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5 Key Elements of a Cover Letter

  • 1. Contact information

    Make sure your contact information is accurate and professional (no silly email addresses like big-muscles-99@mail.com here). Also make sure that your letter is addressed to the most appropriate person and department.

  • 2. Salutation

    Get your letter off on the right foot — avoid a generic salutation (e.g., “To whom it may concern”). Take the time to research a specific person to address the letter to (such as a team manager). Use titles if needed (e.g., “Dr.”), and standard honorifics (“Ms.” instead of “Mrs.” for example).

  • 3. Opening

    Communicate what makes you unique, and why you believe you’re the right person for the job. Keep your tone enthusiastic, and present a specific example of your skills or work history as a “hook” to grab the employer’s attention.

  • 4. Body

    Elaborate on your best qualifications, and how you can contribute to the company’s success. Prove you’ve done your homework and note what intrigues you about the company’s business, needs and strong points. Provide details on your career and the unique skills that supply more depth and detail than what can be included in a resume.

  • 5. Closing

    Conclude your letter with a summation of your strengths, reiterate your interest in the job, and most importantly, provide a call to action, giving the employer incentive to get in touch with you.

Customer Service Manager Cover Letter Template
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Step 1: Organizing Your Information to Get Your Cover Letter Started

  • Resume Review

    Review Your Resume.

    Think of your cover letter as a strong companion to, and extension of, your resume. Your letter is your chance to explain things that aren’t shown in your resume, go more into detail about skills or achievements, and introduce yourself in a more personal way. Look over your resume, and take note of abilities and experiences you want to highlight or expand upon.

  • Stand Professionally

    Understand Why You’re Writing Your Cover Letter and Where You Stand Professionally.

    Are you a first-time job seeker looking to impress the employer? Are you changing careers and want to show how your transferable skills will be of value? Are you reentering the workforce after pausing your career to travel?

  • Look Examples

    Look for Examples Similar to Your Situation.

    Once you know where you stand professionally, look for cover letter examples similar to your situation, address the same job, or belong to the same industry. Professional examples are a great foundation for understanding the tone, language and formatting you should use.

  • Write Down

    Write Down What You Can Discuss Beforehand.

    Make a list of skills you want to give them more information about, along with major accomplishments and relevant anecdotes that will give the employer a deeper impression of who you are. For example, you can further describe a work achievement or special project, make a relevant connection between a previous role and the one you’re applying for, or emphasize a volunteer experience that taught you important skills that will be useful in this new role.

  • Research Company

    Do Your Homework and Research the Company.

    Learn about the company’s values, culture, goals and history. Knowing this will help you determine the tone you must use, and it will also come in handy to explain why you want to work for that employer. Hiring managers will notice job candidates that do their research.

  • Find Person

    Find the Person You’re Addressing the Letter to.

    If you can’t find their name, use their job title (e.g., Creative Director, HR Manager, Sales Department Manager).

  • Make Time

    Make time to write your cover letter.

    Find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed while writing. Don’t stop to correct anything. Once you have it all down, step away for a bit and then return to make any necessary changes.

Step 2: Writing a Compelling Opener

Address the hiring manager

The first thing you need to do is address the person you’re writing the letter to. The most traditional way is by using “Mr.” or “Ms.,” but if the company or industry is more casual, you can drop the title and start your letter with “Dear.”

You want to be as specific as possible; otherwise, your cover letter may end up in the wrong hands or department and won’t get read.

Craft an impactful opening

Don’t introduce yourself in the opening statement — the hiring manager can see your name in your contact information. Instead, think of the opener as the beginning of your story, and make an impact using one of these methods:

  1. Enthusiasm:

    Convey your passion for your work and why you’re excited about the job opportunity. For example: “As a customer service representative committed to quality and ensuring consumer satisfaction, I’m excited by the opportunity to make a positive impact in your regional manager role.”

  2. Your connections:

    If you’re applying for this job through someone you know at the company, mention it upfront — studies show that over 50% of all jobs are filled through networking contacts. For example: “I’ve been referred to this graphic designer opportunity through Tom Smith, a product manager on your team.”

  3. A notable accomplishment:

    Impress employers right off the bat by providing details about an achievement that relates to the job. For example: “As a marketing associate, I’ve had over five years of experience in social media, including work at the ABC Company where my marketing strategies resulted in a 300% increase in followers for our company Twitter account. I’m excited at the prospect of making a similar impact with your company’s social media accounts.”

Step 3: Writing Your Cover Letter’s Body Paragraphs

This is where your initial research will come in handy. Your aim should be to go beyond your resume and paint a fuller, more vibrant image of who you are, what you can bring to the company and how enthusiastic you are about this new opportunity. You can do this by:

  • Providing further details on work accomplishments. If you can throw in quantifiable achievements, do so. Numbers are great indicators of impact and they help hiring managers get a better grasp of your abilities.
  • Explaining what’s motivated you to change careers or jobs, and how your skills will help. Highlighting transferable skills is a great way to show the employer that you have the potential to do the job.
  • Drawing a connection between your past experiences and how they can be applied to the potential job. This is particularly helpful if you’re returning to the workforce after a pause or changing careers. Connect your previous job responsibilities with what the new job requires. Don’t have work experience? No problem! Connect this new opportunity with a personal project, extracurricular activity, or internship.
  • Showing your knowledge of the company and the job you’re seeking. Hiring managers know when you did your research. You want to show that you understand their culture, goals and environment. This will help you convey that you’re the best candidate for the role and a good fit for the team.

Here are some examples of body paragraphs you can use as a foundation to write yours:

First-time job seeker body paragraph example

  1. Identifying innovative approaches and improved solutions to business challenges both motivate and drive me in my experience, introducing fresh perspectives and new techniques to allow businesses to evolve and grow. Like Astound Group, my goal is to remain on the cutting edge of advancements within the design industry.As a Graphic Design Intern, I’ve honed essential skills such as concept development and image manipulation, using innovative approaches to creating dynamic and interactive layouts for national campaigns and social media content. I’m keen to apply these skills and a collaborative spirit to your creative department, facilitating positive change and impacting outcomes.

Career professional body paragraph example

  1. Your school emphasizes the importance of community and inclusion, striving to engage students through integrated learning. Throughout my teaching career, I have developed successful learning plans to help students retain and use their skills inside and outside the classroom. I’ve used my creativity, energy and compassion in bettering over 60 students each school year, giving them the dedication and attention they deserve.
    I firmly believe that every student deserves an enriching education that helps them achieve their full potential. As an English teacher, my goal is to motivate Magnolia Elementary’s students with activities that inspire them, and cultivate an environment that fosters confidence and inner strength.
    Having had a lifelong passion for teaching and education, I am excited by the prospect of joining your staff and using my experience to help more students flourish.

Career change with transferable skills body paragraph example

  1. After dedicating several years to fashion design and running my own business, I have made the decision to change paths and seek a career in digital marketing. My background in fashion and business has provided me with communication, problem-solving and interpersonal talents that have supported my professional growth.
    I thrive in high-pressure and fast-paced situations, striving for positive results by applying my business planning and creative abilities. I also have expertise in process improvement and a knack for maximizing performance — my business’ online presence grew 30% more than expected in 2 months. I can visualize success and identify unconventional, bold, yet highly effective strategies for achieving it.
    EM Socials has a proven track record of creating impactful, innovative and out-of-the-box digital content. Joining your team as an Account Executive and assisting in your mission to do more than just marketing is an opportunity I’d love to embark on.

Step 4: Closing Your Cover Letter

You have a killer opening, body paragraphs that highlight your accomplishments and skills, and now it’s time to finish strong. Your closing statement is your last chance to make it clear that you’re excited about the possibility of working for that employer and putting your knowledge and expertise to good use.

Remember that you’re writing a letter to a specific person, so thank them for their time and consideration. You should also encourage the recipient to follow up (e.g., “I look forward to further discussing my qualifications with you.”)  before signing off the letter with a sweet and short “Sincerely.”

Not sure how to wrap up your cover letter? Here are a few examples:

First-time Job-seeker Closing Statement Example

  1. I have attached my resume and creative portfolio to this application for further review of my credentials. I am eager to further speak with you about this role and greatly appreciate your consideration.
    Sincerely,
    Carlos Martinez

Career Professional Closing Statement Example

  1. I have enclosed my resume for a more in-depth illustration of my work history and accomplishments. I look forward to the possibility of discussing how my personality and background fit the english teaching position.
    Best regards,
    Lauren Johns

Career Change With Transferable Skills Closing Statement Example

  1. I hope following a review of my resume and portfolio that my personality, abilities and dedication present as a match for the company. I would be thrilled to have an opportunity to speak with your team further about this position.
    Please feel free to contact me via email. I sincerely appreciate your consideration and help through this process.
    Sincerely,
    Kimberly Hills

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Cover Letter Writing Do’s and Don’ts

Do

  • Customize your letter for different jobs.

    Even if it’s for the same profession no two jobs or companies are exactly the same — the same goes for each cover letter, and its recipient. Make sure you update your cover letter to reflect what the job is looking for, adjusting your skills, accomplishments and overall approach accordingly. For example, you’ll want to stress your leadership and organizational skills for an inventory management position but emphasize customer service experiences and client successes for a more sales-oriented job role.

  • Use keywords that match the job posting.

    Look over the job description and note phrases and words that underline what the job requires (e.g., proficiency with Microsoft Office or strong communication skills). Make sure these keywords are addressed when you describe your skills and work experiences. For example, if a job stresses vendor management, you could write: “As an event planner, I’ve used strong communication and negotiation skills with vendors to organize over 200 events, earning 5-star ratings on Yelp for my services.”

  • Keep your cover letter to one page.

    In general, cover letters shouldn’t be longer than a page. Hiring managers spend less than a minute reviewing your information, so keep your letter short, sweet and straight to the point.

Don’t

  • Bring up salary or work benefits in your letter.

    You can talk about this at a later time with the hiring manager or recruiter. Keep your cover letter focused on your accomplishments, skills and the ways you can help the company.

  • Repeat information from your resume.

    As we explained, your cover letter is an extension of your resume, not a duplicate. Use the cover letter as a chance to expand on your skills, further explain a work accomplishment or relate an anecdote from a previous job, internship, or extracurricular experience that is relevant to the new role.

  • Submit a cover letter without proofreading.

    Reread your cover letter a couple of times and run it through a spell-checker to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes. Typos and grammatical errors are among the most common mistakes candidates make — and a huge deal-breaker for hiring managers.

How Our Cover Letter Builder Helps You

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    Professionally designed templates:

    • We make it easier for you by providing employer-ready templates for a great look right out of the gate.
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    Job-specific examples:

    • No matter what job you’re applying for, we’ve got you covered. Our builder will provide job-related information and skills you can incorporate into your letter.
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    Step-by-step guidance:

    Our builder gives you expert tips to help you feature the right content in your letter — every step of the way.

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    Customize your cover letter for different jobs:

    Create and save as many versions of your cover letter as you want.

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    Pair your professional cover letter with a professional resume:

    Create a unified “look” for your job application by using our Resume Builder to create a resume that matches your cover letter’s design.

Check Out Our Cover Letter Examples

Explore our library of cover letter examples, sorted by different scenarios, industries and job titles.

Accounting

For jobs in this industry, emphasize your practical software and number-crunching skills, as well as your ability to work with others and multitask.

Top Accounting Cover Letter Examples:

Administrative

A keen eye for detail, good organization and communication skills, and proficiency with specific software programs are all musts for this job.

Top Administrative Cover Letter Examples:

Business Operations

Focus on your ability to coordinate teams and processes, as well as your superior communications skills.

Top Business Operations Cover Letter Examples:

Customer Service

Stress your commitment to communicate with and assist people, and your ability to work as part of a team.

Top Customer Service Cover Letter Examples:

Education

Highlight your proficiency with specific teaching subjects, education apps and software, and intangible strengths such as flexibility, communication and patience.

Top Education Cover Letter Examples:

Finance

Provide context about your training in numbers and financial principles, as well as some prime examples of how you’ve used these skills.

Top Finance Resume Examples:

Fitness and Nutrition

Give examples of how you’ve worked successfully to better others’ health and fitness, and give details on specific training you’ve had in exercise and diet programs.

Top Fitness and Nutrition Cover Letter Examples:

Healthcare and Support

Outline your medical credentials, including any degrees or training you’ve had in particular specialized fields, and stress your skill with patient interactions.

Top Healthcare and Support Cover Letter Examples:

Hospitality

Show how you’ve ensured customer satisfaction in previous positions, as well as any practical skills that can help you do the job, such as knowledge of payroll software.

Top Hospitality Cover Letter Examples:

Information Technology

Explain your top capabilities in computer system maintenance and management, and give examples of how you’ve successfully improved IT operations in previous jobs.

Top Information Technology Cover Letter Examples:

Marketing

Put your creative side on display by giving examples of how you’ve successfully applied out-of-the-box approaches to marketing challenges.

Top Marketing Cover Letter Examples:

Social Services

Emphasize your ability to interact with others in positive ways, and note any training and certifications you’ve had in specialized areas such as mental health or substance abuse work.

Top Social Services Cover Letter Examples:

Retail

Provide details on job-related abilities, such as maintaining merchandise and point-of-sale systems,as well as interpersonal skills such as customer service and multi-tasking abilities.

Top Retail Cover Letter Examples:

Sales

Give concrete examples of how you’ve helped improve a company’s bottom line through your sales efforts, and feature any abilities you have with sales tracking software.

Top Sales Cover Letter Examples:

Transportation

Mention jobs you’ve had that have contributed to efficiency in transport operations and processes, and include important related skills and certifications, such a CDL driver’s license.

Top Transportation Cover Letter Examples:

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