This cover letter template is pieced together from a couple of different sources. Much of it comes from someone I had an informational interview with; other parts came from my own research, and a lot came from my own personal tweaking and adjustments. It took me several years to finally stumble upon a cover letter template that seemed to consistently work. Once I started using my current cover letter template, I heard back from over 60% of the jobs I applied for. Now obviously I was targeting jobs that I was technically qualified for and had an actual shot at getting, and some of it can be attributed to my resume, but in today’s extremely competitive job market, that was a response rate I was very satisfied with.
The biggest advantage you will see in this particular cover letter template is that it provides you with a flexible template that is very easy to adjust to specifically target each job you are applying for. Once you have one written, you only need to tweak about 25% for each new position that you apply for. This will not only makes it much easier on you when applying for a handful of positions on a daily basis, but it will also provide hiring managers with a cover letter that looks like it was completely tailored to them.
There are a few reasons that this cover letter template worked so well for me, and why it will work well for you:
- It immediately gets to the point of why you would be a good fit for the job or company.
- It makes you seem like an actual person, instead of a fact sheet.
- It looks like it was 100% written just for the job you are applying for, conveying effort and interest.
If you need more guidance, read our cover letter tips post.
Free Cover Letter Template
Dear (insert company, or if you know the person enter their name),
State your name, and that you are interested in whatever positions they have open. Then, say you would be a good fit at their company, and in one or at most two sentences explain the top reasons why. You want to interest them right away.
Education and Work History (in two separate paragraphs)
These are the two big chunks that you can pretty much leave intact for each letter you send out. I still go through it and make little tweaks depending on the job. Like your resume, decide what you think is more important to highlight first: education or work history. Because I didn’t really work anywhere all that impressive before I graduated, education is my biggest asset and I put that first. The most important thing you should do in these sections is try to avoid just listing facts about yourself; make it more like a mini-story instead. This way they can view you more as a person then just a fact sheet.
Why You Have an Interest in the Company/Position
This section will be pretty much 100% tailored to the job you apply for. You will want to seem genuinely excited about working for the company and the position they are hiring for. Try to weave in exactly how you fit the job requirements or what they are looking for in an employee into this section. I also lean towards subtly telling them why their company would be such a good fit for me and my skills, rather than why I would be such a great fit for them. If you can do this without seeming smug, then you will convey a great amount of value.
Pretty straight forward; I thank them for considering me and say that I am really excited about the chance to talk with them, and reiterate why I’d be a good fit for the position. Then I tell them I attached my resume to the email, and give them my cell phone number.
Actual Cover Letter Example
This was a unique position that I applied for within a company that made sporting good inventions. It provides a good example of my template.
Dear Company X,
My name is Jon Doe, and I am interested in your Marketing/Sales Assistant position. I would be a good fit at Company X because of my degree in Business Administration (with a specialty in advertising and many courses in marketing), my comfort and skill level with computers, my entrepreneurial mindset and understanding of public relations, and my outgoing and friendly personality and athletic interests.
My educational background is slightly uncommon. I went to the University of Oregon from 2002-2006, and ended up graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. I chose to study Sociology because of my ongoing interest in what makes people, and society in general, tick. After several years of focusing more on my artistic endeavors and working a few fun but short-term jobs, I decided to restart my education. I chose to earn a second bachelor’s degree in business to refine tools that I already had, but also to give me new tools to either become a valuable member to a winning company, or to start my own business one day. I concentrated on advertising, with an additional focus on marketing, because it relates to what I learned when studying sociology and plays into the strengths I have as a creative person.
My work history is fairly broad, but has set me up for success working in a business role focused on sales and marketing. I have experience working in an office setting and years of experience working on computers. My customer service background has given me good experience communicating with clients face-to-face, over the phone, and via email. My work with Empty Noggin (a television show that aired locally for a couple of years) gave me professional experience in a 100% creative environment. My recent internship gave me real world marketing experience, which was primarily web-based. In fact, it spurred a new interest of mine: building websites and optimizing them to be highly ranked and visible in search engines.
I have a strong interest in working for your company for a number of reasons. The idea of working and growing with a small business is something that excites me; the prospect of helping a smaller company to grow and expand would be invaluable. The products that Company X creates also immediately grabbed my interest, and I would love to be someone that helps promote and sell products such as Invention Y. Essentially, the position you are trying to fill would provide me with what I am looking for in a job, combining a utilization of my creativity and my business acumen. I’m also a pretty athletic person, and play several sports for fun including basketball, golf, tennis, and I also love to ski. Finally, while I’m sure many people say this to you, I constantly have ideas for inventions, including those involving sporting goods. Who knows, maybe I would come up with something that you would have an interest in producing?
Thank you for taking the time to consider me. I can say with complete honesty that I am excited for the chance to talk with you about working for such a unique company. I have attached my resume in PDF format to this email. In addition to this email address, I can be reached at 555-555-5555.