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Use this formula for the perfect cover letter

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In last week’s Help Desk Advisor column , I shared with you some of my rules of thumb for writing good resumes. When you’re looking for a new job, you need a cover letter that’s as good as your resume. Whether you submit your application via snail-mail or e-mail, the cover letter counts. This week, I’ll explain my straightforward approach to writing cover letters.

Yes, you need a cover letter First let me address the myth that nobody looks at cover letters any more. Every single hiring manager I’ve ever asked about cover letters tells me the same thing: They read the cover letters. They consider the cover letter to be just as important as the resume. And they expect the cover letter to be free of errors.

If you need persuading, here are some of reasons why you should always include a cover letter with your resume. The cover letter:

  • Eliminates any doubt about the position for which you are applying.   Your cover letter should clearly state the job title or the reference number of the position that prompted you to apply for work. Human resources personnel and hiring managers are people who can make mistakes. Spell out your intentions so they don’t have to guess.
  • Allows you to customize your pitch to the hiring company.   If you know the name of the company advertising the position, find out as much as you can about that company. Then use the cover letter to “show off” your knowledge of their operations.
  • Extends your resume.   Got so many accomplishments you can’t fit them all in your resume? Save a few of those bullet points for the cover letter.
  • Shows off your personality.   For most IT jobs, the ability to communicate in writing is just as important as your technical skills. Use the cover letter to demonstrate that you can do that well.

The cover is the same when you apply via e-mail Whatever you do, don’t assume that you don’t need a cover note just because you’re applying for a job via e-mail. It is safe to assume that your e-mail note will probably be printed along with the resume you attach. So use the same cover letter in your e-mail transmittal note that you’d use if you were snail-mailing your resume.

Keep it super simple (KISS) When I help friends and colleagues edit cover letters, I recommend the same, simple formula every time. My two golden rules are: Always mention the position for which you’re applying, and try to keep the body of the letter to three paragraphs.

Figure A shows a sample of my standard cover letter for someone applying for a position called senior support analyst.

What are the ingredients for your cover letter? Let’s take a quick tour of the core components of a good cover letter:

  • Date:   Always use the current date.
  • Address:   Leave a few blank lines under the date, and then enter the address exactly as it appears in the advertisement to which you’re responding.
  • The Re: line:   I like using a Re: line with the job title or the reference number. That way, the resume screener can tell at a glance which position you are interested in.
  • The opening salutation:   If the recipient of the letter is named, use “Dear Mr.” or “Dear Ms.” and then the person’s last name in the opening salutation. If the recipient isn’t named, use “To whom it may concern.” Note: Use a colon at the end of the salutation, not a comma or a period.
  • The first paragraph (why you’re writing):   In the first paragraph, state why you’re writing, and include the job title and/or reference number. (Yes, even though you referred to it in the Re: line, repeat it in the first paragraph.) State that you’re including or attaching your resume. Mentioning the source of the advertisement (local newspaper or Web site) is a nice touch, because employers like to know how you found out about them.
  • The second paragraph (why you’re qualified):   When you write the second paragraph, speak to the qualifications that were listed in the advertisement for the job. If the job requires a certain certification and you have it, say so. List a few of your accomplishments that illustrate what a good fit you are for the position.
  • The last paragraph (how to reach you):   Yes, I know that your phone number is on your resume, but go ahead and repeat it in the last paragraph.
  • The closing salutation:   It doesn’t hurt anything to be polite. Use a sentence like “Thank you for your consideration.” before signing off with “Sincerely,” “Sincerely yours,” or “Very truly yours.” Whatever you do, don’t use “Thanks,” as the closing salutation—tacky!
  • The signature line:   I see a lot of cover letters in which the author has left no space for his or her signature. The rule of thumb is to press [Enter] four times after the closing salutation before you type your name. That’ll give you plenty of room for your signature.

Perhaps the most important thing I can tell you about writing a cover letter is to relax and have fun when you write it. Consider the cover letter as your own little commercial lead-in to your resume.

Of course, be sure to spell check the document before you send it out. While a well-written cover letter can attract attention to your resume, a sloppily written cover letter may cost you the interview.

To comment on this column, or to share your own advice for writing cover letters, please post a comment or write to Jeff .

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Business Management Daily logo

Formatting a business letter: Where should RE go?

Alice Bumgarner

Question: “I see so many letters today with the RE line directly below the inside address. I learned that anything below the inside address should pertain to the address. I also learned that anything pertaining to the body of the letter should be placed in the RE line, and it should be directly below the salutation. Have the rules changed? Does the RE line now go under the inside address and above the salutation?” — Betty Dotseth

Ms. Woods August 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

Correction on my previous comment: Reference lines or blocks appear two lines immediately below the inside address not the date. I don’t know who came up with putting it below the date but that looks ridiculous and crowded.

Ms. Woods August 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Webster Dictionary’s definition for the word reference is: cite, mention, point of origin, source. Their definition for the word subject is: theme, topic, matter, issue. So a letter can have both a line that highlights the point of origin or source for the letter and a line that states the theme or topic of the letter. Or it can have one or the other.

Anon is correct. John had the only response that drew attention to the fact that reference and subject are not the same thing. I was a highly trained executive secretary for over 20 years in corporate America and was taught to put the reference line 2 lines below the address. That does not mean it relates to the address. That’s why it is separated by the 2 lines. The subject line goes 2 lines below the salutation and it is not part of the the body.

“Reference lines should be used when the letter refers to several invoices, letters, or telephone conversations. They eliminate the need to include such information in the opening paragraph.

Reference lines or blocks appear immediately below or two lines below the date line, depending upon company preference. They can begin with RE or References.

If several references are listed, each may be preceded by a number or letter identifier to facilitate ease of referral (by number or letter) within the body of the document. In documents of multiple pages, reference lines may appear under the date in the heading of all pages. ”

“Subject Line. Descriptive subject lines instantly inform a reader of the general content of the letter. They also permit accurate filing and retrieval from files.

Subject lines specifically define the subject matter of the letter. They appear two lines below the salutation and two lines above the first line of the text, although the simplified letter format may have different spacing. Subject lines are highlighted by boldface type, underlining, or the use of all capital letters. “

C Pingu July 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm

The Attention Line . . . however, if it was to be sent c/o, then it would be addressed in the Salutation line to the Director.

C Palmer July 3, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I am writing a government agency. They supplied me w/ the Director’s name, and the name of the person to whom I’m to include in an “Attention Line.” My question is: Whom do I address in the Salutation Line?–the Director or the person on the Attention Line?

John July 1, 2011 at 10:01 am

Noble is spot on about the distinction here. While I’m sure many people will continue to do this differently, RE: is a reference line or block, and “Subject” is a subject line. RE: is used specifically for referencing a previous communication/account file/etc similar to the way we might think of a “” subject line in an email (references a previous email communication)

“Subject” in a letter is short outline of what the letter is about and does indeed go below the salutation. It is often underlined rather than using “Subject:”

While I agree that conversation may flow with a salutation first before a subject, the way we use emails is more like the way we use letters (in business). In emails, the subject/topic before you open it and the salutation comes after. That makes sense to alert you of what you will be reading. But we’ll stick to formalities.

J Dunlap June 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I too have always gone with the “old school.” I was an Executive Secretary to a Vice President at ITT for man years. The “RE” is a part of the letter NOT a part of the address.

Gail Bennett June 21, 2011 at 11:21 pm

The ATTENTION LINE goes after the address. The SUBJECT LINE (or Re line) goes after the salutation. That is the proper business letter setup.

Julia June 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I worked for ten years as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and we always followed the same standard that I learned back in my high school typing class.

Our address

Client’s address attn: So-and-So

re: Subject Title

Dear sirs; yadda yadda

Anne March 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I am a Katherine Gibbs School Graduate; and although most letters these days put the Re line under the address, it is incorrect. The Re line is just another word for the subject line, and the subject line always belongs under the salutation. Just because the other way is widely used does not make it correct.

Noble February 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm

The RE: format on making a business letter was really confusing if it was to be written below the salutation or above, however Re: can only be use when you are making interoffice memorandum because it takes the place of subject line and for outside communications i think it depends if you have a constant communication with the person/company the purpose of which is for the addressee to know instantly what you want but for first time communications i think the usual formal letter without RE; was to be used.

Betty Dotseth July 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I am surprised by the many different responses to my question about where the RE line should correctly be placed in business letters today. The letters I type involve individual patients, and the patient’s name is shown on that line to easily reference the subject of the letter. I can see from the responses, that office manuals differ today. It was made clear to us in school that the salutation line referred to the person to whom the letter is written, and that the regard/subject line is in reference to the information in the letter. I’ve been troubled when seeing so many letters written today that don’t follow that format, but now I see why. I appreciate all of your responses and want you to know that each and every one of you have good reasons for your explanations. I may not necessarily change the way I prepare letters, but it’s very interesting to see that formatting can be much more flexible today!

Niko the Farmer July 2, 2010 at 12:13 am

Putting the “re:” above the salutation doesn’t make sense. You wouldn’t talk like that. Nobody says “Regarding your show, Dear Oprah, please have me as a guest . . . .” Instead, you would say: “Dear Oprah, regarding your show, please have me as a guest . . . .” Ergo, the “Regarding . . .” or “Re:” comes AFTER the Dear whoever. It should appear the way you’d speak it. Anyway, I run a farm and this is how I do all my correspondence.

oohby April 26, 2010 at 7:55 am

I agree. I’ve been a secretary (legal and executive) since 1980. What was taught in high school, business school, and in college writing books is that the re comes after the address, before the salutation.

Renee April 20, 2010 at 9:55 am

I also have to agree with Anon. We use this format numerous times a day. I have been in the administrative field for over 25 years and have always seen it done this way.

Carole February 5, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I’ve always increased the font and I bold it so it stands out.

Carole February 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Believe me, I am old school and I’ve never seen or done it any other way – I’m with Anon!

Victoria February 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I agree with you 100%. I was always taught the RE: goes after the address. I have never done it any other way.

Cheri February 5, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Yes, per Franklin Covey the subject line above the salutation therefore that is the preferred style for my company.

Liz February 1, 2010 at 1:39 pm

According to the 3rd edition of Complete Office Handbook, recommended by IAAP, “the subject line is not necessary in business letters but is used when drawing the reader’s attention to the contents of the letter. No punctuation is needed.”

Following is an example the authors used:

February 2, 2010 (followed by 4 enters)

Mr. Michael Troy Human Development Associates 203 S. Willits Visalia, CA 93291 (followed by 2 enters)


Then comes the text of the letter.

I don’t particularly like this example, however.

Back in the stone age when I went to Katharine Gibbs, the format we learned was the subject line went under the salutation, underlined and centered.

I don’t think there is a consensus, because it depends on the letter style you use and which book you reference!

DeeCee February 1, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I don’t do a large amount of letters that use “RE”, but when I do them, I do as anon does. The main reason I do is because that is what I’m given to type. If one of the partners gives me the letter to type, and that’s how he/she wants it then that’s how I’ll do it. If I think it is done wrong and critical enough to change it, then I’ll consult with them and tell them how it should be done. They trust my judgment. But this issue has not bothered me enough to do that. If the consensus here points to that way being both wrong and critical, then I will consult with the bosses and let them know. But so far I’m not finding that it is the consensus, nor do I feel that it would be critically important. However; I’ll continue to monitor the responses on this issue. I do like to do things right.

Pat February 1, 2010 at 11:13 am

I don’t type very many business letters, either. However, I looked it up In an OLD Secretary’s Complete Self-Training Manuarl (copyright 1992). It states the subject line of the letter is typed two lines below the salutation and two lines above the frist line of the body of the letter. It is typed flush left in Full Block and Simplified Letters, but it may be centered in Semiblock of Modified Block Letters. It may be introduced by the word “subject.” with a colon afterwards. (I didn’t see anything where it says you should use “Re:” in the subject line.

Dr. C. Fields, MBA, Ph.D. (ABD) January 29, 2010 at 7:58 pm

One more little tip.

Because of the industry I work in, things get “lost” or “misplaced”.

I have found that if I increase the RE/Subject Line, by a few fonts and bold face that line, it helps in our industry with reducing the amount of letters/e-mails/faxes that may get lost. Of course this is NOT 100% effective all of the time, but it does at least help in our industry.

Here is a sample (but I can NOT increase the fonts on this post):

29 January 2010

Ms. Jane Q. Public, MST, CPE 12345 Old Evergreen-Pine Road Suite #10985-B7 Anytown, Washington 98092

Dear Ms. Public:

RE: PAST DUE AMOUNT OF $39,589.99 ON FILE #08375670-FXJ

*I usually highlight the RE/Subject line in my e-mails and boldface the text. When writing a hard copy letter, normally I just increase the font size. Meaning if the font size for the letter is times roman numeral 12, then I will increase the RE/Subject line to 14 or 16.

Just a tip. It may work for some of you and it may not.

Just throwing stuff out there.

Dr. StillStanding

PS: This will come up later or on another post. In MY subject/RE lines, I like to be detailed and let the reader know what it is about. This way I hope that the letter can get to the correct person without major delays. Sometimes I get e-mails that say “$40.00!” And I have to read the entire e-mail before I figure out that this e-mail should have been sent to our accounting department or sales department!!!!

Paying attention to detail is an excellent way to be favored by your peers and noticed by the top brass! Smile!

Janey January 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I’ve always done my “RE” like Anon. I also double checked the Covey style guide and it says the same.

Stephanie January 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm

It’s Friday and my examples were flip-flopped from the explanation. I hope you figured that the first example was for the attention line and the second example was for the subject line.

Stephanie January 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm

According to Gregg Reference Manual (8th ed.), the subject line goes below the salutation.

Inside Address

Attention: Accounting Department

Dear Byfield & Duff:

An attention line (Attention: Person/Department Name) goes above the salutation line.

Dear Ms. Smith:

Subject: Your Request for Early Retirement

Bonnie January 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I vote with old school – the topic goes after the name.

Anonymous Non Admin January 29, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I am not in a position in which I write letters very often but if I were receiving letters done the two ways listed above I would certainly think that the one done by Anon looks better and makes more sense. It gives me a heads up on what you are writing me about right up front. Just my opinion.

Min January 29, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I’ve been in the secretarial field for over 20 years. I’ve always done it the way Anon is showing it in their response. I’ve never known it to be the other way, nor do I ever remember seeing it that way. “Old school” may be older than me, but that’s the way I learned it and have always handled it.

Linda January 29, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I go with the old school, (see below) however I try to avoid using an ‘re’ at all, unless it is a memo. Seems like it’s unnecessary to use it otherwise.

Mr. John Doe Company Name 1234 Main Street Anywhere, USA 12345

Dear Mr. Doe:

Anon January 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm

The subject line always goes below the address:


The Office Organizer: 10 tips on file organizing, clutter control, document management, business shredding policy, record retention guidelines and how to organize office emails

60+ Cover Letter Examples in 2024 [For All Professions]

Background Image

No matter where you are in your career, or what job you’re applying for, submitting a cover letter with your resume is a must . 

Done right, a cover letter will effectively complement your resume and explain to the hiring manager in more detail why you’re the right person for the job.

Writing a cover letter, however, is easier said than done. 

You have to effectively demonstrate that you’ll be able to perform the responsibilities listed in the job description and that you’d be a better fit for the company compared to other candidates. 

And unless you’re a professional writer, this can be a very hard task.

Fortunately, we created these cover letter examples to inspire you and help you get started with your own cover letter!

Let’s dive in!

21 Cover Letter Examples 

#1. career change cover letter example .

cover letter example for career change

Here’s what this cover letter does right:

  • Has an ideal length. This cover letter includes all the relevant information for the hiring manager without getting into too much detail.
  • Relevant introduction. The candidate explains that they’re changing careers and why they want to work in this new field from the get-go.
  • Explains their related experience. The candidate explains how their previous experience in retail sales can help them succeed in PR.

Check out our guide video guide to learn how to write a Cover Letter that gets you HIRED!

#2. Recent Graduate Cover Letter Example 

cover letter example for a recent graduate

  • Personally greets the hiring manager. The candidate has taken the time to find the hiring manager’s name and address them by it, which makes the opening of the cover letter much more personal.
  • Wraps up with a call to action. The candidate wraps up the cover letter by suggesting a meeting with the hiring manager, which makes them more memorable.
  • Explains why the candidate is the right person for the internship. In this cover letter for an internship , the candidate explains how they’ve previously interned in a different firm, which gives them the experience to succeed in this role.

Have you just graduated from college? Make sure to check out our guide on writing an entry-level cover letter from start to finish! 

#3. Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Middle Management

  • Use of bullet points. The candidate presents the information in a concise and reader-friendly way, making it easy for the hiring manager to find their key achievements. 
  • Formal closing. The candidate has used a formal and polite tone to conclude their cover letter, which combined with a call to action makes them look professional and passionate about getting the job. 
  • Explains how the company would benefit from hiring them. The candidate outlines exactly what they could do for the company, which not only highlights their skills but also shows they’ve done their research on the company’s needs. 

#4. Business Manager Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for business manager

  • Detailed header. In addition to the must-have contact details, this candidate has also included their professional Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, making it easy for the hiring manager to look more closely into their career. 
  • Concise and to the point. This candidate has used short paragraphs and bullet points to make the cover letter easy to skim through. 
  • Wraps up with a call to action. By letting the hiring manager know they’ll be contacting them soon, they’re more likely to make an impression.

Check out this article for a complete writing guide and an inspiring business manager resume sample. 

#5. Ph.D. Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for phd

Here’s what this cover letter does right: 

  • Attention-grabbing introduction. In the opening paragraph, this candidate explains why they’re passionate about pursuing a Ph.D. in great detail. 
  • Explains the candidate’s qualifications in detail. The candidate builds on their passion by explaining how they’re also qualified for the degree because of their education history and academic achievements. 

#6. Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for senior executive

  • Professional and minimalistic template. This senior executive has used a professional but minimalistic template that lets their work experience do the talking. 
  • Achievement-oriented opening paragraph. Right from the get-go, this candidate explains what makes them so good at their job, effectively grabbing the hiring manager’s attention.  
  • Wraps up with a call to action. By suggesting to have a meeting and discussing how they can help the company meet its goals, the candidate stands more chance to make a positive lasting impression. 

#7. Architect Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example

  • Modern resume template. This architect has picked a template that perfectly matches his industry, as it is professional and modern at the same time. 
  • A personal greeting to the HR. They address the hiring manager by their first name, which helps make a better first impression. 
  • Measurable achievements. By quantifying their achievements, the candidate proves their achievements instead of just claiming them.

Struggling with your architect resume ? Check out our full guide!

#8. Business Analyst Cover Letter Example 

cover letter examples

  • Detailed contact information. The candidate has listed both their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, providing the HR manager an opportunity to learn more about the candidate.  
  • Mentions what the candidate can do for the company. This cover letter doesn’t just explain why the job would be great for the candidate, but also how the candidate would benefit the company. Win-win, right? 
  • Error-free and reader-friendly. It’s super important for the cover letter to have no spelling or grammatical errors and be reader-friendly. This candidate made sure they did both.

Need a resume alongside your cover letter? Check out our guide on how to write a business analyst resume . 

#9. Consultant Cover Letter Example 

best cover letter example

  • Professional cover letter template. Being an experienced consultant, this candidate has picked a professional template that doesn’t steal the spotlight from their achievements. 
  • Experience and achievement-oriented. The candidate has effectively elaborated on their top achievements relevant to the job. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s passion. To show they want the job, this candidate has also explained how passionate they are about their profession.

For more advice on landing a job as a consultant, check out our guide to writing a consultant resume .

#10. Digital Marketing Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Digital Marketing

  • Creative cover letter template. This digital marketer highlights their originality by picking a creative cover letter template. 
  • Lists the candidate’s awards. The candidate has taken advantage of the cover letter to list their most noteworthy awards in the industry. 
  • Concludes with a call to action. As they used a call to action to conclude their cover letter, the HR manager will be more likely to remember them.

Want to take your digital marketing resume to the next level? Check out our guide!

#11. Graphic Designer Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example for Graphic Designer

  • Detailed contact information. The candidate has included additional contact information such as their website link, as well as their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.  
  • Ideal length. This cover letter is concise, which means that the HR manager is more likely to read it from start to finish.  
  • Draws attention to the candidate’s strong points. Although this candidate is a recent college graduate, they’ve managed to effectively show that they have enough knowledge and experience to do the job right.

Read this guide to write a graphic designer resume that’s just as good as your cover letter!

#12. Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Administrative Assistant

  • Minimalistic cover letter template. The candidate picked a well-designed but minimalistic template for their cover letter. 
  • Focused on skills and achievements. This cover letter is packed with the candidate’s skills and achievements, proving he can be an excellent employee. 
  • Formal closing. Politeness can go a long way and the candidate has used this to their advantage to make an impression. 

Our article on how to write an administrative assistant resume can help you take your job application to the next level.

#13. Front Desk Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Front Desk

  • Modern cover letter template. This template incorporates memorable colors and clear lines, which make the cover letter very visually appealing. 
  • Attention-grabbing introduction. Using an attention-grabbing intro, the candidate is more likely to make an impression. 
  • Calls the HR to action. By including a call to action, the candidate is reminding the HR of their immediate availability. 

#14. Human Resources Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Human Resources

  • It is concise and to the point. The candidate doesn’t dwell on unimportant details the HR won’t be interested in. 
  • Uses a traditional cover letter template. The cover letter design is more on the conventional side, which fits the industry better. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s strong points. The candidate has rich work experience and they use the cover letter to elaborate on it. 

This HR resume guide can help you get your resume just right.

#15. Sales Agent Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example  for Sales Agent

  • Attention-grabbing cover letter template. As a salesperson, this candidate knows how important first impressions are, so they’ve picked a catchy cover letter template. 
  • Has an ideal length. At the same time, they’ve also made sure to keep their cover letter at just the right length. 
  • Lists the candidate’s career highlights. The candidate has made perfect use of the space by mentioning their most impressive professional achievements. 

Check out this sales agent resume guide to create an attention-grabbing sales resume .

#16. Receptionist Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Receptionist

  • Modern but minimalistic cover letter template. The template’s design hints the candidate is creative but professional at the same time. 
  • Uses a catchy introduction. The candidate has used an attention-grabbing opening paragraph to catch HR’s attention. 
  • Concludes the cover letter formally. The candidate proves that they’re polite and well-spoken, a quality very much important for the role they’re applying for. 

Take your receptionist resume to the next level with this receptionist resume guide .

#17. Information Technology Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Information Technology

  • Mentions measurable achievements. Numbers make an impact, which is why this candidate has included measurable achievements. 
  • Lists both soft and hard skills. The candidate has mentioned a great mix of soft and hard skills, showing how well-rounded they are. 
  • Contains relevant contact information. The candidate’s GitHub, website name, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles are all great additions to the resume. 

Looking for tips to help you write a great IT resume ? Check out our guide!

#18. Real Estate Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Real Estate Agent

  • Ideal length. Short and to the point, this cover letter is bound to get noticed by the HR manager. 
  • Wraps up with a call to action. This candidate reinforces the HR to call them back through a final call to action. 
  • Mentions the right skills. On top of their sales accomplishments, the candidate touch upon important soft skills such as customer service and communication . 

This real estate resume guide will help you take your resume from good to great.

#19. Teacher Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Teacher

  • Mentions relevant contact information details. This candidate has included optional (but relevant) contact information details, such as their LinkedIn, Quora, and Medium profiles. 
  • Achievement-oriented. The candidate has elaborated on their achievements in more detail throughout their cover letter. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s passion. For some jobs, being passionate is much more important than for others. Teaching is one of these jobs, which is why this candidate explains their passion for the job. 

Our guide on how to write a teacher resume has all the tips you need to land the job.

#20. Project Manager Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Project Manager

  • Leverages a catchy introduction. Through a catchy introductory paragraph, this candidate is sure to grab the HR’s attention and get them to read the rest of their cover letter.
  • Lists measurable accomplishments. This candidate explains exactly what they’ve achieved using numbers and hard data. 
  • Personally greets the HR. A personal greeting sounds much better than “Dear Sir/Madam,” and the candidate knows this. 

This guide on how to write a project manager resume can help you perfect your appication.

#21. Paralegal Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Paralegal

  • Minimalistic cover letter template. This cover letter design looks good but doesn’t steal the show from the candidate’s abilities.
  • Mentions the candidate’s academic achievements and extracurricular activities. Although the candidate is a recent graduate, they’ve used the cover letter to explain they have enough skills and achievements to do the job.
  • Lists measurable achievements. The candidate proves they did well in their internship by mentioning quantifiable achievements.

Check out this paralegal resume guide to perfect yours.

40+ More Cover Letter Examples and Guides 

Couldn’t find a cover letter example for your field? Do not worry.

Below you can find a number of other cover letter examples for different fields and industries:

  • Acting Cover Letter Examples
  • Accounting Cover Letter Examples
  • Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Examples
  • Architecture Cover Letter Examples
  • Attorney Cover Letter Examples
  • Barista Cover Letter Examples
  • Bartender Cover Letter Examples
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What is a Cover Letter? 

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application, alongside your resume . 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can give the hiring manager more insight into what makes you a good candidate and help them make up their mind about whether they should invite you for an interview. A bad cover letter, though, will get ignored (at best) and lose you the job (at worst).

So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

The first thing to remember is that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you shouldn’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume and call it a day. 

Optimally, you should use your cover letter to shed more light on your skills and qualifications, as well as explain anything you didn’t have space for in your resume (e.g. a career gap or why you’re changing careers).

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, though, putting all this together might seem pretty tough. 

Fortunately, you can follow our tried-and-tested format to make the experience much easier:

  • Header - Input your contact information.
  • Greeting the hiring manager - Open the cover letter with a “Dear Sir or Madam,” or use the hiring manager’s name if you know what that is.
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the hiring manager’s attention by getting straight to the point. Mention what your professional experiences are, and what role you’re applying for.
  • The second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Mention your top 2-3 achievements, your top skills, why you want to work in that specific industry, and whatever else is relevant.
  • The third paragraph - End your cover letter with a call to action. E.g. “I would love to meet personally and discuss how I can help Company X.”
  • Formal closing - Something like this: “Thank you for your consideration. Best, John Doe.”

Here’s what this looks like in practice:

cover letter structure

9 Tips to Write a Cover Letter (the Right Way)

Now that we've covered the basics, let's talk about cover letter tips . Below, we'll give you all the knowledge you need to take your cover letter from "OK" to "great."

#1. Pick the right template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

And what’s a better way to leave a good impression than through a professional, well-formatted, and visual template?

You can simply pick one of our tried-and-tested cover letter templates and you’ll be all set!

cover letter examples templates

#2. Add your contact details on the header

The best way to start your cover letter is through a header. 

Here’s what you want to include there:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

Optionally, you can also include the following:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your content portfolio site or blog.

#3. Greet the hiring manager the right way

Once you’ve listed all your relevant contact information, it’s time to address the hiring manager reading your cover letter. 

A good practice here is to find the hiring manager’s name and address them directly instead of using the traditional “dear sir or madam.” This shows that you’re really invested in the company and that you took your time to do some research about the job.

So, how can you find out the hiring manager’s name?

One way to do this is by looking up the head of the company’s relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably the Head of Communications or the Chief Communications Office.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of server at a restaurant. In that case, you’d be looking to find out who the restaurant manager is.

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

If you still can’t find out the hiring manager’s name, here are several other greetings you can use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

#4. Create an attention-grabbing introduction

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph.

The problem with most cover letter opening paragraphs, though, is that they’re usually extremely generic, often looking something like this: 

Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

As you can probably tell, this opening paragraph doesn’t tell the hiring manager anything other than that you’ve worked the job before - and that’s not really helpful in setting you apart from other candidates. 

What you want to do, instead, is start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position. 

For example:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed its sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as my excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the role of X at Company Y.

The second example shows how the candidate is a top performer. The first just shows that they’ve worked a sales job before.

Which one are YOU more likely to invite for an interview?

#5. Show you’re the perfect person for the job

One great thing about cover letters is that they allow you to expand more on the top achievements from your resume and really show the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job. 

A good way to do that is to first read the job ad and really understand what skills/experiences are required, and then to ensure that your cover letter touches upon the said skills or experiences.

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+. As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation and management process end-to-end. This means I created the ad copy and images, as well as picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

#6. Explain why you’re a great company fit

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

To convince the hiring manager that you’re a great company fit, do some research on the company and find out what it is you like about them, or about working there. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company's product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

Then, turn your top reasons for liking to work there into text and add them to your cover letter! 

#7. Wrap up with a call to action

To make the end of your cover letter as memorable as possible, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Mention anything you’ve left out that you think could help the hiring manager make up your mind.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. After all, it never hurts to be polite. 
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. A call to action is a great way to make your cover letter ending as memorable as possible. 

#8. Write a formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions in a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

#9. Proofread your cover letter

Last but not least, make sure to always proofread each and every document that you’ll be including in your job application - cover letter included. 

The last thing you want is to be claiming you’re a great candidate for the job with a cover letter full of typos! 

For an even more comprehensive guide on how to write an impactful cover letter , check out our article ! 

Cover Letter Writing Checklist 

Cover Letter Writing Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have some questions about cover letters? Check out the answers below:

1. How do I write a simple cover letter? 

To write a cover letter that’s simple but also professional, make sure to include a header with your personal information, a formal greeting to the hiring manager, an attention-grabbing opening paragraph, a second paragraph explaining why you’re a good candidate for the job, and a formal closing (preferably with a call to action). 

2. What are the 3 parts of a cover letter? 

The three parts of a cover letter are: 

  • The introduction , namely the header, the greeting to the hiring manager, and the opening paragraph. 
  • The sales pitch is usually the body of the cover letter. 
  • The conclusion involves a formal closing and a signature line.

3. What makes a great cover letter?

A great cover letter should be personalized for each job you’re applying for, instead of being overly generic. It’s also preferable to address the hiring manager by their name and not use the overly-used “Dear Sir/Madam.”

To make a great first impression, you should mention 1-2 of your top achievements in your opening paragraph - the more job-specific they are, the better. Also, don’t stop at showing the hiring manager why you’re a great candidate for the job. Make sure to also talk about how you’re a good culture fit for the company.

Last but not least, wrap up your closing paragraph with a call to action to give the hiring manager a little extra something to remember you by. 

4. When is a cover letter necessary?

Unless the job ad specifically states otherwise, you should always include a cover letter with your job application .

Even if the hiring manager doesn’t read it, you will look more professional simply by including one.

And that’s a wrap! We hope our cover letter examples and writing tips will inspire you to write a cover letter that will land you your next job.

If you’re looking for more invaluable career advice and articles, make sure to check out our career blog , or any of these related articles: 

  • How to Write a Resume
  • Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
  • Cover Letter Format (w/ Examples & Free Templates)

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What Does “Re:” Mean In a Letter? Explained With Examples

“Re:” is common in formal letters. You might have read one recently and wondered what it means. That’s okay because we’re here to help you understand it. You’ll know all about “re:” and how it works by the time you’ve finished this article.

What Does “Re:” Mean In a Letter?

“Re:” means regarding or referring to. When used in a letter or email, we use it to refer back to a previous incident or topic that might be relevant to the letter. It’s a good way of connecting information to previous correspondence without having to use the full word “regarding.”

What Does “Re” Mean In A Letter

It’s acceptable to use shortened forms in most formal cases. You might think it sounds strange, but we also use short words like “etc.” or “e.g.” when writing formal letters. No rules tell us that short forms aren’t allowed.

Instead, we’re taught that formal letters or addresses work well if we can keep them short and to the point. That’s why using short forms like “Re:” for “regarding” works so well.

What Does “Re:” Mean In a Business Letter?

In a business letter, “Re:” means “regarding.” We use it to refer to something we might have spoken about before with our business associate. It’s a good way to link back to what we know.

You might also find that business letters include “re:” in the tagline or address. This works when you’re addressing a specific person and want to let them know what it’s regarding.

  • I’m writing to you re: the issue we discussed at our last meeting. It’s gotten worse since then.
  • This letter is re: your healthcare plan, and I think you’ve raised a valid point that I need to go over.
  • I’m writing to you re: your proposal for a new expansion, as I think it’s a great idea to go through with.
  • This letter is very sensitive. It’s re: your medical condition, and I’m worried that it’s going to prevent you from working.

What Does “Re:” Mean In a Cover Letter?

“Re:” is used slightly differently in a cover letter. In business letters, we can use it in the middle of the text, but this isn’t suitable in cover letters. Instead, we can use it on the subject line to show what job we are referring to with our application.

You don’t include “re;” in the body of a cover letter because it’s likely you’ve never spoken to the person reading it before. Therefore, there’s no reason for you to refer back to anything you might have previously discussed.

  • Re: IT Help desk position
  • Re: Customer service advisor at The Office LTD
  • Re: Assistant to the Regional Manager at Scranton Co.
  • Re: The Job Role that I’m looking for

What Does “Re:” Mean In an Email?

In an email, “Re:” can appear in the subject line to reply to a previous email. It can also be placed in the body of the email if there is something specific we are referring to from a previous point.

It’s most likely that you’ll come across “Re:” in the subject line when replying to other emails. Most email services do this automatically, so you don’t have to add it as an extra step.

  • RE: The newscast you sent me earlier about closing schools.
  • Re: The information you provided me in the last email.
  • This email is being forwarded to you re: the issues we’ve had in the staffroom over the last few days.
  • Re: The problems with your management style and what you should do to fix them.

You may also like: What Does “Re:” Mean in Email? (Helpful Examples)

Where Should I Place “Re:” In a Letter?

“Re:” in a letter works similarly to a business letter. It’s more common for us to use it in the body of text to refer to a specific incident or problem. We can also use it as part of the address to show who the letter is direct toward (as long as their name comes after it).

  • Re: The homeowner
  • I’m writing this letter re: the property damage caused by you during your visit.
  • Re: The candidate
  • This letter is re: all the correspondence you’ve sent to us over the years.

What Is the Difference Between “Re:” and “Ref”?

“Re:” works in two ways. It can mean “regarding” or “referring to,” or it can be used to “reply” to someone. “Ref” is a much less common abbreviation, but you might see it in some formal letters. It only means “with reference to.”

Most people don’t use “ref” because “re:” already covers everything you need to know about it. “Referring” is already covered by the “Re:” umbrella, so it makes sense that most people will stick to that.

In formal writing, it’s common for trends to develop. Once those trends have developed, it’s rare for things to change, and “re:” is seen as the common trend when using references in your writing. There is no reason to change it to “ref.”

Is “Re:” Formal?

“Re:” is formal. It’s an abbreviation, but we can use it formally when we want to remain sharp and to the point. Many formal writers like to do this because it helps readers to understand the main topic throughout their letters or emails.

If we don’t use abbreviations or keep our formal writing succinct, it can create problems for readers. If we make our writing overly confusing by including unnecessary words, most people will be put off by our unprofessional style choices.

Is It “Re:” or “Re”?

“Re:” is most commonly written with a colon. It is correct in this form because the colon allows us to list the exact item we are “referencing” or “regarding” in the letter or email. Without the colon, “Re” looks out of place in a sentence, and people can think it’s a typo.

Is It “Re:” or “RE:”?

“Re:” and “RE:” are both correct. “Re:” works with no capitalization when it’s included in the body of text for both letters and emails. This allows it not to take away from the sentence. “RE:” is capitalized in the subject of emails or letters to show what you’re replying to.

martin lassen dam grammarhow

Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here .

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