Types of Cover Letters With Samples
When you are job hunting, it's important to choose the appropriate cover letter for the letter's goal. There are different types of cover letters, including the five most common types: application letters, referral cover letters, letters of interest, networking, and value proposition letters.
The cover letter you use will be determined by whether you are applying directly for a job or simply seeking job search help from individuals in your professional network.
Select the Right Type of Cover Letter
Be sure to choose a type of cover letter that reflects how you are applying for the job or the type of job search assistance you are requesting.
Your cover letter should be designed specifically for that particular purpose. If it is a cover letter attached to a resume in a job application, it should be customized for each position you seek. Hiring managers can recognize when an applicant’s cover letter is a generic one that he or she has used to apply for multiple positions. Such cover letters, which show a lack of care or of deep interest in a company, may result in your resume being passed by without a glance.
General Types of Cover Letters
- Application Letter. An application letter is written to apply for a specific job opening (sample cover letters). This is a traditional cover letter that is sent with a resume to apply for a job.
- Referral Cover Letter. A referral cover letter mentions the name of a person who has referred you to a job (sample referral cover letters). This can be a great way to gain an employer’s interest, particularly if the individual providing the referral is known to the company you are interested in working for.
- Letter of Interest. A letter of interest, also known as a prospecting letter, inquires about possible job openings at a particular company (sample letters of interest).
- Networking Letter. Networking letters request job search advice and assistance (sample networking letters). These can be addressed to colleagues, to individuals you have met at professional conferences or other industry events, or to people to whom you connected through professional social networking sites like LinkedIn.
As mentioned above, your cover letters should be targeted to the potential jobs you are interested in. This means that, before writing an application letter, a referral cover letter, a letter of interest, or a value proposition letter, you need to do your homework and research the company you are sending your letter to. Armed with this knowledge, you can then demonstrate in your letter how your skillset and work experience would strongly contribute to the organization should they hire you.
Cover Letter Examples for Job Applications
When creating a letter of application for a job, be sure to include details about how your professional experience relates to the qualifications and requirements listed in the job posting. This makes it easy for the hiring manager to determine that you're a good candidate. You should also try to echo as many of the keywords listed in the job description as possible, in both your cover letter and your resume.
Some employers use automated parsing systems programmed with these keywords to glean through a wave of job applications; cover letters and resumes that incorporate these keywords are more likely to “make the cut” and earn review by a human eye than those that do not.
Example Letters to Inquire About Openings
Your dream company may not advertise a job opening, and there is a chance that they're always seeking talented individuals. Take the initiative and send a letter with your resume to let them know that you're available and interested in working for them.
More About Cover Letters: How to Write a Successful Cover Letter | Cover Letter Examples
Generic Cover Letter
Sample generic cover letter. It is always advisable to personalize your general cover letter for the target job opportunity. However, there are situations when it is appropriate to use a generic cover letter. These are usually instances where you are not submitting your resume in response to a job posting or to a specific employer.
You can use a general cover letter when you go to a job fair and you are giving your resume and cover letter to a number of potential employers for different jobs.
You can also make use of the generic cover letter when you upload your resume and cover letter to a general job board or submit your resume to an employment agency to help you find a job.
If you are responding to a newspaper advertisement, online job posting or networking with a specific potential employer it is important to customize your cover letter to each employer and each job opportunity to show how you fit the job and company requirements.
Generic greeting to use for your cover letter
When you have to use a generic greeting there a number of suitable options.
Dear Sir or Madam
To Whom it May Concern
Some people use the salutation Dear Hiring Manager. This can be an issue if the person who reads the letter does not have that title.
In a generic cover letter the first section of your cover letter should include all the information on how the employer can contact you.
The body of your generic cover letter should include:
- the special skills and knowledge you have that result in successful job performance
- the education and qualifications that have prepared you to successfully carry out work-related tasks
- the strengths you have that make you an asset to any employer
- your work-related achievements
Example of a generic cover letter
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
Dear Sir or Madam
I am a hard-working and determined professional seeking an opportunity to succeed in a dynamic company such as yours. I am confident that my knowledge, ability and experience allow me to deliver successful results for any company in a range of administrative positions
Please allow me to highlight my key skills:
- able to effectively manage my time through careful planning and organization of work activities
- an aptitude for identifying and resolving problems efficiently
- excellent communication skills that result in positive interpersonal relationships
- a track record of meeting deadlines and producing accurate work of a high standard
- proven ability to make sound decisions based on valid information
- the capacity to learn and and apply new information quickly and accurately
- strong computer skills with proficiency in MS Office
I am convinced that I can be an asset in any position requiring hard work, enthusiasm and reliability and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
The enclosed resume expands on my qualifications and experience.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
When writing a generic cover letter it is best to focus on transferable skills and core competencies that ensure success in a range of jobs and companies.
12 Core Competencies
List of Strengths
What are your Strengths?
You can use phrases like these to describe generic skills and competencies in your general cover letter.
Motivation - I am an enthusiastic and self-directed worker looking to join a reputable company who would benefit from an employee who is ready to give his/her all to succeed
Problem solving - able to collect and analyze information to find workable solutions to problems
Planning and Organizing - My focus on efficiently planning and organizing my work has proven successful in prioritizing and handling multiple tasks
Communication - Proven ability to effectively communicate with a diverse range of people
Teamwork - I enjoy working as part of a team and positively contributing to group achievementReliability - I approach all my work with focus and commitment to complete the task on time and to standardStress Tolerance - I am accustomed to a fast-paced environment and work well under pressure
Use these Sample Cover Letters for different jobs. Adapt the cover letter that suits your needs.
Basic Generic Cover Letter
Cover Letters for Employment
Email Cover Letter
Letter of Intent for Employment
Cover Letter Formats
Cover Letter Template
The Right Resume Keywords
Winning Resume Resources
Sample Job Descriptions
Free Sample Resumes
Job Skills List
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