If you’re not sure how to write a professional cover letter, the best starting point is to look at some good cover letter examples. Whether you need to write a cover letter for a specific situation (like a career change), or you’re just wondering what the best cover letter format for your job title looks like, there’s something here for everyone.
Table of Contents
- What Should a Cover Letter Say?
- Example 1: General Cover Letter
- Example 2: Professional Cover Letter
- Example 3: Creative Cover Letter
- Example 4: Entry-Level Cover Letter
- Example 5: Career Change Cover Letter
- Cover Letter Examples by Type
- Cover Letter Examples by Industry
1. What Should a Great Cover Letter Say?
A perfect cover letter is composed of the following four elements:
- A personalized greeting
- A killer opening
- Powerful body content
- A strong call to action (CTA)
The cover letter example below spells out how to write each of these key sections:
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name], (never say “To Whom it May Concern”)
Your cover letter opening should contain a self-introduction. Write who you are, where your expertise lies, where you found the job posting, and why you want to apply for the job.
Powerful Body Content
The second paragraph should respond directly to the job description written by the hiring manager. Describe how your previous job experiences, skills, and abilities will allow you to meet the company’s needs. To make that easier, you can (and should) literally include words and phrases from the job description in your cover letter.
- You can include a bulleted list of your accomplishments
- Make sure you quantify (add numbers to) these bullet points
- A cover letter with numbers is 100% better than one without
To go even further, do some research about the company, and find out what their current activities and goals are. Explain how you can join their company and help them achieve those goals.
Your cover letter closing is the call to action portion of your cover letter. Inform the hiring manager you’d love to get interviewed. Give them your contact information. Tell them that you’ll reach out in a week if you don’t hear back. Thank them for spending the time to read your cover letter.
2. General Cover Letter Example
This general cover letter was written by a candidate who has two years of work experience.
In our example, the candidate is applying for a mid-level digital marketing position. By the end of her first paragraph, she has already:
- used the hiring manager’s name (showing she took the time to locate it)
- mentioned where she found the job advertisement (HR managers love this)
- highlighted her relevant experience — establishing she’s qualified for the role
Dear John Recruiter,
I was excited to see your listing for the Lead Digital Marketing position at Westward Strategies on Indeed.com recently. As a dynamic email marketing specialist with over two years of professional experience executing market research, analyzing consumer data, and running A/B testing in order to drive successful marketing campaigns, I’m confident that I would be a valuable asset to the team at Westward.
Your job listing mentions a need for someone experienced in email segmentation and campaign development, both of which happen to be areas I have extensive experience in. I’m currently employed at Formosa Inc., where I’ve honed my skills by running numerous highly successful email marketing campaigns. While employed here, I spearheaded a digital promotion campaign for the company’s new line of sandals that successfully raised our total online engagement by an impressive 13% over the course of six months, contributing substantially to the department’s annual goals.
I’m confident that my proven track record of excellent work ethic, unparalleled attention to detail, and knack for executing high-performing email marketing campaigns will make me an immediate asset at Westward Strategies, and allow me to contribute to the team’s success.
I look forward to discussing the Lead Digital Marketing position and my qualifications with you in more detail. I’m available to talk at your soonest convenience. I’ll be in touch next week to follow up, just to make sure you’ve received my application.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Why this is a great example of a cover letter
Attaching a simple cover letter like this one to your resume strengthens your overall application. Here’s why:
First, the candidate gets to the point. As mentioned earlier, she has already conveyed a lot of basic cover letter information by the end of her short opening paragraph.
She then lists specific responsibilities from the job ad, and explains how she has experience handling such work. She even gives an example of how her efforts have benefited her current employer. Use such information to help a hiring manager quickly understand what they will gain from employing you.
Finally, the candidate signs off by mentioning she’ll reach out if she doesn’t hear back from the hiring manager within a week, but doesn’t do so aggressively — saying that it would be “just to make sure” the hiring manager received her application.
This call to action is a generic yet valuable part of a general cover letter. Write your own CTA to show you’re serious about the role, and willing to make the first move if necessary.
3. Professional Cover Letter Example
Not sure if your cover letter is buttoned up enough for the position you want? Our restaurant manager cover letter should give you an idea about what it takes to impress the highest levels of management at your next company.
Whether you’re a mid-level manager applicant or a job seeker simply hoping to write a cover letter that highlights your professionalism, this example can teach you a thing or two.
Why this is a great cover letter
Professionals take their craft seriously, and the applicant who wrote this manager-level cover letter is no different. Not only do they showcase their top marketable skills developed while working in the service industry, but they highlight how they will take those skills and help make a positive impact on their target company’s future.
Another strong part of this example is how the writer mentions the company by name three times. It’s clear they’re familiar with the business, and have a specific interest in joining the team. Such familiarity is appealing to a hiring manager, and shows a level of investment not often seen in cover letter writing.
4. Creative Cover Letter Example
If you’re applying to work at a company with a laid back office culture, a creative cover letter can make your application stand out.
This playful (but effective) cover letter was written by a candidate who has over three years of work experience.
In our example, the candidate is applying for a senior level social media manager position. By her second paragraph, she quickly hooks the reader with a personable, fun introduction, and then establishes her qualifications:
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
As a quick-thinking online native who’s obsessed (yes, obsessed) with the Scatterplot app, I was thrilled to see your listing for the Social Media Manager position at Scatterplot Entertainment Co.
With over three years of professional experience as an online brand manager under my belt, I’ve analyzed user metrics, run A/B tests, tracked interaction data, and spearheaded viral social media campaigns. You name it, I’ve clocked an embarrassing number of hours online working on it. I’m confident my adaptability, hands-on branding experience, and encyclopedic meme knowledge would make me a perfect fit for the team at Scatterplot.
Currently, in my role at DotMap as a Social Media Manager, I manage and execute highly successful online branding campaigns. Over 8 months, I’ve bumped up our user engagement metrics on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and (let’s not forget) Snapchat by over 140% on average. Not only that, but I regularly produce viral content, getting several of our branded Tweets featured on major websites. In one such instance, I tweeted a thread of adorable corgis using the DotMap iOS app — receiving over 60 thousand interactions and earning a spot on Buzzfeed’s front page.
I’m fiercely competitive in my approach, up-to-date on all the latest trends, and can clean up even the messiest social media disasters. I’m positive my knack for creating clickable content will make me an immediate asset to the Social Media team at Scatterplot.
I look forward to discussing the Social Media Manager position and my qualifications with you in more detail. I’m available to talk at your soonest convenience, and I’ll be in touch next week to follow up, just to make sure you’ve received my application!
Why this is a great example of a cover letter
This quirky cover letter is effective for several reasons.
First, the candidate gets to the point. Within a few short sentences, she has already stated her interest in the position, some of her qualifications, and her specific skills.
Secondly, she presents her information in a casual, fun tone. When you add personal touches to your cover letter, you come across as enthusiastic, and make yourself a more memorable candidate.
However, you don’t want to be memorable for the wrong reasons. This style of cover letter is only appropriate when applying to companies with a more laid back office culture.
Lastly, the candidate lists specific accomplishments from her previous job, and explains how they’re relevant to the new position.
If you provide information like this to a hiring manager, you’re effectively demonstrating your professional strengths, and also showing them what they stand to gain from employing you.
5. Entry-Level Cover Letter Example
No formal work experience? Learn how to write an entry-level cover letter that grabs attention.
This cover letter was written by a recent graduate, who only has a little bit of part-time work experience.
In our example, the candidate is applying for an entry-level IT technician position. She quickly establishes her enthusiasm for the company (hiring managers love to see genuine interest from applicants) and highlights her relevant skills — demonstrating that she’s qualified for the role:
What makes this a great cover letter
What makes this entry-level cover letter sample stand out the most is how the candidate convincingly markets their strengths.
Notice that from the very first sentence, she emphasizes her enthusiasm about the job opportunity. Employers know they’re taking a risk by hiring a recent graduate, so showing that you’re passionate about the role is especially important when you have no experience.
Then, the candidate calls attention to her most relevant skills. While she doesn’t have any full-time work experience, she still highlights the experience she does have, and then connects her relevant coursework to the company’s goals.
She demonstrates to the hiring manager she not only has the basic skills needed to excel, but has also researched the position, and is passionate about the work being done by the company.
6. Career Change Cover Letter Example
Writing a cover letter for your current industry is pretty straightforward, but writing a career change cover letter requires some finesse.
How exactly do you convince a company to hire you when all of your experience is from a different industry? Well, you can start by learning some techniques from the following example!
This sample cover letter includes the key elements you need to sway a hiring manager when transferring industries, such as:
- An example of a transferable skill in action
- One reason (or more) for the career change
- Proof of commitment to the new field
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved transforming people through the art of makeup. My proudest accomplishment was preparing my younger sister for her prom night — she was voted prom queen that evening. Because of my passion for this artform, I’m applying for the makeup artist position at Studio 96.
I’ve served in several customer service positions since I graduated high school, in which I’ve honed my people skills, increased upsales by 17%, and improved my ability to work effectively in high-pressure situations.
However, I’ve found that customer service doesn’t satisfy my creative side. Thus, I’m eager to join Studio 96, a company I’ve been a fan of since I learned the avant-garde approach to makeup application developed under your founder Bianca Del Vanjie.
To meet Studio 96’s needs, I’ve completed the 150-hour course in Makeup Artistry offered by the Los Angeles-based Sonique Academy in my spare time. I’ve also volunteered for the Look Good, Feel Better organization, where I boosted the self-esteem of patients with cancer by giving them makeovers.
I am looking forward to hearing back from you. I can be reached at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email]. Thank you for considering my application.
Why this is a great example of a cover letter
There are many reasons this cover letter works well for someone changing to a new field.
First, it’s sincere. You can tell that the author is passionate about her target industry. From the very beginning she dives into her love for applying makeup, and even provides a relatable story about her sister’s prom night to emphasize her sincerity.
It’s also transparent. While you don’t want to give away all of your secrets in a cover letter, letting the hiring manager know why you wish to switch industries is important if you’re changing careers.
Last but not least, it connects the applicant directly to the company. Specifically mentioning the founder and her impact on the industry shows a real connection to the business and overall industry. Just make sure you’re being sincere, or such a reference will look like flattery.
7. Cover Letter Examples by Type
Searching for a unique kind of cover letter sample? We’ve got you covered! The following guides will show you how to write a variety of different cover letter types.
- Short Cover Letter
- Cover Letter for Internal Position
- Relocation Cover Letter
- Email Cover Letter
- Letter of Interest
- Best Cover Letters of 2020
8. Cover Letter Examples by Industry
Not sure how to write a cover letter for your industry? You will soon. Our robust collection of industry-specific cover letters is sure to have something that’ll help you out. Not to mention, you can download all of these sample cover letters for free and customize them to fit your needs.
Click your industry below to find examples:
- Accounting & Finance
- Administration & Office Support
- Business & Management
- Construction & Maintenance
- Creative & Cultural Fields
- Customer Service & Retail
- Education & Human Services
- Emergency Services
- Food Service
- Healthcare & Wellbeing
- Information Technology (IT)
- Law & Legal
- Marketing & Sales
- Personal & Child Care
- Spa & Salon
- Transportation & Logistics
Accounting & Finance Cover Letters
Use quantifiable achievements to demonstrate your mathematical prowess and strengthen your accounting or finance cover letter. Use the examples below as a guide.
- Account Manager
- Bank Teller
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
- Financial Analyst
- Investment Banking
Administration & Office Support Cover Letters
Since you provide support, you’ll need to convey how reliable, efficient, and organized you are in your cover letter. Take a look at our samples below.
- Administrative Assistant
- Executive Assistant
- Front Desk
- Human Resources (HR)
- Office Assistant
- Office Manager
- Personal Assistant
Management & Business Cover Letters
Your cover letter needs to show the hiring manager that you mean business. Use the samples below as a guide.
- Business Analyst
- Executive (CEO, CIO, CTO)
- Operations Manager
- Property Manager
- Real Estate Agent
Construction & Maintenance Cover Letters
Not sure if you’ve got the right tools to build your cover letter? Use the samples below to help you craft a strong cover letter that can’t be knocked down.
Creative & Cultural Fields Cover Letters
Not sure how to discuss your artistic experience in a professional manner? Our samples will help you turn your cover letter into a masterpiece.
Customer Service & Retail Cover Letters
Impress the hiring manager with a cover letter that clearly conveys your ability to interact and work with people well. Take a look at our samples below.
- Call Center Representative
- Customer Service Representative
- Flight Attendant
- Grocery Store Cashier
- Retail Manager
- Retail Sales Associate
- Hospitality (Hotel Front Desk)
Education & Human Services Cover Letters
So the teacher becomes the student again! Learn how to write an outstanding education cover letter.
- Academic Advisor
- Elementary Teacher
- Library Page
- Preschool Teacher
- Research Assistant
- School Counselor
- Social Work
- Substitute Teacher
- Teacher Assistant
Emergency Services Cover Letters
While writing a cover letter may not be a real emergency, it might feel like one. Let us help you with our professional examples.
Engineering Cover Letters
Spend more time tinkering with gadgets, and less time tinkering with your cover letter. Take a look at our examples below.
Food Service Cover Letters
Serve up a cover letter that will make hiring managers drool. Learn from our samples below.
- Entry-Level Waiter/Waitress
- Food Service
- Restaurant Manager
- Waiter / Waitress
Healthcare & Wellbeing Cover Letters
Is your cover letter on life support? Learn how to make it lively with our samples below.
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
- Dental Assistant
- Dental Hygienist
- Entry-Level Nurse
- Medical Assistant
- Personal Trainer
- Pharmacy Technician
- Physical Therapy
Information Technology (IT) Cover Letters
Although technical skills should be the focal point of an IT cover letter, it’s also important to reference your soft skills. Use our samples to learn how to represent both in your letter.
- Computer Science
- Data Analyst
- Data Scientist
- Information Technology (IT)
- Product Manager
- Software Engineer
- Web Developer
Law & Legal Cover Letters
Wielded effectively, and your cover letter can be just the thing to get your foot in the door at a major law firm or land you various types of legal work. Check out our samples for ideas.
Student Cover Letters
As a student, your cover letter should focus on relevant coursework, internship experience, and the skills you’ve gained in part-time roles. Check out our samples to learn how to write your own.
Marketing & Sales Cover Letters
Having trouble getting started? Just think of your cover letter as your own personal sales and marketing campaign! Use the samples below for inspiration.
Personal & Child Care Cover Letters
If you can survive a day of watching children, there’s no doubt that you can write an impressive cover letter. Use our samples and you’ll get that interview you’ve been waiting for.
Spa & Salon Cover Letters
A beautiful cover letter goes a long way toward winning over hiring managers. Learn new ways to enhance your own using our samples for spa & salon industry members.
Transportation & Logistics Cover Letters
A transportation cover letter should include years of experience, the types of vehicles you’ve operated, and your valid licenses. Drive your way to success by following the sample below.
Don’t procrastinate, get started on your cover letter now. Whether you start fresh, modify one of our examples, or use our cover letter builder, anything is better than wasting time sending out resume-only applications. Give yourself an edge over your competition, and get the job you’re really hoping for. Good luck!