Before you start writing a cover letter, the best way to prepare is to check out examples of good cover letters.
Our extensive list of cover letter samples is perfect for all job seekers, whether you need to write one for a specific life situation (like a career change) or you’re looking for the best cover letter format to use in your industry.
Table of contents
- What should a cover letter include?
- General cover letter
- Entry-level cover letter
- Professional cover letter
- Creative cover letter
- Career change cover letter
- Internal promotion cover letter
- Job-specific cover letter examples
What does a great cover letter include?
- Salutation: A professional greeting that addresses the hiring manager by name
- Introduction: An attention-grabbing opening paragraph that introduces yourself and your intention to apply for the open role
- Body paragraph(s): One or two paragraphs describing your relevant professional experience, achievements, skills, and education
- Closing paragraph: A final paragraph that contains a call to action (CTA), asking the hiring manager to invite you in for an interview
- Sign-off: End your cover letter with a professional sign-off (like “Sincerely, [Your Name]”)
The cover letter template below describes how to write each of these key sections:
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
Opening Paragraph (Introduction)
Your cover letter opening should contain a self-introduction. Write about who you are, where your expertise lies, where you found the job posting, and why you want to apply for the job.
The second paragraph of your cover letter should respond directly to the job description written by the hiring manager. Describe how your previous job experiences, skills, and abilities will help you meet the company’s needs. To make that easier, you should include exact words and phrases from the job descriptions in your cover letter.
- You can include a bulleted list of your accomplishments
- Make sure to use numbers or percentages to emphasize your bullet points (e.g. “Increased online revenue by 13%”)
- Do some research about the company and find out what their current activities and goals are.
- Explain how you can help them achieve those goals.
Your cover letter closing is the call-to-action portion of your cover letter. Inform the hiring manager that you’d love to go in for an interview. Provide your email address or other contact information and tell them that you’ll reach out in a week if you don’t hear back. Thank them for spending their time reading your cover letter.
1. General cover letter example
This general cover letter was written by a candidate with two years of work experience.
In the example, the candidate is applying for a mid-level digital marketing position. In the first paragraph, the applicant:
- used the hiring manager’s name (showing that effort was put into locating it)
- mentioned where she found the job posting (HR managers love this)
- highlighted relevant experience, establishing her ability to do the job
Here’s a text version of this cover letter sample in case you want a closer look at each paragraph:
Dear Ms. Doe,
I was excited to see your job listing for the Senior Digital Marketing position at Westward Strategies on Indeed.com. As a dynamic email marketing specialist with over two years of professional experience executing market research, analyzing consumer data, and running A/B tests 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 who is experienced in email segmentation and campaign development, both of which are areas I have extensive experience in. I’m currently employed at Marketed Inc., where I’ve honed my skills by running numerous successful email marketing campaigns. While employed here, I’ve 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 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 Senior Digital Marketing position and my qualifications with you in more detail. I’m available to talk at your convenience. I’ll be in touch next week to follow up and to make sure you’ve received my application.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Why this is a good example of a cover letter
In the cover letter example above, the candidate is concise and direct. She conveys much of what a cover letter should say in the opening paragraph, like her amount and type of experience, plus where she found the job.
Then the candidate lists specific responsibilities from the job description, and mentions her experience handling similar work. She even gives an example of how her efforts have benefited her current employer.
At this point, the candidate’s cover letter has already helped the hiring manager better understand her value as a hire. But she’s not done yet.
Finally, the candidate signs off by mentioning how she’ll reach out if she doesn’t hear back from the hiring manager. This call to action is a key part of a general cover letter, because it highlights the writer’s interest in the job, and willingness to go further than other candidates for the opportunity.
Write your own call to action to show you’re serious about the job, and willing to make the first move if necessary.
2. Entry-level cover letter example
This entry-level cover letter was written by a recent graduate who only has a little part-time work experience.
In our example, the candidate is applying for an entry-level IT technician position. She quickly establishes her enthusiasm about the opportunity, and then highlights her relevant skills to show she can do the job:
Want a closer look at this cover letter example? Here’s a text version that you can scan through:
Dear Mr. Jacobson,
As a long-term admirer of the work done by the team at Mayflower Technologies, I’m delighted to submit my application for the entry-level IT technician position posted on Indeed.com. As a recent graduate from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in Computer Science, I’m confident that my knowledge of Linux systems, experience in backend coding, and precise attention to detail would make me an asset to the team at Mayflower.
In my former role as a student worker at the University of Rochester’s Technical Services department, I was responsible for troubleshooting a variety of technical issues for staff, assisting with server maintenance, and installing a wide range of equipment. While employed there, I assisted in the development and rollout of new department practices, and helped improve our ticket response time by 12%. I’m sure that this experience will help me pick up new skills and quickly excel as a technician at Mayflower.
I also understand that Mayflower is seeking to expand their cloud computing services. While at the University of Rochester, I specialized in and completed my thesis on cloud computing. The IT technician position at Mayflower would be an exciting opportunity for me to bring my educational background to the table, and learn more about a growing industry.
I’ve attached my resume, which further details my skills and educational background. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about my background. I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you further; thank you for your time and consideration.
What makes this a good cover letter
This killer cover letter sample stands out because the applicant emphasizes her enthusiasm about the opportunity from the very first sentence.
Beyond her enthusiasm, the candidate also shows she’s qualified. She quickly (and convincingly) markets her professional strengths, including relevant hard skills (Linux, backend coding) and soft skills (precision, attention to detail).
Employers know they’re taking a risk by hiring a recent graduate. Showing some passion is especially important for new grads because they don’t have the work experience to win the job yet.
By the end of her cover letter, the candidate has even demonstrated that she’s researched the position, and is passionate about the work the company is doing. Overall, this is an effective way to make a positive impression as an entry-level job seeker because it shows the employer that you’re energetic and ready to learn.
3. Professional cover letter example
Are you a senior-level professional or an experienced manager trying to highlight your professionalism in a cover letter?
The restaurant manager cover letter example below will show you how to come off as a seasoned professional:
Here’s a text version of this cover letter sample so you can go through line-by-line:
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
I’m writing to apply for the Restaurant Manager opening at MOD Sequel. I have more than five years of experience managing restaurants and bars, and my professional expertise aligns closely with the responsibilities outlined in your job advertisement.
In my role as Restaurant Manager for Bar Louie, I proved to be an efficient, enthusiastic, and strong leader. My value quickly became apparent to Bar Louie’s shareholders after I single-handedly trained and prepared the entire waitstaff for opening night and beyond. Not only did our team meet sales goals each month for the first year, but the down payment for the property was even paid back after the first six months of operating.
MOD Sequel would benefit from my skills in the following areas:
• Eye for excellence and high level of standards
• Strong work ethic and leadership skills
• Positive attitude even under pressure
I believe MOD Sequel will be a great success for many years to come, and my extensive expertise will help ensure your establishment succeeds well into the future. My time spent in this industry has prepared me for such an opportunity, and I sincerely hope I can contribute soon as a member of your team.
It would be a privilege to discuss your Restaurant Manager position in more detail. I’m happy to come by whenever it’s most convenient for you. Thank you for your time, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Why this is a good cover letter
Right from the start, this applicant showcases the managerial skills they developed while working in the service industry. They then highlight how they’ll apply those skills to make an immediate impact on the company.
Additionally, the applicant mentions the company by name three times. It’s clear that they’re familiar with the business, have an interest in joining this specific team, and understand how they’d fit on the team if hired.
Lastly, our applicant’s cover letter includes their address to highlight how close they live to the restaurant. Pointing out where you live can be helpful if you’re applying for a non-remote job because it shows the employer that you won’t need to move or even commute very far if hired.
However, note that listing your address on a cover letter is optional in 2023 because most applications are submitted online.
4. Creative cover letter example
A creative cover letter makes you stand out by adding a bit of personality and flair to your application.
In this creative cover letter example, the candidate is applying for a senior-level social media manager position. With a snappy opening that shows both the candidate’s personality and enthusiasm for the role, she effectively gains the reader’s attention. Then, she establishes her qualifications:
Take a more detailed look at this cover letter sample by reading through the plain text version:
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, 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. 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!
Warm regards,[Your Name]
Why this is a good example of a cover letter
First, the candidate doesn’t waste the reader’s time. She immediately states her interest in the position, relevant qualifications, and specific skills. Hiring managers are busy, so it’s crucial to be direct in both your cover letter and resume.
Next, she presents her information in a casual, fun tone. A personal touch in your cover letter helps you present yourself as a creative, enthusiastic job seeker. It also makes your application more memorable.
However, don’t make your application memorable for the wrong reasons (like including too many dad jokes or being overly informal). It’s important to strike the right tone for the company you’re applying to.
Finally, the candidate lists specific accomplishments from her previous job, and explains how these accomplishments are relevant to the position.
Elaborating on your professional achievements is essential to writing a great cover letter. Your achievements show the hiring manager what they will gain by hiring you, and emphasize your worth as a potential employee.
5. Career change cover letter example
Writing a cover letter for a job in your current industry is pretty straightforward. But writing a career change cover letter requires a slightly different approach.
The sample cover letter below includes the three elements you need to persuade a hiring manager you’re ready to transfer industries, such as:
- One reason (or more) for the career change
- An example of a transferable skill in action
- Proof of commitment to the new field
Want a closer look at this cover letter example? Here’s a text version that you can read more carefully:
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 art form, I’m applying for the makeup artist position at Studio 96.
I’ve worked in several customer service positions since I graduated high school, through which I’ve honed my people skills and improved my ability to work effectively in high-pressure situations. In fact, in my current position at Zara I’ve increased sales by 17% this month.
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 about 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 cancer patients 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 good example of a cover letter
The first reason this is a great cover letter example is that it’s sincere. The applicant is sincerely passionate about her target industry — she even provides a relatable story to emphasize her sincerity.
This cover letter is also great because it directly addresses the reason for the applicant’s career change. Letting the hiring manager know why you’re looking for employment in a different industry is necessary if you’re changing careers, because they’ll want to know why you’re making the change.
Finally, it’s clear the writer of this cover letter is committed to the new job. She’s even worked on her skill set to prepare her for this change in profession.
Taking a 150-hour course and volunteering are both great signs our candidate is dedicated to switching industries.
6. Cover letter for promotion example
Have you been with your current company for a while and want to take on more responsibility? You’ll likely need to write an internal cover letter for promotion to convince your boss that you’re ready to move up the corporate ladder.
A cover letter for promotion differs from a regular cover letter in two ways:
- It emphasizes your managerial or higher-level skills
- It focuses on your dedication to your current company
In the following example, the candidate is writing to the marketing director of their company to apply for an open senior-level sales manager position:
If you’re having trouble reading this cover letter sample, take a look at the text version below:
Dear Mrs. Lasker,
As a loyal employee of Peabody, I’m excited to formally apply for the Sales Manager position in the Marketing Department. Since starting as a Sales Representative at Peabody four years ago, I quickly mastered the requisite skills for the role, and have helped our department regularly exceed sales goals.
From the beginning I’ve demonstrated an ability to learn quickly and exceed expectations. During my tenure, I’ve developed excellent sales skills, honed my interpersonal abilities, and subsequently helped my department generate a 6% increase in profits this quarter. Additionally, this year has given me the opportunity to sharpen my leadership skills — having successfully onboarded 4 new employees and assumed management over a small direct sales team.
I’ve read the requirements for the Sales Management position thoroughly, and I’m confident that the skills I’ve refined during my time working here paired with my passion for customers and making direct sales make me an ideal fit.
I appreciate your consideration and look forward to discussing this opportunity for promotion with you at your convenience. My supervisor is also happy to meet with you to elaborate on my performance in the Sales Department, and will attest to my qualifications. Please let me know if there’s any other information I can provide that would help with this process, and I’d be happy to provide it to you.
Why this is a good example of a cover letter
This candidate’s cover letter stands out because it’s direct and highlights specific accomplishments expected of a managerial-level employee.
In the introduction of this cover letter, the candidate emphasizes his loyalty to the company, and quickly moves on to talk about the contributions he’s made to his team.
Then, the candidate provides examples of his leadership and management experience to demonstrate that he’s ready to take on a more significant role.
By the end of this cover letter, this candidate has shown his boss that he’s not only made an impact in his current role, but is already exceeding expectations. More importantly, he has the skills needed to keep up with the demands of a more senior position.
Job-specific cover letter examples
Our large collection of job-specific cover letter examples is sure to have a cover letter for you. You can download all of these sample cover letters for free and customize them to fit your needs.
High School Student
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Once you’ve found a cover letter example for your target position, use a matching resume sample to help you write a resume and complete your job application.
Frequently asked questions about cover letters
Still have questions? Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about cover letters:
What are 3 things you should include in a cover letter?
Three things you should include in a cover letter are:
- An introduction – tell employers who you are and what kind of experience you have.
- Your qualifications – convince employers you’re the right person for the job by highlighting your qualifications, accomplishments, and skills.
- A convincing conclusion – restate your excitement about the position and urge the employer to contact you.
Combined, these three elements make for a compelling cover letter that communicates why you’re the ideal person for the job.
How do you write a simple cover letter?
Here’s how to write a simple cover letter in six steps:
- Opening: start with “Dear” and the hiring manager’s name.
- First paragraph: write a short introduction that states what job you’re applying for and what kind of background you have.
- Second paragraph: describe your current (or most recent) role and some of your greatest accomplishments at that job.
- Third paragraph: highlight your skills that are relevant to the job you want.
- Fourth paragraph: close out with a call to action restating your interest in the job and encouraging the employer to contact you.
- Sign off: end with a formal closing like “Sincerely,” and sign or write your name.
How important is a cover letter?
A cover letter is very important because it not only shows off your professional qualifications, it also gives you an opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the position and explain why you’re the ideal person for the job.
According to a recent survey on cover letters, 68% of hiring managers view cover letters as important, fairly important, or very important in the hiring process.
A well-written cover letter is often the difference between being offered an interview or being outright rejected for a job, so why not write one to improve your odds on the job hunt?
How do you build a cover letter?
There are three ways you can build a cover letter:
- Use a professional cover letter generator tool
The fastest (and easiest) way to build a cover letter is by using an online cover letter builder.
These tools use AI to automatically write a strong cover letter for you based on a few bits of information that you provide.
However, most cover letter generators aren’t free, so if you need to save money you may want to build a resume the old-fashioned way.
- Write it from scratch
Writing your cover letter yourself is the highest effort and most time-consuming way to make your cover letter. However, it’s also free and you have complete control over the content.
If you’re applying for a job that requires writing skills, it’s a good idea to write your cover letter from scratch because it gives you an opportunity to highlight your writing abilities.
- Use a cover letter template
A simple cover letter template is a good starting point from which to make your cover letter. Most cover letter templates provide a general format that you can quickly fill in with your information, so you don’t need to use as much energy as you would writing your letter from scratch.
Using a template is a good way to make your cover letter if you’re unsure where to start and need some guidance. However, the end result is that your cover letter might come across as generic or awkward if you’re not careful, so it’s not always the best method.