Types Of Cover Letter Formats

Smart tips to help you format and write a cover letter

Struggling to write a cover letter that will catch an employer's attention? We've got tips to help you show your best self—and a sample you can use to get started.

There's nothing scary about writing a cover letter.

You've found the perfect job, hit the "apply" button, and started the process with your engines revved and ready. But wait! Slam the brakes! They want a cover letter. Oh no. 

Don't let this request derail you. Here's everything you need to know to write a letter that truly sells your skills. Plus, scroll down to see a sample cover letter you can use to craft your own.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a one-page document that, along with your resume, is sent with your job application. A cover letter is your chance to tell a potential employer why you’re the perfect person for the position and how your skills and expertise can add value to the company. The letter should be professional but personable, and serve as a sort of introduction.

Do I need to send a cover letter?

A lot of job seekers today wonder if a cover letter is still appropriate to send with your resume—and the answer is yes! Even if an employer doesn’t ask for a cover letter, it couldn’t hurt to send one. In fact, it’s can help you get someone's attention in a different way, and it can be a great way to display your enthusiasm for the job and company.

What are the basic elements of a cover letter?

  1. Greeting: Address your cover letter to the proper person.
  2. Opening: Write a personable, inviting opening paragraph that notes how your skills are a perfect fit to the job and displays your enthusiasm.
  3. Hook: Highlight your past achievements as they relate to the job you're applying for.
  4. Skills: Emphasize additional relevant skills, such as computer languages or certifications.
  5. Close: Briefly recap your strengths as a candidate, and include your contact information.

Cover letter tips

1. Parrot the keywords: Just like with your resume, your cover letters should be customized for each job you apply to. Start by reviewing the job description. In it, you will find important keywords that let you know what kind of employee the company is hoping to find. Use these same keywords throughout your cover letter.

2. Adapt for the company: Each version of your cover letter should talk about how your skills will benefit the particular company that you want to work for. You want to target the company’s needs—not your own. Demonstrate how you could help them achieve their goals. Remember: You're selling yourself in a resume and a cover letter, but the employer has to want to buy.

3. Show you "get" them: Your cover letter should demonstrate that you have done some research into what the organization's pain points are. Presenting yourself as a solution to a hiring manager’s problem can help your cover letter take the right tone. If you’re applying to an administrative position, be sure to mention your time-management skills; if you’re an IT professional, include your expertise in improving efficiency. Always ask yourself: How can I help this company?

4. Proofread. Don’t assume spell check will catch every mistake (it won’t). Slowly review your cover letter to make sure everything reads properly. Have someone else read your cover letter for backup.

Need even more confidence before you start your cover letter? Below are some additional cover letter tips you could reference—or keep scrolling for a cover letter sample:

Cover letter mistakes you should avoid: From overusing “I” to being too vague, there are a bunch of pitfalls that can trip you up. Don’t let them!

Cover letter format and advice tips: Learn how to set up your cover letter and what each section should include.

Cover letter tips for new grads: You might lack real-world work experience, but your cover letter can be chock-full of activities that demonstrate your potential to succeed.

Cover letter tips for technology professionals: The ease of applying to online jobs has led many IT professionals to skip sending a cover letter, but that’s a mistake. 

Cover letter tips for finance professionals: If you’re searching for a finance job or want to be prepared just in case, you will need a dynamic cover letter to grab the hiring managers’ attention.

Tips for better email cover letters: If you're emailing a resume, your cover letter will deliver the first impression. These eight tips will help you craft a better email cover letter.

Cover letter sample

Check out the sample cover letter below (or download the template as a Word doc) to get some inspiration to craft your own. And we've also got you covered if you're looking for a cover letter in a specific industry. 

Once you've finished your cover letter, consider joining Monster—you can upload and store up to five cover letters and resumes, so that you can apply for jobs on our site in a snap!


[Date]

Ms. Rhonda West
Customer Service Manager
Acme Inc.
123 Corporate Blvd.
Sometown, CO 50802

Re: Customer Service Representative Opening (Ref. ID: CS300-Denver)

Dear Ms. West:

I was excited to see your opening for a customer service rep, and I hope to be invited for an interview.

My background includes serving as a customer service associate within both call-center and retail environments. Most recently, I worked on the customer service desk for Discount-Mart, where my responsibilities included handling customer merchandise returns, issuing refunds/store credits, flagging damaged merchandise for shipment back to vendors and providing back-up cashiering during busy periods.

Previously, I worked within two high-volume customer-support call centers for a major telecommunications carrier and a satellite television services provider. In these positions, I demonstrated the ability to resolve a variety of issues and complaints (such as billing disputes, service interruptions or cutoffs, repair technician delays/no-shows and equipment malfunctions). I consistently met my call-volume goals, handling an average of 56 to 60 calls per day.

In addition to this experience, I gained considerable customer service skills during my part-time employment as a waitress and restaurant hostess while in high school.

I also bring to the table strong computer proficiencies in MS Word, MS Excel and CRM database applications and a year of college (business major). Please see the accompanying resume for details of my experience and education.

I am confident that I can offer you the customer service, communication and problem-solving skills you are seeking. Feel free to call me at 555-555-5555 (home) or 555-555-5500 (cell) to arrange an interview. Thank you for your time—I look forward to learning more about this opportunity!

Sincerely,



Sue Ling

Enclosure: Resume


There are three main types of cover letters. Each is used for specific purposes.

Every cover letter is an introduction of who you are and what your qualifications are in reference to the job you are looking for.

A cover letter is not simply a reiteration of your resume.

It should be an interpretation of the information that in on the resume. It can serve to give further or more in-depth information to prospective employers.

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

A cover letter should be included with every resume you send out. It makes your resume stand out among other applicants and may be the thing that gets you the attention out of many other applications.

One type of cover letter is called the application cover letter. This is a resume and cover letter that responds to an open position that has been advertised or recommended to you. It should be formatted in a professional way and always include proper salutations and closings.

Detailed information should be included for both you and for the company and position for which you are applying. You need to take the time to understand as much as possible about the position and write your cover letter based on the skills you have that they are looking for. The purpose here is to market yourself as their best option for an employee. Tell them your specific skills in relation to what they are looking for.

The second type of cover letter is the prospecting letter. This is a letter that is inquiring if there are any open positions that you may be qualified to fill. You may know that the company is hiring but not know if there are any specific jobs that may suit you.

The prospecting letter or letter of interest, as some people call it, lets a prospective employer know that you are interested in the company. This cover letter also details your skills in the area of work you are looking for. It may be a letter and resume that is placed in a file for future reference, so be sure to outline all the skills and types of positions you wish to be considered for.

How to Write a Resume that Gets Employers Excited!

Networking letters are the final type of cover letter. These can function as letters of introduction, referral letters, or network letters. These serve to recommend you to a company based on past experience you have had with other work. These can be written by other individuals that can recommend you for a position.

When these are well written they can be a powerful tool in finding the work you want. They are powerful because they have built in recommendations from people you have already worked with.

They may also help you to connect with people who can become a part of your base career associates. These are people to turn to when you need collaboration. They can also help you out when you need advice or help completing a project you find difficult.

Sample of Account Executive Cover Letter

 

Charlize K. Bryant
1 Main Street
New City, Any State 00000

October, 17, 20xx

Clear Channel Worldwide
123 Oak Avenue
San Diego, CA 92123

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is in response to your advertisement for a customer care executive posted recently on San Diego’s Help Wanted site. The enclosed resume outlines my experience in the field for the past five years. I have worked with TeleCompany for the past three years.

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

For the past year, I have worked in the Advanced Customer Service division of TeleCompany. This division has responsibility for handling customers with difficult problems. This position involves keeping an open dialogue with customers while working to resolve their problems. In this position, I have authority to send replacement products or offer refunds per the company policy. Before working in this division, I worked as a general customer service representative for TeleCompany as well.

I believe my experience with both general and detailed customer service would fit well for your open position. I am a dedicated customer service professional that places emphasis on building customer relations while upholding company policies and practices.

If you think I would be a good fit for this position, please contact me to set up a personal interview. I am available on both my cell phone (000-000-0000) or on email (CharleyBryant@Email.com). Thank you for considering my application.

Sincerely,

Charlize K. Bryant

 

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

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