CV Cover Letter Template Examples and Guidance

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Read this CV cover letter template guide to find example cover letters and improve your cover letter writing skills. We'll explain why a cover letter is important and what to include in a cover letter and provide templates to use in different situations.

[Featured Image]: Job applicant working on a CV cover letter.

A cover letter template is a pre-written text that should be used as a guide for your cover letters. It helps you to focus on communicating the information of why you are qualified for the position in a professional and easy to read way.

A CV cover letter template can be helpful for applying for jobs. If you’re looking for a competitive advantage and a better chance at landing a job, then follow this guide and we’ll tell you how to use a cover letter template.

What exactly is a CV cover letter template?

When individuals have difficulty writing their own cover letters, they can turn to these types of templates to assist them. There are also professionally made templates available that you can purchase with premium designer writing services.

Generic cover letter templates are widely available for free on the internet and can be downloaded to be edited and changed to fit your own needs. These templates include basic information such as contact information, references, and previous work history. 

How should you write your cover letter?

Great cover letters are designed to draw attention to your candidacy. Think of it as your sales copy for your CV and you'll see how similar they really are in nature. Many professionals have a difficult time writing the perfect cover letter and CV. There is a lot of pressure in the job market to stand out from the competition, and an eye-catching CV and cover letter can help you do just that. 

The purpose of a cover letter

It’s important to understand the purpose of a cover letter. The purpose of the cover letter is twofold:

1. To introduce yourself and briefly outline your credentials for the role for which you are applying; and

2. To prompt the employer to review your CV more thoroughly.

A cover letter needs to accomplish three goals:

1. Open the door

You want to quickly showcase why you're a fit for the job, but you don't want to get too long-winded or detailed. Think of this as a commercial that gets the audience excited enough to tune in for the whole show—but make sure they know enough about what's in store to keep them interested.

2. Explain why you're worth their time

The hiring manager has limited time and attention, so you need to demonstrate that you're worth her while by highlighting some of your best qualities and abilities. For example, if you've been in a similar role before, you can use success stories from that experience to show how you would approach a similar issue at this company.

3. Tell them what's next

A cover letter needs to prompt action from the recruiter. What do you want them to do? Look at your CV in detail? Call to discuss the role? Tell them in the cover letter.

What to include in a cover letter

Generally speaking, the following information should appear on every cover letter: 

  • A paragraph explaining why you are writing 

  • An overview of the value that you will add to the organisation

  • An overview of your skills 

  • A closing paragraph thanking the reader for their attention and suggesting an action.

Templates you can use

Here are some generic templates that you can use to help you to form and tailor your cover letter for a job. They are in slightly different formats to help you have some choice.

Generic cover letter template 1:

Hi [NAME],

I'm writing because I'm very interested in the [ROLE] position you recently advertised on [SITE].

I have a relevant degree from [DEGREE UNIVERSITY] and I have the following skills that I think make me an ideal candidate:

[LIST SKILLS IN PARAGRAPH-LENGTH SENTENCES.]

I'd like to discuss my application further and answer any questions you might have. Please contact me by email or phone at [PHONE NUMBER] or by email at [EMAIL ADDRESS].

Thank you for your consideration,

[YOUR NAME]

Generic cover letter template 2:

Dear __________,

I am writing to express my interest in the ___________ position as advertised on _____________.

I am a recent graduate of _______ with strong communication skills and a proven track record of ______________.

My ability to ______ is a valuable asset that will contribute to your company's growth and success.

If given the opportunity, I will work hard to make you confident that I am the right person for this job. Please contact me on __________ or via email at ________ to arrange for an interview.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours Sincerely,

____________________

Generic cold contact to a company:

Hi __(Name),

I hope you're doing well! I'm writing to you because my passion lies in ___(specific industry).

I'm looking for a position that will allow me to utilise my skills and make a difference in the lives of others. I believe I would be an asset to your company because ___(specific reason you believe you'd be good for the job).

Warm Regards,

Your Name

Cover letter examples for different job roles:

Here are some more detailed cover letters that can help you get ideas for applying to different jobs.

Sales manager example cover letter

I am very interested in the Sales Manager job position with ABC Company. I have over ten years of experience in sales and management. My most recent position as a Sales Manager at DEF Company was extremely successful, largely due to my focus on building positive relationships with clients and my attention to detail. I am confident that my skill set and experience are a great match for this role.

I have demonstrated success by generating £2 million in revenue for DEF Company during the past year. My efforts were rewarded with a promotion and public recognition for my work.

I am proficient at managing teams to achieve desired results. In addition to working directly with the sales team, my responsibilities included monitoring daily operations, maintaining client relationships, and ensuring that the overall business goals were being achieved. Given that ABC Company has a similar structure and established goals, I believe I will be able to quickly become an asset to your organisation.

Thank you for your consideration of my application for this position. I look forward to discussing how my skills can benefit ABC Company.

Graduate cover letter template:

I am writing in response to your advertisement for a Graduate Accounting Assistant on the Job Channel. I read that you are seeking a candidate with a strong work ethic, great attention to detail, and a desire to learn more about accounting. My education and work experience have prepared me to meet these requirements.

I have been employed at XYZ Company since graduating with my bachelor's degree in May 2021. In this position, I have quickly learned the ins and outs of the accounting department. My manager has tasked me with conducting multiple daily bank reconciliations, which has given me the opportunity to gain a better understanding of auditing best practises and financial reporting requirements. One of my most memorable work experiences was when I was asked to develop a new spreadsheet that tracked the monthly sales of each product line. My manager explained her vision for the spreadsheet, but she also provided me with free reign to make suggestions that would improve its functionality. By trusting my judgement, I was able to come up with an innovative solution that saved her time and improved her efficiency by 10%.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss how my skills and knowledge can map onto any role you are recruiting for. 

Graphic design cover letter template:

I am very interested in the open graphic design position with ABC Marketing Group. I have a strong portfolio and experience as a graphic designer.

I studied Graphic Design at XYZ university. During my time at ABC Marketing Group, I worked on developing logos, brochures, advertisements, etc. I have been working with Adobe Creative Suite for over three years. As an intern at ABC Marketing Group, I redesigned the company logo and developed an interactive banner ad using HTML/CSS/JS coding languages.

My work is highly creative and my skills are polished by my experience working in the industry. In addition to my education and work experience, I also completed several design-related courses during my tenure at XYZ College. Examples of the courses include: Introduction to Graphic Design, Layout Techniques for Print Media and Computer Aided Design for Graphic Designers.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to discussing this opportunity further via phone or email.

Retail cover letter template:

I am writing to apply for the open retail management position with ABC Fashion Brand. The experience I have gained in retail, as well as in customer service and fashion merchandising, makes me a great fit for this position.

For the past three years, I have managed the merchandise of a high-end women’s clothing store. I have been responsible for purchasing new inventory, keeping up with seasonal trends, managing and training staff, troubleshooting problems, and driving sales. In my current position, I am also responsible for maintaining our store’s social media accounts to help increase traffic and sales via our website and mobile app.

During my time at XYZ University, I studied Business Management and Retail Merchandising. My degree focuses on business analysis, business communications, e-commerce management and marketing principles. I have also worked at ABC Clothing brand as a part-time retail manager while attending university. In this position.

Please feel free to call me to discuss your role, or email me for further information.

Cover letter templates for different job situations:

Sometimes you want your cover letter to explain a specific career situation. Here are some examples that you can draw ideas from.

Response to a job advert cover letter template:

I read your posting on the job website Indeed.com for a part-time retail sales associate in the electronics department at ABC Electronics. My educational background and work experience make me an ideal candidate for the position.

During my tenure at XYZ College, I developed a passion for retail sales and customer service. I have sought out multiple opportunities to develop my customer service skills. For example, I have worked as a cashier at ABC Supermarket since I was in college. In this role, I have gained invaluable experience interacting with customers and identifying their needs and wants.

Experience managing inventory systems that are tied to point of sale systems

Strong communication skills that allow me to actively listen and identify what the customer is looking for

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to discussing more of my experience in an interview.

LinkedIn cover letter template:

Thank you for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I am interested in exploring job opportunities with your company. My current role is serving as a [position] at [company name], and I have five years of experience there. I have a genuine curiosity to learn, and by utilising my skills, I consistently reach goals and give clients exceptional work. My background includes [list of pertinent details].

Cold contact prospecting letter for a job:

This letter is to express my interest in your current hiring needs for a Social Media Specialist. I am currently a student at XYZ University, Social Media Studies Program, and have been a part of the program for 2 terms.

If there is no next step (e.g., "I'd like to meet with you for an interview"), then make it clear what action you expect them to take as a result of receiving your application.

Tips for your Cover Letter

Here is some guidance to help you write your cover letter.

Tone

The tone of your cover letter should be professional and courteous, yet friendly and easy going. You want to make a good impression on an employer, but you don't want to seem too stiff or formal. The point of a cover letter is not just to state your credentials; it's also to get the attention of a potential employer and convince him or her that you're the right person for the job.

Cover letters should be concise

A cover letter should never be longer than one page. This shows that you're serious about your job application and that you can communicate your intentions succinctly. Both of these things matter a lot to employers. It's also acceptable to attach additional sheets to explain more details or provide evidence required for the job application.

Tell a story with your cover letter

Your cover letter should tell a story: A good cover letter needs to tell a story about you, the applicant, and about why you're applying for this specific job. It's not enough to simply list the duties of the job and say "I'm qualified for this job because I can do all of those things really well." Your employer wants to know why he or she should hire you instead of someone else, and because it's your job as an applicant to convince them, you'll need to explain how your previous experiences make you the ideal candidate for this position.

Who should you address a cover letter to?

Always address your cover letter directly to the hiring manager: If there is no name attached to the job posting, or if it doesn't state who will be reading the applications, then address it to "To Whom It May Concern," but you should never really have to do this. Search job postings, LinkedIn or phone the company to get the name of the recruiter.

Tailor your letter to the position

A well-written, concise, customised cover letter is a powerful way to show a potential employer that you have the skills and experience they're looking for. If you fail to tailor your application materials to each specific job, however, you could be wasting valuable time—or worse, getting passed over for a great opportunity.

Review your research

Before writing your cover letter, make sure you know as much as possible about the company and the position you're applying for. The more information you have at your fingertips, the more relevant you can make your cover letter and CV.

Make it personal

Your cover letter should be an introduction of who you are and why you're qualified for the job in question. Be sure to share details about yourself that are directly relevant to the position and company so that your reader will get an idea of what working with you would be like.

Be clear about how you add value

Be direct and specific about how you can help them achieve their goals or solve their problems. Make it clear what value you can bring to the organisation, as well as why you'd be a great fit for this particular job.

Interested in some help planning your career?

Your cover letter is an important part of the job application process. You need to know where you are going in your career and why you should take a particular career path. If you are a little lost, there are resources to help you. For some guidance on career strategy, consider enrolling in this online career planning course on Coursera. It can help you understand the best track for your career.

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Written by Coursera • Updated on

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