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How to Write a Cover Letter: Template & Tips | Hays

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Form + Intro - Cover Letter | UB

The importance of cover letter, what is a cover letter.

Let’s go back to basics – what is a cover letter? A cover letter acts as a personal introduction in a professional setting. Usually, it’s a separate document that you attach to a job application along with your CV. You should use it to demonstrate your personality and summarise why you are the right person for the job, so the reader can consider the rest of your CV with this set up in mind. 

Follow our tips for how to write a cover letter or download our cover letter template.  

Why write a cover letter? 

The idea for writing cover letters for your resume is simple: it needs to be engaging enough for an employer to read to feel compelled to find out more about your skills and experience in your resume, before (hopefully) calling you in for an interview.

Not all candidates make the effort to write a tailored and personalised cover letter, so by making sure you write a cover letter that answers specifics needs in the job ad, it’ll help separate you from other applicants. In turn, giving you a greater likelihood of being shortlisted for an interview.  

Download your Cover Letter template 

Enter your details below to download your Cover Letter template:

How to write a cover letter | 2nd content block | UB

Cover letter advice.

Recruiters & hiring managers often receive hundreds of applications for each job. You need to start with a great cover letter to gain attention. Learn how with this video from Hays.

Resumes & Cover letters rh menu

Resume & cover letters.

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How to write a CV

How to write a cover letter

CV cliches to avoid

Updating your resume

How to optimise your CV

Make your CV stand out

Resume & cover letters

Content block | cover letter | ub, how long should a cover letter be , how to write a cover letter | 3rd content block | ub, cover letter format, how to write a cover letter | 4th content block | ub, 1. do your research, 2. address your cover letter to the right person, 3. how to start a cover letter write an attention-grabbing introduction, 4. add evidence of your successes  , 5. highlight key skills, 6. sign off professionally, 7. review your cover letter , how to write a cover letter | 5th content block | ub, what not to include in a cover letter, excessive details, repeat your cv, don’t write in the third person, can ai write the perfect cover letter.

There’s no doubt that AI can aid the application process and it certainly makes sense to use all available tools to help you write a compelling cover letter to get noticed.  But it’s important to understand that AI is a tool with limited scope. There’s no one prompt that will generate the perfect cover letter, since both your skills and the requirements of each job are unique.    Rather, think of AI-generated copy as a starting point for your cover letter – consider it your first draft that you then personalise to reflect your skills and experience, and your personality.     Take the time to research an organisation and read the job description carefully, and then use this research to review and edit AI-generated copy to ensure it meets the specific requirements of the job and organisation. Add relevant keywords from the job description.    Also remove any generic or cliched copy produced by the AI and check for inconsistencies. Make sure the copy doesn’t misrepresent you.    Finally, add examples to showcase your unique value proposition. For instance, highlight relevant experiences, skills and achievements that directly match the requirements of the job you’re applying for. Mention your own career goals. Show genuine interest in the role and organisation.    By supplementing AI with your own personal effort, your cover letter will be a genuine reflection of you and your skills and experience. Customise the content, add examples and showcase your own voice to create a cover letter that captures your suitability for the job. 

How to write a cover letter | 6th content block | UB

Final tips around how to write a cover letter.

  • Keep it succinct and relevant to the job you’re applying for. Your cover letter should not exceed five paragraphs. 
  • State what your motivation is behind your application. 
  • Just as you would in your CV,  use strong verbs  to demonstrate action and accomplishments, such as ‘organise’ or ‘supervise’. 
  • Optimise the subject line. Also check the job description again, in case the employer asks applicants to include something specific in the subject line. 
  • If you are applying for a job online rather than email, consider putting your cover letter and resume into the same document so they don’t get separated. 
  • Remember, our cover letter template is free to download and can be used as another way to capture the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager and encourage them to more closely review your resume. Good luck.

How to write a cover letter | 7th content block | UB

Do i really need a cover letter, how long should a cover letter be, what are some common mistakes people make when writing cover letters, how do i format a cover letter, sg - check your salary blurb + image.

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  • Resumes Cover Letters

Cover Letters: A Comprehensive Guide [+ Templates and Samples]

In this post, free cover letter template, cover letter examples for different kinds of jobs, creative cover letter design template, how to message a recruiter on linkedin.

Claudia Reiners

In this post Show

Write the perfect cover letter for a job application in every industry. Download our free cover letter templates and examples to impress the hiring manager and nab the job you want.

The purpose of a cover letter is to convince a hiring manager or recruiter to read your resume. Your cover letter tells the story of why you’re applying, and why you’re a great fit for the role. Then your resume backs it up with essential data and details.

But for a new or inexperienced job seeker, figuring out how to write an effective cover letter can be super confusing.

That’s why we’ve created various cover letter templates for you to download and use. They’re no-fuss, easy to edit and are even targeted at certain jobs (so you know they have the right information).

Use these cover letter templates as a starting point and personalise them however you want.

Are cover letters still relevant in 2021?

Cover letters are a hotly-debated topic amongst job seekers, recruiters, and people giving career advice. Doubt that? Try searching ‘cover letters’ on Reddit and see how many different opinions are out there.

Almost every job application requires a cover letter. It’s the first thing that hiring managers see, and creates a first impression (whether positive or negative) that can determine whether your application makes it past the skimming stage.

No wonder we often dread writing them. It’s common to stress over how to write it, what to include, and wonder if they even matter at all.

How much time should you spend on it? Does anyone actually read cover letters in 2021? (Yes, they do).

The most challenging thing about writing one is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Different industries and levels of seniority will have different sets of expectations.

If you’re applying for a position as a project manager in construction, your cover letter will sound very different than if you were applying for a customer service role. Likewise for roles in the creative industry, technology, and healthcare – they all have different flavours.

In 2021, cover letters are still very relevant, and many employers won’t even consider your application without one. But there are more modern ways of delivering them, as well as a few ways to make yours stand out.

cover letter layout australia

Cover Letter Template

This is a generalised cover letter template that projects passion for any job. Just add your own information!

[Today’s Date]

[Your full name] [Your phone number] [Your email] [Your address, city, state, postcode] [Your LinkedIn]

[Hiring Manager’s Name] [Company Address, City, State] [Phone number] [Email address]

Dear [Hiring Manager],

RE: <insert role title> position

I am thrilled to submit my application for the <insert role title> role at <insert company name>. I believe I would be a perfect fit for the position as I am passionate about <insert your passion that aligns with the role you’re applying for> and possess the motivation and perseverance to overcome any challenge thrown my way.

Your company’s mission to <insert company mission you are passionate about> is inspiring, and I would be thrilled to contribute to this mission. I feel my relevant experience and skills match well with your company values, including:

<Experience: insert a sentence about your relevant experience. E.g.: Working in my role as XXX for X years, I’ve gained a deep understanding of XXX> <Skills: insert a sentence that covers your key technical skills relating to the job. Avoid talking about soft skills or personal traits here.> <Achievement: insert a sentence about an achievement or result that demonstrates your suitability for the role or exemplifies your work ethic.>

I can see myself vastly developing my skills and professional expertise at <company name>, which would be an exhilarating opportunity. I’m always hungry to improve myself and am dedicated to continuously learning.

From previous work experience at <insert company name>, I have learned valuable communication skills, problem solving, and teamwork. I thrive working in high-pressure situations and am a highly adaptable professional.

I am confident that I am a great candidate for this position and that I would be able to navigate the challenges of the <insert role title> role at <insert company name> successfully. I’d appreciate the chance to meet with you to further discuss this job opportunity. Thank you for considering my application.

[Your name]

How to Write a Cover Letter That’s Unique (Like You)

Got questions about editing your cover letter template? The answers are here.

Best Cover Letter Examples and Why They Work

Discover how to win over the hiring manager with just your cover letter.

Sometimes, you need an industry-specific cover letter, because generic ones just aren’t relevant to the positions you’re applying for. Here is a range of examples for the most commonly searched cover letter types.

cover letter layout australia

Hospitality cover letter

Craft the perfect letter for a culinary or tourism job with this hospitality cover letter

cover letter layout australia

Nursing cover letter

A sample to use when building your nursing cover letter.

cover letter layout australia

Administration cover letter

Create the perfect application with this administration cover letter example.

cover letter layout australia

Receptionist cover letter

Get noticed and hired using this receptionist cover letter example.

cover letter layout australia

Retail cover letter

A quality sample of a cover letter for retail.

cover letter layout australia

Customer service cover letter

Get a head-start on drafting the perfect customer service cover letter with this example.

How to address key selection criteria in a cover letter

Discover examples and templates to help you properly address key selection criteria.

If you’re looking to enter a creative industry, or a role where you’ll be expected to offer some creative flair, these templates have been designed for you. Submitting a well-designed cover letter not only feels more premium, but it demonstrates your passion for creativity and creating high quality work.

This kind of cover letter won’t be appealing to employers in all industries, so be discerning about whether it will make the right impression for the job you’re applying for.

cover letter layout australia

Artistic Flair Cover Letter Template (Orange)

A cover letter with a bold design to get noticed. Perfect for design-centred jobs.

cover letter layout australia

Artistic Flair Cover Letter Template (Beige)

cover letter layout australia

Creative Communications Cover Letter Template

A cover letter perfect for communications jobs, pairing bold design with a professional style.

cover letter layout australia

Modern Corporate Cover Letter Template

A sleek and professional cover letter that offers readability and style. Perfect for corporate jobs.

Because, after all: it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know.

Making a great impression through a LinkedIn DM can be tricky. But, done well, it has the potential to propel you to the top of the interview shortlist.

This is how to message a recruiter on LinkedIn:

Cold contact with a recruiter to ask about future job openings

Message title: speculative job application — [role title you’re interested in].

Hi <recruiter’s first name>,

I’m keen to connect with you to stay up to date on job openings with <company name>. As a recent <field of study> graduate, I’ve been on the lookout for a <specify the kind of role you want (e.g.: marketing assistant)> role in a company where I’ll be encouraged to strive for excellence in my work and have the chance to develop as a professional.

Through my research, I found <company name> to hold values that align with my own, and have a mission I feel passionately about pursuing myself. <Insert statement about how you relate to the company’s mission, or why you feel strongly about it.> Because of this, I feel we’d be a perfect fit for each other.

I have skills in <insert short list of key technical skills> founded in work experience at <company name>. I’m also dedicated to pushing for strong results, for example, <insert example of a situation where you’ve used one/multiple of these skills to push for an excellent result. Make sure it aligns with the role you want, and ensure you outline the result you achieved.>

I am a <insert snappy summary of who you are as a professional, e.g.: I am a proven writer with an adaptable mentality and a desire to exceed expectations and continuously learn.> I’d love the opportunity to work for <company name>. Although I can see there are no jobs advertised at the moment, I’d like to submit my resume for your future consideration.

If you’d like to discuss what else I can bring to <company name> as a <role title>, feel free to call me on <mobile number>.

Kind regards, <Your name>

(Remember to attach your resume.)

LinkedIn message to complement recently submitted job application

Message title: regarding the position of [role title] or concerning the recently advertised [role title] position.

I’ve recently applied for the position of <role title> with your organisation, and am keen to reach out to formally introduce myself. Working for your company has been a dream of mine since I began my studies in <field of study> X years ago. I have a deep respect for <something you respect about the company> and feel my own values align with this.

Through my studies and work experience at <insert company>, I’ve developed a broad skill set which would be highly beneficial in this role. For example, <insert example of a situation where you’ve used one/multiple of these skills to push for an excellent result. Make sure it aligns with the job description, and ensure you outline the result you achieved.>

I’ve outlined further examples of what I can bring to the company as a <role title> in my job application.

I hope we’ll have the opportunity to speak more about this role and what I can bring to it.

Regardless of whether I’m a successful candidate, it would be great to connect with you so I can stay on top of job opportunities with <company name>. Thank you for considering my application.

Warm regards, <Your name>

If you’re struggling to find the right person to message, check out this video tutorial.

cover letter layout australia

So they’ve read your cover letter, and decided your resume is worth a look. Make sure it’s doing you justice!

Check out the Ultimate Guide to Resumes for templates, examples and more.

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  • How To Write A Cover Letter (Examples, Templates & Guide)

Write a cover letter that impresses hiring managers.

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I founded three separate companies over the past decade to help leaders and organisations do their best work. Arielle Executive helps leaders get noticed while Arielle Partners & Talent Avenue connect organisations to Australia's best leadership talent.

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Australia’s job market is competitive. You will sell yourself short if you don’t submit a compelling cover letter in your job application.

Your application must give hiring managers confidence that you’re the ideal person to meet their needs — even if your skills and experience aren’t a perfect match.

Sure, you can download a cover letter template and plug in some generic information.

But a better strategy is to use the best cover letter examples and templates (including ours below) as a starting point for crafting a tailored and impactful cover letter.

Do This To Impress Employers (Before You Start Writing Your Cover Letter).

A cover letter is an introductory note that accompanies your resume as part of a job application, to communicate why you’re the best candidate for a job.

This isn’t a business document. It’s a reflection of your personal brand .

Expert Tip.

You’re personally writing to another human being, so use personal pronouns like ‘I’ and ‘you’. And keep your language natural – resist the temptation to sound like a corporate robot.

To articulate why you’re the best fit — before you start typing — take the time to:

  • Research the role and the company. Read the job description and learn about a company’s goals, challenges, values, industry and customer base so you can write intelligently about how you’ll add value (e.g., is the company vying for an IPO?).
  • Gather your best examples. Collate examples of projects you ran and the impact you made. Quantify as much as possible (e.g., reduced CRM costs by 35%, raised employee retention by 13%, closed $5m of sales in 2023).

Use your company research to identify the best person to address your cover letter to (if it’s not listed in the ad). This personalises your approach and makes you seem clued in and ready to step into a team.

How To Write A Cover Letter For Australian Employers.

Unless you have an insider connection, your cover letter can make or break your chances of  getting an interview . Every word needs to earn its place.

Here’s what to include and avoid as you write each part of your cover letter.

1. Write Contact Details And Salutation.

What to include:

  • A header with your name a a career tagline, e.g., Senior Sales Director.
  • Your contact details – limit this to your email address and mobile phone number.
  • A personal salutation , such as ‘Dear Peter,’.

Here’s an example:

Avoid the salutations “Dear Hiring Manager”. If you can’t find their name, use “To Whom It May Concern” as a last resort.

2. Write The First Paragraph.

Don’t waste space reiterating where and when you saw the job listing, as this will be tracked online and makes you appear out of touch with the market and digital job search.

Instead, launch into your main value proposition and the most powerful evidence of your suitability for the role.

Here’s an example of a strong introductory paragraph:

What to avoid:

  • Bragging , or coming across as arrogant or selfish will likely backfire on you. For example: “Australia’s best salesperson who consistently out-sells teammates with my take-no-prisoners attitude.” No one wants to work with a jerk.
  • Fake enthusiasm. Leading with how thrilled you would be to get the job smacks of insincerity and mediocrity – as though you have nothing substantive to say. Worse, it will make you sound just like every other applicant.

3. Write The Middle Paragraphs.

Continue to expand on your value proposition. In other words, add secondary and tertiary reasons that confirm your suitability for the role.

Effective ways to flesh out this section include:

  • A list of 3 or more achievements that offer tangible proof of your capabilities. (Learn how to radically increase the power of your achievements ) .
  • A good story , if you have one. Is there a unique experience you’ve had with their brand that can be described succinctly? A sincere way to create an emotional connection?

Take a look at this example:

Don’t repeat the achievements from your resume verbatim. You can use the same achievement in your resume and cover letter but you must find a different way to frame it.

  • Apologies. Perhaps you don’t tick every box — don’t downplay yourself. Explain why you are still the best candidate despite whatever obstacles you perceive in your background.
  • Flowery language and cliches. Assume everyone thinks they’re a “seasoned professional”, “team player”, or “dynamic”, “energetic”, or “proven” leader. Delete all buzzwords from your cover letter.

4. Write Your Concluding Statements.

If there’s room, throw in a few more value points — again, ensuring they’re relevant to the job ad/description. Finally, thank the potential employer for the opportunity.

Free Cover Letter Templates [Download].

Even though you’re learning how to write a unique cover letter, there’s nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from a cover letter template.

In fact, they’re really handy for guidance on the basic structure. And they can be a great way to organise your thoughts – freedom in a frame, so to speak.

Below are two cover letter templates for you to choose from. (Ensure you have a recent version of Word installed on your computer).

1. Contemporary Cover Letter Template.

Download Now :

2. Classic Cover Letter Template.

Download Now:

How Does Your Cover Letter Interact With Your Resume?

You’ll probably need to tweak your cover letter alongside your resume, and constantly cross-check to ensure they work together to convey your strengths.

A good cover letter should:

  • Dovetail with your resume: Ensure you reinforce what you say in your cover letter through the details you include on your resume. A disconnect between the two will either create confusion or arouse suspicion.
  • Close gaps left by your resume: It’s hard to explain nuanced life choices via dot points on a resume. Use your cover letter to provide context for major pivots between job types/industries, or periods of unemployment.

To ensure your resume hits all the right notes, consider using my recommended free resume builder . Or hire one of my top-rated resume writers if you want us to handle everything.

How Long Should Your Cover Letter Be?

Your cover letter is a teaser. It needs to pique the recruiter’s interest so they’ll pay closer attention to your resume.

Attention spans are short. Keep it punchy, with only the most relevant details, context and your most impressive achievements.

Ensure that the achievements you spotlight in your cover letter align with the role you’re applying for. Most job seekers fail to make the right impression by including the same achievements on their every job application.

Before You ‘Hit Send’ On Your Cover Letter.

Before you submit your application, use this checklist to ensure your cover letter includes key details:

A second set of eyes is always helpful when it comes to spotting mistakes or inconsistencies. Ask someone with superior writing skills to proofread your letter.

Additionally, I recommend sharing it with 2-3 people in your network to get their general feedback on whether you’ve made a compelling case to be hired.

There’s nothing like fresh eyes to speed up, and dial in, your final draft.

How Should You Format Your Cover Letter?

Here’s a quick tip that will double the impact of your job application – keep your cover letter’s design and format consistent with that of your resume.

This achieves a couple of objectives:

  • It helps you  build and reinforce your personal brand.
  • It helps the recruiter  with visual recognition of your application.

Don’t go too fancy or complex with your cover letter design or formatting, as it will distract the reader from the meat of your content.

See below for a side-by-side example of a branded set (resume and cover letter):

Here’s the best news. Remember the free cover letter templates that I gave you earlier? Well, I’ve created a matching set of resume templates, which you can download here .

Wait, Do Recruiters Even Read Cover Letters?

One reason that some recruiters don’t read cover letters is because they’re too generic, long-winded and boring.

A 2024 survey found that most people gloss over the cover letter and focus their attention on the CV/resume.

Regardless of  recruiter behaviour , you need to decide whether or not a cover will be valuable for your situation. You have 3 options:

  • Don’t write a cover letter. Let your resume promote you on its own. Maybe it will be seen, maybe not.
  • Write a quick’n’nasty cover letter. If it gets read, your resume likely won’t be.
  • Craft a unique, impactful & thoughtful cover letter. Invest the time and, chances are, both your cover letter and resume will see the light of day.

You’re probably better off not writing a cover letter than writing a bad one. However, going the extra mile to write a great cover letter puts you well above candidates who choose options 1 and 2.

Can AI Write A Good Enough Cover Letter For You?

If you’re keen to use AI as a writing tool, we recommend that you only use it to produce a quick first draft that you can then edit and enhance using your human smarts.

Depending on how skilled you are with prompts, a cover letter composed by an AI — such as ChatGPT or Google Bard — could provide a starting point and mimic the right professional tone.

So, you’ll need to review every sentence to add personality and specificity, and align the message with what the job-poster is looking for.

Do You Have More Questions?

By now, I’m trusting that most of your questions have been answered when it comes to writing a cover letter to accompany your resume for a specific job application.

But cutting through the candidate clutter is no easy feat. And unless you’re a professional writer, the task of creating a standout cover letter can feel overwhelming.

If that’s you, I’m here for you. If you have more questions about how to write a cover letter, feel free to ask me in the comments below.

Wishing you all the best in your upcoming job search, and your career.

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How to write a cover letter in Australia: Your guide to standing out

January 02, 2023

A cover letter is the megaphone your job application needs to stand out and intrigue hiring managers… but what if your hand is shaky on the on-switch? Find out how to write a great cover letter, even if you’re not confident with words. 

A woman dressed in yellow holding an illustrated megaphone against a textured background

When it comes to job hunting, there are two things that will never go out of fashion—the all-powerful resume, and its best buddy, the cover letter. Sure, your resume will change over time, and the final product will vary from a one-pager to a complete breakdown of your work history depending on your industry, but the letter portion generally stays the same (with some caveats for government, legal, STEM and finance roles). 

That said, hitting the right tone with your cover letter can be tricky. Too confident, and you’ll come across as braggy with no substance; too factual, and the reader may lose interest. Luckily, there’s a tried and tested approach for treading this line. 

What is the purpose of a cover letter?  

Before we dive into the how-to, let’s look at the purpose behind this one-page statement. A cover letter is there to help time-poor managers assess your application because it highlights the skills and accomplishments you feel are most relevant to the job. Think of it as a summary of your resume. 

While templates are easy (and tempting), generic cover letters can damage your chances of getting to the next stage. You risk rubbing your reader the wrong way with stock-like responses, a lack of research and vague statements in the place of demonstrated understanding. While you want to talk about the nitty gritty of the role and your career highlights, a cover letter is also the place to let your personality shine. You should bring yourself to the table and show the hiring manager how you align with their business from day zero. 

Do you need a cover letter? 

Yes. Submitting your application without one is a little like writing an assignment without including a list of references. You need to include a cover letter to show potential employers you have the initiative, dedication and attitude they want in their business. Even if tailoring your application takes a little longer than pressing send, it’s well worth it. Put yourself in the reader's position; would you interview the person who took the time to learn about the role, or the contender who attached their resume without so much as a hello, this is who I am and what I bring to the table? 

Mastering Australian cover letters

So how do you become a whiz at writing cover letters, and what are the steps that can make the process easier? If you take nothing else from this piece, remember this—preparation is key. If you’ve researched the role and identified your most relevant skills and achievements, writing a cover letter will be much easier.

Before you begin

Research the role.

By researching what you’ll be doing and getting a bit of background on the company, you’ll be able to learn more about the role and will find it easier to write the cover letter with this in mind. Look for recent articles on the company and its founders, and have a read of their website to get a feel for what they do. Make sure you understand the criteria that they’ve listed.

Brainstorm real-world examples

The worst thing you can be in a cover letter is generic. Comments like “I have great people skills” don’t really say anything. Once you know what the business is looking for, start thinking about real-world problems you’ve solved that meet the job ad’s criteria. Brainstorm things like:  How did you impact the company? Are there key performance stats that prove you made positive changes? Have these examples ready.

Gather contact details

If you can, find out the hiring manager’s name. LinkedIn or the company’s website can be great for this, so do a little digging. If all else fails, call the company and ask. It shows initiative.

Create a cover letter people care about in 5 steps

So you’ve got your background information and you’re armed with great examples of your achievements. Now’s the time to write a stand out cover letter.

1. Write a targeted introduction

Talk about what drew you to the role in the first place. Was it the culture? The company’s charitable work? Their reputation as industry leaders? Make sure you also say why that’s important to you—shared values are a great way to show company alignment. And remember, engagement is key, so you should be more conversational than you would be in a resume.

2. Explore your history and connect it with the role

How have you gotten here? Was it a straight path, or  did you start your career in another direction before finding your way to this industry?   If you’re changing industries, what have you done to learn about this one, and what prompted the change? Include some very brief context around this. 

3. Address the recruitment criteria in detail

It’s unlikely that you’ll tick every box in the job ad, but talk about what you’ve done in your previous roles and how your experience mirrors the job criteria. Be specific and use examples where you can. You can also mention any relevant qualifications you have if they’ve asked for them.

4. Refine your elevator pitch

You want to wind down with a quick overview. Remind the recruiter why you’re applying for this role, where you’ve come from, and why you’d like to take this path next.

5. Make a closing statement

Thank them for their time in reading your application, and let them know that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Tell them how and where you can be contacted so they don’t have to go digging through your resume for the details. 

Before you hit send

There’s no point writing a great cover letter if you  fall on the final hurdle. Here are some last steps you shouldn’t skip.

Proofread, leave it a day, then proofread again

This is your only chance to make a good first impression. It’s so easy to miss a typo when you submit your cover letter straight after writing it, but this looks sloppy. Give yourself the distance to spot those little errors.  

Ask someone you trust in the same industry to read it for you

This’ll give you insight into anything you’ve misunderstood, or areas you can focus more on. You could also learn valuable titbits about the industry that you may be able to weave into your cover letter.

Double-check the details 

There’s nothing worse than hitting ‘send’ only to realise you’ve called the hiring manager Mary when it’s actually Maree, so make sure you’ve got it right. It’s also good to check that all your contact details are correct.

Take a moment to breathe and visualise 

You’re almost there, and you’re doing great. Take a moment to visualise how fantastic it’ll be if you score an interview.

Organise your resume 

Make sure your resume is up to date and in the required format, with all the relevant skills clearly organised.

Send it away! 

Attach it to a brief email or onto the company’s application portal and you’re done!

Congratulations! You’ve just sent off your application. Pat yourself on the back for writing a clear, concise, targeted cover letter that shows how perfect you are for the role. Good luck.

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How to write a great cover letter

A cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself to a potential employer and spark their interest in reading your resume.

When you’re prepping job applications, a cover letter might seem like an afterthought compared to your resume. But your cover letter is worth just as much attention . That doesn’t mean it needs to be overly detailed – in fact, a simple single page is best.

Here are the key points to know about cover letters, plus the steps to follow to write one.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a short letter that accompanies your resume when you apply for a role. It’s often the first point of contact you make with a potential employer, hiring manager or recruiter for a job application.

It’s a way to give the employer a sense of who you are, highlighting your skills and experience, before they read the information in your resume. Just as if you were meeting someone for the first time, you’d introduce yourself first before getting into the detail.

Sometimes, a short email can take the place of a cover letter, but the way you write it is much the same.

Take a look at this article comparing an average cover letter to a great one to help you see how to craft yours well.

How does a cover letter compare to your resume?

Your resume and cover letter complement each other but do slightly different things. Your resume summarises the key details of your skills, work experience and education. Resumes are best formatted with bullet points and broken into sections with subheadings, across about two pages.

A cover letter is shorter and sharper: a single page is best. It’s also more of a conversation opener – you’re speaking to the person responsible for the role you’re applying for, expressing your interest in the job and showing them why you’re a good fit for it.

The language in a cover letter is more personal. For example, a social worker ’s resume might include, Redeveloped community youth program, increasing participation by 20 per cent. But in a cover letter you can write in the first person, which might read as, I’m a dedicated and driven social worker, with a strong commitment to supporting disadvantaged youth. It’s a chance to describe your skills and experiences in a way that also gives some insight into you and your career.

How to write your cover letter

  • Start with a brief introduction about yourself and why you’re writing. Mention the job you’re applying for and your interest in it.
  • Give a snapshot of the relevant skills, experience and qualifications you have that relate to the job. Think about the key two or three points in your resume and explaining these in a way that links them to why you’d be great for the role.
  • Give examples of your skills or mention how you’ve used them – you might need to do this in more detail if the job ad requests that you address selection criteria.
  • Note that your resume is attached. To finish, you can say that you’d welcome the opportunity to meet to discuss the role, or that you’re happy to provide more information, before signing off.

How to make your cover letter stand out

A cover letter should be engaging – you want to capture the interest of the person reading it so that they turn to your resume to find out more.

It’s also about showing the employer how your skills and experience are a good match for the role. That’s why you should always create a cover letter especially for the role you’re applying for – it shouldn’t be a generic letter. These tips can help you tailor your cover letter to the job.

A good cover letter can also demonstrate your written communication skills. Write for the environment you’re applying to: if it’s a more informal workplace or a creative type of work, don’t be afraid to inject some personal style into your writing to stand out.

Reading the 5 things employers wish they could say about cover letters and what recruiters look for in cover letters can also help you to write one that will impress.

Quick tips for improving your cover letter

  • Use clear, concise language. It’s best to avoid complicated or flowery wording.
  • Avoid overly long sentences. Try reading it aloud to see if there are any you struggle with.
  • Always tailor your cover letter to the job. An application is all about showing how you’re a good fit for the role on offer, and you don’t want your cover letter to seem reused.
  • Rather than writing ‘To whom it may concern’ or ‘Dear Sir or Madam’, find out who to address your letter to; you could phone the company to ask. It’s more personal that way and shows you’ve taken initiative.
  • Triple check your spelling and grammar. Try printing your letter out then coming back to it fresh, or get someone with a keen eye to look over it for you.
  • Keep your letter to around 250-350 words on a single page.
  • Take a look at these examples of cover letters written by successful job seekers .

Writing your cover letter might feel intimidating at first when you’re facing a blank page. But by following these steps and tips, you can focus on crafting a cover letter that captures what you can bring to the role and makes a winning impression to the employer.

  • Why your personal brand is so important now – and how to build it
  • 4 tips for getting your application noticed
  • How to stand out in a crowded job market

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Resumes & cover letters: Cover letter templates

Free cover letter templates

A cover letter is often your first communication with a potential employer, and therefore it is vital that when writing a cover letter  you make it compelling and professional from the very first line, marking you out as a candidate they need to contact.

A good cover letter is an opportunity to showcase your written communication skills and your motivation for applying for the role. Writing a cover letter customised to the job demonstrates you have taken the time to put some effort into your application. You can also use a cover letter as an opportunity to highlight and provide more detail on any specific skills or experience which are relevant to the role you are applying for.

To help you structure your cover letter, we’ve developed 4 free cover letter templates and cover letter samples you can use to write a cover letter that will catch the eye of hiring managers and recruiters and increase your chances of getting an interview. For additional tips and advice on cover letter writing, check out our article How to write a cover letter .

Download our free cover letter templates

Cover letter template 1: response to a job ad, cover letter template 2: response to a job ad, cover letter template 3: letter to a recruiter on linkedin, cover letter template 4: ‘cold contact’ prospecting letter to a hiring manager.

Career Success Australia

How to Write a Cover Letter that Stands Out [Beginner's Guide]

How To Write A Cover Letter That Stands Out In 2021

How to Write a Cover Letter that Stands Out [Beginner’s Guide]

A secret ingredient for that perfect cover letter.

Page Contents

A Cover Letter is a secret ingredient to making that first good impression on a potential employer. Many candidates focus too much on creating an impactful Resume that they treat a Cover Letter as an afterthought, creating an imbalance in their job application. 

A Cover Letter is an important element of a job application that the candidate submits along with the Resume. It introduces the candidate to the company and pitches why you’re that perfect candidate they’re looking for or, in other words, why they should hire you over other applicants. Unless the job advertisement explicitly mentions that a Cover Letter is not required, a candidate should always include a Cover Letter, along with a Resume, in their job application. 

As per one of the surveys online, job applications with a job-specific Cover Letter included with the application had a  31 per cent  higher call-back rate. So, it is clear that a job application must always include a Cover Letter and be tailored to the job/profile/position being applied. Why? Because job applications with tailored Cover Letters resulted in over  50 per cent  more interviews than job applications that didn’t include Cover Letters. 

Now that we’ve established how important Cover Letters are, let us delve deeper into understanding the specifics of a Cover Letter. 

What is The Purpose Of A Cover Letter?

A Cover Letter fulfils many purposes, including:

  • Introduces the applicant
  • Mentions the profile and position you’re applying for or looking for
  • Provides the applicant with an opportunity to pitch why he/she is fit for the specific role and what the applicant brings to the table in terms of skills, experience, and qualification
  • Develop interest in the reader (employer or hiring manager) for the applicant
  • Integrates call-to-action to enhance the chance of landing an interview/call-back/meeting

What Should Be The Ideal Length Of A Cover Letter?

Cover Letters should be kept short yet informative and impactful. You are not writing your biography, so follow the unwritten rule of writing an ideal Cover Letter and keep it around 200 words to 400 words. 

The idea sweet spot lies somewhere between 200 to 300 words. It not only increases the readability but improves the chances of an employer reading it. Anything more than one page is a big NO-NO!

Cover Letter Must Be Tailored For The Job

As tempting as it might seem to copy-paste a generic Cover Letter to all the jobs you apply for, you should refrain from doing it. Ensure every Cover Letter is tailored to the job profile and the company you’re applying to. It should address the employer’s concerns, answer their specific queries about what you bring to the table, and help them to better understand why you’re a good fit for the job. 

In the Cover Letter, you must be specific about your skills and qualities and how you can leverage your experience to get the results the employer is looking for. 

Here are a few simple ways you can make your Cover Letter more objective-oriented and specific:

Research Who The Cover Letter Is Addressed To

Most Cover Letters start with the typical “To Whom It May Concern.” Don’t be that generic candidate. Take out time and do your research to find out who would be handling your job application. It needs some time and effort, but a little effort would go a long way in realising your dream of landing your dream job. 

Most job advertisements ideally name the concerned person to whom the job applications must be sent. If the advertisement doesn’t mention that, it would be wise to call the employer and inquire about it. There are numerous ways you can find out, including by contacting the employer via phone, email, or even on social media. 

Once you find the name of the hiring manager or the HR manager who would be handling the job application, it is recommended you either refer to the person as ‘Mr’ or ‘Ms’ followed by the surname. Ideally, it is suggested you refrain from using the first name as a mark of respect. 

Why is this necessary? Well, when you’re referred to by your name rather than ‘To whom it may concern”, it adds a humane and personal feel to it that triggers interest automatically. And, the fact that you took out time to tailor the Cover Letter while putting in the effort to find out the hiring manager’s name also makes a huge difference. It helps you stand out from the crowd and showcases your commitment and eagerness towards getting the job. 

Do An In-Depth Research About The Job Offer

When you’re looking for the hiring manager’s name or the concerned person to whom to address your job application, try to talk to the person to know more about the job. Ask questions to clarify the vacant profile to help tailor your Cover Letter and even Resume before submitting your job application. 

Some of the questions you can ask include –

  • If you land the job, who would you be reporting to?
  • What are the main KPIs and goals of the role
  • What are the qualities/skills you’re looking for in an ideal candidate?
  • If the required profile description is not mentioned in the job advertisement, inquire about the position description and your role/responsibilities once hired. 

Note down the answers you get and use the information to tailor your Cover Letter and Resume. 

Do Research About The Company Your Apply For

To personalise your Cover Letter specifically for the job, it is crucial to know more about the company you’re applying to. Here are a few helpful tips you can follow.

  • Look for information available online about the company.
  • Visit the company’s website, and go through the ‘About Us page. (It also helps during the interview)
  • If the company’s name isn’t given, call the HR firm or recruitment agency to know who the employer is. 

What Must You Include In Your Cover Letter

Every candidate has their unique approach to writing a Cover Letter, but the end goal is the same – to inform, impress and stand out. Here’s a list of things that your Cover Letter must include –

Name & Up To Date Contact Details

The Cover Letter must include your name, email address and phone number on the very top of the page. It doesn’t necessarily need to have your postal address.

The email address should look professional and must not look extraordinarily flamboyant or out-of-place. For example, it should not look like  [email protected] . Such emails don’t look or sound professional and make a poor first impression, which is certainly something you don’t want when trying to land a job.

The thumb rule is to keep personal and professional email separate. If you don’t have a professional email yet, make a new one for free using just your first and last name.

Name & And Contact Details Of The Addressee

Your name, telephone number and email address go on the very top of the page, as mentioned earlier. Right below it should be –

  • Name of the person you’re addressing the Cover Letter to.
  • Name of the company you’re applying to or the position of the addressee in the company. 
  • Contact details of the hiring manager/company (If available)

If you don’t have any of these details, you can always get in touch with the company and get the concerned details. 

In the absence of these details, you’re left with the option of addressing it as ‘To whom it may concern.’ But it must be used only as a last resort.

Name The Profile/Position/Job You’re Applying For

At the very beginning of your Cover Letter, it is important to mention which job you’re applying for.

You can add a line specifically for this purpose. (For example, ‘Regarding: Application For Digital Marketing Specialist Position’).

You can also choose to mention it on the very first line of your Cover Letter’s pitch. (For example, ‘I am writing to apply for the recently advertised Digital Marketing Specialist position’.

List Your Skills Relevant To The Job

It is crucial to include a brief summary of your skills, experiences, credentials, and qualification that aligns with the job description. If you want, you can also present it in a bullet list format. 

A job description always mentions the essential skills and experience required in a potential candidate. It might also include a list of “desirable” skills, experiences, and qualification. Your aim is to address specifically all of these ‘essential requirements’ and to as many ‘desirable requirements’ mentioned as possible. 

Remember, just saying you’ve got the skills and experience to do the required job won’t cut it. You need to show how you got the skills, how you’ve used your skills on the (previous/current) job(s) to get desired results, and any other past experiences that showcase you’ve got what the employer is looking for. You don’t necessarily have to be a show-off. However, mentioning specific details that help them picture your abilities and skills and know what you’re talking about can prove fruitful for the organisation.

A Brief Summary Describing Why You’re A Great Fit For The Job

Once you’ve listed your skills, qualification, and experience, it is time for you to elaborate on why it means you’re the right fit for the concerned position. (For example, ‘My ability to manage various mainstream SEO tools, perform deep competition/on-page analysis, experience in HTML, and working in an agency setting for over five years makes me an ideal fit for the job.

Use Industry Terminology – Speak In Their Language

Using standard industry terminology or in the language of the concerned field helps the employer get an idea about your skills/experience and the industry knowledge.

Find out what the employer is seeking in a potential candidate and answer these questions in the language they understand. The idea is to showcase your in-depth knowledge about the industry and bring to the table exactly what the employer is looking for.

Don’t go overboard with it, and make sure you don’t make mistakes here as it might end up doing just the opposite of what you desired to achieve.

Ask Them To Get In Touch With You

The Cover Letter must end with asking the hiring manager/employer to read the Resume and contact you to schedule an interview.

Cover Letter Writing

What You Mustn’t Include In Your Cover Letter

Now that we have discussed what should be in an ideal Cover Letter let us discuss what mustn’t be in a Cover Letter.

Typos & Mistakes

Spell-check your Cover Letter thoroughly for any errors, typos and grammatical mistakes. Read and re-read again and again to be completely sure. You can also take the help of your teacher, career/job counsellor, friends, and family members and get them to read the Cover Letter and Resume, pointing out any flaws or obvious mistakes. Typos, grammatical mistakes, and errors look unprofessional and can be off-putting to employers. 

Don’t Copy-Paste Entire Resume In Your Cover Letter

Your Cover Letter is meant to be an informative introduction and a prequel to your Resume. Don’t just rewrite your resume in a Cover Letter. Cover Letter and Resume are two different components of a job application and have different purposes. The Cover Letter is used to introduce you, generate interest in you as a potential candidate, give an insight into your abilities, skills, and experience. Let the Resume tell the whole story. 

Don’t Use ‘I’ Too Much

More often than not, the candidates end up making the Cover Letter about themselves rather than answering the real question – How can you be useful for the employer? Don’t overuse commonly used phrases in a Cover Letter like ‘I have, ‘I believe’, ‘I can,’ ‘I am, etc. Once you’ve written your Cover Letter, edit and proofread it to rewrite any specific sentences and phrases that use ‘I’ too much. 

Never Mention Your Other Job Applications

The chances are that you’re applying for multiple jobs simultaneously, but the employers don’t need to know that. It is essential never to mention other job applications or companies you’re trying to land a job in. Your Cover Letter should be aimed towards the employer and portray your commitment, faith, and eagerness to get the job. 

Employers are well aware that job applicants have applied for other jobs, but you must never mention it. 

The approach to writing a Cover Letter differs depending upon the job requirements and your credentials as a candidate. The approach will be different if you’re a fresher with no work experience, if the job doesn’t require a resume, if the company hasn’t advertised their job requirements, and if you’re a highly experienced candidate with tons of experience backing you. 

The significance of a Resume often overshadows the value of Cover Letters. But, surveys and interviews with employers and hiring managers over the years have clearly proved that Cover Letters do make a difference. It increases the chances of landing an interview and getting a call-back, and most of all, leaves a positive impression on the employer.

Make A Great First Impression With An Impressive Cover Letter

When you want to stand out in a sea of applicants, it’s worth investing time and effort into crafting an impressive Cover Letter. We’ve outlined the key things your Cover Letter should include above, but don’t forget that sometimes less is more. If you’re having trouble getting started or need help with polishing up what you already have written, we can provide assistance from our team of professional writers who are ready and waiting for new clients! Contact us today to get started on your Resume writing project – no matter how big or small – so that you’ll be prepared when opportunity knocks at your door!

As a job seeker, you must leave no holds barred to make a great first impression, and it starts with writing a Cover Letter that makes the hiring manager pick up that phone and give you a call.

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How to write a cover letter

A cover letter is your first introduction to a potential employer, so it needs to show that you’re a suitable candidate.

A cover letter is an important document that introduces your resume to potential employers and highlights your suitability for the role. The effort you put into a well-tailored cover letter can go a long way to convincing a prospective employer that you’re a highly motivated candidate, and will help you to stand out in the application process.

The purpose of a cover letter

A common misconception is that a cover letter is simply a reiteration of the information on your resume . However, the structure and purpose of each document is different. While your resume is a polished summary of what you’re offering, your cover letter is a professional letter that introduces your application and reasons for applying for the job, linking the relevant skills and experience on your resume to the job requirements and organisation.

An effective cover letter demonstrates to a potential employer:

1. A strong interest in the role and the organisation

Employers want to hire candidates who are genuinely interested in their job, not just any job. Do your research and explain why the organisation appeals to you.  

2. How you meet the selection criteria

Focus on the skills and attributes the employer has mentioned in the job advertisement. In your responses to selection criteria , offer short examples of how you have developed or utilised your skills for a positive outcome.

3. Excellent written communication skills

A cover letter should be written using professional language and structured paragraphs. Proofread your letter for spelling and grammatical errors.

Cover letter tips

The primary emphasis should be on what you could contribute to the organisation, rather than on what you expect from the organisation. For a cover letter to be effective:

  • Keep it to one A4 page.
  • Ensure your name, address, phone number and email address are included on the letter.
  • Include the title, name and job title of addressee (spelled correctly), as well as the organisation’s name and address on the letter. Only use “Dear Sir or Madam” if you can’t find the hiring manager’s name.
  • Be clear about which job you are applying for by referring to the job title or vacancy number listed in the job advertisement.
  • Use a professional font (eg, Arial, Calibri – nothing too ornate or difficult to read) and keep your formatting consistent with your other application documents.
  • Indent or leave a space between each paragraph.
  • Send your cover letter as an attachment, do not type it into the body of the email.
  • Do not send the same generic letter to every employer. It must be closely tailored to the job and the organisation.
  • Keep the information in your resume and cover letter consistent – your cover letter should not introduce experience that you have not listed in your resume.

Use our cover letter template

Need more cover letter tips, how to write a resume.

A clear, tailored and professional resume is essential for any job application. It should aim to convince an employer that your qualifications, work experience and skillset make you a strong match for the job.

Addressing selection criteria

Selection criteria are the skills, knowledge, and experience required to successfully do the job.


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  4. Free Cover Letter Templates

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  5. How to Write a Cover Letter: Template & Tips

    Simply sign off with: "I have attached my resume and look forward to speaking to you further about this opportunity.". Or "I look forward to hearing from you to discuss this role further." Finally, as you'll see in our cover letter template, you can close with the widely accepted "kind regards" or "sincerely".

  6. Cover Letters: How to Write a Great Cover Letter [Templates & Examples

    Download our free cover letter templates and examples to impress the hiring manager and nab the job you want. The purpose of a cover letter is to convince a hiring manager or recruiter to read your resume. Your cover letter tells the story of why you're applying, and why you're a great fit for the role.

  7. How to create the perfect cover letter layout

    Always stick to basic black in workmanlike fonts such as Arial or Verdana. Skip cover letter fonts that are 'flowery' or hard to read. Aim for a font size or 11- or 12-point. Be mindful of spacing. Single space your cover letter, and add an extra space between greetings, each paragraph and your signature. This makes it easier to read.

  8. Cover Letter Examples and Templates (2024)

    When you're applying for a job, a cover letter lets you show a personal side and demonstrate why hiring you is a smart decision. Cover letters should be around three paragraphs long and include specific examples from your past experience that make you qualified for the position.A cover letter should include the following parts: Header ...

  9. How To Write A Cover Letter (Examples, Templates & Guide)

    Assume everyone thinks they're a "seasoned professional", "team player", or "dynamic", "energetic", or "proven" leader. Delete all buzzwords from your cover letter. 4. Write Your Concluding Statements. If there's room, throw in a few more value points — again, ensuring they're relevant to the job ad/description.

  10. Free cover letter templates

    Dear [name]: I am a [Industry] professional with [list years of experience and 2-3 professional strengths] I am looking for [insert your goals and motivations. Mention any corporate values that you resonate with.] [Finish this paragraph with a summary of your strongest, most recent and most impressive experience.]

  11. How to write a cover letter in Australia

    You want to wind down with a quick overview. Remind the recruiter why you're applying for this role, where you've come from, and why you'd like to take this path next. 5. Make a closing statement. Thank them for their time in reading your application, and let them know that you look forward to hearing from them soon.

  12. How to write a cover letter

    How to write your cover letter. Start with a brief introduction about yourself and why you're writing. Mention the job you're applying for and your interest in it. Give a snapshot of the relevant skills, experience and qualifications you have that relate to the job. Think about the key two or three points in your resume and explaining these ...

  13. Australian Cover Letter Example

    Intro paragraph. Introduce your passion and interest in the role. Make a bold and powerful statement about what makes you unique and the ideal candidate for this role. List 2-3 skills you possess that are mentioned in the job application. Keep this paragraph short (2-4 sentences).

  14. How To Write A Cover Letter

    step 4: include a call to action. Your cover letter must finish on a strong call to action, encouraging the potential employer to look through your resume and to contact you to arrange an interview date/time. Here's an example of what and how to include a strong call to action at the end of a cover letter: "Please see my attached resume.

  15. Cover letter templates

    Cover letter template 1: Response to a job ad. Dear [name]: I'm writing in response to your recently advertised position for a [role title]. I am very interested in this opportunity with [company] and believe that my qualifications, education and professional experience would make me. a strong candidate for the position.

  16. Cover letter template

    OPENING PARAGRAPH (S): The purpose of this letter, and why them. Paragraph 1: start by referring to the position you're applying for (or "I am applying for the above position" if formatted as above) and where you saw the advertisement or heard about the role. Paragraph 2: explain why you're interested in the role and the organisation.

  17. Write A Cover Letter That Stands Out [Beginner's Guide]

    You are not writing your biography, so follow the unwritten rule of writing an ideal Cover Letter and keep it around 200 words to 400 words. The idea sweet spot lies somewhere between 200 to 300 words. It not only increases the readability but improves the chances of an employer reading it.

  18. How to Write a Cover Letter

    2. Use an appropriate greeting. If you know the name of the hiring manager for this job, begin your cover letter by addressing them directly (Example: Dear Jane). When writing your resume, it's important to avoid weak and passive verbs, stay away from business jargon or clichés, and watch out for tired words and phrases.

  19. How to write a cover letter

    For a cover letter to be effective: Keep it to one A4 page. Ensure your name, address, phone number and email address are included on the letter. Include the title, name and job title of addressee (spelled correctly), as well as the organisation's name and address on the letter. Only use "Dear Sir or Madam" if you can't find the hiring ...

  20. How to Format a Cover Letter: Examples for 2024

    In a nutshell, this is how to format a cover letter: Use one-inch margins, single line spacing, and 11 to 12-pt font. In the top-left corner, put your contact details, city and date, and the employer's contact details. Open with a personal salutation.

  21. PDF Writing a winning cover letter

    Employers look for what you can do for them — your letter, along with your resume, is your opportunity to show them what you have to offer. A generic letter sent with all of your job applications is a lost opportunity. cover letter 1. advertised position in mining. administrative position (not advertised)

  22. Samples of the Best Cover Letters (With Writing Tips)

    Related: How to Format a Cover Letter (With Tips and Examples) 2. Use a professional structure. In addition to format, it's essential to use a professional structure when writing your cover letter. Include a header that features your information and the person you're addressing. Include your name, address and contact details at the top.

  23. The 11 Best Cover Letter Examples of 2024

    The best cover letter format. An excellent cover letter uses business letter formatting with: your name and contact information at the top; the hiring manager's name and company contact details; a salutation addressing the hiring manager by name; 3-4 paragraphs and a bulleted list; a polite sign-off (like "Sincerely,") and your name