Cover letter format and content advice tips
Wondering how to write a cover letter? Make sure you can answer “yes” to the questions on this checklist.
Many job seekers struggle with how to write a cover letter, as well as cover letter format, but this skill can be learned and perfected. The time and effort will pay off, because a great cover letter can increase your odds of getting a job interview.
These cover letter tips can help your job application standout. Make sure you can answer “yes” to the questions on this checklist:
- Does your cover letter have a strong opening paragraph, communicating your job target and key strengths within the first few lines of text?
- Does your cover letter conform to a standard business letter format? (See our cover letter examples.)
- Is your cover letter addressed to a specific individual, if the name is available?
- Does the body of your cover letter express how you would benefit the employer if you were hired?
- Do you avoid starting every sentence with “I” or “my” so you can focus more on the employer’s requirements and not your own?
- Do you demonstrate your expertise by using industry-specific language?
- Do you include examples of your accomplishments so employers can see you have a proven track record?
- Is the content engaging and relevant to hiring managers’ needs?
- Is the cover letter succinct, containing just enough information to entice the reader to review your resume?
- Did you include all information that was requested, such as a job reference number, employment availability date and salary requirements?
- Is the content unique? Did you avoid copying text from your resume verbatim?
- Does your cover letter sound genuine? Does it reflect your personality and make you seem likeable and approachable?
- Did you proofread your cover letter to ensure that it’s free of spelling, grammar, syntax and formatting errors?
- Does the writing style and design coordinate with the resume, such as by using the same font and layout style?
- Did you provide an easy way for employers to contact you, such as a direct phone line and email address?
- Does your cover letter end with a call to action, confidently requesting an interview?
- Did you remember to sign your letter if you’re mailing a hard copy?
Cover letter examples by industry
A good cover letter highlights the specific skills employers are looking for. Check out these cover letter examples for a variety of industries.
A great cover letter will show that you're the right candidate.
If you're wondering how to write a cover letter, you're in the right place! It doesn't matter what level you're at in your career—to get noticed by potential employers, your professional cover letter needs to knock their socks off. Your cover letter is much more than friendly greeting; it's a tool that lets hiring managers know that you're the candidate they've been hoping for.
Recruiters and hiring managers have seen every type of cover letter format imaginable. For maximum wow-factor, you must build a cover letter that highlights your industry-specific experience, accomplishments, and credentials.
Steps to write a cover letter
- Start with the proper greeting: Address your cover letter to the person who will be reading it.
- Introduce yourself with an opening: Write a personable, inviting opening paragraph that highlights how your skills are a perfect fit to the company and position.
- Get them interested with a compelling hook: Highlight your past achievements as they relate to the job you're applying for.
- Promote your skills: Highlight your additional relevant skills, such as computer languages or certifications.
- Thank them in the close: Briefly recap your strengths as a candidate, thank the reader for their time, and include your contact information.
If you need cover letter help, check out these cover letter templates for various careers and career levels in the following industries:
Administrative/Support Cover Letter Examples
Art/Design/Media Cover Letter Examples
Business Cover Letter Examples
Education Cover Letter Examples
Engineering Cover Letter Examples
Finance/Accounting Cover Letter Examples
Health Care Cover Letter Examples
Human Resources Cover Letter Examples
Job Search Cover Letter Examples
Law Enforcement and Legal Cover Letter Examples
Marketing and PR Cover Letter Examples
Military Cover Letter Examples
Nurse Cover Letter Examples
Restaurant and Hospitality Cover Letter Examples
Retail Cover Letter Examples
Sales Cover Letter Examples
Science Cover Letter Examples
Student Cover Letter Examples
Technology Cover Letter Examples
Trades Cover Letter Examples
Transportation and Warehousing Cover Letter Examples
Help hiring managers find your cover letter
When your cover letter is in good shape, don't let it just sit on your computer. You need to get it out there! Could you use a little help getting your cover letter in front of hiring managers? Join Monster today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume and cover letter—each customized to the kinds of jobs you're interested in. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Make it easier for them to find you, and for you to find a job.