How to Write a Cover Letter [2024 Guide, Tips, & Examples]

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May 28, 2024
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min read

3 key takeaways

  • Learn what a cover letter is and how it helps your job search
  • Understand step-by-step how to write a cover letter 
  • Discover the best practices you need to include in your cover letter and how Teal’s AI Cover Letter Generator can streamline the entire process

Are you on the job hunt and trying to figure out how to write a cover letter that actually gets you an interview?

Applying for new jobs can be discouraging. To stand out, you should create personalized materials for each job you apply to—including your cover letter. And to make an impact, it can’t be mediocre; you need to make a great cover letter to get your hiring manager’s attention.

But how do you write a cover letter for every role you want without losing too much time (or sanity)? Well, let’s get into it! 

By the end of this post, you'll know how to transition from a generic cover letter that gets sent to the recycling bin to a successful cover letter that lands you an interview.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a document you typically send with your resume or CV when you apply for a job. It serves as an introduction to who you are and what makes you a good fit for the position. 

Your cover letter should be tailored to the specific job and company you’re applying to. It needs to highlight your relevant skills and experiences, demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job in question, and explain why you’re the best candidate for this role.

Do I need a cover letter in 2024?

Yes, a professional cover letter is still necessary to get a job in 2024. 

A well-crafted cover letter can provide context for your job application and set you apart from other candidates. It also allows you to provide additional information about positions on your resume or explain anything unusual in your professional history (gaps between jobs, having been fired, etc.). 

Unfortunately, many candidates use cover letters inefficiently by simply repeating the information on their resume. 

Be sure to bookmark this article to ensure you don’t repeat the same mistakes!

Formatting your cover letter in 2024

Formatting your cover letter can directly affect how easily a hiring manager can pick you out from other candidates. 

But this can be tricky for job applicants because formatting your cover letter is different from formatting your resume.

With a resume, the formatting revolves around the content's structure and the visual layout you choose. With a cover letter, you need to focus more on the structure of your content, using professional font/font sizes and highlighting relevant keywords or skills.

How to format your cover letter 

Use the following steps to create a clear, concise, and impactful cover letter for your next application: 

Step 1: Choose a professional font and font size

Choose a clean, professional font like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman.

Use a font size between 10.5 and 12 points for readability. This ensures your cover letter is easy to read and looks professional.

Step 2: Set up your margins

Use 1-inch margins on all sides to ensure your letter looks neat and is easy to read. 

You can adjust the margins slightly to fit your content on one page, but avoid going below 0.5 inches.

Step 3: Align your text to the left

Left-align all text to maintain a clean and professional look. 

Don’t use justified text, which can create uneven spacing and make your letter harder to read.

How to structure a cover letter 

Creating a winning cover letter has two components: the information that goes into your cover letter, and the way that the information is structured.

A standard cover letter will have the following sections: 

  • Professional heading
  • Greeting or salutation
  • Introduction paragraph
  • Body paragraph
  • Closing paragraph
  • Sign off and signature

Remember, when creating your cover letter, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, keep a traditional structure loaded with quantifiable information about your past achievements. 

For more help, check out this in-depth post on how to structure your cover letter

How to write a cover letter

Writing a cover letter is simple, but that doesn’t make it easy! Use the following steps to help guide you through the process. 

1. Add a professional heading

The heading of a cover letter should include your name, phone number, and email address. It should be located at the top of the page, either centered or aligned to the left or right margin.

Cover letter heading example:

Jane Doe
(123) 456-7890


[Employer’s Name]
[Company Name]
[Company Address]

In this example, Jane Doe’s name, email, and phone number are clearly listed at the top of the cover letter. This format ensures the hiring manager can easily find her contact information, While providing all essential contact information in a clean, organized manner – making it easy for the hiring manager to reach out. 

2. Greet the hiring manager

Right off the bat, your cover letter will be more personal than your resume when you’re addressing it to a specific individual. 

When possible, find out the name and title of the person in charge of hiring for the position you're applying for, and address your cover letter directly to them.

Cover letting greeting example

Dear Ms. Sarah Johnson,

Using the hiring manager's name makes the letter feel more personal and shows that you've taken the time to find out who is in charge of hiring.

This works because it demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail. It also helps your application stand out as more tailored and considerate compared to generic greetings like "To Whom It May Concern."

3. Write a cover letter introduction 

The opening paragraph of your cover letter is your chance to make a strong first impression and capture the hiring manager's attention.

Here are the elements that typically build a strong intro:

1. Start with a hook: Open with a sentence that grabs the reader's attention and makes them want to keep reading. Mention the job title you're applying for or a specific achievement that makes you stand out.

2. Express your enthusiasm: Let the hiring manager know you're excited about the opportunity to work for their company and the specific role you're applying for.

3. Mention the job posting: Explain how you learned about the job and why you're interested in the specific role.

4. Summarize your qualifications: Briefly summarize your relevant skills, experiences, and qualifications to show why you're the best candidate for the job.

Cover letter introduction sample

Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],

I was thrilled to come across the [
Job Title] role at [Company Name] on [Job Board or Website]. As an experienced [Skill or Relevant Experience], I'm confident in my ability to make a positive impact on your team.

I'm particularly excited about the opportunity to work with [
Company Name] because of its reputation for [Company's Unique Trait or Reason for Interest]. I’m eager to bring my skills in [Skill or Relevant Experience] to the table and help drive [Company's Goal or Project].

4. Write the body paragraph

Writing the body of your cover letter can be daunting, but breaking it down into manageable steps can help you create a compelling narrative that showcases your fit for the role. Here’s a detailed, step-by-step guide to help you craft a strong body paragraph:

1. Understand the job requirements: Start by carefully reading the job description. Identify the key skills and qualifications the employer is looking for. 

2. Highlight your relevant experience: Choose two to three experiences from your resume that best match the job requirements. Focus on experiences where you demonstrated the skills and qualifications mentioned in the job description.

3. Use specific examples: For each experience, provide a specific example that illustrates how you applied the relevant skills. Mention the context (where you worked and what your role was), the actions you took, and the results you achieved.

4. Quantify your achievements: Whenever possible, use numbers to quantify your accomplishments. This makes your achievements more concrete and impressive.

For example, instead of saying "I increased sales," say "I increased sales by 20% over six months."

5. Connect your experience to the role: Clearly explain how your past experiences have prepared you for the job you’re applying for. Make it easy for the hiring manager to see how your skills and achievements align with their needs.

6. Show enthusiasm: Convey your excitement about the role and the company. Employers want to hire someone who is genuinely interested in the position and motivated to contribute.

Cover letter body paragraph example

"With over five years of experience in digital marketing, I have honed my skills in creating targeted campaigns that drive significant results. At my previous company, XYZ Corp, I led a campaign aimed at increasing brand engagement. By leveraging data analytics and innovative content strategies, I boosted brand engagement by 30% within six months and increased sales by 20%. One specific initiative involved a social media campaign that not only garnered over 50,000 new followers but also improved customer retention rates by 15%. These results were achieved through strategic planning, meticulous execution, and continuous performance analysis.

Moreover, my role as a digital marketing specialist required me to work closely with cross-functional teams, enhancing my collaboration and project management skills. I consistently met tight deadlines while ensuring the highest quality of work. My experience in data-driven decision-making and my ability to adapt to fast-paced environments make me confident that I can bring the same level of success to [Company Name] as your new Marketing Manager.

I am particularly excited about the opportunity at [Company Name] because of your innovative approach to digital marketing and your commitment to excellence. I am eager to contribute my expertise and passion for marketing to help drive your company's continued growth and success."

5. Write your cover letter closing paragraph

The closing paragraph of your cover letter is your final chance to leave a positive impression on the hiring manager. Here’s how to end your cover letter effectively:

1. Express gratitude: Start by thanking the hiring manager for taking the time to review your application and consider you for the role. This shows appreciation and professionalism.

2. Reiterate your interest: Restate your enthusiasm for the job and the company. Briefly explain why you believe you’re the best candidate for the role, highlighting your most relevant skills and experiences.

3. Provide a call to action: Encourage the hiring manager to contact you to schedule an interview or discuss your application further. Include your contact information to make it easy for them to reach you.

Cover letter closing paragraph example

"Thank you for considering my application for the Marketing Manager position at [Company Name]. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to your team and help drive your marketing initiatives forward. I am confident that my experience in digital marketing, coupled with my proven track record of achieving significant results, makes me a strong candidate for this role. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my application further. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] to schedule an interview. Thank you again for your time and consideration.”

6. Write your sign off

Your sign-off should be professional and courteous, leaving a lasting positive impression. 

Use a formal closing phrase like "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your full name. If you are submitting a hard copy, leave space for your signature above your typed name.

Example of a general cover letter sign off:

[Your Full Name]
[Your Phone Number]
[Your Email Address]

Cover letter format best practices

1) Keep it concise: Aim for a single page by using clear and concise language.

2) Use a professional font: Choose a font that’s easy to read, like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman, and use a font size between 10 and 12 points.

3) Left-align the text: This makes your cover letter easier to read and provides a clean, professional look.

4) Include your contact information: Include your name, address, phone number, and email at the top of the cover letter.

5) Use proper margins: Leave a one-inch margin on all sides of the cover letter to provide a clean, professional look. 

6) Use bullet points: Break up blocks of text with bullet points to make it easier to read.

7) Address the hiring manager: If possible, find out the name of the hiring manager and address the cover letter directly to them. If you can't find a name, use a generic greeting like "To whom it may concern" or “To the hiring manager.”

8) Highlight relevant skills and experiences: In the body of your cover letter, emphasize your most relevant skills and experiences that match the job description. Use examples to demonstrate your expertise and how it will benefit the company.

9) Include a closing and signature: End the cover letter with a closing such as "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your signature if you send a hard copy. 

10) Proofread and edit carefully: Before sending your cover letter, carefully proofread and edit it to ensure it is free of spelling and grammar errors. This step is crucial, as even small mistakes can hurt your chances of being considered for the position. 

Remember, the goal of your cover letter is to make a solid first impression, so taking the time to follow these tips and format them properly can help you achieve that.

Example cover letter for 2024

Each cover letter will be unique because it’s so intimately connected with a job applicant’s personal experience.

However, having a cover letter template at your disposal can help beat the blank page and give you a starting point. Check out the following cover letter example to get inspiration on starting your own:

Dear Hiring Manager,

I’m writing to express my interest in the Senior Sales role at [
Company Name]. With 5 years of experience in the tech industry and a proven track record of exceeding sales targets, I’m confident in my ability to positively contribute to your team.

I was particularly drawn to [
Company Name] because of your reputation as an innovative and forward-thinking company driving growth in the tech industry. I admire your commitment to [Company Value or Goal] and believe my skills and experience make me a strong fit for this role.

As a sales professional at [
Current Company Name], I’ve consistently exceeded my sales targets and have been recognized for my ability to close complex deals and build long-lasting relationships with clients. I’m confident that my experience, combined with my passion for sales and my strong work ethic, will enable me to make a positive impact at [Company Name].

Thank you for considering my application. I’m eager to bring my skills and experience to your team and help drive [
Company's Goal or Project]. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or via email at [Your Email Address] to schedule an interview or to discuss my application further.


Your Name]

Still struggling to write your cover letter? Check out these short cover letter samples as a good guide for writing your own.‍

Tips for writing a cover letter

Do your research 

When writing a personalized cover letter, start by researching the company you’re applying to. Take the time to learn about its values, mission, and goals. This will help you tailor your cover letter to the specific company and demonstrate your enthusiasm for working there. 

Then, in your cover letter, mention specific aspects of the company that you admire or align with your own values and goals. 

For example, mention the company's commitment to sustainability or innovative approach to solving industry challenges. 

The goal is to show the hiring manager you have a genuine interest in the company and role and that you’re the right fit for the job.

Show your personality

Your cover letter is an excellent opportunity to showcase your personality and writing style. 

Don't be afraid to inject some personality into your writing, but keep it professional and appropriate for the role you're applying for. 

Here’s a sample cover letter introduction with a bit of personality: 

Dear Hiring Manager,

As someone who's as passionate about crafting narratives as I'm about meticulously analyzing data, I couldn't help but apply when I came across the Digital Marketing Specialist position at [Company Name]. Like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, I'm eager to dive into the world of data-driven marketing, uncover hidden insights, and strategize solutions to help your company stand out in the digital landscape (don’t worry, you won’t need to hire a Watson 🤔)

‍This shows the candidate’s enthusiasm for the role and, at the very least, a small attempt at humor that can signal a good fit for the company culture. 

Highlight specific achievements

Instead of simply listing your responsibilities in past roles, focus on specific achievements and how you made a positive impact. Use concrete numbers and statistics to show your successes. 

For example, you could mention how you increased sales by a certain percentage or streamlined a process to save the company [X number of hours] or [Y dollars]. Again, the key here is to highlight the measurable successes you’ve had in the past.

Address any potential gaps 

If there are any potential concerns about your qualifications or experience, address them in your cover letter. Explain how you’ve overcome similar challenges in the past and why you’re confident in your ability to succeed in the role. 

For example, if you have limited experience in a certain area, you could mention how you’ve taken steps to develop those skills, such as taking a course or shadowing someone with more experience. 

Use keywords

Keywords are specific words or phrases that are relevant to a job position or industry, and they’re included in a resume to optimize it for applicant tracking systems (ATS) and catch the attention of recruiters. This type of software digitally scans resumes to see which candidates would most likely be a great fit for the job.

Contrary to popular belief, ATS software doesn’t discard candidates for incorrect terminology; it prioritizes those better suited for the role.

Using the right keywords increases your resume's chances of passing the initial screening. Highlight relevant skills and experiences using the same language as the job posting.

Teal can help you with this in the AI Resume Builder. When you match a job description to a resume, you’ll see keywords highlighted for you: 


Make sure to check your cover letter for typos, grammatical errors, and other mistakes. A well-written cover letter can make a strong impression on the hiring manager and demonstrate your attention to detail. 

Take the time to review your cover letter carefully and ask someone else to review it as well. A second set of eyes can help catch any mistakes you may have missed.

How to write a cover letter with Teal

Writing a successful cover letter can be tricky, especially when you're going at it alone. 

With Teal, you not only simplify the process but also create a higher-quality document.

Here's why: Teal uses generative AI to personalize your cover letter to match the specific resume you're working on.

In seconds, you'll have the first draft of a tailored cover letter that aligns perfectly with the job you're applying for.

If you've been on the job hunt for a while, you know that applying to multiple jobs is a must to increase your odds of success. But writing individual cover letters is a time-consuming and exhausting process. 

Teal's cover letter builder creates perfectly tailored cover letters for all your job applications.

Stop wasting time with generic cover letters that take hours to produce and rarely get callbacks. Let Teal simplify the process.

Here’s how to get started:

Step One: Sign up for Teal 

Click here to sign up for Teal’s AI Resume Builder..  

Step Two: Create your resume 

Before writing your cover letter, you’ll want to generate your resume in the dashboard. Click “Resume Builder” on the left-hand side, then “New Resume” on the top: 

If you’re starting from scratch, you can import content from your LinkedIn profile with a single click: 

Once you’ve built your resume, you’ll want to make sure it’s matched to the role you want. 

Step Three: Match your job 

This step mostly matters if you’re applying to multiple jobs. Remember, the goal is to create personalized documents for each application. 

You can click the “Matching” icon from your builder and add a specific job description for the role you want: 

matching mode in teal

This will ensure Teal uses the right keywords when creating your cover letter.

Step Four: Generate your cover letter 

Now that your resume is built click the “Cover Letter” icon:

Then click the “Generate with AI” button:

Use the AI functionality within Teal’s AI  Resume Builder to tailor multiple versions of your cover letter.
Use the AI functionality within Teal’s AI Resume Builder to tailor multiple versions of your cover letter.

And just like that, Teal's Cover Letter Generator will write a cover letter that's tailored to the job description and the information in your resume.

Ready to see it in action for yourself? Sign up for Teal and create your cover letter today! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key elements to include in a cover letter for 2024?

In 2024, a standout cover letter should include a personalized greeting, a compelling opening paragraph that grabs attention, a concise overview of relevant skills and experiences, evidence of your knowledge about the company and position, and a strong closing statement with a call to action. It's also important to highlight adaptability and digital proficiency, reflecting the evolving job market.

How has the approach to writing cover letters changed for the job market in 2024?

The approach to writing cover letters in 2024 emphasizes brevity, personalization, and the use of keywords relevant to the job description. There's a greater focus on demonstrating how one's skills align with remote work, technology competencies, and the company's values. Additionally, storytelling and the use of metrics to quantify achievements have become more prevalent to stand out in a competitive job market.

What do employers want to see in a cover letter?

Employers want to see a personalized cover letter tailored to the specific job and company. Key elements include a clear introduction, relevant skills and experiences, quantifiable achievements, a professional tone, and a call to action.

Can I use a cover letter template for my application in 2024, or should it be completely original?

While a template can be a helpful starting point in 2024, it's crucial to customize your cover letter for each application. Recruiters value originality and personalization, so use a template as a guide but tailor the content to reflect your unique qualifications, the specific job, and the company's culture. This personal touch will make your application more memorable and impactful.

Nathan Thompson

Nathan is a professional content marketer who's been lucky enough to write for some of the best SaaS brands on the planet, including Twilio, Trello, OptinMonster, TrustPulse, and more. When he's not obsessing over performance metrics, Nathan spends most of his time wrestling around with his kids.

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