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How to Write a Cover Letter [Tips with Examples]

June 26, 2024
2.6K Views

As a writer, I did my fair share of job hunting. Despite my experience and expertise, I often struggled with impressing interviewers due to my lackluster cover letters. Limited resources and time constraints left my cover letters far from impressive. However, things changed when I mastered the art of writing compelling cover letters. Soon, I started receiving interview calls and eventually landed my dream job. In this article, I will share these cover letter writing techniques with you, so you too know how to write a cover letter and can effortlessly land the job of your dreams.

How to write a Cover Letter


What is a Cover Letter and What does it Contain?

A cover letter is a one-page business letter that you submit along with your resume when applying for a job. Its primary purpose is to persuade the employer that you are an excellent candidate for the role. It complements your resume by clearly linking your experience and interests to the position you're applying for. Essentially, the cover letter is your chance to convince the employer to invite you for an interview.

A typical cover letter contains several key elements, each serving a specific purpose in showcasing your qualifications and enthusiasm for the position. Here’s a breakdown of what a cover letter typically includes:

1. Header

  • Your Contact Information: Name, address, phone number, and email address.

  • Date: The date you are writing the letter.

  • Employer’s Contact Information: Name, title, company, and address of the person you are addressing the letter to.

2. Salutation

  • Address the letter to a specific person if possible (e.g., “Dear Mr. Smith,” or “Dear Hiring Manager,”).

3. Introduction

  • Opening Statement: A brief introduction mentioning the job you are applying for and how you found out about the position.

  • Hook: A compelling reason why you are interested in the job and the company.

4. Body

  • First Paragraph: Explain why you are a good fit for the role. Highlight key qualifications and experiences that align with the job requirements.

  • Second Paragraph: Provide specific examples of your accomplishments and how they relate to the job. Use quantifiable achievements to demonstrate your impact.

  • Third Paragraph: Discuss your knowledge of the company and why you are excited about this particular opportunity. Show that you have researched the organization and explain how your goals align with its mission and values.

5. Conclusion

  • Closing Statement: Reiterate your enthusiasm for the position and the company. Summarize why you are a strong candidate.

  • Call to Action: Mention your desire for an interview and provide your contact information again. Indicate that you will follow up within a certain timeframe.

  • Thank You: Express gratitude for the reader’s time and consideration.

6. Signature

  • Closing Phrase: Use a professional closing, such as “Sincerely”, or “Best regards”.

  • Signature: Leave space for your handwritten signature (if submitting a hard copy) and then type your name below it.

Cover Letter Format


How to Write a Cover Letter For a Job in 5 Steps!

Firstly, it’s crucial to streamline the process of crafting a cover letter, but that doesn’t mean using the same cover letter for every job position or even the same position at different companies. Customization is key to standing out.

Step 1. Research the Company- AIPal

Open the job listing you want to apply for, typically found on platforms like LinkedIn or Indeed. These platforms usually provide a detailed job description outlining the requirements and responsibilities.

To begin, I will write a cover letter for the Sales & Marketing Manager position at Pride Mile, which is a remote job listing I found on LinkedIn.

Job post on LinkedIn


To proceed effectively, I will copy the job description and input it into AIPal to extract key keywords. These keywords are crucial as they highlight the skills and attributes the employer is seeking for the role.

Prompt: Extract keywords from this job description that I can in my cover letter.

Keywords Extracted using AIPal


To refine your keyword research, you can ask AIPal to extract keywords and categorize them into tiers.

Prompt: Extract keywords from this job description that I can in my cover letter. Assign them in three tiers ranging from the most important to least important.

Refine keyword research from Job post using AIPal


This way, you'll identify the most critical keywords, which should be emphasized more in your cover letter, and less important keywords, which can be mentioned once or twice.

This approach will give me a comprehensive understanding of what the job entails and what qualities I should emphasize in my cover letter.

Step 2. Choose a template- WPS Office

Choosing a cover letter template is important because it gives you a clear structure to follow, saving you time and ensuring your letter looks polished. It guides you on what information to include, from your skills to your qualifications, making it easier to customize each letter for different job applications. Templates also help keep your letter organized and visually appealing, which is key to making a positive impression on employers.

WPS Office has been a godsend in this regard, offering plenty of cover letter templates. I followed these steps to find the desired cover letter for the Marketing Manager position:

  • Open WPS Office and click on "New" on the left side pane.

WPS Office Create a New file


  • Next, simply click on the “All” tab in the left side pane. This will display numerous templates available on WPS Office for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

  • To save time browsing through all the options, simply search for "cover letter". This filters out irrelevant templates and helps find the right cover letter template for the job post in context.

Search for Cover Letter Templates on WPS Office


  • Upon finding the suitable template for the job post, click on it to preview.

  • To start customizing the selected template, click the "Download" button at the top right corner, which will launch it in the WPS Writer interface for editing.

Download Cover Letter Template on WPS Office


Header and Salutation

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Headers and salutations are essential in a cover letter for their role in setting a professional tone. The header provides your contact details and the date, ensuring easy communication and formal presentation.

Salutations, like "Dear Hiring Manager," personalize your letter and demonstrate attention to detail, addressing the recipient directly and showcasing professionalism from the start.

Header and Salutation example in Cover Letter

One of the standout features of WPS templates is its ready-made header, which enhances the visual appeal of your cover letter. It includes sections for your contact information, the date, and the recipient's details.

Addressing the recipient by name whenever possible adds a personal touch; if that information isn't available, a generic greeting such as "Dear Hiring Manager" remains professional and appropriate. Ensuring the document is error-free further underscores your professionalism and attention to detail.

Step 3. Introduction- Your Opening Sentences

Starting your cover letter with a compelling introduction is crucial. It’s your chance to grab the hiring manager's attention and make a strong first impression. A well-crafted opening should highlight your enthusiasm, showcase your qualifications, and give a hint of your personality.

Here are a few key things to keep in mind to create an engaging and effective cover letter introduction:

  • Expressing genuine passion for the role or the company can make a strong impact. For example, in a sales manager position:

Dear Mr. Brown, my name is Anna and I’m excited about the opportunity to help your company exceed its sales targets. My five years of experience as a Sales Representative at XYZ Inc. have equipped me with the skills needed to drive results. Last year, we surpassed our KPIs by 50%, and I’m eager to bring this success to your team.

  • Referrals can add credibility to your application. For instance, in an architectural position:

I was thrilled to learn about this job opportunity from John Doe, who has been with your firm for five years. John and I collaborated on an architectural project for over a year, and he recommended I apply for this role, believing I’d be a great fit.

  • Demonstrating your knowledge about the company shows dedication. For example, in a social worker position:

I have always admired the work your organization does with vulnerable communities. Your commitment to social justice resonates with my professional values, and I believe my previous experience as a social worker aligns perfectly with your mission.

  • Starting with a significant accomplishment can immediately capture interest. For example, in a public relations position:

As a Public Relations Representative at Company XYZ, I enhanced the company’s reputation and public image, resulting in a 40% increase in customer satisfaction. I am eager to bring my proven track record of success to your organization as the Head of Communications.

Cover Letter Introduction

Step 4. Body- the Most Important Part

The body of your resume is where you showcase your qualifications, experience, skills, and achievements to demonstrate why you're the ideal candidate for the job. Structuring this section effectively is crucial to capturing the attention of hiring managers and persuading them to consider you for the position.

Here’s how to craft a compelling resume body:

Start with a Strong Summary or Objective Statement:

Begin your resume with a concise summary or objective that highlights your career goals and what you bring to the table. This helps recruiters quickly understand your professional background and aspirations. For example:

Results-driven marketing professional with 8+ years of experience in digital marketing strategies and campaign management. Proven track record of increasing brand awareness and revenue growth through innovative marketing initiatives. Seeking to leverage my skills and expertise to contribute to the continued success of ABC Company.

Highlight Key Skills:

List relevant skills that align with the job requirements. Use bullet points to make them easy to scan. Focus on both technical skills (e.g., software proficiency, languages) and soft skills (e.g., communication, leadership). For example:

  • Digital Marketing Strategy

  • SEO/SEM Optimization

  • Content Management Systems (CMS)

  • Social Media Marketing

  • Analytical Skills

  • Team Leadership

Add Keywords:

In the body of the cover letter, it's crucial to incorporate keywords extracted from the job description. These keywords highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and attributes that align with what the employer is seeking. For example, if the job description emphasizes "digital marketing strategy," "customer acquisition," and "social media management," your cover letter should showcase your expertise in these areas.

My experience in developing and implementing robust digital marketing strategies, coupled with a proven track record in customer acquisition and social media management, aligns perfectly with the goals outlined for the Sales & Marketing Manager position at Pride Mile.

Detail Your Work Experience:

Include your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position. For each job, provide the following details:

  • Job Title and Company: Clearly state your position and the organization you worked for.

  • Dates of Employment: Specify the period you worked there.

  • Key Responsibilities: Outline your main duties and responsibilities in concise bullet points. Focus on achievements and quantify results where possible. For example:

Managed a team of 5 digital marketers to execute SEO and PPC campaigns, resulting in a 30% increase in website traffic and a 25% growth in lead generation.

Achievements: Highlight specific accomplishments that demonstrate your impact. Use metrics to quantify your achievements whenever feasible. For example:

Led a successful rebranding campaign that increased brand recognition by 40% and led to a 15% increase in customer engagement.

  • Education and Certifications: List your educational background, including degrees, diplomas, and relevant certifications. Mention any honors or awards received. Include the name of the institution, degree/certification earned, and dates attended.

  • Skills and Expertise: Elaborate on any additional skills or expertise that are relevant to the job. This could include technical skills, industry-specific knowledge, or proficiency in certain tools or methodologies.

  • Professional Development: Include any professional development activities, workshops, or seminars you have attended that are relevant to your career.

Cover Letter body

Step 5. Closing & Salutation

A strong conclusion to your cover letter is essential to leave a positive and lasting impression on a prospective employer. It serves as your final opportunity to express enthusiasm, reinforce your qualifications, and prompt the hiring manager to take action. Here’s how to effectively end your cover letter.

  • Show self-assurance in your skills and how they align with the job requirements. This demonstrates to the employer that you are a competent and enthusiastic candidate. For example:

I am confident that my project management experience and problem-solving abilities make me a perfect fit for your team. I thrive in dynamic environments and am eager to contribute to your company's success.

  • Let your passion for the role and the industry shine through. Mentioning your enthusiasm can make you a more memorable candidate. For instance:

My lifelong passion for animal welfare drives my dedication to providing top-notch veterinary care. I am excited to bring this passion to your clinic and contribute to the well-being of your patients.

  • Highlight how your skills and experiences align with the job responsibilities. This helps the employer see the direct benefits of hiring you. For example:

With seven years of experience managing senior accounts, I am skilled at anticipating client needs and handling situations with discretion. I am eager to bring this expertise to your team and help grow your client base.

  • Share your career aspirations and how they align with the company’s growth. This shows your long-term interest in the organization. For example:

I look forward to leveraging my sales experience to identify new markets and build strong customer relationships. My goal is to grow within your company and eventually lead the account management team.

  • Align your personal values with the company’s mission to show you’re a cultural fit. For example:

I admire ArcherTech's commitment to supporting local businesses and have innovative marketing ideas to increase profitability in this sector. I am excited to discuss these ideas further.

  • Emphasize relevant technical skills, especially those mentioned in the job description. This highlights your readiness to contribute effectively. For example:

I bring extensive experience with CAD software and can create integrated 360-degree renderings for client presentations. My past successes in this area can help boost your sales by 150% over the next two quarters.

  • Encourage the employer to take the next step, such as scheduling an interview. Express gratitude and indicate your eagerness to discuss your application further. For example:

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to discussing how my skills can contribute to your team. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

  • End your letter with a formal and courteous closing. Suitable options include "Best", "Sincerely", "Respectfully", and "Thank you".

Here's a template for Closing & Salutation:

This is the best approach I can suggest for writing a great cover letter, but I highly recommend using WPS Office templates for this. The AI features in AIPal and WPS Office can help extract keywords and assist with writing, while the templates provide pre-written content tailored to the position you're applying for. This approach minimizes effort and frustration, especially when a job requires a cover letter, ensuring your application meets all necessary requirements effectively.

Cover Letter created with help form WPS Office and AIPal

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How to Proofread your Cover Letter- WPS Office

WPS Office is an all-around solution for various tasks, including writing a cover letter and securing your dream job. Beyond helping you create a polished cover letter, WPS Office also excels in proofreading it. With its AI-powered Proofreader, WPS Office ensures your cover letter is error-free and impactful.

  • WPS AI: To assist you in polishing your content:

WPS AI Proofreader is an essential tool for perfecting your cover letter with ease and confidence. As you craft your application, WPS AI Proofreader ensures your writing is polished to perfection. It goes beyond simple spell checks, offering real-time error detection for grammar, punctuation, and clarity. This means you can focus on expressing your skills and achievements effectively, without worrying about typos or awkward phrasing. With customizable settings and intuitive correction options, WPS AI Proofreader tailors its suggestions to fit your writing style, ensuring your cover letter maintains professionalism and clarity.

WPS Office

  • AIPal Chatbot: For ideas and consultation

AIPal is a great web-assistant throughout the process of refining and perfecting your cover letter through its robust proofreading and consultation capabilities. This AI-powered tool not only identifies grammatical errors and punctuation issues but also provides insightful suggestions to enhance the clarity and effectiveness of your ideas. AIPal ensures that your cover letter maintains a cohesive flow and communicates your qualifications effectively to potential employers.

AIPal

FAQs

1. How long should a Cover Letter be?

A cover letter should ideally be between half a page and a full page in length, with a word count ranging from 250 to 400 words. It is typically divided into three to six paragraphs. It's important to keep it brief and focused on relevant details.

2. What tone should I use in my Cover Letter?

To effectively convey the right tone in your cover letter, aim for a balance that is both professional and friendly.

  • Avoid overly formal language while maintaining a polished demeanor.

  • Tailor your communication style to fit the company's culture, showing genuine enthusiasm for the position without coming across as boastful or overly eager.

  • Use confident and positive language to articulate your qualifications clearly, avoiding jargon, informal expressions, or humor that could be misinterpreted.

This approach will ensure your cover letter reflects professionalism and authentic interest in the position.

3. Should I include references in my cover letter?

Typically, you do not need to include references in your cover letter unless the employer specifically requires them. Concentrate on highlighting your relevant qualifications and explaining why you are a strong match for the position.

Create An Impactful Cover Letter With WPS Office

Creating a compelling cover letter can often be the decisive factor in securing your dream job. It needs to showcase your expertise clearly and coherently, leaving no doubt about your suitability for the role. WPS Office provides a reliable solution where you can gather all the necessary information for when you are figuring out how to write a cover letter and ensure your cover letter resonates at the right level.

From templates perfectly tailored to the job position to extracting crucial keywords and summarizing job descriptions, WPS Office equips you with everything essential for writing a successful cover letter. Download AIPal today to streamline your job hunting journey and alleviate some of the frustrations along the way.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.