Don’t Get the Cold Shoulder—Write a Great Cold Cover Letter

A young Black woman typing up a cold call cover letter on her laptop


Write a Great Cold Cover Letter—Don’t Get the Cold Treatment

Do you have a dream company that’s just never looking to hire—no matter how many times you hit the refresh button on their website? Instead of waiting around for a job opening, why not take the initiative and write a cold cover letter to show that you’re a rebel with a great cause.

What is a cold call cover letter, and how is it different from a regular one? Is sending it worth it? How should you approach writing a good cover letter? Here are the answers to these and other relevant questions.

The Difference Between a Cold Call Cover Letter and a Regular One

The importance of a good cover letter is apparent to everyone. It’s a great way to show your future employer your potential and get a callback for an interview.

Writing a cold call cover letter is a bit like crashing a party—you need to bring your A-game if you want to stand out (or, rather, get in). Essentially, you’re writing a cover letter to a recruiter, employer, or hiring manager for a “position” that’s not yet on the market.

A recruiter reading cold cover letters to see if there are any good ones

Source: yacobchuk1

Since there’s no particular position you’re applying for, you need to find a way to show interest in the company without relying on the data you usually get in a job description. For this to work, your research skills need to be on point.

Another difference between an ordinary cover letter and a cold one—aside from the temperature, of course—is the freedom you have when it comes to formatting. Usually, cover letters go through an applicant tracking system (ATS) that helps eliminate inadequate candidates. Most cold cover letters aren’t subject to this process.

This gives you some freedom with how your letter will look. Want to save space by placing your contact info in the header? Go for it! Want to show off your Canva skills? Go crazy!

Everything that is usually a big NO is fair game now—such as:

  • Text boxes
  • Graphs 
  • Charts

Don’t go overboard, though. You should still keep everything tidy and presentable for the recruiter. Stick to the usual fonts (such as Times New Roman and Arial) and the one-inch margin spacing.

Is Sending an Unsolicited Cover Letter Worth It?

Perhaps it’s unorthodox, but writing an unsolicited cover letter can help open the doors to your potential dream job. Its main point is tapping into the job market that’s not yet visible or available to everyone.

With the challenges that today’s job market presents us with, you might be wondering if writing regular cover letters, let alone cold ones, is even worth it. It takes time, energy, and effort, and even then, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get an interview.

A man researching the company he wants to work at on his laptop

Source: Glenn Carstens-Peters

The success of your cover letter depends on:

  • The quality—Write a strong cover letter where you’ll show that you’re interested and qualified
  • The research you’ve done—Explore the company and all its previous accomplishments. Even though you don’t have a job ad to rely on, you can find out a lot by using their LinkedIn page and browsing through their website

Before Sending an Unsolicited Cover Letter

Since you don’t have the requirements that the job description provides, you need to research the company thoroughly. Note that a lot of companies give you the option of applying to their waiting list by entering your information on their website. This way, you’ll permanently be in the system, and they’ll be able to give you a call if something suitable comes up.

How Do You Write a Cold Cover Letter?

Creating a well-rounded, informative, and concise cold contact cover letter will get you one step closer to your goal.

Wondering how to write a cold cover letter? Focus on:

  1. Creating an organized outline
  2. Filling it with high-quality material

Avoid concentrating solely on your interests and skills. Instead, make sure to state how your competence will contribute to the company and how you can help them achieve their goals.

Going into too much detail is unnecessary and can be boring. Keeping your cover letter simple and making it strong and persuasive at the same time is the best way to win recruiters over. 

Make sure to attach your resume along with the cover letter so that they can run through it as well. Even though there’s no role opening, try to tailor it to some specific requirements that the company has.

Here are the four simple parts of a cover letter outline that you should implement:

  1. Heading
  2. Opening
  3. Body
  4. Closing

Heading—Give Your Basic Info

You should use the header to give the recruiter your basic information—essentially, what they need to contact you if they like the rest of your cover letter.

This section must be tidy and concise. Here’s what you should include:

  • The date
  • Your name
  • Your email
  • The company information

Once you’ve done that, address whoever is reading your letter accordingly. Don’t forget to add a comma right after these phrases.

Dear Hiring Manager,
To Whom It May Concern,
Dear Mr./Ms. Preston,
Dear Miss/Mrs.,
Hi dude,

Opening—Say Why You’re Interested

Your cover letter opening needs to be on point. If you were aiming for a date instead of an interview, this would be your pick-up line. You should:

  1. Say why you’re interested in this particular company
  2. Mention your connection to the firm if you have one
  3. Address the company by their name and say what your preferred role would be

Body—Explain How Your Skills Contribute to the Company

This is your time to shine. Show that you know the company like the back of your hand and that you’re exactly what they need by listing all your relevant skills.

A woman biting her pen in frustration while trying to come up with the right skills to put in her cover letter


Although you should mention some soft skills as well, don’t overdo it. Recruiters want to hire you because of your competence, not because you’re a nice person.

Focus on the hard skills by connecting them to your experience and brush through the soft ones that you think are relevant to the company. In case you’re writing an entry-level cover letter, try to explain why the company could use your skills.

Check out the examples of soft and hard skills to get a better understanding of each:

Soft SkillsHard Skills
Critical thinking
Project management
Programming skills

Closing—Add a CTA

Once you’ve said all that you wanted to say, it’s time to end your call cover letter. Encourage the recruiters to reach out with any questions and comments, even if they won’t offer you the role (right away—stay hopeful). It’s smart to make connections—you never know what the future will bring.

Since you opened your cover letter properly, you should end it the same way. Here are some ideas of dos and don’ts for your cover letter closing:

Peace out,

Should You Ask for an Interview When Sending Your Cold Contact Cover Letter?

The ideal outcome of your cover letter would be to get an interview and—if everything goes well—a job. When you’re applying for an existing position, this is implied. With an unsolicited cover letter, nothing is set in stone.

In your cover letter, you can politely ask for an informative interview in which they would get to know you better and see whether you’d be a good fit. Your cover letter closing is a good place for this request.

You can suggest conducting this kind of interview over the phone or on a Zoom call—it’s convenient and won’t waste too much of anyone’s time.

Make sure to be understanding and flexible if the company decides to grant this request. They probably have a lot on their plate, and it’s great if they’ve found the time for you. By being flexible and agreeing to any time for the appointment, you’ll show that you care and that you’re dedicated.

Make Your Job Hunt a Piece of Cake

You’ve written a cold call cover letter, and you’re proud of it. You send it, and—there’s no response. The company is giving you the cold shoulder. Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality of today’s job market.

The situation is looking up a bit, though—the unemployment rate is down by 2,4%. Still, the situation is far from favorable. Research shows that 36% of people have been out of a job for as long as 6 to 12 months amidst the pandemic.

Since the number one way people get jobs is through referrals, the rest get the scraps. Job seekers don’t have the luxury of being picky—23% of the unemployed applied for more than 30 positions in the past year. In such circumstances, no wonder you are chasing companies that have no active job ads. The market is competitive (unlike those “competitive” salaries mentioned in job ads).

Do you give up? No—you step up your game! It’s time for things to change. Luckily, with Lensa, they can!

Lensa will deliver the right job ads to you so that you don’t waste valuable time on painstaking and pointless job hunts.

Here are some of the benefits signing up with Lensa comes with:

  • Access to a huge number of job ads from a variety of job boards we’ve partnered up with, compiled on one platform
  • The chance to personalize your account and use filters to get the most suitable job ads
  • The Workstyle Game, which you can use to find out more about your professional competencies
  • An opportunity to find jobs that aren’t just based on your desired salary and location but also your personality and workstyle

No More Struggle—Register for Lensa

You can register for Lensa and enjoy all the benefits by following these simple steps:

  1. Go to our website
  2. Type in your coveted job title, location, and email address
  3. Provide us with additional information
  4. Submit the application

Featured image source: SeventyFour

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