Smart tips to help you format and write a cover letter
Struggling to write a cover letter that will catch an employer's attention? We've got tips to help you show your best self—and a sample you can use to get started.
There's nothing scary about writing a cover letter.
You've found the perfect job, hit the "apply" button, and started the process with your engines revved and ready. But wait! Slam the brakes! They want a cover letter. Oh no.
Don't let this request derail you. Here's everything you need to know to write a letter that truly sells your skills. Plus, scroll down to see a sample cover letter you can use to craft your own.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document that, along with your resume, is sent with your job application. A cover letter is your chance to tell a potential employer why you’re the perfect person for the position and how your skills and expertise can add value to the company. The letter should be professional but personable, and serve as a sort of introduction.
Do I need to send a cover letter?
A lot of job seekers today wonder if a cover letter is still appropriate to send with your resume—and the answer is yes! Even if an employer doesn’t ask for a cover letter, it couldn’t hurt to send one. In fact, it’s can help you get someone's attention in a different way, and it can be a great way to display your enthusiasm for the job and company.
What are the basic elements of a cover letter?
- Greeting: Address your cover letter to the proper person.
- Opening: Write a personable, inviting opening paragraph that notes how your skills are a perfect fit to the job and displays your enthusiasm.
- Hook: Highlight your past achievements as they relate to the job you're applying for.
- Skills: Emphasize additional relevant skills, such as computer languages or certifications.
- Close: Briefly recap your strengths as a candidate, and include your contact information.
Cover letter tips
1. Parrot the keywords: Just like with your resume, your cover letters should be customized for each job you apply to. Start by reviewing the job description. In it, you will find important keywords that let you know what kind of employee the company is hoping to find. Use these same keywords throughout your cover letter.
2. Adapt for the company: Each version of your cover letter should talk about how your skills will benefit the particular company that you want to work for. You want to target the company’s needs—not your own. Demonstrate how you could help them achieve their goals. Remember: You're selling yourself in a resume and a cover letter, but the employer has to want to buy.
3. Show you "get" them: Your cover letter should demonstrate that you have done some research into what the organization's pain points are. Presenting yourself as a solution to a hiring manager’s problem can help your cover letter take the right tone. If you’re applying to an administrative position, be sure to mention your time-management skills; if you’re an IT professional, include your expertise in improving efficiency. Always ask yourself: How can I help this company?
4. Proofread. Don’t assume spell check will catch every mistake (it won’t). Slowly review your cover letter to make sure everything reads properly. Have someone else read your cover letter for backup.
Need even more confidence before you start your cover letter? Below are some additional cover letter tips you could reference—or keep scrolling for a cover letter sample:
Cover letter mistakes you should avoid: From overusing “I” to being too vague, there are a bunch of pitfalls that can trip you up. Don’t let them!
Cover letter format and advice tips: Learn how to set up your cover letter and what each section should include.
Cover letter tips for new grads: You might lack real-world work experience, but your cover letter can be chock-full of activities that demonstrate your potential to succeed.
Cover letter tips for technology professionals: The ease of applying to online jobs has led many IT professionals to skip sending a cover letter, but that’s a mistake.
Cover letter tips for finance professionals: If you’re searching for a finance job or want to be prepared just in case, you will need a dynamic cover letter to grab the hiring managers’ attention.
Tips for better email cover letters: If you're emailing a resume, your cover letter will deliver the first impression. These eight tips will help you craft a better email cover letter.
Cover letter sample
Check out the sample cover letter below (or download the template as a Word doc) to get some inspiration to craft your own. And we've also got you covered if you're looking for a cover letter in a specific industry.
Once you've finished your cover letter, consider joining Monster—you can upload and store up to five cover letters and resumes, so that you can apply for jobs on our site in a snap!
Ms. Rhonda West
Customer Service Manager
123 Corporate Blvd.
Sometown, CO 50802
Re: Customer Service Representative Opening (Ref. ID: CS300-Denver)
Dear Ms. West:
I was excited to see your opening for a customer service rep, and I hope to be invited for an interview.
My background includes serving as a customer service associate within both call-center and retail environments. Most recently, I worked on the customer service desk for Discount-Mart, where my responsibilities included handling customer merchandise returns, issuing refunds/store credits, flagging damaged merchandise for shipment back to vendors and providing back-up cashiering during busy periods.
Previously, I worked within two high-volume customer-support call centers for a major telecommunications carrier and a satellite television services provider. In these positions, I demonstrated the ability to resolve a variety of issues and complaints (such as billing disputes, service interruptions or cutoffs, repair technician delays/no-shows and equipment malfunctions). I consistently met my call-volume goals, handling an average of 56 to 60 calls per day.
In addition to this experience, I gained considerable customer service skills during my part-time employment as a waitress and restaurant hostess while in high school.
I also bring to the table strong computer proficiencies in MS Word, MS Excel and CRM database applications and a year of college (business major). Please see the accompanying resume for details of my experience and education.
I am confident that I can offer you the customer service, communication and problem-solving skills you are seeking. Feel free to call me at 555-555-5555 (home) or 555-555-5500 (cell) to arrange an interview. Thank you for your time—I look forward to learning more about this opportunity!
A simple cover letter template is a tool meant to guide you. It isn’t a complete cover letter, so you can’t fully depend on it until you make a few changes in the content. Because it is a user’s guide tool, an Employment Cover Letter Templates will give you a clear understand about what should and shouldn’t go into a cover letter.
Simple cover letters are easy to write. So easy, in fact, you don’t have to think too much. Although simple Cover Letter Templates aren’t target specific, the general description must be clear and convincing. The language used in writing should be simple; a potential employer shouldn’t struggle to understand what you are trying to communicate.
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What to Include in a Cover Letter?
Whether you are writing Biology Cover Letters or a part time job cover letters, it is important that you include in it all the essential segments. This would make it easier for the office manager or the authoritative person concerned to understand the gist of your proposal and file it accordingly. Here is what should be included in a perfect cover letter.
- Your name and contact information
- Name of the person to whom it is addressed along with contact details
- A proper salutation
- The relevant details. Like if the cover letter is to apply for an apprenticeship in a restaurant, you need to elaborate on your qualifications. On the other hand, if the cover letter accompanies a chemical engineering project, you should explain the project and the various steps followed by you
- A proper and impressive closing
How to Write a Successful Covering Letter?
A cover letter can make or break your chances of making an impact over the reader. Thus, you need to put in some effort to write an impressive covering letter. Here is how you can go about this.
- Before writing the cover letter, it would be a good idea to do some research. Like if you are writing a Legal Cover Letter , researching about the case you may be addressing would give you some fodder for the content
- The opening of the cover letter should be strong as this will help you grab the attention of the reader
- Give some emphasis on the issue that is being addressed. For example if you are applying for a job at a restaurant or a hotel, talk about your hospitality
- Be enthusiastic about what you are trying to convey to the reader. Like, when applying for a real estate job, show some excitement about the job and explain what your approach towards it would be
How to Write a Cover Letter in Different Ways?
There are a number of ways in which a cover letter can be written. You can get a brief idea of this by taking a look at the different types of cover letter templates like Accounting Cover Letters etc that are readily available online. Here is how you can write cover letter in different ways.
- Email Cover Letter: In this you really don’t have to worry about adding contact information. You can start directly with salutation, followed by the content and then the conclusion.
- Cover Letter on Paper: In such types of cover letter should best be written on a letter head. In case, you don’t have one, just design one with your name and contact details. Write the details of the person to whom the letter is being addressed below this and then start off with the letter.
Tips for Writing Cover Letters
Writing a cover letter is no mean task which is why you can surely do with some helpful tips. Listed below are a few of these.
- If you are using a template to draft your cover letter, make sure that you pick the perfect one. For example you can’t use a real estate cover letter if you are writing a Flight Attendant Cover Letter
- Make sure to address the letter correctly. Instead of writing the phrase “To whomsoever it may concern”, find out to whom the letter should be addressed
- Don’t forget to follow the right format when drafting the cover letter. The format and the layout of the letter is what the reader sees first.
- Thus, these have to be perfect Any kind of errors and spelling mistakes are just not allowed in a cover letter. So, make sure to proofread and edit it before mailing it
There are a wide range of cover letter templates available online that make it easier for you to draft a cover letter. These include legal cover letter templates, Software Developer Cover Letter Template etc. The use of a cover letter is to
- Fill in any gaps that may be there is the proposal or resume that accompanies the letter
- Give the reader a sneak peek into what you have to offer
- Impress the person with your communication skills and grab his attention
Cover letters are used for
- Applying for a job
- Submitting a project
- Sending a proposal
- Requesting funds
In case you are not sure how to draft a cover letter, go ahead and check out our vast collection of cover letter templates. You can find everything from job cover letter to Hair Stylist Cover Letter here. These are easy to download and customize, thus ensuring that you can quickly come up with a professional looking and unique cover letter.
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