What Is A Cover Letter For Job Resume

Curious to see how a cover letter in your industry should look? We provide dozens of cover letter examples from over 15 different industries. Find your industry below and download your favorite samples. Plug in your own information and you’re ready to send off your application.

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SEE ALSO > Resume Examples by Industry

Cover Letter Samples Sorted By:

Job & Industry

 


Food Service Industry Cover Letter Samples

Waiter, Waitress, Server

For the food service industry, cover letters should highlight the candidate’s customer service abilities, their knowledge of a particular type of cuisine, and their adherence to food safety and sanitation guidelines. If you are able to demonstrate these key attributes, restaurant owners will certainly call you in for an interview.

Customer Service & Retail Industry Example Cover Letters

Retail

Call Center, Phone & Support

Hotel, Hospitality & Transportation

Client Services

Since customer service is such a broad category, we offer a variety of letters from different areas of the field. The key to getting a job in customer service is to showcase your ability to upsell and retain customers. Click on any of the samples above to learn how to display these abilities in your cover letter. 

Office Worker & Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Examples

Assistants & Office Managers

Clerical Workers

Human Resources

The responsibilities of administrative assistants and office workers are often quite similar across different companies. So the challenge is to find a way to differentiate yourself from other candidates. One way to do this is to emphasize your organizational skills through measurable achievements, such as the money or time you saved with your initiatives in a previous position. Take a look at how the examples above accomplish this.

Housekeeping Industry Example Cover Letters

We provide two versions of a cover letter for a housekeeper: one for a candidate with experience and one for an entry-level housekeeper. So no matter how much experience you have, our examples will help you get started.  

Janitor & Maintenance Worker Samples

Janitors must demonstrate their concern for safety and accident prevention in order to be considered for the position. Use our experienced and entry-level examples to guide you on how to include these traits in your letter.

Nursing & Healthcare Cover Letter Samples

Nursing & Social Care

Dentistry

Pharmacist 

Whether you want to get a job in nursing, dentistry, or pharmaceuticals, we have a sample that applies to your career path. Careers in the healthcare industry require a wide range of experience and education. Technical skills, licenses and certifications, and the ability to communicate effectively are a few of the top qualities to include in your cover letter. 

Marketing & Sales Example Cover Letters

If you’re applying for a job in marketing or sales, you’ll need to highlight key performance metrics. Employers will be looking for you to elaborate on the projects that were mentioned in your resume and the results that were produced.

Engineering Samples

We offer samples for 4 different kinds of engineers. Find your career track and discover how to best format your own letter. No matter what engineering track you are on, your cover letter needs to highlight problem solving skills and the ability to meet quality standards.

Teaching & Education Example Cover Letters

Our teaching and education samples are great for job seekers who are just starting their career or for those that need help showcasing their wealth of experience. Although our sample is for an english teacher, the format can be used for a teacher of any subject.

Construction Industry Examples

Working in construction usually entails being able to use a wide variety of tools and equipment while also having knowledge numerous construction techniques. Make sure you mention the equipment you have used and the different techniques that you are familiar with. 

Accounting & Finance Cover Letter Samples

We offer five different examples within the accounting and finance industry. Quantifiable/numerical achievements are extremely important when it comes to applying for an accounting job. Check out the samples to see how the candidates discuss their accomplishments. 

Driver & Transportation Examples

Drivers

A truck driver cover letter should focus on the years of driving experience, the type of vehicles you have operated, and your specific state and national licenses. Click the sample above to see how our job candidate lists this information.

Librarian Samples

Whether you are just starting your career as a librarian or are looking for a senior position, we have a sample that will help you tailor your own cover letter. Click on the position above that applies to you.

Information Technology (IT) Cover Letter Examples

When applying for an IT job, you will likely need to get through an HR representative who might not be well-versed in the technical aspects of the position. Keep this in mind when writing your cover letter and consider toning down the technical language.

Art and Music Samples

Art & Design

Music

Writing a cover letter for an industry as abstract as music and entertainment can be difficult. Instead of focusing on numerical achievements, you’ll have to focus your letter towards a portfolio of specific projects or performances. Use our letters above for inspiration.

C-Suite & Executive Cover Letters

Executives

C-Suite executives have extensive industry experience and their cover letters must go beyond a list of duties and facts. Their cover letters must reflect an ability to fit within an organization. Our cover letter examples and tip sections will help you communicate a strong profile to boost to your candidacy.

Real Estate Industry Examples

For a job in real estate, you’ll need to highlight your ability to market to prospective home owners as well as your drive to reach sales quotas. Our real estate agent letter does all of this and much more. Click the link above to learn how to write your own.

Law Enforcement, Security & Fire Cover Letters

Legal

Law Enforcement & Security

In this section we offer cover letters for those in the legal space and law enforcement. Click the position that you are in and learn about exactly what you can highlight in your cover letter to make you an outstanding candidate.

Student and Internship Cover Letters

Students often have the hardest time writing a cover letter because they lack professional experience. The key for students is to focus on relevant coursework, internship experience, and skills you might have gained from working a part-time job.


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Do you need to write a cover letter to apply for a job? In most cases, the answer is yes. Your cover letter may make the difference between obtaining a job interview or having your resume ignored, so it makes good sense to devote the necessary time and effort to writing effective cover letters.

Here's all the information you need to write a cover letter that will get your application noticed. Review these tips for what to include in a cover letter, how to format it, and examples of many different professionally written cover letters.

What is a Cover Letter?

Before you start writing a cover letter, you should familiarize yourself with the document’s purpose. A cover letter is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information on your skills and experience.

The letter provides detailed information on why you are qualified for the job you are applying for. Don’t simply repeat what’s on your resume -- rather, include specific information on why you’re a strong match for the employer’s job requirements.  Think of your cover letter as a sales pitch that will market your credentials and help you get the interview. As such, you want to make sure your cover letter makes the best impression on the person who is reviewing it.

A cover letter typically accompanies each resume you send out. Employers use cover letters as a way to screen applicants for available jobs and to determine which candidates they would like to interview. If an employer requires a cover letter, it will be listed in the job posting. Even if the company doesn’t ask for one, you may want to include one anyway.

It will show that you have put some extra effort into your application.

The Different Types of Cover Letters

There are three general types of cover letters. Choose a type of letter that matches your reason for writing.

When you are applying for a job that has been posted by a company that’s hiring, you will be using the “application letter” style.

What to Include in Your Cover Letter

A cover letter should complement, not duplicate, your resume. Its purpose is to interpret the data-oriented, factual resume and add a personal touch to your application for employment. Find out more about the differences between a resume and a cover letter to make sure you start writing your cover letter with the correct approach.

A cover letter is often your earliest written contact with a potential employer, creating a critical first impression. Something that might seem like a small error, like a typo, can get your application immediately knocked off the list. On the other hand, even if your cover letter is error-free and perfectly written, if it is generic (and makes no reference to the company, or to any specifics in the job description) it is also likely to be rejected by a hiring manager.

Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences. Determine relevance by carefully reading the job description, evaluating the skills required and matching them to your own skills.

Think of instances where you applied those skills, and how you would be effective in the position available.

Review a list of what to include in a cover letter for a job before you get started.

What to Leave Off Your Cover Letter

There are some things that you don’t need to include in the cover letters you write. The letter is about your qualifications for the job, not about you personally. There is no need to share any personal information about yourself or your family in it. If you don’t have all the qualifications the employer is seeking, don’t mention it. Instead, focus on the credentials you have that are a match. Don’t mention salary unless the company asks for your salary requirements. If you have questions about the job, the salary, the schedule, or the benefits, it’s not appropriate to mention them in the letter.

One thing that’s very important is to not write too much. Keep your letter focused, concise, and a few paragraphs in length. It’s important to convey just enough information to entice the hiring manager to contact you for an interview.

If you write too much, it’s probably not going to be read.

Customize Your Cover Letter

It is very important that your cover letter be tailored to each position you are applying to. This means more than just changing the name of the company in the body of the letter.

Each cover letter you write should be customized to include:

  • Which job you're applying for (include the job title in your opening paragraph)

  • How you learned about the job (and a referral if you have one)

  • Why you are qualified for the job (be specific)

  • What you have to offer the employer, and why you want to work at this specific company (match your skills to the job description, and read up on the organization’s mission, values and goals to mention in your letter)

  • Thank you for being considered for the job

Here’s more on how to personalize your cover letter.

Cover Letter Writing Guidelines

Here's an outline of the items that should be included in every cover letter. Before you get started, it can be helpful to review some cover letter samples, just so you have a visual of how everything fits on the page.

These cover letter examples, both written and email, are designed for a variety of different types of job applications and employment inquiries. Do be sure to take the time to personalize your letter, so it’s a strong endorsement of your ability to do the job for which you’re applying.

Header
A cover letter should begin with both your and the employer's contact information (name, address, phone number, email) followed by the date. If this is an email rather than an actual letter, include your contact information at the end of the letter, after your signature.

Your contact information should include:
First and Last Name
Street Address
City, State Zip
Phone
Email

Salutation
Begin your cover letter salutation with "Dr./Mr./Ms. Last Name." If you are unsure if your contact is male or female, you can write out their full name. If you do not know the employer's name, simply write, "Dear Hiring Manager." This is better than the generic and formal, “To Whom It May Concern.”

Review information on how to choose the right cover letter greeting to select one that works for the job and company you’re applying to.

Introduction
Begin your introduction by stating what job you are applying for. Explain where you heard about the job, particularly if you heard about it from a contact associated with the company. Briefly mention how your skills and experience match the company and/or position; this will give the employer a preview of the rest of your letter. Your goal in the introduction is to get the reader's attention. To get started, see examples of engaging opening sentences for cover letters.

Body
In a paragraph or two, explain why you are interested in the job and why you make an excellent candidate for the position. Mention specific qualifications listed in the job posting, and explain how you meet those qualifications. Do not simply restate your resume, but provide specific examples that demonstrate your abilities.

Remember, actions speak louder than words, so don’t just “tell” the reader that you are, for example, a great team player with strong communication skills and an excellent attention to detail. Instead, use tangible examples from your work experience to “show” these traits in action. Here’s more information on what to include in the body section of a cover letter.

Closing
In the closing section of your cover letter, restate how your skills make you a strong fit for the company and/or position. If you have room (remember, just like your resume, your cover letter should be no longer than one page - here's more information on how long a cover letter should be) you can also discuss why you would like to work at that specific company.

State that you would like the opportunity to interview or discuss employment opportunities. Explain what you will do to follow-up, and when you will do it. Thank the employer for his/her consideration.

Signature
Use a complimentary close, and then end your cover letter with your signature, handwritten, followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name, followed by your contact information, after the complimentary close.

Format Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter should be formatted like a professional business letter. The font should match the font you used on your resume, and should be simple and easy to read. Basic fonts like Arial, Calibri, Georgia, Verdana, and Times New Roman work well. A font size of 10 or 12 points is easy to read. Standard margins are 1” on the top, bottom, and left and right sides of the page.

Add a space between the header, salutation, each paragraph, the closing, and your signature. You can reduce the font and margin sizes to keep your document on a single page, but do be sure to leave enough white space for your letter to be easy to read.

Follow these cover letter formatting guidelines to ensure your letters match the professional standards expected by the hiring managers who review applications.

Edit and Proofread Your Cover Letter

Remember to edit and proof your cover letter before sending it. It may sound silly, but make sure you include the correct employer and company names - when you write multiple cover letters at once, it is easy to make a mistake. Printing out and reading the letter aloud is a good way to catch small typos, such as missing words, or sentences that sound odd.

Always double-check the spelling of your contact's name, as well as the company name. Here are more tips for proofreading a cover letter. If possible, enlist a friend or a family member to help proofread your cover letter, as two pairs of eyes are better than one and even professional proofreaders don’t always catch their own mistakes.

Ready to Get Started? Write a Cover Letter in 5 Easy Steps

A well-written cover letter will help get your application noticed and help you secure an interview. Take the time to personalize it so it shows the employer why you're a solid candidate for the job. Here's how to write a cover letter in five simple steps.

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