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How and Why to Write a Cover Letter With Templates

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By Aakash Gupta

Founder and Remote Work Advocate

How and why to write a cover letter with templates

Cover letters are arguably the most important part of a job application, but a lot of people struggle with where to get started. Here, we’re going to take you through a cover letter with templates, to hopefully give you some inspiration for your next employment opportunity. 

First, however, let’s get started with the basics: what exactly is a cover letter?

1. What is a Cover Letter? 

What is a cover letter? 

Where your resume is a standardized description of your achievements, a cover letter is your chance to put a little more personality into your application. A good cover letter will introduce what makes you unique, highlight the skills you possess that are most pertinent for a particular job and make a compelling argument for why you should be considered a top candidate for a position. Yes, that does mean each cover letter will be unique, and yes, it does take time to individualize them. Nevertheless, it’s worth making the effort for a number of key motives.

2. Why Should You Write a Cover Letter? 

Why should you write a cover letter? 

What are 3 reasons a cover letter is important? Well, first off, they allow you to pinpoint parts of your experience that are of greatest relevance to your candidacy for a role. CVs are great for conveying a lot of information, but the most germane points can get lost amidst your broader employment history.

Second, you can explain why you’re interested in the role and show you’ve done a little research into the company. Hiring managers will be more inclined to pay attention if they feel you’re not just blindly applying for every job on the market.

Third, it gives you the opportunity to flash a little personality. A lot of other applicants may have similarly pertinent qualifications, but presenting those qualifications in an organized and thoughtful way will help set you apart from the pack.

3. How to Write a Cover Letter

How to write a cover letter

As we’ve already mentioned, each cover letter for a resume will be unique. Having said that, there are a few features to bear in mind when you’re composing your email.

3.1 Start With a Professional Cover Letter Header  

It may seem a little formal, but how to start a cover letter is with a header. This lends an air of professionalism before you’re even got into the meaty bit. The format is pretty standard: 

Your name

Your phone number

Your email address

Date

Name of the hiring manager 

Hiring manager’s professional title

Name of company

Address of company

While it’s traditional to include your address after your contact information and before the date, in our digital age, this practice has fallen by the wayside, and it’s no longer considered de rigueur except in the most formal of cases. If you have a professional website or portfolio, you may also want to include this (with all the appropriate hyperlinks) following your email address.

3.2 Use a Proper Greeting 

A proper greeting involves finding out the hiring manager’s name. The information might be directly stated in the job posting, deducible from the email address where you send your application or easily researchable by doing a quick LinkedIn or Google search. Sometimes, you might have to get more creative, like calling the company to find out who the person recruiting for the position is or enlisting the aid of someone you know who works at the company. In any case, it’s advisable to get off on the right foot by addressing your application: ‘Dear Mr [Insert Name]’ or ‘Dear Ms [Insert Name]’ (see the cover letter with templates below for a contextual example). If you really can’t find the person’s name, you can fall back on ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ as a last resort.

3.3 Write a Catchy Opening Paragraph 

Start your application as you mean to continue: with enthusiasm, relevant experience and how you can add value to the company. That might seem a lot to cram into a few lines in a natural way, but, as you’ll see further down the page where this post has examples of a cover letter with templates, a catchy opening paragraph isn’t rocket science. It’s about piquing the interest of the hiring manager, before you get into more details further into the body of your missive.

3.4 Explain the Reasons You Should Be Selected 

This is where you tailor the most applicable parts of your career to fit the job posting. If the company is looking for someone with project management experience, mention different occasions when you were in charge of a team and how you were able to achieve set targets. If the company is looking for someone who has driven marketing campaigns, bring up some of the successful campaigns you’ve been involved with alongside any quantitative data you can supply to demonstrate impact. Be as specific and targeted as possible.

3.5 Show Them Why You’re Eager to Join 

Why are you applying for a job? You should make clear in your cover letter the reasons behind your candidacy – is there something about the company or the position they’re advertising that is particularly attractive to someone with your background? Hiring managers know that employees who feel fulfilled in their role stay with a company longer, and you can convey your enthusiasm by referring to the parts of the job parameters that most attracted you.

3.6 Put Your Offer in the Closing Paragraph 

Sign off the main body of the cover letter with a single, snappy sentence that encapsulates the benefits you could bring to the company. You should try to avoid cliches throughout, partly because they bore hiring managers to tears, but more importantly because they just don’t add anything to your application in terms of making you a more attractive candidate. This holds true for the end as much as the beginning, so it’s generally best to replace phrases like ‘thank you for taking the time to read my cover letter’ with a sentence that has real meaning.

3.7 Use the Right Formal Closing 

Now that you’ve hopefully made a persuasive argument for your candidacy, all that’s left is the ending. Much like the greeting, this is more about demonstrating professionalism than showing panache, so it’s perfectly fine to stick to the tried-and-true ‘yours sincerely’, ‘kind regards’ or ‘best regards.’

3.8 Add a Postscript 

A postscript isn’t always necessary or wise, but if you can think of something notably impressive to slip in after your signature, have at it. This might be a little added color about something you’ve already mentioned, or it could be something not directly related to the job posting but tangentially relevant. The idea is to pique the interest of the hiring manager by throwing in an unexpected extra to the end of your cover letter.

4. Cover letter Template 

Cover letter template 

Now that we've answered the question ‘What do I write in a cover letter?’, it’s time to consider a cover letter with templates.

4.1 Basic Cover Letter 

The standard cover letter will obey all the points discussed above succinctly and clearly.

Your name

Your phone number

Your email address

Date

Name of the hiring manager 

Hiring manager’s professional title

Name of company

Address of company

Dear [Insert Hiring Manager Name],

As someone who has spent the past 10 years working to promote non-profit organizations like [Insert Company Name], I was very excited to see the position of [Insert Job Title] at [Insert Company Name] come up. I am certain I would be able to draw on my experience driving marketing campaigns to help improve [Insert Former Company Name]’s brand recognition across broader segments of the population.

At my last job, I spearheaded several marketing initiatives, including one to engage more under-30s and increase the awareness among this age group of the charity. We conducted surveys through our website to assess the demographics of our unique visitors before and after the campaign and discovered that under-30s visitors had risen by 10% as a result. This was a complex project to deliver and involved multiple stake holders who I had to communicate with throughout – a skill I believe would translate well to the [Insert Job Title] role.

I’ve been following with interest the news surrounding [Insert Company Name]’s launch of their new social media initiatives and would be delighted to be able to continue driving these channels forward using my experience of growing Twitter and Instagram followers at [Insert Former Company Name]. In fact, I’ve attended a number of conferences on the topic over the past few years, so as to be able to implement the latest strategies for attracting active users to platforms.

I already have some ideas for how to go about achieving greater awareness of [Insert Company Name]’s latest initiatives that I would love to discuss with you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

[Insert Name]

4.2 Straight-to-the-point Cover Letter

There may be circumstances when a longer cover letter is redundant, such as if you already know the hiring manager and just want to make your interest formally known or if the job description has specifically requested a short cover letter of maximum 100-150 words, in which case you can skip some of the formalities like the header.

Dear [Insert Hiring Manager Name],

With my decade of experience working as a software engineer for a diverse portfolio of clients, I believe I have all the right skills to become the latest member of your growing agency. 

I have previously worked on projects for [Insert Company Name] and [Insert Company Name], both of whom have supplied me with recommendation letters that I would be happy to share with you. As you will be able to see from my attached resume, I also have certifications from reputable organizations confirming my advanced programming skills.

I’d be happy to go through some of my past projects in detail with you whenever you have time for a chat.

Kind regards,

[Insert Name]

4.3 Referral Cover Letter 

Sometimes the best way to get through the door is if you have somebody on the inside to help you along. In this case, it’s still important to follow the pointers above, but you should open with details of your referral.

Your name

Your phone number

Your email address

Date

Name of the hiring manager 

Hiring manager’s professional title

Name of company

Address of company

Dear [Insert Hiring Manager Name],

[Insert Referee’s Name], who works as [Insert Referee’s Job Title] at [Insert Company Name], told me you’re currently seeking somebody for the position of [Insert Job Title]. He thought I’d be a good candidate thanks to my long experience working with a remote team to achieve sales targets and it sounded like a great opportunity for me to develop my career further.

At [Insert Former Company Name], I was part of the team who drove 20% year-on-year growth in purchases of health insurance. I believe the approaches I used there to achieve these levels of increased revenue would be equally applicable at [Insert Company Name]. I also think my experience could help with the company’s transition to remote working, which [Insert Referee’s Name] mentioned is one of the key objectives for the sales team in the coming months.

I realize that the past year has been a challenging time for a lot of companies, but I would relish the chance to be part of the team charged with improving profit margins at [Insert Company Name].

I’ve attached my resume here. If you would like to discuss in greater detail what I could bring to the company or to pick my brain about strategies for transitioning to remote working, you can contact me on [Insert Phone Number].

Best regards,

[Insert Name]

4.4 Entry-level Cover Letter 

How to write a cover letter with no experience is all about relying on the skills you do have and how they transfer to the job advertisement.

Your name

Your phone number

Your email address

Date

Name of the hiring manager 

Hiring manager’s professional title

Name of company

Address of company

Dear [Insert Hiring Manager Name],

I’ve been carefully examining the jobs available on LinkedIn for graduates in my field and found your advertisement extremely interesting and relevant to my degree in aerospace engineering.

Over the past four years, I’ve worked towards receiving a qualification from [Insert University Name], so as to be able to join the exciting industry of aeronautical manufacture. During that time, I interned at [Insert Company Name], so that even though I am applying for an entry-level position, I do already have some experience of working in the factory environment. 

I was particularly excited to learn about [Insert Company Name]’s plans to develop a new style of aircraft, since I feel passionately about innovation. In fact, I wrote my dissertation on [Insert Topic], which I think has given me great insight into the work I would be doing at [Insert Company].

I’d love to hear more about what the role entails and get a chance to explain in greater detail about the kinds of aerospace projects I was involved with during my internship.

Yours sincerely,

[Insert Name]

4.5 Freelance Cover Letter 

As a freelance writer, you’ll probably be sending more cover letters than most people, applying to a variety of different job specs. Therefore, it might be a good idea to bullet point which parts of your resume are of most interest in each case.

Your name

Your phone number

Your email address

Date

Name of the hiring manager 

Hiring manager’s professional title

Name of company

Address of company

Dear [Insert Hiring Manager Name],

I’m writing regarding the request you posted on Monster.com for experienced BB writers with experience of the wine industry. 

In the past I’ve written extensively for the food and beverage market, including for such titles as [Insert Publication Name]. A few examples of my work include:

  • [Insert Example One]
  • [Insert Example Two]

I’d be happy to share examples of my writing or further details of my relevant experience via email or phone. 

Many thanks,

[Insert Name]

[Insert Email]

[Insert Phone Number]

5. FAQs

  • What are the tips to follow while writing a cover letter?

‘How do you sell yourself in a cover letter?’ is the question you should be answering with everything you write. Craft your experiences and skills into an attractive offering that is overtly related to the job description and shows that you can add value to the company. As the cover letters with templates above have hopefully shown, the best way to guarantee yourself a shot at an interview is to give specific examples of why a hiring manager simply has to meet you.

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