What Is a Cover Letter?
Useful Tips and Examples

A cover letter is your chance to get a little more personal about your skills and accomplishments. Learn how to connect better with prospective employers.

  • Cover Letter Example
  • Cover Letter Example
  • Cover Letter Example
  • Cover Letter Example
  • Cover Letter Example



What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter:

  • Is a professional letter that accompanies your resume as part of a job application.
  • Convinces hiring managers or recruiters that you are the best candidate for a job.
  • Gives more details on achievements and skills mentioned in your resume, and provides employers with more details about your personality.

Knowing how to write a cover letter is important to make every job application successful. So we have compiled the best cover letter writing tips and examples to help you make a great first impression.

What Is Included in a Cover Letter?

When writing your cover letter, there are a few elements that should always be present. Whether you follow highly specific cover letter examples or a generic cover letter sample, you should include the following:

1. Formal header and salutation

Every cover letter should have a header. Your header should contain your full name and contact information like your phone number and email address. You can also include elements like your LinkedIn profile or the details of other professional social media accounts.

Once you have perfected your header you should choose an appropriate salutation. Don’t opt for things like “Dear Hiring Manager,” “To Whom It May Concern,” or “Dear Sir,” but instead use the hiring manager’s name. If you have no way of knowing the hiring manager’s last name, then address the letter to the department (“Dear Creative Department,” “Dear Human Resources Department,” etc.)

2. Introduction and hook

Introduce yourself in the first paragraph of your cover letter and give hiring managers an idea of who you are and why they should hire you. This should be an attention-grabbing opener that gives a glimpse of your personality as well as your skills and certifications.

Here are two good examples of attention-grabbing opening first paragraphs:

“I was excited to see the editorial assistant role advertised online. As an individual with three years of editorial experience and an enduring passion for journalism, I would be a valuable and motivated member of the team and would appreciate your consideration for this position.”

“I am writing to express my interest in the job opening for an early years teacher. I received high marks in all aspects of my training and have five years of teaching young children. I am a highly capable teacher with excellent communication skills who always strives to provide the best learning environment for the children in my class.”

3. Body paragraphs

Focus on the company or institution that you are applying to in the second paragraph. Use the company name and indicate why you want to work for them and show you have an interest in the company.

The third paragraph should discuss what makes you capable of filling the role. This can include your work experience, certifications and hobbies if they are relevant. More importantly, you should also give hiring managers a reason to choose you over one of the other applicants. Review the job ad and tailor your body paragraphs to the requirements listed in bullet points.

For example, someone applying to work for a local elementary school might write:

“XYZ is an important part of this community; after seeing your involvement in [local event], I have been intensely interested in working with XYZ and taking part in these important activities.

As well as holding a BA in elementary education, I minored in Modern Languages focusing on French and have volunteered with KLM, a charity that provides supplementary teaching for children with special needs and requirements. It is my hope to use my past experiences and skills in your organization to better help other children in need.”

4. Call to action and sign-off

Your last paragraph should be a closing statement that ties together the points you have made in your cover letter. This closing paragraph should also act as a call to action, prompting the hiring manager to keep you in mind and invite you for a job interview. Also, be sure to take a moment to thank the hiring manager for their time.

An example of an effective closing paragraph could be:

“I hope to bring my experience and skills to [ABC] in the near future. I believe that I can be a valuable team member and that I would fill this role well, fitting in with the overall culture of the company. Thank you for your consideration in this matter. I hope to hear from you soon.”

Once you have written your final paragraph, you should sign off formally with something like “Yours Sincerely” or “Regards”.

If you include these elements in your own cover letter, you will have a good chance of showing that you are the best person for the job. Remember to personalize your cover letter to suit the job and be sure to proofread your cover letter once you are done. Typos are one of the quickest ways to undermine all your hard work.

Cover Letter Examples

Use the cover letter samples below as a base to create your professional letter. You can also explore the ResumeHelp cover letter examples page for industry-specific inspiration.

Five Keys for Writing a Strong Cover Letter

  • Research the position and company. Show the recruiter and hiring manager that you understand the company’s mission, goals, products and clientele. They can tell when someone did their homework during their job search.
  • Tailor your letter to the job’s needs. Consider the job requirements in the job description and communicate clearly that you are the right person for this specific job. Read the listing carefully, compare the required skills to your own skill set and highlight the skills and experiences that are relevant to the job listing.
  • Expand on your resume, don’t just regurgitate it. A cover letter is an extension of your resume, so avoid repeating the same information. Choose key skills highlighted in your resume to talk more in-depth about them in your cover letter or mention something completely new.
  • Display your enthusiasm and personality. It’s important that your cover letter portrays a genuine enthusiasm and interest in the job position, as well as the company. Don’t be bland, show them that you’ll be a good fit!
  • Use professional examples and templates. Consider using example cover letters that are relevant to your industry. You can also make use of our cover letter templates to create a strong and effective cover letter base that you can further customize when you need to.

More Cover Letter Tips and Resources

ResumeHelp has dozens of other resources to help you write a great cover letter.

FAQ: Cover Letters

Q: Do I really need a cover letter?

Yes, we always recommend including a cover letter in your job application because a resume alone might not be sufficient to interest most hiring managers.

Cover letters are a great way to introduce yourself to potential employers and convince them that you’re worth getting interviewed. It gives you the space to provide additional information about achievements, key skills and why you’re the best candidate for this job opportunity.

Q: How long should my cover letter be?

When you send a cover letter and resume to a potential employer it is important to be concise. Your cover letter should be one page long and typically between three to five paragraphs. Recruiters spend less than a minute reviewing job applications, so keep it short and straight to the point, otherwise, you might risk overwhelming them with too much information.

Q: Should I address resume issues in my cover letter?

The only time you should address issues from your resume in your cover letter is if there is a glaring issue that requires an explanation. This is the case when a job seeker has a large employment gap in the “experience” section of the resume. If not, it is more beneficial for your cover letter to focus on making a good first impression and adding supplementary information.

Any additional resume issues can be discussed during the job interview.

Q: What are the different parts of a cover letter?

The different parts of a cover letter are:

  • The header with your contact information.
  • The salutation where you address the hiring manager.
  • The opening paragraph where you state your interest in the job.
  • The body paragraphs where you dive further into your work experience and skill set.
  • The closing paragraph where you invite the reader to get in touch with you and thank them for their time.

Q: What is the main purpose of a cover letter?

The main purpose of a cover letter is to provide the recruiter or hiring manager with more information about you. It’s a professional letter that compliments your resume by giving you the opportunity to further talk about your skill set and qualifications. You can show the potential employer your genuine interest in the company and job, make a good argument as to why you’ll be an asset to their team and at the very least, convince them to schedule an interview.

Cover letters can be a powerful tool and a deciding factor on whether you get hired or not, so we highly advise writing one.

Q: What should a cover letter include?

A cover letter should include:

  • Your updated contact information.
  • The date you’re sending the professional letter and resume.
  • The company’s address.
  • The hiring manager’s name.
  • A first paragraph with an opening hook that grabs the reader’s attention.
  • Body paragraphs that expand on your skills, experience and touch on your genuine interest in the company, always keeping it relevant to the job posting.
  • A closing statement with a call to action.

We also recommend using a cover letter template that matches your resume template so your job application looks professional.


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