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How to Write a Good Cover Letter for a Resume & Get a Job

How to Write a Good Cover Letter for a Resume & Get a Job

Looking for an answer to how to write a cover letter? That’s great you made it all the way here! You’ll find the answer to questions about the cover letter you didn’t know you had.

Writing cover letters isn’t hard.

 

It’s ruthless.

 

Not only do you have to remember the most significant and relevant accomplishments of your employment history, but now you also need to figure out how to write a 400-word letter about them.

 

Gee! 

 

But, lemme tell you what.

 

With me and my guide, you’ll write a painless 200-word cover letter that sweeps recruiters off their feet.

 

Also painlessly.

 

This guide will show you:

 

  • How to write a cover letter from A to Z better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • A cover letter for a resume that will get you more interviews, with examples.
  • Expert insights into how to write a good cover letter that’ll skyrocket your chances of landing a job.

 

Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from20+ 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

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

 

How to write a cover letter step by step:

 

  1. Set the Correct Formatting
  2. Make a Heading
  3. Address Your Recruiter
  4. Say Who You Are
  5. Talk About Relevant Skills and Experience
  6. Prove Your Motivation to Join
  7. Ask for an Interview
  8. Leave a Formal Sign-Off

 

Good Cover Letter Example

 

John Chillton

4829 Merivale Road

Ottawa, ON K2P 0K1

613-265-0323

johnchillton@email.com

 

December 2, 2021

 

Russell K. Collins

Human Resources Manager

ABC Ltd.

912 11th Ave

Hespeler, ON N3C 1H3

 

Dear Mr. Collins,

 

It’s exciting to see ABC Ltd. being on the lookout for a project management specialist. I’ve been working on growing my knowledge and skills in the project management field for quite some time now, and I’m sure I’ve reached a level where I can safely say I’m the best candidate you’ll hear from. Especially when I tell you that I’ve recently closed another deal with a Fortune 500-listed company.

 

I’m a certified PMO with a pragmatic approach to solutions wherever possible. My customer service experience has helped me develop anticipating needs skilfully; therefore, troubleshooting is now one of my favourite parts of a process, let alone ideation and Root Cause Analysis. Here are my achievements to date:

 

  • Successfully managed a multi-million project with 100% on-time delivery.
  • Commended by the manager for noticing opportunities that brought a +$150K revenue each quarter.
  • Leading a virtual team of engaged individuals from Brazil, Spain, France, the USA, England, and Poland.

 

Your company does business on international markets, which gives me a thrill. It motivates me to take a leap out of my comfort zone and do better. It’s never too late to learn and expand one’s capabilities.

 

This week, let’s schedule a meeting to discuss how my result-driven personality can benefit your company and get higher revenue at lower costs.

 

Yours sincerely,

John Chillton

 

P.S.—I’ll be happy to tell you more about how I happened to sign a contract for an international campaign while on holiday in Portugal.

 

Don’t you have goosebumps? 

 

Because I do.

 

I’d hire that guy without reading his resume.

 

Read the step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter for a job that burns with passion like the one above:

 

1. Set the Correct Formatting

 

I can see you getting mad at yourself for picking Microsoft Word to create a template in the first place.

 

I’ve been there.

 

We’ve ALL been there.

 

But hey! It’s only a text editor, not Photoshop, so let’s be smarter and use what it has to offer to your advantage.

 

Here are all the cover letter formatting rules you need to follow when writing your perfect cover letter:

 

How to Write a Cover Letter: Format

 

  • Margins: 1-inch
  • Line spacing: 1–1.15
  • Spacing between paragraphs: double
  • Alignment: left
  • Font: Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, or Verdana
  • Font size: 10–12
  • Page length: 0.5–1
  • File format: PDF (unless the job ad states otherwise)
  • Filename: JobTitle_YourName_CoverLetter.pdf

Pro Tip: Keep the exact design of your templates for every part of your job application. One, you let recruiters remember you easily. And two, it looks neat and worked on. 

Once you’re ready with technicalities, move on to how to divide your cover letter into sections:

 

How to Write a Cover Letter: Template

 

  1. Header with your full name, mailing address, phone number, and email
  2. Date of writing
  3. Hiring manager’s address
  4. Salutation
  5. Opening paragraph
  6. Accomplishments paragraph
  7. Motivation paragraph
  8. Call to action
  9. Signature

 

Let’s get down straight to writing.

 

2. Make a Heading

 

Sometimes things are simple, uncomplicated.

 

Just the way you like.

 

And I’m glad because that’s the cover letter header’s job—to be plain and simple. 

 

Write your name and give away your contact details, namely mailing address, phone number and email. Make sure they’re 100% correct.

 

You don’t want to cling to your phone with no chance for a callback. Or for a stranger to snap your opportunity for a successful career, do you?

 

Use the below template to duplicate the perfect heading in your cover letter:

 

Cover Letter Template—Heading 

 

[Your Full Name]

[Mailing Address]

[Mailing Address]

[Phone Number]

[Email Address]

 

If you prefer to highlight your name, feel free to do so. Set the font size max. to 14 points and enjoy uninterrupted attention from the recruiters.

 

Now see the cover letter heading example:

 

Great Cover Letter—Heading Example

RIGHT

John Chillton

4829 Merivale Road

Ottawa, ON K2P 0K1

613-265-0323

johnchillton@email.com

Like I said—

 

Nothing complicated.

 

3. Address Your Recruiter

 

Here it gets trickier.

 

Because it’s best if you know the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s name. 

 

Why?

 

Why do you write “Dear Santa” if you want a present, not a rod?

 

You’d definitely get a rod if you choose to write “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” It makes the recipient unimportant. 

 

And Santa is important.

 

Plus, messages or documents without a name belong to nobody, so no matter the reason you choose to believe in, either makes the case equally bad.

 

Why don’t you check out the below address template that you can use in every cover letter:

 

How to Write a Cover Letter Canada—Address 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]



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

 

The best tactics for nailing that part? 

 

Asking.

 

Call the reception if you can’t find the person’s name who’s your recruiter or hiring manager. But be prepared to talk precisely to that person.

 

Or, you can have a look at the job description again or the company’s LinkedIn profile.

 

There are plenty of ways to make it right. You only need to choose one.

 

Now see how a cover letter address looks in a real example:

 

Proper Cover Letter—Address Sample

RIGHT

December 2, 2021

 

Russell K. Collins

Human Resources Manager

ABC Ltd.

912 11th Ave

Hespeler, ON N3C 1H3

 

Dear Mr. Collins,

You’re right to spot that the address is also a salutation. 

 

Use Ms. or Mr. followed by the last name of the reader. If they have an academic title, check it a hundred times before putting it in there.

 

In the worst-case scenario, when you couldn’t find the name or don’t want to mess with the titles, write “Dear Hiring Manager.”

 

When making a resume and a cover letter 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. Say Who You Are

 

Now you need to get at the top of your game.

 

It’s no joke.

 

The cover letter introduction can give you or rob you of a job. 

 

It is its compelling power that makes the reader keep on reading. You can harness it by enrapturing your personality, achievements, or shared values into weighty sentences.

 

Would the princess kiss the frog if it hadn’t been for his excellent talk game?

 

You already know the answer, so—

 

See an example for a compelling cover letter opening:

 

Compelling Cover Letter—Introduction Example

RIGHT

It’s exciting to see ABC Ltd. being on the lookout for a project management specialist. I’ve been working on growing my knowledge and skills in the project management field for quite some time now, and I’m sure I’ve reached a level where I can safely say I’m the best candidate you’ll hear from. Especially when I tell you that I’ve recently closed another deal with a Fortune 500-listed company.

WRONG

I’m writing with reference to your job posting about the project management specialist position. I’m interested in the role as I’ve been working towards bettering my skills in the field for quite some time. Let me introduce myself further.

Here are a few strategies for you to make sure you write a compelling cover letter introduction:

 

  • Refer to shared values or mission statement
  • Comment on the company’s recent events
  • Drop names
  • Let your motivation and enthusiasm speak for themselves
  • Be a solution to the company’s problems
  • Show the benefit of hiring you
  • Share with the company one of your biggest relevant achievements

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to show who you are. Recruiters read cover letters first to get to know you and create an impression of you, so personality is as important as accomplishments.

5. Talk About Relevant Skills and Experience

 

I’ve found the one, everyone! I’ve found them!

 

Oh, how much you must wish for being the one. 

 

And I don’t mean standing first in a queue for a bus arriving at its first stop.

 

I mean, the one who gives the recruiter a sense of relief and gets a gig in return.

 

To get a seat, you’ve got to write the second paragraph with skill, literally, and prove that previous experiences will help you deliver on the future job.

 

See the example of how to write a cover letter’s second paragraph:

 

Professional Cover Letter—Achievements Example

RIGHT

I’m a certified PMO with a pragmatic approach to solutions wherever possible. My customer service experience has helped me develop anticipating needs skilfully; therefore, troubleshooting is now one of my favourite parts of a process, let alone ideation and Root Cause Analysis. Here are my achievements to date:

 

  • Successfully managed a multi-million dollar project with 100% on-time and within budget delivery.
  • Commended by the manager for noticing opportunities that brought a +$150K revenue each quarter.
  • Leading a virtual team of engaged individuals from Brazil, Spain, France, the USA, England, and Poland.
WRONG

I’m a certified PMO with problem-solving skills. I worked as a customer service specialist and learned to meet customer needs. I’m a skilled troubleshooter and a fan of the project management process’s ideation and Root Cause Analysis parts.

 

As a project manager, I was responsible for multi-million dollar projects, which I delivered on time, presenting new opportunities for development to my superior and leading a team.

A sure yes and a fat no.

 

That’s how I see it, and I bet you do too.

 

This section cannot be a grocery list of what you have or can provide.

 

It should be an achievement list explaining how the results translate into the experience your employer requires you to have.

 

In the first part, describe your relevant skillset and its benefit to the desired role. In the second, though, write 3 to 4 bullet points with accomplishment statements with the qualifications or qualities the job ad describes as must-haves.

 

But remember—

 

Do NOT copy and paste your resume into the cover letter. Hint at what the recruiter or hiring manager may come across in your application. A word-to-word repetition is, as the kids say, lame.

 

6. Prove Your Motivation to Join

 

That’s enough of them talking.

 

Now the stage is yours.

 

Grab this opportunity in the third paragraph to explain why the company appeals to you and why you chose them exactly.

 

It’s your chance to emphasize again your motivation to join and eagerness to learn. 

 

I wouldn’t be myself if there wasn’t a “but,” so—

 

But because you can show your enthusiasm, it doesn’t mean that you should completely forget about using that cover letter part to your advantage.

 

Read the company values description or the mission statement; you can actually choose one of the strategies for the opening paragraph and go hard for it. 

 

That way, you’ll not only mark your name with “I’ve read and know all about your company,” but you’ll also dot the i’s and cross the t’s in the successful cover letter checklist.

 

See how to write the middle paragraph of a cover letter:

 

Good Cover Letter Example—Motivation 

RIGHT

Your company does business on international markets, which gives me a thrill. It motivates me to take a leap out of my comfort zone and do better. It’s never too late to learn and expand one’s capabilities.

WRONG

With your company, I see an opportunity for growth and skill development. I think I’ll be able to deliver the KPIs. 

Generic cover letters are doomed for failure. 

 

And you can now see it for yourself.

 

7. Ask for an Interview

 

“Looking forward to hearing from you.”

 

sigh

 

Don’t wait. 

 

You’ve been so confident throughout your letter, and now you’re going to wait?

 

Heck no. 

 

Stay confident till the very end and call the reader to action.

 

Look how John pulled that part off. It’s perfect.

 

Perfect Cover Letter—Ending Example

RIGHT

This week, let’s schedule a meeting to discuss how my result-driven personality can benefit your company and get higher revenue at lower costs.

Not only did he emphasize that he’s available this week, but he also used an action verb that’ll stick in a recruiter’s head like a “967-1111” earworm.

 

Plus—

 

It’s a great moment to remind the reader of the benefit of hiring you. Use it.

 

8. Leave a Formal Sign-Off

 

To finish off, remember to end with a formal sentiment such as:

 

  • With best/kind regards
  • Best/kind regards
  • Sincerely/Yours sincerely
  • Thank you
  • All the best

 

And sign it with your full name. If you can, add your digital signature right above it.

 

Successful Cover Letter—Signature Example

RIGHT

Yours sincerely,

John Chillton

 

P.S.—I’ll be happy to tell you more about how I happened to sign a contract for an international campaign while on holiday in Portugal.

Spot on! 

 

I’m glad you spotted the postscript, as it’s a banging finisher to the cover letter. You can, but don’t have to, include it. 

 

That one sentence aims to instill an even higher thrill in your recruiter with an additional achievement and smash the entire process.

 

Mind it’s reserved for one-of-a-kind content!

 

A great cover letter that matches your CV 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

 

A recap of what you’ve read today:

 

  • Before putting words onto the page, format the letter and create a 3-4 paragraph outline.
  • Content on a half to one page is more than enough.
  • Don’t reveal what’s in your resume. A cover letter is only an introduction to your job application.
  • Successful cover letters give equal voice to personality and accomplishments talking.
  • Don’t bore the reader with standard openings, overused phrases, and familiar closings, and look for inspiration not elsewhere but yourself.
  • Proofread your lettre to make sure your not sending somthing like this.

 

And that’s all from me.

 

Thank you for reading my article!

 

I have a few questions for you—

 

Do you want more info on how to write a cover letter? Perhaps you’re wondering how to write a cover for a specific job? Or maybe I missed a thing, and you want more cover letter tips on a particular cover letter writing step?

 

Leave a comment. I’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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