10 Common Cover Letter Questions Answered
- August 16, 2021
- In Resumes & Cover Letters
As you’re applying for jobs, you might run into countless cover letter questions. How long should it be? Is it even necessary? Knowing how to write an effective cover letter can put you miles ahead in your job search. Not only will it set you apart from other applicants, but it will also ensure you leave a great first impression. To help you achieve that, we answered some of the most common cover letter questions that you might have.
Why is a cover letter necessary?
Your cover letter is your first chance to introduce yourself to your potential employer. To pique their interest and make a positive first impression, your cover letter should be value-driven and clear. A well-written cover letter reflects your dedication. In turn, it will show hiring managers that you strive for excellence in your work. Moreover, it’s your chance to go beyond your experience and show off a bit of your character. And although more and more companies are choosing to bypass cover letters, it’s still a great chance to sell yourself as a future employee.
Frequently Asked Question about Cover Letter
introduction presents you and why you’re interested in the job. The body paragraphs then elaborate on your career successes. And finally, your conclusion should prompt the employer to get in touch with a clear call to action.
At the very top of your cover letter, include your full contact information. Next, write a formal greeting addressed to the recruiter. Then, write the body of your cover letter. The opening part should be eye-catching yet brief. Your past achievements, strengths, and expertise should all make an appearance in the middle part. Apart from showing that you’re qualified for the position, it should also explain why you’re interested in the job and the company. Finally, close off the letter with a summary and a complimentary close followed by your signature.
If you know the hiring manager’s name, it’s best to address them directly. If you are not sure of their gender, you can begin with “Dear Name Surname.” If you do know, it’s best to start with the standard “Dear Mr./Ms. Surname.” If you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, make the effort to search for it. A good place to start is the company website or LinkedIn profile. However, if you can’t find the name anywhere, address your cover letter to the department or team you are applying to. Despite not addressing a person directly, it is still personalized and shows that you care about the position.
Including keywords in your cover letter will help you get through the ATS and ensure your application makes it to the employer. The keywords you use in your cover letter should be the same as in your resume or LinkedIn profile. Read through the job description and look at the wording used to describe required skills, qualifications, and daily tasks. Then, sprinkle these throughout your resume and cover letter.
An effective way to make your cover letter stand out is by mentioning a reference from the company. If applicable, you should include this in your first paragraph to grab the employer’s attention right away. Another way to set yourself apart with your cover letter is to include your past successes. Elaborate on what you achieved and how it positively affected the company.
Some job listings might not ask for a cover letter directly or may not even mention it. However, in most cases, you should still submit a cover letter. For example, you may need to explain employment gaps, career changes, or include extra information about your background. However, there are times when the cover letter is not needed. If the company says they do not accept cover letters, or if there is no way to submit one, it’s most likely unnecessary. Also, think twice about submitting a cover letter if you’re short on time. Sometimes, it’s better to leave it out than to submit a rushed, low-quality one.
In short, yes. You want to show the employer why you’re a good fit for this specific position and company. Thus, sending out a generic cover letter won’t be very effective. In each cover letter, emphasize why you’re the best person to fulfill the specific job duties. Similarly, explain what makes you a good fit for the company. You can create one generic cover letter and then personalize these details for each position to save time.
Keep your cover letter short and to the point. Ideally, aim for three to four paragraphs. Include only the most relevant information and keep your cover letter one page or shorter. That way, you’re not letting the employer lose interest with lengthy paragraphs and too many details.
If you don’t have experience in the field you’re applying for, focus on transferable skills. For example, if you learned to lead a group during a school project, discuss this to emphasize your leadership skills. Essentially, use the experience gained through education, volunteering, or informal employment to make up for a professional experience.
Forgetting to proofread is a common mistake people make when writing cover letters. So, before you send your application, make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors in your writing. It’s also common to become repetitive with the use of “I” at the beginning of sentences, making the text harder to read. Also, avoid repeating the exact information you included in your resume. Instead, focus on the most relevant achievements and relate them to the role you’re applying to.
To avoid looking unprofessional and leaving a bad first impression, make sure not to include any mistakes or typos in your cover letter. Also, you shouldn’t cross the line between relevant and personal information. Only focus on information that is directly related to the job and your professional abilities. Similarly, don’t include information that is untruthful or exaggerated. To ensure a good first impression, leave out any negative comments, complaints, or salary and benefits expectations.
Each cover letter will have the same main sections, which you’ll find in every template . However, you should always tailor the cover letter to reflect who you are and the position you’re applying to. To achieve that, instead, write your own generic template and then tailor it to each job.
Remember that your cover letter should be balanced in all aspects. You can let your personality shine through but keep it professional. Boast about your achievements but explain how you accomplished them. And, of course, tailor it to the job, but make sure you still stand out. A powerful cover letter can expand your resume and present you as a stellar fit for any position.
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Writing a cover letter.
The goal of your cover letter is to complement your resume. Employers use cover letters to determine your interest in the position and company, as well as to assess your written communication skills.
Your cover letter should be clearly structured and answer the following questions:
Who are you?
Introduce yourself. Include your major and year at Georgetown.
Why are you writing?
In the first few sentences, mention the specific job title, if you know it, and how you heard about the position opening. Be concise.
Why are you interested in the position?
Without getting too personal, relate something about the job to your own interests or experiences to show the employer that you have a genuine interest. Do not focus on what this job will do for you unless you are directly asked to answer that question. Instead, focus on what you can contribute to the company.
How are you qualified?
Highlight skills and achievements that demonstrate why you are qualified for the position, and use key terms from the description that are relevant to your background.
What is your next step?
In closing, you should request an interview, with a strong reminder as to why the employer should meet with you. Also, consider adding a statement saying that you will follow up (e.g., within two weeks) to confirm that she has received your resume and cover letter. Skip this step if they’ve requested that you do not contact them.
Cover Letter Tips:
- Customize the cover letter for a specific employer and job description. Templates are easy to spot and indicate you don’t really care about this opportunity in particular.
- Address the letter to a specific individual. If no name was given in the job announcement, call the organization to learn who is on the hiring team. If all else fails, use “Dear Hiring Manager:” or “Dear Search Committee:” (please note that those are colons, not commas).
- Isolate three or four skills that you possess that are relevant to the position and mention concrete examples from your resume that demonstrate these skills.
- Be brief! An ideal cover letter will be three to four concise paragraphs and only be one page.
- Align all text on the left margin. Don’t indent your paragraphs.
- Match the font style and formatting of your resume to your cover letter.
- Proofread several times and ask friends to help!
Cover Letter Formatting
A cover letter should first and foremost represent you and your experiences in an authentic way. This includes writing style and formatting. However, this outline may give you a place to start. Also, be sure to have someone else review your document for content and flow!
Heading (Ensure this matches the heading you use on your resume as it creates a personal brand. This should include your present address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email address.)
(Align all text on the left margin.)
Employer’s Name (This can also be the name of the recruiter, or director of the department.)
City, State Zip Code
Dear Employer’s Name : (It is important to personalize your cover letter by using an actual name. Utilize Handshake, LinkedIn, or call the organization directly to find this information.)
(First paragraph) Introduce yourself. Indicate the reason you are writing, the specific position for which you are applying, and how you heard about the opening. Briefly express why you are interested in the position, or why you are applying to this company in particular. If you are inquiring about jobs in general, and if no specific opening exists, indicate your interest in career opportunities within your desired field. You may also find it helpful to write a “thesis statement” as your final sentence, which will guide the reader through the rest of your document.
(Second paragraph) Highlight your education and/or skills. This could mean including information on your major, research projects, relevant coursework, study abroad, or other Georgetown experiences. Be sure to connect these highlights to the position you are applying for. Keep in mind, these do not have to be content matches but can include skills such as communication, writing, critical analysis, quantitative, etc.
While some students will focus the entirety of this paragraph on education, consider whether or not this is a good fit for you. If it makes more sense to first highlight professional accomplishments or other activities because it will make you a stronger candidate, then it is important to do so.
(Third paragraph) Highlight your professional accomplishments. This could include paid positions, internships, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, athletics, etc. Look at your resume, and choose three or four achievements that demonstrate skills the employer is looking for. Look back at the job description for key terms, and think about where you have demonstrated that qualification or skill.
(Fourth paragraph) The closing. Refer the reader to your resume. Request an interview (if appropriate) and give a final reason or summary statement about why the employer should consider you as a candidate. Thank the employer for considering you for the position.
Your signature (If submitting your cover letter online, you don’t need to include a signature)
Your typed name
Sample Cover Letters
- Download our sample cover letter to see a properly formatted, well-written example of a successful cover letter.
- To see additional cover letter samples, visit Resume Worded and sign in with your Georgetown email address.
21+ Cover Letter Examples in 2024 [For All Professions]
No matter where you are in your career, or what job you’re applying for, submitting a cover letter with your resume is a must .
Done right, a cover letter will effectively complement your resume and explain to the hiring manager in more detail why you’re the right person for the job.
Writing a cover letter, however, is easier said than done.
You have to effectively demonstrate that you’ll be able to perform the responsibilities listed in the job description and that you’d be a better fit for the company compared to other candidates.
And unless you’re a professional writer, this can be a very hard task.
Fortunately, we created these cover letter examples to inspire you and help you get started with your own cover letter!
Let’s dive in!
21 Cover Letter Examples
#1. career change cover letter example .
Here’s what this cover letter does right:
- Has an ideal length. This cover letter includes all the relevant information for the hiring manager without getting into too much detail.
- Relevant introduction. The candidate explains that they’re changing careers and why they want to work in this new field from the get-go.
- Explains their related experience. The candidate explains how their previous experience in retail sales can help them succeed in PR.
Check out our guide video guide to learn how to write a Cover Letter that gets you HIRED!
#2. Recent Graduate Cover Letter Example
- Personally greets the hiring manager. The candidate has taken the time to find the hiring manager’s name and address them by it, which makes the opening of the cover letter much more personal.
- Wraps up with a call to action. The candidate wraps up the cover letter by suggesting a meeting with the hiring manager, which makes them more memorable.
- Explains why the candidate is the right person for the internship. In this cover letter for an internship , the candidate explains how they’ve previously interned in a different firm, which gives them the experience to succeed in this role.
Have you just graduated from college? Make sure to check out our guide on writing an entry-level cover letter from start to finish!
#3. Middle Management Cover Letter Example
- Use of bullet points. The candidate presents the information in a concise and reader-friendly way, making it easy for the hiring manager to find their key achievements.
- Formal closing. The candidate has used a formal and polite tone to conclude their cover letter, which combined with a call to action makes them look professional and passionate about getting the job.
- Explains how the company would benefit from hiring them. The candidate outlines exactly what they could do for the company, which not only highlights their skills but also shows they’ve done their research on the company’s needs.
#4. Business Manager Cover Letter Example
- Detailed header. In addition to the must-have contact details, this candidate has also included their professional Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, making it easy for the hiring manager to look more closely into their career.
- Concise and to the point. This candidate has used short paragraphs and bullet points to make the cover letter easy to skim through.
- Wraps up with a call to action. By letting the hiring manager know they’ll be contacting them soon, they’re more likely to make an impression.
Check out this article for a complete writing guide and an inspiring business manager resume sample.
#5. Ph.D. Cover Letter Example
Here’s what this cover letter does right:
- Attention-grabbing introduction. In the opening paragraph, this candidate explains why they’re passionate about pursuing a Ph.D. in great detail.
- Explains the candidate’s qualifications in detail. The candidate builds on their passion by explaining how they’re also qualified for the degree because of their education history and academic achievements.
#6. Senior Executive Cover Letter Example
- Professional and minimalistic template. This senior executive has used a professional but minimalistic template that lets their work experience do the talking.
- Achievement-oriented opening paragraph. Right from the get-go, this candidate explains what makes them so good at their job, effectively grabbing the hiring manager’s attention.
- Wraps up with a call to action. By suggesting to have a meeting and discussing how they can help the company meet its goals, the candidate stands more chance to make a positive lasting impression.
#7. Architect Cover Letter Example
- Modern resume template. This architect has picked a template that perfectly matches his industry, as it is professional and modern at the same time.
- A personal greeting to the HR. They address the hiring manager by their first name, which helps make a better first impression.
- Measurable achievements. By quantifying their achievements, the candidate proves their achievements instead of just claiming them.
Struggling with your architect resume ? Check out our full guide!
#8. Business Analyst Cover Letter Example
- Detailed contact information. The candidate has listed both their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, providing the HR manager an opportunity to learn more about the candidate.
- Mentions what the candidate can do for the company. This cover letter doesn’t just explain why the job would be great for the candidate, but also how the candidate would benefit the company. Win-win, right?
- Error-free and reader-friendly. It’s super important for the cover letter to have no spelling or grammatical errors and be reader-friendly. This candidate made sure they did both.
Need a resume alongside your cover letter? Check out our guide on how to write a business analyst resume .
#9. Consultant Cover Letter Example
- Professional cover letter template. Being an experienced consultant, this candidate has picked a professional template that doesn’t steal the spotlight from their achievements.
- Experience and achievement-oriented. The candidate has effectively elaborated on their top achievements relevant to the job.
- Highlights the candidate’s passion. To show they want the job, this candidate has also explained how passionate they are about their profession.
For more advice on landing a job as a consultant, check out our guide to writing a consultant resume .
#10. Digital Marketing Cover Letter Example
- Creative cover letter template. This digital marketer highlights their originality by picking a creative cover letter template.
- Lists the candidate’s awards. The candidate has taken advantage of the cover letter to list their most noteworthy awards in the industry.
- Concludes with a call to action. As they used a call to action to conclude their cover letter, the HR manager will be more likely to remember them.
Want to take your digital marketing resume to the next level? Check out our guide!
#11. Graphic Designer Cover Letter Example
- Detailed contact information. The candidate has included additional contact information such as their website link, as well as their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.
- Ideal length. This cover letter is concise, which means that the HR manager is more likely to read it from start to finish.
- Draws attention to the candidate’s strong points. Although this candidate is a recent college graduate, they’ve managed to effectively show that they have enough knowledge and experience to do the job right.
Read this guide to write a graphic designer resume that’s just as good as your cover letter!
#12. Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Example
- Minimalistic cover letter template. The candidate picked a well-designed but minimalistic template for their cover letter.
- Focused on skills and achievements. This cover letter is packed with the candidate’s skills and achievements, proving he can be an excellent employee.
- Formal closing. Politeness can go a long way and the candidate has used this to their advantage to make an impression.
Our article on how to write an administrative assistant resume can help you take your job application to the next level.
#13. Front Desk Cover Letter Example
- Modern cover letter template. This template incorporates memorable colors and clear lines, which make the cover letter very visually appealing.
- Attention-grabbing introduction. Using an attention-grabbing intro, the candidate is more likely to make an impression.
- Calls the HR to action. By including a call to action, the candidate is reminding the HR of their immediate availability.
#14. Human Resources Cover Letter Example
- It is concise and to the point. The candidate doesn’t dwell on unimportant details the HR won’t be interested in.
- Uses a traditional cover letter template. The cover letter design is more on the conventional side, which fits the industry better.
- Highlights the candidate’s strong points. The candidate has rich work experience and they use the cover letter to elaborate on it.
This HR resume guide can help you get your resume just right.
#15. Sales Agent Cover Letter Example
- Attention-grabbing cover letter template. As a salesperson, this candidate knows how important first impressions are, so they’ve picked a catchy cover letter template.
- Has an ideal length. At the same time, they’ve also made sure to keep their cover letter at just the right length.
- Lists the candidate’s career highlights. The candidate has made perfect use of the space by mentioning their most impressive professional achievements.
Check out this sales agent resume guide to create an attention-grabbing sales resume .
#16. Receptionist Cover Letter Example
- Modern but minimalistic cover letter template. The template’s design hints the candidate is creative but professional at the same time.
- Uses a catchy introduction. The candidate has used an attention-grabbing opening paragraph to catch HR’s attention.
- Concludes the cover letter formally. The candidate proves that they’re polite and well-spoken, a quality very much important for the role they’re applying for.
Take your receptionist resume to the next level with this receptionist resume guide .
#17. Information Technology Cover Letter Example
- Mentions measurable achievements. Numbers make an impact, which is why this candidate has included measurable achievements.
- Lists both soft and hard skills. The candidate has mentioned a great mix of soft and hard skills, showing how well-rounded they are.
- Contains relevant contact information. The candidate’s GitHub, website name, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles are all great additions to the resume.
Looking for tips to help you write a great IT resume ? Check out our guide!
#18. Real Estate Cover Letter Example
- Ideal length. Short and to the point, this cover letter is bound to get noticed by the HR manager.
- Wraps up with a call to action. This candidate reinforces the HR to call them back through a final call to action.
- Mentions the right skills. On top of their sales accomplishments, the candidate touch upon important soft skills such as customer service and communication .
This real estate resume guide will help you take your resume from good to great.
#19. Teacher Cover Letter Example
- Mentions relevant contact information details. This candidate has included optional (but relevant) contact information details, such as their LinkedIn, Quora, and Medium profiles.
- Achievement-oriented. The candidate has elaborated on their achievements in more detail throughout their cover letter.
- Highlights the candidate’s passion. For some jobs, being passionate is much more important than for others. Teaching is one of these jobs, which is why this candidate explains their passion for the job.
Our guide on how to write a teacher resume has all the tips you need to land the job.
#20. Project Manager Cover Letter Example
- Leverages a catchy introduction. Through a catchy introductory paragraph, this candidate is sure to grab the HR’s attention and get them to read the rest of their cover letter.
- Lists measurable accomplishments. This candidate explains exactly what they’ve achieved using numbers and hard data.
- Personally greets the HR. A personal greeting sounds much better than “Dear Sir/Madam,” and the candidate knows this.
This guide on how to write a project manager resume can help you perfect your appication.
#21. Paralegal Cover Letter Example
- Minimalistic cover letter template. This cover letter design looks good but doesn’t steal the show from the candidate’s abilities.
- Mentions the candidate’s academic achievements and extracurricular activities. Although the candidate is a recent graduate, they’ve used the cover letter to explain they have enough skills and achievements to do the job.
- Lists measurable achievements. The candidate proves they did well in their internship by mentioning quantifiable achievements.
Check out this paralegal resume guide to perfect yours.
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application, alongside your 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 give the hiring manager more insight into what makes you a good candidate and help them make up their mind about whether they should invite you for an interview. A bad cover letter, though, will get ignored (at best) and lose you the job (at worst).
So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.
The first thing to remember is that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you shouldn’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume and call it a day.
Optimally, you should use your cover letter to shed more light on your skills and qualifications, as well as explain anything you didn’t have space for in your resume (e.g. a career gap or why you’re changing careers).
If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, though, putting all this together might seem pretty tough.
Fortunately, you can follow our tried-and-tested format to make the experience much easier:
- Header - Input your contact information.
- Greeting the hiring manager - Open the cover letter with a “Dear Sir or Madam,” or use the hiring manager’s name if you know what that is.
- Opening paragraph - Grab the hiring manager’s attention by getting straight to the point. Mention what your professional experiences are, and what role you’re applying for.
- The second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Mention your top 2-3 achievements, your top skills, why you want to work in that specific industry, and whatever else is relevant.
- The third paragraph - End your cover letter with a call to action. E.g. “I would love to meet personally and discuss how I can help Company X.”
- Formal closing - Something like this: “Thank you for your consideration. Best, John Doe.”
Here’s what this looks like in practice:
9 Tips to Write a Cover Letter (the Right Way)
Now that we've covered the basics, let's talk about cover letter tips . Below, we'll give you all the knowledge you need to take your cover letter from "OK" to "great."
#1. Pick the right template
A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.
And what’s a better way to leave a good impression than through a professional, well-formatted, and visual template?
You can simply pick one of our tried-and-tested cover letter templates and you’ll be all set!
#2. Add your contact details on the header
The best way to start your cover letter is through a header.
Here’s what you want to include there:
- Phone Number
- Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
- Name of the company you’re applying to
Optionally, you can also include the following:
- 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 content portfolio site or blog.
#3. Greet the hiring manager the right way
Once you’ve listed all your relevant contact information, it’s time to address the hiring manager reading your cover letter.
A good practice here is to find the hiring manager’s name and address them directly instead of using the traditional “dear sir or madam.” This shows that you’re really invested in the company and that you took your time to do some research about the job.
So, how can you find out the hiring manager’s name?
One way to do this is by looking up the head of the company’s relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably the Head of Communications or the Chief Communications Office.
Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of server at a restaurant. In that case, you’d be looking to find out who the restaurant manager is.
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.
If you still can’t find out the hiring manager’s name, here are several other greetings you can use:
- Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
- Dear Hiring Manager
- To whom it may concern
- Dear [Department] Team
#4. Create an attention-grabbing introduction
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 problem with most cover letter opening paragraphs, though, is that they’re usually extremely generic, often looking 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.
As you can probably tell, this opening paragraph doesn’t tell the hiring manager anything other than that you’ve worked the job before - and that’s not really helpful in setting you apart from other candidates.
What you want to do, instead, is 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.
My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed its 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 my excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the role of X at Company Y.
The second example shows how the candidate is a top performer. The first just shows that they’ve worked a sales job before.
Which one are YOU more likely to invite for an interview?
#5. Show you’re the perfect person for the job
One great thing about cover letters is that they allow you to expand more on the top achievements from your resume and really show the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job.
A good way to do that is to first read the job ad and really understand what skills/experiences are required, and then to ensure that your cover letter touches upon the said skills or experiences.
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 and management process end-to-end. This means I created the ad copy and images, as well as 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
#6. Explain why you’re a great company fit
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 .
To convince the hiring manager that you’re a great company fit, do some research on the company and find out what it is you like about them, or about working there. You want to know things like:
- What’s the company’s business model?
- What’s the company's 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?
Then, turn your top reasons for liking to work there into text and add them to your cover letter!
#7. Wrap up with a call to action
To make the end of your cover letter as memorable as possible, you want to:
- Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Mention anything you’ve left out that you think could help the hiring manager make up your mind.
- Thank the hiring manager for their time. After all, it never hurts to be polite.
- Finish the cover letter with a call to action. A call to action is a great way to make your cover letter ending as memorable as possible.
#8. Write a 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 in a cover letter:
- Best Regards,
- Kind Regards,
#9. Proofread your cover letter
Last but not least, make sure to always proofread each and every document that you’ll be including in your job application - cover letter included.
The last thing you want is to be claiming you’re a great candidate for the job with a cover letter full of typos!
For an even more comprehensive guide on how to write an impactful cover letter , check out our article !
Cover Letter Writing Checklist
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have some questions about cover letters? Check out the answers below:
1. How do I write a simple cover letter?
To write a cover letter that’s simple but also professional, make sure to include a header with your personal information, a formal greeting to the hiring manager, an attention-grabbing opening paragraph, a second paragraph explaining why you’re a good candidate for the job, and a formal closing (preferably with a call to action).
2. What are the 3 parts of a cover letter?
The three parts of a cover letter are:
- The introduction , namely the header, the greeting to the hiring manager, and the opening paragraph.
- The sales pitch is usually the body of the cover letter.
- The conclusion involves a formal closing and a signature line.
3. What makes a great cover letter?
A great cover letter should be personalized for each job you’re applying for, instead of being overly generic. It’s also preferable to address the hiring manager by their name and not use the overly-used “Dear Sir/Madam.”
To make a great first impression, you should mention 1-2 of your top achievements in your opening paragraph - the more job-specific they are, the better. Also, don’t stop at showing the hiring manager why you’re a great candidate for the job. Make sure to also talk about how you’re a good culture fit for the company.
Last but not least, wrap up your closing paragraph with a call to action to give the hiring manager a little extra something to remember you by.
4. When is a cover letter necessary?
Unless the job ad specifically states otherwise, you should always include a cover letter with your job application .
Even if the hiring manager doesn’t read it, you will look more professional simply by including one.
And that’s a wrap! We hope our cover letter examples and writing tips will inspire you to write a cover letter that will land you your next job.
If you’re looking for more invaluable career advice and articles, make sure to check out our career blog , or any of these related articles:
- How to Write a Resume
- Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
- Cover Letter Format (w/ Examples & Free Templates)
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Why You Shouldn't Rely on AI to Write Your Resume
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Online Student Resources
Career Services supports all Liberty students as they take the next vocational step, whether it’s résumé and cover letter guidance, interview preparation, developing a digital brand, or even cha nging career fields!
Kickstart your career exploration journey by taking our career assessment, Career Explorer . Career Explorer is an interest-based career assessment so it will take into account what you like to do and tailor the results accordingly. The assessment report will outline your top three career traits that correlate with different jobs. Career Explorer will then match those traits for you to specific jobs . You can dig into each job and learn more about the day-to-day work that job entails, the job outlook, pay, and required degrees to pursue that job. Career Explorer is a great place to get started as you refine your career journey!
Tailoring your résumé and cover letter for every internship or job to which you apply is important. Our Résumé 101 , Résumé 201 , and Cover Letter workshops provide step-by-step guidance that will empower you to present your best self to potential employers. Career Services has developed industry-specific résumé samples you can follow to streamline your résumé creation process. You can also download an editable résumé guide to help you get started with a well-formatted résumé that will pass Applicant Tracking Systems.
Watch our workshops today to create standout application materials that catch the eye of potential employers!
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
Application Tracking Systems (ATS) is software many employers use to streamline the recruitment process. ATS automate the initial stages of résumé screening, making it more efficient for employers to manage a large volume of job applications. ATS scan résumés for specific keywords and qualifications relevant to the job description.
Therefore, tailoring your résumé to include relevant keywords and using a clean, well-formatted layout can enhance your ability to move through the application process. You can download an editable résumé guide to help you get started with a well-formatted résumé that will pass ATS. While you will need to accommodate the specific ATS requirements you also want to maintain true and accurate information on your résumé .
TIP : JobScan is just one of many tools that exists to help job seekers evaluate how their résumé measures up with ATS. JobScan and similar tools have free versions you can utilize so start with those!
Handshake is your gateway to a world of career opportunities and professional connections specifically for our Liberty community. Employers wanting to hire Liberty students and alumni post available jobs on Handshake so check out the job postings for full-time and part-time positions, as well as internships! Claim your account on Handshake with your LU email address to access this incredible resource.
Hundreds of employers come to Liberty’s campus in Lynchburg, VA to recruit each fall and spring. Check out our Career Fair schedule and Handshake to see the employers coming. This will help you assess whether dedicating time and resources to networking at a career fair best fits your goals. If you can’t make it to Lynchburg, don’t worry! We have a Virtual Career Fair each spring and fall facilitated for free through Handshake.
Embarking on an internship or job search can be both exciting and challenging. To navigate this journey successfully, check out our Internship/Job Search Workshop and tips below.
- Where do you want to be in 5-10 years. Is it a specific title, company, location, or industry?
- Career Research: Find people on LinkedIn who are doing what you want to do in 5-10 years and see what roles they have filled or the experience they have gained that makes them competitive.
- Explore Handshake and other reputable job platforms, like LinkedIn , for diverse job opportunities.
- Investigate potential employers to understand their values, culture, and recent achievements to help you tailor each of your applications.
- Tailor your documents for each job application.
- Before and throughout the application process, leverage your professional network to gain insight into the industry, obtain tips for the application process, and connect with recruiters.
- Investigate potential employers to understand their values, culture, and recent achievements.
- Internship/job searching can take time, so stay persistent and maintain a positive mindset throughout the process. Even when rejections may come, use those opportunities to identify if there are ways to strengthen your résumé or more effectively network.
- Take advantage of online courses from Liberty’s Continuing Education , EdX , Udemy , Coursera and others to gain training or certifications to enhance your skills and make your profile more appealing to employers.
By incorporating these tips into your job search strategy, you’ll increase your chances of finding the right opportunity that aligns with your career goals.
Congratulations! You got through the application process and now you are prepping for an interview to help secure the job. Check out our Interview Preparation Workshop and the tips below for valuable preparation information.
- Re-Research the Company
- Even if you researched the company during your application process, familiarize yourself with the company’s mission, values, and recent achievements.
- Understand the industry trends, news, latest advancements, and the organization’s position in the market.
- You can reference or ask questions about this content during the interview to help the interviewers see that you understand their company.
- Know Your Résumé
- Be ready to discuss your experiences, skills, and achievements mentioned in your résumé .
- Connect your past experiences to the job for which you’re interviewing.
- Understand the Job Description
- Analyze the job requirements and tailor your responses to highlight relevant skills.
- Be prepared to discuss through examples and stories how your background aligns with the role.
- Practice Common Interview Questions
- Rehearse answers to common questions to build confidence.
- Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) or CAR (Challenge, Action, Result) for behavioral questions.
- TIP: Whenever you can use a short and direct story, do! Stories resonate and stick with an individual.
- Dress Appropriately
- Choose professional attire that aligns with the company culture.
- Not sure what the culture is? Check out the staff page photos, social media, or any press pictures!
- Bring Necessary Documents
- Carry multiple copies of your résumé in a folder.
- Bring a list of references and any other relevant documents.
- Prepare Questions
- Have thoughtful questions for the interviewer to show your genuine interest.
- Inquire about company culture, team dynamics, future projects, and when you can expect to hear back.
- Practice Good Body Language
- Maintain eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and sit up straight.
- Smile, and be mindful of your tone and pace when speaking.
- Follow-Up After the Interview
- Send a thank-you email expressing your appreciation for the opportunity on the day you interviewed.
- Reiterate your interest in the position and briefly mention key points from the interview.
By incorporating these tips into your interview preparation, you’ll increase your chances of leaving a lasting impression on your potential employer.
Learn the art of building and maintaining a professional network to boost your chances of securing a job or internship. Networking is a powerful tool for career growth and professional success. C heck out some tips below.
- Set Clear Goals
- Define your networking goals, whether it’s seeking career advice, mentorship, or job opportunities.
- Set clear and attainable goals for who you will contact and when. Don’t forget to follow-up and stay engaged!
- Identify Your Current Network
- Often people don’t realize how big their network is! Outline who you already know in specific industries you want to pursue or doing the work you want to do.
- Don’t forget family! Often our best network are those related to us.
- One of the biggest mistakes people make is they wait till they are applying to jobs to network. Start today to build those relationships.
- Build an Online Presence
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile with a professional photo and a compelling headline.
- Watch our LinkedIn Workshop .
- Engage in industry-related discussions and share relevant content.
- Attend Networking Events
- Attend industry conferences, workshops, and networking events to meet professionals in your field.
- Prepare and practice a brief elevator pitch introducing yourself and your goals.
- Join Professional Organizations
- Become a member of relevant professional organizations to expand your network.
- Attend their events and actively participate in discussions.
- Offer to volunteer at industry conferences or events related to your field to meet people and make a positive impression.
- Local volunteer opportunities can also expand your network while also showing future employers you give back to the community.
- Follow Up
- After meeting someone, follow up with a personalized email expressing your gratitude for the connection.
- Stay in touch periodically with updates on your career and achievements.
- Be Genuine and Authentic
- Be yourself and approach networking with authenticity.
- Building genuine connections is more effective than trying to impress with a façade.
- Develop Strong Communication Skills
- Hone your communication skills, including active listening and the ability to articulate your thoughts clearly.
Remember, networking is an ongoing process, and cultivating relationships takes time. Consistency and authenticity are key elements in building a robust professional network.
Changing careers can be a transformative but challenging endeavor. Here are some career tips to guide you through a successful transition:
- Reflect on your skills, interests, values, and passions to identify transferable skills and align them with potential new career paths.
- Utilize professional personality and career assessment tools with a coach for additional insights.
- Research and Explore
- Investigate industries and roles that pique your interest. Attend networking events, webinars, and informational interviews to gain insights.
- Document what has made the people in those roles successful. Was it a degree, experience, etc. and then see if you can replicate what made them successful.
- Professional & Skill Development
- Stay updated on industry trends, attend relevant workshops, and join professional associations to demonstrate your commitment to the new career.
- Identify the skills required in your desired field.
- Take advantage of online courses from Liberty’s Continuing Education , EdX , Udemy , Coursera and others to gain training or certifications to enhance your skills.
- Gain Practical Experience
- Consider internships, volunteer work, or freelance opportunities to gain hands-on experience and enhance your credibility in the new field.
- TIP: A degree alone is often not enough. Experience is key so start getting experience today.
- Network Strategically
- Leverage your existing network and build new connections in your target industry.
- Seek advice from professionals who have successfully transitioned between careers.
- Take advantage of the LU Alumni Community !
- Showcase Your Story through a Targeted Résumé and Compelling Cover Letter
- Craft a narrative that explains your career change journey. Emphasize how your past experiences uniquely position you for success in the new field.
- Tailor your résumé to highlight relevant experiences and skills for the new career. Focus on showcasing transferable skills and achievements.
- Explain your career change in your cover letter, emphasizing your passion, motivation, skills, and how they align with the new role.
- Financial Planning:
- Evaluate the financial implications of a career change. Plan for potential adjustments to your budget during the transition period.
- Often when moving between careers you have to take a slight pay cut, so anticipate that and plan accordingly.
- Be Flexible, Patient, and Persistent:
- Be open to unexpected opportunities and stay adaptable. A willingness to learn and adapt is crucial in a career change.
- Career transitions take time. Be patient and stay persistent in pursuing opportunities and refining your approach.
Remember, changing careers is a gradual process that requires careful planning and persistence. By following these tips, you can navigate the challenges and make a successful transition to a fulfilling new career.
Embarking on a career journey within a specific industry can be a nuanced process, and industry-specific career coaching provides invaluable guidance tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities within that field. Our industry-specific Career Coaches are equipped individuals with the knowledge, skills, and insights needed to help you thrive in your chosen sector. Our Career Coaches are dedicated to helping student navigate their God-given passions, skills, and experiences while empowering them with the tools and strategies necessary for success. Below are steps to take in order to meet with your Career Coach!
- Follow these instructions for attaching your results to your Handshake profile
- Watch the Résumé 101 Workshop prior to scheduling a meeting with your Career Coach about your résumé
- Watch the Cover Letter Workshop prior to scheduling a meeting with your Career Coach about your cover letter
- Watch the part 1 of the Branding Training through LinkedIn prior to scheduling a meeting with your Career Coach about your digital brand
Embark on your journey to professional success with Career Services – your dedicated partner in shaping a rewarding future ! Connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Instagram and Facebook !
11 Ways AI Can Help You With Your Next Job Hunt
Posted: June 7, 2023 | Last updated: June 7, 2023
Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have exploded across the public consciousness. Some people argue it’ll be humanity's death knell, while others claim it’ll usher in a utopia.
Whatever side you find yourself on, businesses have been using AI to screen job candidates for years — and you can use it too. Whether you’re looking to make the leap into a new profession or just make extra money , AI is a practical, innovative tool for job seekers.
A brief warning: Don’t rely on AI to create a flawless application, cover letter, or resume. Anything AI “writes” should be checked with your own eyes.
With that out of the way, here are 12 ways AI can help you with your next job hunt.
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Search for job openings
There’s a chance you’re already using AI in your job hunt and don’t even realize it.
The biggest job search sites in the world — CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, Monster, ZipRecruiter, and so on — all use AI to match you with open positions.
Newer sites, like Beamery, Hired, and Kickresume’s Pyjama Jobs, lean more heavily and explicitly into using AI for job candidates.
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Identify skills and qualifications
If you think there’s a specific job you want to go for, but you’re not sure you meet all the requirements, you can bring that question to an AI platform.
The prompt for ChatGPT (or a similar platform) can be “What qualifications are needed to be a wind turbine engineer?” or “What skills does a marketing director need?”
You can also provide your work history to an AI platform and ask it to identify skills you likely possess.
Answer questions during your job search
AI can answer just about any question that pops into your head during the job hunt. At least, it can try to. This might seem like a small aspect of the overall process, but it’s incredibly useful.
Salary questions? Ask an AI what the average for the role is in your area. Just be aware that many AI models are limited in how up-to-date their information is. Bing AI, which is connected to the internet, might be your best option.
7 Things to Do If You’re Barely Scraping by Financially
AI is a powerful tool for researching companies in your job hunt. A good starting point is to ask the algorithm what the top organizations in your field of choice are. But you can go deeper.
The most impressive advantage of using AI is its ability to mine data. AI can dig up information from company websites, employee reviews, news articles, and social media that’ll give you a glance into that company’s culture, financials, and history.
Due to its internet integration, Bing AI is once again a good candidate for these questions.
Help write your resume
AI can be beneficial when it comes to writing your resume, mostly in terms of overcoming writer’s block and developing ideas.
We all know writing a resume isn’t particularly fun, but AI platforms can help by generating content for you to take and mold. For instance, try prompting it to describe a job you held previously, and mold its response into a resume bullet.
Bear in mind that doesn’t mean AI should be writing your resume for you. It makes mistakes, and those mistakes can prevent you from getting the job you’re after. Everything AI does for you should be double-checked and revised.
Analyze a job post
In the same vein as asking an AI platform to identify the skills and qualifications typically needed for a given role, you can ask it if you’re a match for a particular job posting.
For example, you can paste your resume into ChatGPT and write, “Using this resume, how is this candidate a good fit for this job post,” then paste the text of the listing and see what the AI responds with.
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Help write your LinkedIn profile
If you’re trying to garner attention from prospective employers, you should have a public LinkedIn profile. Of course, filling it out and making it attractive is its own task. Enter AI.
You can create a prompt on ChatGPT along the lines of, “Write a LinkedIn profile based on the resume below” (and paste your resume). Use AI to spark some ideas and get started.
Help write your cover letter
AI excels at generating content through the prompts you provide and can be a great tool to get over feeling stumped.
It can be as simple as entering “Write a cover letter for an IT director” and seeing what the algorithm comes up with.
As with your resume, AI makes mistakes and shouldn't be writing your cover letter for you to use unedited. Make sure it sounds like you and not a robot.
Analyze your resume
While you should never submit an unedited AI-generated cover letter or resume as part of your application, algorithms can help you edit your materials.
Once again, you may not even realize it’s there. For example, Microsoft uses AI in the baked-in editor for Word.
If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) Microsoft Word, there are other AI-infused editing options just a search away.
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Generate interview questions
Job interviews are the most intimidating part of the process. It’s always been that way and probably won’t ever change.
One reason is that you never know what a prospective employer will ask. Luckily, AI can act as that employer.
Your prompt can be, “What questions would an interviewer ask for a marketing director role?” The AI will then produce a list of possible questions. It’s great for preparing.
ChatGPT is arguably the most accessible AI platform for most people. That means it can give you general guidance and suggestions for an interview based on the data it was trained with.
It can also act as an interviewer. Just paste a job listing into ChatGPT and try the prompt, “Your role is an interviewer for the [position] at [Company}. With this job description in mind, interview me for the role.”
Whether you’re hoping to jump into a new career or just want to get ahead financially , AI can be a powerful ally.
AI’s uses aren’t limited to culling undesirable candidates from a recruiter’s list of applicants. There are good, solid ways — provided you’re careful — of employing it to get you employed.
Still, be cautious when using AI. When you sign up for ChatGPT, for instance, you'll receive this warning: “While we have safeguards in place, the system may occasionally generate incorrect or misleading information and produce offensive or biased content. It is not intended to give advice.”
So be sure to keep the human element at the forefront of your efforts. Artificial intelligence may be progressing in leaps and bounds, but it can’t replace you.
More from FinanceBuzz:
- 6 genius hacks Costco shoppers should know
- 9 things you must do before the next recession.
- Can you retire early? Take this quiz and find out.
- 9 simple ways to make up to an extra $200/day
We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies .
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