The 23 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right

The 23 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right
The 23 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right

The 23 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right

Fun isn’t something typically associated with writing a cover letter. But the cover letter examples below show that it’s possible to have a little fun with your job search — and maybe even make yourself a better candidate in the process.

45% of job seekers don't include a cover letter when applying for a job. But this is a mistake, because your cover letter is a chance to tell the stories your resume only outlines. It's an opportunity for you to highlight your creativity at the earliest stage of the recruitment process.

→ Click here to access 5 free cover letter templates [Free Download]

Are you ready to showcase your unique skills and experience? Or are you looking for more tips and cover letter inspiration?

Keep reading for 20+ cover letter examples, then check out tips for cover letter formatting and what makes a cover letter great.

Cover Letter Examples

Customizable Cover Letter Examples

In a hurry for a cover letter example you can download and customize? Check out the ones below from HubSpot’s cover letter template kit.

1. Standard Cover Letter Example

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This standard cover letter hits all the right notes: It includes a space to give a brief summary of your experience, as well as a space to delve in-depth into the specific responsibilities of your current role. You also have the chance to describe the challenges you’ve mastered in previous roles, showing that you’re capable of facing any problem that comes your way.

Why We Love It

We love this cover letter because it allows you to describe the high points of your career while still being professional, personalized, and succinct.

2. Data-Driven Cover Letter Sample

cover letter examples: data driven cover letterDownload a Customizable Copy of This Cover Letter Example

Numbers are worth a million words — or that’s how the saying should probably go (if only we could include pictures in cover letters). Citing data and statistics about your achievements at your current company is an assured way to capture a hiring manager’s attention. Most hiring managers don’t read the entire letter, so a bulleted summary of your achievements can be a powerful way to increase the effectiveness and scannability of your message.

Why We Love It

We love this cover letter because it’s adaptable to any role. Even if you don’t work in a data-centric role, you can include any enumerable achievement. If you’re in a creative industry, for instance, you can include the number of creative assets you designed for your current company.

3. Entry-Level Cover Letter Example

cover letter examples: entry-level cover letter

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Applying to your first job can be stress-inducing, to say the least. You can increase your chances of getting that first interview by including a cover letter that explains how your education can help you succeed in the role you applied for.

Look no further than this example from HubSpot. While other cover letter samples give experienced professionals the opportunity to share their experience at length, this one gives you the chance to describe your personal and professional attributes. You can then convey how you can use your knowledge to help your target company reach its goals.

Why We Love It

We love this cover letter because it’s easy and simple to use for a student who has little experience in their target industry — including those who haven’t yet completed an internship.

Looking for more? Download the entire kit below.

Best Cover Letter Examples

What does a good cover letter look like in practice, and how can you make yours stand out? We found six examples from job seekers who decided to do things a bit differently.

Note: Some of these cover letters include real company names and NSFW language that we've covered up.

1. The Cover Letter That Explains ‘Why,' Not Just ‘How'

You may already know how to talk about how you’ll best execute a certain role in your cover letter. But there’s another question you might want to answer: Why the heck do you want to work here?

The Muse, a career guidance site, says that it’s often best to lead with the why — especially if it makes a good story. We advise against blathering on and on, but a brief tale that illuminates your desire to work for that particular employer can really make you stand out.

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Here’s another instance of the power of personalization. The author of this cover letter clearly has a passion for this prospective employer — the Chicago Cubs — and if she’s lying about it, well, that probably would eventually be revealed in an interview.

Make sure your story is nonfiction and relatable according to each job. While we love a good tale of childhood baseball games, an introduction like this one probably wouldn’t be fitting in a cover letter for, say, a software company. But a story of how the hours you spent playing with DOS games as a kid led to your passion for coding? Sure, we’d find that fitting.

If you’re really passionate about a particular job opening, think about where that deep interest is rooted. Then, tell your hiring manager about it in a few sentences.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This example shows how effective personalization can be. The writer is passionate about the employer, drawing from her own childhood experience to communicate her enthusiasm.

Further reading: Sales Cover Letter Tips

2. The ‘We're Meant for Each Other' Cover Letter

This cover letter example is a special one because it was submitted to us here at HubSpot. What does the letter do well? It makes a connection with us before we've even met the letter's author.

“Content Marketing Certified” shows the applicant has taken the content marketing certification course in our HubSpot Academy (you can take the same course here). Our “records” indicate he/she did indeed give an interview with us before — and was a HubSpot customer.

The cover letter sang references to a relationship we didn't even know we had with the candidate.

The letter ends with a charming pitch for why, despite him/her not getting hired previously, our interests complement each other this time around.

(Yes, the applicant was hired).

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This cover letter example does an excellent job of building rapport with the employer. Despite not getting hired for previous roles they applied for at HubSpot, the writer conveys exactly why they are right for this role.

Read more: Customer Service Cover Letter Tips

3. The Cover Letter with H.E.A.R.T.

HubSpot has a lot of H.E.A.R.T. — Humble, Empathetic, Adaptable, Remarkable, Transparent. Our Culture Code is the foundation of the company's culture, the driving force behind our mission to help millions grow better, and serves as the scaffolding for our hiring practices. Recruiters at HubSpot look for applicants that demonstrate how they embody the Culture Code and job description, paying extra attention to cover letters that are super custom to HubSpot.

In another HubSpot submission, a HubSpot applicant writes about how she found out about HubSpot, why she likes the company, and how her professional experience aligns with H.E.A.R.T.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

HubSpot's recruiting team was impressed with her dedication to the company and how she went beyond what was asked for by linking her portfolio in her closing paragraph.

Featured Resource: 5 Free Cover Letter Templates

Cover-Letter-Templates

Download our collection of 5 professional cover letter templates to help you summarize your professional journey and land your dream job – whether it's at your first or fifth company.

Short Cover Letter Examples

4. The Short-and-Sweet Cover Letter

In 2009, David Silverman penned an article for Harvard Business Review titled, “The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received.” That letter has three complete sentences, as follows:

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One might argue that this particular letter is less than outstanding. It’s brief, to say the least, and the author doesn’t go into a ton of detail about what makes him or her qualified for the job in question. But that’s what Silverman likes about it — the fact that the applicant only included the pieces of information that would matter the most to the recipient.

“The writer of this letter took the time to think through what would be relevant to me,” writes Silverman. “Instead of scattering lots of facts in hopes that one was relevant, the candidate offered up an opinion as to which experiences I should focus on.”

When you apply for a job, start by determining two things:

  • Who might oversee the role — that’s often included in the description, under “reports to.” Address your letter to that individual.
  • Figure out what problems this role is meant to solve for that person. Then, concisely phrase in your cover letter how and why your experience can and will resolve those problems.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

The key to this standout cover letter is research — by looking into who you’ll be reporting to and learning more about that person’s leadership style, you’ll be better prepared to tailor your cover letter to focus on how you can create solutions for them.

Read here for more tips on how to land your dream job.

5. The Short Story

Basha Coleman began her cover letter with a short story. The goal of this short story is two-fold:

  • Detail the experience she already has with the organization.
  • Stand out to the hiring team.

You'll notice that her short story follows a typical narrative arc: It has a conflict/obstacle, a turning point, and a positive outcome, all created with a goal to emphasize a theme or point. In this case, Coleman is emphasizing her existing affinity with the brand and her triumphs within the program so that she can continue on her career path.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

Like the second example in our list, this cover letter does an excellent job of conveying the applicant’s existing affinity for the brand. If you are applying to a company you love, don’t be shy about showing it and explaining why.

6. The Bare Bones Cover Letter

In today's job market, cover letters aren't always necessary. Even though many recruiters won't ask for or even read them, cover letters can still be effective and convey personality to a reader. Writing a strong cover letter can help you better convey your interest in the position and company.

This template from The Balance Careers puts together the essential components of a short cover letter: excitement about the position, your qualifications, and a call-to-action for the recruiter to follow up with you. Combining these central aspects in a well-written, compelling narrative will go a long way in convincing readers to hire you.

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Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This letter is organized and concise. The inclusion of bullet points to highlight key skills and help the recruiter skim the document is a nice touch.

Check out this post for more useful cover letter tips.

7. The Breezy Follow-Up

In this cover letter, Amanda Edens is following the instructions the hiring manager gave by forwarding an email with resume and writing samples attached.

Edens knows that the body of the email is prime real estate to get the hiring manager's attention, but she also doesn't want to overwhelm the recipient with too much information since a cover letter was not requested. This short cover letter is the result. You'll notice that she uses casual and breezy language to convey personality and enthusiasm, and she keeps her paragraphs succinct.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

Not only does Amanda include links to relevant writing samples that are live on the web, but she also closes with a strong final paragraph that:

  • Summarizes the expertise she has relevant to the posting
  • Emphasizes that she doesn't want to simply get a job but rather help the organization accomplish their goals
  • The reader gets everything they need in an organized and thoughtful manner.

8. The Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

In this cover letter the candidate, Michelle, plays up her prior music industry experience to build a connection with Epic Music Group. If you have specific industry experience for the role you are applying for, be sure to highlight that.

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It’s clear that she’s passionate about not only the music industry, but Epic as a whole. She’s done so much research on the company that she knows what software programs they use, and happens to be proficient in it to help convey value to the hiring manager.

This example further illustrates the importance of research. Make sure you understand the culture of the company to which you’re applying before you send a completely unfiltered cover letter — if you don’t, there’s a good chance it’ll completely miss the mark.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

In just three short paragraphs, the applicant uses their company research to drive home why they are the perfect fit for the role — emphasizing industry experience as well as software knowledge specific to the company. All of this communicates that she’d be able to start with very few hiccups while getting up to speed.

Further reading: 15 Cover Letter Templates

9. The Internship Cover Letter

Maybe you’re just getting started in your career and looking to land the right internship to gain experience in your field. In this case, you’ll need to highlight more of your educational background and transferable skills since you won’t have as much professional experience to highlight.

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The cover letter above is a great example of how to emphasize your skills and accomplishments when applying to internships or entry-level positions. A few things the applicant does well:

  • Highlights relevant extracurriculars and affinity networks. In this case, the applicant is applying for a business analyst position, so mentioning their involvement in a FinTech group makes sense.
  • Previous internships in relevant fields: Our applicant points out that they’ve interned as a Business Analyst at another firm. Pointing out that they’ve done the role before will help make their case for fit.
  • Highlight other useful skills: This applicant is fluent in both English and German. If an international company or an organization needs bilingual support, knowing multiple languages is an asset.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This cover letter example illustrates how you can leverage your education and background to get the gig even when you don’t have much working experience. Highlighting previous internships or experience in related fields can go a long way in convincing hiring managers you’re the perfect candidate for the role.

Further reading for recent graduates:

Creative Cover Letter Examples

10. The Brutally Honest Cover Letter

Then, there are the occasions when your future boss might appreciate honesty — in its purest form. Livestream CEO Jesse Hertzberg, by his own admission, is one of those people, which might be why he called this example “the best cover letter” (which he received while he was with Squarespace):

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As Hertzberg says in the blog post elaborating on this excerpt — it’s not appropriate for every job or company. But if you happen to be sure that the corporate culture of this prospective employer gets a kick out of a complete lack of filter, then there’s a chance that the hiring manager might appreciate your candor.

“Remember that I'm reading these all day long,” Hertzberg writes. “You need to quickly convince me I should keep reading. You need to stand out.”

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

The applicant did their research on the company’s culture and executed this cover letter flawlessly. It’s funny and shows off the applicant’s personality all while making it clear why they are a good fit for the role.

Further reading:

11. The Pivot Cover Letter

Making a career switch? Your cover letter can be an excellent opportunity for you to explain the reasoning behind your career change and how your transferable skills qualify you for the role.

In this cover letter example, the applicant is pivoting to a career in UX. Not only does she make the case for why she should be hired, she shows the recruiter by using a simple, but effective design scheme that shows off her skills. It’s clean but effective.

Since the role she is applying for is more visual, it’s important to both show and tell why you’re a good fit.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This cover letter strikes the perfect balance between creativity and simplicity in design while putting the applicant's career change into context. The copy is clean, with a creative font choice that isn’t distracting from the content, but still demonstrates the applicant’s knack for design.

12. The Graphic Design Cover Letter

When applying for more creative roles, the design of your cover letter can say just as much as the words on the page. Take the graphic designer letter example below.

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It’s got so much going for it:

  • Pop of color
  • Clean layout
  • Interesting fonts

Besides the style elements, this example also doesn’t skimp on the key skills recruiters are looking for. Using metrics, the applicant proves their value and why they would be a great fit.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This cover letter thoroughly conveys the applicant’s skills and qualifications using a variety of visual elements and emphasizing their greatest achievements.

Pro tip: If you're applying for a graphic design job, share a link to your graphic design portfolio website, even if it's not an application requirement.

Job Cover Letter Examples

Next up, let’s go over some classic cover letter examples for jobs, especially if you’re applying to internships or only have a few years of experience. The below cover letters follow the golden rules and don’t deviate too much from the standard — which is ideal if you’re applying to positions in more traditional industries.

13. Consulting Internship Cover Letter Example

consulting cover letter

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Many internship applicants are early on in their careers or are still in college. That means they’ve yet to gather enough experience to offer tangible proof of their ability to do the job. That means that a cover letter is the place where an internship applicant can shine.

This cover letter example highlights the applicant’s skills in a bullet-point format. That makes it easier for an overburdened hiring manager to get the essence of her points, quickly, if they’re only skimming cover letters. Not only that, but this applicant personalized the letter in every single sentence. She shares information about her prior conversations with some of the company’s employees and mentions the company’s name at every turn.

While she only has one prior consulting job, she deftly mentions the skills she developed in that role and ties them into her desired position at Quantcast Product Group.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This cover letter example does a fantastic job advertising the applicant’s soft skills in a highly scannable format — while still going heavy on the personalization. Don’t be shy to lightly play with formatting to get your point across and to imbue the letter with your passion for a company.

14. Nonprofit Referral Cover Letter Example

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This cover letter example for a nonprofit job hits the ground running by right away inserting the name of one of the nonprofit’s Superintendents. That’s an excellent way to get a recruiter’s attention and make you stand out from the slush pile, even if you’re only just out of school, as is the case for this applicant.

If you’ve received an internal recommendation for a position, you’d be wise to open your letter with that information. Don’t worry about it feeling too stilted or strange — remember, hiring managers only skim letters. Your goal is to make sure they get information about you that they otherwise won’t get from your resume.

With only three full paragraphs, this cover letter example is short, sweet, and to the point. No time is wasted, and it also goes over the critical basics, such as skills and experience.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This nonprofit cover letter includes a recommendation from an internal employee at the target organization, making it more likely to stand out from the slush pile. We also love that it doesn’t skimp on the basics, such as skills, enthusiasm, and experience.

15. General Email Inquiry Cover Letter Example

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Even if a job opportunity isn’t available at an organization yet, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be. You can always send a general inquiry cover letter, like the one in this example.

This email cover letter for a political campaign internship is short and sweet, but includes the critical information the campaign coordinator needs to consider the applicant for any new positions that may open up.

The best part about this cover letter is that it can be easily customized from one political campaign employer to the next. While it does include a level of personalization, it’s brief and can be easily changed to address the specific political candidate.

When sending general inquiries like this one, it’s essential to make the personalization aspect as pain-free as possible for yourself. That may mean including only one sentence or two, knowing that a general inquiry might not be replied to.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This email cover letter example hits all the right notes while keeping it brief and to-the-point. While we don’t recommend choosing this format for a formal cover letter, it works if you’re sending a general inquiry to an employer over email. It’s also a good example to follow if you’re still in college or have very little experience.

Read more: How to Write a Letter of Interest

16. Post-Phone-Call Cover Letter Example

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If you get a phone call from a potential employer and they invite you to send your resume, pat yourself on the back — that is such a win. In your cover letter, be sure to mention that right away, like this example does.

A hiring manager or an executive at a company likely has a lot of tasks on their plate, which means that they may forget about your call from one week to the next. That is totally okay, which is why this example starts with a reminder that the applicant and the letter recipient spoke back on January 31st. It also has a few more details about why they started speaking in the first place.

Aside from leveraging the phone call that’s already occurred, this cover letter also does an excellent job explaining why the applicant is an ideal choice for the job. It goes into detail about skills and previous experience with a high level of enthusiasm, and includes a promise to follow up at the end.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This cover letter example includes two things that will immediately draw the recipient’s attention: A phone call they’ve already had, and a mutual contact at their organization. The job and internship search can be grueling; never be afraid to use everything you have at your disposal to improve your standing over other applicants.

Read more: How to Start a Cover Letter

17. Mission-Driven Graduate Cover Letter Example

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This cover letter example from a recent B.A. graduate wowed us from the first sentence. The applicant right away explains her attained degree and her specific career interests, then dives into the aspects of her experience that make her such a great candidate.

It's so personalized to the employer’s own mission that it’s difficult to stop reading it. Even if the hiring manager isn’t a science or health professional, they would be able to effectively gauge the applicant’s suitability for the role by the expertise she shows in her cover letter alone. The applicant explains at length why she’s excited to work for that specific hospital. The organization serves Aboriginal populations, which aligns with her own values and research interests.

In the last paragraph, she summarizes what she knows about the employer in one sentence, then describes how each of her experiences supports the employer’s mission. That is an exceedingly clever and meaningful way to align yourself with an organization at a deeper level.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

If you’re applying to a mission-driven organization, don’t be shy about showing your excitement and expertise. You don’t need a lot of experience to show that your values align with those of your target organization. This cover letter example is especially good inspiration if you’re making a career change, have only just a few internships under your belt, or are graduating from college.

18. Short Recommendation Cover Letter Example

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Referral or recommendation cover letters don’t need to be too long, and this is a great example of that. It immediately leverages a mutual connection at the company. The mutual connection recommended that the applicant contact the hiring manager for a role, which is a piece of information we always recommend you frontload in your letter.

This specific cover letter comes from an applicant with little experience, making it a good example to follow if you’re switching careers or just out of college. Instead of talking about their experience, the applicant uses anecdotal evidence to convey their enthusiasm for working at that company.

The writer also goes over their most salient skills, such as being able to speak multiple languages. They also explain how their degree directly applies to the target role. We love that the candidate highlights their leadership abilities and makes that an effective selling point for being hired.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This cover letter doesn’t go on for too long, which we love. It’s simple and sweet and provides all the information the hiring manager needs to look more closely at the applicant’s resume and make an interviewing decision.

19. Professor or Research Position Cover Letter Example

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Academic or research position cover letters might require a little more information than the typical cover letter — and this is one such example. Why is it okay to go a little longer? Because the letter is not only a way to supplement the PhD candidate’s academic CV, but to provide a writing sample for the search committee.

We love this cover letter because it expresses the candidate’s enthusiasm for teaching and explains her instructional ethos, such as providing out-of-the-classroom opportunities, championing communication, and encouraging students to step out of their comfort zone. The applicant also suggests courses she may be able to teach at the target institution, and expresses her interest in developing new courses as needed.

She also suggests how she can enhance the college’s extracurricular programming by offering study abroad courses, which shows not just an interest in teaching but adding to the school’s overall culture.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

While this letter goes for a little longer than recommended, it serves as a fantastic writing sample and explains the applicant’s research background at length. If you’re applying to academic or research roles, don’t be afraid to go into detail about what most excites you in terms of research interests.

20. Director Cover Letter Example

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This cover letter example — for a Director of Catering position at a university — doesn’t waste any time. The applicant right away says that they’re a strong candidate for the role, then jumps right into three salient qualifications that make him a great fit.

We love how the applicant uses bullet points and bold text to guide an overburdened hiring manager through the cover letter — and to give them permission to scan it, if needed. If the hiring manager would like more information or actual examples of the skills, they merely need to read the rest of the bullet point paragraph.

As mentioned, light formatting can be beneficial to your cover letter, as it draws the recruiter’s eyes and prevents them from having to fish for the information they’re looking for.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This short, sweet cover letter includes the critical information a hiring manager or high-level executive needs to make an interview decision. We love the use of formatting that doesn’t stray too much from regular cover letter conventions, and we like that the applicant kept all other paragraphs extremely brief.

21. Editorial Cover Letter Example

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Applying for an editorial or journalistic position? Like a cover letter example we shared earlier, you can take a more storytelling approach to capture the hiring manager’s attention. This cover letter example does that effectively by telling an anecdote that directly mentions the newspaper where they’d like to work.

This immediately draws the reader in and tells them that this application isn’t random at all; the applicant would like to work at the newspaper because they’ve read it every morning. Not only that, but they have a favorite reporter on the newspaper’s staff. The applicant then jumps into the specific reason they want to take an editorial position at the Baltimore Sun.

The cover letter includes all pertinent information, such as how previous positions have equipped the applicant to take on this job. It closes with enthusiasm after keeping the reader rapt every step of the way.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

The applicant uses storytelling to — you guessed it — apply for a position that needs storytelling skills. If you’re applying for a data-driven position or a graphic design position, why not showcase those skills in the cover letter itself? We like that this letter doesn’t diverge too much from cover letter conventions while still differentiating itself.

22. Promotion Cover Letter Example

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In this cover letter example, the applicant already works for the employer and wishes to apply for the next position to move up in their career. We like that the letter cites the applicant’s extensive knowledge of the organization, which will no doubt give them an advantage over external applicants.

Not only that, but the applicant also references their experience before they started working at the employer and uses that information to make their candidacy even more desirable.

Lastly, this letter includes a healthy level of enthusiasm for the university and the position — something that is never extra in a cover letter.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This cover letter example does an excellent job showing the candidate’s knowledge of their current organization while stating why they’re a natural fit for the promotion. Plus, the letter includes information on the applicant’s relevant activities outside of work — if you’re involved in any organizations that might help you do your job better, be sure to include them.

23. Law Cover Letter Example

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This law cover letter example jumps right into personalization, a bold move that will serve you well if you’re genuinely interested in a company and want to stand out. The applicant cites the recipient’s recent article on bond litigation, then ties that into the role they’d like to get at the law firm.

The applicant then goes into his skills and the feedback he’s received from past managers. This is an excellent way to introduce your skills without sounding dry — or even unfounded. By citing positive feedback you’ve received, you’ll imply that others have praised you for having those skills, and that you’re not only “tooting your own horn.” (In cover letters, it’s absolutely okay to toot your own horn — that’s what they’re for. But if you can cite others’ remarks, that also helps.)

At just two and a half paragraphs, this letter is exceedingly short but no less effective. It’s an excellent example of how to personalize your letter quickly while still conveying the essentials of a cover letter.

Why This Is A Great Cover Letter

This short cover letter example keeps it brief while still creating high impact. The applicant personalizes the letter immediately, cites external feedback, and conveys enthusiasm. This letter proves you don’t need to write a novel about an employer to sway the hiring manager into giving you an interview.

Now that we've shown you some excellent examples, let's talk about how you can create the best cover letter for your dream job.

What’s on a cover letter?

Before you start writing your cover letter, let's cover a few basic must-haves you'll want to include. If you’re looking for more detailed instructions, check out this guide to writing a cover letter.

Greeting

Add a simple, but pleasant greeting to address the recruiter or hiring manager.

Learn more:

Opener

Write a catchy introduction that explains why you’re interested in the role.

Learn more:

Work Experience

This is the heart of your cover letter. It outlines your relevant experience and why you’d be a great fit for the role. You can highlight special skills, experiences, professional achievements, or education to help make your case.

Learn more:

Closing

In this paragraph, add a call-to-action by expressing interest in an interview. Offer your contact information and sign off.

Learn more:

What does a cover letter look like?

Besides showing off your skills and qualifications, cover letters give you the opportunity to present a clear, concise, and compelling writing sample. It shows off your personality and your ability to convey ideas.

That's a lot of information to include on a single page, so it can help to have a clear structure to start with.

Check out our fillable cover letter templates to see how you should organize the content of your cover letter.

HubSpot Cover Letter Template

What makes a great cover letter?

A cover letter is personal, but it also needs to help you reach a goal and help the hiring team understand how you could perform that role with their company. This complexity can make cover letters really tough to write.

Because cover letters are difficult to write, many come off as boring, basic, or confusing for hiring managers to read. But the tips below about the qualities that make a cover letter great can help you take your cover letter from basic to bright.

Start with this quick video, then keep reading for more tips:

Personalized Introduction

Begin with an introduction that's personal. It should capture the reader's attention and address your recipient by name. Then, add a compelling opening sentence that emphasizes your interest in the specific role.

Helpful Cover Letter Introduction:

“Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],

In an increasingly digitized world, where customer-centric strategies are vital for business success, I am thrilled to apply for the [Job Title] position at HubSpot.”

Unhelpful Cover Letter Introduction:

“To Whom it May Concern,

I am applying for the [Job Title] position at HubSpot. I have some experience in marketing and can help your clients grow their businesses.”

Relevant Professional Experience

It can be tempting to use the same cover letter for every job. After all, it's about your experience, isn't it? But it's not enough to rephrase the work history in your resume.

Recruiters and hiring managers are looking to fill a specific role, so you need to show how your experience translates to their unique needs.

So, the body of a great cover letter should showcase the specific professional experiences that are relevant to the job you're applying for. Emphasize your accomplishments and skills that directly relate to what the job needs.

To speed up this part of the cover letter writing process, start by creating a list of your transferable skills. Drafting this list can help you quickly focus on the skills to highlight in your cover letter.

Then, use AI tools to summarize job descriptions and narrow in on where your experience and the needs of the role you're applying for overlap. This post is full of useful AI assistant tools if you're new to AI.

Helpful Cover Letter Experience:

“At [Company Name], I had the opportunity to assist a global ecommerce retailer in enhancing their online customer experience. By conducting in-depth market research and customer journey mapping, I identified pain points and areas of improvement in their website navigation and user interface.”

Unhelpful Cover Letter Experience:

“I also worked with an ecommerce retailer to improve the customer experience. We did some surveys and training, and they were happy with the results.”

Useful Examples

To make your cover letter stand out, add specific examples that show how you've solved problems or gotten results in past roles.

Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible, using data to give the reader a clear understanding of your impact.

Helpful Cover Letter Example:

“I lead a team of five content writers while increasing website traffic by 18% year-over-year.”

Unhelpful Cover Letter Example:

“I have a great track record of leadership and achieving fantastic results.”

Research and Company Knowledge

Hiring teams aren't hiring anyone with the skills to do the job. They're hiring a person they'll work alongside at their specific company.

So, to show that you're not just looking for any job anywhere, share your knowledge of the company's industry, values, and culture in your cover letter. Spend some time on the company website and take notes on what makes this business interesting to you and why you would want to work there.

Then, explain how your skills align with the company's mission and goals and explain how you could add to their chances of success. This will showcase your interest in the company and help them see if you are a good cultural fit.

Helpful Cover Letter Research:

“I was particularly drawn to HubSpot not only for its industry-leading solutions but also for its exceptional company culture. HubSpot's commitment to employee development and fostering a collaborative environment is evident in its recognition as a top workplace consistently. I strongly believe that my passion for continuous learning, self-motivation, and dedication to contributing to a team will make me a valuable asset to HubSpot.”

Unhelpful Cover Letter Research:

“I have been inspired by HubSpot's commitment to inbound marketing and its comprehensive suite of solutions. HubSpot's dedication to providing valuable content and fostering meaningful relationships aligns with my own values and aspirations.”

Clear Writing

Your cover letter needs to pack in a lot of important information. But it's also important that your cover letter is clear and concise.

To accomplish this, use professional but easy-to-understand language. Be sure to remove any grammar or spelling errors and avoid lengthy paragraphs and avoid jargon or overly technical language.

You may also want to use bullet points to make your letter easier to skim. Then, proofread your cover letter for clarity or ask a friend to proofread it for you.

Further reading:

Helpful Cover Letter Writing:

“In addition to my academic accomplishments, I gained valuable practical experience through internships at respected law firms.

Working alongside experienced attorneys, I assisted in providing legal support to clients. This hands-on experience helped me develop a deep understanding of client needs and enhanced my ability to effectively communicate complex legal concepts in a straightforward manner.”

Unhelpful Cover Letter Writing:

“Furthermore, as a complement to my academic accomplishments, I have garnered invaluable practical experience through internships at esteemed law firms.

Throughout these placements, I actively collaborated with seasoned attorneys to conduct due diligence and furnish clients with comprehensive legal support. Notably, these experiences fostered a profound comprehension of client necessities, whilst honing my legal acumen to articulately convey intricate legal principles within a lucid and concise framework, adhering to applicable precedents and statutes of limitations.”

Genuine Interest and Enthusiasm

Find ways to convey your passion for the role and how excited you are to contribute to the company you're applying to. At the same time, make sure your interest feels authentic and outline how it aligns with your career goals.

Your ultimate goal is an enthusiastic letter that feels honest and leaves a lasting positive impression.

Showing excitement in writing doesn't come naturally for everyone. A few tips that can help you boost the genuine enthusiasm in your letter:

  • Record audio of yourself speaking about the role, then use voice-to-text technology to transcribe and add these sections to your letter.
  • Choose your words carefully.
  • Write in active voice.

Helpful Cover Letter Tone:

“I am genuinely enthusiastic about the prospect of joining [Company/Organization Name] as an accountant. My combination of technical proficiency, eagerness to learn, and strong attention to detail make me an ideal candidate for this role. I am confident that my dedication, reliability, and passion for accounting will contribute to the continued success of your organization.”

Unhelpful Cover Letter Tone:

“Honestly, I can hardly contain my excitement when it comes to reconciliations, financial statement analysis, and tax regulations! Engaging in spirited discussions with professors and classmates has allowed me to foster an unbreakable bond with the fascinating world of accounting, and I'm positively bursting with enthusiasm at the prospect of applying my skills in a professional setting.”

Memorable Conclusion

End your cover letter on a strong note. Summarize your top qualifications, restate your interest in the position, and express your interest in future communication.

Then, thank your reader for their time and consideration and include your contact information for easy follow-up.

To make your conclusion memorable, think about what parts of your letter you'd most like the hiring manager to keep top of mind. Then, consider your word choice and phrasing. If you're feeling stuck, this list of ways to close an email can help.

Helpful Cover Letter Conclusion:

“Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to further discuss how my qualifications align with the needs of Greenpeace. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.

Together, let's make a lasting impact on our planet.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]”

Unhelpful Cover Letter Conclusion:

“Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my qualifications further and how I can contribute to Greenpeace's mission. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]”

Take Cover

We’d like to add another stage to the job search: experimentation.

In today’s competitive landscape, it’s so easy to feel defeated, less-than-good-enough, or like giving up your job search. But don’t let the process become so monotonous. Have fun discovering the qualitative data we’ve discussed here — then, have even more by getting creative with your cover letter composition.

We certainly can’t guarantee that every prospective employer will respond positively — or at all — to even the most unique, compelling cover letter. But the one that’s right for you will.

So, get inspired by these examples and templates. Write an incredible cover letter that shows the hiring team at your dream job exactly who you are.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. This article was written by a human, but our team uses AI in our editorial process. Check out our full disclosure to learn more about how we use AI.

Professional Cover Letter Templates

Maggi Pier

Maggi Pier

Avid gardener, artist, writer, web designer, video creator, and Google my Business local marketing pro!
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