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How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job in 2022 + Examples

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job in 2022 + Examples

You need to write a cover letter, but what is a cover letter, exactly? And what’s the best way to write it? Learn how to write a cover letter with expert tips and examples.

As seen in:

Unlike a resume, a cover letter lets you can introduce yourself to the hiring manager, provide context for your achievements and qualifications, and explain your motivation for joining the company.

 

But you can’t just write a cover letter. It has to be perfect. So… How do you write the perfect cover letter You know—the kind of letter that will make the employer call you up in the middle of the night? Give us 10 minutes and you’ll know how to write a cover letter like that.

 

This guide will show you:

 

  • How to write a cover letter for a resume better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • A sample cover letter that will get you more interviews.
  • Cover letter writing tips and hacks to boost your chances of landing a job.
  • Actionable ideas on how to start and end a cover letter, plus how to address it.

 

Have a specific job in mind? Find the right cover letter sample for your job among

Cover Letter Examples for All Professions

 

Writer’s block? Let us write your cover letter for you. Tell us your name, job title, and years of experience. And get an automatically generated professional cover letter in less than a minute. Plus, you can pick from 20+ cover letter templates that match your resume!

 

CREATE YOUR COVER LETTER NOW

 

Sample cover letter for a resume—See more cover letter samples here.

 

What Is a Cover Letter?

You were ready to apply for that awesome job, but when reading the job advertisement, you stumbled across three words: attach a cover letter. Now, you’re scratching your head and wondering: What is a cover letter for a resume? How do I write one?

 

Don’t panic. We’ll tell you everything, from start to finish.

 

What Is a Cover Letter for a Job?

 

A cover letter is a document attached to a job application designed to introduce the candidate in a more personal way. It should complement the information from a resume or CV, expanding on the skills and achievements and highlighting a selection of the most relevant accomplishments.

 

See? It’s not rocket science. It’s just a letter that supports your job application.

 

What Is the Purpose of a Cover Letter?

 

There are several reasons why hiring managers request cover letters and why job applicants should write them. The main reason is that the cover letter can provide additional, more personal information—something difficult to grasp reading a resume.

 

Here are other things that the cover letter is for:

 

  • Makes you stand out from other applicants
  • Expresses your interest in the position
  • Shows your knowledge about the company
  • Presents how your skills and experience can assist the company
  • Proves you understand the needs of the company

 

And that’s why it’s worth spending some time writing a great cover letter that does all of the above.

 

Now that you know what a cover letter is and what’s the point of a cover letter, it’s time to learn other things.

 

How to Write a Cover Letter?

 

Watch a video to uncover the simple truths of writing a cover letter for a job:

 

  

Worried you might miss something? You can relax. We’ve got a checklist guide for you: What to Include in a Cover Letter 

Without further ado, let’s move on to detailed instructions on how to write a successful cover letter:

 

1. Start With a Header

 

Yup, the basics first. The cover letter header should include the following:

 

  • Your name
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address
  • The date
  • The name of the hiring manager and their professional title
  • The name and address of the company to which you’re applying

 

 

Optionally, you can add:

 

  • Your professional title
  • Your home address
  • Links to your professional websites
  • Your social media accounts (applicable only for LinkedIn and Twitter)
  • Your city of residence (it’s not mandatory but adds a professional touch—include it if your cover letter is highly official)

 

Just remember to keep it professional:

 

  • Use an email address from a respected provider—that means either Gmail or your personal domain (if you have one.)
  • Your email address should only include your first and last name—coolvanessa@gmail.com or johnlikesgoats@hotmail.com will be deal-breakers.
  • Don’t use your current work address to send your email cover letter. It’s impolite to both your current and potential future employer.
  • Make sure your contact information is consistent across your resume, cover letter, and social media profiles.

 

Want to save time and have your professional job application ready in minutes? Here are a sample cover letter and a matching resume made with our resume and cover letter builder. Check our resume templates matching your cover letter's here.

 

Resume and a sample cover letter for a job application. See 18 professional resume templates here.

 

2. Address the Reader 

 

Who do you address a cover letter to?

 

Directly to the hiring manager who’ll read it.

 

The greeting of your cover letter (i.e., the salutation) might be the very first thing the hiring manager sees. That makes it one of the most important parts of a cover letter. There’s one great, foolproof strategy to make your greeting catch their attention:

 

Dear Katherine,

 

That’s right. Their name.

 

If we hear or see our name, we react. There’s a lot of science behind this:

 

Once the hiring manager sees their name in the greeting of your cover letter, they will feel like they’ve found something tailored specifically for them. It will feel personal; they’ll know whatever comes next might just be the exact information they’ve been looking for.

 

All of the following are good examples of professional cover letter greetings:

 

  • Dear Katherine,
  • Dear Miss Jones,
  • Dear Ms. Smith,
  • Dear Mrs. Ford,
  • Dear Mr. McConnor, 

Pro Tip: Wondering whether you should use the hiring manager’s first or last name? That depends on the company culture. Use the first name if you’re applying for a position with a relaxed, casual company. For corporate cover letters, it’s safer to use the addressee's last name.

How do you find out the hiring manager’s name?

 

Do some research!

 

Look into the job description to see if the recruiter left their name or go to the company’s LinkedIn page. You should find recruiters there responsible for uploading the job offers.

 

There are multiple ways to find out who your hiring manager is. You can learn about them in our dedicated guide: How to Address a Cover Letter: Sample & Guide [20+ Examples]

 

Who to address a cover letter if no hiring manager's name is provided?

 

If you can’t find the name by any means possible, opt for Dear Hiring Manager. Avoid starting your cover letter "to whom it may concern." And if you’re not living in Victorian England, don’t start a cover letter with “Dear Sir or Madam.”

 

Have a look at those sample cover letter greetings:

 

  • Dear Sales Team Hiring Manager,
  • Dear Hiring Manager,
  • Dear [XYZ Company] Team,

 

Done with the header and greeting? Now it’s time for the meat and potatoes. The central paragraphs of your cover letter.

 

 

3. Show Your Enthusiasm in the Opening

 

Here’s the brutal truth:

 

These few sentences at the beginning of your cover letter will determine whether the hiring manager will read on.

 

You need to make your cover letter introduction attract and hold the hiring manager’s interest.

 

There are a few different, effective strategies for your cover letter opening. You can highlight your achievements, show how well you know your prospective employer’s needs, or base the intro on your enthusiasm.

 

Have a look at these two sample cover letter opening paragraphs:

WRONG

In response to your posting for the Digital Marketing Manager, I would like to express my interest in taking part in the recruitment process. As a digital marketing manager with 8+ years of experience, I am positive that I would succeed in this role.

Why is it so bad?

 

Because it provides no value and details, the bottom line is: “I’ve already done this job, so I think I’d fit in.” And it’s not enough for someone with more than eight years of experience to get the job. 

 

Now, see a properly written cover letter opening example:

RIGHT

As a lifelong enthusiast of XYZ’s marketing initiatives, I was thrilled to see your posting for the position of Digital Marketing Manager. I am positive I can help with XYZ’s upcoming challenges. I have experience with leading successful national online campaigns with budgets over $300,000. What is more, I have succeeded at expanding ABC’s client base by 19% since 2011.

“Wow, I’d have to be a lunatic not to hire her!”

 

That’s the response this cover letter's first paragraph will bring.

 

What if you’re creating a cover letter for an internship and don’t have any achievements to present? Don’t worry. We’ve got a dedicated guide to show you how to write a good cover letter and land your dream internship: How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship [+20 Examples]

 

4. Explain Why You’re the Perfect Fit

 

What to write in a cover letter’s second paragraph?

 

You need to get the hiring manager exactly what they’re looking for. You have to show that you will satisfy the company’s specific needs.

 

Remember Jane, our digital marketing manager candidate? The XYZ company to which she’s applying needs:

 

  • First of all, a savvy digital marketing manager (1).
  • And, on top of that, someone who will supervise the development of their new online portal (2).

 

Let’s look at how Jane managed to show that she’s both:

RIGHT

In my current position at ABC, I have supervised all phases of our online marketing initiatives, both technical and creative (1). Last year, my key challenge was to design and optimize nine product websites for ABC’s most strategic products and improve our SEO results as well as enhance the UX (2). Here we are a year later:

 

  • Eight of the nine websites I optimized have achieved and secured their spot in the top 3 results on Google(2). These are organic, non-paid results for 10+ key search terms;
  • The incoming search engine traffic to all nine websites comprises 47% of the total organic traffic (2) for key terms and phrases.

See how it’s done?

 

In the first sentence, show that you’re an expert in your field. But don’t keep on bragging. The remaining part of your cover letter’s second paragraph should be all about how your previous experiences will help your future employer press ahead with their plans.

Job seekers impress employers by identifying transferable skills related to new positions. People often apply to new positions, so it’s likely you’ll not have the exact experience requested. But employers would rather know how your past experiences will inform future decisions. You were a hostess? Relate those management and organizational skills to the Executive Assistant position.
Lauren LittleCareer Coach

Now see what you should not do:

WRONG

At ABC, I was a leader of a three-person digital marketing team, ensuring the results are delivered and deadlines are met.

The websites my team worked on achieved top results on Google for key terms and phrases.

 

You should understand the difference real quick. There’s a digital marketing leader with some results, true. But the hiring manager is looking for key metrics, numbers, and accomplishments that this particular candidate lacks.

Pro tip: If you're looking to work for a company, but there aren't any open positions, try writing a letter of interest for a job. It's a great way of uncovering vacancies that aren't even advertised. 

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.

 

5. Show Your Motivation to Join the Company

 

Your future employers have needs. If they’re willing to hire you, it’s because they think you’ll satisfy those needs.

 

But what they also want is for you to actually enjoy working with them. They want your future job to feel rewarding to you—that way, they know you’re more likely to stay with them for a longer period of time.

 

The third paragraph of the key to writing a perfect cover letter is showing the hiring manager why you want this job, not just any job. This is particularly important when writing an entry-level cover letter. Enthusiasm and passion help to prove you'll hit the ground running.

 

Above all, you want to avoid writing too much of a general cover letter. Generic doesn't win jobs, tailored and targeted does.

 

Here’s the easiest way to do it:

 

  • Start with a company fact - for instance, an upcoming project (1)
  • Say why you find it interesting (2)
  • Reiterate that your experience and knowledge will let you succeed with the project (3)

 

Have a look at this cover letter example:

RIGHT

I know that XYZ’s current plans involve developing a comprehensive online portal focused on healthcare-related issues (1). This project is a perfect match for my personal and professional interests and an exciting opportunity to create a unique online base of knowledge for patients and healthcare professionals (2). I would love to leverage my knowledge of SEO marketing and online growth marketing to achieve groundbreaking results with this initiative (3).

And now check this one:

WRONG

XYZ looks like a fantastic opportunity for me. I thrive in fast-paced environments and would love to leverage my current skillset to do better for your company.

What did I say about generic? It’s a no from the start. Recruiters don’t want to see generic cover letters that were made for anyone. They want to read cover letters written with their specific requirements in mind.

 

Wondering how to write a good cover letter for a job application when there’s no job offer? Want to see some general cover letter writing tips? Read our handy guide, 35+ Successful Cover Letter Tips, Advice & Guidelines (With Examples), and learn about effective cover letter strategies for different types of cover letters! 

Pro Tip: How long should a cover letter be? In general, a relevant and short cover letter is best. Three paragraphs tops. Your go-to word count shouldn’t exceed 300 words.

6. Close With a Promise

 

How to make the best cover letter ending?

 

Long story short: by providing value.

 

Tell the hiring manager that you’re looking forward to meeting in person and discussing how your experience and knowledge can help your future employer in fulfilling their goals.

 

Like in this cover letter example:

RIGHT

I would welcome the chance to discuss your digital marketing objectives and show you how my success at ABC can translate into digital and online marketing growth for XYZ.

Two worst cover letter mistakes you can make in the final paragraph are:

 

  1. Coming off needy—means focusing on how much you want the job, not on what you have to offer.
  2. Repeating the cliched phrase “Thank you for your consideration and your time.”

 

You can use some easy tricks to write an effective cover letter closing paragraph. Make sure to read our guide, How to End a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide [+20 Examples], and check them out!

 

7. Stay Formal in the Closing Salutation

 

Once you’ve written the body of your cover letter, you just need to put a formal closing at the very end.

 

Write “Sincerely” and follow it with your full name. Adding your handwritten signature is optional, but it’s recommended for more formal cover letters.

 

If you’re not a fan of the well-worn, “Sincerely,” feel free to use any of the following synonyms:

 

  • Thank you,
  • Best regards,
  • Kind regards,
  • Sincerely,
  • With best regards.

 

The ones listed above are going to be your safest bets. Still not what you’re looking for?

 

  • Thank you for your consideration,
  • Regards,
  • Sincerely yours,
  • Yours truly,
  • Respectfully yours.

Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to repeat your basic contact information, such as your LinkedIn profile, email address, and telephone number below your sign-off.

8. Add a Postscript

 

All of the above sections are must-haves in a good cover letter format. But there’s one special trick you can use:

 

The postscript.

 

Why is the “P.S.” so important? Because it’s like a magnet for the hiring manager’s eyes. It screams: “you cannot miss this information.”

 

Use the postscript to tell the hiring manager about something impressive about your career (1), even if it’s not strictly related to the job opening.

 

And say that you’d be happy to provide them with more details (2) if they find it interesting.

 

Like in our cover letter example:

RIGHT

P.S. —I would also value the opportunity to show you(2) how my e-detailing solutions grew the combined sales of three ABC flagship products by a record-breaking 13% in one year (1).

 

 

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:

 

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

 

Key Takeaway

For the final thought on how to write a cover letter:

 

  • Ensure your contact information is correct.
  • Personalize the cover letter and address the hiring manager directly.
  • Open your cover letter strong with an accomplishment you’re most proud of.
  • Explain your fit for the position by describing your relevant experience and professional successes.
  • Close with a call to action and sentiment.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my article!

 

Do you have any questions about how to make a cover letter? Want to share an example of a cover letter? Give us a shout in the comments and we’d be happy to reply!

 

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Write a Cover Letter

 

What is a cover letter?

 

A cover letter is a formal letter that accompanies a CV or a resume. It includes a candidate’s introduction and an overview of the candidate’s qualifications, skills, and accomplishments most relevant to the job they’re pursuing. The cover letter also serves to express the candidate’s interest in the position and the company, as well as eagerness to contribute to the company’s success. It can also help to explain employment gaps.

 

What are the four parts of a cover letter?

 

  • Cover letter header with your contact information such as full name, phone number, and email address
  • Cover letter introduction with your hiring manager’s address and a hook that hypes the reader up so much that they can’t stop reading
  • Cover letter body with a description of your significant accomplishments and strengths that you’ll bring to the table. (Beware! It’s not a copy of your resume.)
  • Cover letter closing with a call to action and your signature

 

What should a cover letter say?

 

That you’re the one. That you want them, but that they want you, too. That you’re the solution to their problems. That’s what your cover letter should say

 

And you can achieve all of that by having a number of things in your cover letter:

 

How to write a simple cover letter?

 

To make cover letter writing simple, you need to know a couple of things first:

  • Create proper cover letter formatting before putting down words. You’ll ensure a correct structure and that you’ll fit onto one page with your cover letter.
  • Find your hiring manager’s or recruiter’s name. By personalizing your cover letter, you have a higher chance of landing the gig.
  • Create a list of job keywords you need to target with your application. Have a look at the job ad and mark those words which speak of necessary qualifications and qualities. Then use them in your paragraphs.
  • Never lie in your job application.
  • And lastly, do as extensive research about the company as possible. The intricate details about their mission, values, and vision will help you find an angle to write your cover letter.

 

How to write a cover letter for an internship?

 

A cover letter to an internship resume is a fantastic way to shoo away your competition. So don't hesitate and write a cover letter for an internship you’ve dreamt of for too long.

 

First and foremost, prove to your potential employer that you’re worth hiring, and that they’re a great company to work for. Do your research and don’t be shy to show what you’ve learned. Later use that knowledge to give away your connection to the company and its values. Show your transferable skillset and achievements, and let your determination and motivation do their magic.

 

How to write a cover letter for 2022?

 

In 2022, write your cover letter with these simple steps:

  • Create a consistent look by mirroring a resume header to your template.
  • Make a clean cover letter layout to keep enough whitespace on the page.
  • Find an angle to write your cover letter—motivation to advance, shared values or mission statement, recent developments in the industry. Doing thorough research always helps. 
  • Start your cover letter with a relevant accomplishment that makes the reader want to carry on.
  • Create a smooth transition from the hook through your strengths to motivation in 3 to 4 paragraphs, tops. 
  • Call your recruiter to action in the cover letter closing and ask for a meeting with you.

 

Is a cover letter necessary?

 

Yes.

 

Almost half of the recruiters reject applications without a cover letter. Cover letters are a treat for those who still care to hire dedicated professionals. (And that’s you, right?)

 

It’s no surprise, though, that you’re questioning whether a cover letter is necessary. The entire job application process can be exhausting, so cutting down on documents you have to produce always seems like a good idea. But not this time.

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Michael Tomaszewski, CPRW
Michael is a career writer, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and the newsletter coordinator at Zety. Apart from sharing his own resume-writing expertise, Michael reaches out to recruitment and hiring gurus to help you learn the most effective strategies for managing your career.
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