So you’ve found an awesome resume template that you can use to stand out from the crowd, but what about your cover letter?
Each one should be tailored to the job that you are applying for and provide specific and detailed information about why you’re a great fit for the role!
Think of your cover letter as a well-rounded explanation of why a company should hire you.
It’s even a chance to highlight your experience that didn’t make it onto your resume.
You want to stand out to your employer right off the bat. Your cover letter typically goes before your resume, so it’s important to write something that will pique the hiring managers interest!
In this blog post, we’re going to give you a rundown of absolutely everything that you need to know about writing a winning cover letter. We’ll show you advice on cover letter formats, what to write and a bunch of in-depth cover letter examples that you can use as inspiration for your next application.
Even if a job application doesn’t ask for a cover letter specifically, it’s a really good idea to send one anyway! You’ll seem experienced, keen and professional! Take a look at these incredible cover letter examples that will help you on your journey to a new job!
What Is the Best Cover Letter Format?
When was the last time you wrote an actual letter?
It’s been about ten years for me!
If you’re like me, your life is all about emails. You might need to brush up on your letter formatting skills.
The first thing you need to know is how to layout the letter (see the picture below for a visual explanation):
- Current Position (Optional)
- The Company’s Address (including recipient name)
- Your Contact Details (email address, phone number, regular address)
With a Resume Cats cover letter template, it’s all in the right order already, so you can just add your information in.
Take a look at this professional cover letter example:
Typical Cover Letter Structure (Step By Step):
Basically, your cover letter is split into three paragraphs, sandwiched between an opening and closing statement. Any cover letter sample you look at is likely to follow this structure.
1. Opening Statement
This is a formal introduction detailing which opportunity you are applying for and where you saw it advertised.
2. Why This Employer?
What is it about this particular company or employer that makes you want to work for them? This is a chance to show that you are interested and have researched the company. Think about mentioning a specific project that they recently worked on, their company values or something that is unique about them.
3. Why This Role?
What experience do you have that makes you an awesome fit for this role? It’s important to the employer that you understand exactly what the role involves, such as the day-to-day tasks or any specialist tools or knowledge that the job requires.
Experience, qualifications, courses and skills are usually featured here. You can usually find out about the nature of the job in the job description.
4. Closing Statement
This is a polite and professional ‘goodbye’. It would be a bit weird if you just stopped writing after saying why they should hire you!
If you’re already employed, this is an opportunity to detail your availability for an interview, or your available start date.
Still not sure exactly what to write? We’ll go over some in-depth cover letter examples that you can model your own cover letter on! (Or even steal a few lines from!)
Advice For All Cover Letters:
Don’t Exceed One Page – A cover letter that is longer than one page will often be totally ignored by the employer. Stick to one page, and be as concise as possible. It’s a chance to demonstrate your writing and communication skills!
Be Bold And Interesting – Imagine that it’s Monday and the hiring manager is hungover from a wild weekend (it might be true!) – how are you going to grab their attention? Writing assertively about your skills and being specific about the company makes you stand out to employers and shows that you’ve done your research!
Use Specific Examples – Backup everything you say with evidence, otherwise – why would they believe you? If you have any examples of your positive impact in a previous workplace (that’s relevant to the role that you are applying for), use it! If you can give stats, that’s even better – they love numbers!
Bring Something New to the Table – There’s no problem with repeating your resume a little bit, it does summarise your professional life after all! If you can, bring something different to your cover letter – maybe you’ve recently read about how the company has overcome a major challenge and are really impressed by it! This is a good idea for your ‘why this company’ section.
Don’t Use ‘I’ Too Much – This is especially important when it comes to the first word of each sentence. It just doesn’t look that good, your cover letter should be letting the employer know what you can do for them. Make sure to focus on the value that you can bring to the company.
Internship Cover Letter Example
Internships are a great way to get practical experience before you’ve finished your studies.
In fact, a lot of companies run internships specifically for college students, which take place over the summer vacation (a lot of them are paid too!).
Industries that really value internships include science and engineering, banking, publishing and marketing.
Just like any other job application, you’ll need to write a cover letter tailored to the internship that will show why you are the best fit for the role.
Because an internship isn’t fixed-term by nature, you don’t need to write as if it’s a permanent position. You can also explain what you hope to gain from the experience. They are designed for learning as well as work!
Take a look at this professional cover letter example for a Research Intern position.
“Dear Mrs Knowles,
I would like to apply for the position of Research Intern at [company], I learned about this position through the [college name] job board.
As a second year student at [university] studying chemical engineering, I am particularly interested in pursuing a career in nanotechnology development. An internship with your company would allow me to develop the key skills required for this career path.
[Company] interests me in particular because of your research on the intersections between nanotechnology, biology and data science. I have recently read Dr Smiths ‘Successful Creation in Nanotechnology’ and I am very excited by the developments within this burgeoning field. I believe that this field has huge potential for the development of effective biosensors which could radically reduce costs and accelerate research processes that will benefit all sectors within chemical engineering and biology.
Aside from my excellent academic record, I also minor in data science and can use programmes such as Python and R. I believe that my competent understanding of nanotechnology and data analysis makes me an excellent candidate for the role of Research Intern within your multi-disciplinary organisation.
Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you soon.
Please find attached my resume and academic transcript,
Did you spot how this resume cover letter example contains all the important parts of a cover letter?
The first line is a professional opening, the first paragraph is about why they are interested in this company, the second paragraph is about their interest in the specific job role and the final paragraph is about their suitability for the role.
In most resumes, you don’t want to draw attention to a lack of experience or what you hope to gain from the company, but as you can see, for an internship, the company knows that you don’t have that much experience.
Because of this, it’s acceptable to say what you wish to gain from the internship, it will show that you’re eager and willing to put 110% into the experience!
This is a good cover letter example because it is straightforward and to the point. The candidate explains exactly why they are applying and why they are a good fit!
The Entry-Level Cover Letter Example
Applying for an entry-level position?
If you’re applying for an entry-level position, you might not have a huge amount of experience to fall back on However, this doesn’t mean that your cover letter needs to be short, you just need to think carefully about your experience and how it could apply to this specific role when writing your cover letter.
Remember, the employers aren’t expecting you to have a lifetime of experience for this position, it is an entry-level role, after all!
Take a look at this cover letter sample for an entry-level digital marketing position at a food company.
“Dear Mr Carter,
I am writing to apply for the position of Digital Marketing Assistant at [company] as advertised on LinkedIn. I enclose my resume for your consideration.
[The company] stands out to me because of your multi-disciplinary approach to digital marketing and the innovative strategies that you use. I am particularly interested in your engagement with a global community of influencers in order to expose your brand to a wider audience. As an international business graduate, I am particularly interested in the globalisation of business and global marketing strategies. My final year dissertation focused on the standardisation of marketing strategies across countries and cultures and fits well with your approach to marketing.
This opportunity is of particular interest to me because of my interest in global food and hospitality. Your dual focus on marketing foods and providing genuine value to consumers is admirable, and I am excited by the prospect of making an impact within a field I am passionate about. I have witnessed the importance of food to happiness and well-being through my marketing internship with [internship company]. My experience at [internship company] has allowed me to fully understand the diverse needs of consumers and the relationship between food and culture.
Regarding my suitability for this post, during my studies, I gained a comprehensive understanding of digital marketing strategies. As a result, I have developed excellent qualitative and quantitative analysis skills. This underscores my practical experience as an intern with [company]. During this internship, I had the opportunity to utilise [SEO tool] and [email campaign tool] for one of my projects. I also took charge of four projects and was responsible for client communications. This demonstrates my leadership skills and ability to work with a wide range of people.
Thank you for considering my application, I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Sounds awfully professional and confident, right?
If this doesn’t sound much like the kind of role you’ll be going for, we have plenty more good cover letter examples below.
You can even take the bits that you like best from each cover letter sample and piece them all together until you have the perfect cover letter for you!
Creative Cover Letter Example
Even artists have to write a good cover letter to land a job!
When it comes to applications for artistic jobs, your portfolio is going to do a lot of the talking about your style and skills.
So it’s important that your cover letter emphasises your qualifications, skills and experience. If you’re applying for a job where you’ll be providing a service to clients, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have professional experience!
Here is a really good cover letter example for a creative job:
“Dear Mr Lawson,
I am writing to apply for the position of Production Artist with [company] media company. Please find my resume and portfolio attached.
The position of Production Artist with [company] interests me in particular because of your collaboration with social justice charities such as [charity name]. After specialising in activist art within my Bachelors in Design Studies, I have come to believe that art and activism are intimately connected. In fact, In my spare time, I enjoy reading protest art history and have created and sold paintings based on social commentary.
With respect to the requirements of the post, I am skilled in both traditional fine art techniques such as oil painting and lino printing, as well as digital art techniques. I am currently employed as a graphic designer for [company] and have over eight years of experience using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. I have also completed a level 3 course on Canva. Prior to that, I worked as a set designer for [company name] and created original sets for [this show] and [this show.] As a result, I can effectively use my creative skills to bring life to concepts, create original designs and follow client briefs. For example, I designed posters, social media art and website images for [product]. With extensive experience as a digital artist and traditional artist, I can bring a broad range of skills to the role of Production Artist at [company name.]
Thank you for considering my application,
This cover letter example focuses on the skills and professional experience of the candidate, they have even provided examples of some of their career successes.
This letter also explains their qualifications, courses, hobbies and experiences.This works because their hobbies are in line with the values of the company and it shows a little bit of their personality too!
A good resume cover letter doesn’t have to be boring!
The Alternative Cover Letter
In 2021, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd!
If you’re searching for a job, why not write a punchy and impactful cover letter? It’s still possible to include all of the essential elements of a good cover letter with this kind of approach!
But there is one thing to consider – what is the tone of the company? Have a look at their website, is it super formal or casual and fun? It’s a good idea to mirror the tone of the company, because it subtly indicates that you’ll fit well into the company culture.
If it’s a super formal company, go with one of our traditional cover letter examples. If their website is fun and a little bit kooky – why not try this high-impact cover letter example that is perfect for standing out in 2021. (Remember the thing about the hungover hiring manager?)
“Dear Mrs Rowland,
I was so excited to see the position of Public Relations Associate at [company] listed on Indeed, your recent stunt for Tesla in Times Square was hilarious and inspired! I’m really keen to work for a company that thinks outside of the box and goes onto generate continuous fame for brands.
Here are three key reasons outlining why I am a good fit for the role of Public Relations Associate with [company]:
- Passionate about PR
Captivating story-telling has always interested me, as a result, I thrive when creating great stories through public relations. I believe that the best public relations campaigns have a drama at play, with villains and heroes. With a masters in public relations and over seven years of experience, my resume matches both the essential and desired requirements for this role.
- Delivering Results
Throughout my career I have developed a diverse set of skills including cold email outreach, social media outreach, link building, list building and effective pitching. As a result, I am a results-driven and motivated individual. Since I joined the team at [company], we have gained fifteen clients on long-term contracts and developed over five campaigns that have gained national recognition, such as [example] and [example].
During my time at [company], I expressed my creativity by creating bold campaigns such as the [campaign example]. As a result, I have plenty of experience incorporating graphic design, theatre and art into PR campaigns. Your Tesla campaign required a lot of innovative and creative thinking. I would love to work for a company in which I can create high-impact, memorable and long-lasting campaigns.
I hope over the course of this letter that I have convinced you that I would be a great addition to the PR team at [company], I look forward to hearing from you soon,
This cover letter sample is a little different from the rest, it’s a bit more casual, and it’s a different cover letter format.
But guess what? It still includes all of the essential information like why this company, why this role and why me?
In fact, for a role that requires some out-side-of-the-box thinking, this awesome cover letter sample is already showing the employer that the candidate thinks creatively at every turn!
The Speculative Cover Letter Example
A speculative job application is where you approach employers about unadvertised jobs.
There is a whole ‘hidden job market’ out there that you could be missing out on!
In fact, making a speculative application shows that you’re a self-starter, a go-getter and it puts you in charge of the application process.
However, it does mean that you don’t have a specific job description to help you with writing your cover letter.
Take a look at this speculative application cover letter sample and try and model your own cover letter on it!
“Dear Mrs Ferguson,
I have recently completed a degree in politics and urban planning at [university]. I am ambitious for a career in urban development. I would like to undertake an internship in a company that supports urban planning and environmental consciousness.
[Company] is of particular interest to me because of your exceptional Middletown development programme that successfully improved the town infrastructure while maintaining biodiversity and even promoting the use of sustainable public transport. Your mission statement “for greener business” particularly resonates with my interest in responsible Certified B-corporations. After spending five years campaigning for environmental accountability for big business, I am strongly motivated to work for a mission driven company, such as [company name].
My final year dissertation entitled “The Success of Green Consumer Movements and the Lobby of Big Business” focused on the politics of green consumer movements. My project involved cultivating skills of both quantitative and qualitative research, which included analysing policy papers and the performance of big business to understand the successes and failures of green movements in contemporary politics. As a result, I have an excellent theoretical, and practical understanding of many of the issues [company] regularly faces.
Similarly, in my experience as a volunteer with [political party], I have canvased in favour of green initiatives and referendums. As a result I have extensive experience dealing with external contacts and people from all walks of life. This required me to adapt my communication style so that I could be as persuasive as possible when communicating with different people.
Thank you for taking the time to read my application documents, I look forward to hearing from you soon.
It’s not that different from a typical cover letter, except you might not be referencing a specific role that you want to apply for!
In this cover letter example, the candidate explained their motivations for making a speculative application. If the hiring manager can see that you are enthusiastic enough to approach the company yourself, it shows that you really believe in their work!
A Quick Recap
Your resume cover letter is a chance to tell an employer why you want to work for them and what makes you so damn good for the role!
Even if a job application doesn’t ask for a cover letter, it’s a good idea to write and send one anyway, it shows that you are keen and take the initiative!
There is no perfect cover letter format, but make sure that you include why you like thecompany, why you like the role and what makes you a good fit!
With these five professional cover letter examples, you have no end of inspiration to write your cover letter with!
You’ll get better with each one, so don’t worry if your first one isn’t your best!
You already know that Resume Cats is the home of epic and eye-catching resume templates, but did you know that we do cover letter templates too?
Each cover letter format can be fully customised, you can even match the colour-scheme to your chosen resume format! It looks great, and you appear professional and thoughtful!
It also has the contact sections, your name and date ready to go, so you only need to fill them out with the right information!
Remember you are worthy, smart and deserve to work your dream job! Finding a good cover letter example for 2021 is the way to get there!