How to Write a Cover Letter in 2023 + Examples

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After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!

You’ve perfected your resume. 

You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.

You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.

But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.

Now you’re stuck wondering how to write a cover letter ...

Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.

  • What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
  • How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
  • How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
  • What excellent cover letter examples look like

New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!

So, let’s get started with the basics!

What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. 

A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:

how to write cover letter

Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.

The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:

  • Header - Input contact information
  • Greeting the hiring manager
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  • Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
  • Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
  • Formal closing

Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:

structure of a cover letter

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step. 

Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?

cover letter templates

You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!

As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.

Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header

As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:

contact information on a cover letter

Here, you want to include all essential information, including:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.

And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:

  • Your Full Address 
  • Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email” format.

matching resume and cover letter

Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.

The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .

That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this. 

The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.

So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And voila! You have your hiring manager.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Here are several other greetings you could use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .

The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..

  • Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

So now, let’s make our previous example shine:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.

See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?

Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.

So, let’s get started...

Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job

This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.

But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.

For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.

Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company

Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.

Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.

How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.

Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.

Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.

You’d write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device. 

I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.

What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):

I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.

See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have. 

The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.

Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.

So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.

Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action

Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.

And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:

So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.

Step #8 - Use the right formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional email
  • Relevant Social Media Profiles

Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?

Do you successfully convey that you’re the right pro for the job?

  • Did you identify the core requirements?
  • Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?

Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?

Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?

5+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).

College Student Cover Letter Example

college or student cover letter example

Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .

Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught. 

After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.

...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.

If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.

Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.

resume examples for cover letter

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
  • A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
  • Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
  • There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
  • Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…

  • How to Write a Motivational Letter
  • How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
  • Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

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Whether you’re new to MCS or have used our resources and services, we invite you to connect with us! MCS has many resources to help you whether you are just exploring your interests, or applying for an internship. Here are some recommendations on where you can start. 

Explore MCS resources:

  • 300 Educational Programs —MCS hosts multiple events throughout the year including amazing alumni career panels, resume and cover letter workshops, and graduate and professional school application workshops. Check out what is happening  this week ! Note: Use the filters to search for events by industry area, workshops hosted by MCS, or info sessions hosted by employers, career fairs and more!
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Come to 10 minute drop-in advising for quick questions, resume/cover letter reviews, or just to get started.

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Connect with us and let us get to know you! Our friendly advisors can help you explore your interests and skills as well as help connect you with resources, people, and opportunities.

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Below are some events coming up that are great places to start in exploring our resources!

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Keep reviewing our web site to learn about MCS services and upcoming events. Look out for more tips on future “How to MCS” posts.

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Resumes & Cover Letters

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Your resume is a powerful marketing tool to land an interview. Employers typically scan a resume for 15-30 seconds, so craft a resume that is clear, concise, and demonstrates how you meet their needs.

How to Build Your Resume

Reflect on your experience.

Make a list of special qualities that set you apart from other applicants. Employers will be looking for examples of:

  • How your skills/experience/knowledge fit with the position/industry/organization.
  • Your ability to deal with high-pressure situations.
  • Willingness to assume responsibility.
  • A high energy level.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and initiative.

Think of specific examples of where and how each skill or attribute led to a tangible result or achievement. Include work experience, internships, volunteer activities, clubs and organizations, research projects, sports, etc. Consider the following as you get started. Have you:

  • Identified and/or helped solve any problems? Instituted any new methods, systems, or procedures?
  • Acquired industry-specific knowledge?
  • Done something faster, better, or cheaper?
  • Increased membership, participation, or sales?
  • Saved your organization money or reduced waste?
  • Suggested a new service, product, or project?
  • Re-organized or improved an existing system?
  • Refined the nature of an existing task?
  • Maintained a consistently high level of performance?
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and exhibited good team player skills?
  • Reached out for more work or more responsibility?
  • Achieved results with little or no supervision?
  • Motivated others?
  • Coordinated an event or project?
  • Trained another person? What were the results?
  • Tutored anyone? Did their grades improve?

Emphasize the Results

Show measurable results to an employer. Quantifying and qualifying your accomplishments gives prospective employers a sense of how you went about an assignment or project and the bottom-line results of your performance. Numbers speak volumes to people who make hiring decisions. Qualifying your results is also important so prospective employers can see the impact of your services. Here are a few examples of how you can turn your bullet points into powerful statements that demonstrate your accomplishments.

Instead of:  “Organized all sorority philanthropic events.” Write this:  “Organized all sorority philanthropic events which resulted in contributions of over $4000.”

Instead of:  “Served food.” Write this:  “Developed tact and diplomacy when dealing with customers in a fast-paced environment”

Instead of:  “Responsible for typing and filing.” Write this:  “Commended for efficiency and accuracy in completing office duties”

Building a Powerful Resume

Writing a stand out resume requires the perfect combination of formatting and content. Make sure your resume is easy to read, understand, and digest.

Resume Format

Name & Contact

  • At top of resume, centered or justified to left or right. Name should be larger by at least 4 points.
  • If you have a preferred name, include it in parentheses between your first and last.
  • May include contact information on one line, separating address, phone, and email with a bullet.

Margins & Spacing

  • 0.5” to 1” on all sides
  • Include white space between the sections of your resume. The space should go before each section heading (not necessary after each section heading).
  • Include a space between each item within each section so that it’s clear where one ends and the next begins.

Font Format

  • Size: 10-12 points
  • Font: Any that is easily legible (ie Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Helvetica, Times). Use the same font throughout.
  • Color: Black is preferred. Color may be difficult for some to see and/or not industry-appropriate.
  • Typical items to bold include Name and Headings.
  • You may bold whatever content is most relevant to the position such as the university name under Education or your position title under Experience.

Tables & Text Boxes

Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan resume submissions for keywords. Avoid tables, text boxes, and other complex formatting, as they may make it difficult for the ATS to scan your resume.

Length & Paper

  • 1 page for undergraduate students and recent grads. Fill the page completely.
  • 2 pages may be acceptable for grad students and others with extensive relevant experience.
  • When printing your resume, use 8 1/2” x 11” resume paper in white or ivory.
  • Experience descriptions should be in bullet list format.
  • Use bullets and avoid dashes, arrows, check boxes, or diamonds.
  • List all dates along the same margin (right preferred).
  • Include months and years for each experience instead of the year only or the quarter/season.
  • You may format dates as numbers (09/20xx), words (September 20xx), or abbreviate (Sept. 20xx). Be consistent.

Category Headings

  • Left justified (preferred) or centered.
  • All caps and bold (preferred).
  • May include a bottom border line. To add a line under your section headings in MS Word, go to Home > Paragraph > select the Bottom Border icon.

Resume Content: Essential Categories

Contact Information

  • Name (16-18 pts), address, phone #, email, and web address (optional).
  • Make sure your email address and your phone’s voicemail greeting are professional.
  • Name of school, degree earned or seeking (i.e., BS, BA, MS, MA, PhD), major and minor, expected graduation date (month and year), and GPA (if required or if above 3.0).
  • List highest degree first. Include study abroad. High school information should be omitted after sophomore year at the latest.
  • Job title, company name, location (city, state), dates of experience, bullet points describing your actions, skills, and accomplishments.
  • May include any type of experience: paid and unpaid positions, internships, military service, volunteer, leadership – anything you’ve done that’s relevant to the position you’re seeking.

Resume Content: Additional Categories

Include only those categories that best represent your qualifications for the position. The order of your resume categories should be based on the needs of the position.

Objective (Optional)

  • A specific, concise, one-sentence description of the position desired.
  • For a specific position, include the title and company name. For general use, omit or state the field, industry, type(s) of positions you are seeking.

Qualifications Summary

  • List of all of your qualifications for the position (tailored to the job posting).
  • Typically toward the top of the resume, after Education
  • Categorize the relevant, concrete skills you possess. Categories may include: Languages, Computer, Laboratory
  • List only the skills you can perform with little or no supervision. State your proficiency level with languages and programs (fluent, advanced, proficient, etc.).

Relevant Coursework/Projects

  • List course titles (not numbers) of relevant courses, in order of relevance. If a lab, include (Lab) after title.
  • May be listed separately or as a subsection under Education.

Honors & Awards

  • Students & recent grads can include academic honors, awards and scholarships.
  • May be listed separately or as a subsection under “Education”. Include date or # of quarters honors, awards, & scholarships received.
  • List the research project, department/lab/organization name, dates, and description of the project, methods, & findings.
  • Use same format as Experience section.


  • Cite publications using the correct format for your discipline (MLA, APA, etc.). Bold your name.
  • Identify if still in submitted status. May also indicate if peer-reviewed.
  • List office(s) held, organization, dates, and a brief description of accomplishments * Use same format as Experience section.


  • List membership in any clubs, sports, or community service experiences.
  • May not include a description, depending upon the depth of your involvement.

Interests (Optional)

  • List outside hobbies, interests and talents. * Only include those that are unique, specific,and/or require skill/dedication.


  • List is applicable to the position or field
  • Can go under Education or Skills

Do Not Include

  • References should not be on your resume, but can be on a separate page.
  • Personal information such as marital status, citizenship, date of birth, etc.
  • Pictures or headshots should not be included on a resume (except if applying for acting/modeling positions or in countries where it is customary to include a photo).

Build Your Bullet Points

There is a formula for creating detailed, compelling bullet points. The content of each bullet point should contain the following:

What did you do? : What were your duties, responsibilities, and/or projects?

How did you do it? : Specific tools, resources, or technology (transferable skills)

Elaborate with details : How often? How many? What was the purpose? Who else was involved? (Use numbers when possible.)

What were the results? : What did you accomplish or improve? Did you meet or exceed a goal? Did you create something new? (Use numbers when possible.)

Download the “Build Your Bullet Points” worksheet here .

CV vs. Resume

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) may be requested in lieu of a resume, typically for academic, scholarly or research opportunities. For undergraduate students, the differences between a CV and a resume are limited.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) * Audience: Academics, researchers, or teachers * Goal: To obtain an academic or research position, grant, or fellowship * Structure & Format: Complete history of your academic credentials – research, teaching, awards, funding, service * Focus: Your academic achievements and your scholarly potential * Unnecessary Information: Activities not related to academic pursuits (ie., personal information, irrelevant work experience, hobbies, etc.) * Length: Flexible

  • Audience: Potential employers and networking contacts
  • Goal: To obtain a position in any industry outside of academia
  • Structure & Format: Brief snapshot of your most relevant skills and work experience. Most relevant skills and experiences should be in the first 1/3 of the resume. Resumes are targeted specifically for the job description
  • Focus: Relevant experience and demonstrated skills through accomplishments that prove you can do the job well
  • Unnecessary Information: Unabridged list of publications, presentations, conferences attended, courses taught. Work or accomplishments that are not relevant to the position
  • Length: 1-2 pages (One page highly recommended)

Target Your Resume to the Job

Your Skills + Their Need = Connection

  • Make it easy for the employer to see your fit for the job.
  • Do not assume they will “know what you mean” – be specific.
  • Use action verbs to demonstrate what you have accomplished.
  • Use the job posting as a guideline for targeting your resume.

Steps to Target Your Resume

  • Create a great resume following the guidelines in the preceding pages of this chapter.
  • Review the job description. Read the specific skills and qualifications: underline words/phrases that match your background. Read the job responsibilities: underline words/phrases that match your background. Take an inventory of your experiences: how and where have you applied these skills?
  • Use the keywords from the job posting in the targeted industry (Online applications are often matched to keywords in job posting for screening out resumes)
  • If the job posting is very limited, find similar jobs to use as a guide
  • The cover letter will also be targeted and can elaborate your “fit”

To see a variety of sample resumes targeted to specific positions and industries, download Chapter 6 of the Career Guide at the bottom of this page.

Writing a Stand Out Cover Letter

A cover letter should communicate your strong interest in the company and your enthusiasm for the position or internship you’re applying for.

Purpose of the Cover Letter

  • Brief overview of qualifications.
  • Differentiate yourself from the crowd.
  • Captivate the attention of the reader.
  • Communicate interest in the organization.
  • Convince the employer of your skills and accomplishments.

Rules for Cover Letters

  • Address the employer’s “wish list”.
  • Assess the employer’s needs.
  • Actively promote yourself.

Focus on What You Have to Offer

  • Describe how your skills, expertise, and past accomplishments can benefit the employer.
  • Follow standard business letter format.
  • Write clearly and concisely, and proofread your letter for spelling and grammar.
  • Use the same font and paper that you used for your resume.

Send Your Cover Letter to a Specific Individual

  • Ideally, the letter should be addressed to the person who is likely to make employment decisions. It may take some resourcefulness on your part to identify this person, but the letter will probably be better received.
  • Make sure you have the correct spelling of their name and title before submitting.
  • If you cannot find the name of the person the letter is addressed to, you may use a title that is specific such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Internship Coordinator”.
  • Don’t forget to sign your letter (You can scan it and include it as a .jpg).

Cover Letter Samples

There are cover letter samples in Chapter 6 of the Career Guide and in  Firsthand .

  • Resist the temptation to take a “fill-in-the-blank” approach based on the samples.
  • Do not use the exact same language found in a sample. Your cover letter should be a reflection of you.
  • A cover letter need not stick to a set structure or outline as long as it effectively communicates your fit for the company and position as well as your desire to work for them.

For more information on Resumes & Cover Letters, download Chapter 6 of the UCLA Career Guide .

Related Resources

Undergraduate career & life skill resources.

  • Life Values Inventory
  • CV vs Resume
  • Parker Dewey
  • UCLA Career Guide
  • Internship Search Guide
  • Internship Lab Slides
  • Industry Infographics: Spring 2023
  • Active Verb List for Resumes
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • Your First Position
  • Evaluating Job Offers
  • Negotiating a Compensation Package
  • Successful Interviewing
  • On-Campus Recruitment
  • Career Planning and Exploration
  • InterviewStream
  • Graduate and Professional School
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Build Your Bullet Points – Resume
  • Values Worksheet
  • Job and Internship Search Strategies
  • Job Search Action Plan
  • Job Description and Tailored Resume Example
  • Navigating Handshake for Students
  • Cover Letter Template

Schedule a PhD Appointment

Schedule a masters appointment, online tools, how-tos & support guides.

  • Career Preparation Toolkit
  • Research Statements
  • Teaching Statements
  • Career Services
  • Diversity Statements
  • Request a Career Center Presentation
  • Crowdsourcing Platforms for Skillbuilding
  • A Letter to PhDs Seeking an Alt-Ac Career
  • Transferable Skills Analysis
  • Interviewing and Tips
  • Sample Interview Questions
  • Negotiation Tips
  • Job Offer Evaluation / Negotiation Worksheet
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) for Academic Job Search
  • Curriculm Vitae (CV) Template for PhD Students
  • Academic Cover Letter for PhD Students

Highlighted Undergrad Resources

Graduate student career & life skills resources, getting started as a masters student, finding opportunities, cover letter & resume templates.

  • Search Search Please fill out this field.
  • Career Planning
  • Finding a Job
  • Cover Letters

Email Cover Letter Samples

Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.

cover letter when emailing resume

Tips for Writing an Email Cover Letter

Attaching the letter to an email, pasting the letter into the email, how to send an email cover letter.

  • More Email Cover Letter Messages
  • Email Cover Letter Format Examples

When you're sending an email cover letter, it's important to follow the company's directions on how to submit your cover letter and resume, as well as to make sure that your email cover letters are written as well as any other professional correspondence you send.

Here are some more tips on how to craft a resume, as well as some samples you can use to start yours.

Write in paragraphs of about two to four sentences and use proper grammar and spelling, just as you would in any other letter.

Though this should be a given, avoid including emojis or images of any sort.

Perhaps more important than formatting, though, is the content of your cover letter. You can review these email cover letter samples below, but be sure to personalize them when you apply for jobs. 

You should tailor these samples not just to your own experience but also to each job you’re applying for. Pay close attention to the detail of the job description, specifically the responsibilities and requirements. Make sure your cover letter reflects how you are a good fit for these requirements.

Email Cover Letter Example

Subject : Store Manager Position - Your Name

Dear Hiring Manager,

I read your job posting for the Store Manager position with interest, as the qualifications you are seeking match closely with my professional skills and experience.

I can offer XYZ Company:

- Over five years of retail management experience

- Ability to effectively hire, train, and manage staff

- Payroll management, scheduling, reports, and inventory control expertise

- Extensive work with visual standards and merchandising high-ticket items

In addition to my extensive retail experience, I have excellent communication skills. I always maintain a gracious and professional manner when communicating with people, including customers and store staff. My broad experience and range of skills make me a superior candidate for this position.

My resume, which is below, provides additional information on my background and qualifications. I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible to arrange a time for an interview.

Thank you for your consideration.

Paul Jones Phone Email Address

Take note of how the company requests you submit your cover letter. For example, you may be instructed to attach your cover letter along with your resume . In this case, make sure your cover letter is either a Word document or a PDF file. 

If you paste your cover letter into the body of your email, keep your text in the default font of your email provider. Make sure the text is readable and formatted correctly. For example, avoid long paragraphs or a series of stacked, short sentences.

When applying for employment via email, copy and paste your cover letter into the email message or write your cover letter in the body of an email message. Here's how to  send an email cover letter .

More Email Cover Letter Message Samples

Here is a list of more email cover letter samples you can use to get started. This list includes examples of cover letters that target specific types of jobs (full-time, part-time, summer, and volunteer) as well as email cover letters to use at different transitional stages in your career (promotions, job transfer requests).

  • Email Cover Letter Sample
  • Email Cover Letter Sample With Attached Resume
  • Email Inquiry Letter
  • Sample Cover Letter With Salary History
  • Sample Cover Letter With Salary Requirements
  • Sample Email Cover Letter - Part-Time Job
  • Sample Email Cover Letter - Summer Job
  • Sample Email Message - Volunteer Position
  • Sample Formatted Email Cover Letter Message
  • Job Promotion Email Cover Letter
  • Job Transfer Request Email Message
  • Job Transfer Request Email Message - Relocation

Email Cover Letter Formatting Examples

For more information about how to format your cover letter, check out the following links:

  • Address an Email Cover Letter
  • Email Cover Letter Subject Line Examples
  • Email Cover Letter Salutation Examples
  • Email Cover Letter Closing Examples

Email Cover Letter Templates

  • Email Cover Letter Template
  • Email Cover Letter Format

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Email Cover Letter Samples

cover letter when emailing resume

Including an email cover letter is imperative, so we thought it would be helpful to our job-seeking readers to have sample letters to use as a starting point.

The examples below come from real-life job seeker emails, although we’ve altered the details and contact information. Whether you prefer a “salesy” approach or you’re more of a “direct and to the point” kind of person, choose the template that suits your style. Just be sure to include these key elements in your email cover letter.

Etiquette for Any Email Cover Letter

  • Mention the title of the position you’re applying for in the subject line and body of your email.
  • Explain where you found the job posting or how you heard about the position.
  • Conclude with a subtle call to action to remind the hiring manager of the action you’d like them to take, such as, “I look forward to hearing from you.”
  • List your full name and contact information in your email signature block (not just on your resume attachment).
  • If applicable, quickly explain any questions that your resume may raise. For example, if you’re from out of town but planning to move close to the job location, or you’ve been at your current position for only a short time.
  • Don’t start your cover letter with your name. Instead, introduce yourself in the letter with a relevant qualification and connect it to the position.
  • Keep your cover letter concise. Just like your resume, keep your document to just one page to entice hiring managers instead of overwhelming them.
  • Avoid any spelling or grammar errors in your document. The smallest typo can ruin your chances at the job.
  • Don’t address the wrong company name or the wrong company contact’s name. This could be seen as awful cover letter etiquette and indicate you’re not attentive to details.
  • Don’t ever include your salary requirements unless otherwise directed by the potential employer.

Signature on Email Cover Letter

Without a signature at the end of your email cover letter, you could be missing out on incredible potential job opportunities. This quick snippet of your contact information makes it easy for recruiters and hiring managers alike to contact you.

When it comes to deciding between a physical signature and a name sign-off, there are benefits to either option. With a name sign-off, you can use a digital signature service like Eversign and RightSignature to give your cover letter that personal touch.

If you’d prefer to include just a regular email signature, make sure to include your full name, email and phone number. You can also consider adding a LinkedIn button so the hiring manager can have more insight on your experience and skill set.

How to Format an Email Cover Letter

Wondering how to format your email cover letter? You’re not alone. Once you’ve written your incredible cover letter providing more information on your expertise and how it relates to the job you’re applying for, it’s vital to format it correctly before sending it to any recruiters. If it isn’t formatted correctly, you could be missing out on the job opportunity.

Regardless of the cover letter template you’ve chosen, make sure to include these key components when formatting your email cover letter:

  • Write a subject line that includes the position you’re applying for
  • Address the company contact’s name in the salutation
  • Clearly state what you’re hoping to accomplish in the first few sentences
  • Summarize your strengths, skills and experience by connecting them to the job opportunity
  • Use a font that’s easy to read
  • Avoid typos in your message by proofreading
  • Include a signature with your contact information
  • Always send a .pdf file rather than a word doc or other format

Email Cover Letter Examples for Legal Professionals

Example #1: if you prefer to keep it brief..

Subject Line: Interest in Litigation Associate Position

To Whom It May Concern:

I am interested in the Litigation Associate position advertised on LinkedIn. I have attached my resume and cover letter for your review.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

First Last Name

Example #2: If you’re relocating to the city where the job opportunity is located.

Subject Line: Expressing Interest and Relocating Near Litigation Secretary Position

Dear Hiring Manager,

I’m writing to express my interest in the Litigation Secretary position listed on My resume is attached for your review and consideration.

I am a fast learner, very dependable, organized, and computer savvy. I have extensive experience assisting firm attorneys and multiple paralegals, as well as supervising and managing an office. While I currently reside in Los Angeles, I will be moving to San Francisco at the end of the month.

I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you to learn more about your firm, its plans and goals, and how I might contribute to its continued success. I can be your ideal candidate if given this opportunity. Thank you.

Kind regards,

Example #3: If a colleague referred you.

Subject Line: John Mentioned Your Firm is Seeking a Litigation Secretary

Dear Sir/Madam:

I was referred to you by a mutual acquaintance, John Smith, who said you have an opening for a litigation secretary.

I have many years of experience as a litigation secretary, most of them working with managing partners. I am a professional looking for a career, not just a job. I am organized, reliable and self-motivated. I like being part of a team, but can also work independently.

Included with this e-mail is a copy of my resume for your review and consideration. Once you have had an opportunity to review my resume, please contact me if you have any questions or to arrange an interview. I look forward to speaking with you in the near future.

Thank you for your time,

Example # 4: If you’ve been at your current position for less than one year.

Subject Line: Experienced Legal Secretary Seeking Long-term Opportunity with Stable Litigation Firm

Please allow this introduction. My name is Jane Smith, and I have 12 years of legal secretarial experience working with managing partners of small, mid- and large-sized law firms. My current typing speed is 105 wpm from written form and 120 wpm from live dictation with the utmost accuracy. I am interested in the Litigation Secretary position advertised on your firm’s website.

I am currently working for a small civil litigation firm. However, after only 11 months in this position, the financial stability of the firm has significantly changed. Therefore I am seeking long-term tenure with a stable civil litigation firm.

Attached please find my resume and list of references. If you are interested in the professional skills and positive attributes I can contribute to your firm, please contact me at [phone number] at your convenience to schedule an interview.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Example #5: If you want to dazzle the hiring manager with your qualifications.

Subject Line: Do you need a conscientious paralegal at your firm?

Dear Recruiting Administrator:

Do you need a hardworking, creative and conscientious paralegal to meet your firm’s needs? If so, I can help you. The following is a summary of my qualifications:

  • More than ten years of progressively responsible legal experience;
  • Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Business Administration;
  • Exceptional verbal, written and analytical skills;
  • Advanced computer skills;
  • Outgoing personality and “can-do” attitude.

I would like to meet with you to discuss how I might assist your firm in fulfilling its present needs. 

My resume is enclosed for your review. If you need someone who is highly motivated, eager to learn, and willing to work hard to succeed, please contact me at [phone] or via email: [email].

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Now, start writing your cover letter!

They say the first impression is a lasting one — so make sure your digital introduction represents you well. Use your best judgment with each position you apply to; for an entry level position keep your cover letter more concise while going into further depth and providing more information with upper level positions.

These examples are meant to be a starting point only — add your own voice, style and experience to make your own standout (or at least solid) email cover letter.

Start building out cover letters that will help you stand out and land the job!

Work + Money

Work + Money

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter

If you think of your resume as the gift in the box you're sending prospective employers, then you might be guilty of treating your cover letter like the unopened card chucked to the side by the bow and wrapping paper.

But your letter is critical — it will often determine whether you land in the “no” pile or score the interview.

Knowing the "do's" — font choice, authenticity and conciseness — matters. It’s just as critical to avoid blaring "don'ts," like typos, grammar lapses and turning the document into a vehicle to pen your memoirs.

These may seem as obvious as looking both ways before crossing the street. But it takes a lot of precious time and effort to craft a cover letter. Take it from the experts.

Cover Letter v. Curriculum Vitae

Laura Gano, a lead recruiting specialist for Noll Human Resources in Omaha, Nebraska, said cover letters are “a thing of the past…we don’t take time to read them.”

Instead, she invests more value on the resume when it comes to sizing-up a candidate’s abilities to fill a position in the science, manufacturing or healthcare sector.

“I print the cover letter and staple it behind the resume,” she told us. “Although the letter may tell me why you are interested, if you don’t have what our client needs I can’t move forward.”

But before you think the matter is settled, note that she might be the exception.

David Janke, former Associate Dean of Students at the  International Culinary Center  argues that the cover letter is meant to “connect the dots and explain why the experience on your resume makes you eligible for the available position.”

Show Off NOT Showoff

There is a notion that if it’s not in the resume it doesn’t exist. Experts say the same can be said about the cover letter.

You've worked hard and achieved so much, so don’t hold back. The good stuff deserves exposure and being reluctant or bashful isn’t going to get you the gig, let alone a cab after you walk out of the interview.

Future workers must be able to “identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge and experiences relevant to the position desired,” according to  Rutgers University.

Megan Randall of University of Utah’s Career & Development Center says in today’s climate “we have to push ourselves.”

“Honestly, if you’re not confident talking about yourself then the employer is not going to be confident either,” she said.

Not a Letter to Your Grandma

Good cover letter writing etiquette starts by making it easy to read.

Font choice establishes a critical first impression. That means sticking to the Arial, Times New Roman and Calibri family of fonts and steering clear of highbrow Papyrus and Zapfino alternatives.

And the size of the font, experts maintain, should range between 10 to 12 point.

For more on how to write the perfect cover letter, check out Work + Money.

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  13. How to Write an Email Cover Letter

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  14. Resumes & Cover Letters

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  15. How to Email a Resume [+Sample Email for a Job]

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  16. Tips for Writing an Email Cover Letter

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