How To Write A Cover Letter For Beginners (+ 6 Cover Letter Examples)

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When sending an email with your resume, it's advised to attach a cover letter, which can provide hiring managers with additional details about your skills, achievements, and how you can contribute to their company's success. Since most employers use cover letters to evaluate job applicants before proceeding with the hiring process, knowing the purpose of a cover letter and how to write one can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview.

In this article, we will share with you what a cover letter is, along with some examples and tips on how to write a compelling one.

TABLE OF CONTENT:
What is a Cover Letter?

Why is a Cover Letter Important?

How to Write a Cover Letter?

Dos & Don'ts When Writing a Cover Letter
Cover Letter Format

Cover Letter Examples for Different Professions

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter, as its name implies, is a document attached to your resume and provides additional information about the relevant skills and experiences for the job you're applying for. A cover letter is usually required when you apply for jobs, which is why it is also known as a "job application letter." A cover letter doesn't need to be long; it typically consists of three to four brief paragraphs.

While not all job require a cover letter, it's good practice to submit one. This extra effort not only demonstrates your commitment to the job but also sets you apart from other applicants. You can also utilize cover letters for application, networking, prospecting, etc.

Why is a Cover Letter Important?

Although some people think a cover letter is unimportant, a well-written one can be a powerful tool to catch recruiters' eyes and spark their interest. In addition to your resume or CV, a cover letter allows the recipient (often your potential employer or hiring manager) to understand better who you are and how you can contribute to their company. A strong cover letter can set you apart from other candidates and significantly increase your chances of landing the job. To help you craft a compelling cover letter, we have provided tips, dos and don'ts, and successful cover letter samples and templates.

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Cover Letter Writing Tutorial

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!

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, Cake, Medium, if you have been building personal brand on them.

📖 Further reading:  Why Every Professional Should Have A Personal Website

Greeting

To make a great first impression on the hiring manager, it's important to greet them by their name. You can easily find this information by searching the company's website or LinkedIn page. Remember, starting on the right foot is crucial to success!

Motivation

In this part, you will elaborate on why you are applying for this job. At the same time, it is an excellent chance to show how deeply you understand the company and its product and how much you admire the value the company brings to society!

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 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 how much value you can bring to the company!

Closing

Hang in there; this is the last part of your cover letter! The primary intention 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. Remember to sign your full name at the end of the letter!

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

📙 Further reading:  What to Include in a Portfolio Resume? 3 Tips to Build a Professional Portfolio for Interview

Dos & Don’ts of Writing a Cover Letter

To ensure the best possible outcome, it is important to review the following dos and don'ts before sending your cover letter.

Dos:

  • Do customize your cover letter for different jobs, companies, and 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:

  • 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.

Cover Letter Format for Job Application

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

Contact Information

  • Full name, email address, mobile number, address
  • Links of professional personal websites (e.g. LinkedIn, Cake, Medium)

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
  • 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 examples 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 Examples for Job Application

Cover letter example for Software Engineers

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Cover letter example for Software Engineers

📕 Further reading:  Software Engineer Resume : Do's & Don'ts of a Perfect Engineering Resume

Cover letter example for Designers

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Cover letter example for Designer

Cover letter example for Marketing

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Cover letter example for Marketing

Cover letter example for Consultants

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Cover letter example for Consultant

Cover letter example for Internship

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Cover letter for Internship

Cover letter example for Career Changers

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Cover letter example for Career Changers

📚 Further reading:  Considering a Career Change? Here Are 3 Tips to a Successful Job Switch

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