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How to Write an Effective Application Letter (Examples)

By Status.net Editorial Team on November 15, 2023 — 9 minutes to read

Your application letter should be a clear reflection of you, your skills, and your aspirations. It’s essential to tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for and showcase how you meet the requirements. Stay with us as we walk you through the tips, tricks, and best practices to make your letter shine. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to navigate the job application process with ease.

Step 1. Introduction: Expressing Interest

The opening line.

Your opening line should grab the reader’s attention, briefly introduce yourself, and express your interest in the position. This is your opportunity to make an excellent first impression, so keep it clear and concise. For example, you could start with:

“As an experienced marketing professional, I was thrilled to see the opportunity for a Marketing Manager position at X Company.”

Revealing the Source of Information

Next, it’s important to mention where you found out about the job opening. This helps recruiters understand where their outreach efforts are effective and demonstrates that you’ve done your homework. Reference the specific platform, such as a job board or company website, or mention the person who referred you to the position. Here are a couple of examples:

“I came across this position on LinkedIn and believe my skillset aligns perfectly with the job requirements.” or
“Jane Brown, the Sales Director at your company, suggested I apply for this role, as she believes my experience in customer service is a great fit for the team.”

Step 2. Body: Detailing Qualifications

Pitching your skills.

When writing an application letter, it’s essential to showcase your skills. Start by listing the most relevant ones based on the job description. Be specific and mention how you’ve used these skills in previous projects or work settings. For example:

“As a project manager, I have successfully managed teams of up to 20 members, ensuring timely delivery of projects while maintaining a high level of quality.”

Use bullet points or bold text to make your skills stand out. This way, the reader gets a clear picture of your capabilities.

Referencing Your Experience

After listing your skills, provide details about your work experience. Start with the most recent position and include the name of the company, your job title, and the duration of employment. Focus on the responsibilities that match the job opening. For instance:

“During my tenure at X Corp as a marketing executive, I was responsible for coordinating marketing campaigns, managing social media channels, and conducting market research.”

Don’t forget to mention any relevant internships or volunteer work. This information will help paint a complete picture of your expertise.

Demonstrating Your Achievement

Lastly, highlight your accomplishments and show the potential employer why you’re a perfect fit. Use concrete examples and mention any quantifiable results you’ve achieved. For example:

“At ABC Inc., I initiated a cost-reduction program that saved the company $50,000 within six months.”

You can also mention any awards or recognitions you’ve received for outstanding work. This demonstrates that your contributions have been valued and recognized by others.

Step 3. Concluding Your Letter

Seeking further communication.

By the time you reach the end of your application letter, it’s important to express your desire for further communication with the potential employer. This shows that you’re genuinely interested in the opportunity and eager to continue the conversation. Example:

“I am excited about the prospect of contributing to your company’s goals, and I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further with you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at your earliest convenience. Thank you for considering my application.”

Final Goodbye

After expressing your eagerness, close your letter with a polite and professional farewell, addressing the recipient by name where possible. This is not only courteous, but it also leaves a positive and lasting impression. Example:

“ I look forward to your response and the possibility of working together. Once again, thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, [Your Name]”

Proper Letter Ending

The complimentary close.

Start by choosing an appropriate complimentary close for your application letter. This part signifies the end of the main content and should leave a professional impression. Some common examples are “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” or “Yours faithfully.” Keep in mind that it’s best to stay formal, so avoid using casual phrases like “Cheers” or “Take care.”

After the complimentary close, press enter twice to leave a space for your signature. This space provides room for your actual signature if you’re submitting a physical letter. If you’re submitting electronically, this space can act as a visual cue that your letter has reached its end.

While signing an application letter, be sure to include your typed full name. Don’t forget to include your relevant contact information, such as your email address or phone number. This will make it easy for the recipient to get in touch with you if they have any questions or require additional information.

Here’s an example of a proper letter ending for your application letter:

[Space for physical signature, if applicable] Your Full Name [email protected] +1-234-567-8901

Post-Writing: Proofreading and Correcting

After writing your application letter, it’s essential to proofread and correct any errors or inconsistencies. This process will help ensure that you submit a polished and professional document that impresses potential employers.

Correcting Grammar and Punctuation

First, focus on your grammar and punctuation. A well-written letter that follows proper grammar rules is more likely to capture the reader’s attention and convey your message effectively.

  • As you’re reading through your letter, keep an eye out for missing or misplaced commas, semicolons, and other punctuation marks.
  • Check for sentence fragments or run-on sentences that make your message unclear.
  • Look for subject-verb agreement issues, as well as any awkward phrasing or wordiness.
  • Ensure consistency in tense and voice throughout the letter.

Checking for Spelling Mistakes

Your next step should be checking for spelling mistakes. Misspelled words can distract the reader and make your application appear less polished.

  • Run your text through a spellchecker; most word processing programs have this feature built-in.
  • Take the time to read through your letter carefully, word-by-word, to catch any errors the spellchecker may have missed.
  • Double-check the spelling of names, addresses, and other specific information to make sure they’re correct.

Examples of Successful Application Letters

When writing an application letter, it’s essential to tailor it to the specific job posting . Check out these examples to help you create a winning letter for different scenarios.

Dear [Hiring Manager],

I’m excited to apply for the Sales Representative position at [Company Name]. With my proven sales record and strong interpersonal skills, I believe I would be a valuable asset to your team.

In my previous role at [Previous Company], I consistently exceeded sales targets and established strong relationships with clients. I’m confident that my experience and passion for sales will contribute to the ongoing success of [Company Name].

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to discussing my qualifications and how I can contribute to the growth of [Company Name].

Sincerely, [Your Name]

As a creative and skilled Graphic Designer, I am thrilled to apply for the position at [Company Name]. My expertise in Adobe Creative Suite and concept development aligns with the requirements laid out in the job posting.

In my previous role at [Previous Company], I created visually appealing and engaging content for various marketing campaigns. My designs helped increase brand recognition and lead to a 20% increase in social media engagement. I am eager to use my talents and contribute to the visual identity of [Company Name].

I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my skills and portfolio with you. Thank you for considering my application.

Best regards, [Your Name]

As an experienced Office Manager with a strong background in time management and organization, I am eager to apply for the position at [Company Name]. Your commitment to efficiency and supporting your employees is in line with my work values.

During my tenure at [Previous Company], I streamlined scheduling and developed procedures that led to a 30% reduction in office expenses. My proactive approach to problem-solving and ability to create a productive work environment contribute to my effectiveness as an Office Manager.

I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute to the success of [Company Name] by enhancing office operations. Thank you for considering my application.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key components of an application letter.

An application letter should include the following key components:

  • Contact information: Start by writing your name, address, phone number, and email address.
  • Salutation: Address the recipient professionally, using their name when possible.
  • Opening paragraph: Introduce yourself and state the position you’re applying for.
  • Body paragraphs: Highlight your relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments.
  • Closing paragraph: Reiterate your interest in the position, provide your contact information, and thank the reader for considering your application.
  • Sign-off: Use a polite closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your name.

Can you provide a step-by-step guide on writing a cover letter?

  • Review the job posting and research the company to understand their needs and values.
  • Write your contact information at the top of the letter.
  • Use a professional salutation and address the recipient by name, if possible.
  • Craft an engaging opening paragraph that states the position you’re applying for and how you learned about it.
  • Write body paragraphs that showcase your relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments, drawing connections to the requirements mentioned in the job posting.
  • In the closing paragraph, restate your interest in the position and thank the reader for their time.
  • Sign off with a polite closing and your name, followed by your phone number and email address.

What are some tips for writing an effective application letter?

To write an effective application letter:

  • Tailor the content: Focus on the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the specific job posting.
  • Use strong action words: Highlight your achievements using action verbs, such as “managed,” “achieved,” or “developed.”
  • Proofread for errors: Thoroughly check your letter for spelling and grammatical errors before sending.
  • Maintain a professional tone: Write your letter with a confident and respectful tone, avoiding slang or overly casual language.

How do you customize your cover letter for different job positions?

Make sure to modify your application letter to suit the specific job and company you’re applying to. Analyze the job posting to understand the key requirements and skills the employer is looking for. Emphasize how your experiences and abilities address these needs. Research the company to understand their values and culture, and incorporate that knowledge into your letter to show you would be a good fit for their organization.

What are some common cover letter mistakes to avoid?

Some common mistakes to avoid in cover letters include:

  • Not customizing your letter for each job or company
  • Focusing too much on yourself and not on the needs of the employer
  • Including too much information or making the letter too long
  • Repeating your resume verbatim without providing more context
  • Failing to proofread for spelling and grammatical errors

How can I make my application letter stand out from the competition?

To make your application letter stand out:

  • Use a compelling opening to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Show enthusiasm for the position and the company.
  • Make sure your letter is well-organized and visually appealing, with a professional font and layout.
  • Tailor your letter to the specific job and company, focusing on the most relevant skills and experiences.
  • Offer examples of your achievements to demonstrate your ability to succeed in the role.
  • Proofread your letter to ensure it is error-free and polished.
  • How to Write a Letter of Employment (Templates, Examples)
  • How to Write a Job Offer Thank-You Letter
  • How to Write Resume Job Descriptions (Examples)
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  • Cover Letters

Sample Cover Letter for a Job Application

how to start a job application letter sample

What is an Application Letter?

What to include in your application letter, tips for writing a cover letter, cover letter sample and template, email cover letter sample.

  • How to Send an Email Application

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Alex Dos Diaz / The Balance

What's the best way to write a letter to apply for a job? Your letter should detail your specific qualifications for the position and the skills you would bring to the employer. What’s most important is to show the employer that you’re a perfect match for the job.

Your job application letter is an opportunity to highlight your most relevant qualifications and experience. An effective cover letter will enhance your application, showcase your achievements, and increase your chances of landing an interview.

Review what to include in a job application letter, tips for writing a letter that will get your application notice, and examples of letters and email messages sent to apply for a job.

Key Takeaways

  • An application letter accompanies a resume and may be uploaded to a job portal, sent via email, or even sent by postal mail, depending on the employer’s requirements.
  • Application letters are an ideal way to show your interest in a job and highlight your most relevant skills.
  • It’s important to match your letter to the job description and show the employer that you have the qualifications they are seeking.

A   letter of application, also known as a  cover letter , is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information about your skills and experience to an employer. Your letter of application is intended to provide detailed information on why you are an ideal candidate for the job.

Your application letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, what makes you a strong candidate, why they should select you for an interview, and how you will follow up.

Effective application letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify the most relevant skills that qualify you for the job.

Your application letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, explain your qualifications for the job, why you should be selected for an interview, and how you will follow up.

Unless an employer specifically requests a job application letter sent by postal mail, today most cover letters are sent by email or attached as a file in an online application tracking system.

As with all cover letters, a job application letter is divided into sections:

  • The heading includes your name and contact information.
  • A  greeting  addressed to a specific person, if possible.
  • The introduction includes why the applicant is writing.
  • The body discusses your relevant qualifications and what you have to offer the employer.
  • The close thanks the reader and provides contact information and follow-up details.
  • Your  signature to end the letter .

Here’s how to ensure that your application supports your resume, highlights your most relevant qualifications, and impresses the hiring manager.

Get off to a direct start.  In your first paragraph, explain why you are writing. Mention the job title and company name, and where you found the job listing. While you can also briefly mention why you are a strong candidate, this section should be short and to the point.

Offer something different than what's in your resume. You can make your language a bit more personal than in your resume bullet points, and you can tell a narrative about your work experience and career.

Application letters typically accompany resumes, so your letter should showcase information that your resume doesn't.

Make a good case.  Your first goal with this letter is to progress to the next step: an interview. Your overarching goal, of course, is to get a job offer. Use your application letter to further both causes. Offer details about your experience and background that show why you are a good candidate. How have other jobs prepared you for the position? What would you bring to the position, and to the company? Use this space to  emphasize your strengths .

Close with all the important details.  Include a thank you at the end of your letter. You can also share your contact information and mention how you will follow up.

This is a sample cover letter.  Download the cover letter template  (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for an email sample.

The Balance

John Donaldson 8 Sue Circle Smithtown, CA 08067 909-555-5555 john.donaldson@email.com

September 6, 2022

George Gilhooley LTC Company 87 Delaware Road Hatfield, CA 08065

Dear Mr. Gilhooley,

I am writing to apply for the programmer position advertised in the Times Union. As requested, I enclose my certification, resume, and references.

The role is very appealing to me, and I believe that my strong technical experience and education make me a highly competitive candidate for this position. My key strengths that would support my success in this position include:

  • I have successfully designed, developed, and supported live-use applications.
  • I strive continually for excellence.
  • I provide exceptional contributions to customer service for all customers.

With a BS degree in computer programming, I have a comprehensive understanding of the full lifecycle of software development projects. I also have experience in learning and applying new technologies as appropriate. Please see my resume for additional information on my experience.

I can be reached anytime via email at john.donaldson@email.com or by phone at 909-555-5555.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this employment opportunity.

Signature  (hard copy letter)

John Donaldson

The following is a sample email cover letter to send as part of a job application.

Email Application Letter Example

Subject: Colleen Warren - Web Content Manager Position

Dear Hiring Manager,

I'm writing to express my interest in the Web Content Manager position listed on Monster.com. I have experience building large, consumer-focused, health-based content sites. While much of my experience has been in the business world, I understand the social value of this sector, and I am confident that my business experience will be an asset to your organization.

My responsibilities have included the development and management of website editorial voice and style, editorial calendars, and the daily content programming and production for various websites.

I have worked closely with health care professionals and medical editors to provide the best possible information to a consumer audience of patients. I have also helped physicians to use their medical content to write user-friendly and easily comprehensible text.

Experience has taught me how to build strong relationships with all departments in an organization. I have the ability to work within a team, as well as cross-team. I can work with web engineers to resolve technical issues and implement technical enhancements. 

I am confident working with development departments to implement design and functional enhancements, monitor site statistics, and conduct search engine optimization.

Thank you for your consideration.

Colleen Warren colleen.warren@email.com 555-123-1234 www.linked.com/colleenwarren

How to Send an Email Application Letter

If sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title you are applying for in the  subject line  of the email:

Colleen Warren - Web Content Manager Position

Include your contact information in your email signature but don't list the employer's contact information.

Do you have to write a cover letter when you apply for a job?

Some employers require cover letters. If they do, it will be mentioned in the job posting. Otherwise, it’s optional but it can help your chances of securing an interview. A cover letter gives you a chance to sell yourself to the employer, showcase your qualifications, and explain why you are a perfect candidate for the job.

How can you use a cover letter to show you’re a qualified candidate?

One of the easiest ways to show an employer how you’re qualified for a job is to make a list of the requirements listed in the job posting and match them to your resume. Mention your most relevant qualifications in your cover letter, so the hiring manager can see, at a glance, that you have the credentials they are looking for.

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How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

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.

  • What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
  • How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
  • How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
  • What excellent cover letter examples look like

New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!

So, let’s get started with the basics!

What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. 

A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:

how to write cover letter

Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.

The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:

  • Header - Input contact information
  • Greeting the hiring manager
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  • Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
  • Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
  • Formal closing

Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:

structure of a cover letter

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step. 

Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?

cover letter templates

You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!

As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.

Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header

As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:

contact information on a cover letter

Here, you want to include all essential information, including:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.

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

  • Your Full Address 
  • Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.

matching resume and cover letter

Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.

The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .

That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this. 

The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.

So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And voila! You have your hiring manager.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Here are several other greetings you could use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .

The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..

  • Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

So now, let’s make our previous example shine:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.

See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?

Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.

So, let’s get started...

Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job

This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.

But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.

For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.

Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company

Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.

Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.

How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.

Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.

Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.

You’d write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device. 

I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.

What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):

I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.

See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have. 

The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.

Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.

So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.

Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action

Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.

And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:

So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.

Step #8 - Use the right formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional email
  • Relevant Social Media Profiles

Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?

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

  • Did you identify the core requirements?
  • Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?

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

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?

Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?

5+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).

College Student Cover Letter Example

college or student cover letter example

Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .

Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught. 

After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.

...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.

If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.

Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.

resume examples for cover letter

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
  • A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
  • Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
  • There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
  • Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…

  • How to Write a Motivational Letter
  • How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
  • Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

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15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application

Rachel Leist

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.

cover letter templates; Business person using a cover letter template

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.

→ Click here to access 5 free cover letter templates [Free Download]

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.

Application Letter

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.

how to start a job application letter sample

5 Free Cover Letter Templates

Five fill-in-the-blank cover letter templates to help you impress recruiters.

  • Standard Cover Letter Template
  • Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
  • Data-Driven Cover Letter Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

What to Include in a Cover Letter

So, what should you include? We'll let the 11 templates below this list do most of the talking. No matter which one you download, pay attention to the following elements — all of which should shine through in the letter you send to your future manager.

Fill out this form to access your templates.

1. contact information.

Cover letters shouldn't just carry your contact information, but also that of the company to which you're applying. Contact info includes your phone number, email address, and any social media accounts you're willing to share and receive connections to.

Home addresses aren't required, but they can be a helpful reassurance to the employer that you already live nearby and would have no trouble coming into the office.

Avoid offering phone numbers, email addresses, or actual addresses that belong to your current employer. Using your personal Gmail address over your work email, for example, ensures your correspondence with recruiters remains separate from all of your current work communication.

2. A Personal Address Line

For as often as you see "to whom it may concern" at the top of cover letters today, do your best to avoid writing this exhausted line.

Address lines that specify a person or company grab your reader's attention much more quickly, and show the employer that you've taken the time to tailor your application letter to them. Don't have the name of the hiring manager? "Employers at [company name]" will do just fine.

A "hook" is a clever introduction that "hooks" your reader into wanting to learn more. Think about yourself as a job candidate — what makes you unique? What about your career might a recruiter be intrigued by that you can package into an interesting first sentence?

4. Why You're Qualified

It's a no-brainer that you should summarize your professional experience in your cover letter. However, today's best applications describe why this experience qualifies the applicant for the job they're applying for. For example, don't just state that you spent three years writing for a company blog. Explain that this type of work lends itself to managing your new potential employer's content calendar every week.

5. General Knowledge of the Business

Grammatical errors could mean your application is thrown in the trash, but that's not the only thing that could get your letter tossed aside. Using a generic "one-size-fits-all" cover letter — especially if you forget to change the name of the company — will also hurt your chances of landing an interview.

So, if you take the time to write a cover letter, take the time to comment on the business itself. Why are you applying to this company? What about their business stuck out to you as a professional?

Now, let's take a look at an example cover letter , what makes it effective, along with 11 templates you can download or draw inspiration from.

Cover Letter Example

Cover letter example.

Image Source

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

Cover Letter Templates

14 Free Cover Letter Templates for Your Next Job Application

Template 1: basic.

Basic cover letter template with 7 qualities to learn from.

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.

2. Greeting

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.

3. Introduction

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..

Data-driven marketing cover letter template

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

cover letter template: Straight-to-the-point

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

cover letter template: 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

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

cover letter template: digital creative 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

cover letter template: Marketing-specific 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

cover letter template: 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

cover letter template: Logo and watermarked cover letter by Microsoft Office

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

cover letter template: Princeton Data Science Cover Letter

This is our second template from Princeton University. While this is focused on a data scientist role, it is an excellent template to use for students applying to jobs prior to graduation.

The text emphasizes how the applicant’s academic research and projects makes them an ideal candidate for the position. The format is also simple enough to submit as a pdf, as text in an email message or an application text box.

Template 11: Business Cover Letter

cover letter template: 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

Entry level job 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

cover letter template: 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

cover letter template: 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

cover letter template: cover letter for director

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.

Professional Cover Letter Templates

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  1. How To Write A Job Application Letter • ALL DOCS

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  2. Official Job Application Letter

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  3. 49 Best Letter Of Application Samples (+"How to Write" Guide) ᐅ

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  4. Job Application Letter Format & Samples

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  5. How to Write a Job Application Letter (Best Samples & Examples)

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  4. Job Application Letter Format

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COMMENTS

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

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

  2. How To Write a Job Application Letter (With Examples)

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

  3. How to Write a Letter of Application (Example & Tips)

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

  4. How to Write an Effective Application Letter (Examples)

    To write an effective application letter: Tailor the content: Focus on the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the specific job posting. Use strong action words: Highlight your achievements using action verbs, such as "managed," "achieved," or "developed.". Proofread for errors: Thoroughly check your letter for spelling ...

  5. Sample Cover Letter for a Job Application

    Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for an email sample. The Balance. Download the Word Template. John Donaldson. 8 Sue Circle. Smithtown, CA 08067. 909-555-5555. [email protected]. September 6, 2022.

  6. 30 Better Ways to Start a Cover Letter

    Communicate that you'll bring something to the company: You'll get more into the details after your opening, of course. But your cover letter opener should still tell the reader, "This person can do something for us ," rather than, "This job would really help them .". Stick to the point: Your opener, while creative, should still be ...

  7. How to Start a Cover Letter [+ Introduction & Opening Lines]

    Here's how to start a cover letter without a name: Dear Hiring Manager, Dear Marketing Department Lead, Dear ABC Company Team, Be as specific as possible. You may not know their name, but try to figure out the job title of the person who will handle your employment process. This way, you'll show you put in the work. 3.

  8. Application Letter Templates for Your Career

    11 templates of application letters. Use these templates for different scenarios to create the perfect introduction or cover letter for your next professional or academic application:. Internship application. Dear [Hiring manager name],. This letter is in reference to the [name of internship] opportunity at [company name], where I hope to start my career in [industry].

  9. How To Write a Job Application Letter Step by Step

    When writing an application letter, use a professional font type. Choose fonts like Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial in plain black. Choose between 10 and 12-point font and use single spacing alignment. Your application letter should have a professional business heading that includes your name and contact details.

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

    A job application letter explains why you're applying for this position and what makes you qualified. An application letter closely resembles the function of a cover letter. It demonstrates your relevant qualifications for the position and convinces the employer to call you for an interview. This article will guide you on how to write an application letter for employment and feature samples of ...

  11. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

    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.

  12. 12 Ways to Start a Cover Letter: Examples & Tips

    12 winning ways to start your cover letter. Below are several approaches for your cover letter introduction to help you learn how to open a cover letter in a way that stands out from the rest and lands you an interview. 1. Mention a contact within the company. If you were referred to the role by a former coworker, classmate, or friend who's ...

  13. How to Start a Cover Letter [20+ Opening Line Examples]

    How to Start a Cover Letter with a Name. To start a cover letter with a name do some research. Check the job posting for a named email address. Do some research on LinkedIn. And if all else fails call the receptionist and ask who the hiring manager is. RIGHT. Dear Mr Fawlty.

  14. 15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application

    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.

  15. 8 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

    8 ways to start your cover letter. Here's how you can start a cover letter in eight different ways: Show your enthusiasm. Highlight a mutual connection. Lead with an impressive accomplishment. Explain what you like about the company. Express passion for what you do. Tell a creative story. Include a belief statement.

  16. How To Write An Open Cover Letter (With Template and Example)

    Addressing your cover letter to a specific person in an organization can help it reach them and increase the chances they might review your application. Related: 7 Powerful Ways To Start a Cover Letter (With Examples) 2. Include contact details. Place your contact details in the top left corner of your open cover letter.

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