Cover Letter Samples to Help You Find a Job (or Get a Better One)

Cover letters can make a difference.  But using boring, old cover letter samples to make your cover letter should be avoided. 

Most hiring personnel will gloss right over standard, run-of-the-mill letters.  A boring letter will make you sound like the thousands of other applications hiring managers receive

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So what to do?

The best approach is to have a mutual contact to be able to mention

If you do have one, be sure to ask permission to use their name and put their name in the opening paragraph.

“What if you don’t have a mutual contact?” you might ask.

Get creative.

Tell a Story

The boring, “Enclosed please find my resume” is just that...

Boring!

The hiring manager can see the attached resume (whether it be email or snail). There’s no need to waste space talking telling her about it.

The best approach...

...tell a little story.

Lighten it up a little.

You can still be professional while providing a dash of humor.

Granted, we’re not talking about writing something like, “Did you hear the one about the...”

That being said, I realize not everyone can write like a novelist. So at times cover letter examples might be needed. 

Just be sure to make them your own.

Simplicity

Keep it simple!  I don’t care if you're posting for $150,000 a year job or for the Director of English Literature - anyone appreciates clear, effective writing.  There's no need to be overly wordy and risk coming across as showy.

Nowadays attention spans are short.

Brevity is key.

Cover Letters for Large Companies

Keep in mind, the larger the company the less important your letter. Reason being...there's usually more process and less actual reading. (Remember those job candidate databases we discussed?)

However, a good, clean cover letter is still an effective tool to get your application a rise above the rest.

Classic Cover Letter Sample Structure

I know I said to refrain from using the standard-issued, boilerplate cover letter samples.  But that doesnt mean there are not some common things a good cover letter should have. Check out this cover letter sample structure to use when writing your letter:

  1. First paragraph: Identify the job, by title, for which you’re applying and, hopefully, name a mutual acquaintance. If you’re applying out of the blue, you  might want to add something personal.  For instance, maybe you recently read about them in the local newspaper.
  2. Next paragraph: Write a short summary of your career; customize it toward the company you’re applying to.
  3. Third paragraph:  Tell about several of your accomplishments but make them relevant to the prospective job - not  I can bake a mean apple pie. Unless your applying to a bakery! Use bullet points, putting your best accomplishment first.
  4. Fourth paragraph: Write when you’ll be getting in touch, or that you look forward to hearing from them, if that be the case.


Cover Letter Examples

Here’s a snippet of something you might be able to use...

I am writing in response to the opening for xxxx, which I believe may report to you. I recently read how xxxx Company has released a new program to xxx and find it very interesting.

I can offer you xx years of experience managing sales for top xxxx firms, excellent project-management skills, and a great ability to xxxx. I very much like what I do and would like to show you how I feel I am an ideal candidate for the xxxx position.

Some of my recent accomplishments include:

  • Created a sales plan that increased phone conversion by over 20% in just three months and continually grew each year from 2009 to 2012.
  • Received management awards for excellence in customer satisfaction.
  • Coached a team of fifty sales representatives through intensive training and innovative sales techniques.

If you have questions, or if you want to discuss further, please contact me at [email] or [cell phone]. I would welcome the chance to speak with you sometime.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Enclosure

Or maybe this one works for you...

[Name of Person Referring] suggested that I contact you regarding the open [job title] position with [Company Name].

I have more than [number] years of experience in the field of [area of professional expertise]. As a result of my hard work, I have received promotions and advancements which make me a well-rounded, experienced candidate in [niche area of professional expertise].

Some of my more recent accomplishments include:

  • [best related accomplishment]
  • [another related accomplishment]
  • [yet another related  accomplishment]
  • [maybe one more related  accomplishment]

If you have questions, or if you want to schedule an interview, please contact me at [phone number]. I look forward to meeting you to further discuss employment opportunities with [Company Name].

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Enclosure

More on Cover Letters

Still struggling with your letter? Check out more cover letter samples.  And also check back for more accomplishment examples coming soon.

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