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How to Write a Cover Letter: Examples & Template

How to Write a Cover Letter: Examples & Template

Is your head aching from conflicting advice about how to write a cover letter? Use our writing guide and stop spinning.

Jumping between tabs to use tips on how to write a cover letter?

 

You can stop now.

 

You’ve just found a cover letter writing guide that’s all-in-one. Follow along and get it over with.

 

This guide will show you:

 

  • How to write a cover letter template that’s better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • Cover letter examples that will get you more interviews.
  • Tips for writing a cover letter to boost your chances of landing a job.
  • A cover letter sample with actionable steps to write a cover letter from A to Z.

 

Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.

 

Create your cover letter now

 

sample cover letter example
sample  cover letter example

Sample cover letter for a resume—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.

 

How to write a cover letter step by step:

 

  1. Sort Out Your Cover Letter Format
  2. Create a Cover Letter Header
  3. Address Your Hiring Manager
  4. Introduce Yourself In a Cover Letter
  5. Write About Relevant Skills and Experience
  6. Highlight the Benefit from Hiring You
  7. Add a Call to Action in the Cover Letter Closing
  8. Sign-Off the Cover Letter
  9. Enclose Cover Letter Attachments

 

Cover Letter Example

 

Summer Hislop

44 Edgecliff Road

TAYLOR SQUARE NSW 2010

(01) 2345 6789

summerhislop@email.com

 

25 August 2021

 

Ellie Byatt

Head of Technology

Sicall

2 Grandis Road

SHERWOOD NSW 2440

elliebyatt@sicall.com

 

RE: SENIOR IT PROJECT MANAGER — Position Number: 123A

 

Dear Ms Byatt,

 

With great pleasure, I submit my application for the Senior IT Project Manager position recommended to me by one of your employees, Cody Agaundo. We have known each other for years, which makes me highly optimistic about the opportunity. My particular interest in this position comes from my ambition to change people’s approach towards technology, together with my natural aptitude for problem-solving. 

 

Thanks to a 6-year experience in project management in the technology industry, I feel confident in my ability to supervise the full cycle of IT projects, including software development, agile approach, budget management, and contract negotiation. I have gained substantial knowledge in project management methodologies throughout those years, getting certified as PMI Agile Practitioner and Registered Project Manager.

 

During my employment at TechCon, I had the opportunity to put my risk management and negotiation skills to the test. The company was on the brink of losing its biggest client to date and money invested in the project due to unforeseen and abrupt changes in privacy regulations. Thanks to my expertise and connections, the client stayed with the company, and TechCon secured a $1M contract. As a result, we managed to launch a fraud prevention application.

 

You and I share the same values: impact, commitment, and integrity. I also find it comforting about Sicall that you choose your projects with great diligence and make sure it is the society that benefits, not the other way round. Knowing the attitude you desire to see daily, I am confident you will find me an added value to your company.

 

I would welcome the possibility of further discussing how my success will bring results to the Technology department at Sicall. Please let me know when we can arrange to meet in person.

 

Yours sincerely,

Summer Hislop



Attachments:

Resume

Certificates

 

Hiring managers read cover letters to get into the details of the experience and skillset that you listed on your resume. It adds personal value to your job application and is a perfect tool to convince the recruiter of your qualifications.

 

So—

 

Follow along with our step-by-step guide on how to make a good cover letter for a job that recruiters will love:

 

1. Sort Out Your Cover Letter Format

 

Before you jump into pouring words like sauce on pasta, get your cover letter formatting right. 

 

Why now?

 

Your letter should be one page long, and when you set up spacing and other technicalities, you’ll know when the sauce is spilling out.

 

Job Application Cover Letter—Format

 

  • Cover letter spacing: 1–1.15 line spacing, 1-inch (2.5 cm) margins on each side, double spaces between paragraphs.
  • Cover letter font: The best cover letter fonts are Calibri, Arial, and Helvetica in 11–12 font-size points. They’re legible and business-approved.
  • Alignment: Left align all content.
  • Cover letter file format: Save your cover letter sample in PDF, unless stated otherwise in the job posting.
  • Cover letter title: Go for JobTitle_YourName_CoverLetter.pdf, for example, ITProjectManager_SummerHislop_CoverLetter.pdf.

 

Cool as!

 

Although you don’t have to fear the sauce will pour over now, you still need to choose something less Da Bomb. Heavenly Habanero Chilli is your go-to, and you can only make it happen with a proper cover letter structure:

 

Cover Letter for Job Application—Structure

 

  1. Cover letter header.
  2. Cover letter address and salutation.
  3. Cover letter introduction.
  4. 1–2 body paragraphs.
  5. Cover letter closing.
  6. Cover letter sign off.

 

With such delicate cover letter parts, you won’t need milk to cool down. Neither will your recruiter.

 

2. Create a Cover Letter Header

 

Quiz time:

 

Which item on your cover letter does your hiring manager see first?

 

Correct! 10 points to Gryffindor! 

 

It’s the cover letter heading, which means you can’t mess it up. 

 

There’s a quick fix, though, if you’re using a cover letter design builder. 

 

You can easily copy the header style and include the same contact details: your name, phone number, and email address. You’ll earn another point for consistency. Just add your mailing address to keep a formal letter format. 

 

But, if you’re using a text editor to write it, here’s a template you can copy:

 

Cover Letter Header—Template 

 

[Your Full Name]

[Address]

[Address]

[Phone Number]

[Email Address]

 

Paste it in the left upper corner of the page. And remember—left align.

 

Take a look at how Summer completed the header template:

 

Cover Letter Heading—Example

RIGHT

Summer Hislop

44 Edgecliff Road

TAYLOR SQUARE NSW 2010

(01) 2345 6789

summerhislop@email.com

Notice that Summer didn’t use her SPAM email address (imsummer@4fun.com). And, she didn’t send it from her current work email account, either.

 

Be like Summer. 

 

Be professional.

 

That was the easiest part of writing a cover letter. See how it gets with each chapter—

 

3. Address Your Hiring Manager

 

Let me ask you this:

 

Would you read a letter or an email if the address was To Whom It May Concern?

 

Yeah, I wouldn’t bother, either. Oh, did you hear that? It was your recruiter crying, “Same!” 

 

There’s three of us, then.

 

These are equally bad:

 

  • Dear Sir or Madam
  • Dear Company
  • Dears

 

They feel generic, almost spammy. And generic in recruiter’s language means unworthy.

 

To get your hiring manager to listen to what you have to say, call them out by name

 

Do your research and find it in the job description, the company’s website or LinkedIn profile. If it’s not there, call the office. If you tried everything but failed nonetheless, write “Dear Hiring Manager.” 

 

Apart from the name, you need a few more details for your cover letter address. Copy the template below to fill them in:

 

How to Address a Cover Letter—Template

 

[Date of Writing]

 

[Hiring Manager’s/Recruiter’s Name]

[Hiring Manager’s/Recruiter’s Job Title]

[Company Name]

[Address]

[Address]

[Hiring Manager’s/Recruiter’s Email Address]

 

RE: [Role Title and Number]



Dear [Ms/Mr Hiring Manager’s/Recruiter’s Last Name],

 

In case you haven’t found your recruiter’s name, follow along with the company details only.

 

And writing the name and number of the job title in the address section will spare you dwelling on it in the opening paragraph.

 

Check out the below example with correct cover letter address formatting:

 

How to Address a Cover Letter—Sample

RIGHT

25 August 2021

 

Ellie Byatt

Head of Technology

Sicall

2 Grandis Road

SHERWOOD NSW 2440

elliebyatt@sicall.com



RE: SENIOR IT PROJECT MANAGER — Position Number: 123A



Dear Ms Byatt,

 

OK—enough of filling in cover letter templates.

 

It’s time to start proper cover letter writing.

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

4. Introduce Yourself In a Cover Letter

 

What would you tell Network 10 to get in Survivor? Well—

 

You’d probably come up with an epic story about how perfect you’re for this. After all, a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity is at stake. 

 

Think of the cover letter introduction as if it was your elevator pitch to the Survivor’scasting manager.

 

Introduce yourself and give them a good reason to take you in. It can be either a passion that drives you or one of your outstanding achievements. You can also respond to the employer’s most recent problems.

 

No matter what you choose, it’s your live or die moment. Don’t let the recruiter eliminate you after reading your cover letter opening.

 

Job Application Cover Letter—Introduction

RIGHT

With great pleasure, I submit my application for the Senior IT Project Manager position recommended to me by one of your employees, Cody Agaundo. We have known each other for years, which makes me highly optimistic about the opportunity. My particular interest in this position comes from my ambition to change people’s approach towards technology, together with my natural aptitude for problem-solving. 

WRONG

I am an IT Project Manager and Cody Agaundo, your employee, recommended the company to me. I want to take my chances because of my years of experience. I think I would be a great fit for you.

That’s some attention-grabbing cover letter intro! 

 

The first example drops a name and uses it to build trust. And, there’s also a passion bit that fits into the company’s big picture.

 

The other one, though, is definitely your die moment.

 

5. Write About Relevant Skills and Experience

 

Speedos aren’t for everyone. And if your mates really care about the pack’s unity, they’d need to use arguments appealing specifically to you.

 

That’s precisely what you need to do in the next paragraphs—describe your experience and skills in your employer’s language.

 

But it can’t be just a description. 

 

You’re writing the cover letter to prove you’re second to none in the speed race for the role. 

 

That’s why the accomplishments must be relevant, get your abilities across, and say how they respond to the company’s needs. Do exactly that in one or two paragraphs.

 

Now repeat after me:

 

I’ll find everything I need in the job description.

 

On ya! 

 

Take a look at the below examples to see how well Summer understands her role:

 

Cover Letter Sample—Performance Paragraph

RIGHT

Thanks to a 6-year experience in project management in the technology industry, I feel confident in my ability to supervise the full cycle of IT projects, including software development, agile approach, budget management, and contract negotiation. I have gained substantial knowledge in project management methodologies throughout those years, getting certified as PMI Agile Practitioner and Registered Project Manager.

 

During my employment at TechCon, I had the opportunity to put my risk management and negotiation skills to the test. The company was on the brink of losing its biggest client to date and money invested in the project due to unforeseen and abrupt changes in privacy regulations. Thanks to my expertise and connections, the client stayed with the company, and TechCon secured a $1M contract. As a result, we managed to launch a fraud prevention application.

WRONG

I have worked for TechCon for more than six years. During that time, I gained experience in project management, risk mitigation, and cost management. I am used to working in a fast-paced environment and resolving high impact challenges.

Righto.

 

The cover letter can’t be a copy-paste of your resume. You won’t make a difference with your letter that way.

 

Instead, go into detail about one of your achievements. Say how the skills you have helped you get results.

Pro Tip: If you’re going for a technical role, include more numbers. They draw attention like crazy and add impact to your accomplishments.

6. Highlight the Benefit from Hiring You

 

By now, your employer should know what you’ve got.

 

But they’re tough game. Peppering your skills and accomplishments isn’t enough.

 

In this paragraph, speak about your motivation to convince the hiring manager you’re up for the long run. And what works better than finding something that connects you?

 

There are several strategies you can use for this cover letter part:

 

  • Refer to the company’s mission and value statements.
  • Share common passions.
  • Comment on the company’s recent event.
  • Prove your knowledge of the industry.
  • Exhibit your enthusiasm. (It works exceptionally well for no experience cover letters.)

 

The thing is—cover letters shouldn’t only speak about how you fit the company, but how good you are for each other.

 

With that in mind, check what drives Summer to start working for Sicall:

 

Sample Cover Letter for a Job—Motivation Paragraph Example

RIGHT

You and I share the same values: impact, commitment, and integrity. I also find it comforting about Sicall that you choose your projects with great diligence and make sure it is the society that benefits, not the other way round. Knowing the attitude you desire to see daily, I am confident you will find me an added value to your company.

WRONG

I will be very happy for the opportunity to work for you. I think I will bring results and contribute to the company. Please consider my application favourably for the post, and I am looking forward to hearing from you.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how bad is the second example? 11.

 

It’s generic and means, well, nothing. 

 

The first one, though—just look at those values! The recruiter will be thrilled to know you share their views and won’t hesitate to call you “one of theirs.”

 

7. Add a Call to Action in the Cover Letter Closing

 

This may come as a surprise to you, but—

 

It’s you who asks to tee up for an interview.

 

Can you believe it?

 

It’s a bold move, but a necessary one. 

 

Including a call to action instead of a clichéd, “Looking forward to hearing from you,” can decide whether you get the job.

 

Keep the positive tone and hint at having even more successes to discuss. In the final sentence, ask for a bell or in-person interview.

 

Example of a Cover Letter—Last Paragraph

RIGHT

I would welcome the possibility of further discussing how my success will bring results to the Technology department at Sicall. Please let me know when we can arrange to meet in person.

And. That. Is. Fire.

 

8. Sign-Off the Cover Letter

 

If you were Usain Bolt and running the 100 m, this will be the 9th second of your world record’s run.

 

To make it to the finish line, you need to add a formal salutation and signature to the cover letter closing.

 

Go for “Yours sincerely” or “Yours faithfully.” They’re hiring managers’ all-time favourites. And, whichever you choose, follow it with your first and last name. 

 

If you’re printing out the letter, sign it by hand. You can always add a digital signature if you have such a possibility.

 

Simple Cover Letter—Signature Example

RIGHT

Yours sincerely,

Summer Hislop

WRONG

Cheers,

Summer

WRONG

Hooroo,

Hislop Summer

And onto the 0.58 of the record—

 

9. Enclose Cover Letter Attachments

 

Let him cast the first stone, who never forgets to add attachments in the email.

 

The bloody embarrassment, though. Ugh!

 

You can’t let this happen this time. (Or never again, ideally.) Before you hit “Send,” stop for one second and think:

 

Do you want to include any documents apart from the cover letter for your job application?

 

Recruiters open cover letters first, so list anything else that you make available, for example:

 

  • Resume
  • Reference letters
  • Application form
  • Certificates
  • Licenses

 

Enclose those attachments at the bottom of your cover letter, a few lines under the signature.

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

 

How to write a cover letter in a nutshell:

 

  • Structure and format your cover letter first.
  • Learn as much as you can about the role, company, and hiring manager, and take advantage of that knowledge in the cover letter paragraphs.
  • Use the language from the job posting to tailor your cover letter.
  • Refer to the company’s mission statement, values, or recent events to build connection.
  • Let your accomplishments speak for themselves.
  • Add a call to action in your cover letter ending.
  • Start and finish the cover letter with a formal sentiment.

 

Want more info on writing a cover letter? Wondering how your cover letter can get you noticed? Maybe you want more cover letter tips on a specific cover letter writing step?

 

Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!

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Katarzyna Furman
Katarzyna is an empathetic career expert dedicated to encouraging growth in job hunters through building perfect resumes, CVs, and cover letters. At Zety, she gives her Certified Professional Resume Writer advice to make you realize you have a successful track record that only needs to see the daylight.

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