How to Write an Impressive Cover Letter (With Examples)

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Think of your cover letter for a job application as an in-person introduction. Your resume outlines the facts—where you worked and for how long, along with your major accomplishments. But your cover letter also shows off your personality.

Your cover letter should outline the case for why you deserve the job without being “salesy.” How do you do that? Follow these 12 important guidelines.

1. There Is No Cookie-Cutter Cover Letter for a Job

Targeting your resume to a particular job may mean changing up your “Objective” section a bit or adding to your “Executive Summary” section. Cover letters, though, really need to focus on the particular person you’re writing to, the particular job, and the particular company. It needs to prove, with an economy of words, that your job experience fits the requirements of the position for which you’re applying.

Your letter should show that you have amassed the skills you need to succeed in that workplace. And, your cover letter should clinch your prospects by making the case that you are very excited about working at that particular company.

2. Always Opt-in to the Optional Cover Letter

Some job postings will give applicants the option of opting out of providing a cover letter for a job [1] . Don’t take the bait! Use the opportunity to further sell yourself in a personalized, well-crafted cover letter that creatively shares who you are and why your skills and personality align with the position and the company. Think of your cover letter for a job as an opportunity to describe your value proposition.

3. A Reference Goes a Long Way

Did someone recommend you for the job? Put that in the subject line of your cover letter if possible. If an online listing dictates what your subject line must be, cite the personal recommendation in the first sentence of your letter:

Dear Ms. Sanders,

Steve Smith recommended me for your Assistant Planner position. I worked with Steve at the XYZ company for four years as his assistant until he moved on, and I feel as though I learned from the best.  His high praise for you is the primary reason I am applying for this position, as I consider him an excellent judge of character. 

You may want to bolster Steve’s recommendation with a short anecdote about working with Steve. Don’t be shy. Steve’s high opinion of you will likely mean that your resume gets a serious look.

4. Outline the Key Points You Want to Make

Company by company, your cover letter for a job application needs to be specific and bulletproof. Unless you have a great deal of practice in writing cover letters, it’s hard to just bang them out. So don’t even try. Instead, start with a list of points you intend to make. Generally, these would be a “grabby” introduction , a story or two about a particular accomplishment that is relevant to the job to which you are applying, a reason why you are the ideal candidate for the position, and a conclusion with a suggested next step.

5. Moderating the Tone of Your Cover Letter

Some companies are buttoned-up. The workers wear three-piece suits to the office each day plus loafers. Other companies are more casual. The employees wear shorts in the summertime and skateboard through the hallways. In an in-person interview, you would never wear shorts to a company whose employees are sporting three-piece suits.

Similarly, your cover letter needs to strike the right note. The letter you write to a start-up should sound markedly different than the letter you would write to a white-shoe law firm.

For example, even using something as informal as “Greetings” for the salutation may not be appropriate at a more formal firm. And definitely don’t use the default “To Whom It May Concern.” Instead, try to find the name of the hiring manager with an online search. If that’s not possible, you will want to begin with “Dear XYZ Hiring Manager.” The tone of your cover letter for a job starts at the very beginning.

6. Create an Attention-Grabbing Opening Line

Think of going to hear a presentation by a motivational speaker, only to have her open with, “I’m here today to present (fill in with title of the presentation).” What a let down! What if instead, she started with, “I just ran a half marathon. Now doesn’t that sound better than if I told you, ‘I tried to run a marathon but quit half-way through?’” See the difference? You want to hear more.

Craft the first line of your cover letter with the utmost care. It doesn’t need to be clever, but it needs to show your personality and your fit for the position.

Dear Mr. Stevens,

I am committed to making the customer service experience better for people like my grandmother. At 87 years old, my Gram is lost in the digital world and reliant on customer service representatives she can reach by telephone to answer her questions and solve her problems. She regularly shares stories of frustrating dead-ends she experiences with people wanting her to “go online and make your selection.”  Yet, whenever she reaches someone willing to take the extra time to resolve her issue, she sings the company’s praises to everyone she knows. Based on Gram’s frustrations, I want to be that person who won’t give up or pass the buck with bewildered customers.  

With a strong, anecdotal opening such as this, you show purpose and passion behind your application to be a customer service representative.

7. Recognize the Value of Cover Letter Real Estate

Spare writing is key in the cover letter for a job. It is always best if your letter doesn’t exceed a page. Those reviewing applications appreciate a letter that is terse, yet provides useful information to evaluate an applicant. This means you have five to six paragraphs in which to work.

Repeating anything from your resume is a waste of real estate. Think in terms of describing why you are applying for the position and why you are the best candidate .

To best show your personality, avoid stale phrases such as, “I believe my experience would be a good fit in your organization.” Add punch to your statements that show off your accomplishments and your attitude.

I thrive in start-up environments where I’ve learned to expect the unexpected and to make changes on the fly. In one such instance, I uncovered better results from a pilot project and in under 30 minutes had updated the CEO’s presentation in time for his meeting with a venture capitalist.

8. Getting Creative

On the surface, a requirement is a requirement. Many online ads specify the number of years, and you might think they are ironclad. But if you count the number of years you amassed a particular skill at the job and add any volunteer work where you also used that skill, you might surpass the requirement.

Say that you are applying for a position in fund development. If your career experience in putting on charity fundraisers falls a little short, it’s certainly appropriate to add in time spent organizing fundraising events as a volunteer—as long as you indicate it as such in your cover letter for the job.

I recently passed my two and a half year mark of employment as a fund development associate with Notable Events. Concurrently, I oversaw all aspects of two annual fundraising galas as a volunteer board member of Reach for the Stars Foundation, offering scholarships to first-generation college-bound students. These involved finding sponsors for more than 70 silent auction items, renting event space, working with caterers, recruiting volunteers and MC-ing both events, which each drew more than 200 attendees and, together, raised more than $250,000. I believe this intensive hands-on experience helps supplement my years of employment.

Showcasing your community ethos through volunteering could make up for the deficit in actual on-the-job experience.

9. Making the Case that You Fit

How will you fit in at the company? With some research, you can easily figure out the corporate culture of an organization. Many companies share their core values in job recruitment ads. But even if you can’t discern a company’s mission or beliefs from its advertising, you can learn it from articles you read about the company.

Is it employer-centric or employee-centric? Is the culture more traditional or more fun? And what are you looking for? When you find a company where your needs align with theirs, that’s an indication that you would fit in well. Take care to make sure that your cover letter reflects how you fit.

If you are a recent military veteran [2] , consider which civilian positions lend themselves to the regimented culture of which you’ve become accustomed. For example, your occupational specialty while in the military could dovetail well with a company’s job requirements—and you have the added benefit of discipline, following instructions, and teamwork that you can apply to any future position.

10. Always Ask for What You’re Worth

If the employer asks applicants to share their salary requirements in the cover letter for a job, disregard what you made in your former position and look into the salary ranges [3] of the advertised position. You will want to adjust up or down within the salary range depending on your prior experience in the industry or in a similar role.

The key is to not undercut yourself by asking below the minimum amount, or to overinflate your worth by asking for an amount higher than the maximum pay in the salary range.

11. Show Your Cover Letter to Three People Whose Opinion You Trust

Once your letter is out in the world, it’s too late to tweak it for that particular job. You will dramatically improve your chances of having your cover letter “land” correctly if you’re proactive. Find a few people in the field, and ask them if you can show them your cover letter before you send it out.

If you are starting out and don’t know anyone in the field, you may want to consider paying for a professional career consultant or coach to review your cover letter and resume. Remember that the care you demonstrate in your cover letter is that employer’s first impression of you.

12. End With Enthusiasm

You want to stay upbeat all the way to the end of the letter. Let the reviewer know that you appreciate the opportunity to apply and that you look forward to hearing from (or having a chance to meet with) them in person.

It would be an honor to be part of your team, and I hope to have an opportunity to discuss this role and how I could contribute to it in person.

This acknowledges that the organization gets to make the next move, but that you anticipate it will be in your favor.

Sign off formally (“Sincerely” or “Best regards”) or informally (“Best” or “Thank you”) depending on the tone of the letter. Also, be sure to include your email address and phone number under your name. This ensures that, should the reviewer wish to contact you, the contact information is easily accessible.

Final Thoughts

The best cover letters for a job are lively, authentic, and provide a memorable result, anecdote or example of your approach to work. By tying your approach to the requirements of the job description and revealing your personality as a fit for the organization, you will give yourself a winning chance for making the cut and landing that coveted job interview.

More Tips on Writing a Great Cover Letter

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Hot jobs on the muse.

job seeker

You can debate whether cover letters are dead as much as you’d like, but that won’t change the fact that some hiring managers will continue to read them, and to those people, what you write still matters . Knowing that, it’s worth taking some time to think about what message you want to send.

And no, the message shouldn’t simply be “Hire me.” Everyone’s application can be summed up with those two words. The best examples always have a “because” attached that explains why you deserve to be hired.

In other words, if you were to distill your whole letter into one line it would be: “Hire me, because I have a ton of relevant experience,” or “Hire me, because you’re a two-person company and I know how to wear a ton of hats as things evolve,” or the ever-popular, “Hire me, because I’m incredibly excited about this position.”

As you may’ve noticed, that last line isn’t quite as strong as the first two—at least not off the bat. While it shares why you’re interested, it doesn’t mention what you’d bring to the role. It only covers your passion for the position. Sure, you’re excited about the position, in love with the company, and obsessed with the industry. But while your goal may be to distinguish yourself as someone who’d go the extra mile because you genuinely care, you end up blending into a crowd of notes that read more like fan mail.

Don’t get me wrong: Enthusiasm can be a strong selling point. But you have to package it correctly so that it speaks to how you’d be a capable hire. Here’s how to reframe three of the most common (and worst) lines:

Old Line: “I Have Dreamed About Working at [Organization] for Years”

New line: “i noticed the company has recently shifted toward [x]”.

Saying you’ve always wanted to work somewhere doesn’t actually mean anything. First, anyone can make that claim. Second, you might have always dreamed of being an amazing cook, but if you never spend any time in the kitchen, you’re not qualified to prepare a banquet meal.

Now, if you’ve actually followed an organization since its website was in beta, that’s a definite advantage. Clearly, you get the target audience, and you have a strong sense of the company’s evolution. These two facts would make you a more valuable hire then someone who just stumbled upon the business.

So, focus on the tangible way that your history with the company would allow you to quickly fit in and get to work. By mentioning that the organization seems to have shifted its messaging, or packaging, or something that only someone who worked there or truly loved the product would know, you’ll make it clear that you could contribute an informed opinion from day one.

Old Line: “I Want This Job More Than You Can Believe”

New line: “i was excited to see one of the main responsibilities is [x]”.

A lot of people worry about their cover letters sounding stiff and robotic . So, they err on the other extreme, making it sound like they’re sitting across the table from the hiring manager, telling him or her just how much they really want the role. Not only could this line show up in anyone’s cover letter (i.e., it’s not distinguishing you at all), but you never want someone to be able to switch out the word “job” for “relationship” and have your note read like a speech from The Bachelor .

Instead of professing your love for a role, look for a specific aspect of the position’s description that you’re perfectly suited for. One way to do this is to ask yourself follow-up questions: Why do you want this job so much? What element of it are you most excited about? Why will you be better at that task than other people applying to the same role?

Use the answers to drill down to why you’re excited and what you’d bring and your letter will be much more memorable than one that simply shares overall enthusiasm.

Old Line: “I’m the Biggest Fan of [Industry]/[Your Company]/[Your CEO]”

New line: “as a huge fan of [industry]/[your company]/[your ceo], i know that x…”.

It’s true you follow the company, the founder, or every major influencer in the field on all social media platforms. You get alerts whenever there’s news and your talk about the company so often that people ask if you work there.

And you want the interviewer to know that, to get that you’re already an ambassador for their work, and that you’d be up to speed. However, you never want to look like just a fan. Because that’ll also make it seem like you’d probably be a “yes man” (or “yes woman”); someone who’d be so excited to come to work each day he’d follow any plan—instead of pushing back when there might be better options.

So, highlight all of the good aspects of your close attention to the company or sector. Are there changes afoot that you’re well aware of and would be equipped to help with? Has there been recent growth or resturcturing you’d love to contribute to? Including a specific detail and how you’d fit in shows more than your passion—it also highlights your fit.

The lines that literally spell out how much you’d like to work somewhere are just taking up valuable space. If you take the time to customize your cover letter and share why you’re the best person for the job, your enthusiasm will shine through more naturally—and more convincingly.

cover letter it would be an honor

Ask a Manager

Ask a Manager: and if you don't, I'll tell you anyway

here’s a real-life example of a fantastic cover letter

I often get asked for examples of good cover letters, and a reader recently sent me a great one that I want to share. This is a fantastic example of how someone without a ton of work experience (she’s still a student!) can make a compelling case for why they’d be a good hire. When I talk about how your cover letter should present info about you that’s not in your resume, this is what I’m talking about.

The caveats I’ve learned to give when sharing these:

• The writer has allowed me to share this here as a favor. Please remember she’s a real person when you’re commenting. • This writer’s voice is her voice. It will not be your voice, and that’s part of the point. • There is no single cover letter in the world that all hiring managers will love or that would be the right fit for every employer and every industry.  This one works for the writer’s particular context. But I receive letters every week from people telling me that moving in this sort of direction worked for them. • Do not steal this letter or even parts of it. It works because it’s so customized to the writer. It’s intended for inspiration only — to show what the advice here can look like in practice. (Every time I print a cover letter here, it ends up plagiarized all over the internet.) Stealing it will doom you to terrible job search luck for the next decade.

First, here’s some background from the writer:

I thought you might like to hear that I followed your advice for writing a cover letter, and it worked out great! I was applying for an internship with a fairly prestigious organization and there’s some big competition for getting any kind of work with them. I have a pretty decent resume, but I’m still finishing my degree and have limited experience in my field, so I knew I’d need to sell pretty hard to have a shot.

Well, a couple weeks after I sent in my resume, I got a call from the hiring manager: their internship was already filled, but they thought they had an actual position for me with the organization that they thought I’d be a perfect fit for! When I went for the interview (where I used a lot of your tips to really wow them), they specifically told me that they’ve never received a cover letter like mine, and really emphasized how much it had impressed them, so much so that they wanted to find a spot for me with their organization.

Today, I got the call with an official job offer, and I’m absolutely over the moon. Thank you for your wonderful advice; this has given me my first step into the field I’ve studied for, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Here’s the letter, with identifying details changed.

Dear Hiring Manager,

It’s with great enthusiasm that I am applying to be your next Intergalactic Service Intern. I know that my background and expertise would serve the Mars Agency well and leave a lasting impression in your client management department.

I’ve worked in some level of customer service since I was young, moving my way up from cashiering to supervisory and office positions. My positions went beyond simply giving change with a smile and a thank you; for many of my customers I become friend and confidant, a familiar face with whom they could discuss their day and all its ups and downs. In my long tenure at Starbucks I knew hundreds of customers by name, knew their jobs, their children, their lives—I was there to support them beyond a transaction, living up to our core value of becoming a second home. My experience there helped shape me as a person, and I still keep contact with some of my customers and coworkers to this day.

I carried these values over to my volunteering, allowing profession to grow into passion. At the Saturn Wildlife Exhibit, I prepare specimens in an open-air space that allows the public full access to our work. My days are spent speaking to children and adults alike about the exhibit, specimens, and local flora and fauna, stoking enthusiasm and awe for the natural world in the process. My interpretive conversations show a new generation that natural science is fun, exciting, and accessible to everyone.

Beyond my love of working with people, I also have a broad and expansive set of technical skills. Working at the Saturn Veterinary Clinic doesn’t just afford me client interaction and puppies to adore: every day I’m on my feet and on the move, dealing with complicated system processes and problem-solving on the fly to help ease the workload of our six doctors. Scheduling, cleaning, pet wrangling, sample collecting—you name it, I do it. I have a knack for wearing many hats, and revel in the challenges of new experiences.

I’d be thrilled with the opportunity to learn more about this internship, and would love to talk to you about the contributions I can make at the Mars Agency. Thank you for your consideration, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Warmest regards,

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{ 201 comments… read them below }

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this is really great!! go you!

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Yes – thank you (and the letter writer) for posting this! A real life example of your advice put into practice is SO helpful!

I would have hired her too.

Yup, same. This is very well-done – I feel like I know this person without having ever met her, and she’s delightful. Good job, OP, and good luck with the new position!

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Delightful is the word! Jood job, OP!

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Same! This letter is SO charming and good.

Me, too! I am a sucker for a good cover letter, and I see so few of them.

This is a really great letter, and I’m grateful the LW shared it!

Thanks for sharing! It’s so voicey and professional. LW, congrats on going in for an internship and coming out with a job! That’s awesome

I really like this letter. It explains a lot about the writer that you wouldn’t get from the resume and it seems to be in the writer’s authentic voice.

Also, I’m switching to the Saturn Veterinary Clinic.

Yeah, on top of the great letter, I really love the space theme. Being an Intergalactic Service Intern sounds fabulous!

I’m going to hug my barista tomorrow

Congratulations, LW! As a hiring manager, I find the most intriguing/effective elements to be the ways she ties her entry-level positions into the broader missions of the organizations she has worked for and volunteered with. I love that she was able to illustrate how she helped the agencies fulfill their mission/core values!

Yes! This is a real strength of this letter.

I know I’m in the minority, but I find that aspect to be…too much. I’ve worked plenty of service jobs, and if you tell me that working at Starbucks “shaped you as a person” I’m going to be deeply skeptical. (Or kind of concerned about how malleable you are as a person…)

I would want to hear that your time in retail taught you great customer service and a strong work ethic, not that everything was a huge love-fest.

I felt the same, so we are a minority of 2. What field do you work in? I wonder if it might be related to us being in roles where effusiveness isn’t a positive?

Congrats for the success of your covering letter. I, however, am a retired naval officer (30+ years) now working in a large multinational defence and corporate training company doing work I really enjoy. Unfortunately, I personally would find this almost “too enthusiastic” or “trying too hard” or something like that. Having said that I certainly don’t want to be a downer. Perhaps it’s a generational thing and I’m just some old grouch – who knows.

Or a cultural thing (or I, too, am a grouch).

I manage a customer service team as part of my work, and I would be a bit put off by the level of enthusiasm and gumption shown here. Although I have indeed formed warm, human connections with some of my customers over the years, I don’t think that’s what customer service is about. Being friendly, yes, but this sounds almost like fraternizing. But of course we don’t know what the internship / job was in this case. Plus I’m in a culture where interpersonal distance is the norm.

Anyway, this is what worked for this organization, which is exactly what a cover letter is about!

I’m in my 20s and agree with you, though I think this also might be mostly field-based. I’m a scientist and as I was reading I was just so skeptical, like “where is the evidence of your skills?” It’s the kind of letter I feel like gets written when I don’t have anything concrete to offer.

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Right, it’s different in different fields. For the job she’s applying to, these ARE the skills they want to hear about.

That’s the sort of information I include in other cover letters, actually! This is specific to interpretation; our job is to inspire, less through education and more though the connection to an open and engaging adult who can be viewed as a mentor-type. I have the science education to back up everything I’m teaching — but the execution is what they’re really looking for. In my cover letter for research and field work positions (as I’m expected to do both for my degree) I emphasize my attention to detail, rigid adherence to procedures and lab safety, and my ability to work well with any team. It’s all about my audience and knowing what they need.

Your letter is brilliant. I’m a baby boomer, so my love of your letter isn’t a generational thing. I have received thousands of job applications over the past 30 years and would love to have someone like you working for my company in a customer service, marketing, or editorial position.

Thank you so much, that’s so nice to hear! I really appreciate it!

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I was going to say the same thing. Was a bit too much. But then perhaps that was what the employer was looking for.

I’m thinking it shows this LW knows her audience. I volunteer at an aquarium, and this cover letter would go over really well with them. They’re really big on enthusiastic customer service and making a connection with guests, since education and inspiring people to feel more personally connected to the ocean and conservation are big parts of their mission. From the details given, I’m guessing this position may be for a similar type of organization.

Actually smoke tree, that makes a lot of sense.

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Yes. Knowing your audience is a huge part of writing a good cover letter! It wouldn’t work for every position/organization and that’s sort of the point.

It is indeed in a similar field, good catch! It’s a large nonprofit that’s very well known in our area; the department I’ll work in needs people who are both knowledgeable and SUPER engaging, which is why I added 12 gallons of pep.

I actually work for a fairly warm-and-fuzzy nonprofit with many public-facing positions. I value experience in service/retail when I’m looking at resumes. But based on my own time manning cash registers and waiting tables, I think the real benefits are learning how to work hard , how to be patient and diplomatic, how to handle the less glamorous aspects of a job like that without losing positivity.

Tell me how it made you resilient and customer-service oriented, I’m impressed. Gush about making a lot of emotional connections, not so much.

And I like how she describes working at the vet clinic a lot–switching gears easily, wearing a lot of hats, doing the hard/gross stuff–that’s great.

I mean, I don’t take it at face value. To me it demonstrates that they understand that even a cashier is the face of a brand, and one bad experience can turn a grumpy person off of a company. When hiring entry-level people and interns, I think it’s really important that they understand that they are representing your agency, and that “small things” like a pleasant demeanor and good phone etiquette make a huge difference in how a client perceives your agency. I thought the writer did a great job of illustrating that while yes, these were entry-level positions, performing them well impacted customers’ perception of the agency or brand as a whole.

That was how I read it, too. I work in a professional services field, and that understanding that any external touch (client, government entity, etc.) is representative of your organization is something I’d love not to have to teach someone coming in.

“Any external touch is representative of your organization” is such a good way to word it! I will use that in the future :-P

It really does depend on the person and the job! I’ve had entry-level jobs where I really did love my repeat customers and coworkers and they shaped my outlook, and I’ve had entry-level jobs where the only thing I learned was how to vent my rage on inanimate objects to keep from venting it on live human beings.

It also probably depends a lot on how much of a people person you are–some people are going to make deeper, more lasting connections even in basic service jobs because that’s the kind of personality they have. (I, on the other hand, will sadly forget everything you said to me the minute you are not in front of me and also what your name is, but I do that with everybody because I’m a forgetful faceblind introvert)

While I cannot attest to working at Starbucks, the food service industry is a bit different. When you work at certain places you do get to know the regulars and chit chat all the time. It’s expected that you remember regular’s orders but you do quite often develop relationships with customers. They probably grew close to regulars regardless of it being a core tenant of the organization, they’re just smart enough to tie it back to that.

And depending on the time they took the job, it does shape you. Waiting tables at 15 yo definitely changed me from someone who couldn’t say boo to a stranger without anxiety attacks to a person who excels at small talk and has a steel trap memory for minutiae. (Because some people’s orders, let me tell you.)

core tenet?

That’s exactly how it was for me, too! While I did err on the side of hyperbole due to the field I’m entering, honestly my retail work did have a huge impact. I’m actually an introvert by nature, and was very awkward and anxious with people growing up. Retail positions let me craft a persona, in a way, of a very outgoing and approachable person; I can apply that now to just about everything, from work to school to general, everyday interactions. If I hadn’t had the experiences I did, I wouldn’t have been able to develop the sort of client-facing personality that’s helped me do really well in life. I wasn’t super young when I started Starbucks (early 20s) but I did work there for 7 years, and I’d already been working in similar environments since I was 16. It doesn’t define me, but it absolutely left its mark.

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Not all service jobs are the same. Starbucks has explicitly positioned itself as a “third place,” and the baristas are expected to get to know their customers. While the skill set is completely analogous to other service sector jobs, the company culture and emphasis on relationship building is somewhat unique.

Agencies in particular are extremely client-focused, so her careful emphasis on her relationship building skillset makes a ton of sense, and is a very savvy move. I can safely say that this cover letter would have gotten her hired at the last three organizations I’ve worked for, and that they would love the relationship building aspect.

The people who work at my local Starbucks have no idea who I am, not do they seem inclined to care. That’s just fine with me.

Oh Lord have mercy, it was NOT a total love fest, let me tell ya — but the position I applied for is specifically in environmental interpretation, and there is a massive emphasis on connecting with people beyond an educational sense to “inspire,” as it were; there’s an entire, science-backed model on the impact of a warm and open adult mentor in kids and young adults that will impact their environmental behaviors as adults. So my big push for this letter was less “I’m a hard worker with a good ethic” (as that is an undertone, and evidenced in my resume and references) and more “I can connect with people on a level that will make a difference”.

Of course, shaping me as a person is hyperbole — but I also think that it’s important as a service worker to emphasize that these aren’t throwaway jobs where the only thing you learned is how to smile and nod while being shouted at. In an environment where personal connection is mandatory (it’s in their mission statement), I really did hone my ability to connect with people no matter their background, and no matter how sour or demanding they might be. I learned how to be funny and friendly in a huge variety of situations, even when I was tired and worn down. My whole business persona is now designed on being open and charismatic; I wouldn’t have learned that in a different environment than that. A lot of that was based on my determination and not Starbucks itself (I have plenty of unhappy experiences with the company itself), but emphasizing your connection to a company looks really good when you’re trying to enter a new one.

I think you’re awesome! I do think that sometimes (frequently?) people tend to discount the skills you learn from customer service work, so the fact that you highlighted those skills so eloquently in your cover letter is fantastic. I’m also 100% biased, since I left a store manager job to work in museum education, so…

Anyway, please keep posting here; I’m really excited to see more about all the amazing work you’re going to do!

Fellow escapee, hello!! It’s SO frustrating when our work is discounted. I supervised so I absolutely feel with you — and I’m looking at possible museum-type work so that is extra awesome! I’m so glad you got out and got into something so amazing. The skills we learn in the grind of the machine are worth a lot more than many people want to give credit for.

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Wow! I wish I could write half as well as you.

I loved that bit. The whole letter says “future CEO” to me. You managed to make working the counter at Starbucks sound inspiring and fulfilling and even tie it back to the mission statement! I’m not surprised they wanted you on their team.

Removed. See rules above.

@Knork, I’m kinda with you here. Also, the letter was pretty long.

I love it!!

Wow! This is such a perfect example of how to bring “you” into an application while being perfectly polished and professional. Thanks for sharing Alison and LW!

I love that! It sounds enthusiastic in a 100% genuine way, and highlights the many ways that the LW went above and beyond their duties.

This is fantastic – I love it! Thanks for sharing. And congrats on your new position!

Not sure how other UK readers feel but I always find the tone of examples on here to be somewhat different to what I’m used to. Not dissing the LW’s letter at all – clearly, it did the trick! Just interested in how presenting oneself effectively translates to different contexts.

UK readers frequently say here that they find the tone of a lot of my sample language and the sample cover letters I’ve printed here to be too effusive for them — it seems like a clear cultural difference.

The solution to that is to ask a UK reader to submit a cover letter that worked for them!! It’s true that different countries/cultures value different styles.

I’m not equipped to judge what works well in other cultures. (And just “it got me hired” isn’t enough to know something was really good. I actually have a lot of people send me cover letters that got them hired, but the majority are sort of fine but not great — not letters I’d present as exemplars to others. This one was though!)

I actually would love to see this! For Brits or other English speaking countries. (Or non English speaking too, but the translation might be tricky.)

Perhaps the Brits could post an example (or examples) that they’re authorized to disclose in the open thread, and other Brits can weigh in on whether they found the letters effective? Or maybe it could be an “ask the readers” topic in the future?

I generally am not a fan of people posting cover letters in the open thread, because most of the examples I see people giving of “good cover letters” are not what I would endorse that way … and so if the open thread does that, I’d feel obligated to wade in and talk about them (because otherwise people assume that seeing them in an AAM context gives them some sort of endorsement, if not from me than from the readership) (and also then I feel like a jerk).

Ooo, got it, with my apologies!

Yes but also no? I think it depends on sector – I work in charities and this tone has always worked for my letters here, but I have definitely evolved it as the roles I seek get more senior. I think a lot of the ones we’ve seen here are values-y as opposed to more dry. If someone shared a successful corporate letter it might look rather different, i am guessing .

I work in a research/data heavy field and people here would HATE the cover letters that work for people in it. We tend not to do a whole lot of personality. It is more a bunch of, “in X job/project (if student intern) I learned the details of classifying the red-tailed llamas which would give me a good foundation in joining your blue tailed alpaca identification team, especially when it comes to ranking by eyelash length and Cuteness Index (CI-US).”

I just love your example! It’s good that there’s a quantifiable CI because cuteness can be so subjective.

Yeah, I’d agree with that! In UK, and would find it a little overwhelming… but it looks like was perfect for intended audience!

As a fellow UK commentator, I agree the tone is very different to what we’re used to, and probably not quite right for a British context. But I’ve used some of the general advice. I remember one of Alison’s piece of cover letter advice was that the tone should be “like you’re writing to a boss you really like”. I’ve worked in the USA, and this letter is more of an American tone for that context, but when I’ve written my UK cover letters, I’ve tried to write to a favorite boss how I would as a British person. It’s friendly, but it’s British style friendly, as opposed to American style friendly. It’s really worked for me!

also in the UK, and although i don’t see or use cover letters (since my industry is almost 100% done by recruiters/ linked in or personal contacts), i think that letter is really lovely. it is maybe slightly more than we would expect here but in a personality driven industry like mine (media/ advertising) it would definitely make the writer stand out in a good way.

Honestly, it’s a bit much from my perspective, too – and I am a product of a friendly, gregarious and occasionally even exuberant culture (born and raised in California, spent most of my adult life in the Midwest). I’m well aware that I am more reserved about such things than many other people, though, and I do still think this is a really good letter. And I completely agree with AAM’s general advice of creating a well-written, customized letter that gives people a real idea what you’re like as a person, which is exactly what we have here.

It’s a little too much from a Swedish/Scandinavian perspective as well, but the LW just sounds so incredibly nice that it would hardly register if I read the letter in real life.

Hey fellow Swede! :-)

Yes, I agree that the tone is a little over-the-top effusive for British norms – it’s a definite cultural difference.

I do think though that the general ideas that come across in the letter – making sure you relate your experience to the job/company you’re applying to, giving clear examples, not just saying ‘I love space so I’d be great at this job’, etc – are excellent rules of thumb for cover letters in the UK as well as the USA. The cover letters I write are broadly similar to this one – leading the reader briefly through my career and experience and how it matches up to the job description being advertised – so I think although the language is definitely different, the overall idea is the same.

Removed. Please see the rules at the top.

To clarify — you’re not really being asked to critique this letter, but if you choose to, you need to be kind about it and remember that there is a real person reading who was nice enough to let me share her letter here (even knowing that it will be stolen from her). And frankly, I’d ask that you account for the facts that (a) she’s applying for a customer service role, and the letter’s tone reflects that and (b) it worked.

It sounds like the job itself might require a high level of American effusiveness. Or maybe the company exudes this type of enthusiasm in its job announcement and the applicant is reflecting their tone.

So much American effusiveness. Good God, so much. (But it does really important work so I am very excited!)

How do you stock up on American effusiveness? Does it come in cans or does the powdered version go further? ;)

You actually keep it in a Cheez Whiz bottle so you can squirt it directly into your mouth any time you forget to be loud and terrifying to non-Americans. Though it does also come in a liquid form that can be ingested by wearing it in one of those drinking hats with the straws that go right in your mouth, that works pretty good too.

And that, children, is how you truly strike terror into the hearts of non-Americans. :D

I’m in the US and this is more enthusiastic than what I would write, but I think it’s great considering that she’s applying for an internship. I always want interns who are excited about the role, because they often don’t have a lot of experience. Their passion is what sets them apart and helps them go the extra mile. For a higher level position, perhaps a more sober tone would make sense, but I love this for an intern. I would hire her in a flash.

I think it also matters that OP was applying for an internship in a customer service-oriented department (or at least that’s how I read her cover letter). The degree of effusiveness is high, even in the U.S., but as you noted, OP’s experience level and desired role definitely affect whether the tone reads as “appropriate” or “over the top.”

(I don’t think OP was over the top—I would hire her as an undergrad intern.)

Yes, that is important as well. I don’t think it would be as effective as, say, a CIO or something. It would still be strong, but the tone highlights her strong customer-facing personality. You want your content and personality to come across as a match for the job.

And it sounds like she was applying to a mission-oriented organization. Nonprofits also have different norms, and expressing enthusiasm for the overall work of the organization (beyond your specific role) is one of them.

Yeah, this is what I was going to say too. I’ve done nonprofit and public sector work my whole life and this is a perfect cover letter in that context – but I can see how it would be a bit weird in the private sector. My husband works for a big corporation and when we’ve asked the other to critique cover letters in the past, it’s hard to do it in a useful way because the norms seem so different.

I may be misremembering, but I feel like a lot of the cover letter samples Alison posts tend to be for roles where personality matters a lot–often someone who is switching careers, or restarting their career, or new to a field. I feel like for a more technical job, there is less leeway to show your personality, but maybe I’m just unimaginative. I also feel that when you have a fair amount of technical experience, it seems a little silly to refer to personality quirks in a cover letter–for example, if you’re an experienced proofreader, do you really need to say that you obsessively colour-code your underwear to prove that you care about detail and organization?

The internship part of this is key as well. Internship generally implies that you don’t have much experience and haven’t had as many opportunities to build skills, so passion is important. If a college student submitted something more dry that was just a run-down of their skills and experience, it could potentially come off as arrogant. I think this is a fantastic internship cover letter as enthusiasm is pretty important in an opportunity that is designed to be a learning experience.

(sorry, comment early-posted /o\)

and also in the way that people from a more customer-service or business oriented position can come across as too effusive to people from tech positions.

So – full points for knowing your audience to the author!

Irish woman living in the US. Very similar cultural difference and I have really struggled to inject that pep into my cover letters, and even into my interviews and thank you notes. I would not consider myself a particularly reserved person but I see how my peers here talk about the jobs they’re going for and I realize that I have likely come off borderline disinterested to potential employers! I think I’ve found a decent balance now. I’ve ramped up the effusiveness but it’s still at a level that feels pretty comfortable – and, most importantly, sincere – to me. I notice that it helps if I can find something about the company that I’m genuinely excited about or at least intrigued by, which isn’t always possible because, you know, work is work and sometimes you just need a job.

It’s so funny though. My experience of the Irish is that they are so enthusiastic in person but reserved in formal ways. I once got a job at an outdoor store in Dublin because I was going through the aisles commenting on the gear to a fellow backpacker. I got all excited about some of it and one of the owners got one of the other sales people to come over and tell me to bring my resume by (formality that he couldn’t/didn’t do it?). But in a classic Irish “it’s who you know” kind of thing my dad (!!!) sent a thank you letter to the owners after I’d left (??) because it “cements the bonds” and that’s how you stay connected to people back home. This explained much for me about (strange) job advice I’d gotten from him. But, sure enough, I stopped back in the shop a couple months later and they told me about the letter (I’d not known, I was mortified, for the record: Canadians don’t do this). They’d loved it. “Ah sure, yer da seems lovely” etc etc. 3 years later I went back to Dublin for a summer and got my job back “no bother”. So tanks a million da’!

I am in the US and this cover letter (albeit fantastic) is not my writing style. I think my cover letter/s come across as positive, upbeat, and energetic but they are also far less effusive than this. I did have someone call me about a job based solely on my cover letter, so I think I am doing a good job with it. But yes, you should definitely use your own voice and what works for you in your culture and just for your personality.

I’m in the US and I think it’s different compared to a lot of other US cover letter advice and also the cover letters that I’ve read when I’ve been a part of the hiring process. To be clear, I think this cover letter is awesome. Even after reading AAM for years, I still get nervous on submitting a cover letter with this tone.

Even as an American I struggle to balance AAM’s advice about what a cover letter is for – giving a snapshot of who you beyond what can be seen on a resume – and the sample language printed. Every sample letter is far more bubbly and effusive than I am and I feel so over-the-top trying to write with a comparable voice.

I’m never sure if I should just write with my own voice and risk employers thinking I’m an unenthusiastic dullard or write in a voice that doesn’t really feel like my own.

I’d say you want to show personality, but that personality doesn’t need to be a bubbly/effusive one.

Manon, if it helps, this sample letter shows the letter writer’s personality – which is not yours and not mine. Maybe think about some adjectives you’d use to describe your best traits, e.g. organized, thoughtful, smart, calm amidst chaos, reliable, sincere, etc and see if your sample letters reflect that.

This letter writer is, to me, bubbly, enthusiastic, friendly and extroverted. Those traits don’t describe you – so find your own voice to convey your traits!

I know this isn’t a particularly reasonable ask, but if possible could you share one at some point which does show more of a subdued personality that you also consider a great cover letter? If I recall correctly, most of the cover letters you’ve shared with us have been fairly close to this in tone (or at least far more effusive than would be appropriate for my field).

Yes! I can only share ones people send to me and offer to let me share, and there aren’t a ton of those (and most in that group are more “fine but not great” — not strong enough that it makes sense to share them as an exemplar). But I will keep an eye out for that in particular.

(I do see them in my actual hiring work, but those aren’t people offering to have them shared!)

Thank you!!

I feel like bubbly and effusive people might be self-selecting to be the ones to send you successful cover letters? Like, the kind of person who would be inspired by their excitement at getting a job to share their methods with everyone at AAM. Also, those who are at more senior levels, and thus might end up writing drier letters that discuss much more specific, experience-based things, might be somewhat less likely to be excited into sharing (since they probably 1. have written more letters in their lives, and 2. are less likely to attribute their success so much to the cover letter, as their experience carries more of the load than with these younger applicants, who have little experience and thus have to wow with an exciting cover letter).

Do you welcome people to submit successful cover letters/resumes, on the off chance that they might be good examples for others? I’ve considered it before, but thought that it would be more of a nuisance given that I didn’t have a question, and wasn’t certain that it actually was a fabulous letter to begin with.

This is probably pretty obvious but have you tried asking for them in a tweet or something? More subdued people are much less likely to just volunteer letters if they weren’t requested.

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I would also appreciate this if possible. Although I am American I find the examples I’ve seen similarly rather effusive for my personality. I mean, I’ll admit to being a bit dour and overly serious but I struggle with applying the examples to my own life because I’m just not that enthusiastic about anything, ever. I’d love to see a great cover letter from a grouch like me!

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I’m another UK person and it does feel a bit over the top in tone to me, but I think the content, the way that she sells the experience she has, with specifc examples, would be pretty effective here, too.

I do tend to mentally ‘dial down’ the tone of letters etc I see here to allow for the cultural difference. !

Yeah, we have a very different set of expectations over here. I’m delighted for the OP that this worked for them (and it sounds like this isn’t just a US vs UK thing but also to do with the nature of the role they applied for) but as a Brit my eyebrows were getting higher and higher as I read. This… would not be a successful approach anywhere I’ve ever worked. I actually often find it very uncomfortable reading AAM’s recommended language, as it tends to an emotive over-intensity that makes me feel very weird about the person saying it.

Mostly this just makes me glad I never followed through on younger me’s desire to move to America, though. It took me a long time to realise how very different the countries are culturally!

I’m the flip side of this coin (American who thought it would be fun to move to the UK, but never did). Every time a cover letter example is posted here, the UK readership doesn’t like the tone. I would definitely (however inadvertently) bother the heck out of people over there… Ah cultural differences!

I think the usefulness of the example is precisely because of its specificity.

In a different sort of position, especially for an experienced candidate, quantifiable results would be more relevant than enthusiasm and gregariousness. For a more reserved national or corporate culture, working within those norms is part of being a good fit.

But for this position (sounds like customer relations in a mission-driven org), the attitude & people skills are a huge selling point.

Same here – I’m from NZ, and the tone of American writing/speech can often come across too effusive or salesy here. Most of the letter would actually go over pretty well here, I think, but the part about Starbucks was just … too much.

In my long tenure at Starbucks I knew hundreds of customers by name, knew their jobs, their children, their lives—I was there to support them beyond a transaction, living up to our core value of becoming a second home. My experience there helped shape me as a person, and I still keep contact with some of my customers and coworkers to this day.

Congrats though, OP, it is a great letter!

This is awesome. Knocked it out of the park. It’s professional and conveys both skills AND personality. It’s not all dry or boring, but really adds an extra layer of depth to what I assume is contained in the resume. I mean, I assume working at Starbucks is on the resume with the attendant skills associated with the job, but not “I was there to support [customers] beyond a transaction, living up to our core value of becoming a second home.” Wow, that’s a great addition.

This just blew me away!! Amazing cover letter, LW! I might have to save this as future inspiration!

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I would hire you nine times, dear LW. Nine times!

I like the personalized tone, it stands out among the very generic cover letters that I see when I’m lucky enough to even get a cover letter submitted.

Not to nitpick, but isn’t this- “I know that my background and expertise would serve the Mars Agency well and leave a lasting impression in your client management department.”

something that is recommended we don’t do, since we don’t actually KNOW that?

Just wondering if I’ve misunderstood previous advice, or if this is just one blip in an otherwise great letter.

Eh, a blip. It’s not the way I’d write that, for the reason you say, but it doesn’t matter when the letter is taken as a whole. (And to be explicit about this — with all the real-life cover letter examples I publish, there are things where I might write it differently, but they still work well overall.)

Thanks, makes sense.

I think this is the most missed concept by job seekers. The isn’t a magic formula that you can break down, create a checklist, complete the checklist and all of a sudden you note have a great cover letter.

People checking application materials are looking at them as a full package, not analyzing every sentence and entry individually.

I really enjoyed this. For me, reading this, I think what especially wins out (well aside from some good accomplishments overall and how she treated her jobs in the past) is the personality in this letter. Even “puppies to adore” in regards to the vet clinic feels more like personal phrasing than stuffy and robotic writing. It has a warm element with a hint of what we all wish could be our job =P Its nice though to get a sense of the person behind the writing and to avoid being too formulaic (or run the risk of sounding robotic) and can be hard for people to achieve in varying regards.

This is a wonderful cover letter. Professional, yet friendly and light. The puppy part gave me warm and fuzzy feels.

Great job! And it reminds me of some of mine, I’ve had success using Alison’s advice too! Congrats LW! :)

::heart eyes emoji::

Fantastic letter! Congrats on the new role, LW!

I wish I had that kind of relationship with my barista. Cinnamon dolce for the win!

I also wanted to offer my praise for the organization of this letter. Each paragraph nicely conveys one central idea with an appropriate amount of detail and is not too long. I do a lot of editorial work, and it takes work to achieve that balance.

Yeah, I was thinking something similar. Specific individual elements might not be convincing alone, but they come together with such good flow that the overall argument is powerful. I think that’s especially important for people who are early in their careers or changing fields to notice, because a lot of things people are commenting about in this letter (tone, being “over-friendly”) are among the few things you can do to set yourself apart in early jobs in fields that rely on customer relationships. OP is saying that what set them apart in their field is the ability to build relationships, and the letter shows how they were able to do that during small-talk type interactions. The tone and the claims to experience align really well.

There is one teensy point that I would adjust, and that is the phrase “since I was young.” If this applicant is still in her 20’s, a lot of people who will be reading this would consider her to be young still. People can have hangups about age and experience, and some might not be totally pleased at the idea that a 20-something doesn’t believe herself to be young (we must seem ancient to her!). I would instead say how many years I have worked in customer service.

It’s funny, I didn’t even think of that! I’m actually a returning student, so I’m in my 30s; I forget that most college students graduating are 20-22. (My department has a lot of older students too, we average 30-50 interestingly enough.)

Ah, good to know. It’s truly a non-issue in the context of such a nice letter, but you never know when your application is going to be read by Kelly from The Office. “No, no, no no. She’s young, okay? Because if you are saying Hillary Swank isn’t young, then you are saying that I am not young. Because obviously I am not as young as Hillary Swank!” [runs away in tears]

Nice! I can see why she was offered the post, the letter comes over as genuine, and the way that she’s actualy managed to present the work at Starbucks so it genuinely shows what skills she gainsed is very good . Congratulations to her on her new post.

This is really good, thank you for sharing. I have a background (career and education) in writing and I am surprised at how hard cover letters seem to be for people. They just freeze at the thought of writing. Sincerity and a reasonable amount of enthusiasm go a long way, as someone who has had to read a good number of them over the years. ALWAYS SUBMIT ONE!!! So many lackluster resumes have made the cut because of a compelling cover letter.

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Wow, so enthusiastic! I would’ve guessed the response to that would be “simmer down a little” haha I’m recalibrating

Cheers to your good work paying off!

I must be a huge outlier, because I don’t like cover letters with overly gushy and enthusiastic tones, which is not to fault to OP’s letter, but maybe no letter is perfect for every hiring manager? I don’t care if your love of something lead you to developing skills for dealing with complicated system processes and problem-solving, so I just skimmed the letter thinking, “How super for you, but quit with the fluff. I want to know this job gave me X, Y, and Z specific technical skills and P, R, and Q specific workplace management skills”. I wonder if it is somewhat field related since I tend to work in a more analytic/research oriented role?

I think perhaps it sdepnds a bit on the field of work, and maybe also the role. I think for someone who is at the very start of their career and doesn’t yet have a lot in the way of technical skills, this is pretty effective.

What I get from the letter is that she maybe doesn’t yet have the specifc skills forthe post, but she knows that, she’s giving information about general skills she has got which may be adapable for the specifc workplace, and also addressing dome of the assumptions which might be made about the type of work she has done in the past – she comes over as pretty self aware about her level of skill, and that’s a big plus.

I’d also expect toee things like specifc skills relevant to the job in the CV/Resume .

I do think that the fact she was applying for an internship is relevant to how effective the letter is.

And that’s actually awesome because it means that they’re probably not a culture fit either, so it’s a good first flag there!

Whereas the typical generic summary of their resume gives me the “I can read your resume, give me something else or just don’t bother with a cover letter at all” reaction. And have found people with those cover letters also spill over into the vague, not much deeper than the resume surface interviews that do not result in a job offer kind of setup.

Yep, from the intro: “There is no single cover letter in the world that all hiring managers will love or that would be the right fit for every employer and every industry. “

So true. Which is why as a frequent hiring manager, I hate when friends and family ask for advice on their resume and/or cover letter when applying for jobs. I have to give a million disclaimers of “this is what *I* like to see, but there are people who really prefer this other thing, that drives me up a wall. And without knowing the individual preferences of the person who will see your resume/cover letter, you cannot know if it will resonate”. I encourage them in all the most generic ways (clarity, brevity, clean formats, etc.), but there’s just no universal way to get a manager’s attention (and sometimes the screener likes different things than the hiring manager so people get weeded out before they even hit the right person).

Would you not normally look for those things in the resume?

This is definitely a field related thing! Along with this work, I’m expected to get field work and research experience as well; my cover letters for those are direct and data-driven, with emphasis on my field experience, rigid attention to procedural detail, and my ability to mesh with a team in often hot and miserable environments.

I think this cover letter is great, and part of what makes it great is the effusiveness. Reading between the lines (which I’m sure LW’s resume makes explicit), she worked at Starbucks, she volunteered as a docent at a science exhibit, and she was an aide or assistant at a vet clinic. These are all great jobs for an undergrad and are fine on a resume, but they don’t “speak for themselves,” as it were, regarding her actual skill set or abilities.

In my opinion, the letter doesn’t actually tell me a lot more about LW’s hard skills. What it shows me is that she is able to write well, present truthful information in a positive and appealing light – which involves careful analytic skills in itself – and that she sounds like a person with a great personality and sense of humor.

This cover letter is really like an audition, and it’s just terrific.

I like this letter very much, but I think much of what makes it great is the writer and her personality. I don’t know many Starbucks type of retail workers who are that dedicated to their jobs that they know all the customers (and their kids) names or still keep in touch with them :) That unique style spills over into her writing and it just sounds very genuine

This is a good cover letter. But what is one supposed to do if one is an introvert? Just never apply for a customer service job? Technically, all jobs require customer service to some extent, because at a minimum, you have people internally who you are doing work for.

You use the cover letter to talk about evidence that you’d excel in the role (beyond what’s on your resume). Your evidence will be different from this OP’s evidence, and that’s as it should be!

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I don’t think this has much to do with introversion/extroversion. I’m an introvert, I’ve had some similar jobs to what the OP has described in her letter, and the only parts of her letter I couldn’t 100% truthfully say about myself are “I still keep in contact with some of my customers” (not really an introvert issue, just… not my style) and “my love of working with people” (okay, this part is probably introversion-related).

I do feel pretty strongly that you don’t have to be an extrovert to work in customer service, or to be good at it or even enjoy it! You may find it more tiring or more difficult than if you were an extrovert, or have to work a little harder to pitch yourself to a hiring manager (if you feel you can’t honestly say “I love working with people!”, for example), but like… I love customer service! I like people pretty well and find it extremely satisfying to Solve A Problem for somebody! I just also need a nice quiet lunch break where no one bothers me.

Millions of us introverts work customer service roles.

Introvert/extrovert refer to how you recharge your energy, not if you are good with or like other people. Plenty of introverts can excel in customer service and plenty of extroverts don’t thrive serving strangers even if they do get their energy from time with friends.

Yes, this! I’m an introvert, but I’m really really good with customer service, public speaking, small talk, etc. And then I go on my lunch break and hide so I can do a crossword.

I look at my customer service/people facing time as being “on stage”; I do best at jobs where I can have at least as much time off stage, but my stage persona is such that even a lot of long time coworkers don’t get that.

I feel like most of the examples AAM has given of excellent cover letter have been in this vein: effusive, bubbly, using the phrase “wear many hats”, applying for a position where extroversion is a big plus… What about for jobs/fields/people where this isn’t the case? I have trouble imagining how I would write my own version of this type of coverletter because none of the apparent positives apply at all.

This is so bizarre. I literally just did a search on AAM for good cover letter example.

This site is such an amazing resource! Thanks for all you do, Alison!

Wonderful cover letter!

I just received one where the opening paragraph was a flowery description of the person walking in the rain and reflecting on the professional journey which lead them to this moment. They then concluded the paragraph with “My name is First Last, and I’m applying for your Assistant Teapot Coordinator.” Ya know…because their name wasn’t already in bold at the top of the letterhead.

::head desk::

That’s such an awkward way to end a letter. You sign off with a salutation, so they know your name, maaaaaaan. Along with the letterhead if you’re using that and it’s attached to your resume but I guess they’re going along with some kind of “say it as many times as possible so it really stick sin someone’s mind!”. I don’t remember you for the reasons you wish I did, please just don’t.

“I’m First Last, and I approve this cover letter.”

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Apparently a student of the infamous “sensual wrist” cover letter from a couple years ago…

Now I want to read about walking in the rain, purely for instructional purposes. :)

It was really really cringey. I won’t post it here (even though I’m like 99.9999% sure they don’t read this blog b/c THEN THEY WOULD KNOW BETTER), but ya know…just in case.

I also once had one that opened with a description of the spring weather – something about “The trees are blooming, birds are singing, and everyone’s thoughts turn to the Higher Ed job search…”

On the other end of the spectrum, I also get ones where they misspell the name of our institution or put in the wrong institution, so they got that going for them…

Oh Lord. Just thinking about reading that gives me enough second-hand embarrassment to choke on. At my current office, we once received a cover letter where literally every other word, I am not kidding, was followed by an emoji. Needless to say that was passed around to every single person working there to gawk at in horror!

This is a great letter. I wonder if it would work in the UK where people are generally more formal (at least this is the impression that I have.)

I think it would. I got my current job (in a stuffy, formal environment in London) through using my version of this letter. Mine wasn’t quite as effusive – I’m a few years older than the OP – but it was very much tailored to me, and written in a style that is very much mine (I’m thinking especially of word choices and a humorous phrase or two).

Its a good letter. I could imagine its effectiveness and her very personable and bubbly personality straight through it. My complaint is with the curse aam puts on those who copy parts of it at the end. I am not saying that for myself, its a letter that wouldn’t work for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. But how absolutely nasty and not really even funny, even if it was meant that way. Don’t post it then. She didn’t create the phrases in a vacuum.

What’s absolutely nasty is stealing someone else’s work word-for-word and presenting it as your own! Which routinely happens with cover letters posted here. I stand by my curse of people who do that.

When I was hiring for a particular position, I was looking at past applicants, successful and unsuccessful, to calibrate what my bar should be for a good cover letter. In the application of one successful applicant (she got the job) I recognized a cover letter from your site! It was almost exactly the same with just a few cosmetic changes for the organization name, etc.

I alerted my supervisor, but to my surprise, she wasn’t bothered. That particular position required sending out a lot of template-based emails and she said that using a template for a cover letter didn’t seem like a big deal to her. I was horrified though and think it shows a lack of ethical and professional judgement to copy a cover letter word for word.

So I guess what I’m saying is that I’m finding this thread very interesting because I would also curse someone for plagiarizing, but clearly not everyone would.

Someone who would copy this word for word is doing themselves a huge disservice – there’s a big AAM readership, and not to mention, if the cover letter doesn’t match the interview or the wording / tone of the resume, this letter is a Google search away.

Yep. Shoot, even look at the comments. It would fall flat with certain people in certain fields, even in a beginning, undergrad intern role. because there is no one CL to rule them all

Yes, and apart from being specific to the letter writer and her personality, a good cover letter is also written for a specific audience. As many people have noted, the tone and style of this letter wouldn’t be appropriate for every field or region or position, but I suspect it was perfect for the organization the letter writer applied to.

I mentioned that thoughtfully in my comment. I think her cursing people is still highly ineffective and mean spirited. Oh well. I try to write a response that covers those things and people go right over it. When most people say copying it, they usually mean any part of it and anything styled like it also.

I don’t actually think that’s what “copying” means. You seem very well-meaning, so maybe it seems highly unlikely to you that someone would actually copy all or most of the letter, just substituting their own job title instead of the LWs.

Meh, I think its a sense of humor thing. I highly doubt anyone (maybe besides you?) thinks Alison has actually cursed them, it’s so obviously a joke I don’t quite get the offense. She’s just saying don’t plagiarize.

You do know curses aren’t real, right?

I did not say word for word. I agreed with that. Please read what I did say which was a part of it. I really don’t even mean actually copying it. I just don’t know that putting such horrible designs on people makes a lot of sense.

You didn’t say word-for-word, but AAM did. The curse doesn’t apply to those who don’t plagiarize. People who plagiarize deserve the consequences. Don’t plagiarize and you won’t get cursed. It’s that simple!

If we are going to nitpick words, Alison never said curse. Maybe palagrasing and not doing the work yourself has the natural consequence of a bad job search?

…Do you actually believe curses are real?

Wait, “don’t post it then” – you mean, don’t post it if you don’t want people to plagiarize? As if being posted means people should feel free to plagiarize – yikes! Posting the letter gives people real life, concrete examples of good writing, and illustrates general advice with specific examples. It’s a good way to help people figure out a difficult part of the job process. Yes, some people are obnoxious and will plagiarize it – but let’s not let those people be the reason we can’t have nice things, yeah? The “curse” is to remind people, some of whom apparently need reminding for some reason, that stealing someone else’s work is wrong.

A prophecy isn’t a curse. People who plagiarize off the Internet are going to get caught. Or they’ll wind up in a job that’s a terrible fit because they presented themselves inauthentically. Or both.

There’s a difference between coincidentally using some of the same words or phrases and copying someone else’s work. Using “Beyond my love of working with people, I also have a broad and expansive set of technical skills.” verbatim isn’t a great idea. Communicating the idea that you both love working with people and have a wide array of technical skills is fine (if both are revelant to the job you’re applying for).

Nicely done, OP!!

It makes me so happy to see someone in college using AAM’s advice to get job offers! I didn’t discover the blog until about 5 years post-grad, and I think those five years would have looked very different if I actually knew what I was doing when it came to applying for jobs. Way to get a jump start on your career, OP!

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In the spirit of discussion, may I respectfully submit that this tone and style of writing will not feel comfortable for many people and will not be so highly thought of by many others. Personally, as a writer at heart and a former manager, I feel it’s “gilding the lily” and I would have encouraged the applicant to pare it down a bit. However, AAM loves it and it was successful, so that shows there is absolutely no advice that can be given that will fit every situation, applicant, manager, and so forth. If this tone feels strange to you, please seek out other examples to inspire you. If you use someone else’s voice and are not chosen to interview, will you wonder if you would have had a chance if you had just presented your best self?

If I were impart anything to anybody (and I do often, I’m an older college student so I try and help out a lot of my younger colleagues) that it’s so, so important to write to your audience instead of making a blanket letter for anything. That’s probably one of the biggest things I’ve taken from AAM, actually! This is heavily tailored to a non-profit that values this level of enthusiasm. I’m also after a research position to work along with this one; that cover letter focuses heavily on my abilities in fieldwork, my dedication to procedure, and my ability to mesh with a team. So if there’s any takeaway I’d push, it’s knowing who you’re writing to and what they want. (I researched this role heavily before I applied; always read up!)

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i like this, will take this framework in consideration as a student seeking internship too. i got my resume down but i still struggle with cover letter. i havent written that many since not a lot require it but this is good reference if i need to write it

This is a phenomenal letter. Congrats, OP!

My natural inclination is to be reserved. But I have to admit it’s gone well at job interviews where I felt I was being “over the top”, but probably wasn’t actually. Enthusiasm can be good. Figuring out the balance is tough. I haven’t hired for this sort of position, but I would definitely bring the letter-writer in for an interview.

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Personality, enthusiasm, and a real voice. Love it.

Is there anyone you’d recommend to help craft a better cover letter for federal jobs? The HR staff don’t always understand the job requirements, and I’ve heard they rely heavily/exclusively on automated word matching. I’ve heard “paste the job description verbatim into your cover letter,” which I’ve never been able to bring myself to do, but I struggle with writing a human readable version that would also clear the word matching hurdle.

Do some reading about copywriting or blogging for SEO keyword optimization. Poorly done, keyword “stuffing” sounds spammy. But it can be done judiciously and come out sounding natural.

I think the most important piece of the federal hiring process is the resume. Throw out everything AAM has ever said about writing a resume. Federal government resumes are routinely 5-10 pages (if not longer for more senior positions). The descriptions/accomplishments in your resume must match exactly what the job announcement says. Any skills you claim to have on an assessment or cover letter must be thoroughly demonstrated in your resume.

For instance, if the job announcement says they’re looking for someone who has briefed senior leaders, use that phrase in your resume (Briefed senior leaders on quarterly earning report). Don’t rely on “presented quarterly earning report to management” to count as qualifying experience. If the assessment asks how frequently you’ve done something, mention that frequency in your resume and in every job. For instance, if the fed position wants someone who frequently managed social media and you manned the social media page in three jobs, mention it in all three even if it was minor side duty in one of the jobs.

FYI, not all departments have a computer read the application material. I know at least one Department that has a human look over every single application received. Also, this advice is geared towards applications from USAJobs and doesn’t apply to jobs for the IC (which uses its own application system), Foreign Service positions (which have a separate hiring process), or internship applications.

Great letter! I like how you showed your personality yet kept a professional tone that was upbeat and in sync with the job you were applying for. And you wove a smooth story about your job experience throughout that was geared towards what the new job is looking for. Too many cover letters just recite the same dry stuff from the resume.

This letter is also a good example of how to promote your experience gained from entry-level jobs, which a lot of people really struggle with.


Wow. Not just the writing, that’s very nice, but you just don’t see people who are that excited about customer service very often. I totally get why they’d hire her!

This is a great example of tying disparate, seemingly unrelated experiences together into a cohesive story.

And it’s the story that does the selling.

Hey, question:

Having worked in print journalism and publishing for most of my career, I’ve always wondered about openings like “It’s with great enthusiasm…” If you’re writing a pitch or a query letter, it’s essential that your first sentence not be super conventional or clichéd. (Like, you wouldn’t open with “According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of…” either.)

Obviously, this is because in such letters, you’re showing that you understand the need to write creatively and can do so; and pitches and query letters aren’t the same as cover letters. But they’re similar . So whenever someone asks for my help with a cover letter, my instinct is to open with something a little more distinctive or attention-grabbing (though not, of course, over the top).

IS MY INSTINCT WRONG? Am I overthinking this because of my background? Do hiring managers care at all about the opening line of a cover letter (as long as it’s not for a writing or editing job)? I have wondered this for so long.

(For the record, I do think this is a great letter, full of clear and concrete reasons the author would be a strong fit for the job. I recently helped a senior academic apply for positions at several new institutions, and oof, such a smart person, but really a challenge to get them to present that kind of objective evidence of their qualifications, even though there was plenty of it. Scientists, man.)

Something like “I’m writing to apply for your X role with great enthusiasm” is fine. You don’t need a creative opening. It’s basic and it gets the job done. It’s fine.

Creative opening lines designed to grab attention … are often really bad. They often sound salesy or insincere. Occasionally they’re good! But often not. In general, though, I wouldn’t say you need one.

It could be different for your specific field though.

Thank you! This really has confounded my overactive and anxious brain for years.

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I love this! I would have hired you too, LW. I like the way you outline your relationships with your Starbucks customers–that’s the type of warm relationships we often have to have with our customers, and your fourth paragraph reads as very genuine. The ability to self-start and handle what comes your way is an important skill for our entry level hires and it can be hard to find.

I have to say, I’ve been following AAM’s cover letter advice, and keep getting calls from things I’ve applied for! It’s a bit overwhelming, actually. I followed bad advice for years, and I love the freedom to be conversational.

I have heard that cover letters are not as big a thing in the US as they are in Germany. But I have to say, looking at that cover letter, my very fast response was: tl;dr

I will look at the resume and see what skills, job experience, etc, there is. But the cover letter seems too long in my eyes, and also… kinda too eager? ‘with great enthusiasm’? Like, calm down, honey. You are applying for a job here, not trying to get me to assign you power of attorney for Queen Elizabeth II.

I prefer a cover letter that informs me where you saw that I am looking for someone (it could help in letting the company know where the highest traffic for job applications comes from), give a *quick* introduction of yourself, and then list your biggest advantages. (Like how many years you have worked in this type of field; what languages you speak), and then get to the goodbye that includes that you are hoping for/expecting a swift answer.

Details, and your (professional) life story, will be brought up in an interview and read in your resume.

That’s not what a cover letter is for, at least here in the UK, in professional settings, and a cover letter that restricted itself to only what you are expecting to see would get even a good CV binned, unless there was a deficit of qualified candidates. As Alison has highlighted at the top – no cover letter will make everyone happy, or even be suitable for every industry or professional norm.

Here in Germany, a cover letter is supposed to be akin to a short letter that basically amounts to, “Hey, I saw you had this open position here, and I would like to apply for said position” and a quick overview of you as a person. Most of the time, I think people don’t even *read* the cover letter anymore, let alone the attached resume/CV.

Yeah, that’s definitely NOT what they are for in the US. That’s just a waste of everyone’s time and is pointless. It’s super weird to me that Germany has a cover letter expectation but expects it to be a useless formality rather than a meaningful contribution. That’s the worst of both worlds!

A lot of what you’re seeing is absolutely field-specific. Enthusiasm IS the job; we’re a large and well-known educational non-profit, and my department focuses on interpretation. We have to be charismatic, engaging, and fun to make the work we do effective. My research and field work cover letters focus on the skills needed for those specific jobs.

I would argue though (especially as someone who used to do hiring!) that the cover letter you describe defeats the purpose. My years of experience, skills, and history are in my resume; if I got something from somewhere just summarizing what they’re already telling me, with no engagement or excitement, I’d probably pass them over. But if that works for your field, then that works for your field.

Yep, defeats the whole point if the cover letter just repeats what’s on your resume. I don’t need/want to read that twice!

I am a 20-year veteran of the museum and nonprofit field and this letter reads exactly like something I would write. My cover letters always begin with “It is with great enthusiasm that I submit my qualifications for ___ position.” Even the organization and tone of the letter is exactly what I have written in the past.

What does this mean? Over the years I have had several jobs and contracts within my field and have received an interview for at least 90% of the opportunities I pursue. I have been told time and time again that this is because the cover letter stands out. Her letter shows a clear understanding of organizational culture within the field AND she is able to connect skill sets from outside of the field to the work that she was pursuing. That’s talent right there.

The tone and candor she used in this cover letter it might not work for all industries, but I think the important takeaway here is that job applicants should understand the culture of the industry they are pursuing, and act accordingly.

Also, I always thought my cover letters were pretty darn unique and stand out from the crowd. Now I’m a little bit miffed knowing that someone out there has the exact same language. Ha! I wish her the best, she has an excellent start and will do well in her field.

As someone going into those exact fields, it’s actually really wonderful to hear that! (And it’s a pretty big honor to hear my letter bears any resemblance to a veteran of these types of organizations!) I’m so looking forward to having a position in a field I’m actually passionate about, after years of just doing whatever work could get me by. Thank you so much for your vote of confidence!

I love this cover letter! It feels very personalized and conveys the writer’s warmth and genuine interest in helping people. It’s easy to see why the company wanted to speak with her!

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Great letter! I like the changes to identifying info, haha.

A wonderful cover letter. Congratulations to the writer and I hope everyone can benefit from this example!

Am I the only one singing the Golden Girls theme song?

I love this and it’s very timely for me as I’m considering applying to something soon that would be considered a new industry/field and so it’s helped me think about common threads in all my jobs and how to talk about them to sell myself. (The “customer service” aspect in particular is extremely relatable to me.)

Thanks for the inspiration! Will have to brush up on Alison’s other cover letter articles to help me out when I go to write my actual letter…

It’s fascinating to me to read the cover letter examples (good and bad) posted to AAM, and I really wish I had found this site during my last (protracted, multi-year) search for a job better than the one I had.

I just reviewed the cover letter I wrote more than a year ago that got me the job I have now. The tone is certainly much less personable than the one used in this (brilliant, for the sort of job in question) example, which is fine; I was applying for a role as a manager of scientists, and understatement is often valued! I violated some of the AAM rules for cover letters by reiterating a lot of resume material, but I succeeded (I think) in explicitly linking my technical skills and (limited) management experience to the stated requirements of the job. I had been using more or less the same cover letter for years, but I had put some time into improving it and tailoring it for the specific job prior to submitting it. Were I applying to a new job now, I would probably rewrite large sections of the letter to better display a personality beyond “Serious Scientist” and remove a lot of the discussion of information that is also in the resume. My hope, though, is that I will never need to write another cover letter and that I continue in my current job for a very long time (it is, precisely, the job title and responsibilities I had been seeking for years) or move up to a different or better one within my same organization (since it is exactly where I had most wanted to work all that time). It seems almost sad to me that the cover letter, resume, and interview skills I’ve picked up from reading this site stand a good chance of never being deployed.

The whole thing reminds me a bit of my experience in dating after my divorce. I set out to learn how to date: How to pick good potential partners, circumvent and mitigate my chronic awkwardness, convey who I am and learn about who they are in the best possible way, and to build real emotional and physical connections. Just when my skills were starting to develop, I found a nearly perfect partner. We’ve been together more than five years, and I’m happier than I have ever been in my life. My dating skills, though, are now in mothballs, destined to never see use again.

This is a really great letter but I would never see it … the last three companies I’ve worked for, including my current position with the largest tech giant in the world, doesn’t ‘do’ cover letters … no means to upload them and if somehow one is bundled with the resume, it is removed. Alison puts a lot of weight on cover letters and this example shows how it can strengthen a candidate’s pitch, but companies in some industries are definitely shifting away from them.

Awesome. Copying and pasting as we speak and inserting my name at the bottom. Fingers crossed I get the engineering job!

Wait, people still read cover letters? lol

Thank you so much for the wonderful comments, everybody, I read every one! (The UK thread is fabulous, I love thinking about how bizarre a letter like this would be over there.) Since it’s come up a few times, the really up-beat and effervescent tone for this is 100% intentional; this company is a major nonprofit in my area, and this specific department is sort of like a roving educational thing where I’ll be interacting directly with the public and getting them engaged with science and ecology. To make it in this sort of position you’ve got to have a lot of energy and be really outgoing. The position I was actually offered is within this same department, but along with public engagement I’ll be responsible for a team of volunteers who we need to ensure are enjoying their time with us while knowing where to go and what to do, as we wouldn’t be able to run without them! They told me they offered me this spot because they thought I would be able to connect with lots of different types of people while using my supervisory experience to keep my team organized and happy. I’ve applied to research and field work roles too since my degree has lots of requirements, and those cover letters are less bubbles, more facts, but still with a warm and engaging tone.

Also to clear up something with age, I’m actually a returning student in my 30s! I’ve worked lots of different jobs (and I worked at Starbucks for 7 years!), but this is my first one where I’m doing something I’m specifically studying for, which is part of the reason I’m so excited for it. After what felt like a lifetime of going nowhere, I’m finally moving in a direction I’m really passionate about. I read all of Alison’s advice on cover letters — along with the other examples people have graciously submitted — to write mine, and it’s really been amazing the level of response I’m getting because of it. Alison, you are an absolute queen, and I’ve been directing all of the students in my graduating class (younger and older folks alike) to your website for advice. Thank you for all that you do, and for your help in starting my new career!

I agree that this is a fantastic cover letter. It clearly touched on the exact elements the hiring manager sought, and it displayed the intern’s relevant talents and her personality.

I think part of the reason why it’s so difficult for candidates to write well about themselves is because it is so hard to find good help with such a free-range format. In interviews the questions (from both sides) guide the experience. There’s lots of great advice out there about elevator pitches — interestingly enough with a healthy understanding that there are many types of successful pitches. I have found that there isn’t as much of this understanding when it comes to cover letters. Even among the most well-meaning editors you tend to find a very rigid idea of what the letter should look like, to say nothing of what constitutes as “good writing.” Quite frankly, it’s enough to dilute and dissect any potential for the extraordinary.

I highly recommend any candidate read William Zinsser’s “On Writing Well” — or consult a resource with guidelines that apply across all genres. This will help the would-be writer sharpen her message, avoid clichés, and find her voice. I would start there and then proceed to refine with advice specific to a cover letter.

One of the greatest cover letters I ever reviewed was rooted in data analysis, so I know it is possible to accomplish a similar effect with different tools and a more reserved manner. The key is to describe your qualifications in a focused way. I find the most persuasive applications are those where the specific examples all show me more than one thing about the candidate (1. She has this hard skill. 2. She has applied it in a comparable and impressive way. 3. She thinks strategically., etc. ) and all work together towards a big picture statement about the candidate — rather than cramming the typical endless list of hard skills into one page.

Despite debates concerning the tone and specific elements of this letter, I think we can all agree that it made a clear statement about who the candidate is and the value she could bring to the company. That is what makes this piece a worthy sample.

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Thanks for posting this. I’m in a very different part of the world and I’m therefore used to different norms for cover letters, but this is still very useful, especially because I feel like the norms for what constitutes a good cover letter keep changing every few years. For example, when I just started job searching half a page with a little more than the basic information was pretty standard. Five years later this method proved ineffective and it got me much further to treat my cover letter as sort of a short press release: immediately cutting to the chase by mentioning the main reasons why I’d be good for the role and not having the whole thing longer than five lines. The idea behind it was that hiring managers have tons of cover letters to get through, that they pretty much just scan a letter for the key points they’re selecting on, that making yours too long would only annoy them and lessen your chances, and that your cv should do most of the talking anyway. It worked really well at the time and I got lots of interviews. Now, years later, I’ve started job searching again and find that this method does me no favours at all, and I’m having to figure out cover letters all over again. Has anyone had the same experience?

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Three excellent cover letter examples

Man reading notes

The first thing a potential employer sees in your job application is the cover letter. This doesn't just support your CV – it's an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd and persuade the recruiter to put you through to the next round. Be wary of spending hours on perfecting your CV at the expense of your cover letter. If you need some inspiration on what to include and what format to use, here are our helpful guides – just remember not to copy them as exact templates. 1. Standard, conservative style This is ideal for sectors such as business, law, accountancy and retail. For more creative sectors, a letter like this might be less appealing, and could work against you. Dear Mr Black, Please find enclosed my CV in application for the post advertised in the Guardian on 30 November. The nature of my degree course has prepared me for this position. It involved a great deal of independent research, requiring initiative, self-motivation and a wide range of skills. For one course, [insert course], an understanding of the [insert sector] industry was essential. I found this subject very stimulating. I am a fast and accurate writer, with a keen eye for detail and I should be very grateful for the opportunity to progress to market reporting. I am able to take on the responsibility of this position immediately, and have the enthusiasm and determination to ensure that I make a success of it. Thank you for taking the time to consider this application and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. Yours sincerely

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In addition to a CV writing service they can help with Linkedin profiles, cover letters and more. You can get things started with a Free CV review .

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Other helpful resources • How to write a personal statement for your CV • CV templates: graduates, career changers and ladder climbers • What questions to ask at the end of your job interview • How to write a CV when you lack direct work experience • Job interview preparation: an essential checklist • Why do you want to work here? How to answer the million-dollar question

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cover letter it would be an honor

The secret formula for the perfect cover letter

Hands on a keyboard

Writing a cover letter is a necessary part of the job search, and usually the most painful.

You’re trying to sell yourself to someone you’ve never met and most of us hate doing that.

Even worse, there’s a very distinct possibility that nobody is going to read it. But don’t dwell on that part because you have to write it anyway and you have to write it as though someone might read it, because someone actually might. So, you might as well just pretend someone is definitely going to read it.

The cover letter is designed to accomplish three things. You want to:

1. Introduce yourself as a person 2. Express your interest in the position 3. Impress someone enough to land an interview

It’s often assumed that the cover letter is supposed to bridge any gaps between your resume and the role for which you’re applying, but that is not the case. Your resume should be specifically tailored to the job as well.

How do you write the cover letter? Here’s a simple secret formula.

1. Start with a greeting:

I’m not a fan of the often recommended method of jumping right in with your personal description like “Dear Mr. Vader. I am a marketing manager with 15 years of experience…”

You might start with something like:

“Dear Mr. Vader: I was excited to find your job posting for a marketing manager for The Galactic Empire on Workopolis because I have been an admirer of your company’s marketing and mission for a long time.”

2. Say who you are, what you do, why you want to do that particular job at that particular company, and why you are the best person for the role:

“As a marketer with over 15 years’ experience, I think I can state with confidence that you will not find another candidate more suited for this position. Not only because of my work history, but because I am passionate in my beliefs in rule by tyranny and that the universe should turn to the Dark Side.”

3. Broadly cover your work history, but DO NOT JUST REHASH YOUR RESUME:

“As you will read in my attached resume, I have held a variety of marketing roles across industries from tourism to music festivals. This wide range of experience places me in a unique position, as I have had the opportunity to develop a vast array of skills, from writing and editing, to analytics and SEO, to user experience, audience retention, email marketing, managing budgets, and public relations.”

4. Demonstrate how amazing you are by highlighting a triumph:

“In one of my most recent success stories, I was assigned the project of revitalizing tourism to the Ice Planet Hoth, which I did through content marketing and social media initiatives. In one year tourism to the area increased by 500%, providing a much needed revenue boost to local businesses.”

5. Use a teaser to spark interest:

“If I get the chance to interview with you, be sure to ask about my success with the annual Tatooine Jazz Festival.”

6. Where possible, show you are on top of current trends by addressing challenges in the industry:

“I am aware that The Empire has faced some brand challenges lately thanks to competition from the Rebel Alliance, but I am confident that with my expertise we can turn that around in a very short period of time.”

7. Don’t forget to talk about what you admire about the company:

“I admire The Empire’s staying power in such a competitive industry as well as the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, including the Storm Troopers annual Sick Children’s Hospital drive. It would be a privilege to work for such a respected market leader.”

8. Sign off with respectful enthusiasm:

“I would be thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of your rebrand, and would love to meet with you to discuss the value I can bring to your organization. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.”

OK? Here’s the whole letter.

Good luck writing your own.  

Dear Mr. Vader:

I was excited to find your job posting for a marketing manager for The Galactic Empire on Workopolis because I have been an admirer of your company’s marketing and mission for a long time.

As a marketer with over 15 years’ experience, I think I can state with confidence that you will not find another candidate more suited for this position. Not only because of my work history, but because I am passionate in my beliefs in rule by tyranny and that the universe should turn to the Dark Side.

As you will read in my attached resume, I have held a variety of marketing roles across industries from tourism to music festivals. This wide range of experience places me in a unique position, as I have had the opportunity to develop a vast array of skills, from writing and editing, to analytics and SEO, to user experience, audience retention, email marketing, managing budgets, and public relations.

In one of my most recent success stories, I was assigned the project of revitalizing tourism to the Ice Planet Hoth, which I did through content marketing and social media initiatives. In one year tourism to the area increased by 500%, providing a much needed revenue boost to local businesses.

If I get the chance to interview with you, be sure to ask about my success with the annual Tatooine Jazz Festival.

I am aware that The Empire has faced some brand challenges lately thanks to competition from the Rebel Alliance, but I am confident that with my expertise we can turn that around in a very short period of time.

I admire The Empire’s staying power in such a competitive industry as well as the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, including the Storm Troopers annual Sick Children’s Hospital drive. It would be a privilege to work for such a respected market leader.

I would be thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of your rebrand, and would love to meet with you to discuss the value I can bring to your organization.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Sybegh Tsark

(If you want to see another great example that pretty much follows this formula [and also uses a fictional role at a fictional company] check out this cover letter on Alison Green’s Ask A Manager .)

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Cover letters are your opportunity to expand on the information in your resume. It should detail exactly how and why you would add value to their organization and illustrate your communication and persuasion skills all at once. It is important to think of your cover letter as a bridge that connects what you bring to what the employer wants. The cover letter below shows how the following tips apply to a real-world example.

Use the same header from your resume on your cover letter with your name and contact information. Address the cover letter with the company’s contact information at the top left-hand corner, and include the position title and number for the employer to clearly see what you are applying for. 

Start your cover letter by addressing someone specifically. Try and find the appropriate contact name for the position. If you are unable to find that information, address the department name or simply write “Dear hiring manager” or “Dear hiring committee.”

Opening paragraph

The opening paragraph should address the question, “Why this company?” Describe how you found the position and what you are applying for. If someone referred you, this is the place to mention their name. Highlight why you are applying for a job with this company and what interests you about the company. End the paragraph with your thesis sentence – the top two or three reasons you’re qualified for the position.

Middle paragraph(s)

Here is your chance to expand on your thesis sentence with concrete examples demonstrating your skills and experience. Highlight your knowledge of the company indicating how your experiences will fit their needs. Address specific qualifications you may have that match the job description. The middle paragraph should answer the question, why you? Be sure to review the job posting to incorporate industry language, action verbs used in the description, and the specific skills and experience the employer is seeking. Make sure your cover letter isn't simply restating what is on your resume. This is your chance to help employers see why/how your experience is valuable to them.

Closing paragraph

This can be a simple paragraph, reiterating your interest in the position and thanking the employer for taking the time to read your cover letter. You should also indicate how or when the employer can contact you.

Cover Letter Example

The cover letter below was written in response to a specific job posting. Use the tooltips throughout the text to see how the cover letter addresses key points and requirements from the job posting.

Job posting

Exciting and successful outdoor/action sports company looking for a talented, organized and motivated sponsorship and marketing intern for Warren Miller Entertainment in Boulder, CO. This internship is open to students who seek college credit. This is a great opportunity for networking and experience in the outdoor and sports industry.

Candidates must be detail-oriented and organized, and looking to work hard while learning about events, sponsorship sales and marketing. Intern will gain event execution, sales support and account services experience. Interest in events, media and advertising encouraged. This internship is a great opportunity for a highly motivated student who is looking for real-world experience.


Required skills

Students must seek formal approval for academic credit through their department(s) or advisor(s).


Job functions

Advertising, Media & PR, Design/Art, Marketing - General

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

Active InterestMmedia

One of the world’s largest enthusiast media companies, Active Interest Media ( produces leading consumer and trade events, websites, magazines and films and TV shows that reach 40 million readers, fans and attendees in 85 countries. AIM powers the second-richest equestrian competition in the world, the World Series of Team Roping and North America’s most important events and education for fitness professionals through our IDEA Fit division. Our brands include Yoga Journal, Warren Miller Entertainment, Backpacker, SKI, Anglers Journal, Yachts International, Sail, Power & Motoryacht, Team Roping Journal, Practical Horseman, EQUUS, Muscle & Performance, Horse & Rider, Oxygen, Clean Eating, Log Home Living, Old House Journal, Woodsmith, Garden Gate and more. The company’s five divisions—the Equine Network, Home Group, Healthy Living Group, Marine Group and Outdoor Group—also operate thriving B2B platforms, online universities and retail events.

Cover letter

As a Colorado-born winter sports enthusiast,  Try to engage your readers from the beginning by demonstrating interest in the role and company, or by demonstrating that you’re a good fit. I grew up watching Warren Miller films on the big screen each fall. Taking in the impressive video footage and rad soundtrack with a live audience of skiers and riders always got me pumped for ski season. It would be an honor to intern with Warren Miller and help ensure others can enjoy the same live experience. Currently, I am a junior at the University of Colorado Boulder studying strategic communication and technology, arts and media,  Introduce yourself by stating where you go to school, what year you are in and what you are studying (if it is relevant). with the goal of working in sports marketing and events when I graduate. I am a hardworking team player with strong communication and organization skills, so the sponsorship and marketing internship at Warren Miller Entertainment seems like a natural fit. I found this opportunity on Handshake  Make sure you mention the title of the position you are applying for, the name of the organization and where you found the posting. This is also a good place to mention the name of referrals or connections you have at the organization. For example, if you spoke at length with a recruiter at the career fair, you could include their name here. and believe that my interests, skills and experience make me the perfect candidate to help promote your events. 

In a fast-paced, dynamic organization such as Active Interest Media, collaboration and multi-tasking are key.  These are all required skills listed in the job description. It’s good to select the three skills/qualifications/requirements that you have the most experience in to focus on in your cover letter. My work as an outreach development coach (ODC) with Career Services allows me to collaborate with a team of seven ODCs and one professional staff supervisor to develop and present engaging workshops on various career topics to CU students. My team also staffs daily drop-in hours, offers weekly career workshops and supports large-scale campus events including career fairs. Staffing the CU Boulder career fairs has allowed me to develop my organizational skills and gain experience in many areas of event promotion and management ,  It’s important to provide specific examples of how you’ve demonstrated the skills they are looking for through your previous experiences. Help make the connection between what you’ve done in the past and this role. Clearly articulate that this experience will allow you to contribute in positive ways in this role. as I contribute wherever needed to keep the event running smoothly for the 14,000 students and 300 employers that attend each fall. My abilities to anticipate needs, collaborate, multi-task and adapt to changing circumstances will allow me to make significant contributions as a part of the team at Warren Miller.

In addition to my on-campus experience, I interned last summer for Hops Brewery where I created innovative social media content for multiple platforms and provided verbal updates to all staff including senior members at weekly meetings. These tasks helped me hone my communication skills by creating and delivering messages that are clear, concise, interesting and tailored to specific audiences. I also demonstrated organizational skills by consistently publishing error-free media posts on deadline, and tracking click rates across each platform in Excel .  Provide specific examples from previous experience to demonstrate you have the skills they are looking for. If offered the sponsorship and marketing internship, I would support your team with this same attention to detail and my communication and organizational skills.

As a life-long fan of your films, I am excited for the opportunity to apply for an internship with Warren Miller Entertainment. I am confident I would contribute positively in this role given my experience, skillset and career interests.  In the closing paragraph, make sure to remind them of your interest in the role and/or company and why you are a good fit. I look forward to hearing from you to talk more about this opportunity. You can reach me at xxx-xxx-xxxx or [email protected]  It’s important to demonstrate your confidence here and include your contact information (even though it’s at the top of the cover letter) to demonstrate your strong interest in the position and moving forward with next steps.

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Mentor Cover Letter Example + Tips

A cover letter is an important document. Along with your resume, it sets you apart from the rest of the applicants. It entices an employer to have you come in for an interview. It should be clear why the employer should want to interview you and why you want the job. Use this free mentor cover letter sample as a guide for planning your approach.

Dear Ms. Riggs,

I resonate with ABC Company’s values and enjoy helping others in my field. My education and sales background make me the perfect candidate for your mentor position.

I graduated with a business degree from State College in 2000. For the past 16 years, I have worked for various companies in the software sector. I have fine-tuned my sales strategy, and I would like to pass that on to your new associates.

As an expert in my field, I have trained small and large sales teams both on and off site. I have worked casually with many mentees over the years. Providing information about my own career path as well as offering guidance and motivation, has been a real joy. Although I have never professionally mentored, I know I am well suited for the job. I love my field, enjoy helping others, and have a strong track record of sourcing leads and closing deals.

It would be an honor to work with ABC Company using my skills to counsel your business development team. Thank you for taking the time to review my application. I hope to speak with you soon.

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What to include in a mentor cover letter.

Mentoring requires past experience and a certain level of selflessness. Our free mentor cover letter sample serves as a great template for communicating your specific skillset to an employer. Make sure you emphasize your unique qualifications as they relate to the specific job opening. Focus less on what this position can do for you and more on what you can do for the employer. Use the company’s name specifically, so that it is clear that you are taking the time to go beyond a generic cover letter.

Industry Specific Skills to Include

Because mentoring requires prior skills in a specific field, it is important that you go beyond the information provided in this free mentor cover letter sample. Address some of the skills listed below. Don’t be afraid to tailor them to your situation.

● Motivation: Starting any new job is tough. As a mentor, you should encourage your mentee. ● Trust: Your mentee needs to trust that you have their best interest in mind. ● Role model: Shed some light on your industry and provide your mentee with guidance as to how to reach his or her goals. Good role models listen, care, and exhibit positive behavior. ● Dependability: Do what you say you are going to do.

Related Skills

More Resume Examples for the Next Step in Your Education Career

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More Cv Examples for the Next Step in Your Education Career




cover letter it would be an honor




Three Things You Should Include in a Cover Letter

cover letter it would be an honor

Many employers require job applicants to submit cover letters in addition to their resumes and applications.

While cover letters are typically only three to four paragraphs long, many people aren’t sure what information should be included and what should be left out.

If you need to write a cover letter but aren’t sure where to begin, here are a few things you should be sure to include in your letter.

1. The position for which you are applying

In your introductory paragraph, state your name and the name of the position for which you would like to be considered.

Your potential employer may be looking through applications for many different positions, so making your position of interest clear from the beginning can make it easier for the employer to evaluate your qualifications for the specific position you want.

This also lets the employer know that you took the time to customize the letter to the position for which you are applying. Many applicants choose to make one generic cover letter for every position they apply for, and while this may be convenient for you, it can be frustrating for an employer.

2. Your relevant experience and personality traits

In your second paragraph – or in your second and third paragraphs if you plan to write four total paragraphs – highlight your positive personality traits and your most impressive and relevant work experience.

Because your resume likely has an entire section dedicated to past work experience, focus on your personality traits in your cover letter, and back them up with examples from your work experience.

For example, you may want to let the employer know that you are hard-working. You should not simply write, “I am hard-working,” and leave it at that.

Instead, explain to the employer why you are hard-working. If you have had prior work experience, provide an example from a previous job of when you demonstrated that quality.

If you have not had any previous work experience, describe a time in your day-to-day life that proves you are hard-working.

The important thing to remember is to not strictly repeat information on your resume. The purpose of your cover letter is to complement and elaborate on your resume, not to copy it directly.

3. An expression of gratitude

The closing paragraph of your cover letter should express your appreciation for the employer for reviewing your application materials.

This may seem trivial, but thanking the employer for looking over your application shows you are courteous and thoughtful, two personality traits employers appreciate in an employee.

Once you have completed your letter, be sure to proofread for grammar errors or typos. If an employer spots several obvious errors in your letter, he or she may immediately discard it, especially if there are hundreds of other applicants to consider.

Above all, if your cover letter sounds professional and includes all the necessary points, it can truly make all the difference.

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 Three Things You Should Include in a Cover Letter


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1 cover letter secret that will guarantee you interviews.

Let me cover the first question I often hear about cover letters before we go into tips for writing one: do you need to write a cover letter to apply for a job? Yes. Yes. Yes. Even if the job description doesn’t specifically ask for one, you need to write a cover letter to accompany your job application.

1 cover letter secret that will guarantee interviews

How to write a cover letter is the next question that almost always comes up during a job search, no matter how many cover letters you have written in the past. It seems that figuring out how to write a cover letter is a tough task—perhaps even more difficult than writing a resume for some people.

So is there a cover letter secret that can guarantee you will get an interview whenever you are applying with a prospective employer? I know of one magical key to include when you write a cover letter that can increase your chances of getting interviews by 50%.

What is it? Take a look at the cover letter guide below that you can use to write a great cover letter for hiring managers. By following this guide to writing a cover letter, you’ll attract the attention of the employer and have an effective cover letter that will increase your chance of getting an interview.

Do you need a cover letter?

Writing Your Cover Letter: Asking for the Interview

It seems like asking the hiring manager for the interview would be common sense, but how many job seekers actually ask for the interview when writing a great cover letter? I’m not suggesting that you ask for the interview in the opening paragraph, but including an interview ask is important for having a good cover letter that also stands out. Including the ask isn’t considered rude, forward, or overly direct either! It’s simply asking for what you want—which in this case happens to be an interview. Why else would you be submitting a resume and cover letter?

There are several ways that you can appropriately include the ask, and below I’ll include some specific cover letter examples that you can revise to include when writing cover letters yourself. The important key to remember is to ask for the interview—and the best place to do so is in the closing paragraph at the bottom of your cover letter. This way, the reader will see it and notice it even if they are just skimming the letter.

Close your cover letter by sharing your interest and excitement about the position; use the position title exactly as listed in the job description, and then ask to meet the employer, hiring manager, or person in charge of hiring—in person. Go a step further by providing a phone number where they can reach you directly, and even your email address. You may have included this at the top of your resume already, but it doesn’t hurt to make your contact information as easily accessible as possible to a prospective employer.

By simply ASKING for the interview, you’ve already doubled the chances that you’ll get a call for one. You’re not only showing your direct interest in the position, you’re also showing that you have the communication skills to directly address the issue. If you follow up with the employer within a week to two weeks after submitting your resume and cover letter, you’ll increase your likelihood of an interview with the hiring manager by another substantial percentage.

How to ask for the interview in the cover letter

Cover Letter Writing Examples

Here are a few examples of the various ways you can ask for the job interview:

I’m excited about the Marketing Director position with ABC Inc. and would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you in person regarding my experience, skills, accomplishments, and the specific value I can add to your team. Please call me at 555.555.5555 to schedule a personal interview at your convenience.

The Marketing Director position is a perfect fit for my background. I would love the opportunity to meet in person to discuss how my experience and qualifications can add value to ABC’s team. Please call me at 555.555.5555 to schedule an interview at your earliest convenience.

I’m very interested in the Marketing Director role with ABC, Inc. I believe my 10+ years of marketing experience with XYZ makes me the perfect candidate for this position. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet in person to discuss how I can make a positive impact on your bottom line. Please call me at 555.555.5555 or email me at to schedule an interview. I will follow up in one week to confirm your receipt of my cover letter and resume and to discuss a time and date for the interview.

My ability to rapidly deliver bottom-line results of 25%+ only adds to the value I can offer ABC, Inc. I would like to discuss these specific results and the many others I can offer you in a personal interview. I will follow up with a call on Tuesday to discuss a time and date we can meet to further explain the value I can bring to ABC, Inc.

Double your chances for the job interview by ASKING for it and then be sure to follow up with the employer if you’ve stated you will do so in your cover letter. It couldn’t hurt to follow up anyway one or two weeks after submitting it to ensure receipt of your resume and cover letter.

Cover letter templates

Cover Letter Writing Tips

Here are a few additional relevant tips for preparing your cover letter and resume:

– There are different types of cover letters —there are networking letters, academic cover letters, application cover letters, value proposition letters, recruiter cover letters, and a type of teaching statement or statement of interest in a potential employer.

– Cover letters need to be free of grammar errors and spelling errors. I would also advise you to avoid using Times New Roman font. It’s very overused. You can choose a different type of font when writing your cover letter.

– Cover letters are great places to address transferable skills if you’re wanting to make a career transition. You can discuss the position description and how your relevant skills and work experience are a great fit for the opening and position requirements.

– When writing about your skills and experience, use action verbs for an effective cover letter. Action verbs always work better for getting attention than dull clichés and lists of common job responsibilities or duties.

– Avoid using a cover letter template. (Ditto for a resume template.) If you go online to look for how to write a cover letter and you copy and paste the content from an online cover letter template, the human resources person scanning your cover letter will know it’s a template. Employers see them all the time and they all start the same: “To Whom It May Concern… I’m applying to your opening for a career counselor.” Or, “Dear Hiring Manager: I saw on you’re hiring a career counselor with 10 years’ experience… Please accept this application…” Use a sample cover letter to guide your writing, but don’t just “Mad Lib” a cover letter by filling in the blanks with your information.

– Instead of starting your cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern,” an effective cover letter will start with the hiring manager or prospective employer’s name. Do your research on social media, LinkedIn, or the company website. Research is a very important part of having an effective cover letter.

– A great candidate with solid skills can write a strong cover letter by starting off with an intriguing rhetorical question. An example might be: “Do you need a digital marketer who can double or triple your website conversion rate?”

I can guarantee you that an opening paragraph with a question like that will definitely pique interest with an employer—especially when you end your cover letter with an appropriately strong ask for an interview.

Need a quick-start guide for adding high-impact words and action verbs to your cover letter and resume? Download your FREE PDF guide here it includes 178 action verbs and high-impact words you can use to improve your resume right now.

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I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


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I’ve been advising my clients to let potential employers take the next step, i.e. not to wrap up with lines like “I will follow up with a call on Tuesday to discuss a time and date we can meet…” – isn’t it the employer’s turn to take the next step in the process? This kind of “here’s what I’m going to do next, I’m going to contact you again” strikes me as pushy if not stalk-y.

[…] You can ask for the interview. Asking for the interview increases your chance of getting a call for an interview by somewhere around 50% (I’ve read several different stats about the actual percentage being between 50%-75%, so I’ll go on the conservative side and say it will increase your chances by 50%).  I’m not mathematician, but if there’s a 50% chance they’ll call—and a 50% chance they won’t call you—and then asking for the interview increases your chances of being called even more, doesn’t that mean that now there’s a 75% chance they’ll call and only a 25% chance they won’t? I don’t know about you, but I’d want to up my response rate and results by asking for the interview. Want to know more about how to ask for the interview and exactly what to say? Check out this article for more information. […]

[…] write a cover letter that guaranteed interviews? This article is right up your alley. Check out the secret to writing a cover letter that guarantees […]

[…] to read more articles like this? Check out 1 Cover Letter Secret that Will Guarantee You Interviews or 5 Things You Should Never Say in Your Cover […]

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The assistive technology in action article is absolutely the best i’ve read today.

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I can’t stand reading long posts, only because i’ve got some dislexia, but i actually enjoyed this post

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Hi Jessica. I am looking for an art teacher job and having a hard time to write a cover letter and a resume. How can you help me and how much would you charge for this service?

Thank you very much.

[…] Resume When You Haven’t Finished Your Degree – Yet? 6 Commonly Misused Words on Your Resume 1 Cover Letter Secret That Will Guarantee You Interviews 50 Strong Action Verbs You Need to Use on Your Resume […]

[…] While keeping all these great little tips in mind, it’s also pertinent to remember that the shorter your cover letter, the better. I recommend going through the steps above to write your cover letter and then going back through it, eliminating any superfluous words or any statements that might come off as canned or “from a template”. Doing so should cut back on any wordiness and shorten the length. Use bullets if/when you can, and when you close your cover letter, don’t forget to state your interest and give them a place where they can find out more about you—your LinkedIn profile, professional blog, or website, etc. Direct them to somewhere they can learn more. A couple of additional cover letter writing tips: – Make sure you proofread your cover letter so that it will not contain spelling errors or grammar errors. – Remember to explain your interest in the position. Be specific about why you are the candidate for the job. – Employers will judge your writing skills by how well-written your cover letter is so be sure to write clearly. – Times new roman is the most overused font in resumes and cover letters. Try to use a different font for a more unique cover letter. – If you are making a career transition make sure that you include transferable skills in your cover letter and elaborate on the connection between them and the position. Use the position description to help you make those connections. – You can include accomplishments in your cover letter just don’t go overboard or write them word-for-word from your resume. – Avoid using a cover letter template if you want a unique cover letter. Effective cover letters are not copies of cover letter templates you found on the internet. – Include action verbs when possible and avoid passive language. My hope is that these tips will help ease the cover letter writing burden for you this year as you launch your 2015 job search. I’d love to hear your favorite tips for a successful cover letter and those you think that will be the most effective in 2015. Here are a few more cover letter articles to help: 1 Cover Letter Secret that will Guarantee Your Interviews […]

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Jessica, I strongly disagree with your advice to not use Times New Roman. The reason it seems overused is because it’s a classic, professional business standard. It communicates to your employer-to-be that you understand how to prepare a formal business letter and communicate in a professional manner. If you don’t like TNR, though, there are several other font choices that can make your letter more personalized, but these are restricted to conservative serif fonts like Cambria. Don’t send a cover letter in a “fun” font like Impact or Comic Sans, and only use a sans-serif font like Arial for the body of an email (which should never take the place of a proper cover letter)!

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This specific also makes the online provider sites mushroom inside the natural world. Even though Indonesia is actually a country of which prohibits gambling activities, that does not mean of which its citizens who are fans of online wagering games cannot access these kind of games.

Thanks to the rapidly building internet technology you may now directly place various types of bets on online football gambling sites such since Asian Handicap, HT or FT, Parlay, etc. An individual can safely access all of these games by means of gambling services provided simply by Depobola.

Depobola is the trusted agent site of which provides various types regarding options including soccer gambling.

Sportsbook games provided by simply Depobola all come through leading gambling providers such as SBOBET and IBCBET.

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Reliable SBOBET and IBCBET Football Gambling Websites The a couple of best gambling companies of which provide soccer gambling video games to date are BOLA TANGKAS and IBCBET.

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How to Format a Cover Letter: Examples & Tips for 2023

I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your cover letter.” Patrick I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work! Dylan  My previous cover letter was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful! George

Cover Letter Format Example

1. how to format a cover letter like a pro, 2. set up your cover letter format: page layout and fonts, 3. format your cover letter header, cover letter heading format — basic template, 4. craft a successful cover letter opening, cover letter format—salutation, 5. write a compelling first paragraph, cover letter format example—opening, 6. let your cover letter format prove that you’re the best candidate, cover letter formatting example —paragraph, 7. make it clear that it’s your dream job, cover letter formatting example—paragraph, 8. add a confident call to action, how to format a cover letter—call to action, 9. follow best practices in cover letter formatting when signing off, 10. cover letter format isn’t everything: don’t forget your resume, cover letter format: frequently asked questions, how to format a cover letter in 2023, how should you format your cover letter when sending it by email, how do i write a good cover letter, what should a cover letter layout look like, what font is best for cover letters, was it interesting here are similar articles.

What to Include in a Cover Letter: Examples of Things to Put

What to Include in a Cover Letter: Examples of Things to Put

33+ Cover Letter Tips and Advice to Stand Out in 2023

33+ Cover Letter Tips and Advice to Stand Out in 2023

20+ Modern Resume Templates [Examples for 2023]

20+ Modern Resume Templates [Examples for 2023]

How to Write a Cover Letter in 2023 | Beginner's Guide

Background Image

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

You’ve perfected your resume. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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:

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:

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

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

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:

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..

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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?

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?

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

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

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:

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…

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    A cover letter, also known as an application letter, is a three- to four-paragraph memo to employers explaining your interest in the job and company and your fitness for the role. It's typically submitted along with your resume in a job application.

  5. Want a Better Cover Letter? Avoid These Extremes

    1. Inquiring vs. Salesy. When you really want a position, your cover letter can veer too far to the inquire side of the spectrum. In other words, you sound like you're asking someone to consider your candidacy, using phrases like "I'd love to be considered" and "I'm eager to apply." But while showing your excitement about a position is ...

  6. How to Show Enthusiasm in Your Cover Letter

    If you take the time to customize your cover letter and share why you're the best person for the job, your enthusiasm will shine through more naturally—and more convincingly. Sara McCord is a freelance writer and editor, who most frequently covers the career beat. For nearly three years, she was an editor at The Muse, and she's regularly ...

  7. 6 ways to write an inspiring cover letter

    All well-crafted cover letters demonstrate your commitment to the hiring company in some form. Do your research and show you are impressed with what they've done or stand for. Make use of...

  8. here's a real-life example of a fantastic cover letter

    • There is no single cover letter in the world that all hiring managers will love or that would be the right fit for every employer and every industry. This one works for the writer's particular context. But I receive letters every week from people telling me that moving in this sort of direction worked for them.

  9. Three excellent cover letter examples

    1. Standard, conservative style This is ideal for sectors such as business, law, accountancy and retail. For more creative sectors, a letter like this might be less appealing, and could work...

  10. The secret formula for the perfect cover letter

    The cover letter is designed to accomplish three things. You want to: 1. Introduce yourself as a person 2. Express your interest in the position 3. Impress someone enough to land an interview It's often assumed that the cover letter is supposed to bridge any gaps between your resume and the role for which you're applying, but that is not the case.

  11. Cover Letters

    The cover letter below was written in response to a specific job posting. Use the tooltips throughout the text to see how the cover letter addresses key points and requirements from the job posting. ... It would be an honor to intern with Warren Miller and help ensure others can enjoy the same live experience. Currently, I am a junior at the ...

  12. 5 Short Cover Letter Samples That Will Get You Hired in 2023

    4. Give Them a Reason to Hire You. In the middle paragraph of your simple cover letter, blend your talents with their needs using the exact keywords from the job advertisement. Include several resume achievements that drive your points home. You can use a bulleted list or a simple paragraph to get your point across.

  13. Free Mentor Cover Letter Example

    It would be an honor to work with ABC Company using my skills to counsel your business development team. Thank you for taking the time to review my application. I hope to speak with you soon. ... Our free mentor cover letter sample serves as a great template for communicating your specific skillset to an employer. Make sure you emphasize your ...

  14. Three Things You Should Include in a Cover Letter

    3. An expression of gratitude. The closing paragraph of your cover letter should express your appreciation for the employer for reviewing your application materials. This may seem trivial, but thanking the employer for looking over your application shows you are courteous and thoughtful, two personality traits employers appreciate in an employee.

  15. 1 Cover Letter Secret That Will Guarantee You Interviews

    The important key to remember is to ask for the interview—and the best place to do so is in the closing paragraph at the bottom of your cover letter. This way, the reader will see it and notice it even if they are just skimming the letter. Close your cover letter by sharing your interest and excitement about the position; use the position ...

  16. How to Write A Cover Letter in 2022 (6 Tips

    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 ...

  17. How to Format a Cover Letter: Examples & Tips for 2023

    GOOD EXAMPLE. Dear Mr. Jones / Dear Ms. Jones, Dear Alex Jones, Dear Alex, Pick the first variant ( Dear Mr. / Ms. Lastname) if you're formatting a cover letter for a federal job or any other position with a formal work environment. Most business cover letters for corporate positions fall under this category, too.

  18. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2023

    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.