Cover letter examples

Get inspiration from our cover letter examples.

Looking for a new job can be incredibly stressful. As a job seeker, you have so much to consider. Choosing the best resume templates or looking for ways to make it past the automated applicant tracking system can trip up even the most confident and qualified applicants. 

For many, though, the greatest challenge of all is the cover letter. In particular, reworking a cover letter example into something that can wow a hiring manager can be quite a daunting task. 

However, there’s no reason why you can’t write a successful letter that will help you land the job you want. With the following tips and some good samples to start with, your cover letter is sure to impress any recruiter who reads it.

Examples of Bad Cover Letters

While no employer expects you to write the perfect cover letter, businesses do want you to put as much effort into it as your resume. Here are five examples of cover letter mistakes that can land your application in the “no” pile.

  • General Greetings: These days, it’s much easier to find the name of a hiring manager through social media sites like LinkedIn. If you’re working with a recruiter, you can ask them to whom your letter should be addressed. You should not follow a sample cover letter that encourages you to include generalized greetings, such as “to whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam.” This shows a lack of effort and interest in the position.
  • Informal Language: No matter how casual you perceive a potential employer’s workplace culture to be, avoid using informal language in your application. All materials included in your package should be treated as formal documents. You don’t need to stuff your letter full of industry jargon. However, you’ll want to avoid sarcasm, jokes, unusual fonts, pictures, or colored ink or paper. These elements may come across as unprofessional.
  • Focusing On Yourself: Most job cover letter examples encourage you to tell your target company why you want to work for them. However, you shouldn’t make this the focus of your letter. Your application isn’t about meeting your personal goals. Instead of telling the hiring manager what the company can do for you, it’s important to highlight how your skills and qualifications can help the company meet its strategic goals.
  • Repeating Work History: It’s unnecessary for your cover letter to simply repeat all your resume examples. Instead, choose one or two of your best qualifications and highlight how that experience can help you excel in the new role or benefit the company. 
  • Oversharing: If you use a sample cover letter for job application submissions, ensure it’s concise. Don’t make the mistake of trying to include your entire life story or tell the hiring manager all about your hobbies or family life. Stick to only the information relevant to the specific job you’re applying for, and don’t let your letter exceed 400 words.

Examples of Good Cover Letters

Now that you know what not to do with your letter, you need to figure out what elements you should include. The following are five good cover letter examples to help you craft an application package that gets noticed.

  • Customization: Using a premade cover letter sample is a great way to make writing your letter faster and easier. However, you still need to customize that letter for each job. Hiring managers want to know that you are enthusiastic about working for this company in the specific role you’re applying for. A generic cover letter conveys that you don’t care enough to show the company how excited you are about working there.
  • Opening Hook: Your letter will be short, so there isn’t much space to make it engaging. You should be pulling your reader in from the very first sentence. Use the first few lines to explain your “why” in applying for the position. Do you use the company’s products? Do you have personal experience that makes you excited about the role? Set yourself apart by making the reader want to know more about your story, qualifications, and excitement for the position.
  • Research Evidence: Before applying for any job, you must study the company, look at their most recent work, and carefully review the job description. Your goal is to gather intelligence to show that you know what the company is looking for and can speak to how the skills and experience on your resume provide that. Hiring managers want to know you’re the perfect candidate for the job. This is your chance to show them you’re a great fit.
  • Examples & Statistics: Paint a complete picture of your accomplishments by giving examples of what you have done in the past in relation to the role you are applying for now. If you can, quantify your results — for example, you might share how you raised the employee retention rate by 30%. You should also include feedback you’ve received from clients, colleagues, or upper management. Doing this helps bring clarity to your CV and properly showcases your capabilities.
  • A Gentle Call-to-Action: Use the last few sentences to gently remind the hiring manager or recruiter why you believe you’re the right person for the job. Then, let them know you’d love to meet to discuss your qualifications or how you can add value to the company. The point is to encourage the reader to take action in contacting you.

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