The 23 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right

Amanda Zantal-Wiener

Published: December 14, 2023

I've sent plenty of cover letters throughout my career, so I know it isn't usually fun to write one. Fortunately, the cover letter examples I painstakingly gathered below show that it’s possible to have a little fun with your job search — and maybe even make yourself a better candidate in the process.

 person types of a cover letter

I was shocked upon learning 45% of job seekers don't include a cover letter when applying for a job. I definitely don't recommend following the crowd on this matter because your cover letter is a chance to tell the stories your resume only outlines.

It's an opportunity for you to highlight your creativity at the earliest stage of the recruitment process.

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

Are you ready to showcase your unique skills and experience? Or are you looking for more tips and cover letter inspiration?

Keep reading for 20+ cover letter examples, then check out tips for cover letter formatting and what makes a cover letter great .

how do you write a catchy cover letter

5 Free Cover Letter Templates

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

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

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Cover Letter Examples

  • Standard Cover Letter Example
  • Data-Driven Cover Letter Sample
  • Entry-Level Cover Letter Example
  • The Cover Letter That Explains 'Why,' Not Just 'How'
  • The 'We're Meant for Each Other' Cover Letter
  • The Cover Letter with H.E.A.R.T.
  • Short-and-Sweet Cover Letter Example
  • The Short Story
  • The Bare Bones Cover Letter
  • The Breezy Follow-Up
  • The Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
  • The Internship Cover Letter
  • The Brutally Honest Cover Letter
  • The Pivot Cover Letter
  • The Graphic Design Cover Letter
  • Consulting Internship Cover Letter Example
  • Nonprofit Referral Cover Letter Example
  • General Email Inquiry Cover Letter Example
  • Post-Phone-Call Cover Letter Example
  • Mission-Driven Graduate Cover Letter Example
  • Short Recommendation Cover Letter Example
  • Professor or Research Position Cover Letter Example
  • Director Cover Letter Example
  • Editorial Cover Letter Example
  • Promotion Cover Letter Example
  • Law Cover Letter Example

Customizable Cover Letter Examples

In a hurry for a cover letter example you can download and customize? Check out the ones below from HubSpot’s cover letter template kit .

1. Standard Cover Letter Example

cover letter examples: standard cover letter

Download a Customizable Copy of This Cover Letter Example

This standard cover letter is among my favorite approaches because it hits all the right notes: It includes a space to give a brief summary of your experience, as well as a space to delve in-depth into the specific responsibilities of your current role.

You also have the chance to describe the challenges you’ve mastered in previous roles, showing that you’re capable of facing any problem that comes your way.

Why I Love It

I love this cover letter because it allows you to describe the high points of your career while still being professional, personalized, and succinct.

2. Data-Driven Cover Letter Sample

cover letter examples: data driven cover letter

Numbers are worth a million words — or that’s how I think the saying should go (if only we could include pictures in cover letters).

Citing data and statistics about your achievements at your current company is an assured way to capture a hiring manager’s attention.

Over the years, I've learned most hiring managers don’t read the entire letter, so a bulleted summary of your achievements can be a powerful way to increase the effectiveness and scannability of your message.

I love this cover letter because it’s adaptable to any role. Even if you don’t work in a data-centric role, you can include any enumerable achievement.

If I worked in a creative industry, for instance, I could include the number of creative assets you designed for your current company.

3. Entry-Level Cover Letter Example

cover letter examples: entry-level cover letter

Many of us have had "first job jitters" (that's what I'm calling it) when applying for our first career opportunity.

However, my experience taught me to increase my chances of getting that first interview by including a cover letter that explains how my education can help me succeed in the role I applied for.

In fact, HubSpot staff writer Erica Santiago says highlighting her education was key to snagging her first role out of college.

"When I graduated from journalism school, I only had a couple of internships under my belt and maybe some writing clips — not enough to compete with most young professionals with more experience," she recalls.

"So, I highlighted the classes I took such as 'News Reporting and Writing' or 'Electronic News Gathering," she says, "And I explained the assignments I did and how they gave me real-world experience in interviewing and reporting."

She says that's how she got her first job as a digital journalist for WSVN in Miami.

If you need help understanding how to highlight your education in a cover letter, look no further than this example from HubSpot.

While other cover letter samples give experienced professionals the opportunity to share their experience at length, this one gives you the chance to describe your personal and professional attributes.

You can then convey how you can use your knowledge to help your target company reach its goals.

I love this cover letter because it’s easy and simple to use for a student who has little experience in their target industry — including those who haven’t yet completed an internship.

Looking for more? Download the entire kit below.

5 Professional Cover Letter Templates

Fill out the form to access your templates., best cover letter examples.

What does a good cover letter look like in practice, and how can you make yours stand out? I  found six examples from job seekers who decided to do things a bit differently.

Note: Some of these cover letters include real company names and NSFW language that I've covered up.

1. The Cover Letter That Explains 'Why,' Not Just 'How'

You may already know how to talk about how you’ll best execute a certain role in your cover letter. But there’s another question you might want to answer: Why the heck do you want to work here?

The Muse , a career guidance site, says that it’s often best to lead with the why — especially if it makes a good story.

I advise against blathering on and on, but a brief tale that illuminates your desire to work for that particular employer can really make you stand out.

cover letter that explains "why" with a story about a childhood experience with the chicago cubs

Image Source

Here’s another instance of the power of personalization.

The author of this cover letter clearly has a passion for this prospective employer — the Chicago Cubs — and if she’s lying about it, well, I'm sure that would eventually be revealed in an interview.

Make sure your story is nonfiction and relatable according to each job. While I love a good tale of childhood baseball games, an introduction like this one probably wouldn’t be fitting in a cover letter for, say, a software company.

But a story of how the hours you spent playing with DOS games as a kid led to your passion for coding? Sure, I’d find that fitting.

If you’re really passionate about a particular job opening, think about where that deep interest is rooted. Then, tell your hiring manager about it in a few sentences.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This example shows how effective personalization can be. The writer is passionate about the employer, drawing from her own childhood experience to communicate her enthusiasm.

Further reading: Sales Cover Letter Tips

2. The 'We're Meant for Each Other' Cover Letter

This cover letter example is a special one because it was submitted to us here at HubSpot. What does the letter do well? It makes a connection with us before we've even met the letter's author.

We're meant for each other cover letter submitted to HubSpot

"Content Marketing Certified" shows the applicant has taken the content marketing certification course in our HubSpot Academy (you can take the same course here ).

Our "records" indicate he/she did indeed give an interview with us before — and was a HubSpot customer.

The cover letter sang references to a relationship we didn't even know we had with the candidate.

The letter ends with a charming pitch for why, despite him/her not getting hired previously, our interests complement each other this time around.

(Yes, the applicant was hired).

This cover letter example does an excellent job of building rapport with the employer. Despite not getting hired for previous roles they applied for at HubSpot, the writer conveys exactly why they are right for this role.

Read more: Customer Service Cover Letter Tips

3. The Cover Letter with H.E.A.R.T.

HubSpot has a lot of H.E.A.R.T. — Humble, Empathetic, Adaptable, Remarkable, Transparent.

Our Culture Code is the foundation of the company's culture, the driving force behind our mission to help millions grow better , and serves as the scaffolding for our hiring practices.

Recruiters at HubSpot look for applicants that demonstrate how they embody the Culture Code and job description, paying extra attention to cover letters that are super custom to HubSpot.

In another HubSpot submission, a HubSpot applicant writes about how she found out about HubSpot, why she likes the company, and how her professional experience aligns with H.E.A.R.T.

cover letter that details experience according to hubspot values: humble, empathy, adaptability, remarkable, and transparent.

HubSpot's recruiting team was impressed with her dedication to the company and how she went beyond what was asked for by linking her portfolio in her closing paragraph.

Featured Resource: 5 Free Cover Letter Templates

Cover-Letter-Templates

Download our collection of 5 professional cover letter templates to help you summarize your professional journey and land your dream job – whether it's at your first or fifth company.

Short Cover Letter Examples

4. the short-and-sweet cover letter.

In 2009, David Silverman penned an article for Harvard Business Review titled, " The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received. " That letter has three complete sentences, as follows:

Short and sweet cover letter example with only three sentences

One might argue that this particular letter is less than outstanding, and I'll also admit it's an older example.

It’s brief, to say the least, and the author doesn’t go into a ton of detail about what makes him or her qualified for the job in question.

But that’s what Silverman likes about it — the fact that the applicant only included the pieces of information that would matter the most to the recipient.

"The writer of this letter took the time to think through what would be relevant to me," writes Silverman. "Instead of scattering lots of facts in hopes that one was relevant, the candidate offered up an opinion as to which experiences I should focus on."

When you apply for a job, start by determining two things:

  • Who might oversee the role — that’s often included in the description, under "reports to." Address your letter to that individual.
  • Figure out what problems this role is meant to solve for that person. Then, concisely phrase in your cover letter how and why your experience can and will resolve those problems.

The key to this standout cover letter is research.

By looking into who you’ll be reporting to and learning more about that person’s leadership style, you’ll be better prepared to tailor your cover letter to focus on how you can create solutions for them.

Read here for more tips on how to land your dream job .

5. The Short Story

Basha Coleman began her cover letter with a short story. The goal of this short story is two-fold:

  • Detail the experience she already has with the organization.
  • Stand out to the hiring team.

short cover letter example from basha coleman that starts with a short story about her existing experience with pepsi

I notice her short story follows a typical narrative arc: It has a conflict/obstacle, a turning point, and a positive outcome, all created with a goal to emphasize a theme or point.

In this case, Coleman is emphasizing her existing affinity with the brand and her triumphs within the program so that she can continue on her career path.

Like the second example in our list, this cover letter does an excellent job of conveying the applicant’s existing affinity for the brand. If you are applying to a company you love, don’t be shy about showing it and explaining why.

6. The Bare Bones Cover Letter

In today's job market, cover letters aren't always necessary. Even though many recruiters won't ask for or even read them, cover letters can still be effective and convey personality to a reader.

Writing a strong cover letter can help you better convey your interest in the position and company.

This template from The Balance Careers puts together the essential components of a short cover letter: excitement about the position, your qualifications, and a call-to-action for the recruiter to follow up with you.

Combining these central aspects in a well-written, compelling narrative will go a long way in convincing readers to hire you.

short cover letter example with summarized bullet points

This letter is organized and concise. The inclusion of bullet points to highlight key skills and help the recruiter skim the document is a nice touch.

Check out this post for more useful cover letter tips .

7. The Breezy Follow-Up

In this cover letter, Amanda Edens is following the instructions the hiring manager gave by forwarding an email with resume and writing samples attached.

short cover letter example from Amanda Edens with bullet points and breezy language

This short cover letter is the result. I especially admire how she uses casual and breezy language to convey personality and enthusiasm, and she keeps her paragraphs succinct.

Not only does Amanda include links to relevant writing samples that are live on the web, but she also closes with a strong final paragraph that:

  • Summarizes the expertise she has relevant to the posting
  • Emphasizes that she doesn't want to simply get a job but rather help the organization accomplish their goals
  • The reader gets everything they need in an organized and thoughtful manner.

8. The Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

In this cover letter the candidate, Michelle, plays up her prior music industry experience to build a connection with Epic Music Group. If you have specific industry experience for the role you are applying for, be sure to highlight that.

Cover Letter Example: Admin Cover Letter

It’s clear that she’s passionate about not only the music industry, but Epic as a whole.

She’s done so much research on the company that she knows what software programs they use, and happens to be proficient in it to help convey value to the hiring manager.

This example further illustrates the importance of research.

Make sure you understand the culture of the company to which you’re applying before you send a completely unfiltered cover letter — if you don’t, there’s a good chance it’ll completely miss the mark.

In just three short paragraphs, the applicant uses their company research to drive home why they are the perfect fit for the role — emphasizing industry experience as well as software knowledge specific to the company.

All of this communicates that she’d be able to start with very few hiccups while getting up to speed.

Further reading: 15 Cover Letter Templates

9. The Internship Cover Letter

Maybe you’re just getting started in your career and looking to land the right internship to gain experience in your field.

In this case, you’ll need to highlight more of your educational background and transferable skills since you won’t have as much professional experience to highlight.

Cover Letter Examples: Internship Cover Letter

The cover letter above is a great example of how to emphasize your skills and accomplishments when applying to internships or entry-level positions. A few things the applicant does well:

  • Highlights relevant extracurriculars and affinity networks. In this case, the applicant is applying for a business analyst position, so mentioning their involvement in a FinTech group makes sense.
  • Previous internships in relevant fields: Our applicant points out that they’ve interned as a Business Analyst at another firm. Pointing out that they’ve done the role before will help make their case for fit.
  • Highlight other useful skills: This applicant is fluent in both English and German. If an international company or an organization needs bilingual support, knowing multiple languages is an asset.

This cover letter example illustrates how you can leverage your education and background to get the gig even when you don’t have much working experience. Highlighting previous internships or experience in related fields can go a long way in convincing hiring managers you’re the perfect candidate for the role.

Further reading for recent graduates:

  • How to Find a Job After College
  • Writing a Cover Letter for an Internship

Creative Cover Letter Examples

10. the brutally honest cover letter.

Then, there are the occasions when your future boss might appreciate honesty — in its purest form.

Former Livestream CEO Jesse Hertzberg, by his own admission, is one of those people, which might be why he called this example " the best cover letter " (which he received while he was with Squarespace):

Brutally honest cover letter example

As Hertzberg says in the blog post elaborating on this excerpt — it’s not appropriate for every job or company.

But if you happen to be sure that the corporate culture of this prospective employer gets a kick out of a complete lack of filter, then there’s a chance that the hiring manager might appreciate your candor.

"Remember that I'm reading these all day long," Hertzberg writes. "You need to quickly convince me I should keep reading. You need to stand out."

The applicant did their research on the company’s culture and executed this cover letter flawlessly. It’s funny and shows off the applicant’s personality all while making it clear why they are a good fit for the role.

Further reading:

  • How to Stand Out and Get Hired at Your Dream Company
  • How to Find Your Dream Job

11. The Pivot Cover Letter

Making a career switch? Your cover letter can be an excellent opportunity for you to explain the reasoning behind your career change and how your transferable skills qualify you for the role.

Cover Letter Example: Creative Pivot Cover Letter

It’s clean but effective.

Since the role she is applying for is more visual, it’s important to both show and tell why you’re a good fit.

This cover letter strikes the perfect balance between creativity and simplicity in design while putting the applicant's career change into context.

The copy is clean, with a creative font choice that isn’t distracting from the content, but still demonstrates the applicant’s knack for design.

12. The Graphic Design Cover Letter

When applying for more creative roles, the design of your cover letter can say just as much as the words on the page. Take the graphic designer letter example below.

sandra barnes cover letter

It’s got so much going for it:

  • Pop of color
  • Clean layout
  • Interesting fonts

Besides the style elements, this example also doesn’t skimp on the key skills recruiters are looking for. Using metrics, the applicant proves their value and why they would be a great fit.

This cover letter thoroughly conveys the applicant’s skills and qualifications using a variety of visual elements and emphasizing their greatest achievements.

Pro tip: If you're applying for a graphic design job, share a link to your graphic design portfolio website , even if it's not an application requirement.

Job Cover Letter Examples

Next up, let’s go over some classic cover letter examples for jobs, especially if you’re applying to internships or only have a few years of experience.

The below cover letters follow the golden rules and don’t deviate too much from the standard — which is ideal if you’re applying to positions in more traditional industries.

13. Consulting Internship Cover Letter Example

consulting cover letter

Many internship applicants are early on in their careers or are still in college. That means they’ve yet to gather enough experience to offer tangible proof of their ability to do the job.

That means that a cover letter is the place where an internship applicant can shine.

This cover letter example highlights the applicant’s skills in a bullet-point format. That makes it easier for an overburdened hiring manager to get the essence of her points, quickly, if they’re only skimming cover letters.

Not only that, but this applicant personalized the letter in every single sentence. She shares information about her prior conversations with some of the company’s employees and mentions the company’s name at every turn.

While she only has one prior consulting job, she deftly mentions the skills she developed in that role and ties them into her desired position at Quantcast Product Group.

This cover letter example does a fantastic job advertising the applicant’s soft skills in a highly scannable format — while still going heavy on the personalization.

Don’t be shy to lightly play with formatting to get your point across and to imbue the letter with your passion for a company.

14. Nonprofit Referral Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: nonprofit referral

This cover letter example for a nonprofit job hits the ground running by right away inserting the name of one of the nonprofit’s Superintendents.

That’s an excellent way to get a recruiter’s attention and make you stand out from the slush pile, even if you’re only just out of school, as is the case for this applicant.

If you’ve received an internal recommendation for a position, you’d be wise to open your letter with that information. Don’t worry about it feeling too stilted or strange — remember, hiring managers only skim letters.

Your goal is to make sure they get information about you that they otherwise won’t get from your resume.

With only three full paragraphs, this cover letter example is short, sweet, and to the point. No time is wasted, and it also goes over the critical basics, such as skills and experience.

This nonprofit cover letter includes a recommendation from an internal employee at the target organization, making it more likely to stand out from the slush pile.

I  also love that it doesn’t skimp on the basics, such as skills, enthusiasm, and experience.

15. General Email Inquiry Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: general internship inquiry

Even if a job opportunity isn’t available at an organization yet, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be. You can always send a general inquiry cover letter, like the one in this example.

This email cover letter for a political campaign internship is short and sweet, but includes the critical information the campaign coordinator needs to consider the applicant for any new positions that may open up.

The best part about this cover letter is that it can be easily customized from one political campaign employer to the next.

While it does include a level of personalization, it’s brief and can be easily changed to address the specific political candidate.

When sending general inquiries like this one, it’s essential to make the personalization aspect as pain-free as possible for yourself. That may mean including only one sentence or two, knowing that a general inquiry might not be replied to.

This email cover letter example hits all the right notes while keeping it brief and to-the-point. While we don’t recommend choosing this format for a formal cover letter, it works if you’re sending a general inquiry to an employer over email.

It’s also a good example to follow if you’re still in college or have very little experience.

Read more: How to Write a Letter of Interest

16. Post-Phone-Call Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: post phone call

If you get a phone call from a potential employer and they invite you to send your resume, pat yourself on the back — that is such a win. In your cover letter, be sure to mention that right away, like this example does.

A hiring manager or an executive at a company likely has a lot of tasks on their plate, which means that they may forget about your call from one week to the next.

That is totally okay, which is why this example starts with a reminder that the applicant and the letter recipient spoke back on January 31st. It also has a few more details about why they started speaking in the first place.

Aside from leveraging the phone call that’s already occurred, this cover letter also does an excellent job explaining why the applicant is an ideal choice for the job.

It goes into detail about skills and previous experience with a high level of enthusiasm, and includes a promise to follow up at the end.

This cover letter example includes two things that will immediately draw my attention: A phone call they’ve already had, and a mutual contact at their organization.

The job and internship search can be grueling; never be afraid to use everything you have at your disposal to improve your standing over other applicants.

Read more: How to Start a Cover Letter

17. Mission-Driven Graduate Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: mission driven

This cover letter example from a recent B.A. graduate wowed me from the first sentence.

The applicant right away explains her attained degree and her specific career interests, then dives into the aspects of her experience that make her such a great candidate.

It's so personalized to the employer’s own mission that it’s difficult to stop reading it.

Even if the hiring manager isn’t a science or health professional, they would be able to effectively gauge the applicant’s suitability for the role by the expertise she shows in her cover letter alone.

The applicant explains at length why she’s excited to work for that specific hospital. The organization serves Aboriginal populations, which aligns with her own values and research interests.

In the last paragraph, she summarizes what she knows about the employer in one sentence, then describes how each of her experiences supports the employer’s mission.

That is an exceedingly clever and meaningful way to align yourself with an organization at a deeper level.

If you’re applying to a mission-driven organization, don’t be shy about showing your excitement and expertise. You don’t need a lot of experience to show that your values align with those of your target organization.

This cover letter example is especially good inspiration if you’re making a career change, have only just a few internships under your belt, or are graduating from college.

18. Short Recommendation Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: short recommendation

Referral or recommendation cover letters don’t need to be too long, and this is a great example of that. It immediately leverages a mutual connection at the company.

The mutual connection recommended that the applicant contact the hiring manager for a role, which is a piece of information I  always recommend you frontload in your letter.

This specific cover letter comes from an applicant with little experience, making it a good example to follow if you’re switching careers or just out of college.

Instead of talking about their experience, the applicant uses anecdotal evidence to convey their enthusiasm for working at that company.

The writer also goes over their most salient skills, such as being able to speak multiple languages. They also explain how their degree directly applies to the target role.

I  love that the candidate highlights their leadership abilities and makes that an effective selling point for being hired.

This cover letter doesn’t go on for too long, which we love. It’s simple and sweet and provides all the information the hiring manager needs to look more closely at the applicant’s resume and make an interviewing decision.

19. Professor or Research Position Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: professor or research

Academic or research position cover letters might require a little more information than the typical cover letter — and this is one such example. Why is it okay to go a little longer?

Because the letter is not only a way to supplement the PhD candidate’s academic CV, but to provide a writing sample for the search committee.

I love this cover letter because it expresses the candidate’s enthusiasm for teaching and explains her instructional ethos, such as providing out-of-the-classroom opportunities, championing communication, and encouraging students to step out of their comfort zone.

The applicant also suggests courses she may be able to teach at the target institution, and expresses her interest in developing new courses as needed.

She also suggests how she can enhance the college’s extracurricular programming by offering study abroad courses, which shows not just an interest in teaching but adding to the school’s overall culture.

While this letter goes for a little longer than recommended, it serves as a fantastic writing sample and explains the applicant’s research background at length.

If you’re applying to academic or research roles, don’t be afraid to go into detail about what most excites you in terms of research interests.

20. Director Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: director

This cover letter example — for a Director of Catering position at a university — doesn’t waste any time.

The applicant right away says that they’re a strong candidate for the role, then jumps right into three salient qualifications that make him a great fit.

I love how the applicant uses bullet points and bold text to guide an overburdened hiring manager through the cover letter — and to give them permission to scan it, if needed.

If the hiring manager would like more information or actual examples of the skills, they merely need to read the rest of the bullet point paragraph.

As mentioned, light formatting can be beneficial to your cover letter, as it draws the recruiter’s eyes and prevents them from having to fish for the information they’re looking for.

This short, sweet cover letter includes the critical information a hiring manager or high-level executive needs to make an interview decision.

I  love the use of formatting that doesn’t stray too much from regular cover letter conventions, and I  like that the applicant kept all other paragraphs extremely brief.

21. Editorial Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: editorial

Applying for an editorial or journalistic position? Like a cover letter example I  shared earlier, you can take a more storytelling approach to capture the hiring manager’s attention.

This cover letter example does that effectively by telling an anecdote that directly mentions the newspaper where they’d like to work.

This immediately draws the reader in and tells them that this application isn’t random at all; the applicant would like to work at the newspaper because they’ve read it every morning.

Not only that, but they have a favorite reporter on the newspaper’s staff. The applicant then jumps into the specific reason they want to take an editorial position at the Baltimore Sun.

The cover letter includes all pertinent information, such as how previous positions have equipped the applicant to take on this job. It closes with enthusiasm after keeping the reader rapt every step of the way.

The applicant uses storytelling to — you guessed it — apply for a position that needs storytelling skills. If you’re applying for a data-driven position or a graphic design position, why not showcase those skills in the cover letter itself?

I  like that this letter doesn’t diverge too much from cover letter conventions while still differentiating itself.

22. Promotion Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: promotion

In this cover letter example, the applicant already works for the employer and wishes to apply for the next position to move up in their career.

I  like that the letter cites the applicant’s extensive knowledge of the organization, which will no doubt give them an advantage over external applicants.

Not only that, but the applicant also references their experience before they started working at the employer and uses that information to make their candidacy even more desirable.

Lastly, this letter includes a healthy level of enthusiasm for the university and the position — something that is never extra in a cover letter.

This cover letter example does an excellent job showing the candidate’s knowledge of their current organization while stating why they’re a natural fit for the promotion.

Plus, the letter includes information on the applicant’s relevant activities outside of work — if you’re involved in any organizations that might help you do your job better, be sure to include them.

23. Law Cover Letter Example

job cover letter examples: law

This law cover letter example jumps right into personalization, a bold move that will serve you well if you’re genuinely interested in a company and want to stand out.

The applicant cites the recipient’s recent article on bond litigation, then ties that into the role they’d like to get at the law firm.

The applicant then goes into his skills and the feedback he’s received from past managers. This is an excellent way to introduce your skills without sounding dry — or even unfounded.

By citing positive feedback you’ve received, you’ll imply that others have praised you for having those skills, and that you’re not only "tooting your own horn."

Pro-Tip: In cover letters, it’s absolutely okay to toot your own horn — that’s what they’re for. But if you can cite others’ remarks, that also helps.)

At just two and a half paragraphs, this letter is exceedingly short but no less effective. It’s an excellent example of how to personalize your letter quickly while still conveying the essentials of a cover letter.

This short cover letter example keeps it brief while still creating high impact. The applicant personalizes the letter immediately, cites external feedback, and conveys enthusiasm.

This letter proves you don’t need to write a novel about an employer to sway the hiring manager into giving you an interview.

Now that I've shown you some excellent examples, let's talk about how you can create the best cover letter for your dream job.

What is a good cover letter?

A cover letter is used to show your interest in the role, passion for the company, and the impact you've had in previous positions. Good cover letters should include a standout opening, relevant skills and qualifications, and a strong finish with a call-to-action — all within one page and unique to each application.

What’s on a cover letter?

Before you start writing your cover letter, let's cover a few basic must-haves you'll want to include. If you’re looking for more detailed instructions, check out this guide to writing a cover letter .

Add a simple, but pleasant greeting to address the recruiter or hiring manager.

Learn more:

  • Dear Sir or Madam Alternatives
  • Cover Letter Greetings

Write a catchy introduction that explains why you’re interested in the role.

  • How to Write an Introduction
  • Tips for Writing a Good Introduction Sentence

Work Experience

This is the heart of your cover letter. It outlines your relevant experience and why you’d be a great fit for the role. You can highlight special skills, experiences, professional achievements, or education to help make your case.

  • How to Write About Your Professional Background
  • Professional Bio Examples
  • LinkedIn Bio Examples

In this paragraph, add a call-to-action by expressing interest in an interview. Offer your contact information and sign off.

  • Email Closing Line Examples
  • Tips for Writing Conclusions

What does a cover letter look like?

Besides showing off your skills and qualifications, cover letters give you the opportunity to present a clear, concise, and compelling writing sample. It shows off your personality and your ability to convey ideas.

That's a lot of information to include on a single page, so it can help to have a clear structure to start with.

Check out our fillable cover letter templates to see how you should organize the content of your cover letter.

HubSpot Cover Letter Template

What makes a great cover letter?

A cover letter is personal, but it also needs to help you reach a goal and help the hiring team understand how you could perform that role with their company. This complexity can make cover letters really tough to write.

Because cover letters are difficult to write, many come off as boring, basic, or confusing for hiring managers to read. But the tips below about the qualities that make a cover letter great can help you take your cover letter from basic to bright.

Start with this quick video, then keep reading for more tips:

Personalized Introduction

Begin with an introduction that's personal. It should capture the reader's attention and address your recipient by name. Then, add a compelling opening sentence that emphasizes your interest in the specific role.

Helpful Cover Letter Introduction:

"Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],

In an increasingly digitized world, where customer-centric strategies are vital for business success, I am thrilled to apply for the [Job Title] position at HubSpot."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Introduction:

"To Whom it May Concern,

I am applying for the [Job Title] position at HubSpot. I have some experience in marketing and can help your clients grow their businesses."

Relevant Professional Experience

It can be tempting to use the same cover letter for every job. After all, it's about your experience, isn't it? But it's not enough to rephrase the work history in your resume.

Recruiters and hiring managers are looking to fill a specific role, so you need to show how your experience translates to their unique needs.

So, the body of a great cover letter should showcase the specific professional experiences that are relevant to the job you're applying for. Emphasize your accomplishments and skills that directly relate to what the job needs.

To speed up this part of the cover letter writing process, start by creating a list of your transferable skills . Drafting this list can help you quickly focus on the skills to highlight in your cover letter.

Then, use AI tools to summarize job descriptions and narrow in on where your experience and the needs of the role you're applying for overlap. This post is full of useful AI assistant tools if you're new to AI.

Helpful Cover Letter Experience:

"At [Company Name], I had the opportunity to assist a global ecommerce retailer in enhancing their online customer experience. By conducting in-depth market research and customer journey mapping, I identified pain points and areas of improvement in their website navigation and user interface."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Experience:

"I also worked with an ecommerce retailer to improve the customer experience. We did some surveys and training, and they were happy with the results."

Useful Examples

To make your cover letter stand out, add specific examples that show how you've solved problems or gotten results in past roles.

Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible, using data to give the reader a clear understanding of your impact.

Helpful Cover Letter Example:

"I lead a team of five content writers while increasing website traffic by 18% year-over-year."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Example:

"I have a great track record of leadership and achieving fantastic results."

Research and Company Knowledge

Hiring teams aren't hiring anyone with the skills to do the job. They're hiring a person they'll work alongside at their specific company.

So, to show that you're not just looking for any job anywhere, share your knowledge of the company's industry, values, and culture in your cover letter.

Spend some time on the company website and take notes on what makes this business interesting to you and why you would want to work there.

Then, explain how your skills align with the company's mission and goals and explain how you could add to their chances of success. This will showcase your interest in the company and help them see if you are a good cultural fit.

Helpful Cover Letter Research:

"I was particularly drawn to HubSpot not only for its industry-leading solutions but also for its exceptional company culture. HubSpot's commitment to employee development and fostering a collaborative environment is evident in its recognition as a top workplace consistently. I strongly believe that my passion for continuous learning, self-motivation, and dedication to contributing to a team will make me a valuable asset to HubSpot."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Research:

"I have been inspired by HubSpot's commitment to inbound marketing and its comprehensive suite of solutions. HubSpot's dedication to providing valuable content and fostering meaningful relationships aligns with my own values and aspirations."

Clear Writing

Your cover letter needs to pack in a lot of important information. But it's also important that your cover letter is clear and concise.

To accomplish this, use professional but easy-to-understand language. Be sure to remove any grammar or spelling errors and avoid lengthy paragraphs and avoid jargon or overly technical language.

You may also want to use bullet points to make your letter easier to skim. Then, proofread your cover letter for clarity or ask a friend to proofread it for you.

  • Guide to Becoming a Better Writer
  • Tips for Simplifying Your Writing

Helpful Cover Letter Writing:

"In addition to my academic accomplishments, I gained valuable practical experience through internships at respected law firms.

Working alongside experienced attorneys, I assisted in providing legal support to clients. This hands-on experience helped me develop a deep understanding of client needs and enhanced my ability to effectively communicate complex legal concepts in a straightforward manner."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Writing:

"Furthermore, as a complement to my academic accomplishments, I have garnered invaluable practical experience through internships at esteemed law firms.

Throughout these placements, I actively collaborated with seasoned attorneys to conduct due diligence and furnish clients with comprehensive legal support. Notably, these experiences fostered a profound comprehension of client necessities, whilst honing my legal acumen to articulately convey intricate legal principles within a lucid and concise framework, adhering to applicable precedents and statutes of limitations."

Genuine Interest and Enthusiasm

Find ways to convey your passion for the role and how excited you are to contribute to the company you're applying to. At the same time, make sure your interest feels authentic and outline how it aligns with your career goals.

Your ultimate goal is an enthusiastic letter that feels honest and leaves a lasting positive impression.

Showing excitement in writing doesn't come naturally for everyone. A few tips that can help you boost the genuine enthusiasm in your letter:

  • Record audio of yourself speaking about the role, then use voice-to-text technology to transcribe and add these sections to your letter.
  • Choose your words carefully .
  • Write in active voice.

Helpful Cover Letter Tone:

"I am genuinely enthusiastic about the prospect of joining [Company/Organization Name] as an accountant. My combination of technical proficiency, eagerness to learn, and strong attention to detail make me an ideal candidate for this role. I am confident that my dedication, reliability, and passion for accounting will contribute to the continued success of your organization."

Unhelpful Cover Letter Tone:

"Honestly, I can hardly contain my excitement when it comes to reconciliations, financial statement analysis, and tax regulations! Engaging in spirited discussions with professors and classmates has allowed me to foster an unbreakable bond with the fascinating world of accounting, and I'm positively bursting with enthusiasm at the prospect of applying my skills in a professional setting."

Memorable Conclusion

End your cover letter on a strong note. Summarize your top qualifications, restate your interest in the position, and express your interest in future communication.

Then, thank your reader for their time and consideration and include your contact information for easy follow-up.

To make your conclusion memorable, think about what parts of your letter you'd most like the hiring manager to keep top of mind. Then, consider your word choice and phrasing. If you're feeling stuck, this list of ways to close an email can help.

Helpful Cover Letter Conclusion:

"Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to further discuss how my qualifications align with the needs of Greenpeace. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.

Together, let's make a lasting impact on our planet.

[Your Name]"

Unhelpful Cover Letter Conclusion:

"Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my qualifications further and how I can contribute to Greenpeace's mission. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.

I’d like to add another stage to the job search: experimentation.

In today’s competitive landscape, it’s so easy to feel defeated, less-than-good-enough, or like giving up your job search.

But don’t let the process become so monotonous. Have fun discovering the qualitative data I’ve discussed here — then, have even more by getting creative with your cover letter composition.

I certainly can’t guarantee that every prospective employer will respond positively — or at all — to even the most unique, compelling cover letter. But the one that’s right for you will.

So, get inspired by these examples and templates. Write an incredible cover letter that shows the hiring team at your dream job exactly who you are.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. This article was written by a human, but our team uses AI in our editorial process. Check out our full disclosure to learn more about how we use AI.

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  • Resume and Cover Letter
  • How to Write a Catchy Cover...

How to Write a Catchy Cover Letter

3 min read · Updated on October 21, 2021

Soozy G. Miller

How to writer a cover letter that will leave the hiring manager intrigued to know more.

The cover letter is like an introduction. Think of it as a book cover or a movie ad; it gives hints as to what's inside (or attached), like a teaser or preview.  And while most applicant tracking systems (ATS) won't necessarily pay attention to cover letters, the letter will be attached to a resume that has successfully passed through an ATS and is considered for an interview.

While ATS's look for certain elements in resumes to include them in an applicant pool, interviewers receive so many resumes that they look for reasons to discard. The cover letter gives the interviewer the first impression of a candidate. The cover letter is that important.

Here is one example of a cover letter template:

Contact Information

Dear [Name],

I am pleased to submit my resume for [Position] with [Organization]. Given my background in (experience related to field) and (experience related to field), I feel I am in a great position to make significant contributions to [Company].

Throughout my entire career, I have demonstrated consistent success (something you have contributed to) to achieve high-reaching standards and goals. Please consider the following highlights from my resume:

  • Achievement/accomplishment

To further acquaint you with the specifics of my background I am enclosing my resume.  I am a (experience description) who consistently focuses on (specific related to the field), and it is my goal to work with an organization that shares a passion for this approach to growth within the [field/industry].

I would be pleased to speak with a member from your team to further explore how my background will make me a valuable addition to [Company]. Thank you for reviewing this letter and the attached document.

The language is professional and clear, and the writer uses a lot of industry keywords in the context of explaining why this candidate's experience is the better choice. There is nothing about passion, organizational skills, or personal objectives. And there are no typos.

This template is popular; a lot of applicants might use it. So, how can an applicant stand out? With accomplishments and achievements. See those three bulleted points in the middle? That's where applicants can put juicy, impressive accomplishments and achievements that exemplify how they have benefitted similar companies in the past.

One last suggestion: Write the cover letter in the same type as the resume , for a consistent feeling of flow. That includes making sure the header or applicant name and contact information at the top are consistent. That will go a long way toward making a positive first impression.

The cover letter is the first piece of information a recruiter will use to get to know an applicant, sometimes even before the resume. The letter initially indicates writing ability, professionalism, and general qualifications. Make sure your cover letter, like your resume, adequately introduces you.

Related Articles:

What to Say in a Cover Letter: 5 Things You Should Include

How to Maximize Your Resume Action Words to Wow the Employer

Resume Spelling and Accent Explained

See how your resume stacks up.

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How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

Background Image

After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!

You’ve perfected your resume. 

You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.

You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.

But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.

Now you’re stuck wondering how to write a cover letter ...

Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.

  • What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
  • How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
  • How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
  • What excellent cover letter examples look like

New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!

So, let’s get started with the basics!

What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. 

A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:

how to write cover letter

Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.

The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:

  • Header - Input contact information
  • Greeting the hiring manager
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  • Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
  • Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
  • Formal closing

Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:

structure of a cover letter

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step. 

Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template

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

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?

cover letter templates

You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!

As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.

Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header

As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:

contact information on a cover letter

Here, you want to include all essential information, including:

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

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.

And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:

  • Your Full Address 
  • Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.

matching resume and cover letter

Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.

The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .

That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this. 

The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.

So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And voila! You have your hiring manager.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Here are several other greetings you could use:

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

Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .

The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..

  • Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

So now, let’s make our previous example shine:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.

See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?

Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.

So, let’s get started...

Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job

This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.

But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.

For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.

Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company

Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.

Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.

How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.

Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.

Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.

You’d write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device. 

I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.

What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):

I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.

See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have. 

The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.

Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.

So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.

Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action

Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.

And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:

So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.

Step #8 - Use the right formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional email
  • Relevant Social Media Profiles

Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?

Do you successfully convey that you’re the right pro for the job?

  • Did you identify the core requirements?
  • Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?

Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?

Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?

5+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).

College Student Cover Letter Example

college or student cover letter example

Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .

Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught. 

After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.

...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.

If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.

Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.

resume examples for cover letter

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
  • A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
  • Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
  • There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
  • Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…

  • How to Write a Motivational Letter
  • How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
  • Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

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How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

Portrait of Alison Green

I’ve read thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of cover letters in my career. If you’re thinking that sounds like really boring reading, you’re right. What I can tell you from enduring that experience is that most cover letters are terrible — and not only that, but squandered opportunities. When a cover letter is done well, it can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview, but the vast majority fail that test.

So let’s talk about how to do cover letters right.

1. First, understand the point of a cover letter.

The whole idea of a cover letter is that it can help the employer see you as more than just your résumé. Managers generally aren’t hiring based solely on your work history; your experience is crucial, yes, but they’re also looking for someone who will be easy to work with, shows good judgment, communicates well, possesses strong critical thinking skills and a drive to get things done, complements their current team, and all the other things you yourself probably want from your co-workers. It’s tough to learn much about those things from job history alone, and that’s where your cover letter comes in.

Because of that …

2. Whatever you do, don’t just summarize your résumé.

The No. 1 mistake people make with cover letters is that they simply use them to summarize their résumé. This makes no sense — hiring managers don’t need a summary of your résumé! It’s on the very next page! They’re about to see it as soon as they scroll down. And if you think about it, your entire application is only a few pages (in most cases, a one- or two-page résumé and a one-page cover letter) — why would you squander one of those pages by repeating the content of the others? And yet, probably 95 percent of the cover letters I see don’t add anything new beyond the résumé itself (and that’s a conservative estimate).

Instead, your cover letter should go beyond your work history to talk about things that make you especially well-suited for the job. For example, if you’re applying for an assistant job that requires being highly organized and you neurotically track your household finances in a detailed, color-coded spreadsheet, most hiring managers would love to know that because it says something about the kind of attention to detail you’d bring to the job. That’s not something you could put on your résumé, but it can go in your cover letter.

Or maybe your last boss told you that you were the most accurate data processor she’d ever seen, or came to rely on you as her go-to person whenever a lightning-fast rewrite was needed. Maybe your co-workers called you “the client whisperer” because of your skill in calming upset clients. Maybe you’re regularly sought out by more senior staff to help problem-solve, or you find immense satisfaction in bringing order to chaos. Those sorts of details illustrate what you bring to the job in a different way than your résumé does, and they belong in your cover letter.

If you’re still stumped, pretend you’re writing an email to a friend about why you’d be great at the job. You probably wouldn’t do that by stiffly reciting your work history, right? You’d talk about what you’re good at and how you’d approach the work. That’s what you want here.

3. You don’t need a creative opening line.

If you think you need to open the letter with something creative or catchy, I am here to tell you that you don’t. Just be simple and straightforward:

• “I’m writing to apply for your X position.”

• “I’d love to be considered for your X position.”

• “I’m interested in your X position because …”

• “I’m excited to apply for your X position.”

That’s it! Straightforward is fine — better, even, if the alternative is sounding like an aggressive salesperson.

4. Show, don’t tell.

A lot of cover letters assert that the person who wrote it would excel at the job or announce that the applicant is a skillful engineer or a great communicator or all sorts of other subjective superlatives. That’s wasted space — the hiring manager has no reason to believe it, and so many candidates claim those things about themselves that most managers ignore that sort of self-assessment entirely. So instead of simply declaring that you’re great at X (whatever X is), your letter should demonstrate that. And the way you do that is by describing accomplishments and experiences that illustrate it.

Here’s a concrete example taken from one extraordinarily effective cover-letter makeover that I saw. The candidate had originally written, “I offer exceptional attention to detail, highly developed communication skills, and a talent for managing complex projects with a demonstrated ability to prioritize and multitask.” That’s pretty boring and not especially convincing, right? (This is also exactly how most people’s cover letters read.)

In her revised version, she wrote this instead:

“In addition to being flexible and responsive, I’m also a fanatic for details — particularly when it comes to presentation. One of my recent projects involved coordinating a 200-page grant proposal: I proofed and edited the narratives provided by the division head, formatted spreadsheets, and generally made sure that every line was letter-perfect and that the entire finished product conformed to the specific guidelines of the RFP. (The result? A five-year, $1.5 million grant award.) I believe in applying this same level of attention to detail to tasks as visible as prepping the materials for a top-level meeting and as mundane as making sure the copier never runs out of paper.”

That second version is so much more compelling and interesting — and makes me believe that she really is great with details.

how do you write a catchy cover letter

5. If there’s anything unusual or confusing about your candidacy, address it in the letter.

Your cover letter is your chance to provide context for things that otherwise might seem confusing or less than ideal to a hiring manager. For example, if you’re overqualified for the position but are excited about it anyway, or if you’re a bit underqualified but have reason to think you could excel at the job, address that up front. Or if your background is in a different field but you’re actively working to move into this one, say so, talk about why, and explain how your experience will translate. Or if you’re applying for a job across the country from where you live because you’re hoping to relocate to be closer to your family, let them know that.

If you don’t provide that kind of context, it’s too easy for a hiring manager to decide you’re the wrong fit or applying to everything you see or don’t understand the job description and put you in the “no” pile. A cover letter gives you a chance to say, “No, wait — here’s why this could be a good match.”

6. Keep the tone warm and conversational.

While there are some industries that prize formal-sounding cover letters — like law — in most fields, yours will stand out if it’s warm and conversational. Aim for the tone you’d use if you were writing to a co-worker whom you liked a lot but didn’t know especially well. It’s okay to show some personality or even use humor; as long as you don’t go overboard, your letter will be stronger for it.

7. Don’t use a form letter.

You don’t need to write every cover letter completely from scratch, but if you’re not customizing it to each job, you’re doing it wrong. Form letters tend to read like form letters, and they waste the chance to speak to the specifics of what this employer is looking for and what it will take to thrive in this particular job.

If you’re applying for a lot of similar jobs, of course you’ll end up reusing language from one letter to the next. But you shouldn’t have a single cover letter that you wrote once and then use every time you apply; whatever you send should sound like you wrote it with the nuances of this one job in mind.

A good litmus test is this: Could you imagine other applicants for this job sending in the same letter? If so, that’s a sign that you haven’t made it individualized enough to you and are probably leaning too heavily on reciting your work history.

8. No, you don’t need to hunt down the hiring manager’s name.

If you read much job-search advice, at some point you’ll come across the idea that you need to do Woodward and Bernstein–level research to hunt down the hiring manager’s name in order to open your letter with “Dear Matilda Jones.” You don’t need to do this; no reasonable hiring manager will care. If the name is easily available, by all means, feel free to use it, but otherwise “Dear Hiring Manager” is absolutely fine. Take the hour you just freed up and do something more enjoyable with it.

9. Keep it under one page.

If your cover letters are longer than a page, you’re writing too much, and you risk annoying hiring managers who are likely sifting through hundreds of applications and don’t have time to read lengthy tomes. On the other hand, if you only write one paragraph, it’s unlikely that you’re making a compelling case for yourself as a candidate — not impossible, but unlikely. For most people, something close to a page is about right.

10. Don’t agonize over the small details.

What matters most about your cover letter is its content. You should of course ensure that it’s well-written and thoroughly proofread, but many job seekers agonize over elements of the letter that really don’t matter. I get tons of  questions from job seekers  about whether they should attach their cover letter or put it in the body of the email (answer: No one cares, but attaching it makes it easier to share and will preserve your formatting), or what to name the file (again, no one really cares as long as it’s reasonably professional, but when people are dealing with hundreds of files named “resume,” it’s courteous to name it with your full name).

Approaching your cover letter like this can make a huge difference in your job search. It can be the thing that moves your application from the “maybe” pile (or even the “no” pile) to the “yes” pile. Of course, writing cover letters like this will take more time than sending out the same templated letter summarizing your résumé — but 10 personalized, compelling cover letters are likely to get you more  interview invitations  than 50 generic ones will.

Find even more career advice from Alison Green on her website,  Ask a Manager . Got a question for her? Email  [email protected] .

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HOW TO WRITE AN EYE-CATCHING COVER LETTER

Writing A New Cover Letter

Whether you’re actively applying for jobs or gathering all the required materials to begin your search , you’ve likely begun to think about how to write a cover letter that will help you stand out among the rest. Writing a cover letter can feel tricky and time consuming, and while you can browse pages worth of cover letter examples, you’ll want to create a piece unique to you, because after all, it’s one of the most important steps of the job application process. We’re sharing four key pointers to ensure you are ready to write your next cover letter like a seasoned pro.

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The cover letter introduction

Hiring managers and recruiters alike are busy individuals, so ensuring that your introduction paragraph is both engaging and unique in its approach to introduce you, the applicant, is key. While you do want to engage the reader, you should use this first paragraph as a way to introduce yourself while including a few key sentences that cover your interest in the company, the position, and the value you could add as a potential new hire. This is not the time to detail out why you’re leaving your current role, skills you’re looking to learn , or why you are the only candidate for the job.

A strong cover letter example introduction might sound like this:

As an active follower of 24 Seven (example company) and its presence in the staffing and recruiting industry (example industry), I was ecstatic to see the open role for an Account Manager. After spending the last two years developing and perfecting my own unique recruiting approach for (current company) through advanced outreach and pipelining, I would love the opportunity to source and hire stellar talent for 24 Seven.

A weak cover letter example introduction might sound like this:

My name is Mary and I’m a great Account Manager. I saw this job posted on Glassdoor and because of my background in recruiting and talent management, I thought I would be a strong fit. I’m currently looking for a new role, as I was recently laid off. With my skills and the skills I look to build, I know I would be the ideal candidate for this role!

The ideal candidate

Now that you’ve taken the opportunity to state your interest in the company and position within, it’s time to share why you’re the ideal candidate for the job. Since you’ve briefly detailed your value-add in the introductory paragraph, now is the perfect time to expand on your past experience and how it directly aligns with the role you’re applying for . While your resume acts as an outline, this paragraph will allow you to go more in-depth about your specific responsibilities and experiences in prior roles.

Cover letter example points to include:

How did you manage the responsibilities you had effectively?

How did you gain and build upon your skillset?

How did you help grow initiatives within the company?

What are some major projects you worked on and how did the final product turn out?

The dream company

Once you’ve expanded on why you are the perfect candidate for the role, now is the time to share why the company is the right fit for you as an applicant. This shouldn’t be a paragraph detailing out how much you love the company, but rather what attracts you to them as an organization and a potential employer. How does the company’s mission and vision directly align with where you see yourself as an applicant now and as you move forward in your career?

Stances the company has taken on social issues and how you relate to them

An industry focus that directly aligns with your passions and interests

Steps the company has taken as they have grown/expanded that you have taken note of

A strong company culture presented through social media and the company’s website and how it matches your work style

The sign-off

You have now successfully covered all the bases that come with writing a strong cover letter, but you’re not done just yet. For this final paragraph, you’ll want to briefly summarize the points you’ve made throughout while sharing once again why you are the best fit for the role. This is your last pitch, so make sure your tone is both professional and to the point while including all important parting details. Lastly, be sure to extend thanks for the time spent reading your cover letter – a simple thank you can go a long way!

Are you ready to begin writing your next cover letter? Give it a shot! Using the steps above and the cover letter examples provided, you should be ready to catch the eye of hiring managers and land your next job. Looking for more career advice? Click here !

how do you write a catchy cover letter

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Your cover letter is an important component of the application process. It serves as a way for you to summarize your qualifications, state your interest in a position, and stand out from other applicants.

Cover letters typically accompany each resume you submit, unless otherwise specified. It is customized to each opportunity you are pursuing.

Tips for Writing Your Cover Letter

How to ensure your content is concise, relevant, and appealing to potential employers.

  • While every cover letter is different, effective cover letters demonstrate you are a good fit for the position.
  • Convey your enthusiasm for the position and knowledge of the company.
  • Provide support and examples that showcase the skills and competencies that are being sought.
  • Focus on your accomplishments and measurable results.
  • Address your cover letter to a specific person whenever possible. It may take some resourcefulness on your part to identify the appropriate person, but the letter will be better received.  
  • Write clearly and concisely.
  • Use proper grammar and check for misspelled words.
  • Limit your letter to one page.
  • Be sure to include the date, an appropriate salutation, and close with your signature.
  • Mass produced cover letters are a common mistake, and easy to detect. Be sure to relate your specific skills and experiences to each individual position.   
  • Incorporate information that reflects your knowledge of the company, the industry, or the position. 
  • Consider that employers are seeking to fill specific roles and are looking for applicants that have the skills and qualities to succeed in that role. 

Structuring Your Cover Letter

Paragraph 1: capture attention .

  • In your first paragraph, capture the reader's attention.
  • Indicate the position you are applying for and how you learned of the vacancy, i.e. Did someone tell you about it?  Did you see an ad or website? 
  • Outline the specific reasons why you are ideal for the position.  
  • Sell yourself in paragraph 1. Do not wait until the second paragraph to articulate why you are well qualified for the position.

Paragraph 2 & 3: Create Desire 

  • Describe yourself as a serious candidate and one worth inviting for an interview. State the hard details including your specific skills, history of responsibility, success, etc. 
  • Think about ways to reinforce an image of yourself that includes as many of the desired qualities as possible. 
  • Show, don’t tell. Remember, your goal is to set yourself apart from other applicants. Do not just tell the employer you have a skill, provide evidence. For example, do not just state you are “detail oriented”. Give the reader an example of something in your work history that proves that you are detail oriented. 
  • Refer to your resume, but do not simply list the contents of it. 
  • Emphasize how your variety of experiences are connected to the position and will benefit the company. 

Paragraph 4: Call for Action 

  • Use a few lines to express your strong interest in the position and your desire to discuss your application further in an interview. 
  • Give a brief summary of the key points in the letter, but avoid repetition.

Title Related Resources

  • Resume/Cover Letter/LinkedIn Review Services
  • Sample Cover Letter (pdf)

Tips for Grads: How to write a good cover letter

By Foram Gathia, PhD student

Writing a compelling cover letter is essential for making a positive impression on potential employers. Here’s a guide to crafting a strong cover letter:

  • Start with a Strong Introduction: Address the hiring manager by name if possible and mention the specific position you are applying for. Engage the reader with a captivating opening sentence that highlights your enthusiasm and sets the tone for the letter.
  • Highlight Your Relevant Skills and Experience: Tailor your cover letter to the job description by emphasizing the skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate. Provide specific examples of past achievements that demonstrate your qualifications for the role.
  • Showcase Your Personality and Passion: Use the cover letter as an opportunity to showcase your personality and passion for the industry or company. Share insights into what motivates you and why you are excited about the opportunity.
  • Demonstrate Your Knowledge of the Company: Research the company and mention specific aspects that appeal to you or align with your values. This demonstrates your genuine interest and initiative.
  • Close with a Strong Call to Action: End the cover letter with a confident closing statement expressing your eagerness to further discuss your qualifications in an interview. Thank the employer for considering your application and include your contact information.

Remember to keep the cover letter concise, focusing on quality over quantity, and proofread carefully for grammar and spelling errors. A well-crafted cover letter can significantly enhance your job application and increase your chances of landing an interview.

These tips are based on the Beyond Graduate School cover letter webinar as well as the Harvard Business Review article “ How to Write a Cover Letter ”.

Tips for Grads is a professional and academic advice column written by graduate students for graduate students at UW­–Madison. It is published in the student newsletter, GradConnections Weekly.

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How to Write a Cover Letter

how do you write a catchy cover letter

C.I.G. is supported in part by its readers. If you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more here.

how do you write a catchy cover letter

In my last post, I wrote all about professional communication. One topic I didn’t cover, however, was the dreaded cover letter. This was on purpose. The cover letter is such a common and essential part of the job application process that it deserves its own post.

And so I bring you today’s article: how to write a cover letter.

I’ll go over everything you need to know to write a killer cover letter or personal statement for any part-time job , internship, or future career path. Let’s get started!

What Is a Cover Letter?

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look? – The Beatles, “Paperback Writer”

In a world of emails and text messages and Snapchats, we don’t write many letters. Indeed, the only people I write letters to these days are my grandma and Members of Congress, as well as the occasional handwritten holiday card. So it’s no wonder that writing a cover letter feels hard–it’s not something we get to practice much.

So what is a cover letter, anyway? What’s the point? Doesn’t your resume just speak for itself? Well, yes and no. Your resume  is  important, and we’ll have a full post on writing one soon. In the meantime, check out our post on 5 Resume Mistakes to Avoid and Thomas’s interview with a hiring director who read over 10,000 resumes .

But while a well-crafted resume tells a prospective employer a lot about you, it can’t convey the following things:

  • Your writing skills (or lack thereof)
  • How you talk about yourself (which is a good predictor of how you’ll come across in an interview)
  • Who you are (the personality details beyond “the facts and figures” of your resume)

A cover letter lets you display all of the above and more. And that’s the way you should think of it: a cover letter isn’t a boring chore to “get through”. It’s an opportunity to show your prospective employer that you’re more than just a number. Because you’re not going to stand out just by having good grades or a cool internship (though those don’t hurt).

People hire others based on their qualifications, naturally, but they also want to hire people who will fit with their company culture and who are, well, interesting. If you do it right, you can convey all of this in your cover letter and have your prospective employer excited to interview you.

person taking notes in an interview

One final note: lots of jobs these ask for cover letters without calling them that. I’ve talked to several friends who had jobs or internships that asked for “personal statements.”

For the purposes of a job application, a personal statement is the same as a cover letter. In fact, thinking of a cover letter as a personal statement will help you avoid several of the common cover letter mistakes that we’ll cover in the following section.

Even if the job application just asks for you to send an email with your resume attached, what you write in the body of that email is still a kind of “cover letter”.

As the saying goes, any interaction you have with a prospective employer is an interview. This applies just as much to any written communication–even if it’s just an email.

So how do you write a cover letter, anyway? Read on to find out.

hands typing on laptop

I can’t cover every possible cover letter scenario, but I can give you some advice that applies no matter what job you’re applying for.

Here are some general principles for writing a winning cover letter:

1. Don’t summarize your resume.

As I already said (and will reiterate throughout this article), the point of a cover letter is to s how your prospective employer things they  can’t  learn from reading your resume. It’s tempting to make your cover letter a “letter” version of your resume, but don’t do it. You’re showing that you’re lazy and uncreative, as well as missing out on a chance to show off your writing skills and personality.

In the same vein, never use the phrase “as you’ll see in my resume” or “as my resume shows”. This is obnoxious (the person has obviously read your resume) and redundant.

2. Keep it short.

Please, please, please keep your cover letter short. The point of a job application is to get you an interview. Therefore, the fewer obstacles you put in the way of getting an interview, the better.

Remember, the hiring manager isn’t reading just your application. They’re reading hundreds or in some cases  thousands  of others. When you’re dealing with that scale of material, you do everything you can to optimize your workflow.

One of the quickest optimizations? Ignoring (or only reading part of) long resumes and cover letters. Imagine how you’d feel if you’d already read 500 applications and came to one that included a three-page cover letter. My response would be to either a) scream or b) maybe read the first page and then toss it into the “no” pile.

Your cover letter should be three paragraphs and a maximum of one page. Don’t make it longer or harder than it has to be. No matter how fascinating your life may have been, if you’ve just graduated college you do not have enough material to justify a multi-page cover letter or resume.

Besides, being concise demonstrates your ability to condense lots of information into an easily digestible format, which is a valuable skill in any employee.

3. Include the hiring manager’s name if possible.

You won’t always know who will be reading your application. But if you can find the name of the hiring manager or other person that will be reviewing it, include it in the letter’s salutation (the “Dear PERSON’S NAME” part at the beginning).

It’s a nice touch that shows you can do research and are personable. As Dale Carnegie put it, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”.

4. Include your signature at the end.

fountain pen on notepad

In the unlikely event that you’re mailing your cover letter, you can sign it with a pen. More likely, however, you’ll be submitting it electronically. In that case, include a digital copy of your signature.

It’s a small touch, but it shows professionalism and attention to detail. Check out this guide from How to Geek on how to add a digital signature on both Mac and PC .

5. Use the appropriate tone.

Take a look at how the company presents themselves in the job posting and on their website/social media. What themes stand out? Do they give off a hip, youthful vibe? Or more of a traditional, dependable one?

I’m not saying that you should be fake, but you should try to mirror the company’s general “attitude” in your cover letter. This shows the hiring manager (even if it’s on a subconscious level) that you “get” what the company is about.

For example, take a look at the About Us page for work chat app Slack:

Slack app about page

This page shows that Slack helps companies get things done but is still whimsical and creative (just look at the illustration under the text). They emphasize their broad user base and fast growth, as well as their commitment to simplicity and productivity.

So if you were applying to a job at Slack, it would be wise to show how you could help maintain this commitment to simplicity while also embracing the rapid pace that comes from a fast-growing company.

In contrast, have a look at the About Us page for management consulting firm McKinsey & Company:

McKinsey and Co about page

Notice the immediate contrast in design. McKinsey wants to project authority and experience. They show this through the statistics at the bottom of the page, which emphasize their global reach and influence. Note, however, that they also mention how they have continued to evolve (“73% of our work today represents new capabilities, compared to 15 years ago”).

If you were applying to a job at McKinsey, you’d write a very different cover letter than for a job at Slack. You’d tailor your letter to the specific duties of the position, but you’d also want to generally show that you appreciate McKinsey’s long history while still embracing innovation.

6. Proofread and edit.

First, run the letter through Grammarly  to catch spelling and grammar errors. Then, put it through Hemingway to help you tighten up the language. After that, read it out loud and fix any sentences or words that sound awkward, pretentious, or confusing.

Finally, give the letter to some trusted friends and mentors for editing. If you have someone in your network who already works in the same field or a similar job, then that’s ideal.

But if not, just get someone who has experience with business writing or whose editing skills you trust. Your college’s career center and writing center are also helpful resources in this process.

What to Discuss in Your Cover Letter

hand writing on a paper with coffee cup

So now that you have some general principles, what should you actually write in your cover letter? Sometimes, the job posting will include a specific prompt for you to answer. If that’s the case, then by all means use that as a starting point.

But most job postings are not as clear, simply asking you to “attach a cover letter”.

I think that any good cover letter should include the following elements:

1. Why this job and company interest you.

Even if this isn’t your dream job, presumably something about this company made you choose them out of all the others out there. Include this information in the letter.

As I said earlier, companies want to hire people that will fit with their culture. One good way to test this is to see if the applicant understands what the company is about. If you don’t even mention the company in your letter, it could look like you didn’t read the job application or research the company.

2. How your previous experience has prepared you for the job.

This one can be tricky. There’s no way that you’ve had the  exact  same experience this job will give you. Instead, think about how you’ve faced similar challenges in your other job (or volunteer work or whatever relevant experience you have). Tell the story of those, and then tie them into the position you’re applying for.

3. A catchy opening sentence. 

Remember how I said that hiring managers have to read mountains of job applications? This gets really boring, as you can imagine. So if you can write a cover letter that has a catchy opening line to “hook” the person reading it, then you’re already on your way to making their day better.

To get inspiration, don’t read other cover letters; read great stories or journalistic articles. This list of 100 Best First Lines from Novels is a good place to start.

You don’t have to have a crazy story to come up with an intriguing first line. It’s all about how you present the stories you do have. It’s the difference between  I’ve always wanted to work as an accountant  (boring and doubtful) and  I’ll never forget the day I discovered my passion for numbers  (this leaves the reader wanting to learn more. When was this day? What happened?).

4. A polite, positive conclusion.

Now that you’ve written a superb cover letter, don’t screw it up with an off-putting conclusion.

The main things to avoid in your conclusion are presumptuous statements such as “Looking forward to your response” or “Thanking you in advance”. Both sound tacky and fake.

Just briefly summarize what you’ve talked about in the rest of the letter and close with “Thank you” followed by your name and signature. That’s all it needs to be.

Putting It Into Practice

Taken all together, here’s the basic outline of a successful cover letter:

Dear HIRING MANAGER OR COMPANY’S NAME, Paragraph 1: Catchy opening sentence followed by an explanation of why the job/company interest you. Paragraph 2: Explain why you’re qualified for the job. Tell a story that illustrates how you’ve overcome similar challenges in your previous jobs/volunteer work/internships/life experience. Paragraph 3:  Wrap things up. Summarize what you talked about (but don’t repeat it word for word). Keep it positive and short. Thank you, YOUR NAME YOUR SIGNATURE

typewriter keys close up

Cover letters don’t have to be scary. As long as you follow the principles outlined in this article, you’ll be sitting down for the interview in no time.

Remember: a human being is on the other end of that job application–write a cover letter that shows that you are also human, and you’ll be on your way.

What questions do you have about cover letters? Share them in the comments below or start a discussion in the College Info Geek Community .

Image Credits: featured , interview , typing hands , signature , hand writing , typewriter keys

how do you write a catchy cover letter

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Personality + professionalism = the perfect cover letter

Personality + professionalism = the perfect cover letter

by Jodi Leese Glusco — March 4, 2024

The job market has finally reached a point where it could be considered “good” compared to a few years ago. Prospective workers no longer have to deal with mass downsizing and hiring freezes in most industries. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s easy to get the job you want.

Most people still contend with countless others when applying to open positions. You’ll need to understand how to write a cover letter to gain a potential employer’s attention and separate yourself from the pack.

This will help substantially during your job search. Let’s explore the key information you need to keep in mind when moving forward.

Expand on your resume

Writing a cover letter is a great opportunity to expand on your resume. These are often an entire page in length, so you have plenty of room to talk about how you’d be a great asset to the company.

Key points to mention include your work history and unique skills. Don’t copy and paste information from your resume, as this will only create redundancy.

The more insight you provide into your experience and skills, the more of an impact you’ll make. Avoid including fluff, though.

This can detract from your cover letter’s overall quality. Hiring managers will also quickly discern that you’re trying to take up as much space as possible with unnecessary statements.

Say as much as possible without embellishing. If you don’t take up an entire page, that’s nothing to worry about. It’s better to trim the fat and keep your letter straightforward than bloat it with irrelevant information.

Customize your letter to a specific job

You can’t write one cover letter and then mass-apply to different jobs . The entire purpose of a cover letter is to illustrate why you’re a good fit for the company.

This means they should be highly specific and avoid generic language. For instance, consider a cover letter that conveys the worker is diligent, proactive, and has strong communication skills. While these are great attributes to have, they’re mentioned in a vague way that doesn’t help hiring managers envision you at the company.

Instead, the cover letter should be contextual and mention how these skills can be put to use at the company. Someone applying for a tech job could talk about how they’re well-versed in conveying difficult concepts to team members without a tech background. This is far more effective than saying “I have strong communication skills.”

Showcase your personality

Hiring managers aren’t just looking for workers who can achieve top-tier performance. People are often hired based on their future value instead of their current value. Every employer knows that it will take time to get new workers up to speed and expand their skill sets.

The primary differentiating factor between applicants in this regard is their personality. If someone isn’t a good personality fit for an organization, hiring managers will likely overlook them. This is true even if they have strong professional skills and substantial experience.

In some cases, hiring managers could overlook their applications even if they’re the only ones who have applied. Your tone, vocabulary, and phrasing are the primary ways you’ll illustrate your personality in your cover letter.

For example, someone outgoing and confident might use many action words and maintain an energetic tone. You should avoid misrepresenting yourself in your cover letter for the sake of generating employer interest. Two possibilities could occur:

  • You get an interview and they quickly find out you’re not who they thought
  • You get the job and don’t resonate with anyone else at the company

This will waste the time of everyone involved, and it could even get you a bad reputation in the industry. The last thing you want is to unnecessarily burn bridges.

Stay professional

It can be tempting to get too casual when writing your letter. This often occurs when focusing on showcasing one’s personality.

While your intention might be to illustrate your uniqueness as an applicant, it could come off as informal. To avoid doing so, you can maintain consistency in your writing and use a professional vocabulary.

Research the company

Research the company before writing your cover letter so you can include information that aligns with their values. You can do this by looking at their website, LinkedIn profile, and their overall presence in the industry. Their social media profiles will also offer insight into the values the company cares about the most.

It’s imperative to look into their company culture , as well. Hiring managers look for candidates who will have no problem assimilating.

This means that not every company you encounter will be the right fit for your needs. It’s much better to continue your search for the right company than try to fit in where you don’t belong.

Edit before you submit

Under no circumstances should you submit a cover story before you thoroughly edit it. Even a single spelling or grammar error could ruin your chance of getting the position you apply for.

It’s not a bad idea to get a second pair of eyes to look over your cover letter. They might notice awkward phrasing or areas of concern that could be improved.

Some people make the mistake of foregoing this obligation due to the extra time it takes. However, a few extra minutes could mean the difference between concluding your job search or having to continue looking for additional weeks/months.

Understand how to write a cover letter

It’s crucial to understand how to write a cover letter when looking for jobs. It won’t necessarily get you a job, but not having the right one could lose you a job. The information in this guide will help ensure you make the best decision for your needs when moving forward.

Fenton

MUO

How to Write a Cover Letter

W hen you submit a resume, do you always include a cover letter? In almost all cases, it is appropriate and wise. The letter allows you to introduce yourself, show your interest in the company, address points that do not belong on a resume, and make yourself stand out.

If you need a little assistance, here's how to write a cover letter, along with tips and templates to help get you started.

1. Customize Your Cover Letter

One of the first things to remember about writing a cover letter is that you should tailor it to the specific position. While using a template does help, you should always customize it for the job and company.

The template should be your starting point, not the end result, with only minor tweaks.

According to Glassdoor :

"When starting to write any cover letter, it is always best to plan the content of your letter based on the requirements of the job you're applying for."

If you plan to use a template, you also want to choose the correct one for the letter. For example, some include salary requirements, while others work better in the creative field.

2. Have a Solid Opening

Some sources say that if you start a cover letter by saying that you are applying for X job that you saw in X advertisement, it is a waste of text. Of course, you must state the position you are applying for.

The opening should cover why you are writing and provide a brief idea of who you are. But be sure to stand out to employers when you say why you want the job and why you are the right fit for it.

As Money.com writer Kristen Bahler writes:

"To grab a recruiter’s attention, a good narrative—with a killer opening line—is everything."

You should think through your opening carefully and show your personality, but avoid corny humor. Be clear, concise, and confident.

3. Know the Company

Take the time to research the company you are applying to so that you can express how your experience can help. Plus, having knowledge of the company is ideal for when you land a job interview .

As Harvard Business Review puts it:

"Hiring managers are looking for people who can help them solve problems. Drawing on the research you did earlier, show that you know what the company does and some of the challenges it faces."

When you have information about the company and its needs, you can then highlight your relevant skills and achievements to show why you are the person for the job.

4. End With Enthusiasm

In your final paragraph, include your contact information, express your enthusiasm, and state if you plan to follow up. Monster.com offers this advice for the closing:

"In your closing paragraph, express your enthusiasm for the position and an interview and include a plan of action. State what the next steps will be. If you will wait for the company’s reply, tell them that. If you will be following up, tell them when they can expect to hear from you."

If you are including additional material with your cover letter and resume, such as a portfolio or sample of your work, be sure to mention this as well. And of course, thank the reader for their consideration.

While your opening should grab their attention, your closing should also be strong and clear.

Helpful Tips to Write a Cover Letter

Here are additional tips to keep in mind when crafting your cover letter:

  • Always try to address the letter to a person, don't use "Sir" or "Madam" in your greeting. If necessary, do your research for the proper contact.
  • Try to limit the letter to one page. Be succinct and get to the point.
  • Do not repeat your resume. Your cover letter should enhance it, not duplicate it.
  • Do not point out the skills that you lack. Emphasize and highlight those you have that apply to the position.
  • Check and double-check your spelling and grammar.
  • Mention your expertise in the software tools the company uses.
  • Express how you think the company's values align with yours.
  • Point out if someone from the company referred you for the role.

How to Write a Cover Letter With a Template

Along with knowing how to write a cover letter that targets the job you want, is the appearance of it. This is another important part of creating your letter so that it has a clean and professional appearance.

1. Keep It Simple

Microsoft has one of the nicest selections of cover letter templates for you to choose from. Just swap out the text on the template with your own.

2. Add Some Color

You might also want to consider adding a little splash of color to your cover letter to make it visually appealing. Remember, a small amount of color is fine as long as you do not overdo it.

3. Include Salary Requirements

You can also find cover letter templates that include salary requirements, but you can and should adjust it based on your needs and preferences, of course.

However, note that some employers do not appreciate this, so it's wise to include salary requirements in your cover letter only if you're specifically asked for it.

4. Be Creative

If you are applying for a position that involves design or another creative field, you may prefer a cover letter to match, especially if you believe the hiring manager expects it. But, again, remember not to go overboard here.

5. Use a Style

Maybe you are looking for a particular style of cover letter. For instance, an entry-level cover letter is for those lacking experience while a professional one is suitable for those with management experience. Each has different formatting to accompany the highlights of the style.

You can check out different cover letter examples at Resume Genuis . You can download an entire pack from each design with various color options that include helpful prompts.

6. Find Your Industry

When what you really need is a template plus a sample with helpful text for that specific position, review these options on Template . You can download cover letter templates for jobs in nursing, education, retail, technology, business development, and other fields.

The sample text is provided to help you, but remember that you can change it easily to suit your skills and experience.

How Not to Write a Cover Letter

Knowing how to write a cover letter for a job is essential. But just as important is how not to write a cover letter. Here are a handful of things you should leave out when composing your letter:

  • Overused phrases like self-starter, detail-oriented, and team player.
  • Unnecessary details such as activities you enjoy, personal history, and information unrelated to the job.
  • Negative comments about current or previous employers and companies.
  • Untruths about your skills, qualifications, and experience.
  • Salary requirements or expectations unless specifically requested.

Ready, Set, Write

Now that you know how to write a cover letter, the additional tips and templates will help you on your way to a great letter that leads to an interview. Just remember to use the cover letter to tell your story, briefly but with confidence.

How to Write a Cover Letter

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  1. How to Write a Great Cover Letter

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  2. Cover letter samples

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  3. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024: Examples + Tips

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  4. A Catchy and Persuasive Sales Cover Letter Example

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  5. How To Write A Catchy Cover Letter [Template Included]

    how do you write a catchy cover letter

  6. How To Write A Catchy Cover Letter [template Included]

    how do you write a catchy cover letter

VIDEO

  1. How do you write the word? #shorts

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  4. How to write a professional cover letter

  5. How to Write A Catchy Cover Letter (Arabic)

  6. How do you write your letters?#Merry early Christmas!🎄❤️🎁🎄❤️🎁

COMMENTS

  1. 30 Better Ways to Start a Cover Letter

    Communicate that you'll bring something to the company: You'll get more into the details after your opening, of course. But your cover letter opener should still tell the reader, "This person can do something for us ," rather than, "This job would really help them .". Stick to the point: Your opener, while creative, should still be ...

  2. The 23 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right

    Why I Love It. I love this cover letter because it's adaptable to any role. Even if you don't work in a data-centric role, you can include any enumerable achievement. If I worked in a creative industry, for instance, I could include the number of creative assets you designed for your current company. 3.

  3. 7 Powerful Ways To Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

    4. Mention something newsworthy. Start your cover letter with evidence that you've done your research. If the company you're applying for was recently in the news, mention it in the opening line and explain why you admire the company. Mention a specific event, fact, notable statistic or award the company recently won.

  4. How To Write a Creative Cover Letter (With Template)

    Consider following these steps to write your cover letter: 1. Research the company. While writing a creative letter can distinguish you from other candidates, making sure your letter fits the corporate culture of the business you're applying to ensures that you remain a valid candidate. Some companies welcome cover letters with graphics, humor ...

  5. How to Write a Catchy Cover Letter

    Here is one example of a cover letter template: Applicant. Contact Information. [Name] [Company] [Address] Dear [Name], I am pleased to submit my resume for [Position] with [Organization]. Given my background in (experience related to field) and (experience related to field), I feel I am in a great position to make significant contributions to ...

  6. How to Write a Standout Cover Letter in 2022

    Step 3: Address your cover letter to the hiring manager—preferably by name. The most traditional way to address a cover letter is to use the person's first and last name, including "Mr." or "Ms." (for example, "Dear Ms. Jane Smith" or just "Dear Ms. Smith").

  7. 12 Ways to Start a Cover Letter: Examples & Tips

    12 winning ways to start your cover letter. Our sample cover letter introductions will help you learn how to open a cover letter in a way that stands out and boosts your chances of landing an interview. 1. Mention a contact within the company. If you were referred by a former coworker, classmate, or friend who's highly regarded in their ...

  8. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

    Header - Input contact information. Greeting the hiring manager. Opening paragraph - Grab the reader's attention with 2-3 of your top achievements. Second paragraph - Explain why you're the perfect candidate for the job. Third paragraph - Explain why you're a good match for the company.

  9. How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job in 2024

    Respectfully, Kind regards, Best regards, Yours truly, Then, make two spaces below the salutation, and type your full name. For some professional (but optional) flair, sign your cover letter either with a scan of your signature or by using software like DocuSign. 8. Check your cover letter's content and formatting.

  10. The Best Cover Letter Examples for Any Job Seeker

    The Cover Letter Example. Have fun with this one, but triple-check for spelling and grammar mistakes, and make sure you're showing off your best writing: Dear Tai Chen, Since I could walk, I've been dancing. And since I could read, I've been glued to Arabesque Weekly.

  11. How To Write a Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)

    Middle paragraph (s) Closing paragraph. Letter ending and signature. Your cover letter should be one page long and use a simple, professional font, such as Arial or Helvetica, 10 to 12 points in size. Your letter should be left-aligned with single spacing and one-inch margins. Show Transcript.

  12. How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

    A cover letter gives you a chance to say, "No, wait — here's why this could be a good match.". 6. Keep the tone warm and conversational. While there are some industries that prize formal-sounding cover letters — like law — in most fields, yours will stand out if it's warm and conversational.

  13. How to Write a Cover Letter For Any Job + Expert Tips

    Place your name, city, state, ZIP code, phone number and email address in your cover letter heading. Your email address should be professional like "[email protected]," and not personal like "[email protected]." Include links to your LinkedIn profile or professional online portfolio if you have one.

  14. How to write the perfect cover letter with examples

    Cover letter example points to include: Stances the company has taken on social issues and how you relate to them. An industry focus that directly aligns with your passions and interests. Steps the company has taken as they have grown/expanded that you have taken note of. A strong company culture presented through social media and the company ...

  15. How to Write a Cover Letter for Any Job in 2024

    Step 9: Stay Formal in the Closing Salutation. Once you've written the body of your cover letter, you just need to put a formal closing at the very end. Write "Sincerely" and follow it with your full name. Adding your handwritten signature is optional (recommended for more formal cover letters).

  16. How to Start a Cover Letter [+ Introduction Examples]

    Starting a cover letter with a brief humblebrag about your past wins is super effective with hiring managers for performance-centric positions. Always use numbers to quantify achievements —it's way more effective to prove your skills rather than just say you have them. 2. Inform the Company of What You Can Offer Them.

  17. How to Write a Cover Letter

    While every cover letter is different, effective cover letters demonstrate you are a good fit for the position. Convey your enthusiasm for the position and knowledge of the company. Provide support and examples that showcase the skills and competencies that are being sought. Focus on your accomplishments and measurable results.

  18. How to Write a Compelling Cover Letter for Mid-Career

    A cover letter is also an opportunity to show who you are as a person and a professional. Don't be afraid to inject some personality and enthusiasm into your writing. Use a friendly and confident ...

  19. How to write the perfect cover letter (With examples)

    To start your cover letter, introduce yourself. This means including your full name, your specific interest in the position and the reasons you've chosen to apply. If you got a referral to the job from another party, ensure to mention this in the first paragraph. 2. Mention your skills and qualifications.

  20. How to Write a Cover Letter for Job Applications: Example

    Here's how to write a cover letter for a job application: 1. Start with a Professional Cover Letter Header. Let's start with the basics: your contact information and that of the hiring manager. Cover letters follow the business letter format, which means that those details need to go in the top left corner of the page.

  21. How To Write the Perfect Cover Letter (With Template and Example)

    Include the name of the person to whom you are writing as well as the company name and address just above the salutation. In the salutation, greet the hiring manager by name. If you don't know the name of the person, consider greeting the hiring department or the department with which you would be working if hired. 3.

  22. Use these 6 tips to write a catchy cover letter

    Write it in such a way that the reader's attention is immediately drawn to the important information. 5. Invest a lot of time in the body of your cover letter. This is where you mention the best ...

  23. 8 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

    8 ways to start your cover letter. Here's how you can start a cover letter in eight different ways: Show your enthusiasm. Highlight a mutual connection. Lead with an impressive accomplishment. Explain what you like about the company. Express passion for what you do. Tell a creative story. Include a belief statement.

  24. Tips for Grads: How to write a good cover letter

    Writing a compelling cover letter is essential for making a positive impression on potential employers. Here's a guide to crafting a strong cover letter: Start with a Strong Introduction: Address the hiring manager by name if possible and mention the specific position you are applying for. Engage the reader with a captivating opening sentence ...

  25. How to Write a Cover Letter With No Experience + Examples

    Cover letter examples with no experience (but willing to learn!) Ready to see these tips in action? Check out two examples of cover letters with no experience to guide you. 1# Sample cover letter for internship with no experience. Alana Reeves. 123-456-7890. [email protected]. February 26, 2024. Lucia Carter. Abc Agency. 123 Payne St. 123-456 ...

  26. How to Write a Cover Letter

    In the same vein, never use the phrase "as you'll see in my resume" or "as my resume shows". This is obnoxious (the person has obviously read your resume) and redundant. 2. Keep it short. Please, please, please keep your cover letter short. The point of a job application is to get you an interview.

  27. Personality + professionalism = the perfect cover letter

    Writing a cover letter is a great opportunity to expand on your resume. These are often an entire page in length, so you have plenty of room to talk about how you'd be a great asset to the company.

  28. How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

    So let's talk about how to do cover letters right., First, understand the point of a cover letter., The whole idea of a cover letter is that it can help the employer see you as more than just ...

  29. How to Write a Cover Letter

    4. Be Creative. If you are applying for a position that involves design or another creative field, you may prefer a cover letter to match, especially if you believe the hiring manager expects it.

  30. Genuinely how do I write a cover letter as a freshman for ...

    Lol I was literally just at my school's writing center too for the same reason. I wasn't asked to do a cover letter. I was told that at the top of my resume write a short paragraph of that "goal-driven, persistent" crap + what you are looking for in an internship position and what you wish to take out of it as valuable learning experience, or why you're yearning to join and help them with ...