a space between them. 

And you need to keep the paragraphs fairly short, and make their lengths consistent.  If you received a one-page letter containing 400 words that were all in the same paragraph, would you look forward to reading it? The eye needs a break, and the brain does too. That’s why paragraphs were invented.

8. Use 1-inch margins. 

Leave room for  1-inch margins on the top, bottom, right and left of your cover letter.

There’s a saying among page designers, both print and digital: “White space is your friend.” Every design, illustration or art element needs to incorporate a certain amount of negative space that contains nothing at all. 

Designers will also tell you to avoid “trapped white space,” meaning an inconvenient blank in the center of your design. That’s why white space should be “pushed to the outside” — providing a sort of an invisible frame that allows the central image to dominate.

This is the whole idea behind margins — it’s a white frame that surrounds and highlights your content.

9. Stick to one page.

You might as well consider it a cardinal rule that your cover letter length cannot exceed one page. Yet anyone who’s tried to write one could probably testify that the first draft is usually too long.

You may be tempted to reduce the font size, shrink the margins or get rid of all the white space.  But please resist the urge to atone for your verbosity by tweaking the formatting. Trim the fat from your text before resorting to measures that will make the letter denser and harder to read.

10. Use a professionally designed cover letter template.

There’s a simple way to sidestep the potential pitfalls of formatting a cover letter, and that’s to use a professionally designed template . 

How to format a cover letter in 2023 - Top 10 tips formatting,  writing and design

Here is exactly how you can write a cover letter that will stand out from the crowd, and help you land that interview.

A cover letter template is a pre-designed framework that already has an eye-catching cover letter header, appropriate typography and an adequate use of white space. All you have to do is replace the existing text with your own, and your letter is done.

For more information, click on this video, "How to Format Your Cover Letter," from the University of Southern California Career Center. 

Take a moment to look through Resume.io’s cover letter samples , find a template you like and get busy customizing it to make it your own. You’ll be building on a foundation of success.

To Whom It May Concern: Just Don’t

60+ Cover Letter Examples in 2024 [For All Professions]

Background Image

No matter where you are in your career, or what job you’re applying for, submitting a cover letter with your resume is a must . 

Done right, a cover letter will effectively complement your resume and explain to the hiring manager in more detail why you’re the right person for the job.

Writing a cover letter, however, is easier said than done. 

You have to effectively demonstrate that you’ll be able to perform the responsibilities listed in the job description and that you’d be a better fit for the company compared to other candidates. 

And unless you’re a professional writer, this can be a very hard task.

Fortunately, we created these cover letter examples to inspire you and help you get started with your own cover letter!

Let’s dive in!

21 Cover Letter Examples 

#1. career change cover letter example .

cover letter example for career change

Here’s what this cover letter does right:

  • Has an ideal length. This cover letter includes all the relevant information for the hiring manager without getting into too much detail.
  • Relevant introduction. The candidate explains that they’re changing careers and why they want to work in this new field from the get-go.
  • Explains their related experience. The candidate explains how their previous experience in retail sales can help them succeed in PR.

Check out our guide video guide to learn how to write a Cover Letter that gets you HIRED!

#2. Recent Graduate Cover Letter Example 

cover letter example for a recent graduate

  • Personally greets the hiring manager. The candidate has taken the time to find the hiring manager’s name and address them by it, which makes the opening of the cover letter much more personal.
  • Wraps up with a call to action. The candidate wraps up the cover letter by suggesting a meeting with the hiring manager, which makes them more memorable.
  • Explains why the candidate is the right person for the internship. In this cover letter for an internship , the candidate explains how they’ve previously interned in a different firm, which gives them the experience to succeed in this role.

Have you just graduated from college? Make sure to check out our guide on writing an entry-level cover letter from start to finish! 

#3. Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Middle Management

  • Use of bullet points. The candidate presents the information in a concise and reader-friendly way, making it easy for the hiring manager to find their key achievements. 
  • Formal closing. The candidate has used a formal and polite tone to conclude their cover letter, which combined with a call to action makes them look professional and passionate about getting the job. 
  • Explains how the company would benefit from hiring them. The candidate outlines exactly what they could do for the company, which not only highlights their skills but also shows they’ve done their research on the company’s needs. 

#4. Business Manager Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for business manager

  • Detailed header. In addition to the must-have contact details, this candidate has also included their professional Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, making it easy for the hiring manager to look more closely into their career. 
  • Concise and to the point. This candidate has used short paragraphs and bullet points to make the cover letter easy to skim through. 
  • Wraps up with a call to action. By letting the hiring manager know they’ll be contacting them soon, they’re more likely to make an impression.

Check out this article for a complete writing guide and an inspiring business manager resume sample. 

#5. Ph.D. Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for phd

Here’s what this cover letter does right: 

  • Attention-grabbing introduction. In the opening paragraph, this candidate explains why they’re passionate about pursuing a Ph.D. in great detail. 
  • Explains the candidate’s qualifications in detail. The candidate builds on their passion by explaining how they’re also qualified for the degree because of their education history and academic achievements. 

#6. Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for senior executive

  • Professional and minimalistic template. This senior executive has used a professional but minimalistic template that lets their work experience do the talking. 
  • Achievement-oriented opening paragraph. Right from the get-go, this candidate explains what makes them so good at their job, effectively grabbing the hiring manager’s attention.  
  • Wraps up with a call to action. By suggesting to have a meeting and discussing how they can help the company meet its goals, the candidate stands more chance to make a positive lasting impression. 

#7. Architect Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example

  • Modern resume template. This architect has picked a template that perfectly matches his industry, as it is professional and modern at the same time. 
  • A personal greeting to the HR. They address the hiring manager by their first name, which helps make a better first impression. 
  • Measurable achievements. By quantifying their achievements, the candidate proves their achievements instead of just claiming them.

Struggling with your architect resume ? Check out our full guide!

#8. Business Analyst Cover Letter Example 

cover letter examples

  • Detailed contact information. The candidate has listed both their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, providing the HR manager an opportunity to learn more about the candidate.  
  • Mentions what the candidate can do for the company. This cover letter doesn’t just explain why the job would be great for the candidate, but also how the candidate would benefit the company. Win-win, right? 
  • Error-free and reader-friendly. It’s super important for the cover letter to have no spelling or grammatical errors and be reader-friendly. This candidate made sure they did both.

Need a resume alongside your cover letter? Check out our guide on how to write a business analyst resume . 

#9. Consultant Cover Letter Example 

best cover letter example

  • Professional cover letter template. Being an experienced consultant, this candidate has picked a professional template that doesn’t steal the spotlight from their achievements. 
  • Experience and achievement-oriented. The candidate has effectively elaborated on their top achievements relevant to the job. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s passion. To show they want the job, this candidate has also explained how passionate they are about their profession.

For more advice on landing a job as a consultant, check out our guide to writing a consultant resume .

#10. Digital Marketing Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Digital Marketing

  • Creative cover letter template. This digital marketer highlights their originality by picking a creative cover letter template. 
  • Lists the candidate’s awards. The candidate has taken advantage of the cover letter to list their most noteworthy awards in the industry. 
  • Concludes with a call to action. As they used a call to action to conclude their cover letter, the HR manager will be more likely to remember them.

Want to take your digital marketing resume to the next level? Check out our guide!

#11. Graphic Designer Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example for Graphic Designer

  • Detailed contact information. The candidate has included additional contact information such as their website link, as well as their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.  
  • Ideal length. This cover letter is concise, which means that the HR manager is more likely to read it from start to finish.  
  • Draws attention to the candidate’s strong points. Although this candidate is a recent college graduate, they’ve managed to effectively show that they have enough knowledge and experience to do the job right.

Read this guide to write a graphic designer resume that’s just as good as your cover letter!

#12. Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Administrative Assistant

  • Minimalistic cover letter template. The candidate picked a well-designed but minimalistic template for their cover letter. 
  • Focused on skills and achievements. This cover letter is packed with the candidate’s skills and achievements, proving he can be an excellent employee. 
  • Formal closing. Politeness can go a long way and the candidate has used this to their advantage to make an impression. 

Our article on how to write an administrative assistant resume can help you take your job application to the next level.

#13. Front Desk Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Front Desk

  • Modern cover letter template. This template incorporates memorable colors and clear lines, which make the cover letter very visually appealing. 
  • Attention-grabbing introduction. Using an attention-grabbing intro, the candidate is more likely to make an impression. 
  • Calls the HR to action. By including a call to action, the candidate is reminding the HR of their immediate availability. 

#14. Human Resources Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Human Resources

  • It is concise and to the point. The candidate doesn’t dwell on unimportant details the HR won’t be interested in. 
  • Uses a traditional cover letter template. The cover letter design is more on the conventional side, which fits the industry better. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s strong points. The candidate has rich work experience and they use the cover letter to elaborate on it. 

This HR resume guide can help you get your resume just right.

#15. Sales Agent Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example  for Sales Agent

  • Attention-grabbing cover letter template. As a salesperson, this candidate knows how important first impressions are, so they’ve picked a catchy cover letter template. 
  • Has an ideal length. At the same time, they’ve also made sure to keep their cover letter at just the right length. 
  • Lists the candidate’s career highlights. The candidate has made perfect use of the space by mentioning their most impressive professional achievements. 

Check out this sales agent resume guide to create an attention-grabbing sales resume .

#16. Receptionist Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Receptionist

  • Modern but minimalistic cover letter template. The template’s design hints the candidate is creative but professional at the same time. 
  • Uses a catchy introduction. The candidate has used an attention-grabbing opening paragraph to catch HR’s attention. 
  • Concludes the cover letter formally. The candidate proves that they’re polite and well-spoken, a quality very much important for the role they’re applying for. 

Take your receptionist resume to the next level with this receptionist resume guide .

#17. Information Technology Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Information Technology

  • Mentions measurable achievements. Numbers make an impact, which is why this candidate has included measurable achievements. 
  • Lists both soft and hard skills. The candidate has mentioned a great mix of soft and hard skills, showing how well-rounded they are. 
  • Contains relevant contact information. The candidate’s GitHub, website name, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles are all great additions to the resume. 

Looking for tips to help you write a great IT resume ? Check out our guide!

#18. Real Estate Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Real Estate Agent

  • Ideal length. Short and to the point, this cover letter is bound to get noticed by the HR manager. 
  • Wraps up with a call to action. This candidate reinforces the HR to call them back through a final call to action. 
  • Mentions the right skills. On top of their sales accomplishments, the candidate touch upon important soft skills such as customer service and communication . 

This real estate resume guide will help you take your resume from good to great.

#19. Teacher Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Teacher

  • Mentions relevant contact information details. This candidate has included optional (but relevant) contact information details, such as their LinkedIn, Quora, and Medium profiles. 
  • Achievement-oriented. The candidate has elaborated on their achievements in more detail throughout their cover letter. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s passion. For some jobs, being passionate is much more important than for others. Teaching is one of these jobs, which is why this candidate explains their passion for the job. 

Our guide on how to write a teacher resume has all the tips you need to land the job.

#20. Project Manager Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Project Manager

  • Leverages a catchy introduction. Through a catchy introductory paragraph, this candidate is sure to grab the HR’s attention and get them to read the rest of their cover letter.
  • Lists measurable accomplishments. This candidate explains exactly what they’ve achieved using numbers and hard data. 
  • Personally greets the HR. A personal greeting sounds much better than “Dear Sir/Madam,” and the candidate knows this. 

This guide on how to write a project manager resume can help you perfect your appication.

#21. Paralegal Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Paralegal

  • Minimalistic cover letter template. This cover letter design looks good but doesn’t steal the show from the candidate’s abilities.
  • Mentions the candidate’s academic achievements and extracurricular activities. Although the candidate is a recent graduate, they’ve used the cover letter to explain they have enough skills and achievements to do the job.
  • Lists measurable achievements. The candidate proves they did well in their internship by mentioning quantifiable achievements.

Check out this paralegal resume guide to perfect yours.

40+ More Cover Letter Examples and Guides 

Couldn’t find a cover letter example for your field? Do not worry.

Below you can find a number of other cover letter examples for different fields and industries:

  • Acting Cover Letter Examples
  • Accounting Cover Letter Examples
  • Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Architecture Cover Letter Examples
  • Attorney Cover Letter Examples
  • Barista Cover Letter Examples
  • Bartender Cover Letter Examples
  • Business Cover Letter Examples
  • Business Analyst Cover Letter Examples
  • College Student Cover Letter Examples
  • Computer Science Cover Letter Examples
  • Construction Cover Letter Examples
  • Consultant Cover Letter Examples
  • Customer Service Cover Letter Examples
  • Data Analyst Cover Letter Examples
  • Data Entry Cover Letter Examples
  • Dental Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Digital Marketing Cover Letter Examples
  • Elementary Teacher Cover Letter Examples
  • Engineering Cover Letter Examples
  • Executive Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Finance Cover Letter Examples
  • Graphic Design Cover Letter Examples
  • Healthcare Cover Letter Examples
  • Human Resources Cover Letter Examples
  • IT Cover Letter Examples
  • Law Cover Letter Examples
  • Management Cover Letter Examples
  • Marketing Cover Letter Examples
  • Mechanical Engineering Cover Letter Examples
  • Medical Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Nurse Practitioner Cover Letter Examples
  • Physician Cover Letter Examples
  • Project Manager Cover Letter Examples
  • Receptionist Cover Letter Examples
  • Retail Cover Letter Examples
  • Sales Cover Letter Examples
  • Social Work Cover Letter Examples
  • Software Engineer Cover Letter Examples
  • Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Examples
  • Teacher Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Team Leader Cover Letter Example

What is a Cover Letter? 

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application, alongside your 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 give the hiring manager more insight into what makes you a good candidate and help them make up their mind about whether they should invite you for an interview. A bad cover letter, though, will get ignored (at best) and lose you the job (at worst).

So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

The first thing to remember is that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you shouldn’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume and call it a day. 

Optimally, you should use your cover letter to shed more light on your skills and qualifications, as well as explain anything you didn’t have space for in your resume (e.g. a career gap or why you’re changing careers).

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, though, putting all this together might seem pretty tough. 

Fortunately, you can follow our tried-and-tested format to make the experience much easier:

  • Header - Input your contact information.
  • Greeting the hiring manager - Open the cover letter with a “Dear Sir or Madam,” or use the hiring manager’s name if you know what that is.
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the hiring manager’s attention by getting straight to the point. Mention what your professional experiences are, and what role you’re applying for.
  • The second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Mention your top 2-3 achievements, your top skills, why you want to work in that specific industry, and whatever else is relevant.
  • The third paragraph - End your cover letter with a call to action. E.g. “I would love to meet personally and discuss how I can help Company X.”
  • Formal closing - Something like this: “Thank you for your consideration. Best, John Doe.”

Here’s what this looks like in practice:

cover letter structure

9 Tips to Write a Cover Letter (the Right Way)

Now that we've covered the basics, let's talk about cover letter tips . Below, we'll give you all the knowledge you need to take your cover letter from "OK" to "great."

#1. Pick the right template

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

And what’s a better way to leave a good impression than through a professional, well-formatted, and visual template?

You can simply pick one of our tried-and-tested cover letter templates and you’ll be all set!

cover letter examples templates

#2. Add your contact details on the header

The best way to start your cover letter is through a header. 

Here’s what you want to include there:

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

Optionally, you can also include the following:

  • 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 content portfolio site or blog.

#3. Greet the hiring manager the right way

Once you’ve listed all your relevant contact information, it’s time to address the hiring manager reading your cover letter. 

A good practice here is to find the hiring manager’s name and address them directly instead of using the traditional “dear sir or madam.” This shows that you’re really invested in the company and that you took your time to do some research about the job.

So, how can you find out the hiring manager’s name?

One way to do this is by looking up the head of the company’s relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably the Head of Communications or the Chief Communications Office.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of server at a restaurant. In that case, you’d be looking to find out who the restaurant manager is.

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.

If you still can’t find out the hiring manager’s name, here are several other greetings you can use:

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

#4. Create an attention-grabbing introduction

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 problem with most cover letter opening paragraphs, though, is that they’re usually extremely generic, often looking 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.

As you can probably tell, this opening paragraph doesn’t tell the hiring manager anything other than that you’ve worked the job before - and that’s not really helpful in setting you apart from other candidates. 

What you want to do, instead, is 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. 

For example:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed its 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 my excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the role of X at Company Y.

The second example shows how the candidate is a top performer. The first just shows that they’ve worked a sales job before.

Which one are YOU more likely to invite for an interview?

#5. Show you’re the perfect person for the job

One great thing about cover letters is that they allow you to expand more on the top achievements from your resume and really show the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job. 

A good way to do that is to first read the job ad and really understand what skills/experiences are required, and then to ensure that your cover letter touches upon the said skills or experiences.

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 and management process end-to-end. This means I created the ad copy and images, as well as 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

#6. Explain why you’re a great company fit

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 . 

To convince the hiring manager that you’re a great company fit, do some research on the company and find out what it is you like about them, or about working there. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company's 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?

Then, turn your top reasons for liking to work there into text and add them to your cover letter! 

#7. Wrap up with a call to action

To make the end of your cover letter as memorable as possible, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Mention anything you’ve left out that you think could help the hiring manager make up your mind.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. After all, it never hurts to be polite. 
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. A call to action is a great way to make your cover letter ending as memorable as possible. 

#8. Write a 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 in a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

#9. Proofread your cover letter

Last but not least, make sure to always proofread each and every document that you’ll be including in your job application - cover letter included. 

The last thing you want is to be claiming you’re a great candidate for the job with a cover letter full of typos! 

For an even more comprehensive guide on how to write an impactful cover letter , check out our article ! 

Cover Letter Writing Checklist 

Cover Letter Writing Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have some questions about cover letters? Check out the answers below:

1. How do I write a simple cover letter? 

To write a cover letter that’s simple but also professional, make sure to include a header with your personal information, a formal greeting to the hiring manager, an attention-grabbing opening paragraph, a second paragraph explaining why you’re a good candidate for the job, and a formal closing (preferably with a call to action). 

2. What are the 3 parts of a cover letter? 

The three parts of a cover letter are: 

  • The introduction , namely the header, the greeting to the hiring manager, and the opening paragraph. 
  • The sales pitch is usually the body of the cover letter. 
  • The conclusion involves a formal closing and a signature line.

3. What makes a great cover letter?

A great cover letter should be personalized for each job you’re applying for, instead of being overly generic. It’s also preferable to address the hiring manager by their name and not use the overly-used “Dear Sir/Madam.”

To make a great first impression, you should mention 1-2 of your top achievements in your opening paragraph - the more job-specific they are, the better. Also, don’t stop at showing the hiring manager why you’re a great candidate for the job. Make sure to also talk about how you’re a good culture fit for the company.

Last but not least, wrap up your closing paragraph with a call to action to give the hiring manager a little extra something to remember you by. 

4. When is a cover letter necessary?

Unless the job ad specifically states otherwise, you should always include a cover letter with your job application .

Even if the hiring manager doesn’t read it, you will look more professional simply by including one.

And that’s a wrap! We hope our cover letter examples and writing tips will inspire you to write a cover letter that will land you your next job.

If you’re looking for more invaluable career advice and articles, make sure to check out our career blog , or any of these related articles: 

  • How to Write a Resume
  • Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
  • Cover Letter Format (w/ Examples & Free Templates)

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