How to Write an Effective Cover Letter
Don’t know how to write an effective cover letter? Take a look from the tips and samples below.
First of all, many job seekers wonder if a cover letter is still necessary to send with your resume. Since you want to boost your chances of landing a job, the answer is a resounding yes!
Just like with your resume, you should make a customized version that talks about how your skills and accomplishments will benefit the specific company that you’re applying for. Furthermore, you must show that you’ve done some research into what the company’s main points are.
Remember: You're selling yourself in a resume and a cover letter andB the employer has to want to buy.
Take a look at the sample cover letter below to get some ideas on how to make your own.
Monster.com also can help if you want a cover letter in a specific industry.
The basic elements of a cover letter
A cover letter contains the following elements, as Monster points out:
- Greeting: Address your cover letter to the correct person or persons
- Opening: Write a personable opening paragraph that demonstrates how your skills are a perfect fit to the job.
- Hook: Highlight your past achievements as they relate to the job you're applying for.
- Skills: Highlight more of your relevant skills, such as foreign languages or certifications.
- Close: Briefly recap your strengths as a candidate, and include your contact information.
More Cover Letter Tips
Because there's no such thing as too much advice in our opinion, ere are some more good tips via ResumeGenius.com:
- 1” – 1.5” margins are always a safe bet. If you having trouble fitting everything on one page there is some wiggle room. Furthermore, be careful not to make the content look crammed together
- Don’t go below a 12-point font unless absolutely necessary. Also, anything below 12 can strain the eyes.
- 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. Also keep in mind that different styles will change the size of the font.
- Maintain a uniform alignment throughout. Finally, we suggest keeping all paragraphs left-aligned.
Sample Cover Letter (from Monster.com)[Date]
Ms. Rhonda West
Customer Service Manager
123 Corporate Blvd.
Sometown, CO 50802
Re: Customer Service Representative Opening (Ref. ID: CS300-Denver)
Dear Ms. West:
I was excited to see your opening for a customer service rep and I hope to be invited for an interview.
My background includes serving as a customer service associate within both call-center and also retail environments.
Most recently, I worked on the customer service desk for Discount-Mart, where my responsibilities included handling customer merchandise returns, issuing refunds/store credits and flagged damaged merchandise for shipment back to vendors and providing back-up cashiering during busy periods.
I previously worked within two high-volume customer-support call centers for a major telecommunications carrier and a satellite television services provider.
In these positions, I demonstrated the ability to resolve a variety of issues and complaints (such as billing disputes, service interruptions or cutoffs, repair technician delays/no-shows and equipment malfunctions). I consistently met my call-volume goals, handling an average of 56 to 60 calls a day.
Furthermore, I gained considerable customer service skills during my employment as a waitress and restaurant hostess while in high school.
I also have strong computer proficiencies in MS Word, MS Excel and CRM database applications and a year of college (business major). Please see the accompanying resume for details of my experience and education.
In conclusion, I am confident that I can offer you the customer service, communication and problem-solving skills you are seeking. Please feel free to call me at 555-555-5555 (home) or 555-555-5500 (cell) to arrange an interview. Thank you for your time—I look forward to learning more about this opportunity.
Sample Cover Letter from The Balance
To Whom It May Concern:
I am interested in the author's assistant position at ABC Company. Currently I am employed as legislative director for Assemblywoman Smith, Chairperson of the NYS Assembly. The skills and experiences I have gained at this position make me an ideal candidate for the job of author’s assistant.
As legislative director, I have developed strong writing and editing skills.
For example, one of my main duties is to prepare Assemblywoman Smith's personal legislation, which deals with issues related to her position as Senior Member of the NYS Assembly Committee.
This duty requires meticulous writing and editing skills and an ability to convey complex legal ideas clearly. I have prepared dozens of pieces of legislation, and received praise for the clarity of my writing.
Due to my time in the Assembly, I have also gained experience in legal and policy research – fields that you state the author’s assistant must be familiar with. My experience in the Assembly has afforded me the opportunity to become familiar with the laws of the State of New York.
Through my work with Assemblywoman Smith, I have become heavily involved in the current welfare and Medicaid reform movement. I am always eager to learn more about state legislation, as I am constantly reading up on these topics often to become more knowledgeable. I would love to bring this passion for policy and law to your company.
I’m confident that my experience in the Legislature and my research and writing skills qualify me for consideration. I can provide you with current samples of my work. Enclosed is my resume, and I look forward to meeting with you and discussing my qualifications in more detail.
Entry Level Finance Cover Letter Sample
Your Contact Information
City, State and Zip Code
Employer Contact Information
City, State and Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,
I am very interested in the entry-level position that is available at ABC Investment Partners. Recently I graduated from XYZ University College and am actively seeking employment with firms in the San Francisco area.
My courses in investments, finance and business have given me a solid base upon which I plan to build my career.
During my college internships, I dealt with a variety of budgets and conducted market research while handling numerous administrative duties, which is the same sort of thing I would be doing with ABC. The experience allowed me to learn important skills and to develop the confidence needed to succeed in a competitive environment.
I have enclosed my resume for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.
It would be a pleasure to interview with you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name
Research Technician Cover Letter Example #1
City, State, Zip Code
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,
Please accept my resume for the Research Technician position posted on Monster. My background and skills in lab techniques will prove to be an effective match for your qualifications.
First of all, I have a BS in Chemistry and a 3.8 GPA. I have taken several lab courses in Biochemistry, where I worked with chromatography, ELISA, and southern and western blotting techniques.
While working for ABC Environmental Laboratory, I successfully applied my research skills and maintained the laboratory. I participated in planning experiments as well as evaluating test results.
I was responsible for maintaining biohazard and radiation safety standards, and ensuring proper handling of potentially hazardous chemical and biological agents.
There was instance where an major incident occurred and I rallied my colleagues together and saved everyone's life. It was most noteworthy because it never happened before. Many changes were made to the lab as a result of my work.
In addition to the lab work, I recorded, calculated, and analyzed data, and prepared reports. I worked closely with a team of researchers and learned the value of good lab practice.
Thank you for your consideration.
Research Technician Cover Letter Example #2
Your City, State, Zip Code
City, State Zip
Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,
Please accept my resume for the research technician job in addition to any other position that would be suitable for me. I am confident that my background and skills in research techniques will prove to be an effective match for your qualifications.
I have had a great deal of laboratory experience in chemistry and biology, both indoors and in the field. In the lab, I have performed chemical reactions and I am currently using microscopes to observe many specimens. In environmental field studies, I have conducted outdoor labs to assess water chemistry and have a great appreciation for the field as a result.
While working for Eperian Research Laboratory, I successfully applied my research skills and worked closely with the samples being studied. I supported the research in completing assigned experiments, and recorded and analyzed massive amounts of data.
This experience gave me the opportunity to work closely with a team of researchers and helped me to understand the importance of good lab practice.
My research experiences have been positive ones due in part to my interpersonal skills. I work well in teams, am reliable and organized, and enthusiastic to learn. I am sure that I will carry over the same enthusiasm and skill in doing research at your institution.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Cover Letter Example – Entry Level Marketing
Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,
I am very interested in the open marketing position with ABC Marketing Group. I believe that my education and employment experiences make me an ideal candidate for the position.
During my tenure at XYZ College, I developed a passion for marketing and public relations. I have sought out multiple opportunities to develop my marketing skills. For example, I interned at the national Sculpture Society in New York City last summer.
My position entailed developing web pages and slideshows publicizing the success of the society's artists. I was able to utilize my web authoring skills to assist the organization in their goal to promote sculpture.
As an assistant at XYZ College’s career services office, I’m responsible for updating information on alumni, career advisors, and companies who publicize internships with our office.
This involves heavy calling during my shifts at the office. In addition to calling, I also email clientele. This calls for me to employ interpersonal skills to communicate with clients effectively.
Due to my strong communication skills, I have been given even more responsibilities. For example, I now publicize all career services events via multiple social media platforms.
My experiences in marketing and my interpersonal skills make me a prime candidate for this position. I am a diligent worker, and passionate about my work.
Thank you very much for considering my application for candidacy. I assume that because you are busy, I will follow up within a week if I haven't yet heard from you to confirm that all of my materials were received and hopefully set up an interview time.
Sample Cover Letter for a Freelance Writing Position
Subject: Freelance Writing Position – Jane Doe
I'm very interested in your job post for a business writer. In my position as Business Representative for Union Local 080, I wrote feature articles for the website, managed content and link submissions, and wrote a weekly email newsletter to subscribers.
While Legislative Director for Assemblywoman Susan Smith, I researched, drafted and amended legislation. I also wrote press releases, and was responsible for office communications and correspondence.
I also have extensive experience writing freelance articles on labor issues, which, I believe, would be an ideal match for this position. Articles are available for your review at [insert links].
Writing samples and my resume are attached in addition to the experience I've enumerated above. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your consideration.
We hope these cover letter examples have been helpful for you in addition to your job seeking journey. Share your thoughts, comments, and testimonials below!