The cover letter examples below are written for a variety of situations. Whether you’re a school-leaver or an experienced professional, you’ll find an example with the right cover letter format, design, and writing style for your specific needs.

We’ve also included a thorough list of cover letters by industry so you can see how a successful job applicant should promote themselves in your field.

Standard cover letter example

Most employers will be familiar with this type of cover letter because it follows the same structure as a standard business letter.

An example of a standard cover letter with a blue left-hand margin.
Download this cover letter to edit in Microsoft Word.

There are a few reasons this cover letter would make a strong first impression on employers:

  • Addresses a specific person (‘Ms Pastore’) to make the greeting more personal than a generic phrase like ‘Dear Hiring Manager’
  • Highlights specific job requirements (agile methodologies and Kanban experience), showing that the applicant understands the employer’s needs
  • Mentions a plan to follow up on the application, which demonstrates enthusiasm and gives the employer plenty of time to respond

Cover letter example with no work experience

If you’re applying for your first job or starting over in an entirely new field, your cover letter is a good opportunity to direct attention to training, projects, and skills that make you a good fit for the job.

An example of a cover letter by an applicant with no work experience.
Download this cover letter to edit in Microsoft Word.

This cover letter example would stand out for a couple of reasons:

  • Focuses on the applicant’s skills and achievements as they don’t have much formal work experience
  • Uses a cover letter template that’s eye-catching, setting the applicant’s name and contact information against a bold yet professional letterhead
  • Provides specific reasons for wanting to work for the employer in the closing paragraph, emphasising the applicant’s enthusiasm for the role

Graduate cover letter example

If you’re applying for a graduate scheme or entry-level job after uni, use your cover letter to illustrate how your academic journey has prepared you for the role.

An example of a graduate cover letter.
Download this cover letter to edit in Microsoft Word.

Highlighting relevant qualifications, skills, and experience on your graduate cover letter strengthens the information on your graduate CV. There are a couple of instances of the applicant above using this approach in their cover letter:

  • Highlights their BA in Professional Administration to demonstrate that they have the right technical knowledge
  • Showcases time management skills they developed as a receptionist while completing their degree
  • Mentions specific software (Microsoft Office) that is needed to handle the job’s responsibilities

Creative cover letter example

Employers in the arts, social media, and content creation often appreciate uniqueness in a cover letter so long as your writing remains clear and focused on the job.

An example of a creative cover letter.
Download this cover letter to edit in Microsoft Word.

This memorable cover letter stands out for its engaging writing style:

  • Uses confident and enthusiastic language in the opening statement, quickly setting out the applicant’s reasons for applying
  • Mentions that they’re a listener of the employer’s podcast, emphasising their enthusiasm for the position
  • Highlights key achievements in a bulleted list, so they take up less space and are easy to scan for information

Short cover letter example

Sometimes less is more. If an employer already knows who you are, a detailed self-introduction might not be necessary. Short cover letters can make a strong impression on employers if they’re well-composed and written for the job.

A concise cover letter example featuring a blue line of varying thickness which separates the cover letter header from the body text.
Download this cover letter to edit in Microsoft Word..

Despite being less than 150 words long, this concise cover letter example hits all the right points:

  • Uses zero filler – each sentence is brief and to the point
  • Gets to the point by opening with the applicant’s profession, years of experience, and the job they’re applying for
  • Addresses key skills in the job description in the following paragraphs

Example cover letter for an internal position

If you’re applying for a new job at the company you currently work for, your internal cover letter should highlight your contributions and demonstrate an understanding of the company’s goals.

An example cover letter for an internal position.
Download this cover letter to edit in Microsoft Word.

This applicant makes a compelling argument for why they should be promoted to Social Media and Content Manager by highlighting contributions that have set them up for greater responsibility.

Here’s what this internal cover letter gets right:

  • Mentions specific projects where the applicant’s performance has stood out, using hard numbers to highlight the impact of their work
  • Uses enthusiastic language to convey that the applicant cares about the company and is eager to help it succeed
  • Emphasises leadership experience to show that the applicant is ready to handle the responsibilities of a more senior role

Example cover letter for a career change

If you’re switching careers, you’ll need to show the employer how your training and experience transfer to the new role.

An example cover letter written by an applicant who is changing careers.
Download this cover letter to edit in Microsoft Word.

This career-change cover letter cleverly translates the candidate’s social media experience into relevant qualifications. There are a few other reasons why this job applicant’s argument is compelling:

  • Clearly explains the career change by mentioning that the applicant recently retrained as a software engineer
  • Specifies relevant technical skills (Python, Java, and C++), which helps them come across as highly qualified and knowledgeable
  • Identifies transferable skills they can carry over from their social media career

50+ cover letter examples for specific jobs

Reviewing cover letter examples from your industry will help give you a clearer idea of what employers in your field are looking for.

Below, you’ll find 50+ job-specific cover letter samples covering a broad range of industries and occupations:

Administration & office support

Business & professional services

Creative & design

Customer support & retail

Education

Engineering & skilled trades

Food & hospitality

Health & social care

IT & marketing

News & media

FAQs about cover letters

1. How do I start a cover letter?

Start your cover letter by writing a formal greeting:

‘Dear Mr/Ms/Mx [Last Name]’

‘Dear [Full Name]’

Addressing your cover letter to a named person is a good approach because it shows that you’ve put thought into writing something specific to the job opportunity.

If you don’t know the name of the contact person, address your cover letter to the hiring department or call the company and ask who to can address your application to.

And if you’re struggling to phrase the first couple of sentences here are a couple of opening statement examples to help you overcome writer’s block.

2. What should be avoided in a cover letter?

A cover letter is only valuable if it explains in your own words why you should be considered for the job in question. Therefore, you should avoid the following in your cover letter :

  • Generic content (only mention relevant skills and achievements)
  • Excessive flattery
  • Boasting about your achievements
  • Making spelling or grammatical errors
  • Lengthy explanations

3. How do you build a cover letter for free?

You can build a cover letter for free using our cover letter builder.

Answer a couple of questions about your personal information, skills, and experience, and the builder will generate a professional letter for you on the spot.

When you’re happy with your draft, you can download it for free as a plain text file (.txt) to format in your word processor.

Alternatively, you can download a professionally-formatted PDF or Microsoft Word file for a small subscription fee.

4. Can I use AI tools like ChatGPT to write my cover letter?

Yes, you can use ChatGPT to write your cover letter. It’s possible to quickly draft a cover letter a personalised cover letter by writing a tailored prompt highlighting your skills and experience.

Here’s a template you can use to get ChatGPT to write a basic cover letter for you:

“Please write a cover letter for a [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. I have [number] years of experience in [related field or industry]. I found the job listing on [job board or company website]. Highlight my skills in [key skills related to the job], my experience with [specific tools or methodologies], and any relevant achievements such as [specific accomplishments]. Express enthusiasm for the role and mention my eagerness to discuss my application further.”

Remember to check the answer for inaccuracy. ChatGPT sometimes makes up content that doesn’t accurately reflect your experience and skills. You don’t want to lie in your cover letter.

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Written by

Seb Morgan

Seb Morgan is a Career Counsellor for CV Genius, where he helps job seekers and professionals get more out of their careers. With over 7 years of experience in business and lifestyle journalism, he's written for a stack of careers-focused publications, including Oxbridge Home Learning, Study International, theHRDirector, and Employee Benefit News, and his expertise includes skill development, interview preparation, and CV and cover letter writing. West Midlands born and raised, Seb has since lived, worked, and studied in 4 countries across 2 continents. He speaks 4 languages and has survived job interviews in 3 of them. He currently also freelances as a travel and culture writer. Reach him at [sebastian] @ [cvgenius.com] or via LinkedIn.