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Writing Outstanding Cover Letter

Writing a smart cover letter can get your foot in the door, even if you have a weak resume. This guide will help you to write the best letter possible.

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Are you looking for a follow up email or letter instead? Check out our comprehensive Follow Up Guide.

Table of Contents

  1. Format & Writing How-To Guide
  2. Winning Cover Letter Templates for All – Copy, Paste, Fill in the Blanks
  3. I have “Red Flags” in my work or personal history — should I address them in my Cover Letter?

Format & Writing How-To Guide

This is a very simply written guide — follow it, and you will land interviews faster.

Don’t forget to double check! Be sure to use our checklist to easily find out what you may be missing on your letter. It is free to download.

Click Here to Download
Our Cover Letter Checklist

Cover letters are one page documents that you send with your resume when applying for a job. It is meant to:

  1. Introduce yourself to the hiring manager
  2. Argue why you’d be a good fit for the job
  3. Fill in places your resume cannot describe
  4. Further explain other aspects of your resume

By hitting those 4 aspects, your letter can be a convincing and powerful companion to a well-written resume.

Content Format Guide: 4 Steps

1. Contact Information

To begin, include both the employer’s and your contact information. See the example below:

While the example above demonstrates the information you need to include in the section, there are various ways to format it. Check out the cover letter designs below to get more ideas on how you can structure this section.

No spelling or grammar errors! This one really goes without saying. Spelling mistakes make an awful first impression.

2. Introduction

Find out to whom you’re writing

Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes for a second. Would you like to be addressed as “Dear Sir or Madame?” or “To whom it may concern?”

“Dear Sir or Madame” makes you sound like you’re from the year 1865, and “to whom it may concern” is very irritating to hiring managers.

You can easily avoid this problem by doing your research. Look through the company’s website, LinkedIn, or even give the company a call to ask for the hiring manager’s name. Even if you get it wrong, it still looks like you’ve made an effort.

Introduce yourself

In the first paragraph, begin by telling the employer the position you are applying for and how you learned about the opportunity.

The rest of this paragraph should briefly present basic info about yourself, including: degree, area of study/expertise, and your career goals in terms of how they align with the goals of the company.

3. Sell Yourself

The second paragraph should respond directly to the job description written by the hiring manager. Describe how your previous job experiences, skills, and abilities will allow you to meet the company’s needs. To make that easier, you can (and should) literally include words and phrases from the job description in your cover letters.

No bombast! The rule of thumb is that you’re allowed to be as boastful as you want – so long as you have the evidence to back it up!

To go the extra mile, do some research about the company, and try to find out what they are doing — and why — given the current state of their industry. In a third paragraph, explain how you can fit into that schema, and help push the company forward and achieve any goals you suspect they may have.

4. Conclusion

The final paragraph is called the “call to action.” Inform them that you’d love to get interviewed. Tell them that you’ll be in contact with them in a week if you don’t hear back. Thank them for spending the time to read your letter.

Page Format Guide: 4 Steps

Aside from the content on the page, the actual look and feel of the document is also an important aspect of your letter. Elements such as margins, font size and style, and alignment all factor in to the hiring manager’s overall impression of you.

Here are a few quick tips when styling your own:

  1. 1” – 1.5” margins are always a safe bet. If you are having trouble fitting everything on one page, there is some wiggle room, but be careful not to make the content look crammed together.
  2. Don’t go below a 12-point font unless absolutely necessary. Anything below 12 can strain the eyes.
  3. Font style is really a matter of preference. Try to choose one that looks professional or that matches what the employer uses on their website. Keep in mind that different styles will change the size of the font.
  4. Maintain a uniform alignment throughout. We suggest keeping all paragraphs left-aligned.

Formatting For Applicant Tracking Systems

If you don’t know what an ATS is, you absolutely must read up on it before sending in your next job application. Applicant tracking systems are mostly designed to read through resumes, sifting through keywords and key-phrases to statistically determine whether to let you through to the next stage. 70% of jobs are filled via an applicant tracking system.

Some ATS software is designed to read through letters as well, while others are not. You might as well be completely prepared.

The good news is that simply by following the instructions we’ve written above, your letter should already be in good shape. If you’ve responded directly to the hiring manager’s job description, and included language from it in your own your letter, you already have a high likelihood of hitting statistically important keywords and phrases.

Does anyone read cover letters?

Yes, someone will read it. Will they read it carefully? It depends on the hiring manager. Some use the letters to “weed out” candidates out of a huge stack, while others believe that the candidate’s interview skills are more important. Either way, you’re going to need to write a strong letter, in order to give yourself a higher chance of getting a job.

Winning Cover Letter Templates for All – Copy, Paste, Fill in the Blank

Simply click the section that best reflects your current life situation and work experience, then choose the “tone” of cover letter that best suits your personality.

Before you start – 5 tips for filling in these template letters:

In our templates, you’ll be filling in the blanks that look like [this]. Here’s some help for filling in these trickier ones:

  1. [insert positive trait] – here’s a list of positive traits you can use to describe yourself
  2. [insert 1-3 soft skills] – here’s a list of soft skills you can use to describe your abilities
  3. [insert 1-3 hard professional skills] – our cover letter samples or resume by industry pages should help you brainstorm
  4. [insert GPA] – only insert if your GPA is above a 3.5
  5. [insert your degree] – style it this way, including the parentheses – (BS Engineering)

Now, get started – We recommend that you copy and paste your favorite template into one of our awesome looking pre-arranged cover letter designs.

List of positive traits

AdaptableFocusedProactive
Detail-orientedHard-workingQuality-oriented
DiligentEfficientResponsible
Results-oriented

List of soft skills

AnalyticalLeadershipProblem-solving
CommunicationManagementResearch
Creative thinkingMultitaskingService
Critical thinkingOrganizationalTeamwork
InterpersonalPersuasionTechnical
LanguagePlanningWriting

Download HR-Approved Cover Letter Template Designs

We provide 8 free downloadable cover letter designs. Just click any template below to download the one that best suits you.

Enthusiastic Tone

My name is [your name]. I am thrilled to be applying for the [position] role in your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for an enthusiastic applicant that can be relied upon to fully engage with the role and develop professionally in a self-motivated manner. Given these requirements, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

I am a [insert positive trait] high school student [insert GPA] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [name of open position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of positive and driven candidate that you are looking for. I am excited to elaborate on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Confident (Authoritative) Tone

My name is [your name]. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a candidate that is extremely familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role, and can perform them confidently. Given these requirements, I am certain that I have the necessary skills to successfully do the job adeptly and perform above expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] high school student [insert GPA] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I can leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and competitive candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Versatile Tone

My name is [your name]. I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a versatile candidate to handle the numerous and varied responsibilities associated with this role. Given these requirements, I am certain that I can meet and exceed all expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] high school student [insert GPA] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I can leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of skilled and resourceful candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my varied skillsets and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Traditional Tone


My name is [your name]. Please accept my application for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, I believe that I have the necessary skills and abilities to fill the role.

I am a [insert positive trait] high school student [insert GPA] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I can leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and reliable candidate that you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how I can help benefit your organization, and assist your business achieve its goals. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Enthusiastic

My name is [your name]. I am thrilled to be applying for the [position] role in your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for an enthusiastic applicant that can be relied upon to fully engage with the role and develop professionally in a self-motivated manner. Given these requirements, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

I am a [insert positive trait] high school student ([insert GPA]) who has consistently been praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and managers. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of positive and driven candidate that you are looking for.  I am excited to elaborate on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Confident (Authoritative)

My name is [your name]. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a candidate that is extremely familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role, and can perform them confidently. Given these requirements, I am certain that I have the necessary skills to successfully do the job adeptly and perform above expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] high school student ([insert GPA]) who has consistently been praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and managers. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and competitive candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Versatile

My name is [your name]. I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a versatile candidate to handle the numerous and varied responsibilities associated with this role. Given these requirements, I am certain that I can meet and exceed all expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] high school student ([insert GPA]) who has consistently been praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and managers. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of skilled and resourceful candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my varied skillsets and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Traditional

My name is [your name]. Please accept my application for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, I believe that I have the necessary skills and abilities to fill the role.

I am a [insert positive trait] high school student ([insert GPA]) who has consistently been praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and managers. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and reliable candidate that you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how I can help benefit your organization, and assist your business achieve its goals. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Enthusiastic

My name is [your name]. I am thrilled to be applying for the [position] role in your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for an enthusiastic applicant that can be relied upon to fully engage with the role and develop professionally in a self-motivated manner. Given these requirements, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent high school graduate ([insert GPA]) who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of positive and driven candidate that you are looking for. I am excited to elaborate on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Confident (Authoritative)

My name is [your name]. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a candidate that is extremely familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role, and can perform them confidently. Given these requirements, I am certain that I have the necessary skills to successfully do the job adeptly and perform above expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent high school graduate ([insert GPA]) who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I can leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and competitive candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Versatile

My name is [your name]. I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a versatile candidate to handle the numerous and varied responsibilities associated with this role. Given these requirements, I am certain that I can meet and exceed all expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent high school graduate ([insert GPA]) who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I can leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of skilled and resourceful candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my varied skillsets and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Traditional

My name is [your name]. Please accept my application for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, I believe that I have the necessary skills and abilities to fill the role.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent high school graduate ([insert GPA]) who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I can leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and reliable candidate that you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how I can help benefit your organization, and assist your business achieve its goals. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Enthusiastic

My name is [your name]. I am thrilled to be applying for the [position] role in your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for an enthusiastic applicant that can be relied upon to fully engage with the role and develop professionally in a self-motivated manner. Given these requirements, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent high school graduate ([insert GPA]) who has consistently been praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and managers. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of positive and driven candidate that you are looking for.  I am excited to elaborate on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Confident (Authoritative)

My name is [your name]. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a candidate that is extremely familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role, and can perform them confidently. Given these requirements, I am certain that I have the necessary skills to successfully do the job adeptly and perform above expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent high school graduate ([insert GPA]) who has consistently been praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and managers. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and competitive candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Versatile

My name is [your name]. I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a versatile candidate to handle the numerous and varied responsibilities associated with this role. Given these requirements, I am certain that I can meet and exceed all expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent high school graduate ([insert GPA]) who has consistently been praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and managers. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of skilled and resourceful candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my varied skillsets and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Traditional

My name is [your name]. Please accept my application for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, I believe that I have the necessary skills and abilities to fill the role.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent high school graduate ([insert GPA]) who has consistently been praised as [insert positive trait] by my teachers and managers. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and reliable candidate that you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how I can help benefit your organization, and assist your business achieve its goals. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Enthusiastic

My name is [your name]. I am thrilled to be applying for the [position] role in your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for an enthusiastic applicant that can be relied upon to fully engage with the role and develop professionally in a self-motivated manner. Given these requirements, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

I am a [insert positive trait] college student  [(insert GPA, [major])] currently attending [college_name]. Throughout my academic career, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of positive and driven candidate that you are looking for. I am excited to elaborate on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Confident (Authoritative)

My name is [your name]. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a candidate that is extremely familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role, and can perform them confidently. Given these requirements, I am certain that I have the necessary skills to successfully do the job adeptly and perform above expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] college student  [(insert GPA, [major])] currently attending [college_name]. Throughout my academic career, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and competitive candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Versatile

My name is [your name]. I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a versatile candidate to handle the numerous and varied responsibilities associated with this role. Given these requirements, I am certain that I can meet and exceed all expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] college student  [(insert GPA, [major])] currently attending [college_name]. Throughout my academic career, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of skilled and resourceful candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my varied skillsets and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Traditional

My name is [your name]. Please accept my application for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, I believe that I have the necessary skills and abilities to fill the role.

I am a [insert positive trait] college student  [insert GPA, [major]] currently attending [college_name]. Throughout my academic career, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and reliable candidate that you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how I can help benefit your organization, and assist your business achieve its goals. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Enthusiastic

My name is [your name]. I am thrilled to be applying for the [position] role in your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for an enthusiastic applicant that can be relied upon to fully engage with the role and develop professionally in a self-motivated manner. Given these requirements, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

I am a [insert positive trait] college student  [insert GPA, [major]] currently attending [college_name]. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. In both my academic and professional life, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of positive and driven candidate that you are looking for.  I am excited to elaborate on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Confident (Authoritative)

My name is [your name]. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a candidate that is extremely familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role, and can perform them confidently. Given these requirements, I am certain that I have the necessary skills to successfully do the job adeptly and perform above expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] college student  [insert GPA, [major]] currently attending [college_name]. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. In both my academic and professional life, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and competitive candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Versatile

My name is [your name]. I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a versatile candidate to handle the numerous and varied responsibilities associated with this role. Given these requirements, I am certain that I can meet and exceed all expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] college student  [insert GPA, [major]] currently attending [college_name].. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. In both my academic and professional life, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of skilled and resourceful candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my varied skillsets and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Traditional

My name is [your name]. Please accept my application for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, I believe that I have the necessary skills and abilities to fill the role.

I am a [insert positive trait] college student  [insert GPA, [major]] currently attending [college_name]. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. In both my academic and professional life, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and reliable candidate that you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how I can help benefit your organization, and assist your business achieve its goals. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Enthusiastic

My name is [your name]. I am thrilled to be applying for the [position] role in your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for an enthusiastic applicant that can be relied upon to fully engage with the role and develop professionally in a self-motivated manner. Given these requirements, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent college graduate [(insert GPA, [major])] from [college_name]. Throughout my academic career, I was consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of positive and driven candidate that you are looking for. I am excited to elaborate on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Confident (Authoritative)

My name is [your name]. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a candidate that is extremely familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role, and can perform them confidently. Given these requirements, I am certain that I have the necessary skills to successfully do the job adeptly and perform above expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent college graduate [(insert GPA, [major])] from [college_name]. Throughout my academic career, I was consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and competitive candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Versatile

My name is [your name]. I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a versatile candidate to handle the numerous and varied responsibilities associated with this role. Given these requirements, I am certain that I can meet and exceed all expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent college graduate [(insert GPA, [major])] from [college_name]. Throughout my academic career, I was consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of skilled and resourceful candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my varied skillsets and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Traditional

My name is [your name]. Please accept my application for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, I believe that I have the necessary skills and abilities to fill the role.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent college graduate [(insert GPA, [major])] from [college_name]. Throughout my academic career, I was consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. While working on academic and extracurricular projects, I developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and reliable candidate that you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how I can help benefit your organization, and assist your business achieve its goals. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Enthusiastic

My name is [your name]. I am thrilled to be applying for the [position] role in your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for an enthusiastic applicant that can be relied upon to fully engage with the role and develop professionally in a self-motivated manner. Given these requirements, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent college graduate [(insert GPA, [major])] from [college_name]. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. In both my academic and professional life, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of positive and driven candidate that you are looking for.  I am excited to elaborate on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Confident (Authoritative)

My name is [your name]. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a candidate that is extremely familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role, and can perform them confidently. Given these requirements, I am certain that I have the necessary skills to successfully do the job adeptly and perform above expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent college graduate [(insert GPA, [major])] from [college_name]. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. In both my academic and professional life, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my rcesume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and competitive candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Versatile

My name is [your name]. I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a versatile candidate to handle the numerous and varied responsibilities associated with this role. Given these requirements, I am certain that I can meet and exceed all expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent college graduate [(insert GPA, [major])] from [college_name]. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. In both my academic and professional life, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of skilled and resourceful candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my varied skillsets and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Traditional

My name is [your name]. Please accept my application for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, I believe that I have the necessary skills and abilities to fill the role.

I am a [insert positive trait] recent college graduate [(insert GPA, [major])] from [college_name]. During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly [# of months/years of experience] of work experience. I had the privilege of working for [your current company’s name] in a [your current job title] role in my free time, where I learned valuable professional skills such as [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. In both my academic and professional life, I have been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my professors and peers. Whether working on academic, extracurricular, or professional projects, I apply proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and reliable candidate that you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how I can help benefit your organization, and assist your business achieve its goals. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Enthusiastic

My name is [your name]. I am thrilled to be applying for the [position] role in your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for an enthusiastic applicant that can be relied upon to fully engage with the role and develop professionally in a self-motivated manner. Given these requirements, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

I am a [insert positive trait] professional [(insert your degree] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my peers. Over the course of my career, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of positive and driven candidate that you are looking for. I am excited to elaborate on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Confident (Authoritative)

My name is [your name]. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a candidate that is extremely familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role, and can perform them confidently. Given these requirements, I am certain that I have the necessary skills to successfully do the job adeptly and perform above expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] professional [(insert your degree] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my peers. Over the course of my career, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and competitive candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Versatile

My name is [your name]. I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a versatile candidate to handle the numerous and varied responsibilities associated with this role. Given these requirements, I am certain that I can meet and exceed all expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] professional [(insert your degree] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my peers. Over the course of my career, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of skilled and resourceful candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my varied skillsets and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Traditional

My name is [your name]. Please accept my application for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, I believe that I have the necessary skills and abilities to fill the role.

I am a [insert positive trait] professional [(insert your degree] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my peers. Over the course of my career, I have developed proven [insert 1-3 soft skills] skills, which I hope to leverage into the [position] role at your company.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and reliable candidate that you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how I can help benefit your organization, and assist your business achieve its goals. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Enthusiastic:

My name is [your name]. I am thrilled to be applying for the [position] role in your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for an enthusiastic applicant that can be relied upon to fully engage with the role and develop professionally in a self-motivated manner. Given these requirements, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

I am a [insert positive trait] professional [(insert your degree] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my co-workers and management. Over the course of my [# of months/years of experience] career, I’ve developed a skill set directly relevant to the [position] role you are hiring for, including [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Overall, I have consistently demonstrated [insert 1-3 soft skills] abilities in every aspect of my [your current job title] role at [your current company’s name], and I invite you to review my detailed achievements in the attached resume.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of positive and driven candidate that you are looking for. I am excited to elaborate on how my proven skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Confident (Authoritative)

My name is [your name]. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a candidate that is extremely familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role, and can perform them confidently. Given these requirements, I am certain that I have the necessary skills to successfully do the job adeptly and perform above expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] professional [(insert your degree] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my co-workers and management. Over the course of my [# of months/years of experience] career, I’ve developed a skill set directly relevant to the [position] role you are hiring for, including [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Overall, I have consistently demonstrated [insert 1-3 soft skills] abilities in every aspect of my [your current job title] role at [your current company’s name], and I invite you to review my detailed achievements in the attached resume.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and competitive candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my specific skills and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Versatile

My name is [your name]. I’m grateful for the opportunity to apply for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, it’s clear that you’re looking for a versatile candidate to handle the numerous and varied responsibilities associated with this role. Given these requirements, I am certain that I can meet and exceed all expectations.

I am a [insert positive trait] professional [(insert your degree)] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my co-workers and management. Over the course of my [# of months/years of experience] career, I’ve developed a skill set directly relevant to the [position] role you are hiring for, including [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Overall, I have consistently demonstrated [insert 1-3 soft skills] abilities in every aspect of my [your current job title] role at [your current company’s name], and I invite you to review my detailed achievements in the attached resume.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of skilled and resourceful candidate you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how my varied skillsets and abilities will benefit your organization. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Traditional

My name is [your name]. Please accept my application for the open [position] role at your company. After reviewing your job description, I believe that I have the necessary skills and abilities to fill the role.

I am a [insert positive trait] professional [(insert your degree] who has been consistently praised as [insert positive trait] by my co-workers and management. Over the course of my [# of months/years of experience] career, I’ve developed a skill set directly relevant to the [position] role you are hiring for, including [insert 1-3 hard professional skills]. Overall, I have consistently demonstrated [insert 1-3 soft skills] abilities in every aspect of my [your current job title] role at [your current company’s name], and I invite you to review my detailed achievements in the attached resume.

After reviewing my resume, I hope you will agree that I am the type of competent and reliable candidate that you are looking for. I look forward to elaborating on how I can help benefit your organization, and assist your business achieve its goals. Please contact me at [PHONE] or via email at [EMAIL] to arrange for a convenient meeting time.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Covers Letters: From generic to personalized

By Amanda Frank
Monster Contributing Writer

 

Writing a great cover letter doesn’t happen by accident. Somebody takes the time to do their research, thinks of something meaningful and relevant to say in a few well-worded sentences.  Somebody conveys this quickly and clearly enough so the HR person sifting through resume clutter puts it in the ‘call back’ pile.


The purpose of a cover letter is to narrate your resume in your own voice. Your resume is a dense, concise, bullet pointed document of dates and facts. It’s a dry run-through of your skills. It is unfriendly and unfeeling. Your cover letter is there to contextualize your resume for a specific job with real-world references and examples of your experience.
 

Do Not Breach Job Hunting Protocol

Job-hunting protocol dictates that you must not skip this step of the application process. If ever there was time and place to be acquiescent and compliant it’s now, which granted is a time-consuming pain in the neck.

 

A lot of the time there’s no way around it. Many companies make you jump through hoops forcing you through a long online application process to be allowed a place in their hallowed database. You’re asked to upload two documents, cover letter and resume. It’s rather conspicuous if you don’t include the cover letter. Sometimes you’re asked to fill in mandatory text boxes that would contain most of the reasoning you would give in a cover letter to justify your qualifications for the position.

 

If you don’t go through the bother, you’re sending a message. You’re setting the bar low, alerting them to expect the least from you. You beg them to question on what merit should they select you over someone willing to go the extra (required) length and write a cover letter. They’re much more likely to ignore your submission.


Personalized vs. Generic Cover Letter


Or more accurately, the art of personalizing a generic cover letter. Once you write a master copy of the generic sections of your letter, you won’t need to redraft those paragraphs. The personalization becomes an exercise in editing each time. Much less daunting. Much more effective than the generic faux pas, which I’ve been guilty of committing myself when I canvassed for donations for this year’s Ride to Conquer Cancer. My lesson in getting what you want via email communications, such as cover letters, translates well.

 

In my first round of canvassing for donations to the Ride to Conquer Cancer I sent out a generic bulk email. I wrote one ultra generic message and sent it to a large mailing list in BCC, which is much lazier than sending a hundred emails of the same generic message. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I felt justified in my half-baked approach because I didn’t want to be pushy, even if it meant my fundraising would suffer. That translates into a lack of confidence, not something you want to convey when you’re applying for a job!

Of course I caught flack from my mentor, a photographer and media guy (a generally successful business person and human being) who gives me contract work and knows this behavior is beneath me.


He responded to my mass email with: “Whom are you addressing this email to? Is this a bulk email? I am part of a bulk? Are you asking for cash to the bulk or to your "dear" friend(s)? You have to personalize those emails. It’s the least you can do when asking for contributions. A little detail that can translate into some MULA!! :)”


Luckily enough generous people on my list know me and love me anyway, including my mentor.  Job-hunting is far less forgiving. It’s a numbers game. Play more strategically and it makes sense that you’re response rate will improve. You know this and yet, you know darn well you will reuse whatever text you can get away with. Just don’t cut too many corners. Take the time and effort to make it personal. If you don’t, I’m pretty sure you won’t have a nice HR person reply to your efforts by giving you gentle corrections as I experienced.


It’ll take more than swapping out the company name to make your cover feel like you’ve put in more than just ‘some’ thought. You need to convey that although you scanned many job postings, this particular one jumped out at you because of the obvious match of your compatibility. Here are a few pointers.


Don’t make it all about you


As fascinating as you are to your mother, this venue is not about you - it’s about what you can do for the company. A much tougher audience. Become knowledgeable by reading up on the company. Consider the line items in the job description and how each one applies to examples of your real world experience. And namedrop if you’re applying with an internal company reference.


Research your recipient. Instead of sending it to Whom it may Concern, use a business tool such as LinkedIn to figure out the name of the HR person or hiring manager.


Cover Letter Format: Keep it one page


Don’t be superfluous with your words. Write like you appreciate the volume of cover letters and resumes the average recruiter reads on a given day. Don’t exceed one page of text. If you’re worried about your writing skills read up some principles and try to apply them.


Cover Letter Presentation


Stick with a standard business letter format even if you’re sending your cover letter in the body of an email. The medium is incidental. Same like if you had a job interview scheduled on a Friday, you wouldn’t skip the suit and show up in Casual Friday jeans. Absurd!


Poofraed


Don’t make sloppy spelling mistakes. It’s the one thing your prospective employer won’t forgive. I’m sure you agree it’s a huge waste of time to go through the trouble of crafting a worthy letter only to read it back too little too late (after you hit send) and find a stupid typo. Sometimes it’s tough to catch your own mistakes after you’ve been staring at the same text for a while. Try to enlist the help of a fresh pair of eyes for proofreading.


For more on cover letters, have a look at Monster.ca’s cover letter examples.


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