Land the job with cover letter templates

Show hiring managers why you're the perfect job candidate with professional, customizable cover letter templates. find the perfect cover letter template for any industry or career path..

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Download free cover letter templates

Stand out from other job applicants with free, professional cover letter templates. Cover letters are a perfect complement to your resume and provide an effective opportunity to show your personality and enthusiasm for a position. Focus on writing a compelling cover letter and let a professionally designed template do the rest.

These free cover letter templates are perfect for any stage of your career, whether you're looking to land an internship or your dream job. If you're applying for a corporate position, you may want to opt for a simple cover letter template. There are a variety of other cover letter designs available, from basic cover letter templates to creative cover letter templates.

Each of these cover letter templates is customizable in Word , so you can add your own text, change design elements, and more. Print out your cover letter or download it for free to use for online job applications. Once you've customized the perfect cover letter, explore resume templates that will match your cover letter design, or download free business cards for your next networking event.

How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

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After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!

You’ve perfected your resume. 

You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.

You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.

But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.

Now you’re stuck wondering how to write a cover letter ...

Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.

  • What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
  • How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
  • How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
  • What excellent cover letter examples look like

New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!

So, let’s get started with the basics!

What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. 

A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:

how to write cover letter

Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.

The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:

  • Header - Input contact information
  • Greeting the hiring manager
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  • Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
  • Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
  • Formal closing

Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:

structure of a cover letter

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step. 

Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?

cover letter templates

You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!

As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.

Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header

As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:

contact information on a cover letter

Here, you want to include all essential information, including:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.

And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:

  • Your Full Address 
  • Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.

matching resume and cover letter

Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.

The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .

That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this. 

The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.

So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And voila! You have your hiring manager.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Here are several other greetings you could use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .

The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..

  • Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

So now, let’s make our previous example shine:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.

See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?

Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.

So, let’s get started...

Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job

This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.

But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.

For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.

Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company

Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.

Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.

How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.

Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.

Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.

You’d write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device. 

I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.

What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):

I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.

See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have. 

The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.

Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.

So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.

Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action

Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.

And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:

So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.

Step #8 - Use the right formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional email
  • Relevant Social Media Profiles

Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?

Do you successfully convey that you’re the right pro for the job?

  • Did you identify the core requirements?
  • Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?

Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?

Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?

5+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).

College Student Cover Letter Example

college or student cover letter example

Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .

Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught. 

After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.

...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.

If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.

Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.

resume examples for cover letter

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
  • A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
  • Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
  • There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
  • Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…

  • How to Write a Motivational Letter
  • How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
  • Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

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StandOut CV

12 CV cover letter examples

Andrew Fennell photo

A  cover letter  for your CV, or covering note is an introductory message that accompanies your CV when applying for a job.

The purpose of the cover letter is simple… Persuade the reader to open your CV.

Learn how to write a cover letter properly, and you will hugely increase your chances of getting responses and landing job interviews.

This guide, with 12 annotated cover letter examples will show you everything you need to know about creating a winning cover note.

CV templates 

How to layout a cover letter for your CV

This annotated example of a cover letter shows you how you should structure your cover letters, and the type of information you should be including.

You should always write your CV in the body of your email (or j ob site messaging system) so that it can be read instantly. Never attach it as a separate document, or the recipient probably won’t open it.

How to write a cover letter

Example CV cover letters

These 11 example CV cover letters from a range of industries should give you some good inspiration for creating your own cover letter.

Admin CV cover letter

Administrator Cover Letter example

This cover letter is aimed at administrative roles , so it highlights the candidate’s abilities in efficiency, report writing and meeting deadlines, whilst demonstrating the types of environments they have worked in.

Learn how to write a cover letter step-by-step here.

Customer service CV cover letter

Customer service cover letter example

This customer service cover letter briefly explains the candidate’s length of experience in the field and highlights some of the more important customer service skills such as call handling, order taking and complaint resolution.

This gives the reader an excellent introduction to the candidate and should certainly encourage them to open the CV.

See our full customer service cover letter guide,  sales assistant cover letter example  and waiter/waitress cover letter example .

Finance CV cover letter

Finance cover letter example

As a finance professional, it’s important to highlight your specialisms within finance, the types of companies you’ve worked for, and high level functions you’ve carried out within your cover letter. This will give the hiring manager a good overall feel of your abilities, and if it’s well tailored to the role, should provide them with enough info to excite them about your CV.

Quick tip: Use our job application tracker spreadsheet to track your applications and follow up with employers who don’t respond.

CV builder

Events CV cover letter

Events manager cover letter example

This events manager candidate has done a great job of summarising the type and size of events they manage, along with details of core skills such as leadership, project delivery and stakeholder management.

This certainly provides enough info to create a buzz around the CV attached and encourage the recipient to open it.

Executive assistant CV cover letter

Executive assistant cover letter example

This executive assistant CV cover letter provides a good high level intro to the candidate showing the reader key business support knowledge in areas such as admin, diary management and document management. It also shows that the candidate is confident supporting senior business figures.

Graduate CV cover letter

Graduate cover letter example

As a graduate , your cover letter will need to be a little longer than an experienced candidates, to compensate for your lack of experience and really sell yourself.

This candidate speaks in lots of detail about their education, qualifications, and extra-curricular work which relates to the roles they are applying for.

IT CV cover letter

IT Support cover letter example

As an IT candidate, it’s important not only to highlight your technical skills, but also show how you apply those skills in the workplace to translate real benefits for your employer.

This candidate gives a good overview of the candidates technical abilities and the types of projects they apply them to, along with results they achieve.

Marketing CV cover letter

Marketing Cover Letter example

This marketing cover letter provides readers with a summary of the candidate’s core marketing abilities such as media planning, brand awareness and cost reduction. It also explains the types of marketing campaigns and companies they have experience with – a great high-level intro.

Cover letter examples

Warehouse Operative cover letter – Training Contract cover letter – Cleaning Job cover letter – Nursery Assistant cover letter – Recruitment Consultant cover letter – Dental Nurse cover letter –

Chef cover letter – Editorial Assistant cover letter – Aircraft Mechanic cover letter – Biomedical Science cover letter – Cabin Crew cover letter – Finance Assistant cover letter – Hotel Receptionist cover letter – Asset Management cover letter – Assistant Psychologist cover letter – Beauty Therapist cover letter – Cafe Worker cover letter – HR Administrator cover letter – NQT cover letter – Quantity Surveyor cover letter

More cover letter examples

  • Academic cover letter
  • Account Manager cover letter
  • Accountant cover letter
  • Accounting cover letter
  • Accounts Assistant cover letter
  • Acting cover letter
  • Admin Assistant cover letter
  • Administrator cover letter
  • Apprenticeship cover letter
  • Architecture cover letter
  • Assistant Manager cover letter
  • Banking cover letter
  • Bar Staff cover letter
  • Barclays cover letter
  • Barista cover letter
  • Bartender cover letter
  • Business Analyst cover letter
  • Business Development Manager cover letter
  • Car Sales Person cover letter
  • Care Assistant cover letter
  • Career Change cover letter
  • Catering Assistant cover letter
  • Civil Engineer cover letter
  • Computer Science cover letter
  • Consulting cover letter
  • Copywriter cover letter
  • Cyber Security cover letter
  • Data Entry Clerk cover letter
  • Data Scientist cover letter
  • Delivery Driver cover letter
  • Digital Marketing cover letter
  • Electrician cover letter
  • Engineering cover letter
  • Estate Agent cover letter
  • Event Manager cover letter
  • Exam Invigilator cover letter
  • Executive Assistant cover letter
  • Fashion Designer cover letter
  • Finance cover letter
  • Financial Analyst cover letter
  • Google cover letter
  • Graduate cover letter
  • Graduate Engineer cover letter
  • Graduate Scheme cover letter
  • Graphic Design cover letter
  • Health Care Assistant cover letter
  • Hospitality cover letter
  • HR Assistant cover letter
  • HR cover letter
  • Interior Designer cover letter
  • Internal Position cover letter
  • Internship cover letter
  • Investment Banking cover letter
  • Investment Manager cover letter
  • IT Support cover letter
  • Journalist cover letter
  • JP Morgan cover letter
  • Lawyer cover letter
  • Legal Assistant cover letter
  • Legal cover letter
  • Library Assistant cover letter
  • Manager cover letter
  • Marine Engineer cover letter
  • Marketing Assistant cover letter
  • Marketing cover letter
  • Marketing Intern cover letter
  • Marketing Manager cover letter
  • McKinsey cover letter
  • Mechanical Engineer cover letter
  • Medical Receptionist cover letter
  • Medical Writer cover letter
  • Model cover letter
  • Nanny cover letter
  • Nurse cover letter
  • Nursing cover letter
  • Office Assistant cover letter
  • Office Manager cover letter
  • Operations Manager cover letter
  • Optical Assistant cover letter
  • Paralegal cover letter
  • Part Time cover letter
  • PE Teacher cover letter
  • Personal Assistant cover letter
  • Personal Trainer cover letter
  • Pharmacist cover letter
  • Pharmacy Assistant cover letter
  • PHD Application cover letter
  • Photographer cover letter
  • Placement cover letter
  • Private Equity cover letter
  • Product Manager cover letter
  • Production Assistant cover letter
  • Production Operator cover letter
  • Project Coordinator cover letter
  • Promotion cover letter
  • PWC cover letter
  • Quantity Surveyor cover letter
  • Receptionist cover letter
  • Research Assistant cover letter
  • Researcher cover letter
  • Retail Assistant cover letter
  • Retail cover letter
  • Retail Manager cover letter
  • Sales Advisor cover letter
  • Sales Executive cover letter
  • Sales Manager cover letter
  • Scrum Master cover letter
  • Security Officer cover letter
  • Ski Season cover letter
  • Social Media Executive cover letter
  • Social Media Manager cover letter
  • Software Developer cover letter
  • Software Engineer cover letter
  • Speculative cover letter
  • Student cover letter
  • Support Worker cover letter
  • Teaching Assistant cover letter
  • Team Leader cover letter
  • Trainee Dental Nurse cover letter
  • University cover letter
  • UX Designer cover letter
  • Volunteer cover letter

Project manager CV cover letter

Project manager cover letter example

A project manager’ s cover letter needs to quickly explain to recipients the types of projects they lead and the technical expertise they bring to the projects. It’s also important to describe level of experience, seniority and background.

See full project manager cover letter example + writing guide

Operations manager cover letter

Operations manager cover letter example

This operations management CV provides a brief introduction to the types of operations the candidate manages and the firms they work for.

They also touch upon some core operations skills such as efficiency, logistics and ROI improvement.

Sales CV cover letter

Sales cover letter example

As a sales candidate, this cover letter shows the types of business this person can generate and the size and scale of the impact they create by highlighting some sales results.

It also mentions some core sales skills like business development, presenting, working under pressure and closing deals.

Cover letter templates

Teacher cover letter

Teacher cover letter example

This teacher cover letter does a great job of introducing the candidate, and showing the recipient the key facts they will be looking for, such as; the age group they teach, subject specialisms, and the results they have achieved.

The cover letter is brief and gets to the point quickly, so that readers will instantly look to open the attached CV .

How to write your CV cover letter

Now that you’ve seem good examples of cover letters to accompany your CV (or resume if you are in the USA) this guide will show exactly how to write your own, and the content that needs to be included .

Send your CV cover letter in email format (when possible)

When applying for jobs online you usually have 2 choices…

1) Send a message via the job website’s messaging system

2) Send the recruiter an email directly

If you can find an email address for the recruiter, then I would always recommend sending an email directly because it gives you more control.

When you send a message through a job website, it will transfer into an email with basic formatting and an auto-generated headline , which will look like this when the recruiter receives it.

Email Subject line

If you cannot find an email address for the recruiter on the job advert, then try searching LinkedIn or the company website to find the relevant contact.

You may not always be able to find an email address, but when you can – always send a job application by email .

Make your subject line appealing

As you can see in the picture above, a bad subject line can kill your chances of actually having your email read in the first place.

Your subject line should stand out and give the recruiter a reason to open your email.

When recruiters look into their inbox, they are looking for one thing; a candidate who can do the job they are advertising – so give that to them in your subject line.

Your subject line should be a short summary of your experience that relates directly to the job you are applying for.

The following are good subject line examples;

KS2 Teacher with 5 years experience

Front End Web developer with HTML, HTML & JavaScript experience

Junior Graphic designer with 1st BA Hons Graphic Design

If your subject line shows that you have one or two of the most important requirements for the job, your email should get opened every time.

Address the recruiter by name

Address by name

To get the relationship off on the right foot, you should try to address the recruiter by name if you can.

Often the recruiter’s details will appear on the job advert but sometimes you may have to check out the company website or do some digging around on LinkedIn.

If you really can’t find the name, then it’s not the end of the world – just start with a simple friendly opening like “ Hi ”

(If you applying to a more traditional organisation such as an academic post for a university, you may want to use something a bit more formal like “ Dear sir or madam ”)

Use a friendly yet professional tone

It’s important to sound professional when writing a cover letter but you also need to demonstrate your ability to communicate with other people and show some personality.

If your email is too casual and written in an over-familiar tone, then you will come across us un-professional.

But on the other hand, if your email is too formal and shows no signs of rapport building, you risk appearing as somebody who lacks social skills.

So when writing your cover letter, try to strike a nice balance of professionalism and friendliness.

Opening with a line such as “ hope you’re well ” is a nice way to breathe a bit of personality into your cover letter.

Ensure that your spelling and grammar is perfect throughout your cover letter because sloppy mistakes are a huge red flag for recruiters.

Quick tip:  If you struggle with spelling and grammar, try our quick-and-easy CV Builder

Keep it brief

Unless the job advert specifies otherwise; keep your cover letter short and sweet.

Recruiters and employers receive hundreds of job applications per week, so they don’t want to read a 2 page cover letter.

Depending on the role, around 2-4 sentences should be enough for the content of the cover letter.

You just need to write enough to persuade them to open your CV – It should roughly contain the same amount of information as your CV profile or personal statement.

Show how your skills match the job

Hard skills vs soft skills

To ensure that recruiters open your CV, you simply need to explain how your skills and experience match the job requirements from the advert.

Scan the job advert to discover what the most important candidate abilities are, and show how your previous experience has prepared you to cover these.

In particular, look out for any requirements that are essential to the job .

Focus on what you have to offer at this stage and not what you want.

At this stage, your covering letter is simply a means of getting the recruiter to open your CV, so it’s too early to talk about salary demands etc. Save that for your initial conversation with the recruiter.

Include a professional signature

cover letter signatures

End your cover letter with a friendly salutation such as “Regards” and a smart signature which includes your name and most direct contact method (usually mobile phone for most people)

A professional email signature will show recruiters that you understand business-email etiquette and ensure they have a means of contacting you – even if they can’t open your CV for any reason.

Writing a CV cover letter

Hopefully this guide has given you everything you need to create a winning cover letter that will ensure you CV gets opened every time you send it.

Just remember to keep it brief, be friendly, tailor it towards your target role, and give recruiters some good reasons to be interested in you.

Good luck with the job hunt!

Cover Letter Templates

FlowCV Cover Letter Template: Classic · Cover letter centered

Cover Letter by FlowCV

Tailor your cover letter with FlowCV's professionally designed templates. Easily customize multiple settings to infuse your personal flair, all through our intuitive editor.

template cover letter for cv

Are Cover Letters Necessary?

Do cover letters matter these days? It depends on who you ask.

Some recruiters love learning more about each job applicant, while others find the practice antiquated. So should you write one if it might not even be read at all?

Keep reading for advice from career coaching experts, plus:

  • When you should (and shouldn't) write a cover letter
  • What to do when a cover letter is "optional"
  • Tips for writing an effective cover letter
  • What an effective cover letter template looks like

Do I Need a Cover Letter ?

In most cases, yes—you should submit a cover letter with your resume.

While the cover letter has increasingly become a divisive topic among recruiters and job seekers , it's still often listed as a requirement on job applications .

But regardless, many recruiters still think cover letters are important.

According to a 2023 study by recruitment website Zippia , more than a fourth (26 percent) of recruiters "always read cover letters " and think they're an important component of the hiring decision. And almost half (45 percent) said that not including a cover letter could get your application rejected.

So in most cases, it's best to be cautious and include one.

In short, including a cover letter will almost never hurt your job search —but it can help.

Here's how:

  • It can help you stand out from the crowd . Recruiters read through countless resumes for just one role. If you have similar qualifications as other candidates, a cover letter allows you to showcase your personality and unique skills.
  • It shows you're willing to go the extra mile . Searching for a new job is already a lot of effort, so it may be difficult to rationalize writing a customized cover letter for each role. But the Zippia study found that 61 percent of hiring managers consider a customized resume (with a cover letter, portfolio link, etc.) the "number one tactic for applicants to boost their chances of getting a job."
  • You can address potential biases . In a perfect world, recruiters wouldn't count you out based on things like employment gaps or " job hopping ." Career coach Marlo Lyons recommends using your cover letter to "fill in any gaps" and provide context about these types of situations so recruiters don't get the wrong impression.

When You Should Include a Cover Letter

It's ultimately up to you whether you include a cover letter.

Octavia Goredema, career coach and author of Prep, Push, Pivot , says that the decision to submit a cover letter hinges on "where you are in your career journey and your personal career goals."

In addition to when it's a required part of the job posting, here are scenarios where it's in your best interest to submit one:

  • If someone referred you to the job : According to Goredema, "If you were referred to an opportunity by someone at the company or have a personal history that correlates with the role, a cover letter enables you to share that."
  • If you want to add additional information : Say the job you're applying to requires candidates to live on a specific coast. If you don't currently live in the area but are willing to relocate, mention that in your cover letter so you aren't automatically rejected based on your current location.
  • If you're changing careers : Goredema recommends writing one "if you're in the early stages of your career or making a professional pivot. A cover letter provides the opportunity to add additional context to the information included in your resume."
  • If you don't have any previous work experience : If you're new to the workforce, you may not have any applicable previous positions to include on your resume. Use your cover letter to highlight transferrable skills and explain why you think you'd still be a good fit.

Lastly, Goredema suggests that "if this is your dream job, a cover letter provides the space for you to explain with impact and highlight what you do best."

Debra Boggs, founder and CEO of D&S Executive Career Management, adds: "As long as a cover letter is well-written and error-free, it will never hurt your chances of winning an interview."

So the more important the role is to you, the more effort you should put in.

When You Shouldn't Include a Cover Letter

There are certainly times when you should send a cover letter with your resume—but are there times when you shouldn't send one in? Here are a few instances:

  • If the application platform doesn't have a space to upload one : If there isn't a space for you to attach your cover letter or other supporting documents, don't sweat it. This means that other applicants won't be able to send one either.
  • If the job posting doesn't require one : If the post specifically states that you shouldn't include a cover letter, it's not a trick. The recruiter likely doesn't plan to read it, so it's best to reserve your time for other job search activities .
  • If you aren't a strong writer : Lyons recommends forgoing a cover letter if you aren't a good writer and don't have anyone to help you. "The cover letter could be your first impression, and a badly written one—especially with grammatical errors—could make recruiters not want to screen you for the job."
  • If you don't have time : Strapped for time? Goredema suggests "[focusing] on your resume and the application requirements versus haphazardly throwing together a few sentences just to meet an application deadline."

What To Do When a Cover Letter is 'Optional'

"Optional" cover letters can feel like a trick. You want to show the recruiter you're interested in the role, but you don't want to waste your time if it isn't necessary.

Lyons recommends skipping the optional cover letter "if your resume and LinkedIn profile are complete and no further explanation is needed."

However, it can be helpful to write one if "your resume doesn't tell the whole story about you." (Think resume gaps or career changes.)

Goredema believes it can be helpful to include a cover letter, regardless of whether it's a requirement. "Why not take the opportunity? It may help you to stand out. Going the extra mile by sending a well-written, personalized cover letter can only work to your advantage versus working against you."

So it can be helpful to put in extra effort if you have more to add to your application. But you shouldn't include a subpar cover letter just for the sake of it.

7 Tips for Writing an Effective Cover Letter

Regardless of your feelings toward the now-controversial cover letter, you'll likely find yourself writing one for at least some of the jobs you apply to.

Here's how to draft one that actually grabs a recruiter's attention:

1. Keep Things Short

Lyons suggests writing "three to four paragraphs at most, with two to three sentences in each paragraph."

Goredema adds: "Avoid long rambling sentences and keep your letter concise to make it easy to read."

Even if a particular recruiter loves cover letters, they might sift through hundreds of applications to find the right candidates. So it's best to be brief.

2. Follow the Rules

Some recruiters will ask you to include a portfolio link, send the cover letter via email, ask you to answer specific questions, etc. Be sure to fully read the job post's requirements—you don't want to be counted out for failing to follow directions.

3. Don't Repeat Your Resume

Lyons cautions repeating information the recruiter already has access to. Instead, "Tell the story of you—something important that you did not cover on your resume and how that story connects to the current position."

Think of it as connecting the dots between your experience, skills and capabilities. Explain why you'd be a good fit for the role rather than repeating the skills section of your resume .

4. Use Active Voice and Action Verbs

With active voice, the subject of a sentence performs the action. Passive voice puts more emphasis on the object of the sentence.

Using active voice is more direct and straightforward. Plus, it helps keep things brief.

Aim to use active voice throughout your resume and cover letter. This will help you sound clear and confident.

Here's an example of passive voice, plus how to fix it to use active voice:

  • Passive voice : The treats were eaten by the dogs.
  • Active voice : The dogs ate the treats.

If you struggle with writing in active voice consistently, think about the action verbs you'd use to describe your skills and experiences.

For example, instead of "I was tasked with x," you could say, "I managed x."

5. Be Specific

Include specific examples (i.e., instead of "I'm a team player," allude to a situation where you were a team player). If you've ever taken a writing course, you've probably heard the advice "show don't tell." The same advice applies to your resume and cover letter.

You could say "I have marketing experience," but what does that communicate to the reader? Not much.

Be specific about your experience and accomplishments. Instead, say "I led a marketing campaign that increased quarterly newsletter sign-ups by 40%."

6. Proofread

Check your cover letter for grammar and spelling mistakes before submitting it to avoid a professional faux pas.

Use spellcheck or an external app like Grammarly, which is also compatible with web browsers.

7. Customize It

At best, a generic cover letter is boring or a little awkward. At worst, it can be unprofessional if what you wrote about has nothing to do with the job you're applying for.

Think about it this way: your cover letter might be the deciding factor between you and another candidate with the same skills and experience. So you want to grab the recruiter's attention.

You don't need to spend tons of time rewriting your cover letter for every job application, though. Here are a few things you can do to stand out:

  • Address the hiring manager or recruiter by name (you can sometimes find this information on the LinkedIn job post)
  • Include the company name and job title
  • Mention what you like about the specific company and its culture
  • Detail skills and experience specifically mentioned on the job post

Boggs advises to "create a template that you can easily customize to include the relevant skills and experience for each job and employer."

Read on for inspiration for your own template.

Cover Letter Template

It can be time-consuming to write a new cover letter for every job application. Here's a template you can customize for different positions:

Dear [name of recruiter, "hiring manager"] , I saw the job posting for [exact title of role] and am excited about the opportunity. [1-2 sentences detailing why you're interested in the role/company.] In my previous role, [brief description of your accomplishments beyond what your resume states.] I also have [1-2 sentences detailing relevant experience, including specific skills and level of proficiency.] [If applicable: include a short paragraph with a link to your portfolio or any other relevant links.] Thank you for your time—if you'd like to schedule an interview, please feel free to contact me [brief description of the best time and method for contact.] Sincerely, [Your Name] [Phone Number] [Email]

Cover Letter FAQs

Still wondering if you need a cover letter for your specific situation? Or if recruiters actually read every cover letter? Read on for answers.

Do I Need a Cover Letter for a Part-Time Job?

The same advice applies to part-time jobs—cover letters aren't always necessary, but they can help you stand out. If you're especially interested in a part-time role, it's a good idea to submit a cover letter.

Do I Need a Cover Letter for an Internship?

Many people who apply for internships don't have significant prior work experience, so a cover letter is especially helpful here.

Instead of previous jobs, you can talk about:

  • Your education
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Transferrable skills
  • Volunteer experience

You can include similar points if you're looking for an entry-level job and don't have prior work experience.

Can I Use AI To Write a Cover Letter?

Proceed with caution when using ChatGPT or a similar tool to write content for you. Employers may be using AI content detectors to identify which candidates used a shortcut.

AI programs like ChatGPT create content based on their existing libraries, so content is never really "new." Meaning it's impossible to tell if you're accidentally plagiarizing someone unless you heavily edit the chatbot's answers.

Goredema points out a potential pitfall in relying too heavily on AI: "If your goal is to get an interview, you don't want there to be a huge gap between how you communicate on paper versus how you communicate in person ."

Here are a few ways you can use AI to add to the writing process :

  • Checking for active voice
  • Adding action verbs
  • Creating a rough draft
  • Checking your writing tone

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Erst musst du dein  Europass-Profil erstellen  und dabei Angaben zu deiner allgemeinen oder beruflichen Bildung sowie zu Arbeitserfahrung und Kompetenzen machen. Nach der Erstellung deines Europass-Profils kannst du mit wenigen Klicks so viele Lebensläufe erstellen, wie du möchtest. Du entscheidest, was in deinem Lebenslauf stehen und wie er aussehen soll – den Rest macht Europass. 

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