Still struggling with your cover letter?
Whether you’ve written hundreds of cover letters before, or it’s your first time putting one together, knowing how to get started can often feel like a challenge. Especially when it comes to matching your current career path and experience level.
To help give you some structure, here are some cover letter examples that might inspire you:
Basic cover letter example
If you’ve never written a cover letter before, it’s a good idea to start out simple.
Open by saying where you found the role, and give a quick summary of the job you’re applying for. Then move on to cover your main motivations for applying, as well as what makes you stand out from other applicants.
As with your CV, try and keep things clear and concise. We’d suggest writing around half a side of A4 should do it.
And always make sure you’ve done your research. Your cover letter is the perfect place to showcase your skills – but always match them to the job description, as well as including what you know about the company.
Recent graduate cover letter example
If you’ve recently finished uni, your cover letter might look a little different.
Although you’ll want to maintain a similar structure as above, you won’t necessarily have the previous experience to help back up your skills.
In other words, it’s time to make the most of your degree.
Good things to include range from your degree classification, through to details of specific modules that may relate to the role. You could also include more information about your dissertation and extracurricular activities.
The important thing to remember is that your cover letter is another opportunity for you to stand out from other graduates – have this in mind when you’re putting yours together.
Career break cover letter example
When it comes to explaining a gap in your CV, your cover letter is your best friend.
It’s the only place in your application you could actually expand on your reasons for taking a break. Which could help to put a potential employer’s mind at rest, if they were worried about your commitment to the role.
Of course, you don’t need to address the gap at all, if you aren’t comfortable doing so. But even just one or two lines could really help your application land. Not to mention make a big difference when it comes to your confidence levels.
Just be mindful of your tone. It should never be apologetic; it should always be positive. And always explain why you see this as the perfect role for you to return to work.
Redundancy cover letter example
Recently been made redundant, and not sure how to approach the subject? Your cover letter can help.
Again, you don’t have to dwell on the reasons for too long. Instead, provide a brief description of the reason you were let go (e.g. due to company downsizing, restructuring, closure etc.). Then place precedence back on the positives.
Focusing on your performance during your previous position in this section is a great way to reinforce your credentials (regardless of the reason for redundancy), but references to your academic career can also be used here.
Remember: many people have faced redundancy in their careers, and bounced straight back. Your recruiter will probably have worked with many similar individuals in their time, so never feel embarrassed to be up-front-and honest about the situation yourself.
Career change cover letter example
Career changers are another group who could really benefit from a well-written cover letter.
It’s the perfect opportunity for you to focus on your transferable skills, and add some valuable context to your CV – which may be necessary if your experience levels in a similar role are fairly limited.
As with all cover letters, use the job description to help inform what you write. You’ve got a ready-made list of skills they’re looking for in their ideal candidate. Your job is to make sure they come across.
You’ll also want to briefly describe the reason you’ve decided to change careers. Again, just a few sentences will do here, but they could really help to explain why you want to work in a new industry.
Spoiler alert: the role you’re applying for is the main reason.
Other cover letter samples
The examples above will help give you a good idea on how to structure your cover letter. But they aren’t the only options.
However, it’s important to remember that these templates are only intended to be a starting point. To write a really effective cover letter, you’ll need to tailor what you write to your own strengths, as well as to the role you’re applying for.
Remember: you can always use cover letter examples for inspiration. But copy & paste should not be your friend here.
Need more cover letter advice?
It’s not just cover letter examples you’ll find on reed.co.uk.
We’ve got a whole host of advice on how to write a cover letter the right way. Even if you feel like you’ve got the basics covered.
Other areas of cover letter help we have on offer include how to overcome common cover letter problems and five things you need to stop doing on your cover letter.
We also have a quick guide on how to write a speculative cover letter. So whether you’ve found the role on our site or not, we’ve got you covered.*
Read more cover letter help & tips.
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*We can also help with puns.