Sample Cover Letter for a Writing Position

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The internet created a boom of writing jobs of all kinds, from bloggers to technical writers to social media managers. To land one of these jobs, you need to create a cover letter that not only conveys your relevant experience, but that captures an employer's attention and persuades them that you have the skills to attract and engage readers.

Here's how.

Sample Cover Letter for a Freelance Writing Job

This is an example of a cover letter for a writing position. Download the writing job cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Screenshot of a sample cover letter for a writing position
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Sample Cover Letter for a Freelance Writing Job (Text Version)

Jane Applicant
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
jane.applicant@email.com

September 1, 2018

John Smith
Director, Human Resources
Acme Office Supplies
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Smith,

I'm very interested in your job post for a business writer. In my position as Business Representative for Union Local 080, I wrote feature articles for the website, managed content and link submissions, and wrote a weekly email newsletter to subscribers.

While Legislative Director for Assemblywoman Susan Smith, I researched, drafted and amended legislation, wrote press releases, and was responsible for office communications and correspondence.

I also have extensive experience writing freelance articles on labor issues, which, I believe, would be an ideal match for this position. Articles are available for your review at [insert links].

Additional writing samples and my resume are attached. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your consideration. 

Sincerely,

Jane Doe

Cover Letter Tips for a Writing Position

Don't Send a Form Letter: Form letters look lazy and lack originality. You're applying for a job where your words matter. Use them to craft a specific letter that speaks uniquely to the position and potential employer.

Get to the Point: Some writers love to hear the sound of their own voice. Don't ramble or pontificate. Keep your letter tight, on target and to the point. Demonstrate the power of your words with brevity.

Choose Your Tone Wisely: Match the voice of your letter to the tone of the job description. If the description is formal, write a straightforward cover letter with a sophisticated voice. A fun, offbeat job description filled with humor gives you permission to let your guard down in your letter and spice it up. But don't go overboard on wackiness – when in doubt, reel it in.

Demonstrate Your Writing Technique: Use the cover letter as an opportunity to showcase your command of your craft. Vivid description and imagery aren't just for poetry and prose. For example, if you're applying to write about food or travel, use sensory language in your descriptions. Tell an anecdote to describe your experience.

And what's an anecdote really but a story – draw the reader in, hook him with a conflict (e.g., "I had to write a 500-word piece overnight to meet a publication deadline") and then describe how you resolved it with your top-notch skills.

Sending an Email Cover Letter

Email cover letters obviously need to convey the same information as traditional, hard-copy cover letters, but there are a few writing and formatting differences to keep in mind, should you send your materials via email.

List your name and the job title in the subject line of the message, so that the hiring manager can tell at a glance that she’s looking at an application for this specific position. Keep the body of the email short and sweet – no more than two or three paragraphs at most. And include your contact information in your signature, as well as links to your online portfolio, LinkedIn profile, or any other relevant materials. 

  • Make sure you understand formatting and sending email cover letters, including important reminders about attachments and sending test emails.
  • Make a positive, professional impression on the hiring manager while dodging over-zealous spam filters when you apply for jobs via email.
  • Make sure you know how to address the person who will be reading your cover letter, even if you don’t know the name of the hiring manager.