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How to write a good cover letter
A cover letter should highlight your motivation to apply for a specific job or opportunity, and demonstrate why you consider yourself to be the best candidate. Your cover letter should refer to particular examples in your CV and describe why these are relevant for the job vacancy you are applying for.
Read the vacancy notice carefully and highlight the skills that relate to the requirements of the position in your cover letter.
Use the keywords when you list your soft skills as mentioned on the vacancy notice (punctual, organised, team-player and so on).
Have short and clear paragraphs that show different aspects clearly.
Get to know the employer
Take time to research the employer to gain valuable insights into the culture of their organisation and make references in your cover letter to one or two key points.
Keep it short
You cover letter should not be longer than one page.
- First paragraph - why you are motivated to apply for the position,
- Second paragraph - how you are the most suitable candidate for the position, and
- Third Paragraph - why the company is a good match for you.
Use formal tone
Use a formal, polite tone and make sure there are no spelling mistakes.
Use simple fonts
Use simple non-decorative font styles, normal font-sizes (11-12) and optimal spacing (1 or 1.5).
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15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application
Published: August 10, 2022
Are cover letters necessary? I'm not in HR, but I've been approached by applicants who wondered whether their cover letter would actually be read. My answer is one not many of them wanted to hear: "sometimes." Sometimes it will be read. Other times, you can get away with just sending in your resume — like when you network your way into applying for a position.
The truth is, you can't really predict on a case-by-case basis — and you're better safe than sorry. For the most part, having a cover letter will give you an upper hand in ways your resume doesn't. It allows you to show off your writing skills, provide details that you couldn't fit on your resume, demonstrate your passion, and show your willingness to put in as much time and effort as possible.
If you’ve ever rolled your eyes or balked at an application that required a cover letter, this guide is for you. We’ll go over how to write a cover letter and provide cover letter templates to help you perfect your own.
An application letter is a written document addressed to an employer by a job applicant, explaining why they're interested in and qualified for an open position. More commonly known as a cover letter, this document can come in the form of an email, MS Word document, or similar application template offered by the employer.
Seems fairly basic, right? Cover letters can hold different levels of importance to an employer depending on the industry you're in and the job you're applying for. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 49% of recruiters say sendign a cover letter along with your resume boosts your chance of landing the role.
If you do plan to write a cover letter, keep in mind there are certain qualities it should have that are not included in the definition above.
What to Include in a Cover Letter
So, what should you include? We'll let the 11 templates below this list do most of the talking. No matter which one you download, pay attention to the following elements — all of which should shine through in the letter you send to your future manager.
5 Free Cover Letter Templates
Fill out this form to access your templates., 1. contact information.
Cover letters shouldn't just carry your contact information, but also that of the company to which you're applying. Contact info includes your phone number, email address, and any social media accounts you're willing to share and receive connections to.
Home addresses aren't required, but they can be a helpful reassurance to the employer that you already live nearby and would have no trouble coming into the office.
Avoid offering phone numbers, email addresses, or actual addresses that belong to your current employer. Using your personal Gmail address over your work email, for example, ensures your correspondence with recruiters remains separate from all of your current work communication.
2. A Personal Address Line
For as often as you see "to whom it may concern" at the top of cover letters today, do your best to avoid writing this exhausted line.
Address lines that specify a person or company grab your reader's attention much more quickly, and show the employer that you've taken the time to tailor your application letter to them. Don't have the name of the hiring manager? "Employers at [company name]" will do just fine.
A "hook" is a clever introduction that "hooks" your reader into wanting to learn more. Think about yourself as a job candidate — what makes you unique? What about your career might a recruiter be intrigued by that you can package into an interesting first sentence?
4. Why You're Qualified
It's a no-brainer that you should summarize your professional experience in your cover letter. However, today's best applications describe why this experience qualifies the applicant for the job they're applying for. For example, don't just state that you spent three years writing for a company blog. Explain that this type of work lends itself to managing your new potential employer's content calendar every week.
5. General Knowledge of the Business
Grammatical errors could mean your application is thrown in the trash, but that's not the only thing that could get your letter tossed aside. Using a generic "one-size-fits-all" cover letter — especially if you forget to change the name of the company — will also hurt your chances of landing an interview.
So, if you take the time to write a cover letter, take the time to comment on the business itself. Why are you applying to this company? What about their business stuck out to you as a professional?
Now, let's take a look at an example cover letter , what makes it effective, along with 11 templates you can download or draw inspiration from.
Cover Letter Example
The example above illustrates how to write a marketing cover letter using the elements we listed.
Besides the contact information and the address line, the first few paragraphs explain why the candidate is qualified for the position. This example uses specific data to show why they would be a good fit.
Additionally, in the second to last paragraph, the candidate discusses why they're interested in the specific company, demonstrating general knowledge of the business.
By combining all the elements to a cover letter, this is a great example to use for inspiration.
Featured Resource: 5 Professional Cover Letter Templates
14 Free Cover Letter Templates for Your Next Job Application
Template 1: basic.
The example above is a basic (but great) cover letter. The numbered sections are explained in more detail below.
The level of formality your header has will depend on the company to which you apply. If you're applying to a formal business, it's important to use a formal header to open your cover letter, like in the sample above. Put your address, the date, and the company's address. But if you're applying to a company that isn't as formal, you don't need to include yours and the company's addresses. You can still include the date, though.
Using "To Whom It May Concern" is okay, but you may want to take the time to research the name of the recruiter or hiring manager online. If you do your research and aren't confident you found the right name, then you should definitely use the generic greeting — but if you are sure, then it shows you put in the effort to find their name and it will catch the recruiter's eye.
If you have the recruiter's name, do you greet them by their full name, or by their courtesy title (i.e. Mr., Ms., or Mrs.)? Similar to the header, it depends on the company's level of formality. If you're applying to a corporate business, you may want to consider using "Mr. Snaper" instead of "Jon Snaper." If you're applying to a start-up or a business with a more casual culture, you can use "Jon Snaper," as shown in the example.
Your opening paragraph should, in 1-3 sentences, state why you're excited to apply and what makes you the perfect candidate. Get right to the point, and don't worry about explaining where you found the posting or who you know at the company. This isn't a place to go into detail about why you're a great candidate — that's for the second paragraph. Here, simply list a few key reasons in one sentence to set up the rest of your letter. Keep in mind that the recruiter may cross-reference your cover letter with your resume, so make sure the two sync up.
4. Paragraph 2: Why You're a Great Fit for the Job
Next, sell yourself and your experience by choosing one or two concrete examples that show why you're a great fit for the position. What did you do at a previous company that gave you relevant experience? Which projects have you worked on that would benefit the new company? How will your prior experience help this company grow? Stay humble in your explanation of credentials while still showing that you would be an asset to the team. Use this paragraph to show you're genuinely excited and interested in the position.
5. Third Paragraph: Why the Company Is a Great Fit for You
While it's certainly important you're a good fit for the job, it's also important that the company is a good fit for you. "A cover letter typically describes why you're great for a company — but how will you benefit from getting hired?" asks former HubSpot Team Development Manager Emily MacIntyre . "We want to know why our company appeals to you, and how it will be a mutually beneficial working relationship."
In the third paragraph, show you're serious about growing and developing your career at this new company. What impresses and excites you about the company? Is there something that you feel strongly about that aligns with the company's goals? For example, the candidate in the sample letter used this space to show his personal commitment to environmental causes aligns with the company's green initiatives.
6. Strong Closer and Signature
Don't get lazy in the final few sentences of your cover letter — it's important to finish strong. Be straightforward about your interest and enthusiasm about the new position, and tell them you're available to talk about the opportunity at any time. Be sure to include your phone number and email address. At this point, the ball is (rightly) in the recruiter's court to decide how to follow up.
Last but certainly not least, thank them for their time and consideration. Use a formal sign-off like "Best," "All the best," or "Sincerely," and finish by typing out your full name. You don't need to sign it with a pen.
Template 2: Data-Driven Marketing Cover Letter
Get it here..
When applying to a data-driven position, it might be tempting to inject your cover letter with, well, the data to describe what you've done for other employers. But in an application letter — particularly for the marketing industry — how you convey this data is just as important as the data itself.
The cover letter template above, which we created here at HubSpot, can help you present the data that's most important to you as a candidate such that it'll matter to your future employer.
Notice the three bullet points near the center of the letter above, preceded by the statement: "... I've developed a strategy that has helped the company achieve ..." This setup is important, because while you can add as many statistics as you want to this template, your data points should describe how your current/former business benefited from your work, rather than how you, yourself, benefited.
Template 3: Straight-to-the-Point Cover Letter
Harvard Business Review contributor David Silverman hailed the above cover letter example as "The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received." For context, Silverman believes there are only a handful of times when writing a cover letter is actually necessary:
- When you know the name of the hiring manager.
- When you know something about what the job requires.
- When you've been referred to the job personally.
Under those three circumstances, a straight-to-the-point cover letter like the one above could be your best bet. Because it's so concise, however, make a point to add your own letterhead above the message itself. It might be easy for a recruiter to sift through a short and sweet cover letter like the one above, but it's just as easy for it to get lost in the shuffle of their application list without a unique design or format.
Template 4: Referral Cover Letter
Just because a friend or colleague recommended you for a job doesn't mean the company is all set to hire you. Therefore, the cover letter template above is written specifically for referrals. We made this one here at HubSpot. Download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).
As you can see in the picture above, the first paragraph of the cover letter is dedicated entirely to acknowledging the circumstances of your applying: You know someone who works there — no harm in that. But there might be harm in not mentioning it to the hiring manager. Telling the reader about your connection at the company shows you're aware and confident of the actions you take to get the opportunities you're interested in.
Ultimately, it's better than the recruiter hearing about your employee connection from somebody else.
As for the rest of the cover letter, treat your message the same way you would if you had applied with no connection from within. Your skills and successes are no less important because of your internal referral.
Template 5: Photo Letterhead Cover Letter
The cover letter template above was designed by Microsoft Office, and as comprehensive as it looks, it's completely free to download and modify.
As it looks right now, this cover letter contains about half photo, half text. Feel free to shrink (and change) the image to give yourself more room to tell your story. Of course, a nice washed-out image that expresses who you are can be part of that story ...
Template 6: Digital Creative Cover Letter
This sixth template is perfect for the applicant who wants to emphasize the many different digital channels they areon. This template goes well with a resume of the same format.
As you personalize this letter with your own experience, make note of the social networks and industry software included in this template. You'll see there’s additional space along the top to add your LinkedIn and personal website to fill with your own information.
You can improve upon this template by formatting your most important highlights and accomplishments with bullet points. This will make the document easier to read for the hiring manager and emphasizes the value you provide.
Template 7: Marketing Manager Cover Letter
Our seventh cover letter comes from Monster.com. This cover letter, shown above, is focused specifically on a marketing role.
Notice how the writer includes references to important marketing metrics and terminology. If you're applying to a data-driven role, you might not want to fill the page with a story of your experience in paragraph form, like Template 1 does at the beginning of this article. Instead, consider highlighting three (or four, or five) of your successes that you believe the hiring manager would resonate most with, in bulleted form.
As a marketing professional, breaking up your letter with bulleted details like the ones above shows a respect for the hiring manager's limited time — a mentality that all marketers must understand when communicating with a brand's audience.
Template 8: Career Day Follow-Up Cover Letter
This is a unique kind of cover letter from Princeton University.
LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and Indeed might take the lion's share of your job searches online, but still some employment opportunities come out of a trade show, job fair, or similar networking event. For those occurrences, you have the follow-up cover letter template above.
This cover letter has everything you need to help an employer recall a conversation you had with him/her at a career fair. As you can see in the second paragraph, the letter is particularly useful to people who are about to graduate college.
Template 9: Logo and Watermarked Cover Letter
Here's another cover letter template from Microsoft Office. This one has a light touch of color in the design just above the letterhead, but make no mistake — the template caters to any professional looking to make a good first impression on their future employer.
Don't let the logo space on the top-right of the page confuse you. This can be the logo of the company to which you're applying — to quickly get the attention of the recruiter — or your own logo. Perhaps you freelance on the side or simply like branding yourself. This cover letter template is meant for customization.
Template 10: Data Scientist Cover Letter
The text emphasizes how the applicant’s academic research and projects makes them an ideal candidate for the position. The format is also simple enough to submit as a pdf, as text in an email message or an application text box.
Template 11: Business Cover Letter
The cover letter template above is perfect for entry- and mid-level marketers who want to show a little extra professionalism in their opening note to a potential employer.
The multi-colored header (you can change the color if you wish) shows just the right amount of creativity and can go quite well with a resume of the same style. If you don't have enough experience to fill the entire page, don't worry. Feel free to write to a length you think is representative of who you are and what the hiring manager wants to see.
No matter how long your final cover letter is, the above template is your opportunity to show your attention to detail — from your contact information in the top header, to the personalized address line where you can include the name of the hiring manager. Like we said, "to whom it may concern" is pretty outdated, anyway.
Template 12: Entry-Level Cover Letter
The cover letter template above, written by HubSpot, is specifically designed for entry-level applicants.
When you only have a few years experience, it's important to display how you gained your skills and what you learned from your education or internships. Additionally, it's important to mention why you want to work at the company you're applying to.
No matter your experience, the template above will help you decide what skills you want to highlight and flesh out in your cover letter.
You can download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).
Template 13: Healthcare Cover Letter
Additionally, phrases like "I'd love to put my skills to work for your clinic" and "Please contact me at your convenience and let me know how I can help you" focus on what the business will gain as a result of hiring the applicant, rather than what the applicant is looking to gain.
Template 14: Freelance Cover Letter
If you're looking for freelance work, your biggest goal is to get your strengths across quickly, so busy clients won't pass by your cover letter entirely. Additionally, if you're sending out multiple cover letters to different clients, you'll want to target each one to that client's unique goals.
For instance, if one client is looking for SEO-optimized content related to marketing, you'll want to highlight past experience writing marketing content; this will change if, for instance, the client is looking for fitness content.
For this reason, it's a good idea to structure your cover letter so you start with a) past credentials or references, and b) bullet-point information related to the client's goal, as shown in the cover letter above.
Template 15: Director Cover Letter
In the cover letter above, the candidate does a good job outlining how she succeeded in a leadership role previously: "For the past five years, I have successfully developed and maintained all data systems, including schedules and records for a business employing more than 100 people."
You'll want to demonstrate how your skills align with a Director position — both through organization and leadership — and, when possible, where you received recognition for your hard work (i.e. "I earned an award for Most Valuable Administrative Staff Member").
Write a Winning Cover Letter
Writing a cover letter is easier said than done. Don't hesitate to spend a lot of time writing and editing it. Or, ask a friend or family member to read it over and give you feedback. If the recruiter does end up reading it, you'll be thankful you did.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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How to Write a Cover Letter for Any Job in 8 Steps (2023)
You need to write a cover letter, but what is a cover letter, exactly? And what’s the best way to write it? Learn how to write a cover letter the best way with tips from experts.
As seen in:
Unlike a resume, a cover letter lets you introduce yourself to the hiring manager, provide context for your achievements and qualifications, and explain your motivation to join the company.
But you can’t just write a cover letter. It has to be perfect. So… How do you write the ideal cover letter? You know—the kind of letter that will make the employer call you up in the middle of the night? Give us 10 minutes, and you’ll know how to write a cover letter like that.
This guide will show you:
- How to write a cover letter for a job application better than 9 out of 10 others.
- A sample cover letter that will get you more interviews.
- Cover letter writing tips and hacks to boost your chances of landing a job.
- Step-by-step instructions for making a cover letter in our online builder.
Have a specific job in mind? Find the right cover letter sample for your job among Cover Letter Examples for All Professions
And if you experience writer’s block, let us write your cover letter for you. Tell us your name, job title, and years of experience to get an automatically generated cover letter in less than a minute. Pick from 18+ cover letter templates and match your resume!
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Sample cover letter for a resume— See more cover letter samples here .
What Is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a document attached to a job application designed to introduce the candidate in a more personal way. It should complement the information from a resume or CV, expanding on the skills and achievements and highlighting a selection of the most relevant accomplishments.
See? It’s not rocket science. It’s just a letter that supports your job application.
What Is the Purpose of a Cover Letter?
There are several reasons hiring managers request cover letters, and job applicants should write them. The main reason is that the cover letter can provide additional, more personal information—something difficult to grasp reading a resume. But it also:
- Makes you stand out from other applicants
- Expresses your interest in the position
- Shows your knowledge about the company
- Presents how your skills and experience can assist the company
- Proves you understand the needs of the company
And that’s why it’s worth spending some time writing a great cover letter that does all of the above. So let’s learn how to.
How to Write a Cover Letter
Watch the video to uncover the simple truth of writing a cover letter for a job:
Worried you might miss something? You can relax. We’ve got a checklist guide for you: What to Include in a Cover Letter
Let’s now move on to detailed instructions on how to write a successful cover letter:
1. Start With a Header
Ideally, your cover letter header should be the same as in your resume for consistency. So use the same template and don’t worry about the design. If you prefer to make one from scratch, though, include the following contact information:
- Telephone number
- Email address
Pro Tip: If you send your cover letter via email , don’t use your current work email address. It’s impolite to your current and potential employer.
2. Address the Reader
Once you’re done with the header, mention the location and date of writing. Then follow with your reader’s details like this:
Use the below template to format yours:
[Hiring Manager’s or Recruiter’s Name]
[Hiring Manager’s or Recruiter’s Job Title]
Now, address your cover letter directly to the hiring manager, no two ways about it. And use their name in the cover letter salutation . According to the study , we tend to react actively to hearing or seeing one’s name. Use that knowledge to catch their attention.
Choose from the below examples of professional cover letter greetings:
Pro Tip: Wondering whether you should use the hiring manager’s first or last name? That depends on the company culture. Use the first name if you’re applying to a relaxed, casual company. For corporate cover letters, it’s safer to use the addressee's last name.
To find the hiring manager’s name, look into the job description to see if the recruiter left their name or go to the company’s LinkedIn page. You should find people there responsible for uploading the job offers.
If you can’t find the name by any means possible, opt for Dear Hiring Manager . Avoid starting your cover letter with To Whom It May Concern like the plague. And if you’re not living in Victorian England, don’t start a cover letter with Dear Sir or Madam either.
3. Make a Proper Introduction
Here’s the brutal truth: these few sentences at the beginning of your cover letter will determine whether the hiring manager will read on. So you need to start your cover letter in a way that attracts and holds the reader’s interest.
There are a few different, effective strategies for your cover letter opening . You can highlight your achievements, display your passion and enthusiasm, or drop names.
Have a look at these two sample cover letter opening paragraphs:
Why is the wrong example so bad? Because it provides no value and details, the bottom line is: “I’ve already done this job, so I think I’d fit in.” And it’s not enough for someone with more than eight years of experience to get the job.
No achievements yet? Don’t worry. We’ve got a dedicated guide to show you how to write a good cover letter and land your dream internship: Internship Cover Letter
4. Explain Why You’re the Perfect Fit
Your second paragraph needs to give the hiring manager what they’re looking for and show that you’ll satisfy the company’s specific needs.
Remember Jane, our digital marketing manager candidate? The XYZ company she applies to needs:
- First of all, a savvy digital marketing manager (1) .
- And, on top of that, someone who will supervise the development of their new online portal (2) .
Let’s look at how Jane managed to show that she’s both:
Wondering how to say that in your cover letter ? In the first sentence, prove that you’re an expert in your field but don’t keep on bragging. The remaining part should be all about how your previous experiences will help your future employer press ahead with their plans.
Job seekers impress employers by identifying transferable skills related to new positions. People often apply to new positions, so it’s likely you’ll not have the exact experience requested. But employers would rather know how your past experiences will inform future decisions. You were a hostess? Relate those management and organizational skills to the Executive Assistant position. Lauren Little Career Coach
5. Show Your Motivation to Join the Company
Your future employers have needs . If they’re willing to hire you, it’s because they think you’ll satisfy those needs. But they also want you to enjoy working with them—that way, they know you’re more likely to stay with them for longer.
The key to writing a perfect third paragraph is showing the hiring manager why you want this job, not just any job. This is particularly important when making an entry-level cover letter . Enthusiasm and passion help prove you'll hit the ground running.
Have a look at these cover letter examples:
Above all, you want to avoid writing too much of a general cover letter . Generic doesn't win jobs; tailored and targeted does.
Pro tip: If you're looking to work for a company but there aren't any open positions, try writing a letter of interest for a job . It's a great way of uncovering vacancies that aren't even advertised.
6. Close With a Promise
How to make the best cover letter ending? By providing value. The worst mistakes you can make in the final paragraph are coming off needy, focusing on how much you want the job, not on what you have to offer, and repeating the clichéd phrase “Thank you for your consideration and your time.”
Instead, tell the hiring manager that you’re looking forward to meeting in person and discussing how your experience and knowledge can help your future employer fulfill their goals. Like here:
Trying to find exciting ways to end your cover letter, but to no avail? See how to write a convincing final paragraph here: How to Successfully Close a Cover Letter
Want to save time and have your professional job application ready in minutes? Here are a sample cover letter and a matching resume made using Zety builder. Pick a cover letter template and build a coordinating job application.
See more cover letter samples and start writing.
7. Stay Formal in the Closing Salutation
Once you’ve written the body of your cover letter, you just need to put a formal closing at the very end. Write “Sincerely” and follow it with your full name. Adding your handwritten signature is optional, but it’s recommended for more formal cover letters.
If you’re not a fan of the well-worn “Sincerely,” feel free to use any of the following:
- Best regards,
- Kind regards,
- Respectfully yours,
- With best regards,
8. Add a Postscript
All of the above sections are must-haves in a good cover letter format. But there’s one special trick you can use—the postscript. Why is it so important? Because it’s like a magnet for the hiring manager’s eyes that screams: “you cannot miss this information.”
Use the postscript to tell the hiring manager about something impressive about your career, even if it’s not strictly related to the job opening. And say that you’d be happy to provide them with more details if they find it interesting.
9. Double-Check the Formatting
Before you hit send, make sure your cover letter formatting is intact. Here’s everything you need to know:
- Choose a legible cover letter font like Arial or Garamond, and keep it between 10 and 12 points in font size.
- Set even margins on all sides. 1-inch margins should be perfect.
- Left-align all your contents.
- Use double cover letter spacing between paragraphs and 1–1.15 between lines.
- Be sure to keep your cover letter length to one page.
- Title your cover letter by JobTitle—CoverLetter—YourName .
- Let your cover letter layout stay intact en route to the recruiter by saving the file in PDF.
The final step of writing your cover letter is, in fact, checking up on your resume to see if they both match the job requirements. Make sure you meet your hiring manager's expectations to the best of your ability.
How to Write a Cover Letter Using an Online Builder
Not enough time? Or maybe a few too many jobs to apply for? Try giving an online cover letter builder a go to write and tailor your cover letter in a flash.
Let’s walk you through the five stages of making a cover letter in the Zety builder:
1. Choose Where to Start
Depending on your preference, you can either create a cover letter from scratch or use the resume upload feature. The latter allows you to import the information from your resume into the cover letter, and it proves useful when applying for multiple jobs. (Of course, assuming you tailored your resume to every job description you’re after!)
2. Target the Specific Job
Now’s the time to detail your cover letter. Let us know which position you’re chasing, along with the company name.
Based on the position you selected, pick your top skills that should make it to the cover letter. But! Choose wisely. Recruiters may not treat all skills with the same importance. Use the job description to find out which are the most desired and highlight them in the letter.
3. Include Your Background Information
Choose how many years of relevant experience you have, which also involves internships or volunteer gigs . Depending on your selection, you’ll be prompted to say more about your education or work history.
If you have any gaps in your employment , you’ll also have a chance to disclose and explain them.
4. Establish Your Working Style
As the final part, help us personalize your cover letter by selecting the working style that best describes you. This will set the right tone for your application.
5. Double-Check and Download
Once you’re done filling out the information, see if there’s everything you expected. There might be cover letter sections that you need but which aren’t the default. Don’t worry! By using the Add Section function, you can include information detailing, for example, your availability or expected salary.
Now that you have the contents ready, use the bar below to swap the templates, pick the correct formatting, or choose colors. Keep in mind that it’s best when your cover letter matches your resume.
Et voilà! Your cover letter is ready. Download it in either .docx or PDF format, depending on your recruiter's wishes.
For the final thought on how to write a cover letter in 8 steps:
- Ensure your contact info in the header is correct.
- Address your hiring manager or recruiter personally.
- Attract their attention in the introduction.
- Use your experience to prove you're the exact match to the company's needs.
- Explain your motivation and fit for the position.
- Finish with a call to action and ask for a meeting.
- Be formal in the closing sentiment.
- Include a postscript.
Or use the cover letter builder to remember it all for you!
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Do you have any questions about how to make a cover letter? Want to share an example of a cover letter? Give us a shout in the comments, and we’ll reply!
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Write a Cover Letter
What is a cover letter.
A cover letter is a formal letter that accompanies a CV or a resume . It includes a candidate’s introduction and an overview of the candidate’s qualifications , skills, and accomplishments most relevant to the job they’re pursuing. The cover letter also serves to express the candidate’s interest in the position and the company, as well as eagerness to contribute to the company’s success. It can also help to explain employment gaps .
What are the four parts of a cover letter?
- Cover letter header with your contact information such as full name, phone number, and email address
- Cover letter introduction with your hiring manager’s address and a hook that hypes the reader up so much that they can’t stop reading
- Cover letter body with a description of your significant accomplishments and strengths that you’ll bring to the table. (Beware! It’s not a copy of your resume.)
- Cover letter closing with a call to action and your signature
What should a cover letter say?
That you’re the one. That you want them, but that they want you, too. That you’re the solution to their problems. That’s what your cover letter should say .
And you can achieve all of that by having a number of things in your cover letter :
- action verbs and power words
- accomplishment statements
- organized cover letter layout , and
- enthusiastic but determined tone of voice
How to write a simple cover letter?
To make cover letter writing simple, you need to know a couple of things first:
- Create proper cover letter formatting before putting down words. You’ll ensure a correct structure and that you’ll fit onto one page with your cover letter.
- Find your hiring manager’s or recruiter’s name. By personalizing your cover letter, you have a higher chance of landing the gig.
- Create a list of job keywords you need to target with your application. Have a look at the job ad and mark those words which speak of necessary qualifications and qualities. Then use them in your paragraphs.
- Never lie in your job application .
- And lastly, do as extensive research about the company as possible. The intricate details about their mission, values, and vision will help you find an angle to write your cover letter.
How to write a cover letter for an internship?
A cover letter to an internship resume is a fantastic way to shoo away your competition. So don't hesitate and write a cover letter for an internship you’ve dreamt of for too long.
First and foremost, prove to your potential employer that you’re worth hiring, and that they’re a great company to work for. Do your research and don’t be shy to show what you’ve learned. Later use that knowledge to give away your connection to the company and its values. Show your transferable skillset and achievements, and let your determination and motivation do their magic.
How to write a cover letter for 2023?
In 2023, write your cover letter with these simple steps:
- Create a consistent look by mirroring a resume header to your template.
- Make a clean cover letter layout to keep enough whitespace on the page.
- Find an angle to write your cover letter—motivation to advance, shared values or mission statement, recent developments in the industry. Doing thorough research always helps.
- Start your cover letter with a relevant accomplishment that makes the reader want to carry on.
- Create a smooth transition from the hook through your strengths to motivation in 3 to 4 paragraphs, tops.
- Call your recruiter to action in the cover letter closing and ask for a meeting with you.
Is a cover letter necessary?
Almost half of the recruiters reject applications without a cover letter. Cover letters are a treat for those who still care to hire dedicated professionals. (And that’s you, right?)
It’s no surprise, though, that you’re questioning whether a cover letter is necessary . The entire job application process can be exhausting, so cutting down on documents you have to produce always seems like a good idea. But not this time.
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Do I Need a Cover Letter? Are Cover Letters Necessary in 2023
Do I need a cover letter? Is it important? What if the job offer doesn’t require a cover letter? Read this guide to find out all you need to know.
What Does the Best Cover Letter Look Like in 2023
Not sure what a cover should look like? Confused by all the contrasting guidelines? Here’s an article that will straighten out all your queries once and for all.
5 Short Cover Letter Examples for Any Job (+ Writing Guide)
Today’s hiring process is fast and furious. Don’t waste the recruiter’s time—see our 5 short cover letter examples and learn how to make every word count.
Sample cover letter for Full Time position at European Commission
Directorate-general for education and culture.
I am sending you this letter along with my CV to clarify my interest for the position .....
Having completed my primary education in The American College of...., my university studies in the field of economics and my master studies in the field of Business Administration, all with distinction grades, granted scholarships and ranked first, I have proved that I have managed to excel in every academic venture and I am therefore strongly convinced that I could be a valuable asset to your team.
Furthermore, having graduated from the National School of Public Administration and Local Government as an elite public servant and being employed in the field of vocational training for adults for the last 5 years, I would be delighted to bring this knowledge in your team and to see how it can be implemented in an EU-level, also exchanging best practices with peers from all over the world. In my current position, I am specifically responsible for the overall procedure for implementation of training programmes (planning, management, evaluating, re-planning), and I have acquired skills that could be well applied in the EAC A3 position.
I am also strongly motivated to apply for this particular position, since I myself have participated in Erasmus Programme when I was a student in University and I am therefore higly sensitive to similar actions.
Last, but not least, you will note from my CV that I have a very strong personal interest in any issue related to volunteerism, student exchanges, sports, and lifelong learning. This, along with my expertise in the field of vocational training and adult learning, my rich experience in travelling abroad and participating in various volunteering programmes, as well as my first-hand experience of the Erasmus Programme, can help me better understand the context your Unit operates in and give me the confidence that I can perform my best in this specific vacancy of the European Commission.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application.
German Cover Letter Guide [With English Sample]
Updated February 14, 2023
A cover letter ( Anschreiben ) might be the least important thing of the application in some countries; however, not so in Germany. Depending on the company and recruiter receiving your application, a German cover letter might be the most essential part.
A survey conducted by Harris Interactive states that 39% of all recruiting managers in Germany ignore an application without a cover letter. A job application letter conveys your level of professionalism, research capabilities, and ability to sell yourself without much fluff.
Table of Contents
Simple German Cover Letter Sample In English
A cover letter in Germany ( Anschreiben ) needs to complement your CV , but not repeat it. You can regard a cover letter as a letter of motivation filled with examples and facts. A cover letter in Germany is a very formal document that should follow a particular layout.
Related Guide: German CV Template in English
Our German-Style CV Template In English helps you to craft a killer CV. We have also created a German cover letter sample in English for you to understand what your finished document should look like.
To save you loads of time, you can download our German cover letter template . Simply go to ‘file’ and select ‘ make a copy ‘. You can then edit it to your needs.
How To Write A Cover Letter In Germany?
We will walk you step-by-step through the areas you should include in a German cover letter. You will also learn about what the content of the cover letter should convey.
German Cover Letter Formal Format
As mentioned before, the German cover letter is a very formal letter that should follow the following format for it to look familiar to the German eye:
- Maximum one page and don’t fill it up completely. Leave enough white space when glancing over it.
- Put your full address, including email (ideally including your name) and phone number, in the top right corner.
- Put the company’s full address on the left with one paragraph below your address. Include the name of the contact person in the second line.
- Place the date of your application right-aligned underneath the addresses.
As you might know already, Germany has tons of rules, regulations, and guidelines. Naturally, there is also a guideline for professional letter writing and correspondence, the so-called DIN 5008 norm . It states the following margins on a DIN A4 (standard German letter paper format):
Left margin: 2,5 cm Right margin: 2,0 cm Top margin: 4,5 cm Bottom margin: 2,5 cm
Please take this information with a grain of salt. Not following this layout does not mean that any German manager or recruiter will ignore your cover letter; however, the German eye is trained and used to reading this format. Anything appearing too much out of the ordinary might get noticed negatively. Again, you can shine with your cover letter’s content, but don’t try to stand out with the format unintentionally.
1. Subject Line
The subject line in a German cover letter needs to stand out. It needs to convey with one look what position you are applying for, and you should bold it.
The salutation is extremely important – the more personalized, the better. Reflect your understanding of the company’s culture by using the first name or last name; however it is appropriate. If you can’t find enough information or are unsure, always refer to the last name. If you can’t find the relevant person’s name, don’t be shy and pick up the phone to find out more. This shows initiative and determination.
When it comes to the cover letter’s main body, you should try to stick to four paragraphs. Remember to point out what value you will bring to the company, not what you can get from the company. Your cover letter’s content needs to reflect the expectations and requirements mentioned in the job ad. So make sure to connect the dots and position yourself ahead of other candidates.
Introduction (3 – 4 lines)
The introduction should answer why you are applying for the position and how you became aware of it (through a friend, an employee at the company, a job portal, etc.). Be confident in your word choice. Don’t use insecure words such as ‘I think I would be a good fit’ but rather ‘I am confident that I will contribute to …’.
Second paragraph (5 – 6 lines)
Now it is time to shine with your skills, experience, and qualifications. Never just list things, but choose the relevant achievements and prove them with results. Don’t only refer to achievements in your work life, but if relevant, also mention efforts with private projects. This will show your personality, drive, and willingness to learn and grow beyond what you get paid for. It is absolutely ok to also write in bullet list style in this part, as long as you don’t just list things.
Third paragraph (5 – 6 lines)
After you have showcased yourself, it is time to translate how these experiences and skills will contribute to the role and company. Convey that you have taken the time to research the company by referring to the company culture, possible awards the company has won, or projects that inspire and motivate you. Be authentic and confident.
Closure (3 – 4 lines)
To close your cover letter:
- Reemphasize your eagerness to join the company in the relevant position.
- Describe your future goals and the value you can bring to the company.
- State when you will be available to start work.
- Emphasize that you’d be happy to answer any questions via phone or in a personal interview .
- Only mention salary expectations if they are asked for in the job ad.
- Be sure to sign the cover letter with your name.
Add the word ‘Enclosure’ ( Anlage ) underneath your signature. List all the additional documents you will hand in with your application, like your CV, certificates and diplomas, reference letter, etc.
Further Cover Letter and Job Applications Tips
Don’t use the same CV and cover letter for different applications. As mentioned above, you must individualize your application to each company’s needs and requirements.
If you send your application directly by email, you have two options. You can either make the email body your cover letter. In this case, remove the address and date part from the email and place the subject line in the email’s actual subject. The body of the email remains a formal letter, though.
Or you can attach the cover letter to the email and briefly point out your application to the specific position in the body of the email, referring to the attachments.
Ensure that any attachment always has the pdf format, regardless of whether you send it by email or upload it to an online application system. Also, pay attention to the naming of the attachments and keep it clear and professional.
Your job application, namely your resume and cover letter, should answer the recruiter’s main three questions:
- Can you do the job? (Skills)
- Will you do the job? (Motivation)
- Will you fit in with the company culture? (Personality)
Be sure to evaluate your documents based on these questions before you hand them in. The goal of your CV and cover letter is to get an invitation for a job interview .
Related Guide: Job Interview In Germany [How-To + Tips In English]
We hope that you now have a better understanding of how a German cover letter looks and feels like. But never forget to adapt your cover letter and application to the style of the company you are applying for. There is a big difference in culture between a young international StartUp and a big traditional German enterprise.
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Cover letters add context to your CV and allow you to sell your skills and experience to potential employers. To make the best of this opportunity discover how to write a cover letter and take a look at our examples for inspiration
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a document sent alongside your CV when applying for jobs. It acts as a personal introduction and helps to sell your application. A cover letter is necessary as it gives you the chance to explain to an employer why you're the best candidate for the job. You do this by highlighting relevant skills and experience; therefore you should always write your cover letter with the position you're applying for in mind.
Not to be confused with personal statements for your CV , cover letters should complement your CV but not duplicate it. The general consensus among recruiters when it comes to the length of these documents is the shorter the better. Typically three to five short paragraphs, cover letters should not exceed one A4 page.
If sending electronically, put the text in the body of the email rather than as an attachment, to avoid it being detected by spam filters.
Applications should always include a cover letter unless the job advert instructs you differently.
How to write a cover letter
Before writing your cover letter it's important that you do your research. While reading the job description thoroughly is essential, it's often not enough. To help you craft a successful cover letter discover more about:
- who will be reading your cover letter
- the organisation and its culture
- the industry it operates in and any relevant news
- company competitors and market position.
- the organisations goals over the next five years.
When writing your cover letter keep it brief, while making sure it emphasises your suitability for the job. It can be broken down into the following sections:
- First paragraph - The opening statement should set out why you're writing the letter. Begin by stating the position you're applying for, where you saw it advertised and when you are available to start.
- Second paragraph - Highlight relevant experience and demonstrate how your skills match the specific requirements of the job description. Summarise any additional strengths and explain how these could benefit the company.
- Third paragraph - Cover why you're suitable for the job, what attracted you to this type of work, why you're interested in working for the company and what you can offer the organisation. This is a good opportunity to show off your knowledge of the company.
- Last paragraph - Use the closing paragraph to round up your letter. Reiterate your interest in the role and indicate your desire for a personal interview. Now is the time to mention any unavailable dates.
Once finished read through the document and cut out any unnecessary words and sentences. Don't fill up space by repeating what's already covered in your CV. As a general rule only mention your current salary or salary expectations if the employer has specifically asked you to do so in the job description. If you're asked to include this information put it between the third and last paragraphs.
Unless the job advert states differently (for example, it may ask you to provide your CV and cover letter as a Word document) save with a .PDF file extension to make sure it can be opened and read on any machine. Windows PCs and Macs don't always work in harmony - Windows use a .docx file extension and Macs .pages but if the recruiter uses the opposite system they may not be able to open your file. Using a .PDF file extension should solve this.
If you need help with your CV take a look at how to write a CV .
How to address a cover letter
Always try and address your cover letter directly to the person who will be reading it. Bear in mind that you're more likely to receive a reply if you send it to the right person.
If you're struggling to find a named contact you can use a general greeting such as:
- Dear Sir/Madam
- Dear Hiring manager
- Dear Human resources director.
However, general greetings should only be used once you have exhausted methods of finding a named contact.
How to sign off
How you sign off your cover letter depends on how you addressed it. If you include a named contact, sign off 'Yours sincerely'. If you use a general greeting, finish with 'Yours faithfully'.
Example cover letters
- Sample cover letter - Used to highlight your skills and experience and to express your suitability and passion for the job, cover letters are used to encourage recruiters to look at your CV. Attention to detail is crucial and spelling, grammar and formatting needs to be spot on. Take a look at our sample cover letter for inspiration on how to craft the perfect document.
- Speculative cover letter - These can sometimes be an effective method of creating an opportunity. To ensure that speculative cover letters are successful you'll need to do your research on the company you're applying to. Using our cover letter template, discover what to include in speculative applications.
- Cover letter by a Masters graduate - You probably embarked on a Masters to expand your subject knowledge, gain industry contacts and improve your job prospects but to really make it work you need to know how to sell your postgraduate qualification to employers.
- Cover letter for a jobseeker with no experience - It can be tough applying for a job with no experience but our example cover letter shows you how to promote yourself to an employer if you haven't got any directly related work experience.
- Explaining a gap in your CV - Knowing how to navigate around large gaps in your CV can be tricky but it's a mistake to try and gloss over them. Your cover letter is the perfect place to explain these gaps in your employment history to potential employers. Take a look at our sample cover letter to find out how to go about it.
- Cover letter for changing career - Find out how to explain a change of direction in our example cover letter for career changers. You'll need to cover why you want to change career (briefly - save the nitty-gritty for your interview) and relate your past experience and wealth of skills to the industry/job you’re applying to.
- Cover letter by an international graduate - If you'd like to expand your horizons by working abroad, take a look at our cover letter of an international student applying for a job in the UK and apply these principles to the country of your choice.
- Disclosing a disability - Just like your gender, marital status and dependants your disability doesn't affect your ability to do a job and you're not legally required to disclose it on your CV or in your cover letter. However, if you would like to disclose a disability to outline any adjustments you may need, this sample cover letter will show you how.
- Internship cover letter - To set yourself above the competition you need to successfully sell your relevant skills and experience while conveying your passion for the role. As well as explaining to employers what the opportunity could do for you you'll need to communicate what you could do for the company. Discover how to craft the perfect application for a formal internship with our internship cover letter template.
- Apprenticeship cover letter - Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular route into work, as well as a great alternative to university. Find out how to apply for these roles with our apprenticeship cover letter example.
For inspiration and guidance on crafting a CV see example CVs .
5 tips for the perfect cover letter
With employers often receiving lots of applications for each vacancy, you need to ensure that your cover letter makes a lasting impression for the right reasons. Here are some tips to increase your chances of success:
- Tailor to the organisation - You should rewrite your cover letter every time you apply for a position in order to target the company. Sending out a generic letter for all applications rarely yields positive results and recruiters can spot your lack of time and effort from a mile away.
- Format - Presentation is important so you'll need to format your cover letter properly. Make sure the document is as uncluttered as possible, use the same font and size as you use in your CV and if you're sending it through the post or handing it in use good quality plain white paper to print it on.
- Identify your USPs - They're your unique selling points. Be positive about what you have to offer and clearly outline how your skills and experience meet those requested in the job description. Demonstrate why you're the perfect candidate.
- Include examples - Back up the claims in your cover letter with real evidence or examples that show how and when you've used your skills and experience.
If you're a student or recent graduate you can make an appointment with your university's careers and employability service to access further help when writing your cover letter. You'll be able to talk with specially-trained advisers, get advice on what to include and have a professional eye look over your application before sending.
To make sure you don’t trip up read about the 5 things to avoid when writing a cover letter .
Find out more
- Learn more about applying for jobs .
- For those who've graduated and are ready to find work, explore the Office for Students' (OfS) Graduate employment and skills guide (2021).
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Sample cover letter for job application in Germany in English. To save you loads of time, you can download our German cover letter template.
Build your cover letter in a few simple steps. Just choose a template that coordinates with your resume, fill in the blanks, and download it instantly.
Sample cover letter - Used to highlight your skills and experience and to express your suitability and passion for the job, cover letters are used to encourage