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What to Include in a Cover Letter for a Job

things to include in a job application letter

When writing a cover letter , specific information needs to be included: a contact section, a salutation, an introduction to the hiring manager, information on why you are qualified for the job, a closing, and your signature. The way the information is listed and the format depend on how you are sending your letter. 

The goal of your cover letter is to make a case for getting selected for a job interview, so it's important to include all required information along with a compelling argument for why you would be a  strong candidate for the position .

It can be time-consuming to write  a custom cover letter  for each job you apply for, but it's important to take the time and effort to show the company why you are a good match.

The more your experience and your skills match the job description, the higher your chances of getting picked for an interview.

Be sure to include information in your letter about how you possess the particular skills and requirements that the employer is seeking.

Don't simply repeat what's in your resume. Your resume lists your skills, but your cover letter should highlight how you have put those skills to use.

Before you start writing, review cover letter examples and make sure that your letter explains  how your skills relate to the criteria  listed in the job posting. Looking at examples of effective cover letters will give you a starting point for creating your own letter.

Here's what to include in a cover letter to send with a resume when you apply for a job.

What to List in a Cover Letter Contact Section

When writing a cover letter to mail or to upload to a job board or company website, the first section of your cover letter should include information on how the employer can contact you.

Printed or Uploaded Letter List the following information in the contact section:

Hiring Manager Name (if you have it) Title Company Address City, State Zip Code

Your Name Address City, State Zip

Email Cover Letter When you send an email cover letter , include your contact information in your signature instead of listing your contact information at the top of the message:

Your Name Street Address City, State Zip Code Email Phone LinkedIn

Here's more information, with examples, on how to address a cover letter .

Choose an Appropriate Salutation

It's important to include an appropriate greeting at the beginning of the cover letter or message. If you have a contact person for your letter, be sure to include their name in your letter.

Consider salutation examples that are appropriate for cover letters and other employment-related correspondence.

For example:

  • Dear Hiring Manager (if you don't have a contact person)
  • Dear Mr. Smith
  • Dear Ms. Jones
  • Dear Rory Dolan
  • Dear Dr. Milliard

Highlight Your Qualifications in the Body Section

The body is the most important part of a cover letter or an email message applying for employment.

The body of a cover letter includes the paragraphs where you explain why you are interested in and qualified for the posted job :

  • Why you are writing.
  • How you are qualified for the job.
  • Appreciation for being considered for the position.

Be specific by referencing the employer's job requirements as listed in the job posting in this part of your cover letter.

Include Keywords in Your Letter

Including keywords related to the jobs for which you are applying in your cover letters can help you get selected for a job interview. These are specific words hiring managers look for when considering applications.

As hiring processes have become automated, online applicant tracking systems are programmed to search for keywords.

Choose an Appropriate Closing

Make sure to close your letter  in a professional manner. Casual closings as you would write to a friend or a family member are not appropriate in a letter to a potential employer. 

  • Best regards
  • Respectfully
  • Thank you for your consideration

Add Your Signature to the Letter

What is included in a cover letter signature depends on whether you are sending or uploading a cover letter document or using an email message as your cover letter.

Hard copies of letters should be signed by hand. Scanning your signature to include on PDFs can be a nice touch, while emails should include a professional electronic signature that includes your contact information.

Review Cover Letter Examples

Here's an example of the final product, including information on why the applicant would be an excellent candidate with a summary of his qualifications for the job. 

Download the template for a cover letter here and also review more  cover letter samples  with free templates you can download to use as a starting point for your own letter.

John Bigham 111 Maple Street Anytown, MA 02222 555-555-5555

September 1, 2020

Shaun Lee Human Resources Goodspring 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Lee:

I am writing to state my interest in the position of Assistant to the Director of Goodspring. I believe that my work experience and education have equipped me with the skills necessary to be a successful candidate for this position. 

During my years with XYZ Wellness, I have been responsible for everything from accounting, bookkeeping, marketing and maintaining records to scheduling appointments and greeting clients and their families at the door. I have proudly overseen our growth from a startup business to a well-respected contributor to the community. 

I have also been in charge of organizing our very successful annual golf fundraiser and dinner. Last year, we raised $145,000 for our local homeless shelter. 

Your mission is an important one, and I would very much appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about how I can contribute to your team and help you continue to provide the services so vital to our community. Thank you for your consideration.

John Bigham  (signature hard copy letter)

John Bigham

When you're sending an email cover letter  (see below)  your contact information should be listed after your signature.

What to Include in an Email Cover Letter

The body of an email cover letter should contain the same information as a document cover letter, but two big differences are the subject line and your contact information.

Many employers ask that specific information is included in the subject line , and you must follow those instructions carefully. Contact information should be included with your electronic signature.

What Not to Include in a Cover Letter

There are some things that don't belong in a cover letter. Don't go overboard. Including too much information can hinder your chances of getting an interview.

Keep your letter concise and focused, and don't include extraneous details.

How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

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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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StandOut CV

What to include in a cover letter

Andrew Fennell photo

A well-written cover letter is the key to capturing the attention of employers and encouraging them to read your CV so that you can secure job interviews.

However, it’s tricky to know exactly what to include in a cover letter.

What essential information should you incorporate to impress recruiters?

This article shows you everything you need to include in your cover letter to be successful in your application, plus three cover letter examples.

CV templates 

What is a cover letter?

Before we begin, it’s important to know exactly what a cover letter is and why it’s paramount.

Knowing these two things will make it easier to write a standout cover letter that catches the attention of employers.

Your cover letter is a friendly introduction that you send together with your CV to would-be employers and recruiters.

It’s a way to say hi, express your interest in the position, and get them excited about your CV .

What to include in cover letter

Your cover letter needs to entice hiring managers and recruiters.

Here’s the essential information that you will need to include in order to do that.

Start by addressing the hiring manager

Cover letter address

You will need to begin your cover letter by addressing the person handling the job post to build a rapport with them.

Make sure your greeting is amicable yet professional – don’t make it sound too laidback or unduly formal.

For example, you could address the hiring manager by saying:

  • Hi [Insert recruiter’s name]
  • Hi [Insert department/team name]

To locate the person’s name, you can sometimes find it on the company’s website by going to the “About” page. Search for names such as the hiring manager, internal recruiter or someone from HR. Then use their name in your cover letter.

Alternatively, you can find their name by quickly searching for the company on LinkedIn. You’ll then see a list of employees and most will have LinkedIn profiles . This is a great way to find the correct name.

Include a friendly greeting

When you’re putting together your cover letter , you will need to include a friendly greeting. This shows that you’re someone who can converse well and connect with others.

However, if your friendly greeting is too casual and overly friendly, it won’t look that professional.

On the flip side, if it’s extremely formal and doesn’t have much personal warmth, you may come across as socially distant.

So, aim to be both professional and approachable. For example, begin with a friendly greeting such as, “I hope you’re doing well.”

And don’t forget – your spelling and grammar need to be spot on in your cover letter. Typos and mistakes won’t impress recruiters.

Specify the job you’re applying for

So, you’ve greeted and warmed up the hiring manager with a friendly opening – great.

Next, you need to get to the point and tell the recruiter which position you’re applying for.

You could say:

Include role name in cover letter

Don’t forget – some hiring managers handle numerous job vacancies , so be as precise as you can.

Explain why you’re the best candidate for the position

In the main part of your cover letter describe why you’re suitable for the position in around 3-6 sentences. This is what will encourage the recruiter or hiring manager to explore your CV.

This section gives you a golden opportunity to emphasise what makes you perfect for the position – you must give recruiters a quick overview of your skills , experience, and knowledge.

But, more importantly, connect these skills directly to the requirements of the role you’re applying for.

And don’t be shy – share your achievements to show why you’re the ideal applicant. These are accomplishments and skills you can bring to the company – they prove why you’re a great fit.

Here are some examples of how you can mention your achievements in your cover letter:

  • Project manager – “I’ve successfully managed complicated projects, boosting efficiency by 40% and finishing them well before the deadline.”
  • Teaching position – “I am passionate about the subject of maths and have been teaching the secondary curriculum for over 10 years. I run the after-school maths sessions, and have acted as head of maths for Bentley Secondary School for the past two years – achieving excellent results for both students and the school alike.”
  • Sales position – “In conjunction with my ability to create and deliver long-term sales and marketing strategies in a pressurised environment, I am also multilingual with the ability to speak English, Russian, and Spanish to high standards.”

Conclude and discuss availability

In your final paragraph , say when you’re available for an interview .

For instance, you could say:

“I’m available for an interview at your earliest convenience,” or “I am available for interviewing from 10 th July.”

This communicates your flexibility and enthusiasm and it’s an excellent way to end your cover letter on a high note.

To wrap up your cover letter, include a friendly salutation like “Regards” or “Kind regards”. Not only does this show you’re courteous and have excellent email etiquette, but it also leaves an approachable, positive impression on the recruiter reviewing your application.

End with a formal sign-off

Add a professional signature at the bottom to give recruiters your important contact details.

As well as providing them with various ways to get in touch with you, it also looks extremely professional and demonstrates that you know how to converse in the working environment .

Your professional signature should include:

  • Your full name – This helps hiring managers identify who you are.
  • Your phone number – Give the contact number employers can reach you on. Ensure it’s working and accurate so that would-be employers can get hold of you during the recruitment process.
  • Your email address – Share a professional email address but avoid using excessively casual or unprofessional email addresses like [email protected] or [email protected] .

Optionally, you could include:

  • Your professional title – For example, Key Stage 2 Teacher or Account Manager .
  • Your professional social network – For example, LinkedIn.

Email signatures in cover letter

5 tips for writing a successful cover letter

Here are five tips for writing a cover letter that packs a punch.

Keep it succinct

To ensure hiring managers and recruiters actually look at your cover letter, keep it short and concise.

They’re often incredibly busy people, and receive hundreds of cover letters daily, so aim to make yours between 3 and 6 sentences to hold their attention.

Your cover letter’s job is to engage their interest and make them want to review your CV – it serves as an introduction to the potential employer, demonstrating how suitable you are for the role.

But save the more exhaustive details for your CV.

Read the job advert thoroughly

Before creating your cover letter, you must know what the employer is searching for in candidates. Spend some time reading the job advert thoroughly and ascertain the key responsibilities they’re looking for.

Pay particular attention to hard skills such as specific languages, industry experience, and computer programming.

You don’t need to highlight soft skills such as teamwork or problem-solving because these are standard in many jobs and won’t give you much of an edge over other applicants.

When you know what the recruiter is specifically looking for in a successful applicant, you can present these qualities as you write your cover letter.

Job advert keywords in cover letter

Mention your relevant skills

You want recruiters to notice your CV, right? So show them how your skills and experience match the job requirements.

Begin by carefully scanning the job ad to identify the most significant skills they’re seeking.

Next, describe how your previous experiences have prepared you for these. Be sure to mention any requirements that are absolutely necessary for the job.

Don’t forget – concentrate on what suitable skills you can bring to the table rather than what you want.

For instance, if you’re applying for a marketing role and the job advert specifies you need to be “ excellent at implementing marketing strategie s”, you could say something like:

Mention your relevant skills

State why you’re applying

Recruiters will want to know why you’re applying for the job. So always address this in your cover letter.

Your motivation for applying should be positive and signify your dedication to the recruiter or hiring manager.

For instance, say something like, “After working as a Senior Manager for five years at my current company, I’m keen to take on a larger team in a more specialised market.”

Refrain from negative reasons such as, “ My previous company let me go, and I’m looking for a new position immediately .”

Concentrate on your incentive for applying and what you can offer the employer.

Highlight what you’ve accomplished for employers

If you’re an experienced applicant with a lengthy employment history, it’s best to allude to the results you’ve delivered for your existing or previous employers.

For example, mention things like:

  • Attracting new clients – Explain how you’ve introduced new business opportunities or expanded the customer base through successful outreach, relationship building or marketing.
  • Saving money – State how you have reduced costs, optimised budgets or introduced economic strategies that resulted in savings for the company.
  • Enhancing processes – Mention how you simplified operations, boosted workflow, or implemented new ways to boost productivity within the company.
  • Making successful sales – Share how you surpassed sales targets, landed noteworthy contracts or always contributed to revenue growth.

In your cover letter, give a snappy overview to keep things succinct. Save the nitty-gritty info for your CV.

3 cover letter samples

To give you some inspiration and ideas for what to include in your cover letter, here are three examples.

Student cover letter example

Students still studying at school or university usually write slightly lengthier cover letters because they may lack work experience. This enables them to concentrate on explaining their education and transferable skills.

Student cover letter

Internal promotion cover letter example

You would use this type of cover letter when you’re already working at an organisation and wish to apply for a new role within the same company.

Here, you can present your qualifications, enthusiasm and achievements to showcase why you’re perfect for the position.

Internal promotion cover letter

Experienced candidate cover letter example

If you have more employment history to share, this example will help you see how to showcase your skills and experience to stand out in your job application.

Experienced candidate cover letter

What not to include in a cover letter

Here are five things you should never include in your cover letter:

  • Salary expectations – Never mention your salary expectations . It’s best to talk about this later on in the recruitment process.
  • Personal info – Avoid sharing your home address, age or marital status. This information isn’t relevant to your job application and may lead to discrimination concerns.
  • Embellishments or dishonesties – Never include made-up previous job roles or qualifications that you don’t actually possess. Doing so can put you in an awkward situation.
  • Dear Sir or Madam – Start your cover letter with a friendly “Hi” instead, as the former is a dated greeting that lacks a personal touch.
  • Typos – Never include grammatical errors in your cover letter as these can hurt your professionalism. Always proofread your cover letter and make sure it’s written, and error-free.

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  • Careers advice
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How to write a cover letter.

A cover letter introduces you to an employer and asks them to think about your application. 

It’s a short letter, usually 3 to 5 paragraphs long.

When to include a cover letter

You should always include a cover letter when you apply for a job using a CV. 

You can write it as an email if you’re applying online or print a copy to go with a paper application.

When writing a cover letter, let the employer know you’re keen by showing that you’ve researched the company. Learn more about what they do through:

  • their website
  • recent news articles
  • talking to people you know who work there

Send it to the right person

It's important to try to address your cover letter to someone by name. Check you have the details of the person you need to send it to. 

You'll need their name and preferred title. For example, ‘Dr’, ‘Mr’, ‘Mrs’, ‘Ms’, and their job title. You should also make sure you have the right company name and address, including postcode.

If you do not know their name

If the job advert does not include a name you can check the company website. Try to find details of the head of the department, head of human resources or a recruitment manager.

If you still cannot find a name, you can start your letter with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.

Introduction

Introduce yourself and explain how you found the advertised job. You can mention the job title, and reference number if there is one. 

If you’re asking about any job openings and not applying to a vacancy, tell them what sort of job you’re looking for. Let the employer see how keen you are to work for them.

Show you're right for the job

Highlight the skills and experience you have that match what the employer is looking for. 

Convince them that you're enthusiastic about working for them. Let them know you share their work values, culture and style.

Give extra information

If you have gaps in your employment history, you could talk about the skills you gained while you were out of work.

If you’ve mentioned on your CV that you have a disability, you might want to talk more about this in your cover letter. Organisations like Disability UK can give you advice on how to do this. You do not have to mention your disability at this stage if you prefer not to.

You can get more help with specialist advice on finding work if you have a disability.

Ending your cover letter

Thank the employer for considering your application. Let them know that they can get more details from your CV, and tell them you're looking forward to hearing from them.

Let them know how they can best contact you. Make sure your contact details are correct on both your cover letter and CV.

Yours sincerely or yours faithfully

If you know the name of the person you’re writing to, you should end the letter with ‘Yours sincerely’.

If you’ve addressed the letter ‘Dear Sir or Madam’, you should end the letter with ‘Yours faithfully’.

Tips for writing a cover letter

When writing your cover letter, remember to:

  • write a new one for every job you apply for and make sure it’s tailored to the company and the specific role
  • use the same font and size as you do for your CV, so it looks consistent
  • make sure the company name and recruiter’s details are correct
  • use the right language and tone: keep it professional and match the keywords used by the employer in their job advert
  • show you’ve done your research into the job and the company
  • highlight your most relevant skills and experience to stand out from other applicants
  • back up any statements you make with facts and use the STAR method
  • double check spelling and grammar before you send it
  • keep a copy of your cover letter as they may ask you about it in an interview

Related content

How to write a CV

Completing application forms

Interview tips

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IMAGES

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  1. How To Write an Application Letter (With Template and Example)

    Follow these steps to compose a compelling application letter: 1. Research the company and job opening. Thoroughly research the company you're applying to and the specifications of the open position. The more you know about the job, the better you can customize your application letter. Look for details like:

  2. Job Application Letter: Examples, What to Include & Writing Tips

    It means that you need to provide the following information: Your personal info (name, email, phone number/LinkedIn) Date written. The recipient's info (name, job title, email, company address) Example of an application letter header: Kaylee Tran. 9215 Fremontia Ave, Fontana, CA 92335.

  3. 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.

  4. What to Include in a Cover Letter (Examples for 2024)

    Here are the 7 things you should include in a cover letter: Cover Letter Header: add your contact information and contact details of the company. Salutation: tailor the cover letter greeting and use the hiring manager's name instead of the cliché " Dear Sir or Madam ".

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    No hard numbers. "I worked in a team and provided customer service to elderly residents". 5. Choose engaging words for your application letter. Your letter of application's length should be 250 to 400 words or 3 to 4 paragraphs — long enough to get your point across but short enough that the reader won't lose interest.

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

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    Date: As with any official letter, include the date of your letter a few lines below the address. Subject line: The subject of your email should make the manager want to read more and not automatically press the 'delete' button. It could be something like: 'Social Media Expert with over 5 Years of Experience'.

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    The cover letter is a tool to help introduce yourself in a memorable, personal way during a job application. A well-crafted cover letter goes over information on your resume and expands this information for the reader, taking them on a guided journey of some of your greatest career and life achievements.. Its purpose is to elaborate on the information contained in your resume while infusing ...

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    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.

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    4. Address the letter to the right person. Find out the name of the recruiter or the hiring manager and address the application letter to them. You could write "Hello, Mr./Mrs./Ms." or "Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms." and follow that with their surname. If you can't find their name, use "To the Hiring Manager" or "Sir/Madam."

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  21. Cover letters

    When to include a cover letter. You should always include a cover letter when you apply for a job using a CV. You can write it as an email if you're applying online or print a copy to go with a paper application. Research. When writing a cover letter, let the employer know you're keen by showing that you've researched the company.

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    Here's what to include in a cover letter to make your application stand out: Your name and contact information. The hiring manager's name and contact info. A salutation. Your relevant achievements. A mention of something you know about the company. Why you are the best candidate for the position. An impressive ending.

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