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Cover Letter Example - Sections to Review

  • 1. Your contact information

    Write your phone number and a professional email address.

  • 2. The employer’s contact information

    Write the employer’s physical address, phone number and email address.

  • 3. Salutation

    Address the letter to a specific person, such as a department manager.

  • 4. Opening

    Make a memorable opening statement beyond just saying that you want to work for the company. Convey your passion for what you do — start off with a notable accomplishment or if you were referred by someone, mention it up front.

  • 5. Body

    Elaborate on your best skills and qualifications, and how you will be a great asset to the company. Here you can include keywords and phrases from the job description, quantifiable achievements, and expand on the information written in your resume.

    This section is also great to prove that you researched the company and know what their goals are. Explain how you can help achieve them.

  • 6. Closing

    Conclude the letter by summarizing your strengths, reiterating your interest in the job, and inviting the employer to get in touch with you.

Ideal Cover Letter Format
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  • First, you must understand where you stand professionally to narrow down what examples to look for. Are you changing careers? Are you joining the workforce after a hiatus? Are you applying for a new position with the same employer? Are you interested in a job that hasn’t yet been posted or isn’t advertised? Or perhaps you’re a first-time job-seeker with no work experience.
  • Once determined, look for cover letter examples that mirror your situation to use as foundation to write yours. Note the tone, language and its content.
  • Look for a cover letter example that fits your industry or job title. A cover letter for the food service industry won’t have the same content as a cover letter for the education industry.
  • Find a cover letter example that has a similar skill set or experience level as your own. You can use it as inspiration to write yours.
  • The cover letter example should have the following six key elements that comprise a professional cover letter:

An Entry-Level Cover Letter Example

When you’re starting and don’t have a lot of experience, a cover letter is vital. It gives you the opportunity to tell the employer more about yourself and further talk about the skills you possess that will make you a valuable member of the team. Use our cover letter example to start your career on the right foot.

An Experienced Career Professional Cover Letter Example

You’ve done a lot in your career — your cover letter should show it. Use this document to talk about your greatest work achievements and explain accomplishments that aren’t shown in your resume. Remember: Your cover letter is an extension of your resume, not its twin. Use our example and perfectly highlight your career.

A Career Change Cover Letter Example

Writing a career change cover letter requires a bit more strategy and finesse. You want to highlight transferable skills and previous experiences related to the new job, but you also need to explain why you’re making the change and why you chose that company specifically. Use our example to avoid common pitfalls when writing this type of cover letter.

Cover Letter Examples for Special Circumstances

Searching for more examples? Here are other scenarios where having a great cover letter example will help you. Use them as guidance to write your professional cover letter.

Cover Letter Example for Unadvertised Position

No posted job description to refer to? No problem. Just explain how you heard about the role and share your enthusiasm about joining the team. Make sure you mention a few of your great skills and accomplishments.

Cover Letter Example for Employment Gap

If you have any employment gaps in your resume, your potential employer will have questions. However, you only have to address the gaps that you feel comfortable discussing, such as artistic endeavours, volunteer work, or if you ventured into opening your own business. Tie these experiences to the role you’re applying for and explain how they will help you perform the responsibilities written in the job description.

Anything family-related or personal shouldn’t be openly addressed in a cover letter, in fact, the law protects you if you choose to not disclose personal information. So if you took a break from the workforce to raise your family or for health-related reasons, you don’t have to share it with anyone.

If the employment gap is because you were fired or laid off by your previous employer, it’s best to not include this in your cover letter. Instead, write about your skills and qualifications, and how excited you are about this new opportunity. Wait until your interviewer asks you about it and come prepared with a professional (and diplomatic) answer.

Cover Letter Example for Cold-Call Inquiries

Just because a company hasn’t posted any job openings doesn’t mean they’re not hiring. Take the initiative and reach out with an attention-grabbing cover letter. Describe your talents and what you can offer the company.

Cover Letter Example for New Position with Current Employer

Though you have your foot in the door, you still need to put your best foot forward with a cover letter and resume that emphasize your value. Start by discussing your accomplishments and then mention how you will benefit your employer on future projects.

Cover Letter Example for Temporary to Permanent Position

If you truly love your employer, don’t be afraid to apply for a permanent role. You already know the hiring manager and are familiar with the company, so now all you need to do is show why you’d be a great long-term fit.

Cover Letter Example for Networking

A professional cover letter can help turn your social and professional network into an asset when looking for a job. A strong cover letter and resume sent to your network can find its way to a hiring manager or turn up job leads.

Cover Letter Example with a Referral

When done correctly, telling the employer that someone in the company referred you lets them know that you’re someone they can trust. Use our example to do this correctly and catch their attention.

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Cover Letter Examples by Industry

Whatever job you’re applying for, we’ve got a cover letter for you. Here’s some examples for top industries, ready for you to use.

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:

Food Service

Highlight your ability to provide efficient, reliable service, as well as any special training you’ve had in food preparation, delivery and customer relations.

Top Food Service 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:

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:

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:

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:

The Benefits of Using Our Cover Letter Examples

  • Notepad

    A perfect layout for a perfect letter.

    Our professionally designed examples are built to display your content neatly and effectively.

  • Help

    Guidance and tips for every job and industry.

    We have cover letter examples for every job — use them as a guide to create your letter, or use our Cover Letter Builder, and take advantage of our expert suggestions and tips for every section.

  • Edit

    Customize your letter for different jobs.

    It’s easy to update these examples to match different jobs — and if you use our tools, you can save and download as many versions of your letter as you need.

  • Double Pad

    Match your perfect letter with a perfect resume.

    Use our Resume Builder to create resumes that complement with your letter in look and layout.

Cover Letter Examples FAQ

1. Are cover letters really necessary?

The short answer is yes.

According to the Society of Human Resources Management, a cover letter demonstrates your genuine interest in the job and company. It’s a blank canvas where you can further talk about your accomplishments, introduce yourself in a more personal way, and explain why you want to work for that employer.

2. Do you have to write a different cover letter for each job application?

Absolutely!

Every job application and company is different. Like a resume, your cover letter should be tailored to the job you’re applying for and the employer you’re directing that letter to. You want to make sure that what you write and the tone you use align with the company culture, values and, most importantly, the job application.

3. What should not be included in a cover letter?

  • Any spelling or grammatical errors
  • Information not relevant to the job
  • Personal information, such as your religious beliefs and political affiliations
  • Negative comments about your current or former employer
  • Overly flattering language
  • Your salary or work benefits requirements

To avoid these mistakes, follow our in-depth How to Write a Cover Letter guide.

4. Should you address an employment gap in a cover letter?

Definitely!

As we explained before, your potential employer will be curious about any employment gaps but you should only use your cover letter to explain gaps like artistic endeavors or volunteer work.

Employment gaps brought on by personal reasons (such as an illness or to take care of your family) don’t have to be discussed in your cover letter. Neither do gaps caused by your former employer firing or laying you off. In fact, if the former happened to you, you should wait till the interviewer asks you about it and have a professional answer ready.

Your cover letter should compliment your resume and help you sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. Focus on your accomplishments, skills and relevant experiences.

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