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How To Write a Job Application Letter (With Examples)

example of application letter 2021

What is a Job Application Letter?

Tips for writing a job application letter, how to get started.

  • Writing Guidelines
  • What to Include in Each Section

Simple Formatting Using a Template

Tips for writing an effective letter, sample job application letter, sending an email application, review more letter examples.

Do you need to write a letter to apply for a job? Most of the time, the answer is yes. Even when employers don’t require a job application letter , writing one will help you highlight your skills and achievements and get the hiring manager’s attention. The only time not to send one is when the job listing says not to do so. It can help, and it definitely won't hurt to include an application letter with your resume.

A job application letter, also known as a cover letter , should be sent or uploaded with your resume when applying for jobs. While your resume offers a history of your work experience and an outline of your skills and accomplishments, the job application letter you send to an employer explains why you are qualified for the position and should be selected for an interview.

Writing this letter can seem like a challenging task. However, if you take it one step at a time, you'll soon be an expert at writing application letters to send with your resume.

Melissa Ling / The Balance

Before you begin writing your job application letter, do some groundwork. Consider what information you want to include (keeping in mind that space is limited).

Remember, this letter is making a case for your candidacy for the position. But you can do better than just regurgitating your resume—instead, highlight your most relevant skills, experiences, and abilities.

Analyze the Job Posting

To include the most convincing, relevant details in your letter, you'll need to know what the employer wants.

The biggest clues are within the job advertisement, so spend some time decoding the job ad . Next, match your qualifications with the employer's wants and needs .

Include Your Most Relevant Qualifications

Make a list of your relevant experience and skills. For instance, if the job ad calls for a strong leader, think of examples of when you've successfully led a team. Once you've jotted down some notes, and have a sense of what you want to highlight in your letter, you're ready to get started writing.

Writing Guidelines for Job Application Letters

Writing a job application letter is very different from a quick email to a friend or a thank-you note to a relative. Hiring managers and potential interviewers have certain expectations when it comes to the letter's presentation and appearance, from length (no more than a page) to font size and style to letter spacing :

Length: A letter of application should be no more than one page long. Three to four paragraphs is typical.

Format and Page Margins: A letter of application should be single-spaced with a space between each paragraph. Use about 1" margins and align your text to the left, which is the standard alignment for most documents.

Font: Use a traditional font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. The font size should be between 10 and 12 points.

What To Include in Each Section of the Letter

There are also set rules for the sections included in the letter, from salutation to sign-off, and how the letter is organized. Here's a quick lowdown on the main sections included in a job application letter:

Heading: A letter of application should begin with both your and the employer's contact information (name, address, phone number, email) followed by the date. If this is an email rather than an actual letter, include your contact information at the end of the letter, after your signature.

  •   Header Examples

Salutation: This is your polite greeting. The most common salutation is "Dear Mr./Ms." followed by the person's last name. Find out more about appropriate cover letter salutations , including what to do if you don't know the person's name, or are unsure of a contact's gender.

Body of the letter: Think of this section as being three distinct parts.

In the first paragraph , you'll want to mention the job you are applying for and where you saw the job listing.

The next paragraph(s) are the most important part of your letter. Remember how you gathered all that information about what employers were seeking, and how you could meet their needs? This is where you'll share those relevant details on your experience and accomplishments.

The third and last part of the body of the letter will be your thank you to the employer; you can also offer follow-up information.

Complimentary Close: Sign off your email with a polite close, such as "Best" or "Sincerely," followed by your name.

  • Closing Examples

Signature: When you're sending or uploading a printed letter, end with your signature, handwritten, followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name, followed by your contact information.

  • Signature Examples

Overwhelmed by all these formatting and organization requirements? One way to make the process of writing a job application easier is to use a job application letter template to create your own personalized job application letters for applying for a job. Having a template can help save you time if you are sending a lot of application letters.

Be sure that each letter you send is personalized to the company and position; do not send the same letter to different companies.

  • Always write one. Unless a job posting specifically says not to send a letter of application or cover letter, you should always send one. Even if the company does not request a letter of application, it never hurts to include one. If they do ask you to send a letter, make sure to follow the directions exactly (for example, they might ask you to send the letter as an email attachment, or type it directly into their online application system).
  • Use business letter format. Use a formal business letter format when writing your letter. Include your contact information at the top, the date, and the employer’s contact information. Be sure to provide a salutation at the beginning, and your signature at the end.
  • Sell yourself. Throughout the letter, focus on how you would benefit the company. Provide specific examples of times when you demonstrated skills or abilities that would be useful for the job, especially those listed in the job posting or description. If possible, include examples of times when you added value to a company.

Numerical values offer concrete evidence of your skills and accomplishments.

  • Use keywords. Reread the job listing, circling any keywords (such as skills or abilities that are emphasized in the listing). Try to include some of those words in your cover letter. This will help the employer see that you are a strong fit for the job.
  • Keep it brief. Keep your letter under a page long, with no more than about four paragraphs. An employer is more likely to read a concise letter.
  • Proofread and edit. Employers are likely to overlook an application with a lot of errors. Read through your cover letter, and if possible, ask a friend or career counselor to review the letter. Proofread for any grammar or spelling errors.

This is a job application letter sample.  Download the letter template (compatible with Google Docs or Word Online) or read the example below.

Sample Job Application Letter (Text Version)

Elizabeth Johnson 12 Jones Street Portland, Maine 04101 555-555-5555 elizabethjohnson@emailaddress.com

August 11, 2020

Mark Smith Human Resources Manager Veggies to Go 238 Main Street Portland, Maine 04101

Dear Mr. Smith,

I was so excited when my former coworker, Jay Lopez, told me about your opening for an administrative assistant in your Portland offices. A long-time Veggies to Go customer and an experienced admin, I would love to help the company achieve its mission of making healthy produce as available as takeout.

I’ve worked for small companies for my entire career, and I relish the opportunity to wear many hats and work with the team to succeed. In my latest role as an administrative assistant at Beauty Corp, I saved my employer thousands of dollars in temp workers by implementing a self-scheduling system for the customer service reps that cut down on canceled shifts. I also learned web design, time sheet coding, and perfected my Excel skills. 

I’ve attached my resume for your consideration and hope to speak with you soon about your needs for the role.

Best Regards,

Elizabeth Johnson (signature hard copy letter)

Elizabeth Johnson

When you are sending your letter via email include the reason you are writing in the subject line of your message:

Subject Line Example

Subject: Elizabeth Johnson – Administrative Assistant Position

List your contact information in your signature, rather than in the body of the letter:

Email Signature Example

Elizabeth Johnson 555-555-5555 email@emailaddress.com

Review more examples of professionally written cover letters for a variety of circumstances, occupations, and types of jobs.

CareerOneStop. " How Do I Write a Cover Letter ?" Accessed July 14, 2021.

University of Maryland Global Campus. " Frequently Asked Questions ." Accessed July 14, 2021.

15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application

Rachel Leist

Published: August 10, 2022

Are cover letters necessary? I'm not in HR, but I've been approached by applicants who wondered whether their cover letter would actually be read. My answer is one not many of them wanted to hear: "sometimes." Sometimes it will be read. Other times, you can get away with just sending in your resume — like when you network your way into applying for a position.

cover letter templates; Business person using a cover letter template

The truth is, you can't really predict on a case-by-case basis — and you're better safe than sorry. For the most part, having a cover letter will give you an upper hand in ways your resume doesn't. It allows you to show off your writing skills, provide details that you couldn't fit on your resume, demonstrate your passion, and show your willingness to put in as much time and effort as possible.

→ Click here to access 5 free cover letter templates [Free Download]

If you’ve ever rolled your eyes or balked at an application that required a cover letter, this guide is for you. We’ll go over how to write a cover letter and provide cover letter templates to help you perfect your own.

Application Letter

An application letter is a written document addressed to an employer by a job applicant, explaining why they're interested in and qualified for an open position. More commonly known as a cover letter, this document can come in the form of an email, MS Word document, or similar application template offered by the employer.

Seems fairly basic, right? Cover letters can hold different levels of importance to an employer depending on the industry you're in and the job you're applying for. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 49% of recruiters say sendign a cover letter along with your resume boosts your chance of landing the role.

If you do plan to write a cover letter, keep in mind there are certain qualities it should have that are not included in the definition above.

example of application letter 2021

5 Free Cover Letter Templates

Five fill-in-the-blank cover letter templates to help you impress recruiters.

  • Standard Cover Letter Template
  • Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
  • Data-Driven Cover Letter Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

What to Include in a Cover Letter

So, what should you include? We'll let the 11 templates below this list do most of the talking. No matter which one you download, pay attention to the following elements — all of which should shine through in the letter you send to your future manager.

Fill out this form to access your templates.

1. contact information.

Cover letters shouldn't just carry your contact information, but also that of the company to which you're applying. Contact info includes your phone number, email address, and any social media accounts you're willing to share and receive connections to.

Home addresses aren't required, but they can be a helpful reassurance to the employer that you already live nearby and would have no trouble coming into the office.

Avoid offering phone numbers, email addresses, or actual addresses that belong to your current employer. Using your personal Gmail address over your work email, for example, ensures your correspondence with recruiters remains separate from all of your current work communication.

2. A Personal Address Line

For as often as you see "to whom it may concern" at the top of cover letters today, do your best to avoid writing this exhausted line.

Address lines that specify a person or company grab your reader's attention much more quickly, and show the employer that you've taken the time to tailor your application letter to them. Don't have the name of the hiring manager? "Employers at [company name]" will do just fine.

A "hook" is a clever introduction that "hooks" your reader into wanting to learn more. Think about yourself as a job candidate — what makes you unique? What about your career might a recruiter be intrigued by that you can package into an interesting first sentence?

4. Why You're Qualified

It's a no-brainer that you should summarize your professional experience in your cover letter. However, today's best applications describe why this experience qualifies the applicant for the job they're applying for. For example, don't just state that you spent three years writing for a company blog. Explain that this type of work lends itself to managing your new potential employer's content calendar every week.

5. General Knowledge of the Business

Grammatical errors could mean your application is thrown in the trash, but that's not the only thing that could get your letter tossed aside. Using a generic "one-size-fits-all" cover letter — especially if you forget to change the name of the company — will also hurt your chances of landing an interview.

So, if you take the time to write a cover letter, take the time to comment on the business itself. Why are you applying to this company? What about their business stuck out to you as a professional?

Now, let's take a look at an example cover letter , what makes it effective, along with 11 templates you can download or draw inspiration from.

Cover Letter Example

Cover letter example.

Image Source

The example above illustrates how to write a marketing cover letter using the elements we listed.

Besides the contact information and the address line, the first few paragraphs explain why the candidate is qualified for the position. This example uses specific data to show why they would be a good fit.

Additionally, in the second to last paragraph, the candidate discusses why they're interested in the specific company, demonstrating general knowledge of the business.

By combining all the elements to a cover letter, this is a great example to use for inspiration.

Featured Resource: 5 Professional Cover Letter Templates

Cover Letter Templates

14 Free Cover Letter Templates for Your Next Job Application

Template 1: basic.

Basic cover letter template with 7 qualities to learn from.

The example above is a basic (but great) cover letter. The numbered sections are explained in more detail below.

The level of formality your header has will depend on the company to which you apply. If you're applying to a formal business, it's important to use a formal header to open your cover letter, like in the sample above. Put your address, the date, and the company's address. But if you're applying to a company that isn't as formal, you don't need to include yours and the company's addresses. You can still include the date, though.

2. Greeting

Using "To Whom It May Concern" is okay, but you may want to take the time to research the name of the recruiter or hiring manager online. If you do your research and aren't confident you found the right name, then you should definitely use the generic greeting — but if you are sure, then it shows you put in the effort to find their name and it will catch the recruiter's eye.

If you have the recruiter's name, do you greet them by their full name, or by their courtesy title (i.e. Mr., Ms., or Mrs.)? Similar to the header, it depends on the company's level of formality. If you're applying to a corporate business, you may want to consider using "Mr. Snaper" instead of "Jon Snaper." If you're applying to a start-up or a business with a more casual culture, you can use "Jon Snaper," as shown in the example.

3. Introduction

Your opening paragraph should, in 1-3 sentences, state why you're excited to apply and what makes you the perfect candidate. Get right to the point, and don't worry about explaining where you found the posting or who you know at the company. This isn't a place to go into detail about why you're a great candidate — that's for the second paragraph. Here, simply list a few key reasons in one sentence to set up the rest of your letter. Keep in mind that the recruiter may cross-reference your cover letter with your resume, so make sure the two sync up.

4. Paragraph 2: Why You're a Great Fit for the Job

Next, sell yourself and your experience by choosing one or two concrete examples that show why you're a great fit for the position. What did you do at a previous company that gave you relevant experience? Which projects have you worked on that would benefit the new company? How will your prior experience help this company grow? Stay humble in your explanation of credentials while still showing that you would be an asset to the team. Use this paragraph to show you're genuinely excited and interested in the position.

5. Third Paragraph: Why the Company Is a Great Fit for You

While it's certainly important you're a good fit for the job, it's also important that the company is a good fit for you. "A cover letter typically describes why you're great for a company — but how will you benefit from getting hired?" asks former HubSpot Team Development Manager Emily MacIntyre . "We want to know why our company appeals to you, and how it will be a mutually beneficial working relationship."

In the third paragraph, show you're serious about growing and developing your career at this new company. What impresses and excites you about the company? Is there something that you feel strongly about that aligns with the company's goals? For example, the candidate in the sample letter used this space to show his personal commitment to environmental causes aligns with the company's green initiatives.

6. Strong Closer and Signature

Don't get lazy in the final few sentences of your cover letter — it's important to finish strong. Be straightforward about your interest and enthusiasm about the new position, and tell them you're available to talk about the opportunity at any time. Be sure to include your phone number and email address. At this point, the ball is (rightly) in the recruiter's court to decide how to follow up.

Last but certainly not least, thank them for their time and consideration. Use a formal sign-off like "Best," "All the best," or "Sincerely," and finish by typing out your full name. You don't need to sign it with a pen.

Template 2: Data-Driven Marketing Cover Letter

Get it here..

Data-driven marketing cover letter template

When applying to a data-driven position, it might be tempting to inject your cover letter with, well, the data to describe what you've done for other employers. But in an application letter — particularly for the marketing industry — how you convey this data is just as important as the data itself.

The cover letter template above, which we created here at HubSpot, can help you present the data that's most important to you as a candidate such that it'll matter to your future employer.

Notice the three bullet points near the center of the letter above, preceded by the statement: "... I've developed a strategy that has helped the company achieve ..." This setup is important, because while you can add as many statistics as you want to this template, your data points should describe how your current/former business benefited from your work, rather than how you, yourself, benefited.

Template 3: Straight-to-the-Point Cover Letter

cover letter template: Straight-to-the-point

Harvard Business Review contributor David Silverman hailed the above cover letter example as "The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received." For context, Silverman believes there are only a handful of times when writing a cover letter is actually necessary:

  • When you know the name of the hiring manager.
  • When you know something about what the job requires.
  • When you've been referred to the job personally.

Under those three circumstances, a straight-to-the-point cover letter like the one above could be your best bet. Because it's so concise, however, make a point to add your own letterhead above the message itself. It might be easy for a recruiter to sift through a short and sweet cover letter like the one above, but it's just as easy for it to get lost in the shuffle of their application list without a unique design or format.

Template 4: Referral Cover Letter

cover letter template: Referral cover letter

Just because a friend or colleague recommended you for a job doesn't mean the company is all set to hire you. Therefore, the cover letter template above is written specifically for referrals. We made this one here at HubSpot. Download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).

As you can see in the picture above, the first paragraph of the cover letter is dedicated entirely to acknowledging the circumstances of your applying: You know someone who works there — no harm in that. But there might be harm in not mentioning it to the hiring manager. Telling the reader about your connection at the company shows you're aware and confident of the actions you take to get the opportunities you're interested in.

Ultimately, it's better than the recruiter hearing about your employee connection from somebody else.

As for the rest of the cover letter, treat your message the same way you would if you had applied with no connection from within. Your skills and successes are no less important because of your internal referral.

Template 5: Photo Letterhead Cover Letter

Photo letterhead cover letter

The cover letter template above was designed by Microsoft Office, and as comprehensive as it looks, it's completely free to download and modify.

As it looks right now, this cover letter contains about half photo, half text. Feel free to shrink (and change) the image to give yourself more room to tell your story. Of course, a nice washed-out image that expresses who you are can be part of that story ...

Template 6: Digital Creative Cover Letter

cover letter template: digital creative letter

This sixth template is perfect for the applicant who wants to emphasize the many different digital channels they areon. This template goes well with a resume of the same format.

As you personalize this letter with your own experience, make note of the social networks and industry software included in this template. You'll see there’s additional space along the top to add your LinkedIn and personal website to fill with your own information.

You can improve upon this template by formatting your most important highlights and accomplishments with bullet points. This will make the document easier to read for the hiring manager and emphasizes the value you provide.

Template 7: Marketing Manager Cover Letter

cover letter template: Marketing-specific cover letter

Our seventh cover letter comes from Monster.com. This cover letter, shown above, is focused specifically on a marketing role.

Notice how the writer includes references to important marketing metrics and terminology. If you're applying to a data-driven role, you might not want to fill the page with a story of your experience in paragraph form, like Template 1 does at the beginning of this article. Instead, consider highlighting three (or four, or five) of your successes that you believe the hiring manager would resonate most with, in bulleted form.

As a marketing professional, breaking up your letter with bulleted details like the ones above shows a respect for the hiring manager's limited time — a mentality that all marketers must understand when communicating with a brand's audience.

Template 8: Career Day Follow-Up Cover Letter

cover letter template: Career day follow-up cover letter

This is a unique kind of cover letter from Princeton University.

LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and Indeed might take the lion's share of your job searches online, but still some employment opportunities come out of a trade show, job fair, or similar networking event. For those occurrences, you have the follow-up cover letter template above.

This cover letter has everything you need to help an employer recall a conversation you had with him/her at a career fair. As you can see in the second paragraph, the letter is particularly useful to people who are about to graduate college.

Template 9: Logo and Watermarked Cover Letter

cover letter template: Logo and watermarked cover letter by Microsoft Office

Here's another cover letter template from Microsoft Office. This one has a light touch of color in the design just above the letterhead, but make no mistake — the template caters to any professional looking to make a good first impression on their future employer.

Don't let the logo space on the top-right of the page confuse you. This can be the logo of the company to which you're applying — to quickly get the attention of the recruiter — or your own logo. Perhaps you freelance on the side or simply like branding yourself. This cover letter template is meant for customization.

Template 10: Data Scientist Cover Letter

cover letter template: Princeton Data Science Cover Letter

This is our second template from Princeton University. While this is focused on a data scientist role, it is an excellent template to use for students applying to jobs prior to graduation.

The text emphasizes how the applicant’s academic research and projects makes them an ideal candidate for the position. The format is also simple enough to submit as a pdf, as text in an email message or an application text box.

Template 11: Business Cover Letter

cover letter template: Business cover letter

The cover letter template above is perfect for entry- and mid-level marketers who want to show a little extra professionalism in their opening note to a potential employer.

The multi-colored header (you can change the color if you wish) shows just the right amount of creativity and can go quite well with a resume of the same style. If you don't have enough experience to fill the entire page, don't worry. Feel free to write to a length you think is representative of who you are and what the hiring manager wants to see.

No matter how long your final cover letter is, the above template is your opportunity to show your attention to detail — from your contact information in the top header, to the personalized address line where you can include the name of the hiring manager. Like we said, "to whom it may concern" is pretty outdated, anyway.

Template 12: Entry-Level Cover Letter

Entry level job cover letter

The cover letter template above, written by HubSpot, is specifically designed for entry-level applicants.

When you only have a few years experience, it's important to display how you gained your skills and what you learned from your education or internships. Additionally, it's important to mention why you want to work at the company you're applying to.

No matter your experience, the template above will help you decide what skills you want to highlight and flesh out in your cover letter.

You can download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).

Template 13: Healthcare Cover Letter

cover letter template: Healthcare cover letter

Additionally, phrases like "I'd love to put my skills to work for your clinic" and "Please contact me at your convenience and let me know how I can help you" focus on what the business will gain as a result of hiring the applicant, rather than what the applicant is looking to gain.

Template 14: Freelance Cover Letter

cover letter template: freelance cover letter

If you're looking for freelance work, your biggest goal is to get your strengths across quickly, so busy clients won't pass by your cover letter entirely. Additionally, if you're sending out multiple cover letters to different clients, you'll want to target each one to that client's unique goals.

For instance, if one client is looking for SEO-optimized content related to marketing, you'll want to highlight past experience writing marketing content; this will change if, for instance, the client is looking for fitness content.

For this reason, it's a good idea to structure your cover letter so you start with a) past credentials or references, and b) bullet-point information related to the client's goal, as shown in the cover letter above.

Template 15: Director Cover Letter

cover letter template: cover letter for director

In the cover letter above, the candidate does a good job outlining how she succeeded in a leadership role previously: "For the past five years, I have successfully developed and maintained all data systems, including schedules and records for a business employing more than 100 people."

You'll want to demonstrate how your skills align with a Director position — both through organization and leadership — and, when possible, where you received recognition for your hard work (i.e. "I earned an award for Most Valuable Administrative Staff Member").

Write a Winning Cover Letter

Writing a cover letter is easier said than done. Don't hesitate to spend a lot of time writing and editing it. Tap into the incredible potential of AI tools, such as the HubSpot paragraph rewriter , to infuse each paragraph with a flawless touch of excellence. Or, ask a friend or family member to read it over and give you feedback. If the recruiter does end up reading it, you'll be thankful you did.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Professional Cover Letter Templates

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The Best Cover Letter Format [3 Sample Templates]

Mike Simpson 0 Comments

cover letter format

By Mike Simpson

Before I give you all of my secrets for the perfect cover letter format (and trust me, you want to keep reading because this is going to really help you), I have to ask you a question.

Have you ever heard the phrase “You never get a second chance to make a first impression?”

Of course you have. So what’s the point? Bear with me for a moment.

Let’s say you’re at a party and meeting people for the very first time. You want to look your best, right?

FREE BONUS PDF CHEAT SHEET : Get our "Perfect Cover Letter" Cheat Sheet that gives you a Step-by-Step Process that will help you produce a perfect cover letter.

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You put on your favorite outfit, double and triple check your hair, brush your teeth five times, roll on your strongest deodorant and pack your pockets full of mints.

You’re doing everything you can to make sure you’re ready to go.

Okay so here’s another question: When people meet you for the first time, how long does it take for them to form an opinion about you based on their first impression.

Ready for this?

Seven seconds.

Seven seconds?! Are you serious?

That’s right, just seven fast seconds. As soon as you meet someone for the first time, their brains are processing everything about you at a rate of thousands of decisions a second:

Are you someone they want to talk to? Do you look friendly? Are you approachable? Do you look interesting? Is that spinach in your teeth?

Of course, most of these thoughts and decisions are made on the subconscious level at lightning speed and before you can fully get your name out and shake hands, that person has already decided whether or not they want to continue the conversation or move onto the next person to talk to.

Crazy, right?

Did you know the exact same thing happens in the job marketplace? It’s true.

Okay, so maybe you’re not meeting at the buffet line both contemplating the last shrimp puff, but when it comes to applying for a job and getting that interview, you need to treat it just like you treat your party, and that means getting everything exactly the way you want it to be for that first, crucial, first impression.

Hang on, how is that possible? Are you saying I have to dress up just to apply for my dream job? All I’m doing is sending in my paperwork…do I have to put on formal wear just to type it up?

In job interviews, just like our party, first impressions are everything, which is why we always encourage you to make sure you’re looking and sounding your best in every possible way, and in many cases that starts with your cover letter.

Oooh! My cover letter! But didn’t we already go over those?

Yes, we did! But this article is more than just how to write a cover letter . In this article we’re going to get down and dirty with the actual formatting of your cover letter.

Formatting? You mean there are different formats? I thought it was just a basic introduction and blah blah blah, here are my qualifications…hire me?

In a nutshell, yes, but remember, you only get one chance to make that first impression…so why run the risk of making the wrong one?

Why The Format Of Your Cover Letter Is Important

Let’s start with why cover letter formatting is so important.

As we’ve already said, first impressions are everything. You want a hiring manager to look at your cover letter and be so intrigued that they not only read it, but they call you in for an interview.

Chances are they’re going to be slogging through hundreds, if not thousands of cover letters and odds are the majority of those are going to be tossed in the trash after nothing more than a quick glance or two.

So, how do you make sure your cover letter (and attached resume) don’t get “filed under G” (for garbage… see what we did there)?

By making sure it’s not only the best first impression it can possibly be, but also the right impression.

Let’s get started.

How To Format A Cover Letter

To begin, let’s get some basics out of the way.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a quick way for you to summarize who you are, what position you are applying for and what skills and knowledge you have.

But can’t they just get the majority of that information from my resume?

Yes, but at the same time, a cover letter is a great opportunity for you to introduce information that’s not in your resume!

Most people fail to realize this and just use the cover letter as an opportunity to regurgitate everything that’s in their resume. Not only are they just doubling up useless information, they’re missing out on a huge opportunity to engage a potential employer as well as showcase other skills or outside experiences that might not be on their resume but which are perfect for the position.

Say what?!?

You don’t need to include every skill you possess in your cover letter, rather you use your cover letter to specifically target both the job and employer .

Using the cover letter as a way to express to your potential employer what it is about the position that appeals to you and why you want to work for them is a great way to both introduce yourself and get them curious enough about who you are to keep reading.

Think of your cover letter as the “laser pointer” highlighting exactly why you’re the Perfect Candidate .

So how long should my cover letter be?

A well written cover letter should never be longer than a single page .

No hiring manager wants to read a five page letter. Remember, they’re busy! Keep it short and sweet.

That’s it?! That doesn’t seem so hard!

Slow down there, turbo. It might not seem hard, but before you go rushing off to type yours up, we’re going to break it down even further… including the three different types of cover letter formats . Once we get those explained, we’ll circle back to actual formatting including fonts, margins, paper, etc.

Different Types of Cover Letter Format

There are three basic types of cover letter format you need to be aware of, and we like to call them:

The Paragraph cover letter The Specific Needs cover letter The Grocery List cover letter

PARAGRAPH COVER LETTER

The Paragraph cover letter is the most common form of cover letters and is probably the format you’ll end up using the most often, especially if you are just starting out in the job market or don’t have a ton of experience yet.

Paragraph letters allow you to engage your reader with direct story telling style utilizing a series of three to four short paragraphs.

People who would benefit from using the Paragraph Letter are:

High school grads College grads Entry Level Workers People with Gaps in their Work History People Making Career changes Individuals with extensive experience Executives Specialists Anyone!

But what does each paragraph contain?

Well, let’s take a look.

Your first paragraph is your introductory paragraph.

You use it to quickly tell a prospective employer who you are and why you are writing to them. You can include information here about things like your areas of expertise and your career goals and how they align with the company.

This is also where you let them know what position you’re specifically applying for as well as how you heard about it.

Your second and third paragraphs are all about what skills and knowledge you have that is specific to the job you’re applying for and will be bringing with you should they offer you the position.

Make sure you highlight your qualifications and how they fit in with the open position. Use words directly from the job description .

Again, this isn’t the time to just repeat your resume…use this space as an opportunity to really show them how you’re the employee they’ve been looking for all along and how you’re perfect for the job they’re currently hiring for.

When a company posts a job opening, they’re posting what they need. What skills, abilities, knowledge and experiences are they looking for?

Use this paragraph to highlight how you fill that need. This is also where you can fill in any information that might not be on your resume but which will help show why you’d be perfect for the position.

Your final paragraph is your conclusion. Wrap up your letter by thanking them for taking the time to read your letter and considering you for the position.

Don’t forget to include how they can contact you as well as your plans to follow-up with them.

All in all, a traditional paragraph letter looks like this:

Your Name Your Address Your City, State, Zip Code Your Phone Number Your Email

Name Title Organization Address City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

I'm writing to apply for your Corporate and Events Planning Director position at Big Top Bash, Inc. I have spent the past six years working exclusively in the event planning industry and bring with me both extensive experience as an event planner and an organized and detail-oriented work ethic to the position.

As an event planner, I have organized and executed hundreds of corporate events. Group sizes have ranged from small intimate gatherings to large-scale galas. My clients not only include corporations, but also include politicians interested in organizing fundraising and networking opportunities, weddings, retreats, anniversaries, and everything in between, including international events. I am also skilled in finding the appropriate venues, entertainment, security, transportation, vendors, and promoters.

I am also an experienced contract negotiator and am proud of my ability to secure economical solutions to fit the needs of my clients without compromising quality. I am skilled in working with budgets and guest lists of any size and am proud of my ability to deliver high quality results both on time and on budget. I am creative in my approach to problem solving and cool under pressure. I am confident in my crisis management skills and my ability to anticipate and proud of my long list of satisfied clientele.

I have enclosed my resume and will call within the week to see if we can arrange a time to speak.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, Signature First Name Last Name

THE EMPLOYER SPECIFIC NEEDS COVER LETTER

The specific needs cover letter (also known as the “T-Format” cover letter) is a little bit different from the paragraph letter. Yes, you still start out with your introductory first paragraph, and wrap up with your final concluding paragraph…but the real difference is how you format the middle of your letter .

Rather than writing it out in paragraph form, you go straight to what the employer is looking for and addresses each one in turn with your own matching qualifications using a dual column format.

That style looks like this:

cover-letter-format-example1

This is a great format to use when you want to instantly show an employer that you have specific skills that are a direct match for what they are looking for.

People who would benefit from the Employer Specific List of Needs letter are:

Individuals with extensive experience Executives Specialists

THE SHOPPING LIST COVER LETTER

The Shopping List cover letter is a hybrid of the two other types of cover letter formats, the paragraph letter and the specific needs letter.

Just like the previous two letters, you start out with your opening paragraph and close with the same concluding paragraph, but much like the specific needs letter, it’s the central paragraph that’s a little different.

Rather than doing a two column comparison or a story style paragraph, you list out exactly what the employer is looking for and respond with your own matching qualifications.

Pretend that the employer is going to the grocery store to find the Perfect Candidate. It’s up to you to show them that you fill their shopping list!

People who would benefit from the Shopping List Letter format are:

People with Gaps in their Work History People Making Career changes who have relevant experience that might not be on their resume Individuals with extensive experience Executives Specialists

It looks a bit like this:

I'm writing to apply for your Corporate and Events Planning Director position at Big Top Bash, Inc. I have spent the past six years working exclusively in the event planning industry. I bring with me both extensive experience as an event planner and an organized and detail-oriented work ethic which I believe apply directly to your job requirements including:

Experience – With over six years of practical hands on experience as a Senior Events Planning Director I have been responsible for successfully organizing and coordinating hundreds of events.

Attention to Detail – During my time, I’ve organized and executed events ranging in size from small intimate gatherings all the way up to political fundraising galas for over 1000 guests. No matter the size or budget, I approach each event with the same level of dedication.

Ability to Remain within Budget – I am comfortable working with both budgets and guests lists to ensure client satisfaction. I am also skilled at negotiating with vendors, venues, entertainment, security, transportation and promoters and am proud of my ability to secure economical solutions for my clients without sacrificing quality.

Ability to Work Well under Pressure – I am confident in my crisis management skills as well as my ability to anticipate potential problems before they arise. I am creative in my approach to problem solving and cool under pressure.

I have enclosed my resume and will call within the week to see if we can arrange a time to speak. 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Signature First Name Last Name

Not only is a cover letter like this easy to write, but it allows you to quickly list your relevant skills and accomplishments and can instantly show a potential employer that you are a perfect match for the available position.

This is also an excellent format for someone who is in the middle of a career change or transitioning as you can showcase exactly how the skills and experience you possess relate to the position, regardless of your work history.

Okay, all this is great, and I’m really excited to start writing my cover letter, but before I do…what about cover letter formatting specifics, like paper and margins and fonts?

Best Cover Letter Fonts, Margins & Paper

When writing your cover letter, you should follow the same rules you use when formatting any professional letter.

Let’s start with fonts.

Open your word processing program and take just a second to scroll through your font choices. If you’re like me, it seems as though there are a hundred different styles to choose from…so which one is the right one?

Yes, you want to stand out in a sea of other applicants, but remember, before you go selecting that font with all the swirls and loops that rule number one when typing up your cover letter is: legibility.

Making sure your cover letter is readable is step number one.

You want to make sure that a potential employer can easily read it regardless of if it’s printed out or on a computer screen. Speaking of computer screens, not everyone is on the same operating system which means a unique or quirky font on your screen might show up as code or nonsense on someone else’s.

Your cover letter, just like all documents you send to a potential employer, is a professional representation of who you are, and as such, should look professional.

Try to avoid any font or typefaces listed as a Serif. Yes, they look nice and they’re certainly legible, but Serif fonts are fonts with added embellishments and stylizations which, when run through a scanning program or software, can result in the program rejecting it.

Remember, many companies these days use an automated applicant tracking software to first pre-qualify candidates and the last thing you want to do is you’re your application rejected because the computer program didn’t recognize your font or had difficulty reading it.

So what fonts should you use?

Sans Serifs fonts are fonts which are clean, crisp, sleek, and most importantly, scanner-friendly! They’re also “eyeball-friendly” which means a hiring manager reading it won’t have any issues trying to figure out what they’re looking at or run into eye-strain.

Stick to classic fonts like  Arial ,  Verdana ,  Trebuchet MS ,  Century Gothic ,  Gill Sans MT  (but NEVER Comic Sans),  Lucida Sans and  Tahoma as well as our personal favorite, Helvetica. It’s a flawless blend of style and clarity.

Another thing to keep in mind with fonts is the size you’re using. Shrinking everything down to the size of an ant just so you can fit it all onto a single page won’t win you any points. Again, you want to ensure that your cover letter is readable.

Try to stay between 10.5 and 12 points . Any smaller and it’s hard to read.

MARGINS AND SPACING

When you format your cover letter you want to make sure that your leave enough margin space to allow for printing .

Try to resist the temptation to adjust your margins, even if you’re trying to fit more into your page. Just because it prints out on your printer doesn’t mean it will all print out exactly the same on an employer’s printer. Adjust your margins too much and you run the risk of critical information being cut off if an employer prints it out.

Inversely, making your margins too large will leave your cover letter looking boxed in and squished.

The general rule is to set your margins at one inch on all sides.

When you turn a cover letter into a potential employer, you want to make sure you’re using paper that helps convey the message that you’re a professional.

Of course, if you’re using an online submission system, you don’t get to choose what sort of paper an employer might potentially print your cover letter out on, but in the instances when you’re physically turning something in, it’s a good idea to put some extra time, thought, and a little bit of money into the paper you’re using.

Yes, it’s a little more expensive to pick up a package of high quality paper, but think of it as an investment – in you!

Look for paper rated at around 24lb weight. Anything lighter is intended for bulk copying and will come across as cheap and flimsy. If you’re using paper with a watermark, make sure it’s facing the correct way relative to your cover letter.

When selecting the color of paper you’re using, it’s always a safe bet to stick to white or neutrals. Off-white, cream, ivory and light gray are acceptable for most professional jobs.

Finally, make sure you’re always using 8 ½ x 11 paper.

LENGTH AND SPACING

As we mentioned earlier, no matter which of the three formats you decide to go with, your cover letter should fit neatly onto one single sided page without crowding.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and in some (rare) cases (career changes, highly advanced technical fields, or individuals at the senior/executive level), a slightly longer cover letter is acceptable.

Keep in mind this isn’t your autobiography!

In terms of the spacing, keep your cover letter to single-spaced with a blank line between each section of your content.

5 Common Cover Letter Format Mistakes to Avoid

1. spelling and grammar mistakes (and typos).

THIS IS A PROFESSIONAL DOCUMENT…which means, ALWAYS proofread your cover letter before you send it out! This includes double checking your contact information.

It won’t do you any good if you have the perfect cover letter and employers who want to hire you if they keep calling the wrong number or emailing the wrong email. Double check! Then…check again!

2. Not Tailoring Your Cover Letter

Stop me if you’ve heard us mention “tailoring before”. By now, you should have. After all, it’s the backbone to our whole job-getting strategy!

MIKE'S TIP:

Blanketing the job market with a one-cover letter-fits-all approach not only makes you look lazy, but it shows an employer that you’re comfortable doing the bare minimum rather than going the extra step to make sure your cover letter is tailored to the job you’re specifically seeking.

Do your research beforehand and make sure the letter you’re sending out not only highlights your skills and experiences, but shows an employer that you’re the Perfect Candidate for not only the job but the company you’re applying to!

NOTE: This includes the greeting/salutation of your letter. It should be “addressed” to the hiring manager (full name if possible). Be sure to read our “how to address a cover letter” article for step-by-step instructions.

3. Rambling

Keep in mind your first impression rule. Submitting a cover letter that’s long, rambling, confusing or poorly organized isn’t going to get you anything except dumped.

This includes padding your cover letter with unnecessary information. Keep your cover letter tailored, clear, concise, and clean. A short letter that’s straight to the point and laser focused is far more powerful than a long letter filled with big words and confusing sentences.

4. Personal Information

Religious affiliations, social security numbers, personal social media contact, birthday (or age), marital status, or anything else that’s personal has no place on your cover letter.

This also includes photos or headshots. All a potential employer needs to know is what your name is, how to contact you, and why you’re the perfect candidate based off of your skills, experience, and qualifications.

5. Salary Information

Save that for a personal discussion with the hiring manager a little further down the road. Putting your salary requirements on your cover letter is never a good idea. Check out the article we wrote on “How to Negotiate Salary During the Job Interview Process”  here.

Top 5 Cover Letter Formatting Tips

1. Keep your format simple:  Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Presenting a hiring manager with a cover letter that’s overly crowded, hard to read, confusing or just plain messy isn’t going to get you the job…it’s going to get you thrown out.

2.   Keep it professional:  Avoid cute fonts, gimmicks, scented paper, glitter, odd shapes, or anything that could potentially make an employer look at your cover letter and question your sanity. Don’t print on cheap paper. Show an employer you’re serious about the job. Save the stickers and smiley faces for your holiday letters you send home to family.

3.   Focus on the job description and how you satisfy what the hiring manager is looking for. Read the job description and then read it again. What does the hiring manager need? How do your skills and experiences fill that need? Make sure when you’re writing your cover letter that you’re using words specifically used in the job posting and relating your skills directly to those that the hiring manager is looking for.

4. Make sure you’re selecting the cover letter format that best reflects who you are, your work history, and the job you’re applying for. Remember a cover letter is a great way to introduce yourself to an employer and explain away any questions they might have about you based on your resume information . Make sure you’re selecting the right format cover letter (paragraph, employer needs, shopping list) and that the information you include is relevant to the position you’re applying for.

5. Be honest:  I know we’ve said this again and again in multiple articles on this site, but it’s a sentiment that bears repeating. Be honest. Don’t pad your cover letter with jobs or duties you’ve never held or exaggerate ones you have just to impress an employer. The last thing you want to do is get a job you can’t do. Not only will you look bad, but it’ll haunt you down the line with other future potential employers. Be honest!

Putting It All Together

We promised you a much deeper look into cover letter format and I think we’ve managed to deliver just that!

A cover letter is intended to introduce you to your potential future employer and show them who you are in the best possible way…and now, thanks to this article, you shouldn’t have any problems! Who needs a second chance at a first impression if you do it right the first time?

Of course, reading about it is one thing, but seeing how these cover letters look is another. If you’re interested in seeing examples of how these cover letters look in person, head on over to our 12 Great Cover Letter Examples  article.

Just make sure, no matter which format you choose, that you’re tailoring it to the job you’re applying for, making sure to include relevant information, and that you’re using specific key words from the job posting and relating your skills directly to the needs of the employer.

And as always…good luck!

FREE : "Perfect Cover Letter" PDF CHEAT SHEET

Get our handy "Perfect Cover Letter" cheat sheet.

In it you'll get a step-by-step process that will let you craft the perfect cover letter.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE CHEAT SHEET

example of application letter 2021

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com.

His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others.

Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

About The Author

Mike simpson.

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Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

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example of application letter 2021

21+ 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.

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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