How to Write the Best Cover Letter (Template and Example)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published June 10, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A cover letter is a good way to highlight how well your skills and experience match the needs of a prospective employer. Cover letters can also demonstrate your writing skills and your enthusiasm for the position. Understanding the components of a great cover letter can help you create a well-constructed and engaging letter that attracts the attention of employers. In this article, we explore what a cover letter is, the importance of writing the best cover letter, how to write one, and a cover letter template and example.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document you may submit with a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) as part of a job application. The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself to an employer, summarize your professional experience, and explain why you're a suitable candidate for the job. On average, a cover letter includes between 250 words to 400 words. There are typically three paragraphs in a cover letter, including an introduction, a statement of purpose, and a concluding paragraph.
Why is it important to write the best cover letter?
The best cover letters can help you convey your passion for a company, your previous contributions and how you can contribute to the position. Your cover letter can also demonstrate your personality and your ability to communicate your thoughts compellingly to the prospective employer. The cover letter is often your first chance to impress hiring managers and establish your credentials among a variety of potential candidates. By advertising your best qualities, you can engage the reader's attention and increase your chances of gaining an interview.
How to write the best cover letter
The following steps can help you prepare the best cover letter:
1. Establish formatting
Following a few guidelines can help you write an effective cover letter. It's common for a cover letter to use left-aligned paragraphs with equal breaks between them and double spacing between the paragraphs. To increase readability, you may consider using Arial or Helvetica at 11- or 12-points with a one-inch margin on all sides. Maintain consistency by ensuring that your cover letter template reflects the same format as your resume template.
2. Maintain a simple structure
Cover letters usually include the company's information and your contact information in the header. Your information appears first, as the sender, and includes your name, telephone number, and e-mail address. It's also common to include the date between your contact information and the employer's information. The next step is entering the recipient's name, title, company name, and company address. Most cover letters are one page and contain three paragraphs.
3. Start with a simple greeting
If you know the hiring manager's or recruiter's name, you can use it in the salutation. By searching the company's website or social media accounts, or by calling the company, you may find the hiring manager's name. You can use titles like Miss, Mr., Mrs., or Dr. with their last name if the role is more traditional. You may substitute the name of the hiring manager with the job title if you cannot find the name.
4. Provide a brief introduction
Make sure you introduce yourself and the job you're applying for in the opening paragraph. It's also a good idea to summarize your professional experience and skills that apply to the company and the position. You may also include how you discovered the job, such as on a job board or through a recommendation. If you have relevant work experience, state it clearly and highlight one or two of your most noteworthy achievements to capture the employer's attention immediately.
5. Describe your advantages as a candidate
It's essential to examine the job descriptions and identify how your skills, education, and experience can fulfil the position. In your cover letter, it's important to focus on how you can meet or exceed the expectations of the company. Reiterate the key qualifications the company looks for in a candidate. Bullet points can also help you attract more attention to your accomplishments.
6. Describe your interest in the company
Give a brief review of who you are, why you're interested in the company or position, and why you think your personality matches that company's culture. For example, you may mention that you're intrigued by the company's history or the products it offers. You may also express your enthusiasm for the job or your desire to take on new challenges.
7. Write a persuasive conclusion
Close with a powerful statement in which you ask for a meeting or describe how you can help the company succeed. Even though the last paragraph only contains a few sentences, it can greatly affect your chances of securing an interview. Consider using a formal closing such as sincerely, yours truly, or best regards.
8. Include a PostScript
PostScripts are a great way to draw attention back to the key information. A PostScript (P.S.) can help you re-state your value statement and demonstrate your excitement for the opportunity. Ideally, your postscript encapsulates the one quality that you feel can inspire employers to hire you above all other candidates.
Cover letter template
You can use the following template to help you create your cover letter:
[Your full name]
[Your job title]
[Your city and province]
[Your phone number]
[Your e-mail address]
[Hiring manager's full name]
[Hiring manager's title]
[Company city and province]
Dear [name of the hiring manager],
I am writing to express my interest in the position of [open position]. As a [job title] with [previous or current place of employment] for the last [number of years in the previous employment] years, I'm well versed in [skills relevant to the position]. I am confident that I have the [skills relevant to the position] required to be the ideal candidate for the role at [company name].
According to the job description, you're seeking a [title] with experience in [list of a few preferred qualifications]. In my last position at [previous place of employment], I had several successes I'm proud of, including:
When I work with a company, I strive to deliver results. If you hire me for the [open position] at [company name], I bring a high level of commitment and dedication to excellence.
My work is always of high quality, regardless of pressure or tight deadlines. If you consider me for [open position], I'm confident that I can provide [benefits of hiring you.]
Can we schedule a time to discuss this position in more detail? Similar to my previous positions, I expect to contribute positively to the success of the company.
Sincerely, [Your name]
P.S. [You can use this to reiterate the company's values, show company spirit, and get potential employers excited about meeting you.]
Cover letter example
Here's an example of a cover letter that can help you gain an interview for an open position:
January 1st, 2022
Graphic Designer Co.
Dear Ms. Stevens,
I'm writing to express my interest in the position of senior graphic designer at Graphic Designer Co. Having been a digital designer with Jane's Graphics for four years, I have extensive experience creating user-friendly visual narratives from hard-to-digest information. I feel confident in my ability to be a top candidate for the job.
The job description indicates that you're looking for a designer who can take complex information and turn it into a captivating story. In my previous role, I helped content teams with outreach by organizing content, creating stories, and creating infographics. The content team also relied on me to create simple graphics for every blog post. Our blog traffic increased by an average of 125% and shares increased by 78% after adding my graphics to older posts without images.
As Graphic Design Co.'s senior graphic designer, I am confident I can bring similar results. As a former employee of Designer Company, I earned several achievements that I'm proud of, such as:
Increased blog traffic by 48% on average
Between two clients, I generated more than $10,000 in profit
Having been the top-performing designer for the month, they awarded me a bonus
Though my passion is graphic design, I am also a big fan of your company. Having followed the industry for many years, I have seen many of your creative and excellent designs in action, and they are always a pleasure to view. Becoming part of the Graphic Design Co. team would be a great honour, and I know I would be able to further develop my skills in the position.
Would you be available for a meeting to discuss this position further? I am confident I can contribute similarly to the success of your organization.
P.S. I noticed from your website that your office serves donuts each week with gourmet coffee. If you don't mind, I recommend we meet at Gourmet Coffee. They're famous for their fabulous pastries and incredible espresso.
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