Cover Letter Example

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A key part of almost any job application is a cover letter. Sometimes, that becomes even more important than your resume itself, as the cover letter shows the human behind the paper. It allows you to shine through your list of certifications and experiences and show off your soft skills and enthusiasm and convince the hiring manager you are the best match for the position.

At the end of this article, you will find an example of a cover letter written in response to an online advertisement. However, before you jump straight to it, it may be a good idea to read through a typical structure of a cover letter, some writing and preparation tips, and useful key phrases. After all, you are representing yourself and your strong attributes, not someone else's online template.

Structure of a Cover Letter

3-5 Paragraphs

Cover letters usually run between three and five paragraphs. Note, however, that unless specifically outlined in the job posting, there is no prescribed length for this type of writing. A good thing to keep in mind is that hiring managers often only spend a brief time reviewing each application. Keeping it short and/or making it stand out in any other way (interesting and unusual words, descriptions, and/or accomplishments) could benefit you.

Structure

  • Addresses and date
  • Salutation
  • Introductory paragraph stating:
    • The position you are applying for
    • How you heard of the position
    • One-sentence pitch of who you are as a professional and a mention that/how your qualifications match the position and/or the company perfectly
  • Body 1
    • Elaborate on your desire to work for this company in this position
    • Elaborate on your background and how it matches the required profile (to sound genuine, make sure you use synonyms and different sentence structures than the words and phrases in the job posting)
  • Optional Body 2 (and 3)
    • Relate one or two anecdotes depicting skills or accomplishments that are not immediately noticeable on your resume
    • Tie them back to the job description. Show how these skills make you the best choice for the position
  • Thanks
    • Thank the hiring manager
    • Express one more time how enthusiastic you are about working for their company and how perfect of a match you are for the advertised position
    • Provide another form of contact (telephone number) and express your willingness to be reached out to for any further information
  • Salutation

Tips for Writing Cover Letters

  • Always refer to the exact position for which you are applying. Make sure you know all the details about it and the company. 
  • Researching the company and the position prior to writing your letter will help you sound on point and will help frame your attributes more specifically for the position.
  • Point out those aspects of your career that you feel are especially important. Be confident and proud of your accomplishments, yet still matter-of-fact.
  • Don't point out too many of your qualifications. You've enclosed your resume for that purpose. Instead, select one or two details or anecdotes and elaborate on those.
  • Refer in a positive way to a future interview. Don't be shy about stating that you'll follow-up. 

Useful Phrases

Referring to the Position

  • I am writing to you in response to your advertisement for...
  • I would like to apply for the position of...
  • I'm interested in applying for...

Pointing Out Important Qualifications

  • As you can see from my enclosed resume, my experience and qualifications match this position's requirements closely.
  • I believe my...make of me an ideal candidate for this position.
  • I would like to point out...
  • During..., I improved (furthered, extended, deepened, etc.) my knowledge of...
  • My superiors really appreciated my... / when I...
  • I was responsible for...
  • My former position required me to..., which...

Referring to Future Interview

  • Please, feel free to contact me at...(for any further questions).
  • I look forward to an opportunity to speak with you in person. 
  • I look forward to speaking with you personally. 
  • I look forward to discussing how I can...

Cover Letter Example

Kenneth Beare

2520 Vista Avenue
Olympia, Washington 98501

Mr. Bob Trimm, Personnel Manager

Importers Inc.
587 Lilly Road

Olympia, Washington 98506

April 19, 2019

Dear Mr. Trimm,

My name is Kenneth Beare and I am applying for the position of the Legal Assistant specializing in Port Regulatory Law at Importers Inc., as advertised on Indeed. I am a seasoned attorney and, as you can see from my enclosed resume, my experience and qualifications match this position's requirements closely.

I graduated Cum Laude from the University of Tacoma and was directly hired by Shoreman and Co. due to my expertise in port authority regulations. During my four years with the company, I further deepened my knowledge of the fast-changing regulatory laws in our state. My employer also thought highly enough of my abilities to promote me to head legal researcher after my first year of employment.

I am now ready to take my career to the next level, and Importers Inc. seems to be the perfect place for my aspirations. Your prestige along with the attentive care you give your customers are aspects that I value highly, and I believe that my profound knowledge of the industry, as well as my people skills, would help your company reach an even wider clientele.

Please, feel free to contact me by email or at (206) 121-0771 for any additional information. I would love to become a part of Importers Inc. and help further your mission. Thank you very much for your consideration. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Beare