Resumes & Cover letters

How to Draft a Cover Letter Outline

One of the materials you might provide to a recruiting manager while you apply for a job is a cover letter. The purpose of the cover letter is to give the recruiter or hiring manager greater insight into your qualifications for the position you are applying for and demonstrate why you would be a good match for it. You might decide to create a cover letter template so that, regardless of the jobs you apply for, you can compose your cover letter and contain all the necessary details.

In this post, we’ll discuss the significance of cover letter outlines, walk you through the process of creating one with the help of an example, and offer some advice for your cover letter outline.

Why is it crucial to have a cover letter outline?

Cover letter outlines are vital because they help you stay on track when drafting a cover letter for a potential employer. The cover letter outline can be a wonderful place to start your cover letter as opposed to creating one from scratch each time you apply for another job, saving you time overall.

You’re less likely to forget to include crucial information if you have a cover letter outline, such as your credentials and a brief thank you for your time. A cover letter outline guarantees that your letter is simple to read, well-formatted and only contains details that the recruiting manager needs to know.

How to write a cover letter outline

Build your cover letter outline using the steps below to write a compelling and successful cover letter:

1. Commence with your contact details.

Think about including your contact details at the start of every job document you submit, including cover letters and resumes. This contains your entire name, contact information (including home address if applicable), and telephone and email numbers. Employers can more easily identify who they are evaluating and have your contact details on hand if they want to get in touch with you by placing your contact details at the very top of your documents.

2. Leave some gaps between sections.

Ensure that your layout provides for some space between sections because your cover letter must be simple for companies to read. Similar to how they do with resumes, recruiting managers often have a large number of cover letters to review for each open position. The simpler your cover letter is to scan, the quicker it will be for them to pick out the key points and decide whether they want to ask for an interview.

Place paragraph breaks between the opening paragraph, the middle paragraph, the concluding paragraph, and your signature. Also, include the recruiting manager’s name and firm information.

3. Include the contact details of the employer.

Leave space for the hiring manager’s name, as well as the business’s name, address, and telephone number if you know them. Otherwise, you might exclude this section from your cover letter outline.

4. Include a date in your cover letter.

There should be space for the date in your cover letter outline. Date the cover letter to the hiring manager by entering the month, day, and year. There is no need to alter the date from one cover letter to the other if you are mailing out cover letters to various companies on the same day.

The date, a minor but significant component of your cover letter, should be precise and reflect the day you send it to the employer. Instead of your interview date or the day you initially drafted your cover letter, this is often the day you submit an online application or send the cover letter to a recruiting manager as per their request.

5. Commence with a greeting.

If you include a greeting in your cover letter outline, you’ll be less likely to forget to include one, which is usual in cover letters. You can use a general salutation like “To Whom It May Concern:” even if you have no idea of the name of the hiring manager, recruiter for the job, or human resources representative who is going to evaluate your application.

If you know who will read your cover letter, give them a polite greeting. Always address people by their last name and as Mr. or Ms. rather than their first name, which can come off as informal. For instance, you might say, “Dear Mr. Brown:” when addressing a hiring manager with the name Mark Brown. Since you can’t be certain if the individual you’re speaking to is married, it’s common to address females as Ms. For instance, if Peter Whalen is the recipient of your salutation, you would begin your cover letter with “Dear Mr. Whalen:”

6. Organize your cover letter outline’s body.

The body of your cover letter serves as where you may tell the recruiter or hiring manager the reason why they should choose you over other applicants, even though the contact details, date, and greeting are all crucial components. Your cover letter will be easier to read and comprehend if you divide your cover letter outline into three key sections with fundamental information in each. This will help you know what to include.

7. Write down the details for your opening paragraph.

Your cover letter’s opening paragraph ought to explain why you’re writing one in the first place. If you have a connection within the organization who is acting as your referral or supplying you with a reference, you can mention the job you’re looking for and even who first made you aware of the possibility. For a recruiting manager to determine your level of interest in the position, this section of your cover letter should demonstrate excitement for it.

The opening paragraph’s objectives include alerting the recruiting manager to your aims while also establishing rapport quickly and efficiently. You can include certain options in your cover letter outline that you can choose from based on the job you’re applying for.

8. Prepare your body paragraphs.

Most of your cover letter should be in the middle paragraph. You should elaborate on your qualifications for the job in this section of your cover letter, as well as what you can offer the employer if given the chance.

You must be able to draw direct links between the requirements of a business and the skills you can offer as a prospective employee after reading the job posting once more. Highlight your qualifications and experience about the specific job you’re applying for. Even within the same field, there may be variations in this, so try to tailor your cover letter to the job you’re applying for.

Avoid just restating what is on your CV; instead, give the recruiter or hiring manager concrete examples of your successes that demonstrate your suitability for the job. Give the hiring manager specific numbers, such as percentages and money, if you can, so that they can relate your accomplishments to what the company needs.

9. Add a concluding paragraph.

When describing why you are a good fit for the position in your cover letter, you should always end with a paragraph. Thank the company for reviewing your application and showing your sincere interest in the position in the concluding paragraph. You can also include a request for a job interview in this sentence, which will help you underline how eager you are for the following steps in the employment process.

10. End the cover letter.

Both the salutation and the closing of your cover letter should be formal. Put a kind closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Turthfully Yours,” before your complete name. You can sign off with your complete name if you’re sending your cover letter electronically, such as through an email or an online application site. When printing your cover letter, make sure to allow space for your signature if you’re submitting a printed copy.

A sample cover letter outline

Use the following sample of a cover letter outline as a model for your correspondence with employers:

[Your name]

[Your home address]

[Your telephone number]

[Your email]

[Date, month, and year]

[Name of the hiring manager, if you know it]

[Name of company]

[Business address]

Dear [Recruiting Manager’s Last Name], or anybody this may concern:

Introductory paragraph: Specify why you are sending in a cover letter as well as what position. Describe how you discovered the opportunity, giving the full name of your contact if they introduced you to the position. Describe your motivation for applying to the organization, even if there isn’t any particular position you’re applying for.

Body paragraphs: Describe your qualifications for the particular position you’re looking for. Tell the employer the services you can offer and how your work will help the company succeed. Describe your experiences and provide examples to support your statements. Include any particular interests or specific training that the employer could find valuable.

To make your cover letter easier to read for the recruiting manager or recruiter, include as many paragraphs as necessary here.

Concluding paragraph: Reiterate how passionate you are about the opportunity and the role. Declare your gratitude for the recruiting manager’s consideration. Say that you’d like to meet with them for an interview so you can go into more detail about what makes you a perfect fit for the job and their company. Send the hiring manager a link to your resume in the attachment so they can review both at once.


[Your signature or complete name typed]

Guidelines for Creating a cover letter

Use the following advice to create a cover letter that an employer will be more likely to read:

  • Keep it to one page or less. You must be prepared to streamline your cover letter even though you have a lot of pertinent work experience so that it just addresses your soft and hard abilities and the expertise that makes you the best candidate for the job you’re looking for.
  • Proofread. If at all possible, have a second person review your cover letter for errors. It is best to have many people evaluate your cover letter to ensure that it is well-written, presents you professionally, and is free of spelling and grammar mistakes before submitting it.
  • Print your resume on a quality piece of paper. Print up duplicates of your cover letter and carry them to your interviews in case you wish to give them to the recruiting manager or another staff member of the company.
  • Don’t speak in jargon. The wording used in cover letters should be simple to grasp and inclusive. A hiring manager can decide not to get in touch with you about the job if anything seems overly complicated.
  • Your body paragraph should be divided into smaller pieces. The body paragraphs of your cover letter should contain most of the information you’re presenting to the recruiter. Generally speaking, it is preferable to write multiple shorter paragraphs in this part as opposed to one lengthy one. Your cover letter will be a lot easier to read if you use paragraph breaks for fresh ideas or notions.
  • Make use of bullet points. To assist your most significant credentials or accomplishment stand out, think about employing a brief section of bullet points in your body paragraphs.

How To Begin a Cover Letter in 7 Effective Ways

Follow these tips to write a strong opening for your cover letter:

1. Demonstrate excitement for the organization

If you have previously used the company’s goods or services or if you are genuinely drawn to its brand, you can express your excitement in the opening of your cover letter. Employers admire genuine enthusiasm because it frequently results in highly engaged and productive workers.

Example: “Having personally attended a number of your organization’s public events, I was pleased to see that Company Xyz is employing an event coordinator with the ability to raise brand recognition and spur business growth at high-traffic events. I’m convinced I’m a fantastic fit for the position given my four years of experience organizing outstanding events in the business sector.”

2. Draw attention to a shared relationship

If a previous coworker recommended you for the position you’re going for, you may reference them specifically at the start of your cover letter. The hiring manager is drawn to it since they might be curious as to why a person they are familiar with suggested you for the position. Here are some pointers on handling it deftly:

  • Keep excessive words like “greatest” and “best” to a minimum.
  • Display enthusiasm and appreciation.
  • Keep it short and let the referral do the talking

Example: “I was thrilled to hear from my old coworker, James Wicker about this employment opportunity. Since several years ago, James and I have collaborated closely, most recently on a challenging data analysis assignment at Abc Company. Because of my project management abilities on the software creation project, where I fulfilled deadlines, accomplished milestones, and stayed below budget, James feels I’d be a good fit for this job.”

3. Start by highlighting a noteworthy achievement

Write a catchy introduction for your cover letter that starts with a noteworthy accomplishment and includes measurable results. Here, it’s crucial to underline how your prior expertise contributed to genuine company value as well as how you may apply it in your current position. Verify that your accomplishment pertains to the position you want and the prospective employer, and evaluate the impact it made on the business. Give a succinct overview of your professional history that focuses on your accomplishments and work experience.

Example: “I managed two effective social media advertising campaigns for Organization Xyz during the past month alone, more than doubling the business’s followers on Instagram and bringing in over $35,000 in income. I’d like to use my knowledge of generating ROI through organic social media reach expansion to the Company Xyz role of the social media manager.”

4. Include a newsworthy statement

Begin your cover letter by providing proof that you did your homework. Mention any recent press coverage of the organization you’re applying to in the first sentence along with why you like it. Mention a particular occasion, information, noteworthy statistic, or honor that the organization recently received.

Example: “I was impressed when I noticed that the magazine last month highlighted Company Xyz for its dedication to green power and lowering pollution in work environments, all the while seeing triple-digit revenue growth. I’m enthusiastic about the idea of carrying on the account executive job to boost the expansion of your business and strive toward a more environmentally friendly future given my track record of decreasing costs by 30% and advocating for greener workplaces.”

5. Show passion for the work you do

One of the most important forces underlying success is passion. Starting by discussing your passion and motives can catch the reader’s attention because hiring managers are seeking people who can be champions for their organization and have a strong work ethic.

Example: “Ever since I served as the newspaper’s editor-in-chief in high school, I’ve been fascinated by writing. I’ve used my ten years of expertise to turn this love of writing into a personal blog with 20,000 monthly followers, essays that have been featured in noteworthy magazines and received over 50,000 views, and a creative writing workshop that I developed and have conducted on five occasions for over 200 inner-city teenagers.”

6. Share a unique story

Never be afraid to incorporate some comedy, charisma, and creativity into your cover letter even though you might not be sending it to a contest for creative writing, provided that it is appropriate for the particular job and company. Hiring managers can be searching for content that grabs and holds their interest. If you choose the creative path, do a little digging into the corporate culture, look at the general mood of the job posting, and use your discretion.

Example: “I gasped when I glanced up at the clock. My manager had just charged me with entirely redoing our whole sales pitch two hours before an important appointment with one of our major clients. I revised our pitch to meet this deadline, working with teams from many departments to provide a wholly new presentation on time. The most satisfying part was that our client thought the pitch was great, and we quickly closed the deal.”

7. Begin with a declaration of faith

Make a good first impression on the recruiting manager by beginning with a concise and compelling belief statement that reflects the principles and goals of the company. Ensure that the writing you produce is original, and try to connect the statement to the company’s objective. Describe the ways you can use your principles to contribute to the organization constructively by citing the actions you’ve undertaken to support your convictions throughout your career.

Example: “As an instructor, I believe that each student deserves the chance to study at their own unique pace, allow curiosity to guide their study habits, and take part in practical lessons that promote growth.”


In conclusion, drafting a cover letter outline is an essential step in creating a compelling and well-structured cover letter. By following a systematic approach, you can effectively highlight your qualifications, demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position, and stand out as a strong candidate. Remember to tailor the cover letter outline to each specific job application, focusing on relevant skills and experiences that align with the employer’s requirements.

Use the cover letter outline as a guide to organize your thoughts and ensure that your cover letter flows smoothly. With careful attention to detail and a strong focus on the employer’s needs, you can create a powerful cover letter that captures the attention of hiring managers and increases your chances of landing an interview.

Frequently Asked Questions about cover letter outline

  • What should be included in a cover letter outline?

A cover letter outline should include key sections such as the salutation, introduction, body paragraphs, and closing. The introduction should grab the reader’s attention, the body paragraphs should highlight relevant skills and experiences, and the closing should express gratitude and provide contact information.

  • How long should a cover letter outline be?

A cover letter outline should typically be concise and focused. It is recommended to keep it to one page or less. Aim for around three to four paragraphs, ensuring that you provide enough information to showcase your qualifications without overwhelming the reader.

  • How do I tailor my cover letter outline to a specific job application?

To tailor your cover letter outline, carefully review the job description and identify the key skills and qualifications the employer is seeking. Customize your cover letter outline by highlighting relevant experiences and achievements that align with those requirements. This shows the employer that you’ve done your research and is a strong fit for the position.

  • Should I include personal information in the cover letter outline?

While it’s important to include contact information and a professional greeting, avoid including personal details such as your marital status, age, or hobbies unless they are directly relevant to the job. Focus on showcasing your qualifications, skills, and experiences that are specifically related to the position you are applying for.

  • Can I use a cover letter template instead of creating a cover letter outline from scratch?

Yes, using a cover letter template can be helpful as a starting point. It provides a basic structure and format that you can customize according to your needs. However, make sure to personalize the template and tailor it to each job application to avoid sounding generic. The goal is to make your cover letter unique and engaging, showcasing your strengths and qualifications.

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