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A cover letter is your first chance to make the right impression with a potential employer. While a resume details your skills and career accomplishments, a cover letter is your opportunity to “tell your story” and explain why your abilities and experiences are right for the job.
Personalize your application, complement your resume, and captivate employers by using our user-friendly Cover Letter Builder — we’ll guide you through everything.
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Instead of struggling to build a cover letter from scratch, use our employer-ready templates for a great look right out of the gate.
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.
Our builder contains expert tips to help you feature the right content in your letter — every step of the way.
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Create a unified “look” for your job application by using our Resume Builder to create a resume that matches your cover letter’s design.
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Create a Cover Letter for Any Situation
Employment Gap Cover Letter
Have you taken time off from full-time work to venture into having your own business? Did you take on artistic endeavors or volunteer work? Or perhaps you dove into a personal project while looking for a new job. Whatever the case, if there’s an employment gap in your resume, your potential employer will want to know why and this type of cover letter helps you provide context. It’s also a great place to make a connection between these experiences and the new role.
Keep in mind that anything personal or family-related shouldn’t be openly addressed. If you were fired or laid off, it’s best not to mention it either. Instead, focus on your skills and qualifications and how your abilities will help you perform the responsibilities in your new role.
Career Change Cover Letter
This type of cover letter allows you to explain why you want to take on a new job or change your career field, and why you have chosen to begin this new chapter with this particular job. This is your chance to show an employer your worth by emphasizing previous skills and experiences that can contribute to the new position.
Entry-Level Cover Letter
If you’re a fresh graduate or don’t have a lot of professional experience, a cover letter gives you the opportunity to describe yourself and your career goals, explain why you’re interested in joining the company, and walk employers through the skills and training you already have that can make you a valuable addition to the team.
Cold-Call Cover Letter
A cold-call cover letter — also known as a prospecting cover letter — is written when a company doesn’t have any job openings but you still want to get on a recruiter’s radar so that when the right role opens up, they know who to call. Get their attention by describing your talents, what you have accomplished and why you’re interested in working for them.
Check out our cover letter examples to find more inspiration on how to handle these different situations.
Cover letter FAQ
How should I format my cover letter?
First and foremost, make your letter readable. Don’t pack it wall-to-wall with text. Break up your letter into punchy paragraphs that are only a few lines long, with white space between paragraphs to make your document breathe. Also, keep your document design clean and straightforward — usually, a subtle use of color for the letter’s header is enough. Use a typeface that most readers are familiar with, such as a Times New Roman or Arial font. For more cover letter formatting tips, see our Cover Letter Formatting Basics.
How do I strike the right tone in my cover letter?
Your tone will depend on the company’s culture and your connections with the company. If you’re applying for the job because you know someone at the organization, keep your tone professional and collegial, explaining your connection upfront. Otherwise, base your tone on the image the company projects in public. A creative, out-of-the-box company is more apt to respond to a letter that is professional yet friendly and engaging, while a company with a more traditional or conservative work culture will appreciate a more formal tone. For related tips, visit our Cover Letter Do’s and Don’ts page.
How should I address a career change in my letter?
If you’re switching careers and think you might come up short in a few areas in your resume, your cover letter is your chance to provide context for the change and how you believe you can make a positive impact.
Stress the skills and experiences from previous jobs that can transfer to a new position, and demonstrate humility and readiness to work a little harder and quickly pick up new skills. Present yourself as an employee committed to making your new career work, and explain why you think it’s a good fit for you. For more tips about making a career change, see our article 5 Best Cover Letter Writing Tips for a Career Change.
How should my cover letter complement my resume?
Don’t repeat the information your resume provides — instead, provide more focus in your cover letter on a few accomplishments and skills that best represent you as an employee and match what the potential job requires. You should also use the cover letter to give employers an idea of who you are as a person and how you approach work — a little dash of your personality will help you stand out from other applicants.
Finally, present yourself as the answer to the question: “Are you the best person for the job?” Describe how you can specifically help the company and the value you can bring to the job. Read this article for more tips on how your cover letter can complement your resume in appearance and content.
What are the major points you should hit in your cover letter?
Boiling a cover letter down to its essentials, make sure you cover these four points:
- Why you want the job
- How you’re prepared to handle the daily requirements of the job
- How you can fit in and adapt to the company’s culture
- How you can help the company move forward
For more guidance on how to best present yourself in your letter, see our article Cover Letter Tips: 4 Showstoppers to Get You Noticed.