How to Write an Effective Application Letter (Examples)
By Status.net Editorial Team on November 15, 2023 — 9 minutes to read
Your application letter should be a clear reflection of you, your skills, and your aspirations. It’s essential to tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for and showcase how you meet the requirements. Stay with us as we walk you through the tips, tricks, and best practices to make your letter shine. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to navigate the job application process with ease.
Step 1. Introduction: Expressing Interest
The opening line.
Your opening line should grab the reader’s attention, briefly introduce yourself, and express your interest in the position. This is your opportunity to make an excellent first impression, so keep it clear and concise. For example, you could start with:
“As an experienced marketing professional, I was thrilled to see the opportunity for a Marketing Manager position at X Company.”
Revealing the Source of Information
Next, it’s important to mention where you found out about the job opening. This helps recruiters understand where their outreach efforts are effective and demonstrates that you’ve done your homework. Reference the specific platform, such as a job board or company website, or mention the person who referred you to the position. Here are a couple of examples:
“I came across this position on LinkedIn and believe my skillset aligns perfectly with the job requirements.” or
“Jane Brown, the Sales Director at your company, suggested I apply for this role, as she believes my experience in customer service is a great fit for the team.”
Step 2. Body: Detailing Qualifications
Pitching your skills.
When writing an application letter, it’s essential to showcase your skills. Start by listing the most relevant ones based on the job description. Be specific and mention how you’ve used these skills in previous projects or work settings. For example:
“As a project manager, I have successfully managed teams of up to 20 members, ensuring timely delivery of projects while maintaining a high level of quality.”
Use bullet points or bold text to make your skills stand out. This way, the reader gets a clear picture of your capabilities.
Referencing Your Experience
After listing your skills, provide details about your work experience. Start with the most recent position and include the name of the company, your job title, and the duration of employment. Focus on the responsibilities that match the job opening. For instance:
“During my tenure at X Corp as a marketing executive, I was responsible for coordinating marketing campaigns, managing social media channels, and conducting market research.”
Don’t forget to mention any relevant internships or volunteer work. This information will help paint a complete picture of your expertise.
Demonstrating Your Achievement
Lastly, highlight your accomplishments and show the potential employer why you’re a perfect fit. Use concrete examples and mention any quantifiable results you’ve achieved. For example:
“At ABC Inc., I initiated a cost-reduction program that saved the company $50,000 within six months.”
You can also mention any awards or recognitions you’ve received for outstanding work. This demonstrates that your contributions have been valued and recognized by others.
Step 3. Concluding Your Letter
Seeking further communication.
By the time you reach the end of your application letter, it’s important to express your desire for further communication with the potential employer. This shows that you’re genuinely interested in the opportunity and eager to continue the conversation. Example:
“I am excited about the prospect of contributing to your company’s goals, and I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further with you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at your earliest convenience. Thank you for considering my application.”
After expressing your eagerness, close your letter with a polite and professional farewell, addressing the recipient by name where possible. This is not only courteous, but it also leaves a positive and lasting impression. Example:
“ I look forward to your response and the possibility of working together. Once again, thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, [Your Name]”
Proper Letter Ending
The complimentary close.
Start by choosing an appropriate complimentary close for your application letter. This part signifies the end of the main content and should leave a professional impression. Some common examples are “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” or “Yours faithfully.” Keep in mind that it’s best to stay formal, so avoid using casual phrases like “Cheers” or “Take care.”
After the complimentary close, press enter twice to leave a space for your signature. This space provides room for your actual signature if you’re submitting a physical letter. If you’re submitting electronically, this space can act as a visual cue that your letter has reached its end.
While signing an application letter, be sure to include your typed full name. Don’t forget to include your relevant contact information, such as your email address or phone number. This will make it easy for the recipient to get in touch with you if they have any questions or require additional information.
Here’s an example of a proper letter ending for your application letter:
[Space for physical signature, if applicable] Your Full Name [email protected] +1-234-567-8901
Post-Writing: Proofreading and Correcting
After writing your application letter, it’s essential to proofread and correct any errors or inconsistencies. This process will help ensure that you submit a polished and professional document that impresses potential employers.
Correcting Grammar and Punctuation
First, focus on your grammar and punctuation. A well-written letter that follows proper grammar rules is more likely to capture the reader’s attention and convey your message effectively.
- As you’re reading through your letter, keep an eye out for missing or misplaced commas, semicolons, and other punctuation marks.
- Check for sentence fragments or run-on sentences that make your message unclear.
- Look for subject-verb agreement issues, as well as any awkward phrasing or wordiness.
- Ensure consistency in tense and voice throughout the letter.
Checking for Spelling Mistakes
Your next step should be checking for spelling mistakes. Misspelled words can distract the reader and make your application appear less polished.
- Run your text through a spellchecker; most word processing programs have this feature built-in.
- Take the time to read through your letter carefully, word-by-word, to catch any errors the spellchecker may have missed.
- Double-check the spelling of names, addresses, and other specific information to make sure they’re correct.
Examples of Successful Application Letters
When writing an application letter, it’s essential to tailor it to the specific job posting . Check out these examples to help you create a winning letter for different scenarios.
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I’m excited to apply for the Sales Representative position at [Company Name]. With my proven sales record and strong interpersonal skills, I believe I would be a valuable asset to your team.
In my previous role at [Previous Company], I consistently exceeded sales targets and established strong relationships with clients. I’m confident that my experience and passion for sales will contribute to the ongoing success of [Company Name].
Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to discussing my qualifications and how I can contribute to the growth of [Company Name].
Sincerely, [Your Name]
As a creative and skilled Graphic Designer, I am thrilled to apply for the position at [Company Name]. My expertise in Adobe Creative Suite and concept development aligns with the requirements laid out in the job posting.
In my previous role at [Previous Company], I created visually appealing and engaging content for various marketing campaigns. My designs helped increase brand recognition and lead to a 20% increase in social media engagement. I am eager to use my talents and contribute to the visual identity of [Company Name].
I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my skills and portfolio with you. Thank you for considering my application.
Best regards, [Your Name]
As an experienced Office Manager with a strong background in time management and organization, I am eager to apply for the position at [Company Name]. Your commitment to efficiency and supporting your employees is in line with my work values.
During my tenure at [Previous Company], I streamlined scheduling and developed procedures that led to a 30% reduction in office expenses. My proactive approach to problem-solving and ability to create a productive work environment contribute to my effectiveness as an Office Manager.
I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute to the success of [Company Name] by enhancing office operations. Thank you for considering my application.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the key components of an application letter.
An application letter should include the following key components:
- Contact information: Start by writing your name, address, phone number, and email address.
- Salutation: Address the recipient professionally, using their name when possible.
- Opening paragraph: Introduce yourself and state the position you’re applying for.
- Body paragraphs: Highlight your relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments.
- Closing paragraph: Reiterate your interest in the position, provide your contact information, and thank the reader for considering your application.
- Sign-off: Use a polite closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your name.
Can you provide a step-by-step guide on writing a cover letter?
- Review the job posting and research the company to understand their needs and values.
- Write your contact information at the top of the letter.
- Use a professional salutation and address the recipient by name, if possible.
- Craft an engaging opening paragraph that states the position you’re applying for and how you learned about it.
- Write body paragraphs that showcase your relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments, drawing connections to the requirements mentioned in the job posting.
- In the closing paragraph, restate your interest in the position and thank the reader for their time.
- Sign off with a polite closing and your name, followed by your phone number and email address.
What are some tips for writing an effective application letter?
To write an effective application letter:
- Tailor the content: Focus on the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the specific job posting.
- Use strong action words: Highlight your achievements using action verbs, such as “managed,” “achieved,” or “developed.”
- Proofread for errors: Thoroughly check your letter for spelling and grammatical errors before sending.
- Maintain a professional tone: Write your letter with a confident and respectful tone, avoiding slang or overly casual language.
How do you customize your cover letter for different job positions?
Make sure to modify your application letter to suit the specific job and company you’re applying to. Analyze the job posting to understand the key requirements and skills the employer is looking for. Emphasize how your experiences and abilities address these needs. Research the company to understand their values and culture, and incorporate that knowledge into your letter to show you would be a good fit for their organization.
What are some common cover letter mistakes to avoid?
Some common mistakes to avoid in cover letters include:
- Not customizing your letter for each job or company
- Focusing too much on yourself and not on the needs of the employer
- Including too much information or making the letter too long
- Repeating your resume verbatim without providing more context
- Failing to proofread for spelling and grammatical errors
How can I make my application letter stand out from the competition?
To make your application letter stand out:
- Use a compelling opening to grab the reader’s attention.
- Show enthusiasm for the position and the company.
- Make sure your letter is well-organized and visually appealing, with a professional font and layout.
- Tailor your letter to the specific job and company, focusing on the most relevant skills and experiences.
- Offer examples of your achievements to demonstrate your ability to succeed in the role.
- Proofread your letter to ensure it is error-free and polished.
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While applying to jobs, you might be asked to provide a job application letter (sometimes referred to as a cover letter) along with your resume. A resume outlines your professional skills and experience, and a job application letter explains why you are an ideal candidate for the position you’re applying to.
You can think of this as a strictly formatted professional letter that gives hiring managers a sense of your individual qualities prior to a job interview.
This article outlines the essential details and formatting for a job application letter. You’ll learn how to write a concise and engaging letter that will increase your chances of being selected for an interview.
A job application letter can also be known as a cover letter. It is a way to introduce how your skills and experience are a good match for the job.
A job application letter should have your contact information, employer contact information, and a salutation,
A job application application letter should have an introductory paragraph, middle paragraphs that explain your qualifications, and a closing paragraph.
Use specific experiences with quantifiable results to show how your skills were successfully put into action.
Make sure to do your research and edit your letter before submitting.
Tips for writing a job application letter
Job application letter format, what’s the difference between a cover letter and a job application letter, dos and don’ts for writing a job application letter.
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If you’ve ever asked for advice on the job application process, you’ve likely heard the phrase “sell yourself” a million times over. This means that you should highlight your skills and achievements in a way that will pique a hiring manager ’s interest and make them pause over your application.
You might feel overwhelmed in the grand scheme of online applications, application/ cover letters , letters of intent , and interviews. It’s a lot to balance, especially if you have no experience with any of the things listed.
Remember to take everything one step at a time and review some helpful tips for writing a polished and engaging job application letter:
Tailor the application letter to each job. Your letter should address key points in the job description from the listing, as well as how you can apply your knowledge and experience to the position. You want to emphasize why you are the best candidate for this specific job.
Don’t copy information straight from your resume. Your resume is meant to act as a formal record of your professional experience, education, and accomplishments. The job application letter is where you highlight a few particular details from your resume, and use them to demonstrate how your experience can apply to the job.
Follow the business letter format. These letters have very strict formatting rules, to ensure that they appear as professional to hiring managers. A poorly formatted letter could prevent employers from taking your application seriously.
Proofread. Hiring managers will definitely overlook letters riddled with proofreading mistakes. Read your letter several times over to fix any grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. You could ask someone else to look over it afterwards or run it through any number of online grammar check programs.
Decide on printing and mailing your letter or sending it in an email. An application letter sent through email requires a subject line that details your purpose for writing— consider “[job title], [your name].” The placement of your contact information is also different depending on the medium . In a hard copy, this goes at the top of your letter, as a header. In an email, it goes below your signature.
The following formatting information can be used as a guideline while drafting your own job application letter, with an example for both a printed/mailed letter and a letter sent through email.
Your contact information
Name Address City, State Zip Code Phone Number Email Address
Employer contact information
This section should be about one to three paragraphs, discussing your various qualifications for the job. This is where you really emphasize what you could bring to the company and how you might fit into the work environment. It might be necessary to do some additional research about the company, to lend more specificity to your letter.
Ending a cover letter might be a challenge, as you try to wrap up all the details about why you’re the most well-qualified employee on the planet. Let that confidence carry over into your concluding paragraph.
Job application letter example – printed and mailed
Robin Gomez 37 Southwest Avenue Gainesville, FL 12345 365-123-4567 [email protected] October 20, 2020 Ms. Martha Waters Hiring Manager Blue Swamp Publishing 27 Archer Street Gainesville, FL 67890 Dear Ms. Waters, My resume is attached in response to your advertisement for an editorial assistant . The job description aligns with my interest in editing short fiction, and I believe my experience and skills match what you’re looking for. This past year, I interned with the Editing, Design and Production department at Gator University Press. Over the course of two semesters, I interacted with academic texts at various stages before publication. I’m comfortable proofreading and copyediting manuscripts, as well as adding typesetting codes in Microsoft Word. I have also previously worked on the staff of Writers Student Literary Magazine in Jacksonville, FL , as the Fiction and Website Editor, as well as the head of the Proofreading Team. I played a significant role in the publication of six issues of the magazine, across a two year period (including print and online editions). My qualifications beyond this include experience in team-oriented settings and proficiency in creative and academic writing. I would love the opportunity to speak with you about how I can further contribute to Blue Swamp Publishing! Please feel free to contact me on my cell at 365-123-4567 if you have questions or to set up an interview. Sincerely, Robin Gomez
Job application letter example – emailed
Subject Line: Victoria Caruso – Public Relations Assistant Dear Ms. Janet Wang, I was excited when my colleague Rachel Smith told me that you were looking for a public relations assistant with a background in graphic design. She suggested that I reach out to you about the position, since I believe that my experience aligns well with what you are seeking at Trademark Agency. I worked alongside Rachel as a brand ambassador at a small graphic design company for three years, where I excelled in project management, strategy development, and client communication. This past spring, I played a significant role in designing the website for an up-and-coming multicultural women’s organization and publicizing their first few public events. Along with my experience and personal qualities, I prioritize: Expanding company recognition and designing unique brand details Managing media, press, and public relations issues for companies Developing company communication strategies Please see my attached resume for additional details about my career achievements. I hope to learn more about Trademark Agency’s goals for the coming year. You can contact me on my cell at 319-333-3333 or via email at [email protected]. Sincerely, Victoria Caruso 15th Avenue N Iowa City, Iowa 52240 319-333-3333 [email protected]
A cover letter normally is attached with a resume for a specific job opening, whereas a job application letter can be submitted independently. As already stated, a job application letter can also be known as a cover letter. Format wise, there are a lot of similarities.
However, a job application letter can also be more detailed than a cover a letter. Usually a cover letter acts a quick introduction to a resume when a candidate applies for a specific job opening.
Meanwhile, you can submit a job application letter to a company even if there are no job openings. In this case, you would provide more detail about yourself and your qualifications. Due to this, job application letters tend to be a little longer than the average cover letter.
Now that we’ve gone through the basic formatting for a job application letter and a few examples of what one might look like, how can we condense all that information into digestible pieces?
Refer to these lists of “dos” and “don’ts” to help you through your drafting process:
Explain what you can bring to the company. Consider: how is your experience relevant to what the hiring manager is looking for?
Discuss your skills. Pick out a few skills listed in your resume and describe how you have utilized them in the workplace.
Give specific examples to support your experience. Is there a major project you worked on at your last job ? Did you accomplish something significant in your previous position? Including examples of these things in your letter will add new, specific content to your application and make you more interesting.
Edit your letter thoroughly. Read your letter a couple times, pass it off to someone to look over, run it through an online grammar check. Make sure it’s free of any errors.
Don’t focus on what the job can do for you. While it might seem nice to write that a job is your dream job or that you’ve always wanted to work with a company, it can read as vague flattery. Remember, this letter is about your qualifications.
Don’t list your current or previous job description. Your education and work experience certainly have value, but don’t just list your degrees and places you’ve worked at. Explained what you learned from those experiences and how they’ve made you a strong employee.
Don’t paste directly from your resume. A job application letter is meant to add to your value as a candidate, not just reiterate the same information repeatedly. Use your resume as a guide , but expand on especially relevant details.
Don’t submit an unedited letter. Before an employer ever meets you, they see your application and your job application letter. You don’t want grammar errors and misspelled words to make a bad first impression, so make sure to edit your draft multiple times.
Armed with these tips, guidelines, and examples, you’ll be able to draft your job application letter more confidently and send them off to potential employers knowing that you’re one step closer to employment.
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Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.
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How to Write a Job Application Letter (with Examples)
Last Updated: August 1, 2023 Fact Checked
Introduction, body paragraphs, closing your letter, expert q&a.
This article was written by Shannon O'Brien, MA, EdM and by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano . Shannon O'Brien is the Founder and Principal Advisor of Whole U. (a career and life strategy consultancy based in Boston, MA). Through advising, workshops and e-learning Whole U. empowers people to pursue their life's work and live a balanced, purposeful life. Shannon has been ranked as the #1 Career Coach and #1 Life Coach in Boston, MA by Yelp reviewers. She has been featured on Boston.com, Boldfacers, and the UR Business Network. She received a Master's of Technology, Innovation, & Education from Harvard University. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 10,628,097 times.
So, you’ve found your dream job and want to make sure you nail the job application process. You double- and triple-check the criteria—they’re asking for a cover letter. What does that mean, and how do you write it? A cover letter or letter of application is a single page that sums up why you want and deserve the job. Think of it as an extension of your resume; a sales pitch for why you’re the perfect candidate. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide full of examples and tips on how to write a letter of application for a job. With our help and a little finesse, you may soon be calling that dream job your own.
Things You Should Know
- Format your application letter single-spaced and in Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri font that’s 10- to 12-point in size.
- Open your letter with an engaging and confident first paragraph that briefly includes your qualifications, where you found the job, and your overall interest in the position.
- Show your personality in the body paragraphs by describing the passions that relate to the position in 1 or 2 sentences.
- Use keywords (like leadership, communication, and detail-oriented) from the job description throughout your letter to show that you’ve done your research.
- First and last name
- Phone number
- Email address
- Personal website and/or portfolio link (if you have one)
- If you don’t know the hiring manager's name, search the company’s website or refer to the name of the individual who originally posted the job opening.
- If you’re in doubt about who to address your letter to, use “[Department] Hiring Manager.”
- If you don’t have the employer or hiring manager’s name, use a general but professional opening, “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear [Department] Hiring Manager.”
- Be short and specific in this opening paragraph—save those details for later.
- Think of your first paragraph as a sales pitch. What can you say that’ll grab their attention immediately? Is there something you have that other candidates don’t that make you more qualified for the position?
- Show the employer that you’re familiar with the company and job application by noting keywords and characteristics valued by the company.
- For example: “I write to apply for the Office Manager position at Acme Investments, Inc. I am an excellent fit for this position, as demonstrated by my extensive background in management and proven success as a corporate administrator.”
- Companies appreciate when job candidates include this information because it lets them know where people are searching for jobs.
- Only include a company contact or friend’s name if you have their permission. This way, they’ll be ready to answer any questions about you and your character later.
- You may write something like: “John Smith recommended that I get in touch with you about the general manager position at EnviroRent,” or “I came across the available position on LinkedIn and believe I am a strong candidate.”
- For instance, if the company needs someone who can lead a team and handle multiple projects at once, note what team projects you’ve led in previous positions and how you improved overall productivity.
- If you have numerical data or stats to back up your accomplishments, include them! This is your time to brag about your achievements and show how you’ve excelled in the workplace.
- Scan the job application for keywords like leadership, communication, management, and detail-oriented. Then, highlight in your letter how you have these characteristics or skills.
- Avoid embellishing any of your qualifications. Remember, an employer can always double-check the facts.
- If you’re not sure what to write, refer to your resume or CV. What have you done that matches the job description best, and how can you elaborate on it?
- For example: “In my previous role, I successfully supported an office of 100 personnel and honed my management and interpersonal skills through customer service and clerical responsibilities.”
- For instance, you could express how the company has impacted you personally and why that’s driven you to apply for the position.
- Although you want to provide details, keep it short. Stick to a 1 to 2-sentence description rather than a full-length story. Your letter should stay under 3 paragraphs.
- Here’s an example: “My passion for teaching began the summer of my sophomore year of high school when I was a camp counselor. I was given the opportunity to teach a class focusing on local plant life, and the campers’ enthusiasm cultivated my love for teaching and conservation.
- For instance, you could write, “I am excited about the possibility of working for you and your company. I would be more than happy to discuss my qualifications and Acme’s future direction in person or via video conference.”
- Keep your call to action brief and open, or provide specific dates you’d be available to meet with the employer.
- For instance, sign off with, “Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you,” or “Thank you for considering me for this position. If you have any further questions or require additional documentation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.”  X Research source
- If you’re sending your letter via email, import your signature into the document as an image or .png file.
- Always proofread and ask someone else to read over your application letter before you send it. This way, you can make sure it’s absolutely perfect and error-free.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Keep the overall tone of the company or employer in mind while writing your letter. For instance, if you’re applying to be a journalist for a prestigious news website, match their word choice and writing style. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Be sure to customize your application letter for every job you apply to, even if they have the same qualifications. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://www.ferrum.edu/downloads/careers/cover-letters.pdf
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/job_search_writing/job_search_letters/cover_letters_workshop/formatting_and_organization.html
- ↑ https://icc.ucdavis.edu/materials/cover-letters
- ↑ https://hbr.org/2016/05/learn-to-love-networking
- ↑ https://hbr.org/2014/02/how-to-write-a-cover-letter
- ↑ https://career.colostate.edu/resources/cover-letter-example-csu-career-center/
- ↑ https://www.astate.edu/dotAsset/54eb42cc-33a3-4237-a46e-3f4aaac79389.pdf
- ↑ https://career.gatech.edu/writing-effective-cover-letter
About This Article
The best way to start an application letter is to mention where you found the job opportunity and how your strengths can benefit the employer. Devote time in the body paragraphs to tell the employer more about your experience and qualifications. Explain why you’re the best candidate and finish by inviting the hiring manager to contact you. For suggestions on how to prepare your letter, and examples of what to write, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application
Published: August 10, 2022
Are cover letters necessary? I'm not in HR, but I've been approached by applicants who wondered whether their cover letter would actually be read. My answer is one not many of them wanted to hear: "sometimes." Sometimes it will be read. Other times, you can get away with just sending in your resume — like when you network your way into applying for a position.
The truth is, you can't really predict on a case-by-case basis — and you're better safe than sorry. For the most part, having a cover letter will give you an upper hand in ways your resume doesn't. It allows you to show off your writing skills, provide details that you couldn't fit on your resume, demonstrate your passion, and show your willingness to put in as much time and effort as possible.
If you’ve ever rolled your eyes or balked at an application that required a cover letter, this guide is for you. We’ll go over how to write a cover letter and provide cover letter templates to help you perfect your own.
An application letter is a written document addressed to an employer by a job applicant, explaining why they're interested in and qualified for an open position. More commonly known as a cover letter, this document can come in the form of an email, MS Word document, or similar application template offered by the employer.
Seems fairly basic, right? Cover letters can hold different levels of importance to an employer depending on the industry you're in and the job you're applying for. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 49% of recruiters say sendign a cover letter along with your resume boosts your chance of landing the role.
If you do plan to write a cover letter, keep in mind there are certain qualities it should have that are not included in the definition above.
5 Free Cover Letter Templates
Five fill-in-the-blank cover letter templates to help you impress recruiters.
- Standard Cover Letter Template
- Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
- Data-Driven Cover Letter Template
You're all set!
Click this link to access this resource at any time.
What to Include in a Cover Letter
So, what should you include? We'll let the 11 templates below this list do most of the talking. No matter which one you download, pay attention to the following elements — all of which should shine through in the letter you send to your future manager.
Fill out this form to access your templates.
1. contact information.
Cover letters shouldn't just carry your contact information, but also that of the company to which you're applying. Contact info includes your phone number, email address, and any social media accounts you're willing to share and receive connections to.
Home addresses aren't required, but they can be a helpful reassurance to the employer that you already live nearby and would have no trouble coming into the office.
Avoid offering phone numbers, email addresses, or actual addresses that belong to your current employer. Using your personal Gmail address over your work email, for example, ensures your correspondence with recruiters remains separate from all of your current work communication.
2. A Personal Address Line
For as often as you see "to whom it may concern" at the top of cover letters today, do your best to avoid writing this exhausted line.
Address lines that specify a person or company grab your reader's attention much more quickly, and show the employer that you've taken the time to tailor your application letter to them. Don't have the name of the hiring manager? "Employers at [company name]" will do just fine.
A "hook" is a clever introduction that "hooks" your reader into wanting to learn more. Think about yourself as a job candidate — what makes you unique? What about your career might a recruiter be intrigued by that you can package into an interesting first sentence?
4. Why You're Qualified
It's a no-brainer that you should summarize your professional experience in your cover letter. However, today's best applications describe why this experience qualifies the applicant for the job they're applying for. For example, don't just state that you spent three years writing for a company blog. Explain that this type of work lends itself to managing your new potential employer's content calendar every week.
5. General Knowledge of the Business
Grammatical errors could mean your application is thrown in the trash, but that's not the only thing that could get your letter tossed aside. Using a generic "one-size-fits-all" cover letter — especially if you forget to change the name of the company — will also hurt your chances of landing an interview.
So, if you take the time to write a cover letter, take the time to comment on the business itself. Why are you applying to this company? What about their business stuck out to you as a professional?
Now, let's take a look at an example cover letter , what makes it effective, along with 11 templates you can download or draw inspiration from.
Cover Letter Example
The example above illustrates how to write a marketing cover letter using the elements we listed.
Besides the contact information and the address line, the first few paragraphs explain why the candidate is qualified for the position. This example uses specific data to show why they would be a good fit.
Additionally, in the second to last paragraph, the candidate discusses why they're interested in the specific company, demonstrating general knowledge of the business.
By combining all the elements to a cover letter, this is a great example to use for inspiration.
Featured Resource: 5 Professional Cover Letter Templates
14 Free Cover Letter Templates for Your Next Job Application
Template 1: basic.
The example above is a basic (but great) cover letter. The numbered sections are explained in more detail below.
The level of formality your header has will depend on the company to which you apply. If you're applying to a formal business, it's important to use a formal header to open your cover letter, like in the sample above. Put your address, the date, and the company's address. But if you're applying to a company that isn't as formal, you don't need to include yours and the company's addresses. You can still include the date, though.
Using "To Whom It May Concern" is okay, but you may want to take the time to research the name of the recruiter or hiring manager online. If you do your research and aren't confident you found the right name, then you should definitely use the generic greeting — but if you are sure, then it shows you put in the effort to find their name and it will catch the recruiter's eye.
If you have the recruiter's name, do you greet them by their full name, or by their courtesy title (i.e. Mr., Ms., or Mrs.)? Similar to the header, it depends on the company's level of formality. If you're applying to a corporate business, you may want to consider using "Mr. Snaper" instead of "Jon Snaper." If you're applying to a start-up or a business with a more casual culture, you can use "Jon Snaper," as shown in the example.
Your opening paragraph should, in 1-3 sentences, state why you're excited to apply and what makes you the perfect candidate. Get right to the point, and don't worry about explaining where you found the posting or who you know at the company. This isn't a place to go into detail about why you're a great candidate — that's for the second paragraph. Here, simply list a few key reasons in one sentence to set up the rest of your letter. Keep in mind that the recruiter may cross-reference your cover letter with your resume, so make sure the two sync up.
4. Paragraph 2: Why You're a Great Fit for the Job
Next, sell yourself and your experience by choosing one or two concrete examples that show why you're a great fit for the position. What did you do at a previous company that gave you relevant experience? Which projects have you worked on that would benefit the new company? How will your prior experience help this company grow? Stay humble in your explanation of credentials while still showing that you would be an asset to the team. Use this paragraph to show you're genuinely excited and interested in the position.
5. Third Paragraph: Why the Company Is a Great Fit for You
While it's certainly important you're a good fit for the job, it's also important that the company is a good fit for you. "A cover letter typically describes why you're great for a company — but how will you benefit from getting hired?" asks former HubSpot Team Development Manager Emily MacIntyre . "We want to know why our company appeals to you, and how it will be a mutually beneficial working relationship."
In the third paragraph, show you're serious about growing and developing your career at this new company. What impresses and excites you about the company? Is there something that you feel strongly about that aligns with the company's goals? For example, the candidate in the sample letter used this space to show his personal commitment to environmental causes aligns with the company's green initiatives.
6. Strong Closer and Signature
Don't get lazy in the final few sentences of your cover letter — it's important to finish strong. Be straightforward about your interest and enthusiasm about the new position, and tell them you're available to talk about the opportunity at any time. Be sure to include your phone number and email address. At this point, the ball is (rightly) in the recruiter's court to decide how to follow up.
Last but certainly not least, thank them for their time and consideration. Use a formal sign-off like "Best," "All the best," or "Sincerely," and finish by typing out your full name. You don't need to sign it with a pen.
Template 2: Data-Driven Marketing Cover Letter
Get it here..
When applying to a data-driven position, it might be tempting to inject your cover letter with, well, the data to describe what you've done for other employers. But in an application letter — particularly for the marketing industry — how you convey this data is just as important as the data itself.
The cover letter template above, which we created here at HubSpot, can help you present the data that's most important to you as a candidate such that it'll matter to your future employer.
Notice the three bullet points near the center of the letter above, preceded by the statement: "... I've developed a strategy that has helped the company achieve ..." This setup is important, because while you can add as many statistics as you want to this template, your data points should describe how your current/former business benefited from your work, rather than how you, yourself, benefited.
Template 3: Straight-to-the-Point Cover Letter
Harvard Business Review contributor David Silverman hailed the above cover letter example as "The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received." For context, Silverman believes there are only a handful of times when writing a cover letter is actually necessary:
- When you know the name of the hiring manager.
- When you know something about what the job requires.
- When you've been referred to the job personally.
Under those three circumstances, a straight-to-the-point cover letter like the one above could be your best bet. Because it's so concise, however, make a point to add your own letterhead above the message itself. It might be easy for a recruiter to sift through a short and sweet cover letter like the one above, but it's just as easy for it to get lost in the shuffle of their application list without a unique design or format.
Template 4: Referral Cover Letter
Just because a friend or colleague recommended you for a job doesn't mean the company is all set to hire you. Therefore, the cover letter template above is written specifically for referrals. We made this one here at HubSpot. Download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).
As you can see in the picture above, the first paragraph of the cover letter is dedicated entirely to acknowledging the circumstances of your applying: You know someone who works there — no harm in that. But there might be harm in not mentioning it to the hiring manager. Telling the reader about your connection at the company shows you're aware and confident of the actions you take to get the opportunities you're interested in.
Ultimately, it's better than the recruiter hearing about your employee connection from somebody else.
As for the rest of the cover letter, treat your message the same way you would if you had applied with no connection from within. Your skills and successes are no less important because of your internal referral.
Template 5: Photo Letterhead Cover Letter
The cover letter template above was designed by Microsoft Office, and as comprehensive as it looks, it's completely free to download and modify.
As it looks right now, this cover letter contains about half photo, half text. Feel free to shrink (and change) the image to give yourself more room to tell your story. Of course, a nice washed-out image that expresses who you are can be part of that story ...
Template 6: Digital Creative Cover Letter
This sixth template is perfect for the applicant who wants to emphasize the many different digital channels they areon. This template goes well with a resume of the same format.
As you personalize this letter with your own experience, make note of the social networks and industry software included in this template. You'll see there’s additional space along the top to add your LinkedIn and personal website to fill with your own information.
You can improve upon this template by formatting your most important highlights and accomplishments with bullet points. This will make the document easier to read for the hiring manager and emphasizes the value you provide.
Template 7: Marketing Manager Cover Letter
Our seventh cover letter comes from Monster.com. This cover letter, shown above, is focused specifically on a marketing role.
Notice how the writer includes references to important marketing metrics and terminology. If you're applying to a data-driven role, you might not want to fill the page with a story of your experience in paragraph form, like Template 1 does at the beginning of this article. Instead, consider highlighting three (or four, or five) of your successes that you believe the hiring manager would resonate most with, in bulleted form.
As a marketing professional, breaking up your letter with bulleted details like the ones above shows a respect for the hiring manager's limited time — a mentality that all marketers must understand when communicating with a brand's audience.
Template 8: Career Day Follow-Up Cover Letter
This is a unique kind of cover letter from Princeton University.
LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and Indeed might take the lion's share of your job searches online, but still some employment opportunities come out of a trade show, job fair, or similar networking event. For those occurrences, you have the follow-up cover letter template above.
This cover letter has everything you need to help an employer recall a conversation you had with him/her at a career fair. As you can see in the second paragraph, the letter is particularly useful to people who are about to graduate college.
Template 9: Logo and Watermarked Cover Letter
Here's another cover letter template from Microsoft Office. This one has a light touch of color in the design just above the letterhead, but make no mistake — the template caters to any professional looking to make a good first impression on their future employer.
Don't let the logo space on the top-right of the page confuse you. This can be the logo of the company to which you're applying — to quickly get the attention of the recruiter — or your own logo. Perhaps you freelance on the side or simply like branding yourself. This cover letter template is meant for customization.
Template 10: Data Scientist Cover Letter
This is our second template from Princeton University. While this is focused on a data scientist role, it is an excellent template to use for students applying to jobs prior to graduation.
The text emphasizes how the applicant’s academic research and projects makes them an ideal candidate for the position. The format is also simple enough to submit as a pdf, as text in an email message or an application text box.
Template 11: Business Cover Letter
The cover letter template above is perfect for entry- and mid-level marketers who want to show a little extra professionalism in their opening note to a potential employer.
The multi-colored header (you can change the color if you wish) shows just the right amount of creativity and can go quite well with a resume of the same style. If you don't have enough experience to fill the entire page, don't worry. Feel free to write to a length you think is representative of who you are and what the hiring manager wants to see.
No matter how long your final cover letter is, the above template is your opportunity to show your attention to detail — from your contact information in the top header, to the personalized address line where you can include the name of the hiring manager. Like we said, "to whom it may concern" is pretty outdated, anyway.
Template 12: Entry-Level Cover Letter
The cover letter template above, written by HubSpot, is specifically designed for entry-level applicants.
When you only have a few years experience, it's important to display how you gained your skills and what you learned from your education or internships. Additionally, it's important to mention why you want to work at the company you're applying to.
No matter your experience, the template above will help you decide what skills you want to highlight and flesh out in your cover letter.
You can download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).
Template 13: Healthcare Cover Letter
Additionally, phrases like "I'd love to put my skills to work for your clinic" and "Please contact me at your convenience and let me know how I can help you" focus on what the business will gain as a result of hiring the applicant, rather than what the applicant is looking to gain.
Template 14: Freelance Cover Letter
If you're looking for freelance work, your biggest goal is to get your strengths across quickly, so busy clients won't pass by your cover letter entirely. Additionally, if you're sending out multiple cover letters to different clients, you'll want to target each one to that client's unique goals.
For instance, if one client is looking for SEO-optimized content related to marketing, you'll want to highlight past experience writing marketing content; this will change if, for instance, the client is looking for fitness content.
For this reason, it's a good idea to structure your cover letter so you start with a) past credentials or references, and b) bullet-point information related to the client's goal, as shown in the cover letter above.
Template 15: Director Cover Letter
In the cover letter above, the candidate does a good job outlining how she succeeded in a leadership role previously: "For the past five years, I have successfully developed and maintained all data systems, including schedules and records for a business employing more than 100 people."
You'll want to demonstrate how your skills align with a Director position — both through organization and leadership — and, when possible, where you received recognition for your hard work (i.e. "I earned an award for Most Valuable Administrative Staff Member").
Write a Winning Cover Letter
Writing a cover letter is easier said than done. Don't hesitate to spend a lot of time writing and editing it. Tap into the incredible potential of AI tools, such as the HubSpot paragraph rewriter , to infuse each paragraph with a flawless touch of excellence. Or, ask a friend or family member to read it over and give you feedback. If the recruiter does end up reading it, you'll be thankful you did.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Don't forget to share this post!
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Job Application Letter Template and Writing Tips
- What to Include in an Application Letter
Application Letter Template
Application letter example.
- How to Email an Application Letter
Are you ready to apply for a job? Not sure what to write in your letter of application ? It can be much easier to start your letter with a template than to start a letter from scratch.
A template will show you all the information you need to include, and will provide the appropriate format for a job application letter . You can add your information and personalize the letter prior to applying for a job.
Do keep in mind that the job posting may list required information as part of the application process. If it does, be sure to follow the employer's guidelines for what to send or upload when you apply.
What to Include in a Job Application Letter
The following application letter template lists the information you need to include in the letter you submit with your resume when applying for a job. Use this application template as a guideline to create customized letters to send to employers with your resume.
Contact Information The first section of your letter should include information on how the employer can contact you. If you have contact information for the employer, include that. Otherwise, just list your information.
Your Personal Information FirstName LastName Street Address City, State Zip Code Phone Number Email Address
Employer Contact Information Name Title Company Address City, State Zip Code
Salutation Here is information on appropriate salutations for in a cover letter . It is the most common salutation:
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name or Dear Hiring Manager:
Application Letter Content Your application letter will let the employer know what position you are applying for, why the employer should select you for an interview, and how you will follow-up.
First Paragraph: The first paragraph of your job application letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the job you are applying for and where you found the position. If you have a contact at the company, mention the person's name and your connection here.
Middle Paragraphs: The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the company:
- Make strong connections between your abilities and the requirements listed in the job posting. Mention specifically how your skills and experience match the job.
- Expand on the information in your resume, don't just repeat it.
- Try to support each statement you make with a piece of evidence.
- Use several shorter paragraphs or bullets rather than one large block of text, which can be difficult to read and absorb quickly.
Final Paragraph: Conclude your application letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow up. State that you will do so and indicate when (one week's time is typical). You may want to reduce the time between sending out your resume and following up if you upload or email it.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your full name typed out
This is an example of a job application letter. Download the job application letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Application Letter Sample (Text Version)
Christina Black 987 Maple Avenue City, State 12345 555-555-5555 firstname.lastname@example.org
August 11, 2020
Mary Cody Hiring Manager ASDF Company 777 Broadway City, State 55555
Dear Ms. Cody:
I am writing in reference to the position of Front Office Assistant posted on Monster. With my skills and experience, I believe I can offer exactly the kind of support necessary in your fast-paced corporate culture.
In addition to my customer relations, communications, and technical skills, I bring the following experience:
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint
- Proficient in Quickbooks and Quicken
- Able to multi-task in a fast-paced environment, handle multiple phone lines while maintaining customer flow
- Team player, providing superior customer service and administrative support
- Maximize office efficiency through maintaining and implementing best practices in invoicing, vendor relations, and workflow management
Thank you for your consideration as a valuable addition to your team. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss how I can bring my positive energy to your administrative staff and help your company continue to grow and succeed. I’ll follow up with you next week to check on the status of my application.
Christina Black (signature hard copy letter)
How to Email an Application Letter
If you are emailing an application letter, instead of sending a hard copy, you will need to make a few minor tweaks to the template above. First, make sure to include an email subject line that is direct and informative.
Typically, the subject includes your name and the job title you are applying for. For example:
Subject: Sherry Chao — Marketing Associate Position
Skip including your personal information (address, contact information), the date, and the employer's contact information. Begin your email with the salutation. The body of the email—why you're writing, what you have to offer the company, and how you will follow up—will be precisely the same as in the template above.
At the end of the letter, include a complimentary close , and then type out your full name on the line below. As well, you can include an email signature with your contact information and a link to your LinkedIn or Twitter account. Here is information on how to set up your email signature.
Create a form in Word that users can complete or print
In Word, you can create a form that others can fill out and save or print. To do this, you will start with baseline content in a document, potentially via a form template. Then you can add content controls for elements such as check boxes, text boxes, date pickers, and drop-down lists. Optionally, these content controls can be linked to database information. Following are the recommended action steps in sequence.
Show the Developer tab
In Word, be sure you have the Developer tab displayed in the ribbon. (See how here: Show the developer tab .)
Open a template or a blank document on which to base the form
You can start with a template or just start from scratch with a blank document.
Start with a form template
Go to File > New .
In the Search for online templates field, type Forms or the kind of form you want. Then press Enter .
In the displayed results, right-click any item, then select Create.
Start with a blank document
Select Blank document .
Add content to the form
Go to the Developer tab Controls section where you can choose controls to add to your document or form. Hover over any icon therein to see what control type it represents. The various control types are described below. You can set properties on a control once it has been inserted.
To delete a content control, right-click it, then select Remove content control in the pop-up menu.
Note: You can print a form that was created via content controls. However, the boxes around the content controls will not print.
Insert a text control
The rich text content control enables users to format text (e.g., bold, italic) and type multiple paragraphs. To limit these capabilities, use the plain text content control .
Click or tap where you want to insert the control.
To learn about setting specific properties on these controls, see Set or change properties for content controls .
Insert a picture control
A picture control is most often used for templates, but you can also add a picture control to a form.
Insert a building block control
Use a building block control when you want users to choose a specific block of text. These are helpful when you need to add different boilerplate text depending on the document's specific purpose. You can create rich text content controls for each version of the boilerplate text, and then use a building block control as the container for the rich text content controls.
Select Developer and content controls for the building block.
Insert a combo box or a drop-down list
In a combo box, users can select from a list of choices that you provide or they can type in their own information. In a drop-down list, users can only select from the list of choices.
Select the content control, and then select Properties .
To create a list of choices, select Add under Drop-Down List Properties .
Type a choice in Display Name , such as Yes , No , or Maybe .
Repeat this step until all of the choices are in the drop-down list.
Fill in any other properties that you want.
Note: If you select the Contents cannot be edited check box, users won’t be able to click a choice.
Insert a date picker
Click or tap where you want to insert the date picker control.
Insert a check box
Click or tap where you want to insert the check box control.
Use the legacy form controls
Legacy form controls are for compatibility with older versions of Word and consist of legacy form and Active X controls.
Click or tap where you want to insert a legacy control.
Select the Legacy Form control or Active X Control that you want to include.
Set or change properties for content controls
Each content control has properties that you can set or change. For example, the Date Picker control offers options for the format you want to use to display the date.
Select the content control that you want to change.
Go to Developer > Properties .
Change the properties that you want.
Add protection to a form
If you want to limit how much others can edit or format a form, use the Restrict Editing command:
Open the form that you want to lock or protect.
Select Developer > Restrict Editing .
After selecting restrictions, select Yes, Start Enforcing Protection .
If you want to protect only parts of the document, separate the document into sections and only protect the sections you want.
To do this, choose Select Sections in the Restrict Editing panel. For more info on sections, see Insert a section break .
If the developer tab isn't displayed in the ribbon, see Show the Developer tab .
Open a template or use a blank document
To create a form in Word that others can fill out, start with a template or document and add content controls. Content controls include things like check boxes, text boxes, and drop-down lists. If you’re familiar with databases, these content controls can even be linked to data.
Go to File > New from Template .
In Search, type form .
Double-click the template you want to use.
Select File > Save As , and pick a location to save the form.
In Save As , type a file name and then select Save .
Start with a blank document
Go to File > New Document .
Go to File > Save As .
Go to Developer , and then choose the controls that you want to add to the document or form. To remove a content control, select the control and press Delete. You can set Options on controls once inserted. From Options, you can add entry and exit macros to run when users interact with the controls, as well as list items for combo boxes, .
Adding content controls to your form
In the document, click or tap where you want to add a content control.
On Developer , select Text Box , Check Box , or Combo Box .
To set specific properties for the control, select Options , and set .
Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each control that you want to add.
Options let you set common settings, as well as control specific settings. Select a control and then select Options to set up or make changes.
Set common properties.
Select Macro to Run on lets you choose a recorded or custom macro to run on Entry or Exit from the field.
Bookmark Set a unique name or bookmark for each control.
Calculate on exit This forces Word to run or refresh any calculations, such as total price when the user exits the field.
Add Help Text Give hints or instructions for each field.
OK Saves settings and exits the panel.
Cancel Forgets changes and exits the panel.
Set specific properties for a Text box
Type Select form Regular text, Number, Date, Current Date, Current Time, or Calculation.
Default text sets optional instructional text that's displayed in the text box before the user types in the field. Set Text box enabled to allow the user to enter text into the field.
Maximum length sets the length of text that a user can enter. The default is Unlimited .
Text format can set whether text automatically formats to Uppercase , Lowercase , First capital, or Title case .
Text box enabled Lets the user enter text into a field. If there is default text, user text replaces it.
Set specific properties for a Check box .
Default Value Choose between Not checked or checked as default.
Checkbox size Set a size Exactly or Auto to change size as needed.
Check box enabled Lets the user check or clear the text box.
Set specific properties for a Combo box
Drop-down item Type in strings for the list box items. Press + or Enter to add an item to the list.
Items in drop-down list Shows your current list. Select an item and use the up or down arrows to change the order, Press - to remove a selected item.
Drop-down enabled Lets the user open the combo box and make selections.
Protect the form
Go to Developer > Protect Form .
Note: To unprotect the form and continue editing, select Protect Form again.
Save and close the form.
Test the form (optional)
If you want, you can test the form before you distribute it.
Protect the form.
Reopen the form, fill it out as the user would, and then save a copy.
Creating fillable forms isn’t available in Word for the web.
You can create the form with the desktop version of Word with the instructions in Create a fillable form .
When you save the document and reopen it in Word for the web, you’ll see the changes you made.
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