Free Cover Letter Examples and Writing Tips

Free Cover Letter Examples and Writing Tips

If you find it challenging to craft bespoke cover letters, you will find these free cover letter examples and writing tips helpful. In today’s tough job market, you need to stand out from the crowd to get an interview. That’s why crafting a compelling cover letter is so important.

A well-written cover letter is your chance to highlight your most relevant qualifications and show how you’re a perfect fit for the role. You can achieve this by using free cover letter templates and following examples that work.

With practical writing tips, you can use these templates and examples to craft a winning cover letter to land the job.

This comprehensive guide will explain a cover letter and provide formatting tips. We will also share free Cover letter examples and writing tips to help you create a polished letter that grabs attention.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a business letter that you send with your resume when you are looking for employment. It aims to introduce yourself to the employer and explain why you are the best candidate for the position.

An effective cover letter should be brief but impactful, highlighting your most relevant qualifications, skills, achievements, and experiences.

A cover letter is structured into four key sections – the header, introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Understanding these components will help you craft a polished, professional cover letter that makes the right impression.

The header includes all your contact details at the top of the letter, including your name, telephone number, address, and email address.

Ensure that the header style is the same as that on your resume to keep things consistent. Also, the date under the header should show the date you sent your application.

The introduction paragraph states the position you are applying for, where you found the job listing and 2-3 sentences on why you are interested in the role and company. This opening grabs the reader’s attention while introducing your candidacy.

The body paragraphs, 2-3 in total, highlight the strongest qualifications from your resume. Each paragraph should focus on a different selling point, like your work experience, skills, achievements, or education.

Use specific examples from previous jobs to demonstrate these qualifications. Connect your background directly to the job description.

A conclusion of one to two lines should summarize your interest in the job and how well you fit the role. Thank the reader for their time, and if it still needs to be added to the title, give them your phone number and email address. Express your enthusiasm for the opportunity to interview.

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How to write a cover letter

Before we explore the free cover letter examples and writing tips, there are some key steps to writing a winning cover letter. Here are eight steps to writing a letter that gets people’s attention and shows off your skills.

  1. Learn about the company and the role
  2. Select a free cover letter template
  3. Craft a header
  4. Write a strong opening paragraph
  5. Describe and emphasize your qualifications
  6. Add a concluding paragraph
  7. Sign your cover letter
  8. Proofread

Step 1: learn everything you can about the company and the role

To learn about the company’s purpose, values, culture, and goals, visit its website. Read up-to-date news stories and press statements to learn about new projects, successes, or problems. This will help you tailor your letter to show how you can contribute.

Next, carefully read the job description. Make a list of the hard and soft skills, competencies, responsibilities, and qualifications the employer seeks. Compare these to your background and create a checklist of relevant accomplishments, skills, education, licenses, and honours.

Research the hiring manager as well. Learn their name and correct job title so you can address them properly. Explore their job description, background, and career goals on LinkedIn or the business website. This enables you to customize your letter to resonate with them.

Step 2: select a free cover letter template

A professional cover letter template is the easiest way to ensure proper formatting and structure. Templates are a great way to get started on writing a professional letter quickly and easily.

Look for a free template matching your resume’s style and design. This promotes cohesion across your application documents. Opt for a standard business format with clean, simple styling. Avoid anything too flashy or trendy.

While templates provide excellent structure and formatting, you’ll want to customize the content significantly to make it your own. Replace the sample text with details highlighting your unique background, voice, and qualifications.

Step 3: craft the header

Start by listing your name, professional email address, phone number, city, state, and zip code on the first line. If appropriate, include links to your page or portfolio on LinkedIn.

Your email should convey your name (e.g. johnsmith@email.com) rather than random characters or numbers, if possible. Double-check that your header matches the one on your resume exactly to promote consistency across your application.

Below the header, write out the full date, then leave a blank line between the date and the employer’s information.

Next, include the complete name, official job title, company, and business address of the hiring manager or contact person provided in the job listing. If no specific contact is listed, address it to “Hiring Manager” or “Hiring Committee.”

Triple-check the spelling of the hiring manager’s name and company address. An error here reflects very poorly on your attention to detail. At the end of this part, use the proper greeting, like “Dear [First Name] [Last Name]” or “Dear Hiring Manager”. Pick the level of formality based on the company culture.

Step 4: write a strong opening paragraph

The opening paragraph is your chance to grab the hiring manager’s attention. Your goal is to get them interested enough to keep reading. You can do several things that will work:

  • Start by saying what job you’re looking for and how excited you are about it. Describe how you learned about the job. You might say, “When I learned of the Project Manager opening at Smith Enterprises, I was immediately drawn to apply…”
  • Showcase impressive skills or accomplishments relevant to the role. For example, “With 5 years of experience managing agile engineering teams, I have a track record of completing projects on time and under budget at RapidTech Inc.”
  • Emphasize your enthusiasm for the company’s mission or products. For instance, “I have been an avid user of CoolTech’s apps for years and am excited by the opportunity to contribute directly to enhancing the user experience.”
  • Mention a personal connection that got you interested, if appropriate. “Jane Smith, who I volunteered with at City Animal Shelter, encouraged me to apply for the Veterinary Technician role given my 5+ years of experience.”
  • Use an interesting statistic or information about the company to demonstrate your interest. “When I read that SmartHomes Inc. doubled its customer base in the last 2 years, I knew I had to be part of your incredible growth.

The opening sets the tone for your entire cover letter. Be creative and highlight your most appealing skills, passions, and qualifications upfront. Intrigue the reader with your background while conveying genuine enthusiasm. We recommend you review the free cover letter examples and writing tips for better understanding.

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Step 5: describe your qualifications and emphasize fit

The body paragraphs allow you to expand your background and convince the employer you are an excellent match. Every paragraph needs to be about a different selling point.

  • Open with your strongest qualification as it relates to the role. Provide concrete examples that showcase relevant hard skills, knowledge, achievements, or experience. Use numbers and data when possible to quantify your impact. For instance, “As a project manager at Acme Co., I led cross-functional teams and delivered major software projects under tight deadlines. I once completed a customer portal redesign 3 weeks ahead of schedule.”
  • Next, highlight important soft skills like communication, leadership, or problem-solving that are key to excelling in the role. Give specific instances when you demonstrated these competencies effectively in past jobs. You can say, “At my previous employer, I honed my communication abilities by presenting quarterly sales reports and Client recommendations to the executive leadership team.”
  • Moreover, reinforce your passion for the company’s mission and values. Share how your values and personality align closely with the organization’s culture and objectives. For example, “I care deeply about sustainability. I’m excited to apply my analytical expertise to help ABC Company meet its aggressive carbon reduction goals.”
  • If changing careers, emphasize how your past experiences and transferable skills will enable you to take on new responsibilities. Explain how the role aligns with your interests and strengths. “Though my background is in teaching, skills in lesson planning, communication, and data analysis will enable me to excel as a training specialist.”
  • Also, address any resume gaps professionally. For example, “I stepped back from the workforce to care for family but maintained relevant skills by leading fundraising campaigns for local charities.” Focus on the skills you developed during your time off and your enthusiasm to restart your career.

Step 6: add a concluding paragraph

The closing paragraph is your final opportunity to make an impression and compel the reader to take action. There are several essential objectives it should accomplish:

First, thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration. Express sincere appreciation for reviewing your application. For instance, “Thank you for considering my application for the Social Media Manager role.”

Next, reiterate your interest and enthusiasm for the role, company, and opportunity to interview. State directly that you are excited about contributing your skills and experiences in this capacity.

Finally, include a call to action to request an interview. Say something like, “I would appreciate speaking with you further about how I can add value to your team. Please get in touch with me as soon as possible to set up a meeting.”

Step 7: signing your cover letter

The closing signature is vital for conveying respect and appreciation to the reader. Stick with a formal, business-appropriate sign-off.

Good options include “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” “Respectfully yours,” or “Thank you.” Avoid overly casual sign-offs like “Thanks!”, “Cheers,” or just your first name. Do not use excessively old-fashioned phrases like “Yours truly.”

Sign your full name underneath your sign-off. If mailing, leave room to physically sign in cursive. Your name should match your resume and the letter header. Also, be sure to double-check the spelling.

Go through the free cover letter examples and writing tips in the next section to see how to sign off properly.

Step 8: proofread thoroughly

Carefully proofread your cover letter multiple times before submitting it, as errors can seriously hurt your chances. Read the letter aloud from the beginning to the end. This helps you catch awkward phrasing, grammatical mistakes, or repetition.

Verify all proper nouns and company names are spelled correctly. Double-check dates, addresses, and numbers. Review your formatting for consistency, appropriate fonts, and clarity, and remove any unnecessary spacing or indentation.

Ask a friend, family member, or career counsellor to review the letter with fresh eyes; they may notice issues you overlooked.

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Free cover letter examples

While every cover letter should be tailored to the specific job and company, analyzing examples can provide valuable insight into what makes an engaging, compelling cover letter. Below are two free cover letter examples and writing tips to help you craft your high-impact cover letter.

Example 1. sales representative

Job description

Acme Inc. seeks a Sales Representative to generate new business and expand existing customer accounts. Primary duties include prospecting potential clients, understanding customer needs, articulating solutions, negotiating contracts, and exceeding sales quotas.

Requirements

  • 3+ years of sales experience, preferably in software/SaaS
  • Able to oversee a sales area and meet objectives
  • Consultative approach to solving customer problems
  • Excellent communication and presentation abilities
  • Experience with CRM platforms
  • Bachelor’s degree in any area related to business or marketing.

Cover letter

June 17, 2023

Allison Davis
123 Main St.
Anytown, CA 12345

Jane Lee
Sales Manager
Acme Inc.
321 Tech Rd.
Silicon Valley, CA 94105

Dear Ms. Lee,

With over 5 years of consultative software sales success, I am thrilled to apply for the Sales Representative role at Acme Inc. Based on my track record of exceeding quotas, retaining accounts, and identifying new business opportunities, I am confident in my ability to contribute to Acme’s continued revenue growth.

In my current position at CloudsRUs, I expanded my territory’s customer base by 32% year-over-year through targeted prospecting campaigns.

My consultative approach of aligning solutions to customer needs was vital in retaining 85% of accounts. I exceeded quarterly sales quotas by an average of 20% thanks to tenacity and perseverance.

Beyond achieving sales targets, I collaborate cross-functionally to improve processes continuously. For instance, I worked with our customer success team to reduce the onboarding time by 20% by implementing training programs to accelerate product adoption.

With my customer-centric approach, industry experience, and passion for sales, I am committed to making an immediate and positive impact on Acme’s revenue goals. I would be delighted to engage in a further discussion regarding my qualifications. To schedule a meeting, kindly contact me at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,
Allison Davis

Example 2. hotel manager

Job description

Fairmont Hotels seeks an experienced Hotel Manager to oversee all operations for its premier Toronto property. Responsibilities include managing staff, ensuring exceptional guest experiences, monitoring budgets and expenses, addressing maintenance needs, and driving room bookings.

Requirements

  • 5+ years overseeing hotel operations
  • Background in staff leadership and team development
  • Revenue management abilities with a focus on ADR optimization
  • Effective problem-solving, organizational, and communication abilities
  • A hospitality management degree is preferred

Cover letter

June 17, 2023

Michael Brown
123 Main St.
Toronto, ON M5V 2X2

General Manager
Fairmont Hotels
456 Bay St.
Toronto, ON M5G 2R5

Dear General Manager,

When I saw Fairmont Hotels was hiring a new Hotel Manager for its Toronto location, I was eager to submit my application. I am an excellent candidate for this role, with over 10 years of experience managing premium hotels across Canada.

In my most recent position as Hotel Manager at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, I oversaw all operations for a 48-floor high-rise property, including leading a team of 60+ staff.

Key achievements included boosting guest satisfaction scores from 81% to 93% by training staff to deliver personalized, anticipatory service. I also optimized operational efficiencies to reduce overhead costs by 15% annually.

My background encompasses managing all facets of hotel operations, from front desk and housekeeping to building maintenance and financial planning.

I have a good track record of ensuring guests have great experiences while making money. For example, I increased average daily rates by 22% at Delta Hotels Banff Royal Canadian while maintaining variable operating costs at just 59% of total revenue.

In addition to operational expertise, I excel at promoting a positive work culture focused on Fairmont’s renowned standard of service.

At the Sheraton Vancouver, I built a cohesive team with a 98% satisfaction rating through mentoring, communication, and leading by example. I was recognized with the MVP Manager Award in 2021 based on my team’s industry-leading scores.

With proven success driving revenue, reducing costs, and cultivating engaged service-oriented teams, I am confident I would excel as Fairmont Toronto’s new Hotel Manager. It would be great to discuss my skills and thoughts for the job. Please get in touch with me as soon as you can to set up a meeting.

Respectfully your,
Michael Brown

Cover letter template

A professional cover letter template can provide an excellent starting point for crafting your letter. Templates offer properly formatted structure so you can focus on customizing the content with details about your background and qualifications.

In addition to these free cover letter examples and writing tips, here are some free cover letter templates that you can use:

Be sure to choose a template that matches the style of your resume. This promotes a cohesive application. Opt for standard business formatting with simple, clean design elements.

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9 writing tips for a winning cover letter

When writing a cover letter, you must pay attention to every aspect. These free cover letter examples and writing tips help you identify these crucial parts. Here are 9 writing tips to help you craft compelling cover letters without missing out on anything:

Research the company’s culture

Focus your research efforts on understanding the company’s culture, mission, and values. Thoroughly read through their website’s “About Us” and “Culture” pages.

Read their press releases and news stories to learn more about their current projects and goals. Your letter would be more helpful if you knew more about the subject.

Analyze the job description

Don’t skim the job description – analyze it in depth. Write down the most important hard and soft skills, experiences, and credentials the company wants. Identify keywords to incorporate into your letter. Compare their needs to your background. This ensures you can directly connect your abilities to what they want.

Choose a fitting template

Pick a clean, simple cover letter template in a standard business format that matches your resume style. This creates cohesion across your application.

Ensure the template follows proper cover letter structure and sections. However, customize the content significantly to fit the role. Replace filler text with details on your background.

Accuracy matters in the header

Use the same header format from your resume for consistency. Triple-check that the employer’s full name, job title, company, and address are accurate. Any typos or misspelled words will show right away that you ignore detail. End with the proper salutation based on your research into the hiring manager.

Salutation

Use the full name of the hiring boss if you know it, like “Dear Jane Smith.” Don’t call someone Mr., Mrs., or Ms. unless you know for sure what gender they are. Take their job title instead of their name if you don’t know it, like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Search Committee.”

Don’t use informal greetings like “Hi,” “Hey,” or “Hello.” Similarly, avoid old-fashioned greetings like “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.”

Using the right amount of formality is important based on the company culture. More formal titles are safest for conservative industries, while first names may be acceptable for startups.

Make a strong first impression

Grab the reader’s attention immediately by confidently stating your interest in the role and top qualifications or achievements. Maintain an enthusiastic yet professional tone. Limit the opening to 3-4 concise but impactful sentences. You want them to read more to find out more about you.

Connect your background to the role

Use each body paragraph to highlight a different primary qualification or selling point aligned with the job description. Provide specific examples that showcase relevant skills, knowledge, and experience. Use numbers and facts to describe what you’ve done when you can. This proves you have what they need.

Close with next steps

Thank the person for reading your letter for their time and attention. Show that you’re excited about meeting with and working for the company.

Provide your contact information and respectfully request the following steps, such as an interview. End with a formal sign-off like “Best regards” before typing your name.

Perfection matters too

Spend time meticulously proofreading for any spelling, grammar, or formatting errors that could damage your chances. Read your letter aloud to catch awkward phrasing.

Ask others to review your letter with fresh eyes and ensure all information is accurate. A flawless cover letter conveys your communication skills.

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Conclusion to our free cover letter examples and writing tips

Crafting an engaging, professional cover letter is crucial in making yourself stand out during the job application process.

With the help of these free cover letter examples and writing tips, you can efficiently tailor each letter to resonate with the reader and role. Follow the steps in this guide to create customized cover letters that showcase your abilities.

Ensure to do your research, choose a fitting template, write strong opening and closing paragraphs, highlight your top qualifications, and proofread meticulously.

With solid format, content, and section care, your cover letter will grab a hiring manager’s attention and show why you’re the best candidate.

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FAQs about free cover letter examples and writing tips

How long should my cover letter be?

Your cover letter should be confined to a single page with 3-5 well-written paragraphs. Exceeding one page risks losing the reader's interest or appearing too wordy. Limiting your letter to critical points might assist a hiring manager in realizing how you fit the job and encourage them to read your CV.

Do I need to send a cover letter if I already have a resume?

Even if you already have an excellent resume, sending a customized cover letter is crucial. Your resume summarizes your work history, but your cover letter introduces yourself directly to the reader and humanizes you as a candidate. Unlike a resume, it showcases your skills, passion, and suitability for the job to make an excellent first impression.

Is it necessary to customize my cover letter for each job application?

Customizing each cover letter to demonstrate your suitability for that post at that firm is crucial. Generic cover letters are easy for hiring managers to spot and can quickly lead your application to the discard pile. Personalizing your cover letter for each position and company could help you stand out.

How should I sign off my cover letter?

Formal sign-offs like "Sincerely" or "Best regards" should come after your full name in a cover letter to make it look neat and professional. Avoid informal sign-offs like "Thanks" or just your first name, which can be too casual. Sign-offs that are overly antiquated, like "Yours truly," are also not ideal.

Should I follow up after submitting my cover letter and resume?

Yes, following up is highly recommended. After applying, contact the hiring manager one to two weeks later to let them know you're still interested and qualified. This shows initiative and can give your application visibility. But be sure to balance persistence with professionalism when following up.

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December 9, 2023
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