The 23 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right
Published: September 21, 2023
Fun isn’t something typically associated with writing a cover letter. But the cover letter examples below show that it’s possible to have a little fun with your job search — and maybe even make yourself a better candidate in the process.
45% of job seekers don't include a cover letter when applying for a job. But this is a mistake, because your cover letter is a chance to tell the stories your resume only outlines. It's an opportunity for you to highlight your creativity at the earliest stage of the recruitment process.
Are you ready to showcase your unique skills and experience? Or are you looking for more tips and cover letter inspiration?
Keep reading for 20+ cover letter examples, then check out tips for cover letter formatting and what makes a cover letter great .
5 Free Cover Letter Templates
Five fill-in-the-blank cover letter templates to help you impress recruiters.
- Standard Cover Letter Template
- Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
- Data-Driven Cover Letter Template
You're all set!
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Cover Letter Examples
- Standard Cover Letter Example
- Data-Driven Cover Letter Sample
- Entry-Level Cover Letter Example
- The Cover Letter That Explains 'Why,' Not Just 'How'
- The 'We're Meant for Each Other' Cover Letter
- The Cover Letter with H.E.A.R.T.
- Short-and-Sweet Cover Letter Example
- The Short Story
- The Bare Bones Cover Letter
- The Breezy Follow-Up
- The Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
- The Internship Cover Letter
- The Brutally Honest Cover Letter
- The Pivot Cover Letter
- The Graphic Design Cover Letter
- Consulting Internship Cover Letter Example
- Nonprofit Referral Cover Letter Example
- General Email Inquiry Cover Letter Example
- Post-Phone-Call Cover Letter Example
- Mission-Driven Graduate Cover Letter Example
- Short Recommendation Cover Letter Example
- Professor or Research Position Cover Letter Example
- Director Cover Letter Example
- Editorial Cover Letter Example
- Promotion Cover Letter Example
- Law Cover Letter Example
Customizable Cover Letter Examples
In a hurry for a cover letter example you can download and customize? Check out the ones below from HubSpot’s cover letter template kit .
1. Standard Cover Letter Example
Download a Customizable Copy of This Cover Letter Example
This standard cover letter hits all the right notes: It includes a space to give a brief summary of your experience, as well as a space to delve in-depth into the specific responsibilities of your current role. You also have the chance to describe the challenges you’ve mastered in previous roles, showing that you’re capable of facing any problem that comes your way.
Why We Love It
We love this cover letter because it allows you to describe the high points of your career while still being professional, personalized, and succinct.
2. Data-Driven Cover Letter Sample
Numbers are worth a million words — or that’s how the saying should probably go (if only we could include pictures in cover letters). Citing data and statistics about your achievements at your current company is an assured way to capture a hiring manager’s attention. Most hiring managers don’t read the entire letter, so a bulleted summary of your achievements can be a powerful way to increase the effectiveness and scannability of your message.
We love this cover letter because it’s adaptable to any role. Even if you don’t work in a data-centric role, you can include any enumerable achievement. If you’re in a creative industry, for instance, you can include the number of creative assets you designed for your current company.
3. Entry-Level Cover Letter Example
Applying to your first job can be stress-inducing, to say the least. You can increase your chances of getting that first interview by including a cover letter that explains how your education can help you succeed in the role you applied for.
Look no further than this example from HubSpot. While other cover letter samples give experienced professionals the opportunity to share their experience at length, this one gives you the chance to describe your personal and professional attributes. You can then convey how you can use your knowledge to help your target company reach its goals.
We love this cover letter because it’s easy and simple to use for a student who has little experience in their target industry — including those who haven’t yet completed an internship.
Looking for more? Download the entire kit below.
5 Professional Cover Letter Templates
Fill out the form to access your templates., best cover letter examples.
What does a good cover letter look like in practice, and how can you make yours stand out? We found six examples from job seekers who decided to do things a bit differently.
Note: Some of these cover letters include real company names and NSFW language that we've covered up.
1. The Cover Letter That Explains 'Why,' Not Just 'How'
You may already know how to talk about how you’ll best execute a certain role in your cover letter. But there’s another question you might want to answer: Why the heck do you want to work here?
The Muse , a career guidance site, says that it’s often best to lead with the why — especially if it makes a good story. We advise against blathering on and on, but a brief tale that illuminates your desire to work for that particular employer can really make you stand out.
Here’s another instance of the power of personalization. The author of this cover letter clearly has a passion for this prospective employer — the Chicago Cubs — and if she’s lying about it, well, that probably would eventually be revealed in an interview.
Make sure your story is nonfiction and relatable according to each job. While we love a good tale of childhood baseball games, an introduction like this one probably wouldn’t be fitting in a cover letter for, say, a software company. But a story of how the hours you spent playing with DOS games as a kid led to your passion for coding? Sure, we’d find that fitting.
If you’re really passionate about a particular job opening, think about where that deep interest is rooted. Then, tell your hiring manager about it in a few sentences.
Why This Is A Great Cover Letter
This example shows how effective personalization can be. The writer is passionate about the employer, drawing from her own childhood experience to communicate her enthusiasm.
Further reading: Sales Cover Letter Tips
2. The 'We're Meant for Each Other' Cover Letter
This cover letter example is a special one because it was submitted to us here at HubSpot. What does the letter do well? It makes a connection with us before we've even met the letter's author.
"Content Marketing Certified" shows the applicant has taken the content marketing certification course in our HubSpot Academy (you can take the same course here ). Our "records" indicate he/she did indeed give an interview with us before — and was a HubSpot customer.
The cover letter sang references to a relationship we didn't even know we had with the candidate.
The letter ends with a charming pitch for why, despite him/her not getting hired previously, our interests complement each other this time around.
(Yes, the applicant was hired).
This cover letter example does an excellent job of building rapport with the employer. Despite not getting hired for previous roles they applied for at HubSpot, the writer conveys exactly why they are right for this role.
Read more: Customer Service Cover Letter Tips
3. The Cover Letter with H.E.A.R.T.
HubSpot has a lot of H.E.A.R.T. — Humble, Empathetic, Adaptable, Remarkable, Transparent. Our Culture Code is the foundation of the company's culture, the driving force behind our mission to help millions grow better , and serves as the scaffolding for our hiring practices. Recruiters at HubSpot look for applicants that demonstrate how they embody the Culture Code and job description, paying extra attention to cover letters that are super custom to HubSpot.
In another HubSpot submission, a HubSpot applicant writes about how she found out about HubSpot, why she likes the company, and how her professional experience aligns with H.E.A.R.T.
HubSpot's recruiting team was impressed with her dedication to the company and how she went beyond what was asked for by linking her portfolio in her closing paragraph.
Featured Resource: 5 Free Cover Letter Templates
Download our collection of 5 professional cover letter templates to help you summarize your professional journey and land your dream job – whether it's at your first or fifth company.
Short Cover Letter Examples
4. the short-and-sweet cover letter.
In 2009, David Silverman penned an article for Harvard Business Review titled, " The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received. " That letter has three complete sentences, as follows:
One might argue that this particular letter is less than outstanding. It’s brief, to say the least, and the author doesn’t go into a ton of detail about what makes him or her qualified for the job in question. But that’s what Silverman likes about it — the fact that the applicant only included the pieces of information that would matter the most to the recipient.
"The writer of this letter took the time to think through what would be relevant to me," writes Silverman. "Instead of scattering lots of facts in hopes that one was relevant, the candidate offered up an opinion as to which experiences I should focus on."
When you apply for a job, start by determining two things:
- Who might oversee the role — that’s often included in the description, under "reports to." Address your letter to that individual.
- Figure out what problems this role is meant to solve for that person. Then, concisely phrase in your cover letter how and why your experience can and will resolve those problems.
The key to this standout cover letter is research — by looking into who you’ll be reporting to and learning more about that person’s leadership style, you’ll be better prepared to tailor your cover letter to focus on how you can create solutions for them.
Read here for more tips on how to land your dream job .
5. The Short Story
Basha Coleman began her cover letter with a short story. The goal of this short story is two-fold:
- Detail the experience she already has with the organization.
- Stand out to the hiring team.
You'll notice that her short story follows a typical narrative arc: It has a conflict/obstacle, a turning point, and a positive outcome, all created with a goal to emphasize a theme or point. In this case, Coleman is emphasizing her existing affinity with the brand and her triumphs within the program so that she can continue on her career path.
Like the second example in our list, this cover letter does an excellent job of conveying the applicant’s existing affinity for the brand. If you are applying to a company you love, don’t be shy about showing it and explaining why.
6. The Bare Bones Cover Letter
In today's job market, cover letters aren't always necessary. Even though many recruiters won't ask for or even read them, cover letters can still be effective and convey personality to a reader. Writing a strong cover letter can help you better convey your interest in the position and company.
This template from The Balance Careers puts together the essential components of a short cover letter: excitement about the position, your qualifications, and a call-to-action for the recruiter to follow up with you. Combining these central aspects in a well-written, compelling narrative will go a long way in convincing readers to hire you.
This letter is organized and concise. The inclusion of bullet points to highlight key skills and help the recruiter skim the document is a nice touch.
Check out this post for more useful cover letter tips .
7. The Breezy Follow-Up
In this cover letter, Amanda Edens is following the instructions the hiring manager gave by forwarding an email with resume and writing samples attached.
Not only does Amanda include links to relevant writing samples that are live on the web, but she also closes with a strong final paragraph that:
- Summarizes the expertise she has relevant to the posting
- Emphasizes that she doesn't want to simply get a job but rather help the organization accomplish their goals
- The reader gets everything they need in an organized and thoughtful manner.
8. The Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
In this cover letter the candidate, Michelle, plays up her prior music industry experience to build a connection with Epic Music Group. If you have specific industry experience for the role you are applying for, be sure to highlight that.
It’s clear that she’s passionate about not only the music industry, but Epic as a whole. She’s done so much research on the company that she knows what software programs they use, and happens to be proficient in it to help convey value to the hiring manager.
This example further illustrates the importance of research. Make sure you understand the culture of the company to which you’re applying before you send a completely unfiltered cover letter — if you don’t, there’s a good chance it’ll completely miss the mark.
In just three short paragraphs, the applicant uses their company research to drive home why they are the perfect fit for the role — emphasizing industry experience as well as software knowledge specific to the company. All of this communicates that she’d be able to start with very few hiccups while getting up to speed.
Further reading: 15 Cover Letter Templates
9. The Internship Cover Letter
Maybe you’re just getting started in your career and looking to land the right internship to gain experience in your field. In this case, you’ll need to highlight more of your educational background and transferable skills since you won’t have as much professional experience to highlight.
The cover letter above is a great example of how to emphasize your skills and accomplishments when applying to internships or entry-level positions. A few things the applicant does well:
- Highlights relevant extracurriculars and affinity networks. In this case, the applicant is applying for a business analyst position, so mentioning their involvement in a FinTech group makes sense.
- Previous internships in relevant fields: Our applicant points out that they’ve interned as a Business Analyst at another firm. Pointing out that they’ve done the role before will help make their case for fit.
- Highlight other useful skills: This applicant is fluent in both English and German. If an international company or an organization needs bilingual support, knowing multiple languages is an asset.
This cover letter example illustrates how you can leverage your education and background to get the gig even when you don’t have much working experience. Highlighting previous internships or experience in related fields can go a long way in convincing hiring managers you’re the perfect candidate for the role.
Further reading for recent graduates:
- How to Find a Job After College
- Writing a Cover Letter for an Internship
Creative Cover Letter Examples
10. the brutally honest cover letter.
Then, there are the occasions when your future boss might appreciate honesty — in its purest form. Livestream CEO Jesse Hertzberg, by his own admission, is one of those people, which might be why he called this example " the best cover letter " (which he received while he was with Squarespace):
As Hertzberg says in the blog post elaborating on this excerpt — it’s not appropriate for every job or company. But if you happen to be sure that the corporate culture of this prospective employer gets a kick out of a complete lack of filter, then there’s a chance that the hiring manager might appreciate your candor.
"Remember that I'm reading these all day long," Hertzberg writes. "You need to quickly convince me I should keep reading. You need to stand out."
The applicant did their research on the company’s culture and executed this cover letter flawlessly. It’s funny and shows off the applicant’s personality all while making it clear why they are a good fit for the role.
- How to Stand Out and Get Hired at Your Dream Company
- How to Find Your Dream Job
11. The Pivot Cover Letter
Making a career switch? Your cover letter can be an excellent opportunity for you to explain the reasoning behind your career change and how your transferable skills qualify you for the role.
Since the role she is applying for is more visual, it’s important to both show and tell why you’re a good fit.
This cover letter strikes the perfect balance between creativity and simplicity in design while putting the applicant's career change into context. The copy is clean, with a creative font choice that isn’t distracting from the content, but still demonstrates the applicant’s knack for design.
12. The Graphic Design Cover Letter
When applying for more creative roles, the design of your cover letter can say just as much as the words on the page. Take the graphic designer letter example below.
It’s got so much going for it:
- Pop of color
- Clean layout
- Interesting fonts
Besides the style elements, this example also doesn’t skimp on the key skills recruiters are looking for. Using metrics, the applicant proves their value and why they would be a great fit.
This cover letter thoroughly conveys the applicant’s skills and qualifications using a variety of visual elements and emphasizing their greatest achievements.
Pro tip: If you're applying for a graphic design job, share a link to your graphic design portfolio website , even if it's not an application requirement.
Job Cover Letter Examples
Next up, let’s go over some classic cover letter examples for jobs, especially if you’re applying to internships or only have a few years of experience. The below cover letters follow the golden rules and don’t deviate too much from the standard — which is ideal if you’re applying to positions in more traditional industries.
13. Consulting Internship Cover Letter Example
Many internship applicants are early on in their careers or are still in college. That means they’ve yet to gather enough experience to offer tangible proof of their ability to do the job. That means that a cover letter is the place where an internship applicant can shine.
This cover letter example highlights the applicant’s skills in a bullet-point format. That makes it easier for an overburdened hiring manager to get the essence of her points, quickly, if they’re only skimming cover letters. Not only that, but this applicant personalized the letter in every single sentence. She shares information about her prior conversations with some of the company’s employees and mentions the company’s name at every turn.
While she only has one prior consulting job, she deftly mentions the skills she developed in that role and ties them into her desired position at Quantcast Product Group.
This cover letter example does a fantastic job advertising the applicant’s soft skills in a highly scannable format — while still going heavy on the personalization. Don’t be shy to lightly play with formatting to get your point across and to imbue the letter with your passion for a company.
14. Nonprofit Referral Cover Letter Example
This cover letter example for a nonprofit job hits the ground running by right away inserting the name of one of the nonprofit’s Superintendents. That’s an excellent way to get a recruiter’s attention and make you stand out from the slush pile, even if you’re only just out of school, as is the case for this applicant.
If you’ve received an internal recommendation for a position, you’d be wise to open your letter with that information. Don’t worry about it feeling too stilted or strange — remember, hiring managers only skim letters. Your goal is to make sure they get information about you that they otherwise won’t get from your resume.
With only three full paragraphs, this cover letter example is short, sweet, and to the point. No time is wasted, and it also goes over the critical basics, such as skills and experience.
This nonprofit cover letter includes a recommendation from an internal employee at the target organization, making it more likely to stand out from the slush pile. We also love that it doesn’t skimp on the basics, such as skills, enthusiasm, and experience.
15. General Email Inquiry Cover Letter Example
Even if a job opportunity isn’t available at an organization yet, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be. You can always send a general inquiry cover letter, like the one in this example.
This email cover letter for a political campaign internship is short and sweet, but includes the critical information the campaign coordinator needs to consider the applicant for any new positions that may open up.
The best part about this cover letter is that it can be easily customized from one political campaign employer to the next. While it does include a level of personalization, it’s brief and can be easily changed to address the specific political candidate.
When sending general inquiries like this one, it’s essential to make the personalization aspect as pain-free as possible for yourself. That may mean including only one sentence or two, knowing that a general inquiry might not be replied to.
This email cover letter example hits all the right notes while keeping it brief and to-the-point. While we don’t recommend choosing this format for a formal cover letter, it works if you’re sending a general inquiry to an employer over email. It’s also a good example to follow if you’re still in college or have very little experience.
Read more: How to Write a Letter of Interest
16. Post-Phone-Call Cover Letter Example
If you get a phone call from a potential employer and they invite you to send your resume, pat yourself on the back — that is such a win. In your cover letter, be sure to mention that right away, like this example does.
A hiring manager or an executive at a company likely has a lot of tasks on their plate, which means that they may forget about your call from one week to the next. That is totally okay, which is why this example starts with a reminder that the applicant and the letter recipient spoke back on January 31st. It also has a few more details about why they started speaking in the first place.
Aside from leveraging the phone call that’s already occurred, this cover letter also does an excellent job explaining why the applicant is an ideal choice for the job. It goes into detail about skills and previous experience with a high level of enthusiasm, and includes a promise to follow up at the end.
This cover letter example includes two things that will immediately draw the recipient’s attention: A phone call they’ve already had, and a mutual contact at their organization. The job and internship search can be grueling; never be afraid to use everything you have at your disposal to improve your standing over other applicants.
Read more: How to Start a Cover Letter
17. Mission-Driven Graduate Cover Letter Example
This cover letter example from a recent B.A. graduate wowed us from the first sentence. The applicant right away explains her attained degree and her specific career interests, then dives into the aspects of her experience that make her such a great candidate.
It's so personalized to the employer’s own mission that it’s difficult to stop reading it. Even if the hiring manager isn’t a science or health professional, they would be able to effectively gauge the applicant’s suitability for the role by the expertise she shows in her cover letter alone. The applicant explains at length why she’s excited to work for that specific hospital. The organization serves Aboriginal populations, which aligns with her own values and research interests.
In the last paragraph, she summarizes what she knows about the employer in one sentence, then describes how each of her experiences supports the employer’s mission. That is an exceedingly clever and meaningful way to align yourself with an organization at a deeper level.
If you’re applying to a mission-driven organization, don’t be shy about showing your excitement and expertise. You don’t need a lot of experience to show that your values align with those of your target organization. This cover letter example is especially good inspiration if you’re making a career change, have only just a few internships under your belt, or are graduating from college.
18. Short Recommendation Cover Letter Example
Referral or recommendation cover letters don’t need to be too long, and this is a great example of that. It immediately leverages a mutual connection at the company. The mutual connection recommended that the applicant contact the hiring manager for a role, which is a piece of information we always recommend you frontload in your letter.
This specific cover letter comes from an applicant with little experience, making it a good example to follow if you’re switching careers or just out of college. Instead of talking about their experience, the applicant uses anecdotal evidence to convey their enthusiasm for working at that company.
The writer also goes over their most salient skills, such as being able to speak multiple languages. They also explain how their degree directly applies to the target role. We love that the candidate highlights their leadership abilities and makes that an effective selling point for being hired.
This cover letter doesn’t go on for too long, which we love. It’s simple and sweet and provides all the information the hiring manager needs to look more closely at the applicant’s resume and make an interviewing decision.
19. Professor or Research Position Cover Letter Example
Academic or research position cover letters might require a little more information than the typical cover letter — and this is one such example. Why is it okay to go a little longer? Because the letter is not only a way to supplement the PhD candidate’s academic CV, but to provide a writing sample for the search committee.
We love this cover letter because it expresses the candidate’s enthusiasm for teaching and explains her instructional ethos, such as providing out-of-the-classroom opportunities, championing communication, and encouraging students to step out of their comfort zone. The applicant also suggests courses she may be able to teach at the target institution, and expresses her interest in developing new courses as needed.
She also suggests how she can enhance the college’s extracurricular programming by offering study abroad courses, which shows not just an interest in teaching but adding to the school’s overall culture.
While this letter goes for a little longer than recommended, it serves as a fantastic writing sample and explains the applicant’s research background at length. If you’re applying to academic or research roles, don’t be afraid to go into detail about what most excites you in terms of research interests.
20. Director Cover Letter Example
This cover letter example — for a Director of Catering position at a university — doesn’t waste any time. The applicant right away says that they’re a strong candidate for the role, then jumps right into three salient qualifications that make him a great fit.
We love how the applicant uses bullet points and bold text to guide an overburdened hiring manager through the cover letter — and to give them permission to scan it, if needed. If the hiring manager would like more information or actual examples of the skills, they merely need to read the rest of the bullet point paragraph.
As mentioned, light formatting can be beneficial to your cover letter, as it draws the recruiter’s eyes and prevents them from having to fish for the information they’re looking for.
This short, sweet cover letter includes the critical information a hiring manager or high-level executive needs to make an interview decision. We love the use of formatting that doesn’t stray too much from regular cover letter conventions, and we like that the applicant kept all other paragraphs extremely brief.
21. Editorial Cover Letter Example
Applying for an editorial or journalistic position? Like a cover letter example we shared earlier, you can take a more storytelling approach to capture the hiring manager’s attention. This cover letter example does that effectively by telling an anecdote that directly mentions the newspaper where they’d like to work.
This immediately draws the reader in and tells them that this application isn’t random at all; the applicant would like to work at the newspaper because they’ve read it every morning. Not only that, but they have a favorite reporter on the newspaper’s staff. The applicant then jumps into the specific reason they want to take an editorial position at the Baltimore Sun.
The cover letter includes all pertinent information, such as how previous positions have equipped the applicant to take on this job. It closes with enthusiasm after keeping the reader rapt every step of the way.
The applicant uses storytelling to — you guessed it — apply for a position that needs storytelling skills. If you’re applying for a data-driven position or a graphic design position, why not showcase those skills in the cover letter itself? We like that this letter doesn’t diverge too much from cover letter conventions while still differentiating itself.
22. Promotion Cover Letter Example
In this cover letter example, the applicant already works for the employer and wishes to apply for the next position to move up in their career. We like that the letter cites the applicant’s extensive knowledge of the organization, which will no doubt give them an advantage over external applicants.
Not only that, but the applicant also references their experience before they started working at the employer and uses that information to make their candidacy even more desirable.
Lastly, this letter includes a healthy level of enthusiasm for the university and the position — something that is never extra in a cover letter.
This cover letter example does an excellent job showing the candidate’s knowledge of their current organization while stating why they’re a natural fit for the promotion. Plus, the letter includes information on the applicant’s relevant activities outside of work — if you’re involved in any organizations that might help you do your job better, be sure to include them.
23. Law Cover Letter Example
This law cover letter example jumps right into personalization, a bold move that will serve you well if you’re genuinely interested in a company and want to stand out. The applicant cites the recipient’s recent article on bond litigation, then ties that into the role they’d like to get at the law firm.
The applicant then goes into his skills and the feedback he’s received from past managers. This is an excellent way to introduce your skills without sounding dry — or even unfounded. By citing positive feedback you’ve received, you’ll imply that others have praised you for having those skills, and that you’re not only "tooting your own horn." (In cover letters, it’s absolutely okay to toot your own horn — that’s what they’re for. But if you can cite others’ remarks, that also helps.)
At just two and a half paragraphs, this letter is exceedingly short but no less effective. It’s an excellent example of how to personalize your letter quickly while still conveying the essentials of a cover letter.
This short cover letter example keeps it brief while still creating high impact. The applicant personalizes the letter immediately, cites external feedback, and conveys enthusiasm. This letter proves you don’t need to write a novel about an employer to sway the hiring manager into giving you an interview.
Now that we've shown you some excellent examples, let's talk about how you can create the best cover letter for your dream job.
What is a good cover letter?
A cover letter is used to show your interest in the role, passion for the company, and the impact you've had in previous positions. Good cover letters should include a standout opening, relevant skills and qualifications, and a strong finish with a call-to-action — all within one page and unique to each application.
What’s on a cover letter?
Before you start writing your cover letter, let's cover a few basic must-haves you'll want to include. If you’re looking for more detailed instructions, check out this guide to writing a cover letter .
Add a simple, but pleasant greeting to address the recruiter or hiring manager.
- Dear Sir or Madam Alternatives
- Cover Letter Greetings
Write a catchy introduction that explains why you’re interested in the role.
- How to Write an Introduction
- Tips for Writing a Good Introduction Sentence
This is the heart of your cover letter. It outlines your relevant experience and why you’d be a great fit for the role. You can highlight special skills, experiences, professional achievements, or education to help make your case.
- How to Write About Your Professional Background
- Professional Bio Examples
- LinkedIn Bio Examples
In this paragraph, add a call-to-action by expressing interest in an interview. Offer your contact information and sign off.
- Email Closing Line Examples
- Tips for Writing Conclusions
What does a cover letter look like?
Besides showing off your skills and qualifications, cover letters give you the opportunity to present a clear, concise, and compelling writing sample. It shows off your personality and your ability to convey ideas.
That's a lot of information to include on a single page, so it can help to have a clear structure to start with.
Check out our fillable cover letter templates to see how you should organize the content of your cover letter.
What makes a great cover letter?
A cover letter is personal, but it also needs to help you reach a goal and help the hiring team understand how you could perform that role with their company. This complexity can make cover letters really tough to write.
Because cover letters are difficult to write, many come off as boring, basic, or confusing for hiring managers to read. But the tips below about the qualities that make a cover letter great can help you take your cover letter from basic to bright.
Start with this quick video, then keep reading for more tips:
Begin with an introduction that's personal. It should capture the reader's attention and address your recipient by name. Then, add a compelling opening sentence that emphasizes your interest in the specific role.
Helpful Cover Letter Introduction:
"Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],
In an increasingly digitized world, where customer-centric strategies are vital for business success, I am thrilled to apply for the [Job Title] position at HubSpot."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Introduction:
"To Whom it May Concern,
I am applying for the [Job Title] position at HubSpot. I have some experience in marketing and can help your clients grow their businesses."
Relevant Professional Experience
It can be tempting to use the same cover letter for every job. After all, it's about your experience, isn't it? But it's not enough to rephrase the work history in your resume.
Recruiters and hiring managers are looking to fill a specific role, so you need to show how your experience translates to their unique needs.
So, the body of a great cover letter should showcase the specific professional experiences that are relevant to the job you're applying for. Emphasize your accomplishments and skills that directly relate to what the job needs.
To speed up this part of the cover letter writing process, start by creating a list of your transferable skills . Drafting this list can help you quickly focus on the skills to highlight in your cover letter.
Then, use AI tools to summarize job descriptions and narrow in on where your experience and the needs of the role you're applying for overlap. This post is full of useful AI assistant tools if you're new to AI.
Helpful Cover Letter Experience:
"At [Company Name], I had the opportunity to assist a global ecommerce retailer in enhancing their online customer experience. By conducting in-depth market research and customer journey mapping, I identified pain points and areas of improvement in their website navigation and user interface."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Experience:
"I also worked with an ecommerce retailer to improve the customer experience. We did some surveys and training, and they were happy with the results."
To make your cover letter stand out, add specific examples that show how you've solved problems or gotten results in past roles.
Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible, using data to give the reader a clear understanding of your impact.
Helpful Cover Letter Example:
"I lead a team of five content writers while increasing website traffic by 18% year-over-year."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Example:
"I have a great track record of leadership and achieving fantastic results."
Research and Company Knowledge
Hiring teams aren't hiring anyone with the skills to do the job. They're hiring a person they'll work alongside at their specific company.
So, to show that you're not just looking for any job anywhere, share your knowledge of the company's industry, values, and culture in your cover letter. Spend some time on the company website and take notes on what makes this business interesting to you and why you would want to work there.
Then, explain how your skills align with the company's mission and goals and explain how you could add to their chances of success. This will showcase your interest in the company and help them see if you are a good cultural fit.
Helpful Cover Letter Research:
"I was particularly drawn to HubSpot not only for its industry-leading solutions but also for its exceptional company culture. HubSpot's commitment to employee development and fostering a collaborative environment is evident in its recognition as a top workplace consistently. I strongly believe that my passion for continuous learning, self-motivation, and dedication to contributing to a team will make me a valuable asset to HubSpot."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Research:
"I have been inspired by HubSpot's commitment to inbound marketing and its comprehensive suite of solutions. HubSpot's dedication to providing valuable content and fostering meaningful relationships aligns with my own values and aspirations."
Your cover letter needs to pack in a lot of important information. But it's also important that your cover letter is clear and concise.
To accomplish this, use professional but easy-to-understand language. Be sure to remove any grammar or spelling errors and avoid lengthy paragraphs and avoid jargon or overly technical language.
You may also want to use bullet points to make your letter easier to skim. Then, proofread your cover letter for clarity or ask a friend to proofread it for you.
- Guide to Becoming a Better Writer
- Tips for Simplifying Your Writing
Helpful Cover Letter Writing:
"In addition to my academic accomplishments, I gained valuable practical experience through internships at respected law firms.
Working alongside experienced attorneys, I assisted in providing legal support to clients. This hands-on experience helped me develop a deep understanding of client needs and enhanced my ability to effectively communicate complex legal concepts in a straightforward manner."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Writing:
"Furthermore, as a complement to my academic accomplishments, I have garnered invaluable practical experience through internships at esteemed law firms.
Throughout these placements, I actively collaborated with seasoned attorneys to conduct due diligence and furnish clients with comprehensive legal support. Notably, these experiences fostered a profound comprehension of client necessities, whilst honing my legal acumen to articulately convey intricate legal principles within a lucid and concise framework, adhering to applicable precedents and statutes of limitations."
Genuine Interest and Enthusiasm
Find ways to convey your passion for the role and how excited you are to contribute to the company you're applying to. At the same time, make sure your interest feels authentic and outline how it aligns with your career goals.
Your ultimate goal is an enthusiastic letter that feels honest and leaves a lasting positive impression.
Showing excitement in writing doesn't come naturally for everyone. A few tips that can help you boost the genuine enthusiasm in your letter:
- Record audio of yourself speaking about the role, then use voice-to-text technology to transcribe and add these sections to your letter.
- Choose your words carefully .
- Write in active voice.
Helpful Cover Letter Tone:
"I am genuinely enthusiastic about the prospect of joining [Company/Organization Name] as an accountant. My combination of technical proficiency, eagerness to learn, and strong attention to detail make me an ideal candidate for this role. I am confident that my dedication, reliability, and passion for accounting will contribute to the continued success of your organization."
Unhelpful Cover Letter Tone:
"Honestly, I can hardly contain my excitement when it comes to reconciliations, financial statement analysis, and tax regulations! Engaging in spirited discussions with professors and classmates has allowed me to foster an unbreakable bond with the fascinating world of accounting, and I'm positively bursting with enthusiasm at the prospect of applying my skills in a professional setting."
End your cover letter on a strong note. Summarize your top qualifications, restate your interest in the position, and express your interest in future communication.
Then, thank your reader for their time and consideration and include your contact information for easy follow-up.
To make your conclusion memorable, think about what parts of your letter you'd most like the hiring manager to keep top of mind. Then, consider your word choice and phrasing. If you're feeling stuck, this list of ways to close an email can help.
Helpful Cover Letter Conclusion:
"Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to further discuss how my qualifications align with the needs of Greenpeace. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.
Together, let's make a lasting impact on our planet.
Unhelpful Cover Letter Conclusion:
"Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my qualifications further and how I can contribute to Greenpeace's mission. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.
We’d like to add another stage to the job search: experimentation.
In today’s competitive landscape, it’s so easy to feel defeated, less-than-good-enough, or like giving up your job search. But don’t let the process become so monotonous. Have fun discovering the qualitative data we’ve discussed here — then, have even more by getting creative with your cover letter composition.
We certainly can’t guarantee that every prospective employer will respond positively — or at all — to even the most unique, compelling cover letter. But the one that’s right for you will.
So, get inspired by these examples and templates. Write an incredible cover letter that shows the hiring team at your dream job exactly who you are.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. This article was written by a human, but our team uses AI in our editorial process. Check out our full disclosure to learn more about how we use AI.
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How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship [Examples & Template]
Letter of Interest Tips, Templates & Examples [A 2023 Guide]
15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application
The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Cover Letter
How to Start a Cover Letter to Impress Employers [+ 14 Examples]
Eight Cover Letter Greetings for Every Situation
7 Expert Cover Letter Tips to Get the Job
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Why You Should Use Power Words in Your Cover Letter
Are you not getting enough response from your cover letter? You may need to strengthen up your content. Action words, also called power words, add direction and persuasiveness to your cover letter. Power words can be verbs or nouns to describe your accomplishments and qualifications. Not only are power words effective, they also help your cover letter sizzle , leaving your mark on the reader.
Strong communication skills — written, verbal and on the phone — are essential in most jobs. In a cover letter, emphasize your excellent communication skills by using words such as “negotiated,” “addressed,” “persuaded” and “encouraged.” To describe your writing abilities, use words such as “authored,” “corresponded” and “publicized.” Choose words that are logical, concise and reader-friendly.
When applying for administrative and management jobs, choose words to describe your qualifications carefully. Instead of saying, “Was in charge of” or “Was responsible for,” use words such as “managed,” “oversaw,” “supervised” and “administered.” One power word is often more effective than four less-impactful words.
Describe your research skills logically, using powers words to highlight the work you did. Instead of saying, “Looked at data,” use power words such as “examined,” “surveyed,” “investigated,” “analyzed,” and “evaluated” to describe your research qualifications. Other effective words include “systematized,” “inspected,” and “extracted.”
Creative and Technical Skills
To best summarize your creative skills, use words such as “introduced,” “designed,” “founded,” and “integrated.” For example, “I designed and implemented new strategies for data transfer.” For technical skills, use words such as “assembled,” “programmed,” “calculated,” “engineered,” and “upgraded.”
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How to Write a Cover Letter That Sounds Like You (and Gets Noticed)
- Elainy Mata
Do the research, start off strong, and emphasize your value.
- EM Elainy Mata is a Multimedia Producer at Harvard Business Review. ElainyMata
14 common cover letter phrases and what you can use instead
When you’re working on a cover letter, it’s very difficult to keep your writing fresh throughout the whole document.
It’s all too easy to repeat the same word twice across multiple paragraphs without even realizing you’ve done so. And unfortunately, this can be the sort of thing that hiring managers will mark against you — especially in positions that require a strong written ability.
So, we’ve put together this helpful list of words that might appear in your cover letter along with some synonyms to use instead. Let’s transform you from a strong people manager with a strong background in building strong teams into a more well-rounded candidate, eh?
In most situations, there’s likely to be a more suitable way to say ‘eager’. Here are some options for you:
- “I’m eager to hear from you” —> “I look forward to exploring my fit for this role with you”
- “I’m eager to join a company like yours” —> “Joining a company I respect is important to me”
- “I’m a marketing graduate eager to find my first role” —> “I’m a marketing graduate looking to grow as a professional”
On its own there’s nothing wrong with the word ‘excited’, but you shouldn’t be saying it 17 times throughout your document. If that happens, here are some synonyms you can use instead:
- “I’m excited to apply to you” —> “I had to apply as soon as I could”
- “I’m excited to progress my career with you” —> “This would be the next natural step in my career”
- “I’m excited about expanding my skills in the role” —> “This role is an ideal place for me to expand my skills”
It’s very easy to say ‘experience’ too frequently in your cover letter, so try these alternatives to keep things varied:
- “My experience with cloud systems makes me” —> “My expertise in cloud systems makes me”
- “I’m looking to build more experience in marketing” —> “This position would help me become a more complete marketer”
- “I’m experienced with leading teams and setting goals” —> “Working as a team leader at [company name] has made me comfortable managing direct reports and setting goals”
- “I’m a great fit for this role because of my experience in sales” —> “My background as a senior salesperson makes me a natural fit for this role”
4. I am confident
The issue with “I am confident” isn’t that it’s likely to get overused — it’s just not necessary in most cases. Here, we’ll show you:
- “I am confident I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team” —> “I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team”
- “I am confident that my customer service experience will prove vital in the role” —> “My customer service experience will prove vital in the role”
5. I believe
‘I believe’ is the same as ‘I am confident’; you don’t usually need it:
- “I believe I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team” —> “I have the background needed to succeed in your sales team”
- “I believe that my customer service experience will prove vital in the role” —> “My customer service experience will prove vital in the role”
6. I have experience
It’s perfectly fine to start a sentence with ‘I have experience’, just don’t use it in every single one. Use these alternatives instead to avoid sounding like a broken record:
- “I have experience in social media and paid ads” —> “I’m well-versed in social media and paid ads”
- “I have experience in startup companies” —> “I’ve come to thrive in a startup environment”
- “As requested in the job description, I have 2 years of experience in hospitality” —> “I’m a qualified hospitality professional with 2 years of relevant experience”
- “I have experience in similar positions to what you’re hiring for” —> “I’ve previously worked as a [job title] so would pick up the responsibilities quickly”
You might be looking for synonyms of ‘interest’ for a couple of reasons. Either you’re using it too often, or it’s sounding overly formal. We can help with both:
- “I’m writing to express my interest in this position” —> “I’d like to apply to your [job title] position”
- “I’m interested in reading and spending time in nature” —> “I enjoy reading and spending time in nature”
- “My interests include reading and spending time in nature” —> “Outside of work you’ll find me reading or spending time in nature”
According to your cover letter, you love the company you’re applying to, the job itself, and the opportunity to learn. But just how many **things can you love in a job application? Keep your writing fresh with these substitutes:
- “I love what your company does to support its employees” —> “I respect how your company supports its employees”
- “I love to work in a team” —> “I work best when collaborating with others”
- “I love working in a small company because I can see the results of my work” —> “Seeing the results of my work inspires me to keep improving”
How can you apply to a job opportunity without constantly saying ‘opportunity’? With these synonyms, of course:
- “I would excel in this opportunity” —> “I would excel in this position”
- “I had to apply to this opportunity” —> “I had to apply to this vacancy”
- “Thank you for the opportunity to join you” —> “Thank you for your consideration”
People can get a bit too passionate with their use of this word — not to mention it’s a weaker choice than some of the alternatives. Shake it up with these contenders:
- “I’m a passionate marketer who’s ready for a new challenge” —> “I’m a dedicated marketer who’s ready for a new challenge”
- “I have a passion for helping others through my work” —> “Helping others through my work energizes me”
- “I have a passion for deploying quality-of-life improvements” —> “I find deploying quality-of-life improvements to be immensely satisfying”
If you’re skilled in everything, doesn’t that dilute the word’s meaning? Here are some other ways to talk about your skills:
- “I have skills in paid marketing and social media” —> “Paid marketing and social media are my top strengths”
- “I’m skilled in Photoshop” —> “I’m an expert in Photoshop”
- “I’m a skilled people manager” —> “I’m a capable people manager”
The same goes for ‘strong’. If everything is a strength of yours, then the hiring manager is going to question how much weight that word holds with you:
- “I’m a strong marketer” —> “I’m an exceptional marketer”
- “I have strong knowledge of Premiere and other video editing software” —> “I have in-depth knowledge of Premiere and other video editing software”
- “I would be a strong addition to your team” —> “I would be an immediately-contributing member of your team”
13. To whom it may concern
Unless you’re applying in an exceptionally formal industry, then it’s time to ditch ‘To whom it may concern’. If you know the name of the hiring manager, then address your cover letter to them directly. If you don’t know their name, there are still plenty of alternatives:
- Dear hiring manager
14. Yours sincerely
Here’s another cover letter phrase that’s outdated. Unless you’re applying in a formal industry, then end your cover letter with a more modern sign off, like:
- All the best
- Best wishes
- Kind regards
If you’ve found the synonym you were looking for but still need help with your cover letter, we have some other resources to guide you:
💡 Full cover letter guide
🎓 Writing a cover letter for an internship
All that’s left to say is the very best of luck with your application! We’re all rooting for you here.
Cover Letter Examples That Will Help Get You Hired
Newsflash: a cover letter is not a repeat of a resume. these examples show you how it's done..
If you're wondering how to write a cover letter , you're in the right place! Monster's library of cover letter examples can help you do exactly that.
It doesn't matter what industry you're in or level you're at in your career—to get noticed by potential employers, your professional cover letter needs to knock their socks off. Writing a good cover letter is about much more than friendly greeting; it's a tool that lets hiring managers know that you're the candidate they've been hoping for.
Because recruiters and hiring managers have seen every type of cover letter format imaginable, for maximum wow-factor, you must build a cover letter that highlights your industry-specific experience, accomplishments , and credentials.
Is a Cover Letter Necessary?
If the job ad calls for a cover letter, yes, it is necessary to include one. Failure to have a cover letter for a job can immediately disqualified you from consideration if it’s explicitly stated that one is required. As a job seeker, you need to demonstrate that you’re able to follow directions. An employer might interpret your missing cover letter to mean that you didn’t pay attention to what was asked of you. Not a good look.
If a job ad doesn’t say a cover letter is required , then you do not need to include one with your application. That said, if the job application has a section for any additional information you would like to share with an employer, it’s highly recommended that you copy and paste the text of your cover letter into this area. The same is true if you’re required to email your application; copy and paste your cover letter into the body of the email.
As good a source of candidate information as a resume is, it doesn’t really give you the same kind of opportunity to share your personality with an employer. Culture fit is very high on the list of determining factors that can cause you to be hired, and a good cover letter can mean the difference between you getting called in for an interview or not.
Cover Letter Length
A cover letter shouldn't be longer than one page; three or four paragraphs will suffice. Aim for about 250 to 400 words. Any longer, and your efforts risk being wasted.
First of all, hiring managers and recruiters are busy people who don’t have time to read through pages and pages of copy. Second, you should be able to succinctly hit your selling points. This may take a few rounds to perfect, but it’ll be worth it. Nobody wants you to spend time and energy writing scrolls of copy that a hiring manager won’t even both reading on account of you being long-winded.
Tips for Using Cover Letter Templates
1. Customize your cover letter for each job. In the examples below, you’ll see the advantage of having a dedicated space to engage with an employer, but don't rely on a generic cover letter to get noticed. Create a different cover letter for each job to which you're applying. Companies want to feel special, like you're applying to their job, not just any old job. Tell a brief story or two that demonstrates how your skills and experience can benefit the company’s particular needs.
2. Don't simply reiterate your resume. In a cover letter, you don’t just list facts about your work history—you use emotion and storytelling to add some life to the page. For example, if you see on a company’s website that they’re in the process of rolling out new products to the international market, you can talk about how you’ve been involved in a number of successful global product launches and really loved developing marketing campaigns for different countries and customs, which strengthened your dedication to connecting with customers all over the world.
3. Put your personality into it. Whatever you do, do not simply copy and paste these cover letter examples and pass them off as your own. The whole point of a cover letter is to convince an employer of your one-of-a-kind value.
Steps to Write a Cover Letter
Start with the proper greeting: Address your cover letter to the person who will be reading it. If you do not know the person's gender, write out their full name.
- Dear Ms. Smith / Dear Mr. Jones / Dear Lee Caroll
Introduce yourself with an opening : Write a personable, inviting opening paragraph that highlights how your skills are a perfect fit to the company and position.
- I was so excited to see your product photographer job posting on Monster, and I am confident I can support your creative department in producing high-quality product shots for marketing and social media—especially for your highly anticipated upcoming summer catalog.
Get them interested with a compelling hook: Highlight your past achievements as they relate to the job you're applying for.
- Skilled at creating images that capture attention on social media, I've had thousands of my images appear on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. I play a key role in the visual storytelling and branding of leading consumer product companies and contribute to successful marketing campaigns.
Promote your skills : Highlight your additional relevant skills, such as computer languages or certifications.
- I have expert knowledge of Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom, Bridge, Illustrator, and Capture One Pro; studio and lighting setups; and equipment including ZZY cameras (I currently shoot with an EOS 5D Mark IV). I love learning about and applying the latest advances in photography tools, services, and equipment to enhance photo quality and streamline workflows.
Thank them in the close : Briefly recap your strengths as a candidate, thank the reader for their time, and include your contact information.
- I would love the opportunity to discuss with you how I can create images that bring your brand's strategic vision to life. I can be reached at (555) 555-5555 or [email protected]. Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
A professional cover letter is worth all the effort. If you need writing help, check out these cover letter templates for various careers and career levels in the following industries:
Administrative/Support Cover Letter Examples
- Midlevel Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
- Manager Cover Letter
- Office Manager Cover Letter
Art/Design/Media Cover Letter Examples
- Artist Cover Letter
- Graphic Design Cover Letter
- Journalism Cover Letter
- Photographer Cover Letter
Business Cover Letter Examples
- Accounts Payable Cover Letter
- Business Analyst Cover Letter
Child Care Cover Letter Examples
Babysitter Cover Letter
Education Cover Letter Examples
- Admissions Counselor Cover Letter
- Elementary School Teacher Cover Letter
- Librarian Cover Letter
- Teaching Assistant Cover Letter
Engineering Cover Letter Examples
- Civil Engineering Cover Letter
- Electrical Engineering Cover Letter
- Mechanical Engineer Cover Letter
Finance/Accounting Cover Letter Examples
- Bookkeeper Cover Letter
- Financial Analyst Cover Letter
- Investment Banker Cover Letter
Health Care Cover Letter Examples
- Caregiver Cover Letter
- Dental Assistant Cover Letter
- Dental Hygienist Cover Letter
- EMT Cover Letter
- Lab Technician Cover Letter
- Massage Therapist Cover Letter
- Medical Assistant Cover Letter
- Midlevel Pharmacy Technician Cover Letter
- Occupational Therapist Cover Letter
- Personal Trainer Cover Letter
- Psychologist Cover Letter
- Social Worker Cover Letter
- Vet Assistant Cover Letter
- Vet Tech Cover Letter
Human Resources Cover Letter Examples
- HR Generalist Cover Letter
- Recruiter Cover Letter
Job Search Cover Letter Examples
- Approach Cover Letter
- Career Change Cover Letter
- Early Career Change Cover Letter
- Mid-Career Cover Letter
- Monster Job Posting Cover Letter
- Interview Thank-You Letter
- Unemployed Cover Letter
Law Enforcement and Legal Cover Letter Examples
- Firefighter Cover Letter
- Judicial Clerkship Cover Letter
- Lawyer Cover Letter
- Paralegal Cover Letter
- Police Officer Cover Letter
- Security Officer Cover Letter
Marketing and PR Cover Letter Examples
- Account Manager Cover Letter
- Brand Ambassador Cover Letter
- Marketing Manager Cover Letter
- Project Manager Cover Letter
Military Cover Letter Examples
- Military-to-Civilian Cover Letter
Nurse Cover Letter Examples
- Nurse Cover Letter
Real Estate Cover Letter Examples
- Property Manager Cover Letter
Restaurant and Hospitality Cover Letter Examples
- Barista Cover Letter
- Bartender Cover Letter
- Chef Cover Letter
- Event Coordinator Cover Letter
- Restaurant Manager Cover Letter
- Waitress Cover Letter
Retail Cover Letter Examples
- Retail Cover Letter
Sales Cover Letter Examples
- Sales Cover Letter
Science Cover Letter Examples
- Research Assistant Cover Letter
Student Cover Letter Examples
- College Graduate Cover Letter
- Internship Cover Letter
Technology Cover Letter Examples
- Computer Science Cover Letter
- IT Professional Cover Letter
- Software Engineer Cover Letter
- Web Developer Cover Letter
Trades Cover Letter Examples
- Cosmetology Cover Letter
- Custodian Cover Letter
- Hair Stylist Cover Letter
- Janitor Cover Letter
- Makeup Artist Cover Letter
- Mechanic Cover Letter
- Welder Cover Letter
Transportation and Warehousing Cover Letter Examples
- Flight Attendant Cover Letter
- Logistics Cover Letter
- Pilot Cover Letter
- Truck Driver Cover Letter
Finished Writing a Cover Letter? Now Get Your Resume in Shape
Once you've used Monster's cover letter examples to complete your own, it's time to focus on that other important piece of paper: your resume. Could you use a little help with that? Get a free resume evaluation today from Monster, and you'll get detailed feedback in two business days. It's a quick and easy way to make sure your candidacy for the job is as strong as possible.
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