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The cover letter template that will get you hired
CareerBuilder | June 25, 2021
Use our cover letter template to help you land your perfect job, with our seven step structure designed to make applying easy.
A cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself to prospective employers. It’s your first hello, your virtual handshake (while real ones still aren’t allowed), and your opportunity to make a great first impression.
So how do you nail it?
Our cover letter template is split into seven simple sections, letting you copy and paste it ready to go. We’ll show you how to make each section stand out, so you can fill it in with your own information and make that hiring manager pay attention.
What is the point of a cover letter?
Think of your resume like your technical specifications. It lists all the things you can do and all the places you’ve done them.
Your cover letter, on the other hand, is more personal. It talks more about your attitude, your motivation and your goals, letting employers see the real you and get an insight into how you think.
It’s the chance for a new company to get to know you. What makes you tick? What would make you someone they simply have to hire?
The seven sections of a good cover letter (and how to make the most of them)
Split your cover letter up into the following seven sections to make it easy for a potential employer to read. Each section should be clear and concise, using subheadings and bullet points to make key information stand out.
Part 1. The header
Your header should contain all your important contact details, such as your name, your telephone number, your email address and your home address. You should mirror it with the heading you use for your resume to create consistency.
You can also include a one-liner that explains what you’ll bring to the business. Something like, ‘A passionate project manager capable of delivering big results’.
Links to social media profiles (relevant ones, maybe not your Instagram) should also go here.
Cover letter header example:
Full Name. Tel number. email@example.com. Home address.
A passionate marketer with experience of driving real growth across the financial and telecoms sectors.
Part 2. The greeting
Time to say hello. Start your letter with a personalised greeting to the hiring manager. Don’t go for anything like ‘Dear Sir or Madam,’ as this shows you’ve done no research.
LinkedIn is a great tool for finding out who works where, so if the hiring manager isn’t obvious do a bit of digging.
Be as formal as the company you're applying for. ‘Dear <hiring manager>’ is great for professional organizations, whereas a ‘Hey <first name>’ might be more appropriate for creative jobs.
Cover letter greeting example:
Dear <hiring manager>,
I am writing to express my interest in the role of Project Manager, as recently advertised on your website.
Part 3. Introduce yourself
Make the first paragraph all about you. Introduce yourself and say what would make you perfect for the job. Briefly talk about your current role, or your latest one, and explain how you heard about the position.
This can be used to your advantage if someone who already works there has recommended you, or even if you saw it on an employee’s LinkedIn. It gives you a foot in the door and gets people talking about you before you’ve even had an interview.
Cover letter introduction example:
My name is Full Name, and I have over five years’ experience of working in the telecommunications sector. I currently work as a Senior Campaigns Executive for Company Name, where I have spent the last two years delivering a key customer support campaign that has achieved X% growth for the business.
I was introduced to the position by Colleague Name, who recommended I get in touch having previously worked with me at Former Business.
Part 4. Why you?
Use this section to talk about any relevant experience and qualifications. Mention why you think you’d be right for this role and link it to past experience. If the job is looking for a creative manager, talk about how you’ve creatively managed projects in the past and share results.
This is where you should provide more detail on the things you mention in your resume. If one job deserves highlighting, do it here. If one project will help you stand out from the crowd, shout about it.
Cover letter about you example:
In my current position I am responsible for the management and delivery of a range of top tier projects. I have delivered a new help desk for our IT department, while also upgrading our mobile offering to make it easier for customers to access our support.
This project saw a 13% increase in order completion on mobile devices, bringing in a further £250,000 in revenue during the financial year.
Part 5. Your values.
Now it’s time to talk about how you and the job will go well together. Focus on how your goals and values match that of the business, how you believe in the same things they do, and how you could help their goals become a reality.
How can the work you do benefit both yourself and the company? Why would you two be a match made in heaven?
Give each value a subheader to help them stand out. Choose three or four and keep them succinct.
Cover letter value examples:
I believe we share the same core values when it comes to telecoms platforms, and I am keen to further demonstrate how my beliefs and ways of working can blend with and enhance your own.
Getting the job done is my main incentive. During my recent help desk project, I had to regularly update key stakeholders with the latest developments, making it my priority to ensure no stone was left unturned to guarantee stage sign-off.
Putting the customer first
If the customer says it isn’t good enough, we go again. When the mobile app was launched, we ran numerous rounds of usability testing that resulted in us redeveloping various sections. This was a continuous process until the final app was released to the mass market.
Delivery over design
It was my role to ensure the app worked at its best before it looked its best. By being the bridge between the creative team and the project management team, I could guarantee the final delivery worked for both them and our target audience.
Part 6. Drive the deal home.
Wrap your cover letter up with a call to action. Say how excited you are about the possibility of the role, and how you’d love to speak further about joining the team.
Thank the hiring manager for their consideration.
Cover letter call to action example:
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to speaking more about what I can bring to your business and am excited about the opportunity.
Part 7. Your signature.
Finish with a professional sign off and your printed name and signature. Some acceptable sign-offs include: Yours sincerely, with thanks, regards, best wishes.
Cover letter sign off example:
Our cover letter template to submit with your resume:
<Your full name>
<Your phone number>
<LinkedIn profile URL>
<Opening statement, eg: A senior project manager looking to step up in the creative industry>
Dear <hiring manager name>,
I’m writing to apply for the position of <job title> at <company name>. I’ve been following the company for some time and am excited about the opportunity to be part of such a progressive organization.
Having worked at <job title> for the past <time period>, I possess great experience in <skills> and am confident in my abilities to help achieve <company goals>. I am highly enthusiastic about <career interest> and believe <company name> would be the perfect place for me to achieve my ambitions and help deliver <company goal>.
With a background in <experience>, I have experience in <projects> and am ready to now take the next step in my career. In my previous role, I delivered <project examples>.
<company name>’s goals excite me. By working together, I am confident we can make them a reality.
<goals and how you match them. Give each goal a subheading>
My background in <career> has prepared me perfectly for this role, and I am excited to see how I can contribute to your already impressive results. The opportunity to work with you would enable me to both grow professionally and bring my <experience> to your organization.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you and talking through my application in more detail.
<Name and signature>
If you’ve followed the template, you’ve likely captured the attention of the hiring manager. Need more inspiration to write a cover letter that will get you hired?
Here’s an example of this template put in practice:
Cover letter examples
Now that you know what should go in your cover letter, here are some industry-specific examples to inspire you.
Our job listings are constantly updated, so whatever you’re looking for, we can help you find it. You could be saying hello to your new hiring manager in no time.
If marketing is where you’re looking to work, our marketing cover letter samples could help you get your foot in the door.
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