When applying for a job, it's always a good idea to include a cover letter, unless the employer specifies that they only want an application or a resume. Even if a job listing does not specifically request a cover letter, including one can be a terrific way to summarize your skills and experiences and explain (in more detail than in a resume) why you are an ideal candidate for the job.
What's most important is writing a cover letter that shows the hiring manager what makes you one of the best candidates for the position.
Think of your cover letter as your introductory “sales pitch,” your golden opportunity to make a positive first impression on a company.
Reviewing cover letter samples is a great place to start before writing your own letter. You can then download a template to get started creating your own letter.
What the Best Cover Letters Do Well
Your cover letter should be well-written and provide some sense of your personality and professionalism. It should also be targeted to the position for which you are applying. Don't send a generic letter when you apply for jobs. Most employers get many applications for every open job, and your cover letter and resume need to show that you've taken the time to write compelling application material that shows your interest in working for the company in this role.
Make clear and persuasive connections between your experiences and the skills required to excel in the job, using the skills listed in the job announcement’s “Preferred Qualifications” section as your guide. Taking the time to match your qualifications to the company's job requirements will show the employer you're a strong match for the job.
Your cover letter is one of the first things the hiring manager will see (along with your resume), so make sure that it grabs the reader’s attention and entices them to give your resume a serious review.
How to Use Cover Letter Samples
These professionally written samples will help you write and format your cover letter as either a Word document or a text version that you can send as an email message.
Reviewing examples also gives you ideas for the language you might want to use, the information you should include, and how to format the letter so all the required information is included and there is plenty of white space on the page. Then, spend some time customizing your letter:
- Take the details from your resume and use them to personalize the sample that you download.
- Be sure to replace the text in the example with your own experience and qualifications for the job.
- Don't forget to double-check that all your personal information (address, phone, email, etc.) is accurate before you click send or upload the letter.
Be sure to customize your letter to fit your own skills and experience and to target the specific job for which you are applying.
Review Cover Letter Examples
Use these cover letter samples to get ideas for your own cover letters so you can show prospective employers why you should be selected for an interview.
Cover Letter Template
Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) to get started, or see below for many more examples listed by type of job, candidate, and letter format.
Cover Letter Example (Text Version)
12 Maple Street
Citytown, IL 60416
July 20, 2020
35 Oak Avenue
Citytown, IL 60416
Dear Mr. Smith,
I was thrilled to see your ad for an occupational therapist at Citytown Therapy. I’m a licensed occupational therapist with five years of experience providing excellent care to patients ranging from toddlers to mature adults. I’d love to put my skills to work for your clinic.
In reference to your requirements in the job description, I have:
- Experience assessing patients’ fine motor and sensory skills
- Practical knowledge of creating and implementing care plans
- Effective communication skills, both oral and written
- Excellent organization and multitasking skills
- A proven track record of compassionate, effective care
- CPR certification
I’d appreciate the opportunity to discuss the position and your needs for the role. Please contact me at your convenience and let me know how I can help you.
Victoria Hernandez (signature hard copy letter)
List of Cover Letter Samples
Have a look at this alphabetical list of great cover letter examples listed by occupation. Use these examples to get ideas for your own cover letters.
Cover Letters Listed by Occupation
A - E
- Academic Advisor
- Academic Cover Letter
- Administrative Coordinator
- Admissions Counselor
- Athletic Director
- Biomedical Engineer
- Camp Counselor
- College Graduate
- College Student
- Communications Director
- Construction Management
- Customer Service
- Database Administrator
- Development/Museum Position
- Director of Operations
- Editorial Assistant
- Education/Alternative Education
- Entry Level (analyst)
- Entry Level (finance)
- Entry Level (marketing)
- Event Planner
F - M
- Faculty Position
- Finance Internship
- Flight Attendant
- Front End Web Developer
- Hair Stylist
- Higher Education Communications
- Information Security Analyst
- Informational Meeting Request Letter
- Letter of Intent
- Letter of Interest
- Market Research Analyst
- Marketing Assistant
- Media Relations
N - R
- Occupational Therapist
- Office Assistant
- Part-Time Job
- Physical Therapist
- Programmer Analyst
- Recruiting Manager
- Research Technician
- Retail Management
S - Z
- Sales Associate
- Sales, Marketing and PR
- Scientific Research
- Scrum Master
- Social Media
- Social Worker
- Software Developer
- Software Engineer
- Special Education
- Speech Pathologist
- Store Manager
- Summer Cashier
- Summer Hotel Front Desk/Bellhop
- Summer Job
- Teaching Assistant/Tutor
- Technical Support/Help Desk
- Transportation Planning
- Web Content Manager
- Web Content Specialist
- Web Design Specialist
Cover Letters Listed by Type of Letter
These different types of cover letters fit a variety of special circumstances, and letter format options.
- Applying for More Than One Job (multiple jobs at the same company)
- Block and Modified Block Format Cover Letters (types of cover letter formats)
- Career Change (when the job is a career shift)
- Career Office Referral (referral from a college career office)
- Cold Contact Cover Letter (applying for jobs that aren't advertised)
- Email Cover Letters (cover letters included in an email message)
- Employee Referral (referral from a company employee)
- Job Promotion Cover Letters (applying for a promotion)
- Job Transfer Request Letter (transferring jobs)
- Job Transfer Request Letter Example (relocation) (requesting a relocation)
- Prospecting Letter (outreach to prospective employers)
- Referral (letter with a referral)
- Referred by a Contact (referral from a mutual contact)
- Request a Meeting (requesting an informational meeting)
- Salary History (includes salary history)
- Salary Range (includes a salary range)
- Salary Requirements (includes salary requirements)
- Targeted Cover Letters (targeted to a specific job)
- Temp to Perm Cover Letter Example (request a permanent position)
- Transferable Skills (includes transferable skills)
- Unadvertised Openings (apply for unadvertised jobs)
- Value Proposition Letter Sample (show how you will add value)
More Cover Letter Samples and Writing Tips
Need more inspiration? Here are more cover letter examples, including templates you can customize to create your own cover letters. You should also explore these top 10 cover letter writing tips, and these 5 steps to cover letter success.
How to Personalize Your Cover Letter
It's acceptable to alter the standard format of a cover letter example:
- For instance, if the example has three paragraphs, and you only want to include two paragraphs, you can do so.
- If you want to include bullet lists instead of paragraphs, it's fine to reformat your letter. This is your opportunity to sell your qualifications to the company, so take the time to make your letter stand out from the crowd of applicants.
- You shouldn't include everything that's on your resume in the letter. Highlight the most relevant accomplishments as they relate to the job for which you're applying. The more focused and personalized your letter is, the better your chances of getting the interview.