Cover Letter Examples and Writing Tips
100+ Free Cover Letter Samples Listed By Type, Format, and Job
When applying for a job, a cover letter should be sent or posted with your resume or curriculum vitae. A cover letter is a (typically) one-page document that explains to the hiring manager why you are an ideal candidate for the job. It goes beyond your resume to explain in detail how you could add value to the company.
It can be helpful to look at cover letter samples when writing your own. A sample can help you decide what to include in your letter, and how to format the letter.
This collection of free professionally written cover letter examples will help you get started. Below you'll find both hard copy and email examples, for a variety of different types of employment inquiries and job applications including general cover letters, cold contact cover letters, referral letters, customized cover letters, job promotion letters, networking outreach letters, and letters to inquire about unadvertised openings.
Cover Letter Examples and Templates
These samples, templates, and examples of different types of cover letters will give you ideas and suggestions for your letter. Read through some samples, and then customize your own letter so it shows why you should be selected for an interview.
Cover Letter Samples
Review examples of cover letters and email cover letter messages for a variety of circumstances.
Applying for a New Job
Applying for a Transfer or Promotion
Email Cover Letter Examples
Inquiry and Networking Letters
Cover Letters With a Referral
Cover Letter Formats and Templates
Review examples of professional formats, layouts, and templates to use to apply for jobs.
Examples Listed by Type of Applicant
These cover letter samples are for candidates who are applying for a specific type or level of position.
Tips for Writing a Cover Letter
Tailor each letter to the job. It takes a little extra time, but be sure to write a unique cover letter for each job. Your cover letter should be specific to the position you are applying for, relating your skills and experiences to those noted in the job posting.
Use keywords. One useful way to tailor your letter to the job is to use keywords from the job posting. Circle any words from the job posting that seem critical to the job, such as specific skills or qualifications. Try to use some of these words in your letter. This way, at a glance, the employer can see that you match the requirements of the job.
Explain how you will add value. Think of concrete ways to prove you will add value to the company. Include examples of specific accomplishments from previous jobs. For example, if you helped reduce turnover by 10% at your last company, or implemented a filing strategy that reduced file errors by 15%, include this information. Try to quantify your successes when possible to clearly demonstrate how you could add value at the company.
Look at cover letter samples. Check out a few sample cover letters before writing your own.
Samples will give you an idea of what information to include in your cover letter, and how to format the letter. However, never simply copy and paste a sample cover letter. Change the letter to fit your specific skills and experiences, and the job you are applying for.
Edit, edit, edit. Your cover letter is your first, and best, chance to sell the hiring manager on your candidacy for employment, so make sure it's perfect. Read through your letter, proofreading it for any spelling or grammar errors. Ask a friend, family member, or career counselor to read it as well. You want to make sure the letter is polished before submitting it.
What Else You Need to Know:How to Write a Cover Letter in 5 Easy Steps
Looking for some examples of what it takes to write a great cover letter? Well then you’re in the right place! Take a look at our comprehensive list below to find a prime example from your industry. All of our samples are free to download, so you can customize them based on your needs. However, if you still need a helping hand, our expert’s guide will give you the tools you need to create the perfect cover letter.
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SEE ALSO> Library of Industry-specific Resume Examples
Cover Letter samples sorted by:
Job & Industry
Accounting & Finance
Working in the world of finance, you know that numbers are king. As such, impressive stats and figures from your professional experience should always be emphasized in your cover letter. If you work in accounting, quantifying your accomplishments in terms of things like budgets, increases in revenue, or money saved is essential.
If you’re an analyst on the other hand, display your passion for crunching numbers, and how your investigative insights helped drive improvement. Check out our industry-specific accounting and finance samples for more concrete examples of how to write your own!
Arts, Entertainment & Music
Although working in the art and entertainment industry is all about showcasing your creative flair, try not to go overboard with your cover letter. Instead, use the standard format to prove your creativityby describing in detail what you’ve accomplished. Listing specific design projects, highlighting pieces of art, or outlining key companies you’ve worked for is a good way to achieve this.
Also, be sure to include any specific abilities you have within your field that will benefit your target company, such as the prosthetics skills mentioned in our make-up artist example. For a better idea on how to properly showcase your artistic talents, check out our industry-specific samples and writing guides.
Construction & Labor
Construction and labor jobs require hands-on experience using specific tools and techniques to get the job done. In your cover letter, it’s important to emphasize how you used certain equipment and technical skills to complete projects, make repairs, and perform maintenance. Many jobs in the construction and labor industry also require certain certifications and licenses, so be sure to highlight those as well. For specific examples and further information, take a look at our construction and labor samples.
The customer service and retail industries are all about interacting with customers in a positive way to promotes sales. As such, your cover letter should highlight your interpersonal skills — but remember to be descriptive. List thespecific ways you’ve helped improve customer experience and got the cash flowing. Our various customer service samples will show you how best to emphasize the skills, personal traits, and experience valued most in the industry.
Getting into domestic work, such as housekeeping, requires trust. In particular, you need the client or company to trust you enough to allow you into their most private spaces. Your letter should be designed to establish your reliability right off the bat. The best way to do this is to highlight your experience, as well as your amicable relationships with current and/or former employers.
Also, it’s important to showcase that you can accomplish your duties with the utmost care and responsibility. Take a look at our examples to get a better idea of how to clean up house with your domestic worker cover letter.
Drivers & Transportation
As someone working in the transportation industry, it is essential that you showcase your experience with specific types of vehicles and equipment. Your cover letter should detail your years of experience driving certain vehicles, as well as specific state licenses or certifications for hauling different types of cargo. Also, be sure to highlight the specific skills used in your particular driving expertise, and how they will benefit the role you’re applying to.
For example, if you’re a delivery driver you should emphasize your ability to make deliveries on-time, whereas a long-haul truck driver should focus on their adherence to safety standards when carrying heavy loads. Take a look at our driver and transportation samples to get a better idea of how to write your own stand-out.
Education & Teaching
Writing a cover letter for jobs in the education and teaching field is all about the details. It is especially important to highlight your relevant education, certifications, and experience. For example, do you have specific experience teaching a certain type or age group of students? Do you have any special certifications in special education or child development?
Make sure you describe these in detail, and explain how you used them to enhance the education of your students. In addition, quantifying your efforts is essential. State how many students you taught, or by what percentage you increased their grades and test scores. To get a better idea of how to accomplish all this, take a look at our library of education and teaching example letters.
As someone working in the food service industry, the aspects you want to highlight on your cover letter will differ depending on your job. If you’re a chef, you should emphasize the specific types of restaurants, cuisines, and ingredients you have experience with.
If you work as a server, you should focus on your customer service traits and abilities, and how you used them to improve things such as the rate of return customers. A bartender on the other hand, is more of a mixed bag. To get a better idea of how to display your job-specific strengths, take a look at our food service samples.
When writing a cover letter for jobs in the Information Technology (IT) field, specificity is your ally. Simply stating that you have certain technical skills and knowledge is not going to cut it. Instead, describing how you used such skills to complete projects will demonstrate your abilities to the hiring manager, and get you an interview.
Also, make sure the projects and technical skills you include are relevant to the job you are applying for. Take a look at our IT sample to see some concrete examples on how to accomplish this.
Law Enforcement & Public Safety
As someone working in law enforcement and public safety, your commitment to protecting the laws of the land, as well as others, is of paramount importance. Therefore, your cover letter should highlight in detail what you did to uphold the law, protect the public/clients, or secure facilities. Our various law enforcement and public safety samples will give you a better idea of how to accomplish this for your industry.
Life is a journey — you never know where you’re going to end up. When you’re at a crossroads in your professional life, taking a new direction can sometimes be overwhelming. But fear not! Your pals at Resume Companion are here to help you with your transition.
The key is figuring out what transferable skills and experiences you can apply to your new target profession. Our expert writing tips and examples will show you exactly how to emphasize these traits in your cover letter.
Marketing & Sales
If you’re working in marketing or sales, when it really comes down to it you only have one job — increase your company’s revenue. As such, your cover letter should highlight how you used specific marketing and sales strategies and techniques to boost profits. This could be anything from social media campaigns, to improved relations with clients through customer service initiatives.
However, make sure you focus on achievements that would also benefit your target company. To get a better idea of how to market yourself using your own letter, take a look at the samples provided by our experts.
Nursing & Healthcare
In the healthcare service industry, you quite literally have people’s lives in your hands. As a result, your cover letter needs to prove that you take patient care seriously. You can do this by emphasizing that you have the education, certifications, expertise, and licenses to fulfill the job requirements.
For example, if you’re a nurse and you fail to mention you have the licenses and certifications required, the hiring manager won’t take you seriously, and might not even take a look at your resume. Our healthcare example letters will show you how best to highlight your training, as well as how to show you used that expertise to excel in your medical profession.
Depending on whether you are an administrative assistant, manager, or human resources specialist, the specific tasks you perform as an office worker will be different. However, one thing that will not change is the need to showcase your ability to work well in an office environment.
Towards this end, be sure to include at least two soft skills related to the smooth operations of an office in your cover letter. Communication and organizational skills are good examples of what a hiring manager will be looking for. You can find more details of exactly how to accomplish this in our office worker samples.
Students & Internships
As a student, the key to landing an internship or job without work experience is highlighting your relevant education and academic achievements. Specifically, explain how you will apply the skills and knowledge you have gained in school to the job you are applying to.
In order to do this properly, you need to do your homework — research what the company is doing and explain how your coursework, extracurricular activities, or personal traits will make you an asset to those endeavors. Reading through our sample student and internship cover letters will give you a better idea of how to write your own.