The Cover Letter Outline Career Experts Suggest + Tips

Gabriela Hernandez
by Gabriela Hernandez   CPRW, Career Advice Expert 
Published On : April 18, 2024 
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Learn about the key sections in a cover letter that Certified Professional Resume Writers (CPRW) say are essential to writing an interview-winning cover letter, no matter your experience level.

Free cover letter outline

We’re offering a free cover letter outline you can download and fill in with your details to kickstart your cover letter journey. This cover letter outline example is a practical guide, demonstrating how to structure your cover letter effectively with all the necessary sections.

Free Templates Cover Letter Example

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If you can’t immediately think of skills and achievements to add to this cover letter outline, why don’t you try our Cover Letter Builder? Simply pick a template and type your desired job title, and the Builder will handle the writing for you!

How to write a cover letter outline

Writing a cover letter requires careful attention to detail and the right cover letter format. Unfortunately, many job seekers would rather not spend the time on this crucial application document.

Cover letters are as important as ever. They’re so important that 83% of recruiters would interview a candidate with a great cover letter, even if their resume wasn’t up to par.

Don’t miss out on a job opportunity; write a compelling cover letter that helps you get your foot in the door. Let’s dive into each section of your cover letter:

Contact information

Start your cover letter by adding your contact information, including your full name, phone number, email address and basic address (city, state and ZIP code) to your cover letter’s header. Ensure this information is visible at the top of the page, making it easy for the hiring manager to contact you.

Greeting

Address the hiring manager by name whenever possible. If unsure of the recipient’s name, you can address the cover letter without the recipient’s name with an appropriate greeting like “Dear Hiring Manager.” Personalizing your greeting demonstrates attention to detail and shows that you’ve taken the time to research the company.

Opening paragraph

Grab the reader’s attention with a strong first paragraph highlighting your enthusiasm for the position. Mention the specific job title you’re applying for and briefly introduce yourself. Use this paragraph to convey your interest in the company and why you’re excited about the opportunity.

Body paragraph

The body of your cover letter should expand on the skills, experiences and achievements that make you an ideal candidate. Tailor your accomplishments to match the job description requirements, showcasing how your qualifications align with the company’s needs. Use specific examples to illustrate your capabilities and demonstrate your value to the organization.

Closing paragraph

In the closing paragraph of your cover letter, reiterate your interest in the position and express gratitude for the opportunity to apply. This section summarizes why you’re the ideal candidate for the role and how your skills and experience make you a perfect fit. Include a call to action, inviting the employer to contact you for further discussion or to schedule an interview. End with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best Regards,” followed by your name.

Cover letter templates for any job

Browse through our cover letter templates tailored for various industries and positions. With 13+ customizable cover letter designs, you’re bound to find one that suits your needs perfectly.

Customer service representative

Customer Service Representative Example Cover Letter LG

Use this template

Teacher

Teacher Example Cover Letter LG

Use this template

 

Project manager

Project Manager Example Cover Letter LG
Use this template

Engineer

Engineer Example Cover Letter LG

Use this template

Web developer

Web Developer Example Cover Letter LG

Use this template

Registered nurse

Registered Nurse Example Cover Letter LG

Use this template

Internship

Accounting Intern Example Cover Letter LG

Use this template

 

No Experience

Sales Associate Example Cover Letter No Experience LG

 

Use this template

Career Change

Project Manager Example Cover Letter Career Change LG

Use this template

 

Key takeaways

  1. Tailor your cover letter to the job description by emphasizing the skills and experiences most relevant to the position.
  2. Use specific examples to demonstrate how your past accomplishments align with the job requirements.
  3. Connect your skills and experiences to how they align with the company’s values, goals or industry position.
  4. Explain why you fit the company culture well by referencing shared values, work ethic or alignment with the company’s mission.
  5. End the cover letter with a strong call to action and express your eagerness for an interview.
  6. Politely thank the reader for their time and consideration and express openness to further discussion.

About the Author

CPRW, Career Advice Expert

Gabriela Hernandez CPRW, Career Advice Expert

Gabriela Hernandez is one of LiveCareer's resident writers. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in Journalism. Throughout her career, she has tackled copywriting, blog articles, journalistic writing, academic writing, resume writing, and even prose and verse.

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