ARTICLE OUTLINE:
What is Cover Letter?
Why is Cover Letter important?

How to write a Cover Letter/Job Application Letter?

Dos & Don'ts of writing a Cover Letter
Cover Letter Template for Job Application Cover Letter Template for Internship
Cover Letter Template for Career Change

WHAT IS COVER LETTER

Cover letter, as its name implies, is a letter, while it can be presented under various circumstances and in different forms. A cover letter is usually required when you apply for jobs, which is why it is also known as “job application letter”, but it is so much more than that. You can utilize cover letters for application, networking, prospecting, and etc..

WHY IS COVER LETTER IMPORTANT

You might think cover letter is insignificant, but actually it can be leveraged to achieve certain goals. Apart from your resume/CV, a cover letter is the best way for the recipient (mostly your potential employer, hiring manager, and etc.) to know who you really are and how you can contribute to the company. A good cover letter can undoubtedly distinguish you from other candidates. See the importance of cover letter? To help you write a compelling cover letter, there are tips, dos & don'ts below, along with some successful cover letter samples & templates just for you!

HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER/JOB APPLICATION LETTER

After knowing the importance of cover letters, the next step is to write one. What is the structure of a cover letter? There is a general format for cover letters, but note that it should be adjusted accordingly for different mediums and scenarios.
Typically, a cover letter should not be more than 1-page long (the average time for hiring managers to read one resume is less than 20 seconds!), and within this 1 page, you should include the following 5 parts: contact information, greeting, hook, body, closing. Let’s dig into each of them!

Cover Letter Part 1: Contact Information

In this part, you should include your full name, email address, mobile number, and address (not necessary). You can also add links of your professional personal websites like LinkedIn, CakeResume, Medium, if you have been building personal brand on them.

Further Reading: Why Every Professional Should Have A Personal Website
Further Reading: Personal Branding - Why and How?

Cover Letter Part 2: Greeting

You can definitely make a good first impression on the hiring manager if you greet him/her with the right name! By searching the company’s website or LinkedIn page, you can easily find the name. A good beginning is halfway to success!

Cover Letter Part 3: Motivation

In this part, you will elaborate on the reason why you are applying for this job. At the same time, it is a good chance to show that how deep you understand the company and its product, and also, how much you admire the value the company is bringing to the society!

Cover Letter Part 4: Qualification

Here comes the highlight, the main body of your cover letter! Let’s be clear, this part is all about promoting yourself! That’s what you are going to do:

  1. Be clear about what the qualities and skills are required for the job you are applying for.
  2. List all your past experiences and achievements related to the job requirements.
  3. Pick the top few accomplishments that can make you stand out from the competition to put in your cover letter.

Note that you should avoid job-description writing. By quantifying your performance by numbers & statistics, it would be clearer for your employer that how much value you can bring to the company!

Cover Letter Part 5: Closing

Hang in there, this is the last part of your cover letter! The main intention/function of closing is to thank the hiring manager for spending time reading your cover letter, also mention if there is any resume, portfolio or relevant certificate attached. Don’t forget to sign your full name at the end of the letter!

Further Reading: Simple Tips for Creating a First-Class Personal Portfolio

Ta-da! Congratulations that you have finished your cover letter!

Finished your cover letter? The next big work is to build an eye-catching resume! Try the most favored free resume builder!

Further Reading: 4 Tips for Writing a Good English Resume
Further Reading: Useful Tips for Resumes That Will Get You the Job Interview

Dos & Don’ts of Writing A Cover Letter

Before sending out your cover letter, you should refer to the following dos & don’ts!

Dos of writing a cover letter:

  • Do customize your cover letter for different jobs, companies, industries.
  • Do use keywords of specific skills or qualifications so that employers can spot you more easily.
  • Do explain and quantify how you can bring value and contribution to the company.
  • Do perform research on the company and job that you are applying for.
  • Do double check and modify your cover letter every time before sending it out.

Don’ts of writing a cover letter:

  • Don’t make your cover letter too long.
  • Don’t use description writing while mentioning your experience.
  • Don’t use a template without making your cover letter more personal & interesting.
  • Don’t repeat everything on your resume, but choose some special one to elaborate on.
  • Don’t speak ill of your former employers & colleagues.

Confused about the format of cover letters for different purposes & situations? Let’s see how to design cover letters for finding jobs, internships, or even career changes!

Cover letter format for JOB APPLICATION

Contact Information

Greeting

    • greet the hiring manager/employer by his/her name
    • briefly introduce yourself and state your purpose of reaching out
    • state how you found this job opportunity (e.g. job-search website, company’s website, friends’ recommendation, and etc.)

Motivation

    • state your reasons & motivation of applying for the job
    • show your insight of the company and job position

Qualification

    • specify your experience & accomplishments that are most related to the job position
    • elaborate how you can bring value to the company supported by your past achievement mentioned previously

Closing

    • briefly show your gratitude to the hiring manager and your expectation to interview
    • mention if there is any document attached (e.g. resume, portfolio, relevant certificate, and etc.)
    • use valediction (e.g. Sincerely, Yours, Best,) before signing your full name at the end of the letter

Don’t worry if you are still struggling with writing a compelling cover letter, there are some successful cover letter samples from different industries for you! Software engineers, designers, marketing, consultant, you can find all free cover letter templates here that suit your industries!

Cover letter sample for Software Engineers

Download Cover Letter Template for Software Engineers Job Application

Resume Resource: Resume Examples for Software Engineers
Further Reading: 7 Effective Tips for a Successful Engineering Resume
Further Reading: Resume That Will Land You a Programming Job

Cover letter sample for Designers

Download Cover Letter Template for Designer Job Application

Resume Resource: Resume Examples for Designers
Further Reading: How to Build a Compelling Designer’s Resume

Cover letter sample for Marketing

Download Cover Letter Template for Marketing Job Application

Resume Resource: Resume Examples for Marketing

Cover letter sample for Consultants

Download Cover Letter Template for Consultant Job Application

Resume Resource: Resume Examples for Consultants

Cover letter format for INTERNSHIP:

Contact Information

    • full name, email address, mobile number, address

Greeting

    • greet the hiring manager/employer by his/her name
    • briefly introduce yourself (e.g. school name, major)
    • state your purpose of reaching out
    • state how you found this internship opportunity (e.g. email from school, job-search website, company’s website, and etc.)

Motivation

    • state your reasons & motivation of applying for the internship
    • show your insight of the company and job position

Qualification

    • specify your experience & accomplishments that are most related to the job position (e.g. relevant coursework, leadership experience, overseas experience, school activities, and etc.)

Closing

    • briefly show your gratitude to the hiring manager and your expectation to interview
    • mention if there is any document attached (e.g. resume, portfolio, relevant certificate, and etc.)
    • use valediction (e.g. Sincerely, Yours, Best,) before signing your full name at the end of the letter
Download Cover Letter Template for Internship

Further Reading: Applying for Internships and Jobs at Startups
Further Reading: How to Write a Resume When You’re Just Out of College
Further Reading: Top 6 Resume Mistakes for Recent Graduates

Cover letter format for CAREER CHANGE:

Contact Information

Greeting

    • greet the hiring manager/employer by his/her name
    • briefly introduce yourself and state your purpose of reaching out

Motivation

    • state your current career status, and briefly explain the reason for job change
    • state your reasons & motivation of applying for the job
    • show your insight of the company and job position

Qualification

    • specify your transferable skills for the job position
    • elaborate how you can bring value to the company supported by your outstanding performance in previous position

Closing

    • briefly show your gratitude to the hiring manager and your expectation to interview
    • mention if there is any document attached (e.g. resume, portfolio, relevant certificate, and etc.)
    • use valediction (e.g. Sincerely, Yours, Best,) before signing your full name at the end of the letter!
Download Cover Letter Template for Career Change