How to Start a Cover Letter Plus Attention-Grabbing Examples
What is the best way to start a cover letter? Traditionally, the trend was, you start your cover letter like:
“Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to apply for the position of Web Developer with the Flemish Company.”
Today, the traditional ways of starting cover letters are long gone. New and better ways of starting cover letters have popped up and now helping job seekers nail it when applying for jobs.
With that in mind, this piece will show you how to start your cover letter today using examples. But before diving deeper, let’s go through a few tips to keep in mind when writing a cover letter.
Tips for writing a cover letter
At the start of your letter (in the opening sentences), make sure to state the position you are applying for clearly. Companies are often looking for candidates to fill in different positions.
Making it easier for them to know your intent within the first few seconds increases the chances of your application being processed further. Keep in mind that recruiters don’t have the whole day to discover your intent.
Express your excitement
Make sure to show you are passionate about the job and the company. No employer will hire you if you show a negative attitude. You can say something like:
“I would be glad to have the opportunity to meet with you to discuss what I have to bring to the position at XYZ company.”
Mention a contact
Did someone refer you to the position? If yes, make sure to mention that person as well. Remember, referrals are one hiring aspect recruiters use. See the example below.
“Robert Perry suggested I contact you about the job, as he feels my skills would be a good fit in the position.”
Scan the job advert for keywords and use them in your cover letter. Using keywords from job adverts shows employers are sure about the job opening.
Besides, using keywords make it easier for applicant tracking systems to detect your resume.
State an accomplishment
It is a good idea to state a significant accomplishment from your previous job. Make sure to show how you added value to the last company you worked for. Here is a good example:
“As Digital Marketer at XYZ Enterprises, I have increased my group’s output by 40% in the last two years.”
Review cover letter examples
If unsure how to get started, you may want to go through examples of cover letters, but remember to tailor your letter to the job opening. The more closely you personalize your letter to the job opening, the better you increase your chances of getting selected for an interview.
Examples: How to start a cover letter
Now it is time to show you how to start a cover letter. Below are great examples. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
We have divided our examples into different categories:
Start with a passion
- After four years of trying out different roles at early-stage startups around New York, watching more “find your passion” keynotes than I would like to admit, and assuring my parents that, yes, I really do have a great job, I’m starting to accept that I’m only really good at two things: writing epic content and getting it out into the world.
- When I graduated from Utah State last year, my career counselor gave me what I consider to be some bad advice: “Just get any job and figure the rest out later.” While I think I could have gained excellent transferrable skills and on-the-job experience anywhere, my goal was to make sure my first-ever step gave me opportunities for professional development, mentorship, and rotations through different departments. Enter: Verizon.
- I have been giving my family, workmates, and friends free advice since I was 10, and I recently decided it was time to get paid for it. That is why I could not believe it when I found a personal stylist position at J. Hilburn.
- Growing up in the ghetto, all I wanted to be was one of those people who pretended to be statues on the street. Thankfully, over the years, my career goals have become a little more aspirational, but I love to attract a crowd and entertain the masses—passions that make me the ideal community manager.
Start with your love for the company.
You are more likely to be hired by a company if you genuinely show the hiring team you have factual information about the company. Suppose you can tell a story, the better.
In fact, research shows that stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone. And remember to be specific and genuine about what you say about the company.
- Most job seekers are drawn to startups for the free loose dress code, food, and bean bag chairs. And while all of those things sound great coming from my all-too-corporate cubicle, what actually attracted me to Flemish is the collaborative, international team.
- When I attended XYZ for the first time last year, I did not want to leave. So I decided I should not. Immediately I decided to check out job openings at the company.
- Though I’m happily employed as a digital marketer for Flemish International, seeing the job description for XYZ’s HR manager stopped me in my tracks. I’ve been an XYZ glasses wearer for over 10 years and have always been happy with the way the company treats its customers, employees, and the community at large.
- If I could make the XYZ rental process better for just a single person, I would feel like the challenges of my recent search would all be worth it. So, a front-office role at Flemish, where I could do it every day? I can’t think of anything more fulfilling.
Start with an attribute or accomplishment.
To stand out from the competition, you have to show recruiters you are the right candidate for the position. Here is how you can do it:
- My previous employer once told me that my phone manner could probably diffuse an international hostage situation. I have always had a habit of communicating with people, both the easygoing and the difficult as well—and I would love to bring that skill to the office manager position at Shutterstock.
- After spending five years managing the external communications for a 4,000-person company, I could draft an inter-office memo in my sleep. What do I plan to do next? Put that rich experience to work consulting executives on their communications strategy.
- You might be wondering what a 20-year veteran of the marketing world is doing by applying to an accounting role at a clothing startup like XYZ. While I agree the move is a little strange, I know you are looking for someone who is equal parts stylish and a marketing guru, and I think that means I’m your ideal guy.
- If you are looking for someone who can follow orders to the letter and who does not like to rock the boat, I’m probably not the ideal candidate. But if searching for someone who can dig into data, see what’s working (and what’s not), and challenge the status quo, let’s talk.
- Last October, I removed our company’s top marketer from her spot—and she hasn’t seen it since. This means I’m prepared for my next big challenge, and the marketing manager role at XYZ just might be it.
Start with humor or creativity.
- I’m very interested in the freelance web designer position. But before I share with you all the reasons I’m going to be your next website designer, I would like to tell you a little about myself: I did not grow hair until I was about six years old, which made everyone around me believe I was a boy (my name is Darleen, which definitely didn’t help). I hope I got your attention. ( Via @CaseCav )
- Thank you so much for offering me the project manager position at XYZ! I absolutely accept it. OK, I know we are not yet there. But if we were, here are a few ideas of what I would do once in the role.
- I thought about submitting my current credit card statement as proof of just how much I love online shopping, but I thought a better approach might be preparing this cover letter, describing all the reasons why I’m the guy who can take XYZ’s company to the next level.
- I never thought that accidentally dropping my smartphone out of a five-story window would actually change my life (it’s a funny story, ask me about it). But thanks to my bad luck, I discovered iCracked—and found my dream job as an expansion officer.
What to include in the rest of your cover letter?
The rest of your cover letter is equally important. Make sure to use appropriate language. Also, make sure your cover letter closing is polite and inviting.
Additionally, remember to add your complete contact information and format your signature to match the letter styling you are using.