Writing a Cover Letter With a Simple Cover Letter Sample—How?

A cropped shot of a hiring manager reviewing applications on his laptop and taking notes

Overview

Get Your Cover Letter Covered With a Simple Cover Letter Sample

Looking for a job is many things—exciting, exhilarating, exhausting, and exasperating. You’ll go from hyped to hopeless to hyped again. Looking for a job really IS many things. 

But it is rarely simple. 

With a simple cover letter sample, at least applying for a job will be much easier. 

Searching for open positions you like becomes tiring after a few weeks. Hearing about unsuccessful applications is never fun (that is, assuming you ever get any notice).

Getting your hopes up after being shortlisted and then learning that the company “has decided to go in a different direction” seems like a cruel joke.

You may feel like letting go and falling into the menacing grip of self-criticism and a sense of inadequacy, but this emotional rollercoaster is a part of the process. 

Don’t think there’s nothing you can do about it—you can. You can compose an impressive cover letter that will land you more interviews. This article will help with that. You will learn:

Why You Need a Cover Letter

Don’t trust rumors—cover letters are alive and kicking. More than half of hiring managers expect to receive them. A quarter of them reported using a cover letter to decide whether to invite an applicant for an interview or not. 

Still, only 2% of applicants get an interview. Want to be in that 2%? You need a cover letter—and it needs to be a good one.
Known as a letter of application, a cover letter is an opportunity to explain to the employer why they should consider you for the role. It is how you open a line of communication with them.

Apart from your qualifications and experience, a cover letter should also showcase your personality. After all, employers are looking for people that can work well as part of a team.

Two female hiring managers walking down the hall to a job interview

Source: LinkedIn Sales Solutions

You can easily see why a cover letter is necessary. Your resume speaks volumes about your education and experience—your cover letter shows how they relate to the role. Most importantly, it shows how you can be of value to the company. 

Employers are looking for the biggest bang for the buck—you need to show that you are it. 

And if you don’t have an endless amount of time on your hands, creating a simple cover letter sample can help.

How Having a Basic Cover Letter Sample Helps You

Finding a good cover letter sample or a template is helpful when writing a cover letter. You can use it as a master doc to go back to as needed. With a general cover letter, you will:

  • Get a doc you can quickly modify to suit a particular role
  • Have an idea of what a cover letter should look like
  • Gather some useful phrases 

A basic outline or a generic version is an excellent starting point, whether you are writing a cover letter for an entry-level or senior position. 

What The Dangers of Relying on a Basic Cover Letter Sample Are

If you create a general cover letter, essentially suitable for any role, you may be tempted to attach it to your every application without giving it a second thought.

That would be a grave mistake—you’ll end up as another unmemorable face in the crowd. The hiring manager may interpret it as your lack of interest in that particular position or company and decide not to invite you for an interview.

Generic cover letters are pretty easy to spot because they don’t:

  • Mention the role you are applying for or the company name
  • Include a list of relevant skills, experience, projects, and accomplishments
  • Address the specific requirements and responsibilities mentioned in the job ad
  • Show passion for that particular company and reasons why you want to work there and not someplace else

You may also forget to change the date of your letter, which hiring managers can see as a lack of attention to detail. 

While a fantastic starting point, you must tailor every general cover letter you send to suit the role you want. 

What an Easy Cover Letter Sample Looks Like

Below is an example of a cover letter you can modify for any specific role. The modified, job-specific version is what you’ll apply with. You can create a separate document and attach it to an email, or you can make it a bit shorter and include it in the body of the email

Here is the example:

Jane Doe

xxx-xxx-xxxx

janedoe@gmail.com

1/17/2022

Bed Bath & Beyond

New York, NY

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to express my keen interest in the position of [role] in your company. Having read the job description on [website], I believe I have the necessary skills and abilities to perform the role successfully. 

During my previous engagements, I have developed strong interpersonal and communication skills, which make me an excellent team worker. In addition, I believe I possess a set of skills that make me a perfect candidate:

  • Strong work ethic
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • The habit of working within deadlines
  • Superb time management skills 

I believe I would be a valuable addition to your team. I am confident that my prior experience and expertise can easily meet your needs. If hired, I am sure I would bring the same level of excellence I demonstrated in my previous positions. 

I have enclosed my resume to provide more information on my qualifications and experience. I would love the opportunity to meet with you in person and discuss the role in more detail. I am available at your earliest convenience. 

Thank you for your consideration. 

Sincerely, 

Jane Doe

How To Write a Simple Cover Letter for a Job

Every cover letter part contains specific information. No cover letter sample can include phrases suitable for every single position. You can copy-paste some of the sections, but some will require tweaking. Creating a good basic structure for your cover letters is a great start, but you have to customize it.

These are the elements that every cover letter should have: 

  1. Header
  2. Greeting
  3. Opening paragraph
  4. Main paragraph(s)
  5. Closing paragraph
  6. Complimentary closing

.

Drafting a Header

The cover letter header is the first item on the page, and it goes to the top left side. It includes information about you and the company:

Your Contact InformationCompany Info
Name and last name
Home address (optional)
Cell phone number
Email address
Hiring manager’s name (if you know it)
Hiring manager’s job title (if you know it)
Company name
Company address
City, state, and ZIP code

After your contact information, you will also include the date of writing. You must remember to change the date because it would look weird if you are applying for a job in September, and the letter dates from May. 

Addressing a Cover Letter

A person sitting in a cafe and working on their laptop

Source: Brooke Cagle

Addressing a cover letter directly to the hiring manager has its perks—it’s more personal. The manager may feel like you have written the letter specifically for them, which will make them pay closer attention to your application.

If you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, you don’t have to go out of your way to find it out. Do a basic search on the company website and social media accounts, or do a targeted Google search, if you want to. What you should absolutely not do is contact the company to ask for the hiring manager’s name just so you could address your application.

Although common, this practice is considered annoying among recruiters, and the truth is—it might not even make much difference. Having to read dozens of applications per day, the person in charge could not even pay attention to the greeting in your cover letter.

Still, there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to address a cover letter. Here are some good greeting options that your cover letter sample should include:

If You Know the Recruiter’s NameIf You Don’t Know the Recruiter’s Name
Dear Mr. Jensen,
Dear Ms. Jensen,
Dear Jason,
Dear Jamie Adams,
Dear Hiring Manager,
Dear Recruiter,
Dear Sales Director,
To Whom It May Concern,

You should choose the appropriate greeting based on the role you are applying for. If you don’t know the name of the hiring manager, think about who you would report to and use their job title.

Make sure you add a comma after the greeting.

Beginning Your Cover Letter

With the opening paragraph, you should:

  • State your reasons for writing
  • Mention the company name and the exact role you are applying for
  • Explain briefly why you are a good candidate
  • Include a notable accomplishment
  • Mention the person who referred you to the position (if applicable)

This is your hook—a chance to grab the hiring manager’s attention. If you show that you understand the company’s unique needs and have the skills to meet them, you are bound to get an interview. 

This is one of the elements you can’t template completely, but you can base a lot of the paragraph on your sample letter. Don’t be too generic, though—mention the role you are applying for and the company name.

Forming the Main Paragraph of a Cover Letter

After the attention-grabbing opening paragraph, you should focus on skills and experience that make you perfect for the role. This is why you shouldn’t rely on cover letter samples entirely. 

If you have decades of work experience behind you, you need to select only those pertinent to the role. There is no need to cram your letter with every single project you have ever worked on and every single job title you have ever held. It will make your cover letter too long and bore the reader. 

When looking for an easy cover letter to use as a sample, you should choose the one that highlights some general soft skills, such as:

  • Teamwork
  • Time management skills
  • Great communication skills
  • Motivation
  • Leaderships skills
  • Critical thinking

These are all easy to substitute with something more specific once you know what role you are applying for exactly. They are also an excellent way to present yourself as a good candidate if you lack the experience for the position (because who doesn’t want to work with a communicative, goal-oriented team player?). 

Ending Your Cover Letter

A woman sitting on the sofa, holding a laptop and typing

Source: Mimi Thian

The closing paragraph briefly summarizes why you are a good candidate and emphasizes what makes you a great fit for that specific position. 

This is where you should thank the hiring manager for their consideration. To make the biggest impact, include a call to action, too. Say that you would love to discuss the role further and are open to coming in for an interview. After that, the ball is in their court.

Signing Off Professionally

The last part of a cover letter is a formal closing phrase and your signature, and it can always be the same. Here are some acceptable formal options and inappropriate informal salutations:

FormalInformal
Sincerely,
Best regards,
Kind regards,
Respectfully,
Thank you for your time,
All the best
Best wishes
Take care
Love
Bye

Sincerely is probably the best way to go. Faithfully is a formal option but not used in cover letters often. You should also avoid phrases with yours. 

All the options in the second column are perfectly fine when writing to a friend or family member, but not a hiring manager.

How To Optimize a Cover Letter Sample 

Another reason why you have to customize the cover letter sample you like is that it has to go through the HR bots. Companies try their best to optimize their hiring processes, and they rely on technology for help. They use software that helps them scan applications and determine which ones are relevant for the role. 

You have to include particular keywords in your resume and cover letter so that an applicant tracking system (ATS) recognizes you as a valid candidate. The best way to go about it is to look at the job description and use phrases from the requirements and responsibilities section. 

A hiring manager and candidate in a meeting

Source: Christina @ wocintechchat.com

How To Format a Cover Letter

When writing a cover letter, a good rule of thumb is “the simpler, the better.” If you’re looking for an easy cover letter example online, choose the one with the plain text format

Fun and creative cover letter designs sure look pretty, but the trouble is that an ATS won’t be able to read them. 

Other elements to avoid are:

  • Tables
  • Graphs
  • Images

You also need to make it easy for the hiring manager to spot everything of interest for the position. Your text must be readable and scannable. Here is how to achieve that:

  • Break the text into shorter paragraphs—Blocks of text are hard to read
  • Bold the important bits—The hiring manager will immediately spot them
  • Use numbers—The human eye is drawn to numbers, and they present a good way to quantify your achievements
  • Add a bulleted list—The hiring manager will easily find any relevant info in a list (like your skills, notable projects, and relevant accomplishments)
  • Include a lot of white space—Spacing between paragraphs and adequate margins make the text neater and easier to read
  • Use left text alignment—Justify alignment looks neat, but it makes the text more difficult to read; studies also show that readers spend 80% of their time on the left half of the page

Two more things to avoid are:

  1. Funny fonts—Pick a font that is easy to read (Arial, Times New Roman, etc.)
  2. Colored text and all caps—Stick with black so that you don’t appear unprofessional

Find Suitable Job Openings Faster

An HR team in an office pointing at a laptop screen

Source: Icons8 Team

You’ve polished your resume, written that perfect cover letter, set your mind on a perfect role—now what? Where to start searching? 

Looking for a job is not a child’s play. It involves a lot of online digging, applying, and competing with hundreds of other job seekers on various job boards. 

The average time a person in America stays unemployed is 29 weeks. While statistics show that the unemployment rate is decreasing, looking for work is still not a walk in the park. 

It may take weeks before you come across a job ad that you like and are eligible for. Then you have to get noticed while competing against other equally qualified applicants. In the end, you still risk not liking the company climate and being back at the hiring platforms looking for the next great fit.

Or you can try a better way—you can give Lensa a go.

Lensa collects ads from multiple job boards and employs AI to help users find companies that would be the right fit for them in terms of location, salary, and vocational preferences. 

When you register for Lensa, you get to enjoy numerous benefits:

  • Opportunity to play the Workstyle Game that will reveal your work preferences
  • Option to target specific jobs based on your skills, qualifications, preferred salary ranges, etc.
  • SMS and email notifications with tailored job suggestions
  • Chance to filter remote positions

How To Register With Lensa

The registration process is simple and takes only a couple of steps:

  1. Go to the Lensa website
  2. Specify the desired job title and location
  3. Press Search
  4. Add your email address and click on Submit

After you register, you can start your job hunt. You may want to play the Workstyle Game to get some useful insights before you start browsing job ads.

You can also personalize your account further to get the most out of Lensa. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Provide your full name and a phone number to activate alerts for suitable job openings
  • Add information about your education, experience, preferred salary range, etc.
  • Upload your resume

Once you finish customizing your account, you will start receiving job suggestions suited to your preferences. You are already one step closer to finding that perfect job!

Featured image source: JESHOOTS.COM

Recommended posts