How to Write a Cover Letter [Full Guide & Examples for 2024]

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After weeks of heavy job searching, you’re almost there!

You’ve perfected your resume.

You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.

You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.

But then, before you can send in your application and call it a day, you remember that you need to write a cover letter too.

So now, you’re stuck staring at a blank page, wondering where to start...

Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.

We're going to cover:

What Is a Cover Letter?

  • How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter, Step by Step
  • 15+ Job-Winning Cover Letter Examples

Let’s get started.

A cover letter is a document that you submit as part of your job application, alongside your resume or CV.

The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, it should be around 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter is supposed to impress the hiring manager and convince them you’re worth interviewing as a candidate.

So, how can your cover letter achieve this?

First of all, it should complement your resume, not copy it. Your cover letter is your chance to elaborate on important achievements, skills, or anything else that your resume doesn’t give you the space to cover. 

For example, if you have an employment gap on your resume, the cover letter is a great place to explain why it happened and how it helped you grow as a person. 

If this is your first time writing a cover letter, writing about yourself might seem complicated. But don’t worry—you don’t need to be super creative or even a good writer .

All you have to do is follow this tried and tested cover letter structure:

structure of a cover letter

  • Header. Add all the necessary contact information at the top of your cover letter.
  • Formal greeting. Choose an appropriate way to greet your target audience.
  • Introduction. Introduce yourself in the opening paragraph and explain your interest in the role.
  • Body. Elaborate on why you’re the best candidate for the job and a good match for the company. Focus on “selling” your skills, achievements, and relevant professional experiences.
  • Conclusion. Summarize your key points and wrap it up professionally.

Now, let’s take a look at an example of a cover letter that follows our structure perfectly:

How to Write a Cover Letter

New to cover letter writing? Give our cover letter video a watch before diving into the article!

When Should You Write a Cover Letter?

You should always include a cover letter in your job application, even if the hiring manager never reads it. Submitting a cover letter is as important as submitting a resume if you want to look like a serious candidate.

If the employer requests a cover letter as part of the screening process, not sending one is a huge red flag and will probably get your application tossed into the “no” pile immediately.

On the other hand, if the job advertisement doesn’t require a cover letter from the candidates, adding one shows you went the extra mile.

Putting in the effort to write a cover letter can set you apart from other candidates with similar professional experience and skills, and it could even sway the hiring manager to call you for an interview if you do it right.

Need to write a letter to help get you into a good school or volunteer program? Check out our guide to learn how to write a motivation letter !

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter

Now that you know what a cover letter is, it’s time to learn how to write one!

We’ll go through the process in detail, step by step.

#1. Choose the Right Cover Letter Template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, stylish template?

cover letter templates for 2024

Just choose one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in no time!

As a bonus, our intuitive AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter as you write it. You’ll have the perfect cover letter done in minutes!

cover letter templates

#2. Put Contact Information in the Header

As with a resume, it’s important to 

start your cover letter

 with your contact details at the top. These should be in your cover letter’s header, separated neatly from the bulk of your text.

Contact Information on Cover Letter

Here, you want to include all the essential contact information , including:

  • Full Name. Your first and last name should stand out at the top.
  • Job Title. Match the professional title underneath your name to the exact job title of the position you’re applying for. Hiring managers often hire for several roles at once, so giving them this cue about what role you’re after helps things go smoother.
  • Email Address. Always use a professional and easy-to-spell email address. Ideally, it should combine your first and last names.
  • Phone Number. Add a number where the hiring manager can easily reach you.
  • Location. Add your city and state/country, no need for more details.
  • Relevant Links (optional). You can add links to websites or social media profiles that are relevant to your field. Examples include a LinkedIn profile , Github, or an online portfolio.

Then it’s time to add the recipient’s contact details, such as:

  • Hiring Manager's Name. If you can find the name of the hiring manager, add it.
  • Hiring Manager's Title. While there’s no harm in writing “hiring manager,” if they’re the head of the department, we recommend you use that title accordingly.
  • Company Name. Make sure to write the name of the company you're applying to.
  • Location. The city and state/country are usually enough information here, too.
  • Date of Writing (Optional). You can include the date you wrote your cover letter for an extra professional touch.

matching resume and cover letter

#3. Address the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed all the contact information, it’s time to start writing the content of the cover letter.

The first thing you need to do here is to address your cover letter directly to the hiring manager.

In fact, you want to address the hiring manager personally .

Forget the old “Dear Sir or Madam” or the impersonal “To Whom It May Concern.” You want to give your future boss a good impression and show them that you did your research before sending in your application.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes something sticks with their generic approach

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager?

First, check the job ad. The hiring manager’s name might be listed somewhere in it.

If that doesn’t work, check the company’s LinkedIn page. You just need to look up the head of the relevant department you’re applying to, and you’re all set.

For example, if you’re applying for the position of Communication Specialist at Novorésumé. The hiring manager is probably the Head of Communications or the Chief Communications Officer.

Here’s what you should look for on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And there you go! You have your hiring manager.

But let’s say you’re applying for a position as a server . In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager” or “food and beverage manager.”

If the results don’t come up with anything, try checking out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Make sure to address them as Mr. or Ms., followed by their last name. If you’re not sure about their gender or marital status, you can just stick to their full name, like so:

  • Dear Mr. Kurtuy,
  • Dear Andrei Kurtuy,

But what if you still can’t find the hiring manager’s name, no matter where you look?

No worries. You can direct your cover letter to the company, department, or team as a whole, or just skip the hiring manager’s name.

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • Dear [Department] Team
  • Dear [Company Name]

Are you applying for a research position? Learn how to write an academic personal statement .

#4. Write an Eye-Catching Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Hiring managers get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph.

The biggest problem with most opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Here’s an example:

  • My name is Jonathan, and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a Sales Manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

And do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start with some of your top achievements to grab the reader’s attention. And to get the point across, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

Your opening paragraph should also show the hiring manager a bit about why you want this specific job. For example, mention how the job relates to your plans for the future or how it can help you grow professionally. This will show the hiring manager that you’re not just applying left and right—you’re actually enthusiastic about getting this particular role.

Now, let’s make our previous example shine:

Dear Mr. Smith,

My name’s Michael, and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed its sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked as a Sales Representative with Company X, another fin-tech company , for 3+ years, where I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month and beat the KPIs by around 40%. I believe that my previous industry experience, passion for finance , and excellence in sales make me the right candidate for the job.

The second candidate starts with what they can do for the company in the future and immediately lists an impressive and relevant achievement. Since they’re experienced in the same industry and interested in finance, the hiring manager can see they’re not just a random applicant.

From this introduction, it’s safe to say that the hiring manager would read the rest of this candidate’s cover letter.

#5. Use the Cover Letter Body for Details

The next part of your cover letter is where you can go into detail about what sets you apart as a qualified candidate for the job.

The main thing you need to remember here is that you shouldn’t make it all about yourself . Your cover letter is supposed to show the hiring manager how you relate to the job and the company you’re applying to.

No matter how cool you make yourself sound in your cover letter, if you don’t tailor it to match what the hiring manager is looking for, you’re not getting an interview.

To get this right, use the job ad as a reference when writing your cover letter. Make sure to highlight skills and achievements that match the job requirements, and you’re good to go.

Since this part of your cover letter is by far the longest, you should split it into at least two paragraphs.

Here’s what each paragraph should cover:

Explain Why You’re the Perfect Candidate for the Role

Before you can show the hiring manager that you’re exactly what they’ve been looking for, you need to know what it is they’re looking for.

Start by doing a bit of research. Learn what the most important skills and responsibilities of the role are according to the job ad, and focus on any relevant experience you have that matches them.

For example, if you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. The top requirements on the job ad are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

So, in the body of your cover letter, you need to show how you meet these requirements. Here’s an example of what that can look like:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $40,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation and management process end-to-end. I created the ad copy and images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Our example addresses all the necessary requirements and shows off the candidate’s relevant skills.

Are you a student applying for your first internship? Learn how to write an internship cover letter with our dedicated guide.

Explain Why You’re a Good Fit for the Company

As skilled and experienced as you may be, that’s not all the hiring manager is looking for.

They also want someone who’s a good fit for their company and who actually wants to work there.

Employees who don’t fit in with the company culture are likely to quit sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary , so hiring managers vet candidates very carefully to avoid this scenario.

So, you have to convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about working with them.

Start by doing some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company’s product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the company’s culture like?

Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or on job-search websites like Jobscan or Glassdoor.

Then, pick your favorite thing about the company and talk about it in your cover letter.

But don’t just describe the company in its own words just to flatter them. Be super specific—the hiring manager can see through any fluff.

For example, if you’re passionate about their product and you like the company’s culture of innovation and independent work model, you can write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features, such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2, were real game changers for the device.

I really admire how Company XYZ strives for excellence in all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone who thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I’ll be a great match for your Product Design team.

So, make sure to do your fair share of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying to that specific company.

Is the company you want to work for not hiring at the moment? Check out our guide to writing a letter of interest .

#6. Wrap It Up and Sign It

Finally, it’s time to conclude your cover letter.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't make in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? If there’s any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision, mention it here. If not, just recap your key selling points so far, such as key skills and expertise.
  • Express gratitude. Politely thanking the hiring manager for their time is always a good idea.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. This means you should ask the hiring manager to do something, like call you and discuss your application or arrange an interview.
  • Remember to sign your cover letter. Just add a formal closing line and sign your name at the bottom.

Here’s an example of how to end your cover letter :

I hope to help Company X make the most of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your Facebook marketing goals. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at the provided email address or phone number so that we may arrange an interview.

Thank you for your consideration,

Alice Richards

Feel free to use one of these other popular closing lines for your cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

Cover Letter Writing Checklist

Once you’re done with your cover letter, it’s time to check if it meets all industry requirements. 

Give our handy cover letter writing checklist a look to make sure:

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional Email
  • Phone Number
  • Relevant Links

Do you address the right person? 

  • The hiring manager in the company
  • Your future direct supervisor
  • The company/department in general

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention some of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?
  • Did you convey enthusiasm for the specific role?

Do you show that you’re the right candidate for the job?

  • Did you identify the core requirements for the role?
  • Did you show how your experiences helped you fit the requirements perfectly?

Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you conclude your cover letter properly?

  • Did you recap your key selling points in the conclusion?
  • Did you end your cover letter with a call to action?
  • Did you use the right formal closing line and sign your name?

15 Cover Letter Tips

Now you’re all set to write your cover letter! 

Before you start typing, here are some cover letter tips to help take your cover letter to the next level:

  • Customize Your Cover Letter for Each Job. Make sure your cover letter is tailored to the job you're applying for. This shows you're not just sending generic applications left and right, and it tells the hiring manager you’re the right person for the job.
  • Showcase Your Skills. Talk about how your skills meet the company’s needs. And while your hard skills should be front and center, you shouldn’t underestimate your soft skills in your cover letter either.
  • Avoid Fluff. Don’t make any generic statements you can’t back up. The hiring manager can tell when you’re just throwing words around, and it doesn’t make your cover letter look good.
  • Use Specific Examples. Instead of saying you're great at something, give an actual example to back up your claim. Any data you can provide makes you sound more credible, so quantify your achievements. For example, give numbers such as percentages related to your performance and the timeframe it took to accomplish certain achievements.
  • Research the Company. Always take time to learn about the company you're applying to. Make sure to mention something about them in your cover letter to show the hiring manager that you're interested.
  • Follow the Application Instructions. If the job posting asks for something specific in your cover letter or requires a certain format, make sure you include it. Not following instructions can come off as unattentive or signal to the hiring manager that you’re not taking the job seriously.
  • Use the Right Template and Format. Choose the right cover letter format and adapt your cover letter’s look to the industry you’re applying for. For example, if you’re aiming for a job in Law or Finance, you should go for a cleaner, more professional look. But if you’re applying for a field that values innovation, like IT or Design, you have more room for creativity.
  • Express Your Enthusiasm. Let the hiring manager know why you're excited about the job. Your passion for the specific role or the field in general can be a big selling point, and show them that you’re genuinely interested, not just applying left and right.
  • Address Any Gaps. If there are any employment gaps in your resume , your cover letter is a great place to mention why. Your resume doesn’t give you enough space to elaborate on an employment gap, so addressing it here can set hiring managers at ease—life happens, and employers understand.
  • Avoid Quirky Emails. Your email address should be presentable. It’s hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Just use a [email protected] format.
  • Check Your Contact Information. Typos in your email address or phone number can mean a missed opportunity. Double-check these before sending your application.
  • Mention if You Want to Relocate. If you’re looking for a job that lets you move somewhere else, specify this in your cover letter.
  • Keep It Brief. You want to keep your cover letter short and sweet. Hiring managers don’t have time to read a novel, so if you go over one page, they simply won’t read it at all.
  • Use a Professional Tone. Even though a conversational tone isn’t a bad thing, remember that it's still a formal document. Show professionalism in your cover letter by keeping slang, jargon, and emojis out of it.
  • Proofread Carefully. Typos and grammar mistakes are a huge deal-breaker. Use a tool like Grammarly or QuillBot to double-check your spelling and grammar, or even get a friend to check it for you.

15+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Check out some perfect cover letter examples for different experience levels and various professions.

5+ Cover Letter Examples by Experience

#1. college student cover letter example.

college or student cover letter example

Check out our full guide to writing a college student cover letter here.

#2. Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to writing a project manager cover letter here.

#3. Team Leader Cover Letter Example

Team Leader Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a team leader cover letter here.

#4. Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to a career change resume and cover letter here.

#5. Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a management cover letter here.

#6. Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing an executive resume here.

9+ Cover Letter Examples by Profession

#1. it cover letter example.

IT Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing an IT cover letter here.

#2. Consultant Cover Letter Example

Consultant Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a consultant cover letter here.

#3. Human Resources Cover Letter

Human Resources Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to writing a human resources cover letter here.

#4. Business Cover Letter Example

Business Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a business cover letter here.

#5. Sales Cover Letter Example

Sales Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a sales cover letter here.

#6. Social Worker Cover Letter

Social Worker Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to writing a social worker cover letter here.

#7. Lawyer Cover Letter

Lawyer Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to writing a lawyer cover letter here.

#8. Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

Check out our full guide to writing an administrative assistant cover letter here.

#9. Engineering Cover Letter Example

Engineering Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing an engineer cover letter here.

#10. Receptionist Cover Letter Example

Receptionist Cover Letter Example

Check out our full guide to writing a receptionist cover letter here.

Need more inspiration? Check out these cover letter examples to learn what makes them stand out.

Plug & Play Cover Letter Template

Not sure how to start your cover letter? Don’t worry!

Just copy and paste our free cover letter template into the cover letter builder, and swap out the blanks for your details.

[Your Full Name]

[Your Profession]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email Address]

[Your Location]

[Your LinkedIn Profile URL (optional)]

[Your Personal Website URL (optional)]

[Recipient's Name, e.g., Jane Doe],

[Recipient's Position, e.g., Hiring Manager]

[Company Name, e.g., ABC Corporation]

[Company Address]

[City, State/Country]

Dear [Recipient's Name],

As a seasoned [Your Profession] with [Number of Years of Experience] years of industry experience, I am eager to express my interest in the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. With my experience in [Your Industry/Sector] and the successes I've achieved throughout my education and career, I believe I can bring unique value and creativity to your team.

In my current role as [Your Current Job Title], I've taken the lead on more than [Number of Projects/Assignments] projects, some valued up to $[Highest Project Value]. I pride myself on consistently exceeding client expectations and have successfully [Mention a Key Achievement] in just a [Amount of Time] through [Skill] and [Skill].

I've collaborated with various professionals, such as [List Roles], ensuring that all [projects/tasks] meet [relevant standards or objectives]. This hands-on experience, coupled with my dedication to understanding each [client's/customer's] vision, has equipped me to navigate and deliver on complex projects.

My key strengths include:

  • Improving [Achievement] by [%] over [Amount of Time] which resulted in [Quantified Result].
  • Optimizing [Work Process/Responsibility] which saved [Previous Employer] [Amount of Time/Budget/Other Metric] over [Weeks/Months/Years]
  • Spearheading team of [Number of People] to [Task] and achieving [Quantified Result].

Alongside this letter, I've attached my resume. My educational background, a [Your Degree] with a concentration in [Your Specialization], complements the practical skills that I'm particularly eager to share with [Company Name].

I'm excited about the possibility of contributing to [Something Notable About the Company or Its Mission]. I'd be grateful for the chance to delve deeper into how my expertise aligns with your needs.

Thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

The Heart of Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application falls through.

After all, your cover letter is meant to complement your resume. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression in your cover letter, only for the hiring manager to never read it because your resume was mediocre.

But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered here, too.

Check out our dedicated guide on how to make a resume and learn everything you need to know to land your dream job!

Just pick one of our resume templates and start writing your own job-winning resume.

resume examples for cover letters

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that’s meant to convince the hiring manager that you’re the best candidate for the job.
  • Your job application should always include a cover letter alongside your resume.
  • To grab the hiring manager’s attention, write a strong opening paragraph. Mention who you are, why you’re applying, and a standout achievement to pique their interest.
  • Your cover letter should focus on why you’re the perfect candidate for the job and why you’re passionate about working in this specific company.
  • Use the body of your cover letter to provide details on your skills, achievements, and qualifications, as well as make sure to convey your enthusiasm throughout your whole cover letter.
  • Recap your key selling points towards the end of your cover letter, and end it with a formal closing line and your full name signed underneath.

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve every step of the way! 

Follow our career blog for more valuable advice, or check out some of our top guides, such as:

  • How to Make a Resume in 2024 | Beginner's Guide
  • How to Write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) in 2024 [31+ Examples]
  • 35+ Job Interview Questions and Answers [Full List]

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General Cover Letter: 15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application

Rachel Leist

Published: April 17, 2024

Are cover letters necessary? I'm not in HR, but I've been approached by applicants who wondered whether their cover letter would actually be read.

cover letter templates; Business person using a cover letter template

My answer isn't very popular: "Sometimes." Sometimes it will be read. Other times, you can get away with just sending in your resume — like when you network your way into applying for a position.

The truth is, you can't really predict on a case-by-case basis — and you're better safe than sorry. For the most part, having a cover letter will give you an upper hand in ways your resume doesn't.

It allows you to show off your writing skills, provide details that you couldn't fit on your resume, demonstrate your passion, and show your willingness to put in as much time and effort as possible.

→ Click here to access 5 free cover letter templates [Free Download]

If you’ve ever rolled your eyes or balked at an application that required a cover letter, this guide is for you. I’ll go over how to write a cover letter and provide cover letter templates to help you perfect your own.

General Cover Letter

An general cover letter, sometimes called an application letter, is a written document addressed to an employer by a job applicant, explaining why they're interested in and qualified for an open position. More commonly known as a cover letter, this document can come in the form of an email, MS Word document, or similar application template offered by the employer.

Seems fairly basic, right? Cover letters can hold different levels of importance to an employer depending on your industry and the job you're applying for.

49% of recruiters say sending a cover letter along with your resume boosts your chance of landing the role.

If you do plan to write a cover letter, keep in mind there are certain qualities it should have that are not included in the definition above.

opening application letter

5 Free Cover Letter Templates

Five fill-in-the-blank cover letter templates to help you impress recruiters.

  • Standard Cover Letter Template
  • Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
  • Data-Driven Cover Letter Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

How to Write a General Cover Letter

Job searching can be tedious and timely, so you may find yourself applying for dozens of jobs in the process.

To make this process simpler, I find that having a general cover letter that you can easily tweak to fit different job openings is a game changer. 

Here's how to write a general cover letter so that you don't to keep writing a new one from scratch with every application. 

1. Write Your Heading 

Your heading should always include your name and contact information. For years, it was also common to include your physical address and that of the recipient, but nowadays, it may not always be necessary. 

"I used to always include my physical address and that of my employer, but I stopped after realizing it takes up so much room and just feels archaic," says HubSpot blogger Erica Santiago.

She says, "I've never gotten any mail sent to my home from prospective jobs, and I've never had to mail my application. So, I just include my city and state in my heading, especially if the job posting explicitly states the company wants some based in a specific region." 

So, should you include the company's address in your cover letter?

"This is probably odd, but I always include the company's address because I like to think it shows I did my research," Santiago says. "I've sent probably over 100 cover letters in my life, and I eventually found myself at HubSpot, so I have to be doing something right (laughs)." 

If you think physical addresses are taking up too much space in your cover letter, then consider omitting them. I'll touch on contact information again later. 

2. Greet the recipient 

Avoid "To whom it may concern" if possible. I find that greeting the recipient that way gives the impression that you didn't take the time to research who you should be addressing. 

Instead, try to look up the name of the hiring manager or recruiter. Doing so shows attention to detail and care—qualities employers love to see. 

If you can't find a name, "Dear Hiring Manager" is fine. 

3. Introduce yourself and explain your intentions.

State early on who you are, what position you are applying for, and why. Often, businesses may be hiring for multiple roles, so you want to ensure whoever is reading your cover letter knows exactly why you're reaching out. 

4. Highlight your qualifications, skills, and passion for the job.

This is where things get a little tricky. Your attached resume will also include skills and qualifications, so you may think you just need to regurgitate what's in your resume, right? Wrong. 

Obviously, some information may overlap, but your cover letter is a chance to go into more detail than you could on your resume.

For example, Let's say a potential employer is looking for a self-starter and results-driven person.

This is a great opportunity to mention when you took it upon yourself to spearhead a project that generated more revenue for your previous or current company. 

Connect your skills and qualifications to your unique accomplishments. 

Finally, show that you are passionate about the opportunity. 

"I once had an interview with a pet insurance company," Santiago says. "I worked into the cover letter my love for my two cats, how pet insurance grants me peace of mind, and how I want to help give that same peace of mind to others via the job position."

She explains, "Cover letters are a chance to show your personality, your sense of humor, your motivations, and your passions. All these things can make you stand out from other other applicants."

5. Leave space for customization. 

Your general cover letter should be designed so that you can easily update it to appeal to whatever opportunity you're applying to.

So, leave a blank space for the hiring manager or company's name, and format it so you can add or remove skills and qualifications as needed.

6. End with a  "thank you" and mention how to contact you.

Santiago says she always includes a variation of the following sentence at the end of her cover letters:

"I would love to discuss this opportunity more via an interview. I can be reached via email, LinkedIn, and phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX."

She explains, "I always hyperlink my email and LinkedIn profiles, along with having them spelled out somewhere in the heading."

General Cover Letter Example

general cover letter example; perfect cover letter for any job

Notice the company's address is included but not the applicants and that there are blank spaces for the writer to change information such as the recipient, positions, and skills. 

My only critique of this example is that it could use more personality and a punchier hook (more on hooks later).

What to Include in a Cover Letter

So, what should you include? I covered a bit of this already, but I want to dive a little deeper.

Don't worry, I'll let the 11 templates below this list do most of the talking. No matter which one you download, pay attention to the following elements — all of which should shine through in the letter you send to your future manager.

Fill out this form to access your templates.

1. contact information.

Cover letters shouldn't just carry your contact information but also that of the company to which you're applying. Contact info includes your phone number, email address, and any social media accounts you're willing to share and receive connections to.

As I said earlier, home addresses aren't always required, but they can be a helpful reassurance to the employer that you already live nearby and would have no trouble coming into the office.

Avoid offering phone numbers, email addresses, or actual addresses that belong to your current employer.

Using your personal Gmail address over your work email, for example, ensures your correspondence with recruiters remains separate from all of your current work communication.

2. A Personal Address Line

For as often as you see "to whom it may concern" at the top of cover letters today, do your best to avoid writing this exhausted line.

Address lines that specify a person or company grab your reader's attention much more quickly, and show the employer that you've taken the time to tailor your application letter to them.

Don't have the name of the hiring manager? "Employers at [company name]" will do just fine.

A "hook" is a clever introduction that "hooks" your reader into wanting to learn more. Think about yourself as a job candidate — what makes you unique?

What about your career might a recruiter be intrigued by that you can package into an interesting first sentence?

4. Why You're Qualified

Again, today's best applications describe why this experience qualifies the applicant for the job they're applying for.

For example, don't just state that you spent three years writing for a company blog. Explain that this type of work lends itself to managing your new potential employer's content calendar every week.

5. General Knowledge of the Business

Grammatical errors could mean your application is thrown in the trash, but that's not the only thing that could get your letter tossed aside.

Using a generic "one-size-fits-all" cover letter — especially if you forget to change the name of the company — will also hurt your chances of landing an interview.

So, if you take the time to write a cover letter, take the time to comment on the business itself. Why are you applying to this company? What about their business stuck out to you as a professional?

Now, let's take a look at an example cover letter , what makes it effective, along with 11 templates you can download or draw inspiration from.

 Cover Letter Example

Cover letter example.

Image Source

The example above illustrates how to write a marketing cover letter using the elements I listed.

Besides the contact information and the address line, the first few paragraphs explain why the candidate is qualified for the position. This example uses specific data to show why they would be a good fit.

Additionally, in the second to last paragraph, the candidate discusses why they're interested in the specific company, demonstrating general knowledge of the business.

By combining all the elements to a cover letter, this is a great example to use for inspiration.

Featured Resource: 5 Professional Cover Letter Templates

Cover Letter Templates

14 Free Cover Letter Templates for Your Next Job Application

Template 1: basic.

Basic cover letter template with 7 qualities to learn from.

The example above is a basic (but great) cover letter. The numbered sections are explained in more detail below.

The level of formality your header has will depend on the company to which you apply. If you're applying to a formal business, it's important to use a formal header to open your cover letter, like in the sample above.

Put your address, the date, and the company's address. But if you're applying to a company that isn't as formal, you don't need to include yours and the company's addresses. You can still include the date, though.

2. Greeting

Using "To Whom It May Concern" is okay, but you may want to take the time to research the name of the recruiter or hiring manager online.

If you do your research and aren't confident you found the right name, then you should definitely use the generic greeting — but if you are sure, then it shows you put in the effort to find their name and it will catch the recruiter's eye.

If you have the recruiter's name, do you greet them by their full name, or by their courtesy title (i.e. Mr., Ms., or Mrs.)? Similar to the header, it depends on the company's level of formality.

If you're applying to a corporate business, you may want to consider using "Mr. Snaper" instead of "Jon Snaper." If you're applying to a start-up or a business with a more casual culture, you can use "Jon Snaper," as shown in the example.

3. Introduction

Your opening paragraph should, in 1-3 sentences, state why you're excited to apply and what makes you the perfect candidate. Get right to the point, and don't worry about explaining where you found the posting or who you know at the company.

This isn't a place to go into detail about why you're a great candidate — that's for the second paragraph. Here, simply list a few key reasons in one sentence to set up the rest of your letter.

Keep in mind that the recruiter may cross-reference your cover letter with your resume, so make sure the two sync up.

4. Paragraph 2: Why You're a Great Fit for the Job

Next, sell yourself and your experience by choosing one or two concrete examples that show why you're a great fit for the position. What did you do at a previous company that gave you relevant experience?

Which projects have you worked on that would benefit the new company? How will your prior experience help this company grow? Stay humble in your explanation of credentials while still showing that you would be an asset to the team.

Use this paragraph to show you're genuinely excited and interested in the position.

5. Third Paragraph: Why the Company Is a Great Fit for You

While it's certainly important you're a good fit for the job, it's also important that the company is a good fit for you.

"A cover letter typically describes why you're great for a company — but how will you benefit from getting hired?" asks former HubSpot Team Development Manager Emily MacIntyre . "We want to know why our company appeals to you, and how it will be a mutually beneficial working relationship."

In the third paragraph, show you're serious about growing and developing your career at this new company. What impresses and excites you about the company?

Is there something that you feel strongly about that aligns with the company's goals? For example, the candidate in the sample letter used this space to show his personal commitment to environmental causes aligns with the company's green initiatives.

6. Strong Closer and Signature

Don't get lazy in the final few sentences of your cover letter — it's important to finish strong.

Be straightforward about your interest and enthusiasm about the new position, and tell them you're available to talk about the opportunity at any time. Be sure to include your phone number and email address.

At this point, the ball is (rightly) in the recruiter's court to decide how to follow up.

Last but certainly not least, thank them for their time and consideration. Use a formal sign-off like "Best," "All the best," or "Sincerely," and finish by typing out your full name. You don't need to sign it with a pen.

Template 2: Data-Driven Marketing Cover Letter

Get it here..

Data-driven marketing cover letter template

When applying to a data-driven position, it might be tempting to inject your cover letter with, well, the data to describe what you've done for other employers.

But in an application letter — particularly for the marketing industry — how you convey this data is just as important as the data itself.

The cover letter template above, which we created here at HubSpot, can help you present the data that's most important to you as a candidate such that it'll matter to your future employer.

Notice the three bullet points near the center of the letter above, preceded by the statement: "... I've developed a strategy that has helped the company achieve ..."

This setup is important, because while you can add as many statistics as you want to this template, your data points should describe how your current/former business benefited from your work, rather than how you, yourself, benefited.

Template 3: Straight-to-the-Point Cover Letter

cover letter template: Straight-to-the-point

Harvard Business Review contributor David Silverman hailed the above cover letter example as "The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received."

For context, Silverman believes there are only a handful of times when writing a cover letter is actually necessary:

  • When you know the name of the hiring manager.
  • When you know something about what the job requires.
  • When you've been referred to the job personally.

Under those three circumstances, a straight-to-the-point cover letter like the one above could be your best bet. Because it's so concise, however, make a point to add your own letterhead above the message itself.

It might be easy for a recruiter to sift through a short and sweet cover letter like the one above, but it's just as easy for it to get lost in the shuffle of their application list without a unique design or format.

Template 4: Referral Cover Letter

cover letter template: Referral cover letter

Just because a friend or colleague recommended you for a job doesn't mean the company is all set to hire you. Therefore, the cover letter template above is written specifically for referrals.

We made this one here at HubSpot. Download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).

As you can see in the picture above, the first paragraph of the cover letter is dedicated entirely to acknowledging the circumstances of your applying: You know someone who works there — no harm in that.

But there might be harm in not mentioning it to the hiring manager. Telling the reader about your connection at the company shows you're aware and confident of the actions you take to get the opportunities you're interested in.

Ultimately, it's better than the recruiter hearing about your employee connection from somebody else.

As for the rest of the cover letter, treat your message the same way you would if you had applied with no connection from within. Your skills and successes are no less important because of your internal referral.

Template 5: Photo Letterhead Cover Letter

Photo letterhead cover letter

The cover letter template above was designed by Microsoft Office, and as comprehensive as it looks, it's completely free to download and modify.

As it looks right now, this cover letter contains about half photo, half text. Feel free to shrink (and change) the image to give yourself more room to tell your story. Of course, a nice washed-out image that expresses who you are can be part of that story ...

Template 6: Digital Creative Cover Letter

cover letter template: digital creative letter

This sixth template is perfect for the applicant who wants to emphasize the many different digital channels they areon. This template goes well with a resume of the same format.

As you personalize this letter with your own experience, make note of the social networks and industry software included in this template.

You'll see there’s additional space along the top to add your LinkedIn and personal website to fill with your own information.

You can improve upon this template by formatting your most important highlights and accomplishments with bullet points. This will make the document easier to read for the hiring manager and emphasizes the value you provide.

Template 7: Marketing Manager Cover Letter

cover letter template: Marketing-specific cover letter

Our seventh cover letter comes from This cover letter, shown above, is focused specifically on a marketing role.

Notice how the writer includes references to important marketing metrics and terminology.

If you're applying to a data-driven role, you might not want to fill the page with a story of your experience in paragraph form, like Template 1 does at the beginning of this article.

Instead, consider highlighting three (or four, or five) of your successes that you believe the hiring manager would resonate most with, in bulleted form.

As a marketing professional, breaking up your letter with bulleted details like the ones above shows a respect for the hiring manager's limited time — a mentality that all marketers must understand when communicating with a brand's audience.

Template 8: Career Day Follow-Up Cover Letter

cover letter template: Career day follow-up cover letter

This is a unique kind of cover letter from Princeton University.

LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and Indeed might take the lion's share of your job searches online, but still some employment opportunities come out of a trade show, job fair, or similar networking event.

For those occurrences, you have the follow-up cover letter template above.

This cover letter has everything you need to help an employer recall a conversation you had with him/her at a career fair.

As you can see in the second paragraph, the letter is particularly useful to people who are about to graduate college.

Template 9: Logo and Watermarked Cover Letter

cover letter template: Logo and watermarked cover letter by Microsoft Office

Here's another cover letter template from Microsoft Office.

This one has a light touch of color in the design just above the letterhead, but make no mistake — the template caters to any professional looking to make a good first impression on their future employer.

Don't let the logo space on the top-right of the page confuse you. This can be the logo of the company to which you're applying — to quickly get the attention of the recruiter — or your own logo.

Perhaps you freelance on the side or simply like branding yourself. This cover letter template is meant for customization.

Template 10: Data Scientist Cover Letter

cover letter template: Princeton Data Science Cover Letter

This is our second template from Princeton University. While this is focused on a data scientist role, it is an excellent template to use for students applying to jobs prior to graduation.

The text emphasizes how the applicant’s academic research and projects makes them an ideal candidate for the position. The format is also simple enough to submit as a pdf, as text in an email message or an application text box.

Template 11: Business Cover Letter

cover letter template: Business cover letter

The cover letter template above is perfect for entry- and mid-level marketers who want to show a little extra professionalism in their opening note to a potential employer.

The multi-colored header (you can change the color if you wish) shows just the right amount of creativity and can go quite well with a resume of the same style. If you don't have enough experience to fill the entire page, don't worry.

Feel free to write to a length you think is representative of who you are and what the hiring manager wants to see.

No matter how long your final cover letter is, the above template is your opportunity to show your attention to detail — from your contact information in the top header, to the personalized address line where you can include the name of the hiring manager.

Like I said, "to whom it may concern" is pretty outdated, anyway.

Template 12: Entry-Level Cover Letter

Entry level job cover letter

The cover letter template above, written by HubSpot, is specifically designed for entry-level applicants.

When you only have a few years experience, it's important to display how you gained your skills and what you learned from your education or internships.

Additionally, it's important to mention why you want to work at the company you're applying to.

No matter your experience, the template above will help you decide what skills you want to highlight and flesh out in your cover letter.

You can download it here (it comes with four other cover letter templates , too).

Template 13: Healthcare Cover Letter

cover letter template: Healthcare cover letter

The cover letter, created by The Balance Careers, cuts down on repetition by following the "I have" statement with six bullet points that highlight the applicant's strengths, including "I have ... practical knowledge of creating and implementing care plans" and "I have ... a proven track record of compassionate, effective care".

Additionally, phrases like "I'd love to put my skills to work for your clinic" and "Please contact me at your convenience and let me know how I can help you" focus on what the business will gain as a result of hiring the applicant, rather than what the applicant is looking to gain.

Template 14: Freelance Cover Letter

cover letter template: freelance cover letter

If you're looking for freelance work, your biggest goal is to get your strengths across quickly, so busy clients won't pass by your cover letter entirely.

Additionally, if you're sending out multiple cover letters to different clients, you'll want to target each one to that client's unique goals.

For instance, if one client is looking for SEO-optimized content related to marketing, you'll want to highlight past experience writing marketing content; this will change if, for instance, the client is looking for fitness content.

For this reason, it's a good idea to structure your cover letter so you start with a) past credentials or references, and b) bullet-point information related to the client's goal, as shown in the cover letter above.

Template 15: Director Cover Letter

cover letter template: cover letter for director

In the cover letter above, the candidate does a good job outlining how she succeeded in a leadership role previously:

"For the past five years, I have successfully developed and maintained all data systems, including schedules and records for a business employing more than 100 people."

You'll want to demonstrate how your skills align with a Director position — both through organization and leadership — and, when possible, where you received recognition for your hard work (i.e. "I earned an award for Most Valuable Administrative Staff Member").

Write a Winning Cover Letter

Writing a cover letter is easier said than done. Don't hesitate to spend a lot of time writing and editing it.

Tap into the incredible potential of AI tools, such as the HubSpot paragraph rewriter , to infuse each paragraph with a flawless touch of excellence. Or, ask a friend or family member to read it over and give you feedback.

If the recruiter does end up reading it, you'll be thankful you did.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Professional Cover Letter Templates

Don't forget to share this post!

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Letter Opening Examples: Greet Like a Professional in 2024

opening application letter

As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. This is especially true when it comes to letter writing. The opening of your letter sets the tone for the rest of the communication and can greatly impact the reader’s perception of you and your message. That’s why it’s important to know how to greet like a professional.

In this article, we’ll explore the different ways to open a letter and provide you with examples of how to do it right. By mastering the art of letter opening, you can convey professionalism, build rapport, and establish credibility with your reader.

So why is a proper letter opening so important? First and foremost, it helps to capture the reader’s attention and make them feel valued. It sets the tone for a positive and productive relationship with the reader, reducing the risk of misunderstanding or miscommunication.

Furthermore, greeting like a professional can enhance your credibility and establish trust with your reader. By using a formal and respectful tone, you can demonstrate that you take the relationship seriously and are committed to maintaining a professional level of communication.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about letter opening, including:

  • Common mistakes to avoid when greeting in a letter
  • Tips for crafting a professional and engaging opening
  • Examples of effective letter openings for different types of correspondence

So whether you’re sending a business proposal, a formal inquiry, or a personal letter, this guide will help you greet like a professional and make a strong first impression.

opening application letter

The Basic Components of a Letter Opening

When it comes to crafting business letters, it’s important to ensure that you have all of the necessary components in place to make a great first impression. The opening section of your letter is no exception, and there are four key elements that you should always include:

The Heading

The heading of your letter is the first thing that your recipient will see, so it’s crucial to get it right. The heading should contain your name or your company’s name and address, as well as the date that the letter was written. This information should be positioned at the top of the page, ideally in the center or on the left-hand side. Make sure that the font is easy to read, and that the text is properly aligned.

The date is an essential component of your letter opening. It provides your recipient with important information about when the letter was sent, and it also gives your letter a sense of urgency. The date should be positioned directly beneath the heading, and it should be written in a clear and easy-to-read format. Depending on your location, you may need to adjust the date format to reflect local customs.

The Recipient’s Name and Address

Before you start to write the body of your letter, you need to address it to the correct person. This means including the recipient’s name and address in the opening section of the letter. The recipient’s name should be positioned on the line directly below the date, and it should be written in a formal style (e.g. Mr. John Smith). The full address of the recipient should be positioned below the name, and it should be written in a clear and legible format.

The Salutation

Finally, you need to include a salutation in your letter opening. This is a greeting that should be tailored to the recipient, and it can range from formal (e.g. Dear Mr. Smith) to informal (e.g. Hi John). The salutation should be positioned directly beneath the recipient’s address, and it should be followed by a colon or a comma. Make sure that you double-check the spelling of the recipient’s name before you finalize your letter.

The opening section of your letter is an important opportunity to make a great first impression. By including the heading, the date, the recipient’s name and address, and a personalized salutation, you can ensure that your letter gets off to the best possible start.

Common Greeting Styles

When it comes to writing professional letters, greeting the recipient appropriately is crucial. The opening sets the tone for the rest of the letter and can impact how the reader perceives the message. Below are some common greeting styles to use depending on the situation.

Formal and semi-formal greetings

Formal greetings are typically used for business-related letters or any other communication that requires a high level of professionalism. These greetings tend to use full titles and last names to address the recipient. Here are a few examples of formal greetings:

  • Dear Mr. Smith,
  • Dear Dr. Johnson,

Semi-formal greetings, on the other hand, are slightly less formal than a formal greeting, but still maintain a professional tone. They may use first names with an honorific or full name without an honorific. Here are a few examples of semi-formal greetings:

  • Dear Professor Garcia,
  • Dear Reverend Lee,

Informal greetings

Informal greetings are typically used in personal correspondence or with individuals that you have a friendly relationship with. These greetings tend to be more casual and may include the use of first names or even nicknames. Here are a few examples of informal greetings:

Greetings for specific situations

Depending on the context of the letter, there may be specific greeting styles that are appropriate. Here are a few examples of how to greet someone in specific situations:

  • Job applications : Use a formal greeting with the recipient’s full name, such as  Dear Hiring Manager Smith,
  • Business proposals : Use a formal or semi-formal greeting with the recipient’s full name, such as  Dear Dr. Johnson,  or  Dear Ms. Davis,
  • Thank you notes : Use an informal greeting with the recipient’s first name, such as  Hi John,

It’s important to keep in mind that the greeting sets the tone for the entire letter, so choose a greeting that is appropriate for the context and relationship with the recipient. Using the right greeting can help ensure a positive and professional correspondence.

opening application letter

Avoiding Common Greeting Mistakes

When it comes to greeting someone in a professional setting, there are a few common mistakes that people make. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:

Using incorrect titles or names

It is important to ensure that you are addressing the recipient of your letter correctly. Always double-check the spelling of their name and their professional title. If you are unsure of their title, it is better to ask for clarification than to make assumptions.

Overusing certain phrases like “To Whom It May Concern”

While it may seem like a safe option, overusing certain generic phrases like “To Whom It May Concern” can come across as impersonal and lazy. Instead, try to find out the name of the person you are addressing your letter to.

Misusing informal greetings

When writing to someone in a professional capacity, it is important to use a formal greeting. Avoid using familiar or overly casual phrases like “Hey there” or “What’s up?”.

Other pitfalls to avoid

In addition to the above, there are other common mistakes people make when greeting someone in a professional setting. For example:

  • Using overly flowery language
  • Launching straight into the body of the letter without a greeting
  • Using an inappropriate tone for the situation

By being mindful of these common pitfalls, you can ensure that your letter opening is professional and effective. Remember, the greeting is the first impression you make on the recipient, so it is important to get it right.

Examples of Formal Greetings

When it comes to professional communication, the way you greet your recipient is of utmost importance. A formal greeting sets the tone for the entire message and can help establish your credibility and professionalism. Here are three examples of formal greetings that you can use in different scenarios:

Addressing Government Officials

When writing to government officials, it’s important to be respectful and formal. Use proper titles and avoid using any contractions or slang.

Dear [Title and Last Name],

I am writing to you regarding [purpose of the letter]. As a [position], I am sincerely concerned about [issue] and believe that [proposed solution]. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this matter further with you.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely, [Your Full Name]

Writing to High-Ranking Executives

When communicating with high-ranking executives, it’s essential to demonstrate your professionalism and respect. You should address them using their proper titles, and avoid using a first-name basis unless invited to do so.

I am writing to you regarding [specific topic or issue]. As a [position or title], I am excited to share with you [purpose of message].

I would be honored to have the opportunity to [action request, meeting, or phone call] at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your valuable time and consideration.

Respectfully, [Your Full Name]

Addressing Someone You’ve Never Met Before

If you are addressing someone you have never met before, it’s important to start with a formal greeting to establish your professionalism and respect. It’s a good idea to use their proper title, and use “Dear” followed by their full name.

I am writing to you regarding [specific reason for writing]. As an expert in [related field], I believe that [purpose of message].

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [contact information].

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Examples of Semi-Formal Greetings

When it comes to professional correspondence, it’s important to choose the right greeting based on the context of the message. Here are some examples of semi-formal greetings for different situations:

Writing to a Colleague or Business Associate

Dear [Name],

Hello [Name],

Addressing Someone You’ve Met Before But Don’t Know Well

Dear [Title] [Last Name],

Dear [First Name] [Last Name],

Hello [Title] [Last Name],

Hi [First Name],

Greetings for Job Applications

Dear Hiring Manager,

Dear [Company Name] HR Team,

To Whom It May Concern,

When applying for a job, it’s always best to research who will be receiving your application and address them by name if possible. However, if you’re unsure who the right person is, a general greeting like “To Whom It May Concern” will still be appropriate.

Remember, while it’s important to be professional in your greetings, you also want to make sure you’re being friendly and approachable. A well-crafted greeting can help set the tone for the rest of your message, so take the time to choose the right one for every situation.

Examples of Informal Greetings

When it comes to informal letters, it’s important to keep the greeting friendly and personable. Here are some examples of informal greetings that you can use when writing to a friend or family member, or when addressing someone you have a casual relationship with.

Greetings for Personal Letters

  • Dear ___________ (insert name),

Writing to a Friend or Family Member

  • How have you been,
  • Long time no see,
  • It’s been a while,

Addressing Someone You Have a Casual Relationship With

  • Good to see you,
  • What’s new,

Remember, an informal letter should be relaxed and conversational. Don’t be afraid to use contractions, slang, and a more informal tone to make your writing sound natural and personable. Greet your recipient like a professional with these informal greeting examples.

Using the Right Tone in Your Greetings

The way you greet someone sets the tone for the entire letter, email, or message. It’s important to adjust your tone for different recipients based on your relationship, purpose, and the message you want to convey. Here are some tips on using the right tone in your greetings:

Adjusting your tone for different recipients

  • Formal vs. informal: Determine the level of formality that’s appropriate for the occasion and recipient. A formal tone is more suitable for business, academic, or official correspondence, while a casual tone works better for personal, friendly, or casual communication. Avoid being too stiff or too familiar.
  • First-time vs. recurring: If you’re introducing yourself for the first time, you want to make a good impression and establish your credibility. Use a polite and respectful tone to show your professionalism and interest. If you’re addressing someone you’ve met before, you can use a more relaxed and friendly tone to build rapport and connection.
  • Superior vs. subordinate: If you’re writing to someone who outranks you or has more authority, show a level of deference and respect. Use formal titles, such as “Sir,” “Madam,” or “Dr.,” and avoid being too informal or familiar. If you’re writing to someone who works for you or reports to you, be mindful of your tone and avoid being condescending or rude.

Appropriate use of humor and casual language

Humor and casual language can add personality and warmth to your greetings, but they also carry risks of misinterpretation and offense. Here are some guidelines for using humor and casual language:

  • Know your audience: Understand the recipient’s cultural background, sense of humor, and level of familiarity with you. What may seem funny or friendly to you may be inappropriate or offensive to them. Avoid using jokes or slang that may be misunderstood or irrelevant.
  • Keep it light: Use humor and casual language sparingly and appropriately. Don’t overwhelm or distract from the main purpose of your message. Avoid using humor or casual language in serious or sensitive topics, such as apologies, reprimands, or condolences.
  • Be authentic: Don’t force yourself to use humor or casual language if it’s not your natural style. You don’t have to be funny or witty to be likable or professional. Focus on being clear, concise, and respectful.

Conveying the right level of respect and professionalism

Your greeting should convey the level of respect and professionalism that’s expected or required based on the context and relationship. Here are some tips on conveying the right level of respect and professionalism:

  • Use appropriate titles and salutations: Use the recipient’s correct title, such as “Ms.,” “Mr.,” “Dr.,” or “Prof.,” if applicable.

Sample Letter Openings

Whether you’re writing a formal business letter, a cover letter for a job application, or an informal letter to a friend, the opening sets the tone for the entire message. Here are some examples of professional greetings to help you start your letter on the right foot.

Formal Business Letter

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

If you’re writing a formal business letter to a recipient you don’t know personally, use their last name and a formal title such as Mr. or Ms. If you know the recipient’s gender-neutral pronouns, use those instead. For example, “Dear Alex Johnson,” or “Dear Mx. Last Name.”

Cover Letter for a Job Application

In a cover letter for a job application, you want to address the person who will be reading your application. If the job posting doesn’t provide a specific name, “Dear Hiring Manager” is a safe bet. If you do have a name, use the same format as you would for a formal business letter.

Informal Letter to a Friend

When writing an informal letter to a friend, feel free to start with a more casual greeting. “Hey” or “Hi” are appropriate openings. You can also use a nickname or an inside joke if you have a close relationship with the recipient. The tone of the letter should be friendly, so let your personality shine through.

No matter who you’re writing to or what the purpose of your letter is, starting off with a professional and appropriate greeting is key to establishing a positive tone for your message.

Tips for Writing a Memorable Greeting

When it comes to crafting a memorable greeting in a letter, it’s important to add personal touches that make the recipient feel special. One way to accomplish this is by including specific details or anecdotes that show you know the person well.

Another effective technique is to use storytelling to engage the reader and capture their attention. By sharing a brief story or anecdote related to the content of your letter, you can create an emotional connection with the reader and make your message more memorable.

Ultimately, the goal of any letter opening is to make a good first impression. This can often be achieved by using a combination of personal touches and creative writing techniques. So take your time and create a greeting that truly reflects your professionalism and personality.

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How to Write a Cover Letter for an Unadvertised Job

Cover Letter Sample and Writing Tips for a Job That's Not Advertised

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  • Tips for Writing Your Cover Letter

What to Include in Your Cover Letter

  • Cover Letter Example and Template

Proofread Your Documents

How to send your letter.

  • How to Send Your Resume

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Not all companies advertise job openings. Some companies get plenty of applicants without advertising. Other companies may not be in hiring mode but will consider applications from qualified candidates if they anticipate an opening in the near future.

Sending a resume and cover letter to an employer, even though you aren't sure if there are available jobs, is a way to get your candidacy noticed. It may also get you advance consideration for positions that have just opened up. If you have skills the company is in need of, it may even get you considered for a brand-new position.

When you know an employer has an opening, don't hesitate to apply.

If you have a company you'd love to work for , consider taking the time to reach out and connect regardless of whether the organization is currently hiring.

Tips for Writing a Cover Letter for an Unadvertised Job

What's the best way to apply for unadvertised job openings? It depends on whether you know there is a position available, but the company hasn't listed it, or if there's a company you want to work for and you don't know if there are open jobs.

Kelly Miller / The Balance

When You Know There is a Job Opening

If you know the company is hiring but hasn't advertised the position, write a traditional   cover letter  expressing your interest in the open position at the company. Be sure to specifically relate your qualifications for the job.

When You Don't Know if the Company is Hiring

Writing a cover letter for an unadvertised opening (also known as a   cold contact cover letter  or  letter of interest ) is a little different than writing a cover letter for a job that you know is available.

With this type of letter, you will need to make a strong pitch for yourself and how you can help the company. Below are some tips on how to write a cover letter for an unadvertised opening.

  • Mention your contacts.  If you know someone at the organization, mention this at the beginning of the cover letter. Having a contact at the company is a great way to get your foot in the door, even if the company isn’t actively hiring.
  • Use paper or email.  You can send your letter via paper or  email . Sending an old-fashioned paper letter works well  for this type of letter , because it may have a better chance of being read than an email, which could be deleted without even being opened.
  • Include a resume.  Whether you send your cover letter via paper or email, be sure to include a copy of your resume. Make sure you  tailor your resume  to the company and the type of job you are looking for.

Below is detailed information on what to include in your cover letter, along with links to example cover letters.

Your Contact Information Name Address City, State Zip Code Phone Number Email Address

  • Cover Letter Contact Section Examples

Greeting If you can find a contact person at the company, direct your letter or email message to them. Here's how to find  contacts at companies .

If you can't locate a contact person, address your letter to "Dear Hiring Manager" or leave out this section and start with the first  paragraph  of your letter.

  • Cover Letter Greeting Examples

Body of Cover Letter The goal of your letter is to get noticed as a prospective employee even if the company isn't hiring immediately. Your letter should explain the reason for your interest in the organization, and identify your most relevant skills or experiences and explain why you would be an asset to the company.

First Paragraph: The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. If you know someone at the company, mention it now. Be specific as to why you are interested in this particular company.

Middle Paragraph(s): The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Again, be specific as to how you can help the organization.

Final Paragraph:  Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for employment.

  • What to Include in the Body Section of a Cover Letter

Closing Best Regards,  (or choose another closing from the examples below)

  • Cover Letter Closing Examples

Signature Handwritten Signature  (for a mailed letter)

Typed Signature When you are   sending an email letter,  be sure to include all your contact information in your signature.

  • Signature Examples

Cover Letter Example for a Job That's Not Advertised

You can use this sample as a model to write a cover letter. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.

Cover Letter for a Job That's Not Advertised (Text Version)

Your Name Your Address City, State Zip Code Your Phone Number Your Email Address

Contact Name Title Company Address City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,

As an Information Technology professional with high-level management experience in the IT industry, I learned that the best way to achieve success was to motivate the resources I had with well-defined objectives and empowerment.

A management belief based on integrity, quality, and service, along with a positive attitude, an aptitude for strategic thought and planning, and the ability to adapt quickly to new ideas and situations allows me to achieve consistent and significant successes in multiple industries.

My personality profile says:

  • A confident, driven individual who reacts quickly to change.
  • A self-starter with a strong sense of urgency who responds positively to challenge and pressure.
  • A fast learner who is a practical and ingenious problem solver.
  • A fluent and articulate communicator, flexible and responsive. A self-directed, goal-oriented doer.

My former managers' say:

"…The Information Technology Analysis will serve as a guideline for making positive contributions …your management style provided a footprint for younger members of our organization… a very positive impression of the contributions you made to our business and its growth." Gregory Hines, President and CEO, Information Data Technology.

"…the most important source of growth in our data technology business …able to focus the team and manage the product to a successful introduction …due in large part to his own personal commitment ...excellent IT project management and operational management skills." Pauline Hallenback, CTO at Information Systems.

"…your strengths as a manager are many and varied …all issues are confronted in a timely manner …management by objectives comes as a second nature to you…" Jackson Brownell, Director of Operations, Denver Technologies.

ABC Company is a company that would provide me with the opportunity to put my personality, skills, and successes to work. At a personal meeting, I would like to discuss with you how I will contribute to the continued growth of your company.

Best regards,

Carefully proofread both your resume and cover letter before you send them. Here are proofreading tips for job seekers.

When sending your letter via email, write your letter in the email message and attach your resume to the message. In the subject line, put your name and the reason for writing (Your Name - Introduction).

  • Email Subject Lines

How to Send Your Resume With Your Cover Letter

Here's how to send your resume with your cover letter:

  • How to Email Your Resume
  • How to Send Your Resume as an Attachment
  • How to Mail a Resume and Cover Letter

Key Takeaways

TAKE INITIATIVE: Not all companies immediately advertise opening positions. Taking the initiative to send a cover letter of introduction “on spec” may garner you an interview for either an existing or a newly developed job role.

APPLY TO YOUR DREAM COMPANY: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If there is a company you’ve always wanted to work for, reach out to their hiring department with a strategic letter that presents your qualifications and interest in their organization.

BUILD UPON YOUR CONTACTS: A good way to get your foot into the door at a company is to begin your letter of introduction by mentioning the contacts you know who work there. Take this to the next level by proactively asking these contacts – before you send your cover letter – if they would be willing to put in a good word on your behalf with their employer. 

Ramona Sentinel

Ramona Community Foundation opens grant application period

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Ramona Community Foundation has announced that the application period is open for grant funding to enhance the quality of life in the community.

“We want to fund organizations that serve the most vulnerable of our neighbors,” said Robert Krysak, chairman of the foundation’s board. “With the cost of living in California ever increasing, we aim to address both emerging and ongoing needs in our community.”

In the 202425 cycle, the Ramona Community Foundation (RCF) invites nonprofit organizations to submit project proposals specifically for Ramona that demonstrate the power to build a more vibrant community, Krysak said. Proposals must be submitted online by no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 30. The grant application can be accessed online at

The goal of the grant cycle is to support programs that make Ramona a great place to live, work and play. Desirable projects will inspire community pride and revitalization and increase the quality of life of the broader community.

Preference will be given to projects that clearly address Ramona-specific issues and needs. To be eligible for a grant, organizations must have tax-exempt status and provide services in the community of Ramona. Only proposals in the range of $1,500 to $10,000 will be accepted.

These projects should be practical, achievable within a 12-month time frame and have prospects for long-term sustainability. Funding may be used to expand existing programs, replicate programs tested in other communities or launch new efforts. RCF will fund programs managed by nonprofit organizations, schools or government agencies.

In its 12 years of grantmaking, RCF has granted more than $440,000 to over 100 nonprofit programs. The foundation is an affiliate of San Diego Foundation

For more information about the Ramona Community Foundation, to apply for a grant or to become a member, visit the RCF website or contact Trudy Armstrong at [email protected] .

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