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Sample Cover Letter for a Job Application
What is an Application Letter?
What to include in your application letter, tips for writing a cover letter, cover letter sample and template, email cover letter sample.
- How to Send an Email Application
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Alex Dos Diaz / The Balance
What's the best way to write a letter to apply for a job? Your letter should detail your specific qualifications for the position and the skills you would bring to the employer. What’s most important is to show the employer that you’re a perfect match for the job.
Your job application letter is an opportunity to highlight your most relevant qualifications and experience. An effective cover letter will enhance your application, showcase your achievements, and increase your chances of landing an interview.
Review what to include in a job application letter, tips for writing a letter that will get your application notice, and examples of letters and email messages sent to apply for a job.
- An application letter accompanies a resume and may be uploaded to a job portal, sent via email, or even sent by postal mail, depending on the employer’s requirements.
- Application letters are an ideal way to show your interest in a job and highlight your most relevant skills.
- It’s important to match your letter to the job description and show the employer that you have the qualifications they are seeking.
A letter of application, also known as a cover letter , is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information about your skills and experience to an employer. Your letter of application is intended to provide detailed information on why you are an ideal candidate for the job.
Your application letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, what makes you a strong candidate, why they should select you for an interview, and how you will follow up.
Effective application letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify the most relevant skills that qualify you for the job.
Your application letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, explain your qualifications for the job, why you should be selected for an interview, and how you will follow up.
Unless an employer specifically requests a job application letter sent by postal mail, today most cover letters are sent by email or attached as a file in an online application tracking system.
As with all cover letters, a job application letter is divided into sections:
- The heading includes your name and contact information.
- A greeting addressed to a specific person, if possible.
- The introduction includes why the applicant is writing.
- The body discusses your relevant qualifications and what you have to offer the employer.
- The close thanks the reader and provides contact information and follow-up details.
- Your signature to end the letter .
Here’s how to ensure that your application supports your resume, highlights your most relevant qualifications, and impresses the hiring manager.
Get off to a direct start. In your first paragraph, explain why you are writing. Mention the job title and company name, and where you found the job listing. While you can also briefly mention why you are a strong candidate, this section should be short and to the point.
Offer something different than what's in your resume. You can make your language a bit more personal than in your resume bullet points, and you can tell a narrative about your work experience and career.
Application letters typically accompany resumes, so your letter should showcase information that your resume doesn't.
Make a good case. Your first goal with this letter is to progress to the next step: an interview. Your overarching goal, of course, is to get a job offer. Use your application letter to further both causes. Offer details about your experience and background that show why you are a good candidate. How have other jobs prepared you for the position? What would you bring to the position, and to the company? Use this space to emphasize your strengths .
Close with all the important details. Include a thank you at the end of your letter. You can also share your contact information and mention how you will follow up.
This is a sample cover letter. Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for an email sample.
John Donaldson 8 Sue Circle Smithtown, CA 08067 909-555-5555 firstname.lastname@example.org
September 6, 2022
George Gilhooley LTC Company 87 Delaware Road Hatfield, CA 08065
Dear Mr. Gilhooley,
I am writing to apply for the programmer position advertised in the Times Union. As requested, I enclose my certification, resume, and references.
The role is very appealing to me, and I believe that my strong technical experience and education make me a highly competitive candidate for this position. My key strengths that would support my success in this position include:
- I have successfully designed, developed, and supported live-use applications.
- I strive continually for excellence.
- I provide exceptional contributions to customer service for all customers.
With a BS degree in computer programming, I have a comprehensive understanding of the full lifecycle of software development projects. I also have experience in learning and applying new technologies as appropriate. Please see my resume for additional information on my experience.
I can be reached anytime via email at email@example.com or by phone at 909-555-5555.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this employment opportunity.
Signature (hard copy letter)
The following is a sample email cover letter to send as part of a job application.
Email Application Letter Example
Subject: Colleen Warren - Web Content Manager Position
Dear Hiring Manager,
I'm writing to express my interest in the Web Content Manager position listed on Monster.com. I have experience building large, consumer-focused, health-based content sites. While much of my experience has been in the business world, I understand the social value of this sector, and I am confident that my business experience will be an asset to your organization.
My responsibilities have included the development and management of website editorial voice and style, editorial calendars, and the daily content programming and production for various websites.
I have worked closely with health care professionals and medical editors to provide the best possible information to a consumer audience of patients. I have also helped physicians to use their medical content to write user-friendly and easily comprehensible text.
Experience has taught me how to build strong relationships with all departments in an organization. I have the ability to work within a team, as well as cross-team. I can work with web engineers to resolve technical issues and implement technical enhancements.
I am confident working with development departments to implement design and functional enhancements, monitor site statistics, and conduct search engine optimization.
Thank you for your consideration.
Colleen Warren firstname.lastname@example.org 555-123-1234 www.linked.com/colleenwarren
How to Send an Email Application Letter
If sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title you are applying for in the subject line of the email:
Colleen Warren - Web Content Manager Position
Include your contact information in your email signature but don't list the employer's contact information.
Do you have to write a cover letter when you apply for a job?
Some employers require cover letters. If they do, it will be mentioned in the job posting. Otherwise, it’s optional but it can help your chances of securing an interview. A cover letter gives you a chance to sell yourself to the employer, showcase your qualifications, and explain why you are a perfect candidate for the job.
How can you use a cover letter to show you’re a qualified candidate?
One of the easiest ways to show an employer how you’re qualified for a job is to make a list of the requirements listed in the job posting and match them to your resume. Mention your most relevant qualifications in your cover letter, so the hiring manager can see, at a glance, that you have the credentials they are looking for.
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How To Write A Job Application Letter (With Examples)
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Find a Job You Really Want In
While applying to jobs, you might be asked to provide a job application letter (sometimes referred to as a cover letter) along with your resume. A resume outlines your professional skills and experience, and a job application letter explains why you are an ideal candidate for the position you’re applying to.
You can think of this as a strictly formatted professional letter that gives hiring managers a sense of your individual qualities prior to a job interview.
This article outlines the essential details and formatting for a job application letter. You’ll learn how to write a concise and engaging letter that will increase your chances of being selected for an interview.
A job application letter can also be known as a cover letter. It is a way to introduce how your skills and experience are a good match for the job.
A job application letter should have your contact information, employer contact information, and a salutation,
A job application application letter should have an introductory paragraph, middle paragraphs that explain your qualifications, and a closing paragraph.
Use specific experiences with quantifiable results to show how your skills were successfully put into action.
Make sure to do your research and edit your letter before submitting.
Tips for writing a job application letter
Job application letter format, what’s the difference between a cover letter and a job application letter, dos and don’ts for writing a job application letter.
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If you’ve ever asked for advice on the job application process, you’ve likely heard the phrase “sell yourself” a million times over. This means that you should highlight your skills and achievements in a way that will pique a hiring manager ’s interest and make them pause over your application.
You might feel overwhelmed in the grand scheme of online applications, application/ cover letters , letters of intent , and interviews. It’s a lot to balance, especially if you have no experience with any of the things listed.
Remember to take everything one step at a time and review some helpful tips for writing a polished and engaging job application letter:
Tailor the application letter to each job. Your letter should address key points in the job description from the listing, as well as how you can apply your knowledge and experience to the position. You want to emphasize why you are the best candidate for this specific job.
Don’t copy information straight from your resume. Your resume is meant to act as a formal record of your professional experience, education, and accomplishments. The job application letter is where you highlight a few particular details from your resume, and use them to demonstrate how your experience can apply to the job.
Follow the business letter format. These letters have very strict formatting rules, to ensure that they appear as professional to hiring managers. A poorly formatted letter could prevent employers from taking your application seriously.
Proofread. Hiring managers will definitely overlook letters riddled with proofreading mistakes. Read your letter several times over to fix any grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. You could ask someone else to look over it afterwards or run it through any number of online grammar check programs.
Decide on printing and mailing your letter or sending it in an email. An application letter sent through email requires a subject line that details your purpose for writing— consider “[job title], [your name].” The placement of your contact information is also different depending on the medium . In a hard copy, this goes at the top of your letter, as a header. In an email, it goes below your signature.
The following formatting information can be used as a guideline while drafting your own job application letter, with an example for both a printed/mailed letter and a letter sent through email.
Your contact information
Name Address City, State Zip Code Phone Number Email Address
Employer contact information
This section should be about one to three paragraphs, discussing your various qualifications for the job. This is where you really emphasize what you could bring to the company and how you might fit into the work environment. It might be necessary to do some additional research about the company, to lend more specificity to your letter.
Ending a cover letter might be a challenge, as you try to wrap up all the details about why you’re the most well-qualified employee on the planet. Let that confidence carry over into your concluding paragraph.
Job application letter example – printed and mailed
Robin Gomez 37 Southwest Avenue Gainesville, FL 12345 365-123-4567 [email protected] October 20, 2020 Ms. Martha Waters Hiring Manager Blue Swamp Publishing 27 Archer Street Gainesville, FL 67890 Dear Ms. Waters, My resume is attached in response to your advertisement for an editorial assistant . The job description aligns with my interest in editing short fiction, and I believe my experience and skills match what you’re looking for. This past year, I interned with the Editing, Design and Production department at Gator University Press. Over the course of two semesters, I interacted with academic texts at various stages before publication. I’m comfortable proofreading and copyediting manuscripts, as well as adding typesetting codes in Microsoft Word. I have also previously worked on the staff of Writers Student Literary Magazine in Jacksonville, FL , as the Fiction and Website Editor, as well as the head of the Proofreading Team. I played a significant role in the publication of six issues of the magazine, across a two year period (including print and online editions). My qualifications beyond this include experience in team-oriented settings and proficiency in creative and academic writing. I would love the opportunity to speak with you about how I can further contribute to Blue Swamp Publishing! Please feel free to contact me on my cell at 365-123-4567 if you have questions or to set up an interview. Sincerely, Robin Gomez
Job application letter example – emailed
Subject Line: Victoria Caruso – Public Relations Assistant Dear Ms. Janet Wang, I was excited when my colleague Rachel Smith told me that you were looking for a public relations assistant with a background in graphic design. She suggested that I reach out to you about the position, since I believe that my experience aligns well with what you are seeking at Trademark Agency. I worked alongside Rachel as a brand ambassador at a small graphic design company for three years, where I excelled in project management, strategy development, and client communication. This past spring, I played a significant role in designing the website for an up-and-coming multicultural women’s organization and publicizing their first few public events. Along with my experience and personal qualities, I prioritize: Expanding company recognition and designing unique brand details Managing media, press, and public relations issues for companies Developing company communication strategies Please see my attached resume for additional details about my career achievements. I hope to learn more about Trademark Agency’s goals for the coming year. You can contact me on my cell at 319-333-3333 or via email at [email protected]. Sincerely, Victoria Caruso 15th Avenue N Iowa City, Iowa 52240 319-333-3333 [email protected]
A cover letter normally is attached with a resume for a specific job opening, whereas a job application letter can be submitted independently. As already stated, a job application letter can also be known as a cover letter. Format wise, there are a lot of similarities.
However, a job application letter can also be more detailed than a cover a letter. Usually a cover letter acts a quick introduction to a resume when a candidate applies for a specific job opening.
Meanwhile, you can submit a job application letter to a company even if there are no job openings. In this case, you would provide more detail about yourself and your qualifications. Due to this, job application letters tend to be a little longer than the average cover letter.
Now that we’ve gone through the basic formatting for a job application letter and a few examples of what one might look like, how can we condense all that information into digestible pieces?
Refer to these lists of “dos” and “don’ts” to help you through your drafting process:
Explain what you can bring to the company. Consider: how is your experience relevant to what the hiring manager is looking for?
Discuss your skills. Pick out a few skills listed in your resume and describe how you have utilized them in the workplace.
Give specific examples to support your experience. Is there a major project you worked on at your last job ? Did you accomplish something significant in your previous position? Including examples of these things in your letter will add new, specific content to your application and make you more interesting.
Edit your letter thoroughly. Read your letter a couple times, pass it off to someone to look over, run it through an online grammar check. Make sure it’s free of any errors.
Don’t focus on what the job can do for you. While it might seem nice to write that a job is your dream job or that you’ve always wanted to work with a company, it can read as vague flattery. Remember, this letter is about your qualifications.
Don’t list your current or previous job description. Your education and work experience certainly have value, but don’t just list your degrees and places you’ve worked at. Explained what you learned from those experiences and how they’ve made you a strong employee.
Don’t paste directly from your resume. A job application letter is meant to add to your value as a candidate, not just reiterate the same information repeatedly. Use your resume as a guide , but expand on especially relevant details.
Don’t submit an unedited letter. Before an employer ever meets you, they see your application and your job application letter. You don’t want grammar errors and misspelled words to make a bad first impression, so make sure to edit your draft multiple times.
Armed with these tips, guidelines, and examples, you’ll be able to draft your job application letter more confidently and send them off to potential employers knowing that you’re one step closer to employment.
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Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.
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How to Write a Job Application Letter (with Examples)
Last Updated: August 1, 2023 Fact Checked
Introduction, body paragraphs, closing your letter, expert q&a.
This article was written by Shannon O'Brien, MA, EdM and by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano . Shannon O'Brien is the Founder and Principal Advisor of Whole U. (a career and life strategy consultancy based in Boston, MA). Through advising, workshops and e-learning Whole U. empowers people to pursue their life's work and live a balanced, purposeful life. Shannon has been ranked as the #1 Career Coach and #1 Life Coach in Boston, MA by Yelp reviewers. She has been featured on Boston.com, Boldfacers, and the UR Business Network. She received a Master's of Technology, Innovation, & Education from Harvard University. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 10,603,241 times.
So, you’ve found your dream job and want to make sure you nail the job application process. You double- and triple-check the criteria—they’re asking for a cover letter. What does that mean, and how do you write it? A cover letter or letter of application is a single page that sums up why you want and deserve the job. Think of it as an extension of your resume; a sales pitch for why you’re the perfect candidate. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide full of examples and tips on how to write a letter of application for a job. With our help and a little finesse, you may soon be calling that dream job your own.
Things You Should Know
- Format your application letter single-spaced and in Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri font that’s 10- to 12-point in size.
- Open your letter with an engaging and confident first paragraph that briefly includes your qualifications, where you found the job, and your overall interest in the position.
- Show your personality in the body paragraphs by describing the passions that relate to the position in 1 or 2 sentences.
- Use keywords (like leadership, communication, and detail-oriented) from the job description throughout your letter to show that you’ve done your research.
- First and last name
- Phone number
- Email address
- Personal website and/or portfolio link (if you have one)
- If you don’t know the hiring manager's name, search the company’s website or refer to the name of the individual who originally posted the job opening.
- If you’re in doubt about who to address your letter to, use “[Department] Hiring Manager.”
- If you don’t have the employer or hiring manager’s name, use a general but professional opening, “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear [Department] Hiring Manager.”
- Be short and specific in this opening paragraph—save those details for later.
- Think of your first paragraph as a sales pitch. What can you say that’ll grab their attention immediately? Is there something you have that other candidates don’t that make you more qualified for the position?
- Show the employer that you’re familiar with the company and job application by noting keywords and characteristics valued by the company.
- For example: “I write to apply for the Office Manager position at Acme Investments, Inc. I am an excellent fit for this position, as demonstrated by my extensive background in management and proven success as a corporate administrator.”
- Companies appreciate when job candidates include this information because it lets them know where people are searching for jobs.
- Only include a company contact or friend’s name if you have their permission. This way, they’ll be ready to answer any questions about you and your character later.
- You may write something like: “John Smith recommended that I get in touch with you about the general manager position at EnviroRent,” or “I came across the available position on LinkedIn and believe I am a strong candidate.”
- For instance, if the company needs someone who can lead a team and handle multiple projects at once, note what team projects you’ve led in previous positions and how you improved overall productivity.
- If you have numerical data or stats to back up your accomplishments, include them! This is your time to brag about your achievements and show how you’ve excelled in the workplace.
- Scan the job application for keywords like leadership, communication, management, and detail-oriented. Then, highlight in your letter how you have these characteristics or skills.
- Avoid embellishing any of your qualifications. Remember, an employer can always double-check the facts.
- If you’re not sure what to write, refer to your resume or CV. What have you done that matches the job description best, and how can you elaborate on it?
- For example: “In my previous role, I successfully supported an office of 100 personnel and honed my management and interpersonal skills through customer service and clerical responsibilities.”
- For instance, you could express how the company has impacted you personally and why that’s driven you to apply for the position.
- Although you want to provide details, keep it short. Stick to a 1 to 2-sentence description rather than a full-length story. Your letter should stay under 3 paragraphs.
- Here’s an example: “My passion for teaching began the summer of my sophomore year of high school when I was a camp counselor. I was given the opportunity to teach a class focusing on local plant life, and the campers’ enthusiasm cultivated my love for teaching and conservation.
- For instance, you could write, “I am excited about the possibility of working for you and your company. I would be more than happy to discuss my qualifications and Acme’s future direction in person or via video conference.”
- Keep your call to action brief and open, or provide specific dates you’d be available to meet with the employer.
- For instance, sign off with, “Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you,” or “Thank you for considering me for this position. If you have any further questions or require additional documentation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.”  X Research source
- If you’re sending your letter via email, import your signature into the document as an image or .png file.
- Always proofread and ask someone else to read over your application letter before you send it. This way, you can make sure it’s absolutely perfect and error-free.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Keep the overall tone of the company or employer in mind while writing your letter. For instance, if you’re applying to be a journalist for a prestigious news website, match their word choice and writing style. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Be sure to customize your application letter for every job you apply to, even if they have the same qualifications. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://www.ferrum.edu/downloads/careers/cover-letters.pdf
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/job_search_writing/job_search_letters/cover_letters_workshop/formatting_and_organization.html
- ↑ https://icc.ucdavis.edu/materials/cover-letters
- ↑ https://hbr.org/2016/05/learn-to-love-networking
- ↑ https://hbr.org/2014/02/how-to-write-a-cover-letter
- ↑ https://career.colostate.edu/resources/cover-letter-example-csu-career-center/
- ↑ https://www.astate.edu/dotAsset/54eb42cc-33a3-4237-a46e-3f4aaac79389.pdf
- ↑ https://career.gatech.edu/writing-effective-cover-letter
About This Article
The best way to start an application letter is to mention where you found the job opportunity and how your strengths can benefit the employer. Devote time in the body paragraphs to tell the employer more about your experience and qualifications. Explain why you’re the best candidate and finish by inviting the hiring manager to contact you. For suggestions on how to prepare your letter, and examples of what to write, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application
Published: August 10, 2022
Are cover letters necessary? I'm not in HR, but I've been approached by applicants who wondered whether their cover letter would actually be read. My answer is one not many of them wanted to hear: "sometimes." Sometimes it will be read. Other times, you can get away with just sending in your resume — like when you network your way into applying for a position.
The truth is, you can't really predict on a case-by-case basis — and you're better safe than sorry. For the most part, having a cover letter will give you an upper hand in ways your resume doesn't. It allows you to show off your writing skills, provide details that you couldn't fit on your resume, demonstrate your passion, and show your willingness to put in as much time and effort as possible.
If you’ve ever rolled your eyes or balked at an application that required a cover letter, this guide is for you. We’ll go over how to write a cover letter and provide cover letter templates to help you perfect your own.
An application letter is a written document addressed to an employer by a job applicant, explaining why they're interested in and qualified for an open position. More commonly known as a cover letter, this document can come in the form of an email, MS Word document, or similar application template offered by the employer.
Seems fairly basic, right? Cover letters can hold different levels of importance to an employer depending on the industry you're in and the job you're applying for. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 49% of recruiters say sendign a cover letter along with your resume boosts your chance of landing the role.
If you do plan to write a cover letter, keep in mind there are certain qualities it should have that are not included in the definition above.
5 Free Cover Letter Templates
Five fill-in-the-blank cover letter templates to help you impress recruiters.
- Standard Cover Letter Template
- Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
- Data-Driven Cover Letter Template
You're all set!
Click this link to access this resource at any time.
What to Include in a Cover Letter
So, what should you include? We'll let the 11 templates below this list do most of the talking. No matter which one you download, pay attention to the following elements — all of which should shine through in the letter you send to your future manager.
Fill out this form to access your templates.
1. contact information.
Cover letters shouldn't just carry your contact information, but also that of the company to which you're applying. Contact info includes your phone number, email address, and any social media accounts you're willing to share and receive connections to.
Home addresses aren't required, but they can be a helpful reassurance to the employer that you already live nearby and would have no trouble coming into the office.
Avoid offering phone numbers, email addresses, or actual addresses that belong to your current employer. Using your personal Gmail address over your work email, for example, ensures your correspondence with recruiters remains separate from all of your current work communication.
2. A Personal Address Line
For as often as you see "to whom it may concern" at the top of cover letters today, do your best to avoid writing this exhausted line.
Address lines that specify a person or company grab your reader's attention much more quickly, and show the employer that you've taken the time to tailor your application letter to them. Don't have the name of the hiring manager? "Employers at [company name]" will do just fine.
A "hook" is a clever introduction that "hooks" your reader into wanting to learn more. Think about yourself as a job candidate — what makes you unique? What about your career might a recruiter be intrigued by that you can package into an interesting first sentence?
4. Why You're Qualified
It's a no-brainer that you should summarize your professional experience in your cover letter. However, today's best applications describe why this experience qualifies the applicant for the job they're applying for. For example, don't just state that you spent three years writing for a company blog. Explain that this type of work lends itself to managing your new potential employer's content calendar every week.
5. General Knowledge of the Business
Grammatical errors could mean your application is thrown in the trash, but that's not the only thing that could get your letter tossed aside. Using a generic "one-size-fits-all" cover letter — especially if you forget to change the name of the company — will also hurt your chances of landing an interview.
So, if you take the time to write a cover letter, take the time to comment on the business itself. Why are you applying to this company? What about their business stuck out to you as a professional?
Now, let's take a look at an example cover letter , what makes it effective, along with 11 templates you can download or draw inspiration from.
Cover Letter Example
The example above illustrates how to write a marketing cover letter using the elements we listed.
Besides the contact information and the address line, the first few paragraphs explain why the candidate is qualified for the position. This example uses specific data to show why they would be a good fit.
Additionally, in the second to last paragraph, the candidate discusses why they're interested in the specific company, demonstrating general knowledge of the business.
By combining all the elements to a cover letter, this is a great example to use for inspiration.
Featured Resource: 5 Professional Cover Letter Templates
14 Free Cover Letter Templates for Your Next Job Application
Template 1: basic.
The example above is a basic (but great) cover letter. The numbered sections are explained in more detail below.
The level of formality your header has will depend on the company to which you apply. If you're applying to a formal business, it's important to use a formal header to open your cover letter, like in the sample above. Put your address, the date, and the company's address. But if you're applying to a company that isn't as formal, you don't need to include yours and the company's addresses. You can still include the date, though.
Using "To Whom It May Concern" is okay, but you may want to take the time to research the name of the recruiter or hiring manager online. If you do your research and aren't confident you found the right name, then you should definitely use the generic greeting — but if you are sure, then it shows you put in the effort to find their name and it will catch the recruiter's eye.
If you have the recruiter's name, do you greet them by their full name, or by their courtesy title (i.e. Mr., Ms., or Mrs.)? Similar to the header, it depends on the company's level of formality. If you're applying to a corporate business, you may want to consider using "Mr. Snaper" instead of "Jon Snaper." If you're applying to a start-up or a business with a more casual culture, you can use "Jon Snaper," as shown in the example.
Your opening paragraph should, in 1-3 sentences, state why you're excited to apply and what makes you the perfect candidate. Get right to the point, and don't worry about explaining where you found the posting or who you know at the company. This isn't a place to go into detail about why you're a great candidate — that's for the second paragraph. Here, simply list a few key reasons in one sentence to set up the rest of your letter. Keep in mind that the recruiter may cross-reference your cover letter with your resume, so make sure the two sync up.
4. Paragraph 2: Why You're a Great Fit for the Job
Next, sell yourself and your experience by choosing one or two concrete examples that show why you're a great fit for the position. What did you do at a previous company that gave you relevant experience? Which projects have you worked on that would benefit the new company? How will your prior experience help this company grow? Stay humble in your explanation of credentials while still showing that you would be an asset to the team. Use this paragraph to show you're genuinely excited and interested in the position.
5. Third Paragraph: Why the Company Is a Great Fit for You
While it's certainly important you're a good fit for the job, it's also important that the company is a good fit for you. "A cover letter typically describes why you're great for a company — but how will you benefit from getting hired?" asks former HubSpot Team Development Manager Emily MacIntyre . "We want to know why our company appeals to you, and how it will be a mutually beneficial working relationship."
In the third paragraph, show you're serious about growing and developing your career at this new company. What impresses and excites you about the company? Is there something that you feel strongly about that aligns with the company's goals? For example, the candidate in the sample letter used this space to show his personal commitment to environmental causes aligns with the company's green initiatives.
6. Strong Closer and Signature
Don't get lazy in the final few sentences of your cover letter — it's important to finish strong. Be straightforward about your interest and enthusiasm about the new position, and tell them you're available to talk about the opportunity at any time. Be sure to include your phone number and email address. At this point, the ball is (rightly) in the recruiter's court to decide how to follow up.
Last but certainly not least, thank them for their time and consideration. Use a formal sign-off like "Best," "All the best," or "Sincerely," and finish by typing out your full name. You don't need to sign it with a pen.
Template 2: Data-Driven Marketing Cover Letter
Get it here..
When applying to a data-driven position, it might be tempting to inject your cover letter with, well, the data to describe what you've done for other employers. But in an application letter — particularly for the marketing industry — how you convey this data is just as important as the data itself.
The cover letter template above, which we created here at HubSpot, can help you present the data that's most important to you as a candidate such that it'll matter to your future employer.
Notice the three bullet points near the center of the letter above, preceded by the statement: "... I've developed a strategy that has helped the company achieve ..." This setup is important, because while you can add as many statistics as you want to this template, your data points should describe how your current/former business benefited from your work, rather than how you, yourself, benefited.
Template 3: Straight-to-the-Point Cover Letter
Harvard Business Review contributor David Silverman hailed the above cover letter example as "The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received." For context, Silverman believes there are only a handful of times when writing a cover letter is actually necessary:
- When you know the name of the hiring manager.
- When you know something about what the job requires.
- When you've been referred to the job personally.
Under those three circumstances, a straight-to-the-point cover letter like the one above could be your best bet. Because it's so concise, however, make a point to add your own letterhead above the message itself. It might be easy for a recruiter to sift through a short and sweet cover letter like the one above, but it's just as easy for it to get lost in the shuffle of their application list without a unique design or format.
Template 4: Referral Cover Letter
Just because a friend or colleague recommended you for a job doesn't mean the company is all set to hire you. Therefore, the cover letter template above is written specifically for referrals. We made this one here at HubSpot. Download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).
As you can see in the picture above, the first paragraph of the cover letter is dedicated entirely to acknowledging the circumstances of your applying: You know someone who works there — no harm in that. But there might be harm in not mentioning it to the hiring manager. Telling the reader about your connection at the company shows you're aware and confident of the actions you take to get the opportunities you're interested in.
Ultimately, it's better than the recruiter hearing about your employee connection from somebody else.
As for the rest of the cover letter, treat your message the same way you would if you had applied with no connection from within. Your skills and successes are no less important because of your internal referral.
Template 5: Photo Letterhead Cover Letter
The cover letter template above was designed by Microsoft Office, and as comprehensive as it looks, it's completely free to download and modify.
As it looks right now, this cover letter contains about half photo, half text. Feel free to shrink (and change) the image to give yourself more room to tell your story. Of course, a nice washed-out image that expresses who you are can be part of that story ...
Template 6: Digital Creative Cover Letter
This sixth template is perfect for the applicant who wants to emphasize the many different digital channels they areon. This template goes well with a resume of the same format.
As you personalize this letter with your own experience, make note of the social networks and industry software included in this template. You'll see there’s additional space along the top to add your LinkedIn and personal website to fill with your own information.
You can improve upon this template by formatting your most important highlights and accomplishments with bullet points. This will make the document easier to read for the hiring manager and emphasizes the value you provide.
Template 7: Marketing Manager Cover Letter
Our seventh cover letter comes from Monster.com. This cover letter, shown above, is focused specifically on a marketing role.
Notice how the writer includes references to important marketing metrics and terminology. If you're applying to a data-driven role, you might not want to fill the page with a story of your experience in paragraph form, like Template 1 does at the beginning of this article. Instead, consider highlighting three (or four, or five) of your successes that you believe the hiring manager would resonate most with, in bulleted form.
As a marketing professional, breaking up your letter with bulleted details like the ones above shows a respect for the hiring manager's limited time — a mentality that all marketers must understand when communicating with a brand's audience.
Template 8: Career Day Follow-Up Cover Letter
This is a unique kind of cover letter from Princeton University.
LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and Indeed might take the lion's share of your job searches online, but still some employment opportunities come out of a trade show, job fair, or similar networking event. For those occurrences, you have the follow-up cover letter template above.
This cover letter has everything you need to help an employer recall a conversation you had with him/her at a career fair. As you can see in the second paragraph, the letter is particularly useful to people who are about to graduate college.
Template 9: Logo and Watermarked Cover Letter
Here's another cover letter template from Microsoft Office. This one has a light touch of color in the design just above the letterhead, but make no mistake — the template caters to any professional looking to make a good first impression on their future employer.
Don't let the logo space on the top-right of the page confuse you. This can be the logo of the company to which you're applying — to quickly get the attention of the recruiter — or your own logo. Perhaps you freelance on the side or simply like branding yourself. This cover letter template is meant for customization.
Template 10: Data Scientist Cover Letter
This is our second template from Princeton University. While this is focused on a data scientist role, it is an excellent template to use for students applying to jobs prior to graduation.
The text emphasizes how the applicant’s academic research and projects makes them an ideal candidate for the position. The format is also simple enough to submit as a pdf, as text in an email message or an application text box.
Template 11: Business Cover Letter
The cover letter template above is perfect for entry- and mid-level marketers who want to show a little extra professionalism in their opening note to a potential employer.
The multi-colored header (you can change the color if you wish) shows just the right amount of creativity and can go quite well with a resume of the same style. If you don't have enough experience to fill the entire page, don't worry. Feel free to write to a length you think is representative of who you are and what the hiring manager wants to see.
No matter how long your final cover letter is, the above template is your opportunity to show your attention to detail — from your contact information in the top header, to the personalized address line where you can include the name of the hiring manager. Like we said, "to whom it may concern" is pretty outdated, anyway.
Template 12: Entry-Level Cover Letter
The cover letter template above, written by HubSpot, is specifically designed for entry-level applicants.
When you only have a few years experience, it's important to display how you gained your skills and what you learned from your education or internships. Additionally, it's important to mention why you want to work at the company you're applying to.
No matter your experience, the template above will help you decide what skills you want to highlight and flesh out in your cover letter.
You can download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).
Template 13: Healthcare Cover Letter
Additionally, phrases like "I'd love to put my skills to work for your clinic" and "Please contact me at your convenience and let me know how I can help you" focus on what the business will gain as a result of hiring the applicant, rather than what the applicant is looking to gain.
Template 14: Freelance Cover Letter
If you're looking for freelance work, your biggest goal is to get your strengths across quickly, so busy clients won't pass by your cover letter entirely. Additionally, if you're sending out multiple cover letters to different clients, you'll want to target each one to that client's unique goals.
For instance, if one client is looking for SEO-optimized content related to marketing, you'll want to highlight past experience writing marketing content; this will change if, for instance, the client is looking for fitness content.
For this reason, it's a good idea to structure your cover letter so you start with a) past credentials or references, and b) bullet-point information related to the client's goal, as shown in the cover letter above.
Template 15: Director Cover Letter
In the cover letter above, the candidate does a good job outlining how she succeeded in a leadership role previously: "For the past five years, I have successfully developed and maintained all data systems, including schedules and records for a business employing more than 100 people."
You'll want to demonstrate how your skills align with a Director position — both through organization and leadership — and, when possible, where you received recognition for your hard work (i.e. "I earned an award for Most Valuable Administrative Staff Member").
Write a Winning Cover Letter
Writing a cover letter is easier said than done. Don't hesitate to spend a lot of time writing and editing it. Or, ask a friend or family member to read it over and give you feedback. If the recruiter does end up reading it, you'll be thankful you did.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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How to Send an Email Cover Letter (Examples)
By Status.net Editorial Team on November 15, 2023 — 13 minutes to read
An email cover letter is an opportunity for you to introduce yourself, highlight your qualifications, and explain why you’re the perfect fit for the job. Here are a few pointers to help you craft an effective email cover letter:
- Subject Line: Your subject line should clearly indicate the purpose of your email. Mention the job title you’re applying for and your full name, e.g., “Marketing Manager Application – Jane Doe.”
- Salutation: Address the hiring manager by their name, if possible. If you don’t know their name, a simple “Dear Hiring Manager” will suffice.
- Introduction: In the opening paragraph, you should mention the job title you’re applying for, where you found the job posting, and a brief introduction of yourself.
- Body: The body of your email cover letter should elaborate on your qualifications and experiences that are relevant to the job. Focus on showcasing your skills, achievements, and how you can contribute to the company’s success. Be sure to tailor your content to the specific job and company, demonstrating that you’ve done your research.
- Closing: Wrap up your email cover letter by thanking the hiring manager for considering your application. Express your enthusiasm for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position.
- Signature: Sign off with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your full name, email address, and phone number.
One more tip: as email systems can sometimes strip out formatting or not display it consistently, it’s best to stick to simple formatting options, such as bold text, bullet points, and clear paragraph breaks. If you want to include additional information, such as your resume, consider attaching it as a PDF file to ensure consistent formatting across different devices and email platforms.
Key Elements of a Cover Letter
Subject line essentials.
Your email cover letter should start with a compelling subject line that quickly grabs the recipient’s attention, especially since it’s competing with other emails in their inbox. Keep your subject line concise, clear, and informative. For example, you could use a format like: “Marketing Coordinator Application – Jane Smith” or “Re: Job Application for Graphic Designer (Job ID: 12345)”. Tailor your subject line to the company and position, so the recipient can easily identify your message’s purpose.
Email Signature and Contact Information
An email signature is an essential part of creating a professional presence in your email cover letter. Your email signature should include your full name, phone number, and any relevant links, such as your LinkedIn profile or online portfolio. This makes it easy for the recipient to contact you regarding your application. For example:
The Importance of Professional Email Address
A professional email address sets a good first impression and shows that you’re serious about your job search. Avoid using email addresses that are unprofessional or include personal information. Stick to a simple format like [email protected] or variations that include your first initial and last name.
Selecting the Right File Name
When attaching your resume or other documents, choose a file name that clearly identifies the content and includes your name. This makes it easy for hiring managers to locate your documents among numerous other files. For example, “JaneSmith_Resume.pdf” or “CoverLetter_JohnDoe.docx” are appropriate file names.
Understanding File Types
Submitting your documents in the appropriate file format ensures that they’re easily accessible and readable by the recipient. The most commonly accepted file formats are .doc, .docx, and .pdf. It’s a good idea to stick to these formats unless the job posting specifies otherwise. In most cases, PDF files are preferred as they maintain consistent formatting across different devices and platforms.
How To Create an Effective Cover Letter
Creating the greeting.
Begin your cover letter with a formal yet friendly greeting. Address the hiring manager by name if possible; you can find this information from the job posting, company website, or LinkedIn. If the manager’s name is unattainable, go for general but professional salutations such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern.”
Describing Your Experience and Skills
Showcase your relevant experience in the opening paragraph of your cover letter. Briefly pinpoint the role you’re applying for and how your background aligns with the position. Avoid regurgitating your resume; instead, focus on what unique skills make you the perfect candidate for the job.
As you describe your skills, use clear and concise language. Structure this section with bullet points to make it easy for the employer to read and digest:
- Skill 1: Why it’s relevant
- Skill 2: How it’ll benefit the company
- Skill 3: Examples of how you’ve used it before
Detailing Your Achievements
Next, outline your most significant and relevant achievements. These can include promotions, academic success, or other awards. Focus on accomplishments that display your skills, strategic thinking, and leadership capabilities. Use data to back up your claims – incorporate specific numbers and percentages indicating how you made a difference in your previous positions.
Following the Employer’s Instructions
Carefully read the job posting and any instructions provided by the employer when crafting your cover letter. If they ask for specific formatting or mention certain keywords, comply with their requests. You demonstrate your attention to detail and ability to assimilate by following their instructions.
Optimizing the Closing Examples
A strong closing further supports your candidacy and invites the employer to take further action. Reiterate your enthusiasm for the role and express your desire to contribute to the company’s success:
Example 1 : “I am excited about the opportunities posed by this role and am confident that my skills will allow me to excel at [Company Name]. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my application further.”
Example 2 : “Thank you for considering my application. I believe my expertise in [Skill/Area] will greatly benefit [Company Name]. I look forward to discussing how I can contribute to your team.”
Remember to include your contact information and sign off professionally using “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” or a similar phrase.
Formatting Your Email Cover Letter
Choosing the right font and spacing.
When writing your email cover letter, start with a clean and easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Select a font size between 11 and 12, which is generally considered standard for professional correspondence. Use single-spacing throughout the body of your email cover letter and consider adding a space between each paragraph for better readability.
Ensuring Correct Spelling and Grammar
Before sending your email cover letter, thoroughly proofread it for any spelling or grammar errors. To catch mistakes, use the built-in spell checker in your email client, or consider using third-party tools. Additionally, reading your email cover letter out loud can help spot any awkward phrases or inconsistencies.
Formatting and Structure Tips
Here are some tips to format your email cover letter effectively:
- Subject line : Make sure to include a clear and concise subject line, such as “Job Application – Your Name – Job Title.” This will make it easy for the recipient to identify the purpose of your email.
- Salutation : Address the hiring manager by their first and last name, if you can find it, or use a general greeting like “Dear Hiring Manager.”
- Introduction : Introduce yourself and mention the position you’re applying for. Briefly explain why you’re a strong fit for the role.
- Body : Highlight your relevant experience and skills in 2-3 short paragraphs. Use specific examples to support your claims.
- Call-to-action : End your email cover letter by thanking the hiring manager for their time and mentioning that you’re looking forward to their response.
- Sign off : Use a professional closing, such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely,” followed by your full name. Don’t forget to include your contact information such as your email address and phone number below your name.
Key Tips for a Successful Email Cover Letter
Tuning your email message.
When writing an email cover letter, your message should be clear and concise. Use a professional yet friendly tone to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role. Start with a clear subject line that includes the job title and your full name. In the body of the email, briefly introduce yourself and mention the position you’re targeting. You can also add a line that highlights your skills or experience relevant to the job. Make sure to proofread your email content to avoid grammatical errors and maintain a polished appearance.
Using Cover Letter Templates
Using a cover letter template can be a helpful starting point. It provides a layout that ensures a consistent, professional presentation. Look for a template that matches the industry and job you’re applying for, while still allowing you to showcase your personality. Try to find a balance between a visually appealing design and an easy-to-read format. Always tailor the content to the specific job you’re applying for, as hiring managers can easily spot a generic, one-size-fits-all cover letter.
Sending a Test Email
Before hitting send on your cover letter and resume, send yourself a test email. This practice will ensure that the email arrives in your inbox correctly and that the formatting is intact. It will also give you a chance to review the email from the recipient’s perspective, so you can make any necessary adjustments. Check for broken links, and make sure your attachments (like your resume) are in a commonly used format, such as PDF. This step is important for ensuring your application’s success, as a poorly formatted email could impact your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.
How To Manage the Application Process
Understanding the job description.
When applying for a job, it’s important to carefully read and understand the job description. This will help you tailor your cover letter and resume to the specific requirements and needs of the position. Look for keywords and phrases that describe the responsibilities and qualifications, and be sure to highlight your relevant experience in your application materials.
Researching the Company
Before sending your email cover letter, research the company to gather useful information. This will help you demonstrate your interest and knowledge of the organization in your cover letter. Look for the company’s mission, values, and recent news. Try to find ways to relate your experience and skills to the company’s goals and culture.
Using LinkedIn in Job Search
In your job search, don’t forget to leverage LinkedIn. Connect with people in your industry, and follow companies and influencers relevant to your career objectives. You can also find job postings on LinkedIn, and even apply directly using your profile. Customize your LinkedIn URL and use it as part of your email signature to make it easy for potential employers to learn more about you.
Part-Time and Summer Jobs
If you’re looking for part-time or summer jobs, your email cover letter should reflect the specific nature of these positions. Focus on your flexibility, availability, and willingness to work irregular hours. Highlight relevant skills and experiences, even if they’re not directly related to the position. This will show your adaptability and eagerness to learn.
Managing the Follow-Up
After sending your email cover letter and resume, consider following up with the company if you haven’t heard back within a week or two. A polite email or phone call can help keep your application front of mind and demonstrate your continued interest in the position. However, be respectful and avoid being pushy or overly persistent. Remember that hiring managers are often very busy and may take some time to respond.
Advanced Cover Letter Strategies
Using a cover letter builder.
A cover letter builder can be a valuable tool in crafting an impressive cover letter. These online tools often provide customizable templates and step-by-step guidance to help you structure your content. Plus, they can save you time by automating the formatting process.
To get started, you can search for a reputable cover letter builder and follow the prompts. Make sure to choose a template that matches the tone and style of the job you’re applying for. Then, input your information and adjust the prewritten text to reflect your experiences and skills.
Emphasizing Your Qualifications
To stand out, you should highlight your relevant qualifications. To do this, carefully review the job posting and note the key requirements. Then, match your skills and experiences to those points, using specific examples to demonstrate your capabilities.
For example, if the job requires strong time-management skills, mention how you successfully managed multiple projects simultaneously in a previous role. Use numbers and metrics, where possible, to emphasize your achievements. This targeted approach can help you catch the attention of a potential employer.
Highlighting Professional Achievements
Your cover letter should showcase your professional achievements, demonstrating how your accomplishments make you the ideal candidate. To do this effectively, include specific examples that illustrate your strengths.
For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, you could mention specific sales targets you’ve met or exceeded in the past, or discuss how you broke new ground by securing a big client.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the key steps in writing an email cover letter.
To write an effective email cover letter, follow these steps:
- Start with a concise and professional subject line.
- Address the recipient professionally and use an appropriate greeting.
- Engage the reader with a strong opening sentence or paragraph.
- Highlight your relevant skills, experience, and achievements.
- Show enthusiasm for the company and position.
- Include a call-to-action, encouraging the employer to review your attached resume.
- Close your cover letter with a professional sign-off.
How should I customize my cover letter for different job applications?
Customizing your cover letter for each job application can boost your chances of success. Focus on these areas:
- Research the company and use your insights to show genuine interest and knowledge about their business.
- Study the job requirements and emphasize your skills and experiences that match well with the position.
- Address the hiring manager by their name if you can find it, or use a generic salutation.
- Mention any connections or referrals that might be relevant to the position or company.
What are some effective tips to make my email cover letter stand out?
To make your email cover letter stand out, consider these tips:
- Keep it concise and to the point, ideally no longer than one page.
- Use a professional, easy-to-read font.
- Break up your text with bullet points, bold text, or subheadings to emphasize key messages.
- Avoid cliches and overused phrases; be genuine and use your own voice.
- Proofread your cover letter multiple times and ask someone else to review it for errors or suggestions.
- Follow any specific instructions provided by the employer in the job posting.
What examples should I include in my email cover letter?
Including real-life examples in your cover letter can help demonstrate your expertise and suitability for the position. Follow these guidelines:
- Choose examples that are relevant to the job requirements and company values.
- Describe your achievements and successes in a specific, quantifiable manner.
- Focus on instances where your actions led to positive outcomes or improvements.
- Structure your examples using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) for clarity.
Do I attach the cover letter to the email or include it in the body?
Including your cover letter in both the email body and as an attachment is a good approach. By doing this, you ensure that the hiring manager sees your cover letter, regardless of their email settings or preferences. Save your cover letter as a PDF to preserve formatting.
What should I put in the subject line when sending my cover letter and resume via email?
A compelling and professional subject line is important for capturing the attention of the hiring manager. Consider these guidelines:
- Include your name and the job title or position you are applying for.
- Use clear, concise language.
- Make sure the subject line matches any instructions provided by the employer in the job posting.
- An example could be: “Jane Doe – Marketing Specialist Application”
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