A good cover letter should introduce you as a candidate and inform employers what makes you the best choice for your target role, but there’s a little bit more to it than that. Structuring your cover letter well can help you make a positive and professional first impression.
Below, we’ve included a cover letter outline template, a short guide to getting your structure right, and an example that you can download and start using right now.
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Cover letter outline template
Here’s a basic cover letter outline you can copy and paste into your own doc:
[Hiring Manager’s Name]
123 Company Address
Company’s City, State, Zip Code
Dear [Ms./Mr./Ms.] [Hiring Manager’s Last Name],
I’m excited to see the listing for [Position Title] at [Company or Firm] on [Website Name]. As a dedicated [Job Title] professional with [# years] of experience in [job-related tasks and responsibilities], I’m confident that I would be a great addition to your [Company or Firm’s] team.
I’m currently employed for [Company Name], where I [brief overview of job-relevant duties]. Your job listing mentions a need for a working professional with expertise in [industry-specific experience and skills]. My career has given me extensive knowledge in [industry-specific experience and skills], with the following notable career achievements:
- Here, list three to five of your most notable career achievements that are relevant to the job listing
- Use hard numbers to quantify any accomplishments you include to give the hiring manager a clear idea of what you’re capable of
- This could include monetary values, percentages, or any statistics that clearly show the end result of your work
- List real-life examples that demonstrate you possess the necessary key skills and experience listed in the job description
I’m confident my proven track record in [industry-specific skills included in the above-bulleted list] will make me an asset at [Company Name], and allow me to contribute immensely to the [department you’re applying to] team.
I look forward to discussing the [Job Position] and my qualifications in detail with you. I’m available for an interview at your earliest convenience. I’ll be in touch next week to follow up and ensure you’ve received my application.
How to structure a cover letter
You’ll need to include these six parts in your cover letter:
- Contact information: in your cover letter header, list your name, email, phone number, location, and any other relevant information you want to include (like a LinkedIn profile or an online portfolio). Below that, include the date followed by the hiring manager’s name and contact information in a left-aligned list.
- Salutation: use a professional salutation to address the hiring manager, by either using their name or “Dear Hiring Manager.”
- Introduction: in your cover letter introduction, explain why you’re interested in the position, where you found the role, and what expertise you can provide to their team.
- Main body: further describe your experience, qualifications, and how you will help the company achieve its goals. Provide evidence of your claims by highlighting some career accomplishments in a bulleted list.
- Closing: in your cover letter closing, reiterate your interest in the role and let the hiring manager know when and how to reach you. Lastly, thank them for their time and consideration.
- Professional sign-off: After your rousing final paragraph, include a professional close like “Sincerely,” followed by your signature (optional) and your name.
If you need help putting together your cover letter, try using an AI cover letter generator that structures your letter for you and helps you target your desired role with industry-specific suggestions.
Cover letter outline example
Here’s an example of a properly formatted cover letter outline for a customer service representative:
To make your cover letter easier to read, consider making a bulleted list of your career accomplishments, or bolding specific qualifications, experience, and skills you don’t want the hiring manager to accidentally skim over when reviewing your application.
Additional cover letter resources
Need some more help writing your cover letter? Check out these other resources: