Cover letter Samples & Templates

7 Effective Ways to Begin a Cover Letter (With Samples)

It can be difficult to know where to begin a cover letter. Fortunately, the method for creating an effective cover letter is simple. Your introduction must be genuine and enthusiastic, and it must showcase the skills and experience that make you an excellent match for the job.

When you’ve been glancing at an empty page for hours trying to come up with the ideal cover letter introduction, or if you’re tired of trite clichés such as “I am writing to convey my interest…” or “Hi, my name is…”, try one of the following seven cover letter introductory methods (with examples demonstrating how to accomplish it).

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a formal document typically submitted alongside a resume or job application. It serves as an introduction to the applicant and provides additional context and information that might not be included in the resume. A well-written cover letter aims to capture the attention of the hiring manager, explain the applicant’s qualifications and interest in the position, and demonstrate how the applicant’s skills and experiences align with the job requirements.

Key elements of a cover letter include:

  1. Header: This includes your contact information (name, address, phone number, email) and the date of writing. You should also include the recipient’s name, title, company name, and company address.
  2. Salutation: Address the recipient formally, using their name if possible. If you don’t know their name, use a generic salutation like “Dear Hiring Manager.”
  3. Introduction: Begin with a strong opening that mentions the specific position you’re applying for and how you heard about the job opening. You can also briefly express your enthusiasm for the opportunity.
  4. Body: This is where you elaborate on your relevant qualifications, skills, and experiences that make you a suitable candidate for the job. Highlight specific achievements and experiences from your resume that align with the job description. Focus on how you can contribute to the company and its goals.
  5. Customization: Tailor your cover letter for each job application. Mention the company’s name, specific job title, and any details you know about the company’s mission, values, or recent achievements.
  6. Skills and Experiences: Highlight key skills, accomplishments, and experiences that are directly relevant to the job. Use examples to demonstrate your abilities.
  7. Interest and Fit: Explain why you’re interested in the position and how your background aligns with the company’s goals and culture. Show that you’ve done your research about the company.
  8. Closing: Express appreciation for considering your application and express your interest in further discussing your qualifications. Mention that you’ve attached your resume for their review.
  9. Signature: Use a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your typed name. Leave space for your signature if you’re submitting a physical copy.
  10. Attachment: If sending the cover letter electronically, mention that your resume is attached for their review. If submitting a physical copy, include “Enclosure” at the bottom to indicate the resume is included.

A cover letter allows you to showcase your personality, enthusiasm, and unique qualifications in a way that your resume might not capture. It’s a chance to address any gaps or unusual aspects of your application and provide a more personal touch to your job application.

Starting a Cover Letter

Here’s what to do to write an efficient cover letter introduction:

1. Demonstrate excitement for the organization

If you feel sincerely drawn to the business and its products or have previously used its goods or services, this is an excellent chance to express your feelings. Companies value genuine passion because it frequently results in highly driven and productive employees.

Example: “I was thrilled to learn that Xyz Company is looking for a project coordinator with experience raising brand visibility and steering expansion through high-traffic events—particularly because I’ve joined a few of your firm’s campaign engagements.” With my 10+ decades of experience organizing effective company events, I’m confident I’m a suitable candidate for the position.”

2. Highlight a shared interest

If you were recommended for this position by a previous coworker, you can indicate that relationship at the start of your cover letter. It piques the recruitment manager’s interest as they’ll be curious as to why somebody they recognize and admire referred you for the position. Below are some pointers on how to do it properly:

  • Use severe phrases such as “biggest” or “best” sparingly.
  • Exhibit joy and appreciation.
  • Maintain a short sentence and let the referral do the talking.

Example: “I was thrilled to hear about this vacant position from my old coworker, Matt Robinson.” For several decades, he and I’ve collaborated closely, most lately on a complicated analysis of data project at Abc Company. He believed I would be a suitable candidate for this role on your team.”

3. Begin with a noteworthy achievement.

Create a memorable cover letter introductory paragraph that begins with a remarkable accomplishment and ends with measurable outcomes. It’s critical to make a connection between how you incorporated competitive advantage for the organization in your former role and how you’ll apply it to the new one.

Example: “I more than tripled Organization Z’s Social media followers last quarter by myself and ran highly leading Instagram advertisements that garnered $40K+ in profits.” I’d be thrilled to bring my experience naturally broadening social circle and delivering Return on investment to the role of social marketing director at Xyz Company.”

4. Mention something noteworthy.

Begin your cover letter with proof that you’ve performed your homework – as well as some flattery. If the organization you’re applying for has lately been in the news, indicate it in your cover letter opening sentence and connect it to why you greatly respect them. Mention a particular incident, fact, noteworthy statistic, or honors the organization lately won to prevent sounding deceitful with your praises!

Example: “I was motivated last week when I read that Company ABC was spotlighted in Forbes Magazine for its dedication to sustainable power and eliminating pollution in the office—all while undergoing a triple-digit sales increase.” With a proven record of lowering costs by 20% or more and supporting eco-friendly offices, I’m thrilled about the chance to broaden your organization’s development and work to achieve a more sustainable society. “

5. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for what you do.

One of the most important motivators for success is passion. And, because prospective employers are searching for people who can act as advocates for their organization and have an excellent work ethic, voicing your passions and aspirations is a great way to get their attention.

Example: “I’ve been fascinated by writing since my days as the executive editor of my high school magazine.” Through my 12+ years of writing experience, I’ve harnessed this enthusiasm into a personal website with a 55K+ monthly audience, Business Insider and Youth Style showcased publications with above 70K views, and an author’s studio I established for inner-city teenagers.”

6. Tell an imaginative story

Even if you’re not likely to enter a creative writing competition with your cover letter, do not be nervous to infuse some humor, charm, and creative thinking into it as long as it is suitable for the particular position and organization. Prospective employers are reluctant to go through a novel, however, they want to have something that grabs (and holds!) their attention. When going down the creative path, perform some research on the workplace culture, assess the demeanor of the job posting, and make your own decision.

Example: “I winced as I glanced towards the clock.” My manager had just requested me to rewrite our entire sales presentation three hours before a vital discussion with one of our major customers. Under pressure to present a new speech on time, I overhauled our pitch from scratch, partnering with team members from multiple departments. What’s the good thing? Our client was blown away by the pitch, and we completed the transaction in half an hour. “

7. Begin with a belief assertion.

Amaze the prospective employer by beginning with a brief and powerful belief assertion that reflects the company’s values and objectives – without appearing to have transcribed the stated mission from their webpage.

Example: “As an educator, I believe that each child has the right to study at their own pace, to let inquisitiveness guide their studies, and to engage in hands-on tasks that promote development, particularly in STEM.”

The importance of a cover letter

A cover letter holds significant importance in the job application process for several reasons:

  1. Personalized Introduction: A cover letter provides a platform to introduce yourself personally to the hiring manager. It’s a chance to show your enthusiasm for the position and make a memorable first impression.
  2. Demonstrates Interest: A well-crafted cover letter demonstrates your genuine interest in the specific job and company. It shows that you’ve done your research and understand how your skills align with the company’s needs.
  3. Highlights Fit: You can explain how your qualifications match the job requirements and company culture. It’s an opportunity to address any gaps in your resume and provide context for your experiences.
  4. Showcases Communication Skills: A cover letter showcases your ability to communicate effectively and professionally. It gives employers a sense of your writing style and attention to detail.
  5. Expands on Resume: While a resume provides a concise overview of your skills and experiences, a cover letter allows you to go into more detail about specific achievements, projects, or experiences that directly relate to the job.
  6. Addresses Career Changes: If you’re changing industries or careers, a cover letter lets you explain your reasons and make a case for how your transferable skills are valuable.
  7. Humanizes Your Application: A cover letter adds a personal touch to your application, helping you stand out from other candidates who might have similar qualifications.
  8. Contextualizes Documents: It gives context to the reader about why you’re applying for the position and what you hope to achieve in the role.
  9. Highlights Soft Skills: While a resume may focus on technical skills, a cover letter can showcase your soft skills, such as teamwork, leadership, communication, and problem-solving.
  10. Engages the Reader: A well-written cover letter captures the reader’s attention and encourages them to delve into your resume with a positive and curious mindset.
  11. Customization: Tailoring your cover letter for each application demonstrates your commitment to the role and company. It shows that you’re not using a generic template.
  12. Opportunity to Address Concerns: If there’s a potential concern in your application, like a gap in employment, a cover letter allows you to address it proactively and provide context.

Remember that a cover letter is a professional document, so it should be carefully crafted, free of errors, and aligned with the job description. It’s a chance to present yourself in a positive light and convince the employer that you’re not only qualified but also genuinely interested in contributing to their organization.

When to use a cover letter

A cover letter should be used whenever you are submitting a job application, especially for formal and professional positions. Here are the most common scenarios when you should use a cover letter:

  1. Job Applications: When applying for a job, including a cover letter is a standard practice. It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself, highlight your relevant skills and experiences, and explain why you are a strong fit for the position.
  2. Networking Referrals: If someone in your professional network has referred you to a job opening, it’s a good idea to include a cover letter along with your resume. Mention the referral in your letter and express your gratitude.
  3. Unsolicited Applications: In cases where a company isn’t actively advertising a position but you believe your skills align with their needs, a cover letter can introduce yourself and your interest in potential opportunities.
  4. Internships and Entry-Level Positions: Even for internships and entry-level roles, a cover letter can help you stand out by demonstrating your enthusiasm and showcasing any relevant experiences or coursework.
  5. Career Changes: If you’re transitioning to a new industry or role, a cover letter can explain how your transferable skills and motivations make you a suitable candidate for the new position.
  6. Addressing Key Selection Criteria: In some cases, job postings might list specific criteria or qualifications. Your cover letter can directly address these points and provide examples of how you meet them.
  7. Academic Positions: When applying for academic positions, research positions, or fellowships, a cover letter can detail your research interests, teaching philosophy, and alignment with the institution’s goals.
  8. Non-Profit and Government Roles: Many non-profit organizations and government agencies require detailed applications. A cover letter can provide context and explain how your values align with the organization’s mission.
  9. Creative or Unique Applications: For creative roles like design, writing, or marketing, you might have more freedom to create an engaging cover letter that showcases your skills in action.
  10. Executive-Level Applications: At higher levels of seniority, a cover letter can be particularly important to highlight your strategic thinking, leadership abilities, and overall fit for the organization.

In essence, a cover letter complements your resume by providing a platform to personalize your application and connect your qualifications directly to the job requirements. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm, explain any gaps or unique aspects of your application, and make a strong case for why you should be considered for the position.

When to not use a cover letter

While cover letters are valuable in many job application scenarios, there are instances where they might not be necessary or might not add significant value. Here are a few situations when you might consider not using a cover letter:

  1. Explicitly Not Requested: If the job posting specifically states that a cover letter is optional or not required, you can choose not to include one. However, keep in mind that even in such cases, a well-crafted cover letter can still give you an edge.
  2. Online Application Systems: Some online application systems might not provide an option to submit a cover letter. If the system doesn’t allow you to attach one, you might have to skip including it.
  3. Entry-Level or Simple Applications: For very basic or entry-level positions where the job requirements are minimal and you have little to expand on beyond your resume, a cover letter might not add substantial value.
  4. High-Volume Applications: If you’re applying to numerous positions in a short period, you might decide to prioritize your time and efforts by not including a cover letter for every application. In such cases, focus on including one for the roles that are your top choices.
  5. Internal Applications: When applying for a job within your current company, a cover letter might not be necessary if the hiring manager is already familiar with your background and experiences.
  6. Industry Norms: Research the norms of your industry. In some sectors, cover letters might not be as commonly expected or might be given less weight in the hiring process.
  7. Immediate or Urgent Applications: If a job posting has a tight deadline and you don’t have the time to craft a well-thought-out cover letter, it might be better to focus on submitting a strong resume instead.
  8. Roles with Strict Application Formats: Some industries or companies might have very specific application formats or requirements that don’t include cover letters. In such cases, follow the provided instructions.
  9. Freelance or Gig Work: For short-term freelance or gig work, the focus might be more on your portfolio or relevant samples than on a cover letter.
  10. When Not Customized: If you’re using a generic cover letter that doesn’t address the specific job and company, it might be better to skip it. A poorly tailored cover letter can hurt your application more than not including one at all.

While there are situations where a cover letter might not be essential, it’s generally a good practice to include one whenever possible. A well-crafted cover letter can set you apart, demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm, and provide additional context that might not be evident from your resume alone. If you’re unsure whether to include a cover letter, consider the specific job, company culture, and the impact that a thoughtful cover letter could have on your application.


In the realm of cover letter writing, the art of beginning is a powerful skill that paves the way for the rest of your narrative. Whether you choose to express your excitement for the opportunity, showcase a remarkable achievement, or cleverly connect with the company’s values, the opening paragraph sets the stage for a compelling conversation. By crafting an engaging and personalized start, you establish a strong foothold in the reader’s mind, compelling them to journey further into the depth of your qualifications and experiences. So, as you embark on the writing process, remember that a thoughtfully crafted opening can be the key to unlocking the door to your dream role.

Ultimately, the opening of your cover letter should be well-crafted, concise, and tailored to both the job and the company. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism, grab the reader’s attention, and make them eager to learn more about you. Experiment with different approaches, revise and refine your opening, and consider seeking feedback to ensure it effectively conveys your enthusiasm and qualifications.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ways to Begin a Cover Letter

  • Why is the beginning of a cover letter so important?

The beginning of a cover letter is crucial because it’s the first thing the reader sees. It sets the tone for the entire document and determines whether the reader will continue reading with interest. A compelling opening captures attention, establishes your enthusiasm, and provides a glimpse into your qualifications, encouraging the reader to learn more about you.

  • What’s the best way to personalize the beginning of a cover letter?

Personalizing the beginning involves addressing the recipient by name, mentioning the specific job you’re applying for, and showing your knowledge of the company. You can reference a recent achievement, explain how you learned about the position, or express your admiration for the company’s work. This demonstrates your genuine interest and effort in tailoring the letter.

  • Can I use the same opening for every cover letter?

While you can reuse certain elements of your opening, it’s recommended to tailor it for each job application. Companies have different cultures, values, and job requirements. Customizing your opening shows that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in the specific role and company.

  • Is it appropriate to use a creative or unconventional opening?

A creative opening can be attention-grabbing, but it should still be professional and relevant to the job. It’s important to consider the company culture and the nature of the role. Creative openings work well in creative industries, but they might not be suitable for more traditional sectors.

  • What if I don’t have a specific achievement to highlight in the opening?

If you don’t have a standout achievement, focus on a relevant skill or qualification that makes you a strong candidate for the role. You can also use industry insight, express enthusiasm for learning and contributing, or mention how your background aligns with the company’s mission.

Remember, the goal of the opening is to engage the reader and provide a strong foundation for the rest of the cover letter. Experiment with different approaches, seek feedback if possible, and ensure that your opening is genuine, relevant, and aligned with the job you’re applying for.

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