How to Start a Cover Letter (Examples Included)

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best cover letter intro

By Mike Simpson

When you’re writing a cover letter, nailing the opening is a must. Your cover letter introduction has to draw the hiring manager in, giving them a clear reason to keep reading. That’s why learning how to start a cover letter is so vital; it’s your doorway to success.

After all, more than eight-in-10 recruiters feel that an awesome cover letter is enough to land a candidate an interview even if their resume is only a partial fit for the job. Cool, right?

So, are you ready to make sure that your cover letter opening is everything it can be? Great! Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Cover Letter?

Alright, let’s begin with the basics. Before you can learn how to start a letter to the hiring manager, it’s helpful to know what a cover letter is in the first place.

We’ve actually taken several deep dives into the world of cover letters, including how to address a cover letter , the best cover letter format , how to end a cover letter , and a full overview of how to write a cover letter .

But the basic gist is that a cover letter is a written elevator pitch. It acts as an introduction to what you have to offer, with a bit more flavor than you can put in a resume.

In many cases, your cover letter is the absolute first impression you’ll make on a hiring manager. As they read, they get a feel for who you are, as well as what you bring to the table.

Do cover letters really matter that much? Yes, they do. Overall, 49 percent of hiring managers think that receiving a cover letter is important to the hiring process, which is a pretty good indication that they value them.

So, what are the parts of a cover letter? In most cases, a cover letter has:

  • Contact Information
  • Opening Paragraph
  • Body Paragraphs
  • Closing Paragraph
  • Closing Sentiment

While that seems like a lot, it really isn’t. In most cases, you end up with about a page or so of content. After all, a cover letter isn’t an autobiography of your life; it’s a concise, tailored introduction to who you are as a professional.

Generally, when you’re trying to figure out how to start a cover letter, what you need to focus on are the salutation and the opening paragraph. Those are what make the first impression and usually play a big role in whether the hiring manager reads the whole thing or not.

You may want to dig a little deeper, making sure your opening line really packs a punch. But, really, that’s all part of creating a great opening paragraph, isn’t it? Just keep in mind that your leading sentence needs to be an attention-grabber, and you’re in good shape.

Now, is your cover letter opening more important than the rest of the letter? Well, yes and no. If your start to your letter isn’t strong, there’s a chance the hiring manager won’t finish reading it. That means a fantastic cover letter introduction is essential.

But the rest matters, too. In the end, you want your first impression to be a doozy. It’s just that, if you don’t nail the opening to your cover letter, the rest may never get a glance.

Common Mistakes When Starting a Cover Letter

Before we dive into how to start a cover letter, let’s talk about some cover letter introduction mistakes you want to avoid. After all, a misstep at this early stage can cost you the job, so you really need to make sure you get it right.

First, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not tailoring the content to the position. When you write a cover letter, you are speaking to one particular hiring manager, not everyone who may ever want to hire you. If you don’t focus the content on that specific job, you might not connect with that hiring manager, causing them to move onto a different candidate.

Second, being too generic can come back to bite you. You want to stand out from the crowd, so you need to make sure your cover letter introduction feels a bit unique.

Third, choosing the wrong salutation – or not including one at all – can potentially lead to some trouble. If you go the wrong way, you may not connect with the hiring manager as well or could even offend them a bit. That’s no good.

Finally, spelling and grammar mistakes are a huge deal. They make it look like you lack attention to detail, and that isn’t going to win you any fans.

How to Start a Cover Letter

In many cases, figuring out how to start a letter for your job application is much easier if you take it one step at a time. It lets you tackle everything in succession and gives you a chance to focus on each critical part, increasing the odds that you’ll genuinely nail it.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to start a letter when you’re trying o land a job:

1. Choose the Right Salutation

The salutation in your cover letter opening serves as a greeting. It’s a chance to acknowledge the reader directly, even if just for a brief second.

Ideally, you want to address the hiring manager by name, using an approach like:

Dear [Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr.] [First Name] [Last Name]

Now, you can potentially add one more option to the list: Mx. This is a relatively new gender-neutral addition that’s favored by people who consider themselves nonbinary.

Generally speaking, you should only use “Mx.” if you are completely, 100 percent certain that it’s the hiring manager’s preferred title. You don’t want to go with it simply because you don’t know the hiring manager’s gender. Why? Well, since it’s a newer option, not everyone is familiar with it, so some hiring managers might think it’s a typo.

Additionally, people may have a variety of opinions about “Mx.,” and not all of them are positive. Since it’s a bit controversial in certain circles, you could offend a hiring manager by using it if that isn’t what they prefer.

So, what do you do if you know the hiring manager’s name but not their gender or preferred title? Worst case, go with “Dear [First Name] [Last Name]” instead. It’s a bit less formal, but it may be better than getting the title wrong.

If you genuinely don’t know the hiring manager’s name – and can’t figure it out with some research – you can try:

  • Dear [Job Title/Role] – Dear Hiring Manager, Dear Operations Manager, Dear VP of Sales, etc.
  • Dear [Department] – Dear IT Department, Dear Marketing Department, etc.

Those aren’t as personal, but they can do the trick. They at least speak to a particular individual, making it clear that you had a certain recipient in mind. As a result, they are much better than more generic alternatives.

What about “To Whom It May Concern?” Well, we’ve taken a deep dive into how to use to whom it may concern . But, in most cases, that isn’t your best. It feels outdated, for one. Plus, it doesn’t have a particular reader in mind, which isn’t ideal.

The same goes for “Dear Sir or Madam.” Along with being generic and incredibly old-school, it’s also a bit awkward. Plus, it makes it seem like you didn’t even try to come up with something better, and that’s never good.

2. Nail the Opening Sentence

Your opening sentence in your cover letter is what really needs to draw the hiring manager in. As a result, you want to make sure that it packs a wallop.

Usually, you have a few options that can pull this off. First, if you know someone at the company who referred you to the position, you can try name-dropping. Many hiring managers favor direct referrals, so it’s alright to make that connection clear from the beginning.

Second, you can lead off with a relevant accomplishment. This one can get a little tricky to do well. You really have to relate it to something in the role, and that isn’t always easy to manage without using a sentence or so to build in some context.

Finally, you can focus on your excitement. Hiring managers like people who seem passionate about the opportunity, so this route could let you start your cover letter on a great note.

With all of these, you want to make sure the opening sentence taps on the position you’re trying to land. It’s smart to mention the job title, department, and company, as that ensures the hiring manager knows why you’re writing. If it doesn’t fit in the first sentence, then it needs to come in on the second.

3. Round Out the First Paragraph

Generally, your cover letter opening paragraph is going to be two or four sentences long. If you didn’t get it into your opening sentence, use your second one to mention the job opening. That way, the hiring manager understands exactly why you reached out.

After that, it’s time to tap on some relevant skills. Use the job ad to identify high-priority capabilities. Next, treat them like keywords, using the exact same words and phrases to increase your odds of looking like a great match (and getting past an automated screener).

4. Quantify the Details

Numbers stand out visually in a cover letter. They actually draw the eye, as they aren’t as widely used as letters and most forms of punctuation.

By quantifying a detail or two, you create visual interest. Plus, you’re giving the hiring manager some helpful context about what you’ve achieved, something that can make you look like a stronger candidate.

3 Cover Letter Starting Samples

Sometimes, nothing helps bring some tips to life like a handy example or three. If you want to make sure you understand how to start a cover letter or are looking for some samples that you can use as a template, here are three cover letter introduction examples, each representing a different approach.

1. When You Were Referred

Dear Mr. John Doe:

During my 6 years as a sales professional, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of amazing professionals, including Jane Smith, a member of your team who recommended I apply for the Account Manager opening at ABC Inc. In my last position, I managed a portfolio of 25 enterprise-level clients while also boosting sales by 15 percent year-over-year during my tenure. I believe that my penchant for strategic thinking, as well as my strong negotiation and communication skills, make me an exceptional fit for your position.

2. Leading with an Achievement

Dear IT Department:

Over the past 4 years, I’ve focused my career on the world of project management, recently earning by Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Additionally, I personally oversaw five $50k+ development projects concurrently, each of which was finished on time and within budget. I feel that my experience as a leader, as well as my expertise in risk assessment and cost management, makes me an ideal fit for the Project Manager position at XYZ Corp.

3. Going the Excitement Route

Dear Hiring Manager:

When I saw the administrative assistant opening at ABC Company, I immediately knew I wanted to apply. As an office assistant with 6 years of experience, I have honed many key skills you’re hoping to find, including scheduling, report writing, and customer service. Last year, among 50 nominated colleagues, I was even recognized as the Employee of the Year, largely because of my passion and dedication to my work, something that I would love to bring to ABC Company.

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, you should now understand how to start a cover letter off in the best way possible. Use all of the tips above, and turn to the cover letter opening samples to serve as guides. That way, you can create an introduction that captures the hiring manager’s attention and keeps them reading, giving you a chance to showcase even more about why you’re such an awesome candidate.

And as always, Good luck!

best cover letter intro

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com.

His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others.

Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

About The Author

Mike simpson.

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Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

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best cover letter intro

How to Start a Cover Letter That Gets You Your Dream Job

Caroline Forsey

Published: May 22, 2024

Thousands of other job seekers are applying for your dream job. So, if you want to get hired, you must learn how to start a cover letter that makes you stand out from the crowd.

How to start a cover letter that lands you interviews.

As someone who’s written several cover letters — including the one that landed me my dream job at HubSpot — I’ve found that a compelling cover letter introduction makes the hiring team excited to know more about you. That’s something a resume alone won’t do for you.

Today, I’ll show you how to start a cover letter that hooks employers at first glance.

→ Click here to access 5 free cover letter templates [Free Download]

Table of Contents

Cover Letter Opening Lines

How to start a cover letter for a job, contact information checklist for a cover letter.

I took some time to study the best cover letter examples , and one thing stood out to me: They all have compelling opening sentences.

Sample cover letter with a compelling opening line.

To help you overcome writer’s block, I’ve put together some crisp cover letter opening lines so you can get your creative juices flowing.

  • It’s uncanny how much the job posting describes me.
  • Since [moment you were inspired], I have wanted to work in [company name].
  • In [year], I generated [ballpark figure] in revenue, [figure] leads, and nearly tripled content marketing ROI for my previous employer.
  • I knew I had to apply when I realized [company name] was hiring.
  • I’m passionate about [industry]. That’s why I was thrilled to learn of [company name]’s incredible breakthrough on [breakthrough details].
  • It’s likely that you don’t know me, but your client services team certainly does. Now, I’d like to join the vendor that made me a successful [type of profession].
  • With my strong oral communication skills, I can effectively engage with clients to understand their needs and provide tailored solutions, ultimately driving customer satisfaction and retention for your company.
  • I know you’re my current employer’s competitor. But why can’t we be friends?
  • My role as a [current position] has given me a ton of experience in [relevant skill]. Accordingly, I’ve learned that the best way to achieve success is through [important lesson you learned].

free cover letter templates

Featured resource: 5 Free Cover Letter Templates

Start off your cover letter (and finish it) with a bang with 5 Free Cover Letter Templates . These fill-in-the-blank templates can help you impress recruiters and land your next job interview.

best cover letter intro

5 Free Cover Letter Templates

Five fill-in-the-blank cover letter templates to help you impress recruiters.

  • Standard Cover Letter Template
  • Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
  • Data-Driven Cover Letter Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

The Dos of Starting a Cover Letter

I used to think my writing was the secret sauce that made my cover letters stand out. But over time, I realized there were other elements that really brought them to life.

Based on my experience, here are some things I recommend doing:

  • Indicate interest in the company. It’s obvious you’re interested in the job. But how interested are you in the company? I always go the extra mile by explaining why I’m drawn to the company — more on this later.
  • Stand out from the crowd. Show the hiring team what makes you better than other applicants. Here’s where I highlight my skills, passion, and accomplishments.
  • Dig into the company. Once you understand the company culture, goals, and values, you’ll know how to adjust your tone accordingly.
  • Keep your sentences short. I get it — you have a lot to write about yourself. Aim for the least amount of words, though. Three to four paragraphs is the magic number. Always works for me!
  • Address the hiring manager by name. Here’s your chance to cut through the “dear sir/ma’am” clutter in your salutation. LinkedIn and company websites always come in handy when I want to get a hiring manager’s name without contacting the company directly.

The Don’ts of Starting a Cover Letter

When writing a cover letter , here are some things to avoid if you want to land a job interview faster:

  • Avoid information dumps. I know you’re proud of your skills and accomplishments, and you should be. But instead of overwhelming the hiring manager with loads of information, highlight the value you bring to the company.
  • Don’t sound arrogant. There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance. So, instead of making bold claims about your qualifications, quantify your accomplishments and present yourself as an enthusiastic team player.
  • Don’t highlight your weaknesses. Instead of apologizing for a lack of specific qualifications, focus on your strengths and show how you’ll provide value to the company.
  • Don’t forget to proofread. If your cover letter needs a second pair of eyes, go for it. Typos and grammatical errors can portray incompetence, so normalize asking your friends and family for help.
  • Don’t copy and paste your resume. You shouldn’t list all your hard skills and experience in a cover letter — that’s what your resume is for. Instead, present unique selling points you wouldn’t include in your resume.
  • Don’t be cliché. Avoiding clichés involves describing what makes you unique . For example, instead of writing, “I have excellent oral skills,” explain how you’ve used those skills to accomplish something in a previous role. For instance, “My excellent oral skills and unique storytelling abilities helped me close 40% more deals and bag the Salesperson of the Year Award in my previous role.”

Key elements that make up every cover letter template.

  • Share a quantifiable accomplishment.
  • Mention something they don’t know.
  • Start with facts or news about the company.
  • Mention a mutual connection.
  • Share a lesson you’ve learned in your career.
  • Start with your mission statement.
  • Express passion for what you do.
  • State your unique value proposition.
  • Start with excitement about the company.
  • Start with an element of surprise.

A cover letter is a lot like a professional bio — it highlights your expertise and accomplishments. The difference is that while a bio is static, a cover letter is tailored to a specific role, which means you’ll need to impress the hiring manager from the get-go.

When starting a cover letter for a job, here are ten methods I recommend.

1. Share a quantifiable accomplishment.

how to start a cover letter example, open with accomplishment

It isn’t enough to mention you’re a “digital marketer with proven success in SEO strategies.” Proven success? Okay, where’s the proof?

Don’t expect the hiring manager to just take your word for it. Toss in some stats instead. How have you contributed to your company’s bottom line? Did your Facebook marketing campaign grow your social media following, or has your blog content increased organic traffic?

Unsurprisingly, while researching this topic, I found that I’m not the only one who believes in starting a cover letter with a quantifiable accomplishment.

Corissa Peterson , a certified resume writer at Resume Genius says, “When a candidate quantifies their accomplishments, it tells me that they get the importance of results and business impact. In our business, it’s all about the results.”

Sure, past success doesn’t guarantee future results, but employers love seeing numbers anyway — stats mean measurable performance.

“Over the past year as a digital marketing manager at [company name], I’ve generated over $25,000 in revenue, increased organic website traffic by 15%, and tripled our social media ROI.”

Why This Works

Employers want to see whether you’re capable of achieving long-term results. By including stats, this candidate goes straight to the point and gives employers just what they’re looking for.

Pro tip: Not all achievements are quantifiable. If you don’t have the work experience to report impressive numbers, I recommend a qualitative approach. Ever received positive feedback from your boss? That counts!

2. Start with something they don’t know.

how to start a cover letter example, open with new information

Hiring managers are busy people. So, I wouldn’t waste their time when applying for a job. That’s why I never state the obvious. They already know I’m writing to apply for the open position at their company, and my resume highlights everything they need to know about my job history and educational background. Why waste my opener on something so boring?

In my years of experience, I’ve learned it’s an instant rejection. So, I start my cover letters by offering something new, expanding on what the employer already knows about me, and presenting new details about what I can bring to the company.

“My resume will tell you I’m a certified content marketer. Your records will tell you I’ve interviewed for a few different [company name] positions in the past. What neither of these will tell you is that I’ve been working with your customer success team to build a new campaign strategy for my company — one of your newest (and largest) clients.”

The candidate steals the show with a unique intro that demonstrates they’re not interested in wasting anyone’s time. Not even theirs. This impressive tactic effuses the kind of confidence that makes other cover letters pale in contrast to yours.

3. Start with facts or news about the company.

how to start a cover letter example, open with company news

You can’t go wrong with company news and facts in your first sentence. These little add-ons show you’ve done your research about the company.

I love including company news in my cover letters because it allows me to incorporate my own values. For example, if a company I’m interested in wins an award for its high-tech solutions, I can sprinkle in a few words about how much I value technological advancements.

Besides facts and news, here are other things worth including in your opening sentence:

  • Recently released studies, surveys, or reports.
  • Prevailing challenges in the company.
  • Technologies the company is currently using.

Let’s see how to start a cover letter by mentioning a newsworthy event.

“When I saw that [company name] was featured in Fortune Magazine last month for its commitment to renewable energy and reducing waste in the workplace — all while experiencing triple-digit revenue growth — I was inspired.”

Not many job applicants will even think of including newsworthy events in their cover letters, so this candidate is off to a great start by mentioning the company’s most recent wins.

4. Mention a mutual connection.

how to start a cover letter example, open with a connection

If an internal employee suggested you apply for a role at their company, don’t be shy to include this in your cover letter opening line. However, you’ll need to get their permission first. I find this helpful because it lets me build a sense of familiarity with the hiring manager.

According to Gitnux Marketdata Report 2024 , 70% of employers share my sentiments; they believe referred employees fit better with their company culture.

That being said, be tactful with your approach. When mentioning a mutual contact, I always make sure it’s more than just a name drop but something that adds value to my cover letter.

For instance, I provide context by highlighting how my relationship with the person has prepared me for the role. And if there are any shared values that make me an ideal candidate, I mention them as well.

According to Jess Munday , the people and culture manager of Custom Neon , “the risks of mentioning someone include the possibility that the connection might not have a positive relationship with the hiring manager or may not endorse the candidate as strongly as assumed.”

To mitigate these risks, Jess suggests confirming the connection has a good professional relationship with the hiring manager.

“At the suggestion of my former colleague, [colleague’s name], I’m submitting my resume for the graphic designer position and [company name]. I worked with [colleague’s name] at [previous company name]. She referred me to this job because she believes my proficiency in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator makes me a great fit for the role.”

There was no beating around the bush here. The applicant seized the first opportunity to hook the hiring manager’s attention by mentioning a mutual contact. It’ll get them wondering how much of an asset the person is. That’s the kind of curiosity that gets you hired.

5. Share a lesson you’ve learned in your career.

how to start a cover letter example, open with a lesson

Learned something noteworthy in your previous job? Let’s hear it. Employers expect some level of expertise from their employees. Well, unless you’re applying for an entry-level job.

If you want to impress employers, spice up your cover letter opening line with a lesson you’ve learned in your career. Let’s see an example of this tip in action.

“As a [previous job position] with high-level management experience in the [industry], I’ve learned that the best way to boost conversions was to [biggest lesson you’ve learned].”

Notice how this candidate demonstrates their ability to learn and adapt? They sure are committed to professional development. That’s a surefire way to stand out from the rest!

6. Start with your mission statement.

how to start a cover letter example, open with a mission statement

I’m a big advocate of applying for a role that aligns with my values. So, I wouldn’t want to work in an organization whose vision and mission I don’t share. Our goals must align to a great extent. It helps me strike a healthy work-life balance that contributes to my overall job satisfaction.

If you don’t already have a personal mission statement , you might want to take some time to create one. I’d recommend checking out personal brand statement examples or LinkedIn profiles of industry leaders for inspiration.

Bryan J. Driscoll , owner of Bryan J. Driscoll, JD, LLC , says, “Opening with a personal mission statement […] isn’t about grandiose declarations of intent but about succinctly aligning one’s professional purpose with the organizational mission.”

Bryan further provides an example of how to start a cover letter using a personal mission statement.

“Driven by a commitment to foster inclusive work environments, I’ve dedicated my career to developing HR policies that not only comply with legislation but celebrate diversity — reflecting the company’s core values.”

The candidate doesn’t stop at mentioning what motivates them. They take things one step further by linking their motivation to the company’s core values. They’re essentially telling the hiring manager, “I know the importance of this role, so I won’t slack off on it.”

7. Express passion for what you do.

how to start a cover letter example, open with your value proposition

When researching this article, I was surprised to find that companies spend almost $4,700 to recruit new talent. So, I don’t blame recruiters for using strict screening methods to choose the right candidate for each role. And part of what makes you suitable is your passion.

Passionate employees are more likely to be content with their jobs and stay longer in their positions than discontent employees. In my case, I’ve been a seasoned writer at HubSpot for over six years, and my passion for storytelling is one of the things that keeps me going.

So, if I want to express passion for what I do, I’ll include at least one of these things in my cover letter:

  • What inspires me.
  • What I enjoy doing.
  • My career goals.

Then, I’ll link my passion to the role I'm applying for. The example below demonstrates how to achieve this.

“My proficiency in using design tools like Adobe Photoshop aside, what truly drives me is the power of telling stories through compelling visuals. I enjoy consuming complex information, breaking it down, and presenting it in a simple-to-understand, colorful visual that resonates with my target audience.”

Every job applicant will boast about their skills. Only a few, like this one, will truly express genuine passion for what they do. It’s a breath of fresh air that hiring managers will really appreciate.

8. State your unique value proposition.

Because hiring managers receive hundreds of job applications, they may spend less than 30 seconds reading each cover letter to find out how each candidate can provide value to the company. Why not make their job easier by writing your unique value proposition upfront?

It’s not enough to just state your hard skills. Instead, highlight how your skills, accomplishments, and experience make you a valuable asset to the organization.

George Moulos , managing director of Ecommerce Brokers , shares this sentiment. He says, “Simply listing skills in a cover letter can come across as generic and impersonal. Effectively highlighting skills involves connecting them to the specific needs and goals of the company.”

In the example below, George demonstrates how to start a cover letter by highlighting what you bring to the table.

“With my strong communication skills, I can effectively engage with clients to understand their needs and provide personalized solutions, ultimately driving customer satisfaction and retention for your company.”

I love how concise this intro is! Plus, the candidate shows they understand the requirements of the customer-facing role they’re applying for. Looks like a win to me.

9. Start with excitement for the company.

how to start a cover letter example, open with excitement

It makes sense to mention why you’re interested in the role you’re applying for. But to hiring managers, that’s just another bland section of a cover letter. Tell them why you’re excited to work for the company, and you’ll totally blow them away.

For instance, if I’m applying for a content writing role, I could say, “I’m excited to work at [company name] because I’m passionate about content writing, and I think my skills and experiences will be a good match.”

Sure, I’ve expressed my passion for the job, but I’ve done nothing to explain why the company specifically suits my interests. So, instead, I’ll want to highlight how my expertise relates to the company’s goals.

“When I discovered [company name] was hiring, I knew I had to apply. I’m excited to find a company where I can use my content writing expertise to generate organic traffic. I’ve gone through the feedback of past and current employees on Glassdoors, and your organizational culture is something I can seamlessly fit into.”

Employers want to hire people who are excited about working for them. I like how the candidate shows they appreciate the organizational culture, proving that it’s not just about the money — they’re genuinely interested in the company.

10. Start with an element of surprise.

how to start a cover letter example, open with surprise

Imagine if you had to flip through a hundred cover letters a day, and each one began with the same cliché phrase: “I’m writing to express interest in…”

Boring, right? It’ll be easy for such applications to get lost in the clutter. That’s exactly what you don’t want to happen in your job search.

Hiring teams need a break from cliché cover letter opening lines. So, you’ll be at an advantage if you quickly build intrigue from the first line. It spurs them to keep reading.

One thing I’ve learned, though, is that if you start your cover letter with an element of surprise, you need to follow it up with some concrete information.

“I like to think of myself as a round peg thriving in a square hole kind of world. What does this mean? It means that my diverse background makes me a well-rounded candidate who is able to comprehend, develop, and execute various functions in business.”

Finally, a cover letter where the job applicant’s personality shines through! That’s something you don’t see every day. When hiring managers feel like a real person is behind a job application, they’ll want to keep reading.

In some cases, you’ll submit your cover letter separately from your resume. So, you need to make sure the hiring manager can reach you if the need arises. That’s why I always double-check to confirm I’ve included my contact information and everything else that belongs in the header.

Here’s a checklist I swear by:

  • Your full name.
  • Your phone number.
  • Your email address.
  • Your location.
  • Name of the recipient.
  • Job title of the recipient.
  • Company name.
  • Company address.

After you’ve written a good cover letter, though, your resume can determine whether or not you make it to an interview. So, learning how to write a resume is just as important as polishing your cover letter writing skills.

If you want to boost your chances of getting your dream job , I’d recommend following our ultimate resume-writing checklist , straight from recruiters.

Crafting a Compelling Cover Letter

When making a career change, learning how to start a cover letter is a soft skill worth gaining. It can significantly boost your job search and help you land multiple interviews.

If you want to craft a great cover letter in half the time it’ll take to write one from scratch, the cover letter formats I provided earlier are all you need. Whether you want to write a skimmable cover letter or a data-driven one, you’ll find unique formats you can customize to get your dream job.

Remember the dos and don’ts I outlined? They’ll come in handy whether you write a cover letter from scratch or use a template. While there’s no hard and fast rule, following these tips will help your job application stand out from the rest.

Professional Cover Letter Templates

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Eight Cover Letter Greetings for Every Situation

Eight Cover Letter Greetings for Every Situation

7 Expert Cover Letter Tips to Get the Job

7 Expert Cover Letter Tips to Get the Job

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How to Start a Cover Letter - 4 Tips for the Perfect Opening

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Here you are, looking at a blank document that’s supposed to be your cover letter.

You have a general idea of what your cover letter is supposed to be about, but you’re having trouble writing those first few sentences.

We get you! Whether you’re writing your resume, an article, research paper, or a cover letter, getting started is sometimes the hardest part.

Lucky for you, though, there is a very straightforward way to get started with your cover letter, and in this article, we’re going to teach you how to do that!

Read on to learn how to effectively get started with your cover letter! 

  • What should your cover letter opening contain
  • What to include in your contact information
  • How to start a cover letter greeting
  • How to write an attention-grabbing opening paragraph
  • 6 Examples of how to start your cover letter

What Should Your Cover Letter Opening Contain

To successfully get started with writing your cover letter, you should include these 3 main elements:

  • The header with contact information. Includes your & the recipient’s contact information.
  • The greeting to the manager. This is where you address the cover letter by greeting the hiring manager, department, or company.
  • An attention-grabbing opening paragraph. The opening paragraph of your cover letter is your chance to grab the recruiters’ attention and get them to read the rest of your cover letter.

Below, we’ll teach you how to do each of them in the right way.

If you’re applying for an entry-level job and wondering what’s the best way to write your cover letter, head over to our article on entry-level cover letters . 

What to Include in Your Contact Information 

As we mentioned, the first thing to add to your cover letter opening is your contact information. 

The header’s essential information include the following: 

  • Full name and professional title (if applicable)
  • Phone number
  • Email (a professional email, that is)

In some cases, you can also add the following: 

  • Social media profiles. By this, we mean profiles that are relevant to the position. This includes websites like LinkedIn , GitHub (for developers), or Medium (for writers).
  • Personal website. If you have a personal website you’ve created for your industry (i.e. you’re a writer with a blog), then make sure to include the link to your website on your cover letter.

After you’ve added your information, you should add the date and continue with the recipient’s name and address. So:

  • Manager’s name
  • Manager’s job title
  • Company’s name
  • Company’s street address

Once you’ve done this, here’s what your cover letter will look like:

how to start a cover letter

And just like the essential DOs, there are also some things you should NOT include in your cover letter header: 

  • Unprofessional email. It’s going to be difficult for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is something you coined when you were still a teenager (i.e. [email protected] ). 

How to Start a Cover Letter Greeting

After you’ve properly listed your contact information, it’s time to start writing your cover letter. 

The first thing this includes is addressing the cover letter to the hiring manager. 

Yeap, that’s right! And by greeting the hiring manager, department, or company, we don’t mean using the old-fashioned “Dear Sir/Madam,” or “To whom it may concern.”

Instead, you want to show your future employer that you’ve done your fair share of research about the job/company and that you’re not just using one cover letter template to apply for ten jobs. After all, one of the most common mistakes job seekers do (84% of them!) is not finding the hiring manager’s name and personalizing the application.

So, make sure to address the hiring manager that’s going to review your manager directly. 

Now, there are a few ways you can do that. 

The simplest - and most obvious - option is to look up the head of the department you’re applying to on LinkedIn. 

Let’s assume that you’re applying as a Communications Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably the Head of Communications or the Chief Communications Officer. 

After a quick LinkedIn lookup, you can probably find out who that person is (that’s me!). 

linkedin-search-example

And just like that, you have your hiring manager! Piece of cake!

Not a fan of LinkedIn? You can also check the company’s website and look for the “Team” or " About Us " page.

If none of these work, consider using one of the following greetings when you’re addressing the hiring manager: 

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager,
  • Dear Hiring Manager, 
  • Dear [Department] Team,
  • Dear Director of [Department],
  • Dear [Company Name] Hiring Team

How you conclude your cover letter is just as important as how you start it. To learn how to ace yours, head over to our guide on how to end a cover letter . 

job search masterclass novoresume

How to Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Paragraph

The last, but the most important, part of your cover letter opening is your opening paragraph. 

You want your opening paragraph to be engaging and attention-grabbing to ensure that the hiring manager will continue reading the cover letter.

After all, recruiters receive hundreds of applications daily. Obviously, they can’t spend all their working hours reading cover letters, so, instead, they simply skim your cover letter in a handful of seconds, and if it catches their attention, they re-read it more thoroughly.

And the part of the cover letter that helps catch their attention is usually the opening paragraph! 

Compare these 2 cover letter openers and judge for yourself which one you’d rather read:

Dear Mr. Brown,

My name is Anna and I’d like to help your company exceed its sales target as a Sales Manager. My 5-year experience as a Sales Representative at XYZ Inc. has given me substantial skills in sales. During my last year working there, we beat KPIs by around 50%. I believe that my strong track record in sales makes me the perfect candidate for the position. 

Hello, my name is Mary and I am interested in working as a Sales Manager for your company. I have 6 years of experience working as a Sales Manager for Company X, so I think I’m a good fit for the position. 

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the first example, it’s not all that imaginative. Chances are, every other applicant is going to use a similar opening statement.

The second example, on the other hand, is more customized and personal, helping the recruiter understand why Anna is a good candidate for the role.

In this section we’ll give you all the tips & tricks you need to ace your cover letter introduction:

Tip #1. Show Passion and Commitment

Showing the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the job will instantly boost your chances of getting hired. It’s not a secret that committed employees are more engaged and, therefore, more productive.

After all, research shows that engaged employees are 17% more productive than their peers.  

So, it’s only logical that the hiring manager will greatly appreciate a candidate who shows commitment and enthusiasm. 

As such, these are both qualities that you want to showcase right from the start of your cover letter. Here’s an example of how you can do that:

I have been immersed with human rights since I specialized in Conflict Resolution and started working with Amnesty International. During my 5 years of experience in the field, however, I haven’t seen any organization do the work that you’ve accomplished with human rights. Your dedication makes me want to work for your organization and put my skills to use for the work you do. 

Tip #2. Mention a Mutual Contact (if Applicable)

If someone referred you to the position, the opening paragraph of your cover letter is a great place to mention that. 

Referrals are key to securing an interview, but at the same time they’re not something you can mention on your resume, so take the opportunity to let the recruiter know at the start of your cover letter. 

The idea is that if someone the hiring manager knows recommended you for the position, your skills and qualifications immediately become more credible.

I was excited to learn about this job opportunity from John Doe, who has worked at your firm for five years. John and I worked on an architectural project together for over one year and he thought I’d be a good fit for the role at Company X. 

Tip #3. Prove You Have Researched The Company 

A generic cover letter will not give you many points in the eyes of your potential employers. 

The recruiter reading your cover letter wants to know that you’re excited to be applying for that particular company , and you’re not just applying to dozens of jobs randomly, hoping that one will stick. 

As such, it’s very important to do some research about the company you’re applying for, and in the cover letter, mention why you’re a good culture fit. 

I have always admired the work that your organization does with vulnerable communities. I have always been passionate about social justice and I think the mechanisms you have in place to empower those in need are really making an impact. I believe my previous experience as a social worker could bring value to your mission.

Tip #4. Lead With An Achievement

There’s no better way to grab attention than to lead with an achievement. It immediately gives you credibility and makes the hiring manager curious to read more about you. 

To make sure your achievements stand out, though, do this:

  • Whenever possible, make your achievements as quantifiable as possible. “Improved sales by 20% in 2 months” is more impressive than “improve sales.”
  • Show how your past achievement is relevant or can add value to your current position. 

As a Public Relations representative for Company XYZ, I worked with the press to improve its reputation and public image. This translated into a 40% increase in customer satisfaction and better public reception of the company’s values and identity. I am eager to yield the same results as the Head of Communications in your organization. 

Tip #5. Start With a Powerful Belief

A short and impactful belief statement that represents your work ethic and professional values is another great way to attract the recruiter’s attention. Obviously, you get bonus points if said belief statement aligns with the company’s goals and objectives. 

However, don’t just copy-paste the company’s mission statement to make a good impression. Rather, use your own words and beliefs to sound more genuine and original.

As a teacher, I believe every child should have access to quality education early on. This is the only way to ensure future generations’ equity and the best chance we have at improving our society. I admire your institution’s commitment to enabling quality education in the most remote areas of our country and I’d be honored to contribute to those efforts by becoming a teacher here. 

Tip #6. Be Direct  

Oftentimes, beating around the bush gets you nowhere. So, a great strategy to follow when you start writing your cover letter is to just be direct about the position you’re applying for and the reasons you believe make you the perfect fit for the job. 

There’s another upside to this. Recruiters receive hundreds of applications daily - sometimes, even for different positions within the same department - so it helps them to know what position you’re applying for early on, as well as what exact qualifications make you the perfect fit for the job. 

I’d like to officially apply for the marketing manager position at Company X. Over the past 7 years, I’ve worked with 6 clients, helping them drive more than $2,000,000 worth of sales. I am confident that my marketing skills and proven sales results make me a perfect match for the position. 

Match your cover letter with your resume to make a better impression on the recruiter and reinforce your personal brand !

matching resume and cover letter

Key Takeaways 

And that’s a wrap! 

Hopefully, you’re now more confident about how you can start your cover letter!

Now, let’s do a small recap of the most important points we covered in the article:

  • Your cover letter opening should contain a header with contact information, a greeting to the hiring manager, and an attention-grabbing opening paragraph.
  • Your header should include your contact information, such as your name, phone number, and professional email, the date, as well as the contact information of the recipient.
  • You should try to find the hiring manager’s full name in order to greet them. If you can’t find their name or title anywhere, then you should greet them using Dear Hiring Manager , Dear [Department] Team , or something similar.
  • The opening paragraph of your cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and make them want to read your cover letter. Some tips to write an attention-grabbing opening paragraph include being direct, starting with a strong belief statement, or leading with a relevant achievement.

Related Readings 

  • How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024
  • Cover Letter Tips 
  • Cover Letter Mistakes
  • Do I Need a Cover Letter?

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How to write a great cover letter in 2024: tips and structure

young-woman-checking-her-cover-lette

A cover letter is a personalized letter that introduces you to a potential employer, highlights your qualifications, and explains why you're a strong fit for a specific job.

Hate or love them, these brief documents allow job seekers to make an impression and stand out from the pile of other applications. Penning a thoughtful cover letter shows the hiring team you care about earning the position.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to write a cover letter — and a great one, at that.

What is a cover letter and why does it matter?

A professional cover letter is a one-page document you submit alongside your CV or resume as part of a job application. Typically, they’re about half a page or around 150–300 words.

An effective cover letter doesn’t just rehash your CV; it’s your chance to highlight your proudest moments, explain why you want the job, and state plainly what you bring to the table.

Show the reviewer you’re likable, talented, and will add to the company’s culture . You can refer to previous jobs and other information from your CV, but only if it helps tell a story about you and your career choices .

What 3 things should you include in a cover letter?

A well-crafted cover letter can help you stand out to potential employers. To make your cover letter shine, here are three key elements to include:

1. Personalization

Address the hiring manager or recruiter by name whenever possible. If the job posting doesn't include a name, research to find out who will be reviewing applications. Personalizing your cover letter shows that you've taken the time to tailor your application to the specific company and role.

2. Highlight relevant achievements and skills

Emphasize your most relevant skills , experiences, and accomplishments that directly relate to the job you're applying for. Provide specific examples of how your skills have benefited previous employers and how they can contribute to the prospective employer's success. Use quantifiable achievements , such as improved efficiency, cost savings, or project success, to demonstrate your impact.

3. Show enthusiasm and fit

Express your enthusiasm for the company and the position you're applying for. Explain why you are interested in this role and believe you are a good fit for the organization. Mention how your values, goals, and skills align with the company's mission and culture. Demonstrating that you've done your research can make a significant impression.

What do hiring managers look for in a cover letter?

Employers look for several key elements in a cover letter. These include:

Employers want to see that your cover letter is specifically tailored to the position you are applying for. It should demonstrate how your skills, experiences, and qualifications align with the job requirements.

Clear and concise writing

A well-written cover letter is concise, easy to read, and error-free. Employers appreciate clear and effective communication skills , so make sure your cover letter showcases your ability to express yourself effectively.

Demonstrated knowledge of the company

Employers want to see that you are genuinely interested in their organization. Mention specific details about the company, such as recent achievements or projects, to show that you are enthusiastic about joining their team.

Achievements and accomplishments

Highlight your relevant achievements and accomplishments that demonstrate your qualifications for the position. Use specific examples to showcase your skills and show how they can benefit the employer.

Enthusiasm and motivation

Employers want to hire candidates who are excited about the opportunity and motivated to contribute to the company's success. Express your enthusiasm and passion for the role and explain why you are interested in working for the company.

Professionalism

A cover letter should be professional in tone and presentation. Use formal language, address the hiring manager appropriately, and follow standard business letter formatting.

excited-woman-in-her-office-how-to-write-a-cover-letter

How do you structure a cover letter?

A well-structured cover letter follows a specific format that makes it easy for the reader to understand your qualifications and enthusiasm for the position. Here's a typical structure for a cover letter:

Contact information

Include your name, address, phone number, and email address at the top of the letter. Place your contact information at the beginning so that it's easy for the employer to reach you.

Employer's contact information

Opening paragraph, middle paragraph(s), closing paragraph, complimentary close, additional contact information.

Repeat your contact information (name, phone number, and email) at the end of the letter, just in case the employer needs it for quick reference.

Remember to keep your cover letter concise and focused. It should typically be no more than one page in length. Proofread your letter carefully to ensure it is free from spelling and grammatical errors. Tailor each cover letter to the specific job application to make it as relevant and impactful as possible.

How to write a good cover letter (with examples)

The best letters are unique, tailored to the job description, and written in your voice — but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a job cover letter template.

Great cover letters contain the same basic elements and flow a certain way. Take a look at this cover letter structure for ref erence while you construct your own.

1. Add a header and contact information

While reading your cover letter, the recruiter shouldn’t have to look far to find who wrote it. Your document should include a basic heading with the following information:

  • Pronouns (optional)
  • Location (optional)
  • Email address
  • Phone number (optional)
  • Relevant links, such as your LinkedIn profile , portfolio, or personal website (optional)

You can pull this information directly from your CV. Put it together, and it will look something like this:

Christopher Pike

San Francisco, California

[email protected]

Alternatively, if the posting asks you to submit your cover letter in the body of an email, you can include this information in your signature. For example:

Warm regards,

Catherine Janeway

Bloomington, Indiana

[email protected]

(555) 999 - 2222

man-using-his-laptop-while-smiling-how-to-write-a-cover-letter

2. Include a personal greeting

Always begin your cover letter by addressing the hiring manager — preferably by name. You can use the person’s first and last name. Make sure to include a relevant title, like Dr., Mr., or Ms. For example, “Dear Mr. John Doe.”

Avoid generic openings like “To whom it may concern,” “Dear sir or madam,” or “Dear hiring manager.” These introductions sound impersonal — like you’re copy-pasting cover letters — and can work against you in the hiring process.

Be careful, though. When using someone’s name, you don’t want to use the wrong title or accidentally misgender someone. If in doubt, using only their name is enough. You could also opt for a gender-neutral title, like Mx.

Make sure you’re addressing the right person in your letter — ideally, the person who’s making the final hiring decision. This isn’t always specified in the job posting, so you may have to do some research to learn the name of the hiring manager.

3. Draw them in with an opening story

The opening paragraph of your cover letter should hook the reader. You want it to be memorable, conversational, and extremely relevant to the job you’re pursuing. 

There’s no need for a personal introduction — you’ve already included your name in the heading. But you should make reference to the job you’re applying for. A simple “Thank you for considering my application for the role of [job title] at [company],” will suffice.

Then you can get into the “Why” of your job application. Drive home what makes this specific job and this company so appealing to you. Perhaps you’re a fan of their products, you’re passionate about their mission, or you love their brand voice. Whatever the case, this section is where you share your enthusiasm for the role.

Here’s an example opening paragraph. In this scenario, you’re applying for a digital marketing role at a bicycle company:

“Dear Mr. John Doe,

Thank you for considering my application for the role of Marketing Coordinator at Bits n’ Bikes.

My parents bought my first bike at one of your stores. I’ll never forget the freedom I felt when I learned to ride it. My father removed my training wheels, and my mom sent me barrelling down the street. You provide joy to families across the country — and I want to be part of that.”

4. Emphasize why you’re best for the job

Your next paragraphs should be focused on the role you’re applying to. Highlight your skill set and why you’re a good fit for the needs and expectations associated with the position. Hiring managers want to know what you’ll bring to the job, not just any role.

Start by studying the job description for hints. What problem are they trying to solve with this hire? What skills and qualifications do they mention first or more than once? These are indicators of what’s important to the hiring manager.

Search for details that match your experience and interests. For example, if you’re excited about a fast-paced job in public relations, you might look for these elements in a posting:

  • They want someone who can write social media posts and blog content on tight deadlines
  • They value collaboration and input from every team member
  • They need a planner who can come up with strong PR strategies

Highlight how you fulfill these requirements:

“I’ve always been a strong writer. From blog posts to social media, my content pulls in readers and drives traffic to product pages. For example, when I worked at Bits n’ Bikes, I developed a strategic blog series about bike maintenance that increased our sales of spare parts and tools by 50% — we could see it in our web metrics.

Thanks to the input of all of our team members, including our bike mechanics, my content delivered results.”

5. End with a strong closing paragraph and sign off gracefully

Your closing paragraph is your final chance to hammer home your enthusiasm about the role and your unique ability to fill it. Reiterate the main points you explained in the body paragraphs and remind the reader of what you bring to the table.

You can also use the end of your letter to relay other important details, like whether you’re willing to relocate for the job.

When choosing a sign-off, opt for a phrase that sounds professional and genuine. Reliable options include “Sincerely” and “Kind regards.”

Here’s a strong closing statement for you to consider:

“I believe my enthusiasm, skills, and work experience as a PR professional will serve Bits n’ Bikes very well. I would love to meet to further discuss my value-add as your next Director of Public Relations. Thank you for your consideration. I hope we speak soon.

man-reading-carefully-how-to-write-a-cover-letter

Tips to write a great cover letter that compliments your resume

When writing your own letter, try not to copy the example excerpts word-for-word. Instead, use this cover letter structure as a baseline to organize your ideas. Then, as you’re writing, use these extra cover letter tips to add your personal touch:

  • Keep your cover letter different from your resume : Your cover letter should not duplicate the information on your resume. Instead, it should provide context and explanations for key points in your resume, emphasizing how your qualifications match the specific job you're applying for.
  • Customize your cover letter . Tailor your cover letter for each job application. Address the specific needs of the company and the job posting, demonstrating that you've done your homework and understand their requirements.
  • Show enthusiasm and fit . Express your enthusiasm for the company and position in the cover letter. Explain why you are interested in working for this company and how your values, goals, and skills align with their mission and culture.
  • Use keywords . Incorporate keywords from the job description and industry terms in your cover letter. This can help your application pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS) and demonstrate that you're well-versed in the field.
  • Keep it concise . Your cover letter should be succinct and to the point, typically no more than one page. Focus on the most compelling qualifications and experiences that directly support your application.
  • Be professional . Maintain a professional tone and structure in your cover letter. Proofread it carefully to ensure there are no errors.
  • Address any gaps or concerns . If there are gaps or concerns in your resume, such as employment gaps or a change in career direction, briefly address them in your cover letter. Explain any relevant circumstances and how they have shaped your qualifications and determination.
  • Provide a call to action . Conclude your cover letter with a call to action, inviting the employer to contact you for further discussion. Mention that you've attached your resume for their reference.
  • Follow the correct format . Use a standard cover letter format like the one above, including your contact information, a formal salutation, introductory and closing paragraphs, and your signature. Ensure that it complements your resume without redundancy.
  • Pick the right voice and tone . Try to write like yourself, but adapt to the tone and voice of the company. Look at the job listing, company website, and social media posts. Do they sound fun and quirky, stoic and professional, or somewhere in-between? This guides your writing style.
  • Tell your story . You’re an individual with unique expertise, motivators, and years of experience. Tie the pieces together with a great story. Introduce how you arrived at this point in your career, where you hope to go , and how this prospective company fits in your journey. You can also explain any career changes in your resume.
  • Show, don’t tell . Anyone can say they’re a problem solver. Why should a recruiter take their word for it if they don’t back it up with examples? Instead of naming your skills, show them in action. Describe situations where you rose to the task, and quantify your success when you can.
  • Be honest . Avoid highlighting skills you don’t have. This will backfire if they ask you about them in an interview. Instead, shift focus to the ways in which you stand out.
  • Avoid clichés and bullet points . These are signs of lazy writing. Do your best to be original from the first paragraph to the final one. This highlights your individuality and demonstrates the care you put into the letter.
  • Proofread . Always spellcheck your cover letter. Look for typos, grammatical errors, and proper flow. We suggest reading it out loud. If it sounds natural rolling off the tongue, it will read naturally as well.

woman-writing-on-her-notebook-how-to-write-a-cover-letter

Common cover letter writing FAQs

How long should a cover letter be.

A cover letter should generally be concise and to the point. It is recommended to keep it to one page or less, focusing on the most relevant information that highlights your qualifications and fits the job requirements.

Should I include personal information in a cover letter?

While it's important to introduce yourself and provide your contact information, avoid including personal details such as your age, marital status, or unrelated hobbies. Instead, focus on presenting your professional qualifications and aligning them with the job requirements.

Can I use the same cover letter for multiple job applications?

While it may be tempting to reuse a cover letter, it is best to tailor each cover letter to the specific job you are applying for. This allows you to highlight why you are a good fit for that particular role and show genuine interest in the company.

Do I need to address my cover letter to a specific person?

Whenever possible, it is advisable to address your cover letter to a specific person, such as the hiring manager or recruiter. If the job posting does not provide this information, try to research and find the appropriate contact. If all else fails, you can use a generic salutation such as "Dear Hiring Manager."

Should I include references in my cover letter?

It is generally not necessary to include references in your cover letter. Save this information for when the employer explicitly requests it. Instead, focus on showcasing your qualifications and achievements that make you a strong candidate for the position.

It’s time to start writing your stand-out cover letter

The hardest part of writing is getting started. 

Hopefully, our tips gave you some jumping-off points and confidence . But if you’re really stuck, looking at cover letter examples and resume templates will help you decide where to get started. 

There are numerous sample cover letters available online. Just remember that you’re a unique, well-rounded person, and your cover letter should reflect that. Using our structure, you can tell your story while highlighting your passion for the role. 

Doing your research, including strong examples of your skills, and being courteous is how to write a strong cover letter. Take a breath , flex your fingers, and get typing. Before you know it, your job search will lead to a job interview.

If you want more personalized guidance, a specialized career coach can help review, edit, and guide you through creating a great cover letter that sticks.

Ace your job search

Explore effective job search techniques, interview strategies, and ways to overcome job-related challenges. Our coaches specialize in helping you land your dream job.

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

3 cover letter examples to help you catch a hiring manager’s attention

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  • Cover Letter Intro

How to Write an Effective Cover Letter Intro

Your cover letter intro is your first opportunity to grab the reader's attention and generate serious interest in your job application.

How to write a cover letter intro plus examples

We show you how to start a cover letter by introducing yourself with conviction while shining a spotlight on the qualifications that make you an excellent fit for the job opportunity.

There are a number of ways to do this, we walk you through the process of developing a great introduction to your cover letter and provide effective examples of how to begin your cover letter.

5 key steps to write a good cover letter intro

1. Address the letter to someone by name

Get your cover letter off to the right start by ensuring your letter is addressed to an individual. Contact the company to get the full name, correct spelling and title of the person responsible for reviewing your resume.

Addressing your cover letter to "The Hiring Manager" or "To Whom it May Concern" immediately creates a disconnect between you and the reader.

2. Specify the job you are applying for

The hiring manager may be screening candidates for a number of different job openings so it is important to be explicit about the job you are applying for in your cover letter introduction.

3. Convey enthusiasm for the job

Show commitment from the word go by briefly articulating why you are excited about the job opportunity.

4. Highlight your suitability

Find out as much as you can about the job and company before writing your cover letter. You can then concisely introduce yourself as a well qualified candidate before going on to specify your relevant skills and experience in the body of your cover letter.

5. Tailor your cover letter intro for each job

Your introduction should be targeted to the specific job opportunity and company.

Good examples of how to introduce yourself in a cover letter

Specify the job opportunity and show your enthusiasm

Your online job posting regarding the ..... position immediately caught my eye and your company name caught my attention

Your recent job posting for the .....  position has captured my serious interest

I read  your job description for the .... position with great enthusiasm

I was excited to read your ..... job posting

I was very pleased to learn of your need for a .....

Introduce yourself with conviction

I believe that I am particularly well qualified for this position, please allow me to highlight my skills as they relate to your requirements...

I believe that my qualifications and experience, as presented below, combine to create an excellent match for the position...

I am convinced that I have the  skills and expertise to successfully fulfill your job needs...

The enclosed resume details my proven track record in a similar position, some key points you may find relevant include:

My previous work experience has equipped me with the skills and knowledge you are looking for,  in particular ....

This position will utilize my extensive experience in ....

I am confident that I will make an immediate and valuable contribution to your company, my credentials for this job include:

As a results-driven professional I believe I am well suited to this job, highlights of my achievements include the following :

5 cover letter intro examples that get the results you want

Here are 5 effective ways to start your cover letter when you are submitting a job application..

1. Introduce yourself in a professional manner

Let the employer know you are a serious and well qualified candidate for the job by introducing yourself in a direct and straightforward way.

best cover letter intro

2. Introduce yourself with enthusiasm and conviction

Emphasize  your genuine interest in the position and the company and state your confidence that you are an excellent candidate for the job.

best cover letter intro

3. Focus on your suitability for the job opportunity

Why are you a good match for the job? Let the company know what you can offer them in this position.

best cover letter intro

4. Articulate your passion for the job

Employers seek individuals who show genuine passion for the work they are doing. Combined with the right skills, passion is a top driver of success in a job.

best cover letter intro

5. What makes you the best candidate for the job? 

Use your cover letter intro to differentiate yourself from the competition. Start with a relevant and impressive accomplishment or skill that puts you ahead of the pack.

best cover letter intro

Once you have grabbed the reader's attention with a powerful cover letter intro, the next step is to maintain interest and create the desire to learn more about you.

This is achieved in the body of your cover letter which brings attention to the skills, knowledge, expertise, achievements, qualifications and experience that make you a successful candidate for this specific position. It is a concise and compelling summary of what makes you the right job candidate.

You can use the structure of this cover letter template to help you with this next step.

In addition we have over 50 sample cover letters for different jobs that you can easily adapt for your own use.

Closing your cover letter

How you close your cover letter is as important as how you start it.

It is essential to end with the right message and ensure the reader takes action and continues on to read your resume with serious interest.

Find out how to close a cover letter strongly with good examples.

Everything you need to write a powerful cover letter

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Gain a good understanding of the job requirements

In order to write an effective cover letter intro it is essential that you have a clear understanding of the job opportunity. Use these complete job descriptions to help you with this.

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How to Start a Cover Letter: 7 Great Cover Letter Openings (+Examples)

Kaja Jurčišinová — Staff Writer

Beginnings are always hard. The same goes for writing a cover letter. You know exactly what you want to say, but you’re not sure how to start a cover letter.

Generally speaking,  the cover letter intro is a place where you should:

  • introduce yourself in detail
  • explain why the job is exciting for you
  • show you’re a great fit for the position

Of course, there’s no single right way to do it. That means that you’ve got multiple options and can get a little creative.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional cover letter introduction, or something more unconventional, you’ll find it in this article — together with a quick guide and cover letter openings examples.

Alternatively, you can also just watch this quick video guide on how to write a cover letter below.

Successful cover letter introductions (examples)

We’ve gathered some really good opening lines from successful cover letters that got people hired in well-known companies such as HubSpot, Siemens, or Lush:

HubSpot Director of Business Development Cover Letter Sample

cover letter opening sample

Account Executive Cover Letter Intro Sample

cover letter opening sample

Sales Associate at LUSH Cover Letter Intro Example

Cover letter opening sample

Siemens SCADA Engineer Cover Letter Intro Template

Cover letter opening sample

Warner Bros. Public Relations Intern Cover Letter Example

Cover letter opening sample WB

Do you want to know how to craft such a strong cover letter opening yourself? Follow a quick guide below.

And if you prefer to see more examples from hired professionals or find a job-specific cover letter example for your industry, visit our  cover letter library .

Intro paragraph: a quick guide on how to start a cover letter

When it comes to cover letter openings, rule number one is that you should always start your cover letter in a way that grabs a recruiter’s attention from the get go.

On the other hand, be careful and stay professional. Don’t overdo it.

So the question is — when should you pick a standard opening paragraph and when to go with something more creative?

Well, it all depends on a particular job and the company culture .

Take time to research each company where you’re applying for a job and identify its tone of voice.

Are they formal or casual? Look at the job description, their website, and social media accounts and you’ll be able to get the right idea.

Then in your cover letter opening, follow at least one of these 7 main principles :

what to include in your cover letter opening

1. Be direct

Employers are busy people who usually don’t have time to read long texts or overused  cover letter phrases . What they want to know is simply whether you’re a good fit. Why not make it easier for them and be specific from the very beginning?

Let them know what position you’re applying for and use your cover letter opening to highlight years of experience in your field and any relevant  hard or soft skills   you bring to the table.

It’s a universal, yet effective answer to how to start a cover letter.

Cover Letter Intro Example #1

I am very interested in the Sales Specialist opportunity at [Company XYZ] that was advertised on LinkedIn. I am a hard-working and dedicated individual with over two years of extensive industry experience, a Business & Management degree from McGill University, and a strong determination to meet and exceed all business goals and objectives.

2. Respond to the company’s needs

Employers want to know how you can contribute to their company. The first paragraph of the cover letter is a great place to demonstrate that.

Have a look at the job offer, go over the company’s needs, and pick those that you can easily relate to.

Then take a look at your achievements and impressive skills, and use them to illustrate how you can bring value to the new job. Ideally by mentioning any quantifiable results from your previous jobs.

Cover Letter Intro Example #2

Over the course of last year, I more than doubled [Company XYZ]’s Twitter followers and ran two successful Instagram ad campaigns that generated $35K+ in revenue. I’d love to bring my expertise in organically expanding the social reach and delivering ROI to the social media manager position at [Company XYZ].

3. Include company facts and news

Companies want to see that you’re interested in them and their industry. If you show that you already know about them and have done your research, you can make a great first impression.

Browse their website and scour the internet for related news articles. They can provide you with interesting facts that pertain to your role.

It can be anything — a specific event, fact, notable statistic, or an award that the company has recently received.

Cover Letter Intro Example #3

When I saw that [Company XYZ] was featured in Fortune Magazine last month for its commitment to renewable energy and reducing waste in the workplace, I was truly inspired. With my track record of reducing costs by over 30% and promoting sustainable technologies, I’m excited about the opportunity to take on the account executive role to expand your company’s growth and work towards a greener future.

4. Highlight a mutual connection

Referrals can work like magic when it comes to getting invited to a  job interview . So if someone has recommended you for a position or you know anyone at the company who can vouch for you, mention their name right away.

After reading your cover letter, recruiters will most likely want to learn why your referrer thought you’d be a good fit. If nothing else, it will make recruiters pay attention to the rest of your cover letter.

Cover Letter Intro Example #4

I was excited to learn of this job opportunity from my former colleague, Lucy May. We’ve worked closely together for several years, most recently on a complex data analysis project at [Company XYZ]. She advised me to apply as she thought I’d be a good match for this position on your team.

5. Show passion for what you do

Employers love job candidates who are enthusiastic about what they do. These candidates tend to perform better and are more dedicated to their roles.

So if you’re all hyped up about your job, don’t hesitate to infuse your cover letter with a couple of sentences demonstrating your excitement about what you’re doing.

Cover Letter Intro Example #5

I knew I had a knack for writing ever since I was the main editor of our high school magazine. Thanks to my 15+ years of experience, I’ve transformed my passion into a fashion blog with 30K+ monthly readers, featured articles on Time and Cosmopolitan that have garnered over 50K views, and a writer’s workshop I founded for young up-and-coming writers.

6. Open with a relevant accomplishment

Hiring managers like achievers. If you’ve accomplished something noteworthy while with your previous employer, there’s a good chance you can bring the same value to your next job too.

What’s more, it shows that you’re an expert in your field.

If you have any special skills or accomplishments that will make you stand out from other job candidates, mention them right away in your cover letter opening.

However, try to make no general claims without providing evidence. Support your arguments with real numbers and statistics.

Cover Letter Intro Example #6

Over the past year as digital marketing manager at [Company XYZ], I’ve generated $50k+ in revenue, increased organic traffic to our blog by 18%, and almost tripled our social media ROI.

7. Use humor and creativity

Recruiters are human beings, too (shocking). In a pile of boring resumes and repetitive  cover letters and motivation letters , they may find a good joke, juicy pun, or funny opening line a nice refreshing break.

It can even be a reason to call you up for an interview.

So if the company seems to have an easygoing vibe, use humor to bring attention to your skills or relevant personal traits that are needed for the position you’re targeting.

Cover Letter Intro Example #7

Before I flood you with all the reasons why I’m going to be your next writer, I would like to tell you a little about myself. I didn’t learn to hold a pencil until I was about six years old, which made everyone think I’d never pen a single letter. And now here I am, bidding to become your next Shakespeare.

Cover letter beginning: What other things to include?

Now that you saw some great examples of cover letter openings, you may wonder what else can you do to perfect your cover letter introduction.

Well, there are a few other key elements that a good cover letter beginning should include :

  • contact information both for you and the company
  • headline (optional)
  • personalized greeting

To know where to put this information, just scroll down.

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This is the place for your and your company’s contact information.

Make sure that right at the top of the page you list your contact details such as:

  • phone number

Optionally, you can also include:

  • your professional title
  • date of birth
  • current date
  • personal website/LinkedIn

Additionally, never forget to add company-related information . You should always include the manager’s recruiter’s name (if it was made available to you), job title department, the name of the company, and their address.

Left align all of this information. Or make it easy for yourself and choose a pre-designed  cover letter template   and only fill in the details.

Headline (optional)

You don’t have to include it, but it can help you grab the hiring manager’s attention.

In your cover letter headline, you can use numbers, questions, or interesting adjectives .

It can be something like “5 Ways I Can Help You Improve Your Company’s Marketing.”

Alternatively, you can just state the name of the position you’re applying for.

how to address a cover letter

Salutation (or how to address a cover letter)

Try to avoid using “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” . This form of address, while correct, has become so overused it won’t help you stand out at all.

Instead, try to research the hiring manager’s name online . Look at the job posting, and check the company’s website or  LinkedIn . (Did you know that you can turn your LinkedIn profile into a great resume  with just one click?)

Alternatively, you can address it to the whole team or HR.

Generally, stick to these rules:

  • How to address a cover letter to a recruiter or hiring manager:  The best practice is to use a personalized greeting in the following form: “Dear [first name]” or “Dear Mr./Mrs. [last name]” for formal companies.
  • How to address a cover letter to multiple recipients: If you’re addressing your cover letter to the entire team or human resources, you can use “Dear [name of the company/department] Team” or “Dear Human Resources” .
  • How to address a cover letter to an unknown person: If you fail to find the hiring manager’s name and don’t want to address your cover letter to an entire team or HR, use “Dear Hiring Manager” , or “Dear Recruitment Officer” .

After the salutations, you can continue with an attention-grabbing intro paragraph.

HR expert tip: Christy’s word of advice

“In general, a traditional formal cover letter is the safest bet. But there are times when you can totally throw that advice out the window and have a bit of fun putting your personality on paper! Take a look at how the company brands its ‘voice’ on its website and in the job description. Do they sound relaxed and personality-driven? Is formality anathema to them? If yes, don’t be afraid to reciprocate (while still keeping it professional). After all, you’re not just applying for a job: you’re applying to be part of the company’s culture”. —  Christy Morgan, Resident HR Expert

Key takeaways: How to begin a cover letter

To sum up — the beginning of your cover letter will determine whether the hiring managers will read the rest of it or not.

If you want them to pay attention to what you have to say, make sure your cover letter opening:

  • Uses a personalized greeting
  • Says who you are
  • Shows you’re passionate about the job or the company
  • Highlights your top (and relevant) accomplishments and skills
  • Mentions a mutual contact
  • Reflects the company’s tone of voice
  • Is tailored to a specific position and company’s needs
  • Uses keywords from the job description
  • Is short, nice, and direct

Of course, the rest of your cover letter is important too.

If you’d like to know what to write in the rest of your letter, check out our complete  cover letter guide , get inspired by  cover letter examples , or learn how to  end a cover letter .

This article was recently updated. The original article was written by Nikoleta Žišková in 2021.

Kaja Jurčišinová — Staff Writer

Kaja Jurčišinová

Kaja Jurcisinova is a fresh graduate and a junior copywriter at Kickresume. Kaja completed her undergraduate degree in Art History at the University of St Andrews in 2018 and graduated with a Master’s in Arts and Culture from the University of Groningen in 2021. She was an intern at multiple cultural institutions across Europe, including the Dutch Museum Association in Amsterdam, the Matter of Art Biennale in Prague, and the European Cultural Centre in Venice. At the moment, she resides in Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland.

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How To Start a Cover Letter With Examples and Tips

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  • How to Start a Cover Letter
  • Cover Letter Opening Sentence Examples

Personalize Your Cover Letter

  • What to Write in the Rest of Your Letter

Cover Letter Sample

More cover letter examples and templates.

Theresa Chiechi / The Balance

What's the best way to start a cover letter for a job? The first couple of sentences of your  cover letter  are the most important ones. Recruiters and hiring managers often spend mere seconds scanning your application.

If your cover letter doesn't grab their attention right away, they may never even get as far as the second paragraph. What should these all-important first sentences say? Keep in mind that you're hoping to differentiate yourself from the competition. Your goal is to explain to the reader who you are, why you're writing, and how you can contribute to the employer's success.

This might mean  highlighting a contact , providing a quick window into your relevant background and experience, or emphasizing a significant accomplishment that would make you an asset to the organization.

Think about why the hiring manager should select you, above all other candidates, for an interview, and you'll be on the right track.

How to Start a Cover Letter 

Be direct.  In these opening sentences, you want to explicitly let the reader know which position you're applying for. Hiring managers are often looking at candidates for several open jobs at any given time. Make sure it's easy for them to discover your intent. For example:

I am interested in the coordinator position at ABC company.

Mention a contact.  If someone  referred you to the position , include that information early on as well. Referrals are one of the key aspects to securing an interview, so be sure to mention yours right away. For example:

Jane Doe suggested I contact you about the job, as she feels my skills would be a good fit for the position.

State an accomplishment.  Try to state an accomplishment from your previous job. If you can, show how you added value to the last company you worked for. You might even add the job title you had if it's similar to the one you are applying for. For example:

As coordinator at XYZ Enterprises, I have increased my group's output by 37% over the past 15 months.

Express excitement.  Convey your passion for your work, and your excitement about the job and company. Your cover letter is an opportunity to sell yourself to the hiring manager, and to share why you're well qualified for the job. For example:

I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss what I have to bring to the position at ABC company.

Use keywords.  If you can include any  keywords  from the job listing, do so. You can mention a skill you have that was included in the post. For example: 

My track history of successfully managing teams and delivering projects on time and on budget makes me a good fit for this role.

Examples of Cover Letter Opening Sentences 

  • As an information technology professional with high-level management experience in the IT industry, I learned that the best way to achieve success was to utilize the resources I had by employing well-defined objectives and an attitude of empowerment.
  • I am very interested in the entry-level position that is available at ABC Investment Partners. I recently graduated from XYZ college, and my courses in investments, finance, and business have equipped me with a solid base upon which I plan to build my career.
  • I am writing to express my strong interest in the international marketing position open at WellCam, Inc. My colleague Janna Doling recommended that I contact you directly about this position, owing to the years I have spent developing successful campaigns for XYZ company.
  • I'm writing to express my interest in the editorial assistant position listed on Monster.com. Given my five years of editorial experience and excellent capabilities, I would appreciate your consideration for this position.
  • I have a very strong interest in pursuing a teaching career. With experience working at both elementary and high school levels, as well as in activities outside of the traditional classroom, I have a diverse background with much to offer.
  • I have the pleasure of being acquainted with one of the counselors on your staff, Eleanor Seville. She let me know about the open position and recommended that I contact you.
  • I was excited to read about the administrative assistant job opening at XYZ company. I have several years of administrative experience in a variety of fields, including insurance and finance.
  • I understand that you have been deluged with resumes since  Computer World  released their list of the best companies to work for. Mine is one more, but I do have experience that is hard to come by.
  • My proven track record of successfully performing complex analyses on various corporations makes me an ideal candidate for the analyst opportunity that you have advertised.

When you're not sure how to get started, it can be really helpful to review  examples of cover letters . You can use these as a guide, but be sure to tailor your introduction to your personal circumstances and the job you're applying for.

The more closely you  construct your cover letter  to show that you're a  match for the job requirements , the better your chances of getting selected for an interview.

What to Write in the Rest of Your Cover Letter

Of course,  the rest of your letter  is important too. You'll need to use an  appropriate salutation , and make your  cover letter closing  polite and inviting. In the  body of your letter , you have the opportunity to pitch your qualifications for the job in more detail than you have room for in your resume.

If there are specific events or accomplishments you feel are likely to make you stand out, you can briefly mention them and explain in more detail should you secure an interview.

Make sure your  contact information  is complete as well, and format your  signature  to match the letter style you are using.

Download the cover letter template  (compatible with Google Docs or Word Online) or read the example below.

Sample Cover Letter (Text Version)

John Smith 37 Oak Street Middle Village, New York 10502 555-555-555 john.smith@email.com

March 22, 2021

Dr. Jane Doe All Smiles Dentistry 5 Main Street, Suite A Middle Village, New York 10502

Dear Dr. Doe,

My former coworker, Maria Rodriguez, suggested that I contact you to express my interest in the position of dental assistant in your office in Middle Village.

I’m a licensed dental assistant with over 10 years of experience helping dentists and hygienists make their patients smile. In my current role with ABC Dental, I have gained proficiency in the four-handed dentistry technique, as well as mastering Henry Schein Dentix software.

I also have the following skills and qualifications, as outlined in the job description on your website:

  • Experience taking and developing dental X-rays
  • Infection control expertise, including preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • Knowledge of several different types of scheduling software
  • Language skills (bilingual: English/Spanish)
  • Excellent customer service skills and attention to detail

Most importantly, I love people. I consider it a great privilege to help dentists improve their patients’ lives by providing the very best support and customer care.

I’ve enclosed my resume, and I hope you’ll contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.

Signature (hard copy letter)

Review cover letter examples for many different types of jobs, and get downloadable templates you can use to write your own cover letters.

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How to Write a Cover Letter When You’re Changing Careers (Sample + Tips)

As a career changer, you need to help recruiters understand why you’re moving away from your former line of work and what you want to achieve in your new career path..

[Featured Image] A man in a blue button-up is sitting down in a conference room holding pieces of paper.

You will inevitably change jobs throughout your career as you seek more responsibility, growth, or even a higher salary. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee stays at each job for around four years [ 1 ]. However, for career changers—or those interested in exploring an entirely new path or industry—making that switch can sometimes involve unique challenges. 

Even so, making a career change has become an increasingly popular move. More than half of workers in the United States anticipated looking for a new opportunity in 2022 [ 2 ]. Changing careers can allow you to find more meaningful work, better align your career path with your larger goals, and move into a more energizing role.  

When you draft your cover letter to apply for a job in a new line of work, you must take time to explain your larger objectives. In this article, we’ll review specific information you can feature in your cover letter to help recruiters understand your goals and reasons for changing careers. 

Learn more: How to Plan for a Career Change: Step-by-Step Guide

How to write a career change cover letter

A cover letter is a chance to expand upon the bullet points outlined in your resume . It’s a space where you can explain your interest in the role and company, highlight your experience and skills, and sell a recruiter on the overall fit you’d make. 

But a career changer needs to do all of that and more. You also need to help recruiters and hiring managers understand why you’re moving away from your former line of work, what you want to achieve in your new career path, and any transferable skills that will help make your transition smooth. 

Let’s review four key pieces of information you can weave into your career change cover letter.  

1. Clarify your career change context

Explaining why you’re interested in changing careers and how the role you’re applying to fits within your larger career aspirations can preemptively contextualize your story. Plan to include a career change objective somewhere in your cover letter, much like you would a resume objective to provide a summary of a person’s experience and goals. Don’t be afraid to build a sense of personality so recruiters can better connect you with your objective.  

What this looks like: I’ve spent the last six years translating complex topics for various users as a technical writer. But in that time, I’ve realized that what drives me is the user’s experience. It’s the lightbulb moment behind my career change to UX design . I believe I’ll make a strong addition to your team because my work has largely put the user front and center, and now I’m interested in focusing on a different facet of that goal. 

2. Specify the value of your certificates, courses, or trainings

It costs over $4,000 to hire an employee, according to the Society for Human Resources Management [ 3 ]. That’s all the more reason why recruiters and hiring managers want to find the right candidate. It can be costly otherwise. Help explain what you’ve done to prepare for your career change by highlighting any professional certificates or trainings you’ve completed to prepare you for your new line of work. 

What this looks like: In order to familiarize myself with the tools and processes used in data analysis, I completed the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate , which taught me SQL and R, and trained me to clean and visualize data. Thanks to this preparation, I feel confident that I will make a strong addition to your team from the very start.  

3. Bring attention to your transferable skills 

Transferable skills are “portable,” in that you take them from job to job. They include problem-solving, critical thinking, attention to detail, and more. Show recruiters that you have important skills to help you do the job so they can understand the unique value you’d bring to their company.  

It can also help to find out the key technical skills the job requires and spend time learning what you can, especially when it comes to important software or tools. 

What this looks like: As a software developer, I regularly relied on my problem-solving skills to think through complex issues. I’ll bring that same skill, as well as my attention to detail, listening, and decision-making, to ABC High School as the new algebra teacher. 

4. Highlight your past achievements 

Any time you can highlight what you’ve managed to accomplish in your past roles, you help a recruiter see your potential in a new role. Where possible, summarize any moments that showcase your strengths and illustrate your work ethic or character. 

What this looks like: I pride myself on being a team player and a problem-solver. As a social media manager at Company X, I identified a better program to help my team schedule content. Using that tool improved my team’s efficacy, leading to our most successful quarter. 

Why is a cover letter important when changing careers?

The idea of a career path can sometimes be rigid, suggesting that people only follow one specific track. Although that perspective is starting to shift, it’s still prevalent. You can help recruiters and hiring managers understand more about your interest in a role by explaining why you’re changing careers and what you’ve done to streamline your transition. 

It helps to align your cover letter with a resume objective, which can be especially useful for career changers. An objective on your resume is a place where you can contextualize your larger career aims, quickly summarizing what you’re hoping to achieve in your next role. Repeat that same information in your cover letter and expand on it slightly to give your application materials more cohesiveness.  

Read more: How to Use Resume Sections to Shape Your Professional Story

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Career change cover letter sample

It's common practice nowadays to submit your cover letter digitally. In that case, include some of your contact information in the top left corner so recruiters can easily see how to get in touch.

Thomas Bennett

Nashville, TN

(555) 555-1234

[email protected]

Dear Ms. Tufte,

I’m writing to apply for the project manager role at Company X. I initially began my career as a marketing coordinator and eventually moved into email marketing , where I was responsible for strategizing and developing new campaigns. But in that time, I realized how much I thrived when managing our quarterly campaigns from start to finish. That’s why I’m interested in segueing into project management. 

Knowing that, despite my experience, I still needed to learn more specifically about project management, I completed the Google Project Management Professional Certificate . Over six months, I’ve learned Agile project management as well as how to create product documentation, among other key skills. I believe this training, along with my previous experience, will help me transition to a project management role at Company X and make a big impact.   

I’m an organized problem-solver with a sharp eye for detail, all important project management skills. I believe my previous work in email marketing provided hands-on training in managing projects, albeit without the official title. I identified new tools to help my team create more effective quarterly campaigns. As a result, we increased our click-through rate (one of our key metrics) to 1.87 percent, bringing it closer to the industry standard—an immense achievement. 

I’m proud of the foundation I gained through marketing, but in realizing where my true passion lies, I’m keen to transition into a project management role with more growth opportunities. I appreciate your consideration. 

Tips for strengthening your cover letter 

Much like you would for a standard cover letter, you can strengthen your cover letter as a career changer using the following tips: 

Tailor your letter for each role.

You should tailor your resume for each role you apply to, and the same goes for your cover letter. Research the company, find out about aspects of their work that interest you, and insert those details into your cover letter. You should also tailor your experience and skills, highlighting each job's most relevant skills and accomplishments. 

Get specific.

Your cover letter should expand upon your resume rather than repeating the same information. One way to do this is by giving details about your past achievements. When possible, quantify your impact with numbers and explain how these accomplishments make you uniquely qualified for this new role.

Use action words. 

Build action words into your resume and your cover letter. Rather than more staid words that don’t capture your unique story or responsibilities, action verbs can liven up your cover letter and make it more enticing to read. Find verbs that succinctly and accurately depict your previous experience.

Start advancing your skills today

Brush up on your cover letter writing skills by taking the University of Maryland’s free course, Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters . Or develop important skills for an in-demand career with a Professional Certificate from industry leaders like Google, Meta, and IBM. Most certificate programs take less than seven months to complete, and you can start for free with a seven-day, all-access trial.

Article sources

US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “ Employee Tenure in 2020 , https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/tenure.pdf.” Accessed April 26, 2024.

CNBC. “ The Great Resignation is Likely to Continue , https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/25/great-resignation-55-percent-are-looking-to-change-jobs-over-the-next-year-.html.” Accessed April 26, 2024.

ADP. “ Calculating the True Cost to Hire Employees , https://www.adp.com/spark/articles/2019/07/calculating-the-true-cost-to-hire-employees.aspx.” Accessed April 26, 2024.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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