What Do You Say in a Cover Letter if You Have Been Unemployed for a Long Time?

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How to Write a First-Class Cover Letter

How to answer interview questions about resigning in lieu of termination, how to interview after being fired for insubordination.

  • Should I Disclose My Firing at a Previous Employer?
  • Unemployment Gaps on Your Resume Due to Illnesses

When the work experience contained in your resume raises questions about long-term unemployment, address the gap in your cover letter seeking employment. Since your cover letter may be the first communication the recruiter or hiring manager sees, you need to stress that your unemployment shouldn't be a deterrent to selecting you for an interview. Therefore, provide a brief explanation about what you've been doing during your unemployment period so the reader won't take a look at your resume, see that you've been unemployed for a couple of years and immediately toss your resume.

Work Experience

The fact that you may have been unemployed for a long period doesn't take away from your professional experience and education. Play up education and academic credentials in your resume. In your cover letter, you could say, "My background includes 15-plus years' experience in sales and marketing. My accomplishments include expanding into global markets in the IT industry and managing global presence in European and Latin American markets."

Refer the reader of your cover letter to your resume for information on your complete professional background. Avoid describing your experience in past tense and definitely don't preface your accomplishments with phrases like "many years ago" or "in the past decade." If you're looking for a letter template, Indeed Career Guide offers sample cover letters for a retired person returning to work, for example.

Family Responsibilities

If you took time off to raise a family, it's perfectly acceptable to mention that. In fact, if you're a former Missouri state employee looking to get rehired, you're eligible for a five-point parental preference in the competitive job selection process. Other states might have similar laws, and some private sector employers may have policies that mirror those. In your cover letter, simply state, "I took two years off to raise my young children and am ready to re-enter the workforce." That way, you explain that you can further justify the reason why you might have time that's unaccounted for in your resume.

Maintaining Knowledge

Employers want to know that you didn't let your skill set, knowledge or expertise atrophy during the time you were unemployed, according to Military.com . Therefore, mention in your cover letter the ways you've maintained your industry knowledge. If you've attended professional conferences, done volunteer work, freelanced or anything that has kept you sharp in your field, absolutely mention it in your cover letter.

For example, you could write, "In the two years since I was laid off when my previous employer's business shut down, I've volunteered three days a week working with the New York chapter of Society for Human Resource Management to develop its HR training and development library."

Avoid Making Excuses

Whatever you do, don't use your cover letter to give excuses about why you've been unemployed. An unemployment letter of explanation is not even needed because recruiters know there are job seekers who have been unemployed for a long period. Many of these job seekers have been unemployed for at least six months.

Avoid badmouthing your previous employer or complaining about the shortage of jobs in your field. If you've been out of work for quite awhile, you may wish to use your cover letter to tell the hiring manager why you've been unemployed, but stick to a concise, factual explanation.

  • Indeed Career Guide: How To Write a Retiree Resume (Including Template and Sample)
  • Military.com: Unemployed? Put Your Cover Letter to Work

Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

Related Articles

How to list gaps in employment due to having children, email format for a follow-up resume, cover letter for reentering the workforce, how to address unemployment in a cover letter, job interviews & how to explain a career break, how to explain being fired on a cover letter, what do you put on a resume when management is why you left, how to apply for a job when you are retired for ten years, can i be fired for interviewing, most popular.

  • 1 How to List Gaps in Employment Due to Having Children
  • 2 Email Format for a Follow-Up Resume
  • 3 Cover Letter for Reentering the Workforce
  • 4 How to Address Unemployment in a Cover Letter


  • CV Templates
  • Cover Letter Examples

Unemployed cover letter example 1

Not sure what to say to an employer? Don’t worry you’ve come to the right place. This page is full of tips and examples for jobseekers who have career gaps or have been unemployed for a while.

Unemployed cover letter template

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Unemployed cover letter example

Christine Graham Hiring Manager Dayjob Ltd 120 Vyse Street Birmingham B18 6NF

16 th July 2021

Dear Ms Graham,

I am writing to express my interest and enthusiasm for your …………… vacancy which was advertised on the Dayjob.com website today.

Although I come to you as candidate who is unemployed, I hope you will consider my application just as much as they would consider someone who’s employed.

I have spent much of my career in the ………….. industry. However, my last employer had to cut back on its staffing levels and I was laid off. Even though I have been unemployed for three years, I am extremely keen to get back to work as soon as possible.

Whilst not working, I have not been idle but have remained active by gaining relevant qualifications, refreshing my skills and keeping up-to-date with the latest industry developments. Based on this and on my previous experience and knowledge of ………………… I believe that I would be a perfect fit to your current position. Furthermore, after reading your job description, I am confident that I have everything you are looking for in an applicant and more.

I would also like to say that I share all of the values and goals you have on your company website.

On a personal level, I am a sociable individual who gets along with people from all social and cultural backgrounds. In addition to this I am ambitious, determined and very loyal to those I work for.

Further details of my past career, skills and academic achievements can be found in the attached copy of my CV. I hope that you will find this cover letter in combination with the attached CV enticing enough to invite me to an interview.

Thank you very much for your time and hopefully forthcoming positive response.

Yours sincerely,

Name Address 1 Address 2 Tel: 0044 123 456 7890 Email: [email protected]

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Template: Currently Unemployed Cover Letter

If you’ve been unemployed for a period of time, a cover letter is your prime opportunity to explain any gaps on your CV that a hiring manager might be questioning.

It’s an unfortunate situation to be in, but it happens! It’s important to not let your confidence take a knock - get right back out there and apply for new opportunities. Writing a top-notch cover letter will help your application stand out from the crowd and help you get your career back on track.

Don’t try and hide the fact that you have been unemployed - even if it has only been for a short period of time. Describe the reason why you’re currently unemployed, before moving onto an explanation of why you’re ready to return to work. You can use our article on finding a job after being made redundant as a guide.

Always mention how you’ve been spending your time in this period of unemployment. Any volunteering or upskilling is great to showcase to potential future employers.

If you are looking for more guidance on how to write the best cover letter , we can help!

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How to Address Unemployment on a Resume & Cover Letter

  • Written by Editorial Team
  • Updated September 9, 2022

It’s no secret that unemployment is at an all-time high. So, if you’re one of the unlucky ones currently unemployed, how do you address it on your resume and cover letter?

While it may be tempting to avoid mentioning your unemployment status on your resume and cover letter, doing so can actually hurt your chances of getting hired.

In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to address unemployment on a resume and cover letter in a way that will make potential employers take notice.

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How to address job unemployment on a cover letter

Unemployment on a CV without a cover letter can raise red flags for employers . Employers search for competent applicants with proven career histories, so eliminating resume gaps is crucial.

Employment history isn’t everything, though. Your cover letter is a chance to show your employer how well you communicate and present yourself.

Demonstrate your professional skills and personality with anecdotes demonstrating your ability to solve problems and make others feel comfortable around you.

Explain why you want to work for this particular employer. Showcase your relevant skills and experience. Don’t just list your responsibilities and accomplishments—explain how you achieved those goals.

Here are some more tips to help you with this matter:

Provide Context for Unemployment

While some employers may be reluctant to hire someone whose previous employer laid off employees, others may be willing to consider applicants based on their qualifications and experience.

When addressing unemployment, a letter explaining why you left your former position could help you land a better job. You might explain that you were laid off due to budget cuts or that you had to take a lower-paying job to support yourself and your family.

You might also mention that you chose to resign to focus on education or care for a sick relative. This type of information provides context that helps explain what caused your unemployment.

Employers want to understand how applicants fit into their organization and what makes them unique.

Offer Familiar Explanation

The job market is tough. Job seekers often struggle to find employment , especially during economic downturns. To help applicants stand out, many companies ask about previous jobs, including those held outside the field of study. However, there’s no reason to go into too much detail unless the position requires a specific skill set or experience.

For example, if someone is applying for a sales role, mentioning that they worked at a nonprofit organization could be helpful. But don’t list a lengthy resume. Instead, focus on what you learned from each job and why you left. If you’re looking for a marketing manager position, mention how you improved your skills over time.

Focus on the Positive

If your most recent position was only temporary or you were laid off due to COVID, don’t downplay your achievements; highlight them on your resume.

While it might seem negative to highlight your previous employer, highlighting accomplishments will show how well you performed during your tenure there. Include those items on your resume if you received recognition, such as a promotion or commendation.

Highlighting results using metrics (numerical data speaks volumes) and keeping things positive will help you stand out among candidates. When writing about your work experience, don’t just list dates and tasks completed. Instead, use numbers to describe your performance. Emphasize Newly Acquired Skills

Another way to address unemployment on your resume and cover letter is to emphasize any newly acquired skills. If you took the time to learn new skills while you were unemployed, be sure to highlight these on your application.

This will show employers that you are committed to professional development and willing to invest in your career. In addition, emphasizing your newly acquired skills will help to offset any dates on your resume that may raise red flags for employers. By showing that you are always learning and growing, you can prove that you are the best candidate for the job.

Be Honest and Upfront

In today’s competitive hiring environment , you must present yourself honestly and openly about what happened during your career.

Don’t try to hide behind excuses if you were let go because you didn’t meet expectations or weren’t performing well enough. Be honest and upfront about why you left your previous job.

You never know when someone else is checking up on you and will find out about your history of poor performance. Include that information in your cover letter if you were fired or resigned.

Your goal is to ensure that potential employers understand how you performed in your last role and that you possess transferable skills to their organization.

Job gaps on a resume: what are they?

Employment gaps were periods during your career when you didn’t have formal employment. They can happen for many reasons, such as being out of work due to illness or injury, taking some time off to raise children, pursuing education, traveling abroad, volunteering, or working part-time.

While there’s no set number of years, you must wait between jobs. Avoiding gaps longer than three years is best.

An employment gap on a resume can make employers question whether you’re reliable, dedicated, and trustworthy. If you want to show potential employers that you’ve been able to bounce back quickly from previous challenges, you might consider explaining what you learned during your employment gap.

How to explain job gaps on your resume

How do you explain gaps in employment on your resume? If you want to get hired, you must ensure you don’t miss out on opportunities because of gaps in your work history. But how do you explain those gaps without making yourself look, like a slacker?

Here are some tips to help you explain (or hide) your gaps in employment on your resumes:

List Years Instead Of Months For Previous Positions. (e.g., “2014–2016”)

You could look unprofessional if you list the number of months you worked for each job. You might even come off as lazy. So try listing the total amount of time you spent working at each job.

I’ve Used This Method When I Had A Couple Of Small Gaps Between Jobs.

Another way to handle gaps in employment is to list the total amount of time spent at each position. However, this doesn’t always work well. Sometimes, multiple jobs are listed under one employer, and you only worked at one of those jobs during a given period.

In this case, you’ll likely have to break down the total time into smaller chunks. For example, you might write something like “2006–2007,” “2008–2009,” etc.

If you’re currently out of work, it can be tough to know how to address the issue on your resume and cover letter. But don’t worry. Our expert team is here to help.

We can guide you through what information to include and how to frame your unemployment in a positive light.

Plus, we can help ensure your resume and cover letter are polished and ready for potential employers. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you take the following steps towards finding your dream job.

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The Best Cover Letter Examples for Every Type of Job Seeker

  • November 13, 2020
  • Job Search , Resume & Cover Letters

cover letter for unemployed job seeker

We love having examples. It’s so much easier to follow a recipe, build a puzzle, or yes, even write a cover letter when you know what the end product should look like.

So that’s what we’re going to give you—all the cover letter examples and tips you need to make yours shine (we’re unfortunately not experts in recipes or puzzles).

Want to get right down to business? Skip ahead to:

Why Bother With a Cover Letter at All?

The elements of a perfect cover letter.

  • Example #1: The Traditional Cover Letter
  • Example #2: The Impact Cover Letter
  • Example #3: The Writing Sample Cover Letter
  • Example #4: The Career Change Cover Letter

Before we jump in, it’s worth emphasizing  why  cover letters still exist and are worthy of your attention. I bet when you see a job listing where one’s “optional” you gleefully submit a resume and move on. But you’re truly doing yourself a disservice by not creating one (or by writing one that’s super generic or formulaic).

When you’re writing a resume you’re oftentimes confined by space, by resume speak, by keywords—you’re up against a lot of technical requirements. Whereas in a cover letter you have an opportunity to craft a narrative that aligns you not only with the position you’re applying to but also the company you’re applying to.”

When you’re writing a resume you’re oftentimes confined by space, by resume speak, by keywords—you’re up against a lot of technical requirements, whereas in a cover letter you have an opportunity to craft a narrative that aligns you not only with the position you’re applying to but also the company you’re applying to.

It helps you explain your value proposition, stand out from the stack, and create continuity between your application and the person you’re going to be when you walk into the room. If there’s a gap in your resume, you have the opportunity to explain why it’s there. If you’re changing careers, you have the chance to describe why you’re making the switch. If your resume’s pretty dull, a cover letter helps you add personality to an otherwise straightforward career path.

Convinced? A little less worried? Maybe not sold on the idea but now know why you need to spend time on it? Either way, let’s get started—we promise this will be painless.

Let’s go back to puzzles for a second. They’re made up of bits and pieces that fit together a specific way to complete the whole, right?

Cover letters are a little like puzzles. When you put each component in its proper place (and remove any parts that don’t fit), you create a complete picture.

Every great cover letter includes the following:

An Engaging Opening Line

Not “I’m applying for [position].” Not “I’m writing to be considered for a role at [Company].” Not “Hello! How’s it going? Please hire me!”

Your opening line is everything. How you start a cover letter influences whether someone keeps reading—and you want them to, right?

Starting with something that immediately connects you to the company is essential—something that tells the company that this is not a generic cover letter. Even if your second paragraph is something that doesn’t ever change, that first intro is where you have to say something that tells the employer, ‘I wrote this just for you”.

It can be a childhood memory tying you back to the company’s mission. It can be a story about the time you fell in love with the company’s product. It can be an anecdote from another job or experience showing how hard of a worker you are. Whatever you decide to open with,  make it memorable.

A Clear Pitch

The next few paragraphs, are where you include one of two things: “If you’re someone who’s transitioning careers, and you need to explain that transition, you do it there.” But if you’re not a career changer, use this section to “hit them with the strongest results you have that are aligned with the opportunity,” . In other words, the part where you’re “selling yourself for the position and why you’re qualified for it.”

This section should have a balance of soft and hard skills. Talk about your experience using Salesforce or doing SEO work (and get those job description keywords in! More on that later), but also highlight your ability to lead teams and communicate effectively.

Companies are embracing authenticity, they’re embracing humanity, they’re looking for people who are going to fit their culture. So what are your values? What do you stand for?. These values should be as much a part of your cover letter as the nitty-gritty.

A Great Closing Line

Your closing line could include your next steps, such as “I welcome the opportunity to speak with you more about how I can contribute to [team]” or “I would love to schedule a time for us to discuss this role and my experience.”

But more importantly, “you want to make sure that you’re gracious and thanking them,”. While seemingly cliché, it never hurts to end on a simple “thank you for your consideration.”

You can, however, exclude the references upon request” line. “If an employer wants your references, you better believe they’ll ask for them.

A Few Other Cover Letter Essentials

First off—please, I beg you,  address your cover letter to a person.  No “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” People don’t talk that way, so why would they want to read it?

Secondly, keep the applicant tracking system, or ATS, in mind. This robot will be sifting through your cover letter much in the way it does with your resume, so you’ll want to scatter relevant keywords from the job description throughout your cover letter where it makes sense.

Third of all, get your contact information on there, including your name, phone number, and email (most of the time, your address and theirs is irrelevant)—and on every page, if yours goes over one.

Imagine you come across a cover letter and you print it out with a bunch of applications to review and it doesn’t have the person’s contact information on it. “You never want to put yourself in a situation where you’re the right person and they can’t find you.”

And know that the ATS can’t read crazy formatting, so keep your font and layout simple.

How to Get Started Writing a Cover Letter

Overall, says Godfred, “when you’re up against dwindling attention spans, the more concise you can be the better. Make every single word count.”

To get started, she always suggests that her clients do a “brain dump.” Once you just get your ideas onto the page, then “ask yourself how you can cut half of it.” Through this process, “you’ll find that those very generic phrases oftentimes are the first to go,” she says. You only have so much space to get your point across, so focus on the information that isn’t stated elsewhere rather than simply regurgitating your resume.

This can feel like a lot to do on one cover letter, let alone several, so Kahn likes to remind his clients that quality comes first. Target the jobs you’re most closely drawn to and qualified for and give them all your energy, rather than try to churn out hundreds of cover letters. You may not be able to apply to as many jobs, but you’re guaranteed to have better results in terms of response rate.

Cover Letters Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Whether you’re writing a cover letter for a data scientist or executive assistant position, an internship or a senior-level role, a startup or a  Fortune  500 company, you’re going to want to tailor it to the role, company, and culture (not to mention, the job description).

Don’t fret! We’ve got examples of the four basic types of cover letters below: a  traditional cover letter , an  impact cover letter , a  writing sample cover letter , and a  career change cover letter . We’ve also included the exact job descriptions they’re written for—to help inspire you to tailor yours to a specific position.

One note before you read on: There’s a difference between your cover letter and the email you send with your application. If you’re not sure whether to copy and paste your letter into your email or attach it as a document, a common practice is to pick either/or, not both.

Example #1The Traditional Cover Letter

A traditional cover letter, is, as you guessed it, based on your average cover letter template. You’ll most likely write this version if you’re applying to a very traditional company (like a law firm or major healthcare company) or a very traditional role (like a lawyer or accountant), or when you’re just looking to lean more conservative and safe.

The Job Description

Let’s say you’re applying to a  paralegal  job opening. The job description might look something like this:


  • Draft routine legal documents for review and use by attorneys
  • Coordinate and organize materials and presentations for board meetings
  • Research legal and related business issues and report findings and conclusions to team
  • Provide overall legal administrative support of the legal team
  • Maintain calendars and ensure timely filings


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent of relevant education and work experience
  • Strong communication skills (oral and written)
  • Strong organizational, multitasking, and prioritizing skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Trustworthy, positive, energetic, and optimistic attitude with a willingness to roll up your sleeves

The Cover Letter Example

Under the constraints of keeping things strictly professional, here’s what you could write without sounding too boring or jargon-y:

Dear Ms. Jessica Tilman,

In my five-year career as a paralegal, I have honed my legal research and writing skills, and the attorneys I’ve worked with have complimented me on my command of case law and litigation support. Spiegel Law Firm’s 20 years in practice proves that the firm has strong values and excellent attorneys, which is why I want to be a part of the Spiegel Law Firm team.

I currently serve as a paralegal for Chandler LLC, where I work closely with the partners on a number of high-priority cases. During my time here, I implemented a new calendar system that ensures timely filing of court papers. This system has prevented missed deadlines and allowed for better organization of internal and client meetings.

Previously, as a paralegal for the Neuerburg Law Firm, I received praise for my overall support of the legal team and my positive attitude.

My further qualifications include a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, a paralegal certificate, and training in LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Microsoft Office Suite.

I would love the opportunity to discuss how I can contribute to your legal team. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, Chase Broadstein [email protected] (222) 222-2222

Why This Works

It’s short, sweet, and to the point. It shows both a knack for getting things done in a thorough and timely matter and an energy for helping out wherever it’s needed. They also toss some important keywords in there:  implemented a new calendar system,   My further qualifications include a Bachelor’s Degree…,   training in LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Microsoft Office Suite…

Finally, it expresses a genuine interest in this specific firm in its opening lines.

Example #2The Impact Cover Letter

The impact cover letter works best for roles where you’re expected to deliver on certain goals or results. Maybe you’re in sales and the job calls for hitting a certain quota each quarter. Or maybe you’re an event planner looking to show you can run X number of conferences or create Y number of marketing campaigns. The key for this, then, will be to put your accomplishments front and center.

You’ve come across an opening for an  email marketing manager . The job description states the following:

  • Manage email marketing strategy and calendar, including copywriting, optimization, monitoring, reporting, and analysis of campaigns
  • Improve campaign success through conversion optimization, A/B testing, and running experiments
  • Measure and report on performance of campaigns, assessing against goals
  • Collaborate with the design team to determine content strategy and ensure brand guidelines are followed in emails
  • Partner and collaborate cross-functionally with sales, product, product marketing, and data teams
  • 3+ years in email marketing or equivalent field
  • Experience with Google Analytics, HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, and SEO a plus
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written) and an eye for copyediting
  • Team player with strong interpersonal, relationship-building, and stakeholder management skills
  • Excellent project management, problem solving, and time management skills, with the ability to multitask effectively

Your personality can shine more directly through this kind of cover letter, but you’ll want to make sure your hard skills and successes stand out:

Dear Russ Roman,

I have a problem. See, my inbox currently (and embarrassingly) hosts 1,500 unread emails—including newsletters from at least 50 different brands.

But this problem only fuels my passion for creating emails that are worth opening. Because from my perspective, as someone who can barely get through their own stack of mail, that’s a true win.

I’ve been following Vitabe for years, and can proudly say that I open every single email you send to me. I’m a sucker for a good subject line—“Take a Vitamin-ute—We’ll A-B-C You Soon” being my favorite—and the way your email content feels both fun and expert-backed really speaks to me. This is why I’m thrilled to submit my application for a role as email marketing manager at your company.

I have over four years of experience working in the email marketing space. In my current role at Westside Bank, I was able to implement new email campaigns centered around reengaging churned clients. By analyzing data around the types of clients who churn and the engagement of our current email subscribers, as well as A/B testing headlines and newsletter layouts, we were able to increase email subscribers by 15% and convert 30% of those subscribers to purchase our product, a significant increase from the previous year. I also launched a “Your Credit Matters” newsletter focused on educating our clients on how they spend and manage their credit—which became our highest performing campaign in terms of open-rates and click-through to date.

Previously, as a member of the marketing team at Dream Diary Mattresses, I collaborated with the sales and product team to understand how I could best support them in hitting their quarterly goals. One specific project involving creating personalized emails for customers drew more people to come back to our site after 30 days than direct paid ad campaigns, leading to a 112% increase in revenue from the last quarter.

I take the content I write and the calendars I manage seriously, editing and refining to the point beyond being detail-oriented into scary territory, and I feel my experience and drive would greatly help Vitabe further develop their email program for success.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Lad Miller [email protected] (987) 654-3210

This sample cover letter concisely highlights the person’s significant achievements and ties them back to the job description. By adding context to how their projects were created, monitored, and completed, they’re able to show just how results-driven they are.

One thing worth noting: This person didn’t include skills such as Google Analytics, HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, and SEO—all of which are listed in the job description. The reason they decided not to was simply because those skills are most likely in their resume, and they wanted to use the space they had to discuss specific projects and tell a story not visible on other parts of their application.

infographic of cover letter example impact cover letter

Example #3The Writing Sample Cover Letter

Often for roles where communication is king, such as PR, copyediting, or reporting, your cover letter will either substitute for or complement your writing samples. So it’s just as important to write eloquently as it is to showcase your skill set.

Let’s take the example of a  staff writer  position. The requirements might include the following:

  • Pitch and write editorial content and collaborate with teams to report on timely issues and trends
  • Evaluate content performance and digital trends on a daily basis to constantly adjust pitches and packaging
  • Utilize CMS tools, strategically select photos and videos, and request original graphics to optimize all written content for maximum engagement
  • At least 2-3 years of experience creating content at a digital-first outlet
  • Strong writing and reporting skills, and the ability to write clearly and quickly
  • Familiarity with working in a CMS and with analytics tools such as Google Analytics
  • Deadline-driven, strategic thinker with a knack for crafting click-y headlines
  • Strong collaborator who thrives in fast-paced environments

Have fun with this one, but make sure you’ve tripled-checked for spelling and grammar mistakes, and are showing off your best writing tactics:

Dear Mr. Kolsh,

Since I could walk, I’ve been dancing. And since I could read, I’ve been glued to Arabesque Weekly.

At one point, you featured one of my local heros—a ballerina who struggled with an injury early in her career and went on to become a principal at Pacific Northwest Ballet—and I plastered the article above my childhood bed. It’s still there today.

Of course, I never became a star myself, but it was that article and so many others you’ve published that taught me that dancing was about more than just pirouettes and arabesques (sorry, I had to)—and that the right kind of writer can shed light on aspects of the art that make it surprising, impactful, and universal. I can be that writer.

As an editorial assistant for The Improv Group for the past two and a half years, my main responsibility was to get all of our content ready to go live. This included a final round of proofreading, adding in HTML where necessary, fact-checking, and finding photos, videos, and GIFs that would complement the content and optimize audience engagement. As I tinkered with each post, I became intimately familiar with our internal CMS and what makes a piece perfect.

But, by far, my favorite aspect of this role has been writing. Each week, I pitch and write at least one article, from 250-word news items to 900-word advice pieces to even longer personal essays. I love the challenge of developing pitches that align with the trends we see in the data, fit in with the company’s brand and mission, and allow me to flex my creative muscles.

Collaborating with my team to form the best content library we can has been a dream come true. I am ready to use my experience to help Arabesque Weekly achieve all its big and small goals. And I hope to one day write a story that another child tapes to their wall forever.

It would be an honor to be a part of your editorial team, and I look forward to the possibility of discussing the opportunity with you.

Hoping to be your next staff writer, Marlee Wood [email protected] (555) 666-4433

This candidate is clearly passionate about this specific publication and leads with a unique personal anecdote tied to the company’s mission and further showing their ability to tell stories in a compelling way. There are relevant keywords and phrases, sure, but they’re not just thrown in there. Every sentence carries a specific voice, proving this person knows how to communicate effectively.

Example #4The Career Change Cover Letter

Like I said earlier, cover letters can play a big part in helping career changers prove their worth—especially when it’s unclear how your skills transfer over to this new field.

Writing a career change cover letter requires a bit more strategy. You’ll want to highlight the obvious transferable skills you have that relate to the job description, but you’ll also want to draw a line between experiences you’ve had in the past and responsibilities you might have in this new role. Finally, you’ll want to explain, if not emphasize, why you’re making the switch and what’s driving you toward this specific industry, company, or position.

Let’s say you’re someone who has experience supporting a sales team as an administrative assistant, and you’re now looking to become a  sales representative . You come across the following job posting:

  • Develop new sales techniques and strategies to build pipeline and hit team goals
  • Coordinate with other teams to increase lead generation efforts
  • Assist in the processing of new business, including contacting customers to finalize sales and service transactions
  • 1-3 years of successful sales experience
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment
  • Ability to work independently to plan, set priorities, and effectively organize work
  • Proven ability to be persuasive, persistent, and confident in closing a sale

Here’s how you might translate your past experience over to this new (and exciting) prospect:

Dear Maria Ross,

The head of sales at Sunshine Inc. was in a bind. She needed six client meetings scheduled, 18 service transactions processed, and a summary of the team’s new lead generation campaign drafted before getting on a flight to Austin—in three hours. So, she turned to her cool-headed, sales-savvy administrative assistant for help. That assistant was me. Not only did I execute everything on her to-do list, I did it all before her plane left the ground.

For three years, I worked in lockstep with a busy, growth-oriented sales leader to support the business development team. As the sole administrative assistant in the department, I balanced a swath of competing priorities, ranging from data entry and meeting coordination to contacting customers, finalizing transactions, and creating promotional materials. This role helped me to develop a comprehensive understanding of the sales cycle, sales strategy, and pipeline growth.

Like many others, my career path hasn’t been entirely straightforward. After leaving Crabapple Media, I enrolled in a local coding training program. Six months later, I emerged with a certificate in computer programming and a certainty that I did not want to be a coder. But education is never wasted. I’m now an aspiring sales representative with experience supporting a thriving sales team and extensive knowledge of the tech space.

Here’s a little bit more about how my experience would translate into this role:

  • At Crabapple Media, I assisted in coordinating three annual sales strategy rollouts, each yielding a 26% increase in pipeline YoY.
  • At Sunshine Inc., I supported 12 independent team members in their lead generation efforts. I also assisted in processing an average of 300 sales transactions every quarter.
  • I thrive in busy, ever-changing environments that require me to communicate clearly and concisely. Supporting a high-volume team and a busy executive helped me to hone these skills—I typically sent more than 200 emails a day!

I would, of course, love to schedule a time for us to discuss this role and my experience, and I truly want to thank you for considering me.

All the best, Jaclyne Dean [email protected] (123) 456-789

The opener draws you in, leading you to want to learn more. It toots the person’s horn, but in a way that’s traceable. Then, the next couple sections explain both their experience in the sales space and in roles before, eventually tying that back to why they’re applying to this specific job. Similar to the impact cover letter, the author lists some of the more important qualities they bring to the table, doing a bit of keyword stuffing and resume gap explaining along the way.

Hopefully these cover letter examples help as you go to tackle your own. Remember: This is just one small step in the process! Take your time, but learn to move on when you’ve given it you’re all.

To further guide you, read some of the best cover letters we’ve ever encountered and check out this cover letter template.

And, don’t forget to edit! Read about how to cut a cover letter down to one page (because any longer and no one’s reading), plus everything you should double-check before pressing submit.


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How to write a great cover letter in 2024: tips and structure


A cover letter is a personalized letter that introduces you to a potential employer, highlights your qualifications, and explains why you're a strong fit for a specific job.

Hate or love them, these brief documents allow job seekers to make an impression and stand out from the pile of other applications. Penning a thoughtful cover letter shows the hiring team you care about earning the position.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to write a cover letter — and a great one, at that.

What is a cover letter and why does it matter?

A professional cover letter is a one-page document you submit alongside your CV or resume as part of a job application. Typically, they’re about half a page or around 150–300 words.

An effective cover letter doesn’t just rehash your CV; it’s your chance to highlight your proudest moments, explain why you want the job, and state plainly what you bring to the table.

Show the reviewer you’re likable, talented, and will add to the company’s culture . You can refer to previous jobs and other information from your CV, but only if it helps tell a story about you and your career choices .

What 3 things should you include in a cover letter?

A well-crafted cover letter can help you stand out to potential employers. To make your cover letter shine, here are three key elements to include:

1. Personalization

Address the hiring manager or recruiter by name whenever possible. If the job posting doesn't include a name, research to find out who will be reviewing applications. Personalizing your cover letter shows that you've taken the time to tailor your application to the specific company and role.

2. Highlight relevant achievements and skills

Emphasize your most relevant skills , experiences, and accomplishments that directly relate to the job you're applying for. Provide specific examples of how your skills have benefited previous employers and how they can contribute to the prospective employer's success. Use quantifiable achievements , such as improved efficiency, cost savings, or project success, to demonstrate your impact.

3. Show enthusiasm and fit

Express your enthusiasm for the company and the position you're applying for. Explain why you are interested in this role and believe you are a good fit for the organization. Mention how your values, goals, and skills align with the company's mission and culture. Demonstrating that you've done your research can make a significant impression.

What do hiring managers look for in a cover letter?

Employers look for several key elements in a cover letter. These include:

Employers want to see that your cover letter is specifically tailored to the position you are applying for. It should demonstrate how your skills, experiences, and qualifications align with the job requirements.

Clear and concise writing

A well-written cover letter is concise, easy to read, and error-free. Employers appreciate clear and effective communication skills , so make sure your cover letter showcases your ability to express yourself effectively.

Demonstrated knowledge of the company

Employers want to see that you are genuinely interested in their organization. Mention specific details about the company, such as recent achievements or projects, to show that you are enthusiastic about joining their team.

Achievements and accomplishments

Highlight your relevant achievements and accomplishments that demonstrate your qualifications for the position. Use specific examples to showcase your skills and show how they can benefit the employer.

Enthusiasm and motivation

Employers want to hire candidates who are excited about the opportunity and motivated to contribute to the company's success. Express your enthusiasm and passion for the role and explain why you are interested in working for the company.


A cover letter should be professional in tone and presentation. Use formal language, address the hiring manager appropriately, and follow standard business letter formatting.


How do you structure a cover letter?

A well-structured cover letter follows a specific format that makes it easy for the reader to understand your qualifications and enthusiasm for the position. Here's a typical structure for a cover letter:

Contact information

Include your name, address, phone number, and email address at the top of the letter. Place your contact information at the beginning so that it's easy for the employer to reach you.

Employer's contact information

Opening paragraph, middle paragraph(s), closing paragraph, complimentary close, additional contact information.

Repeat your contact information (name, phone number, and email) at the end of the letter, just in case the employer needs it for quick reference.

Remember to keep your cover letter concise and focused. It should typically be no more than one page in length. Proofread your letter carefully to ensure it is free from spelling and grammatical errors. Tailor each cover letter to the specific job application to make it as relevant and impactful as possible.

How to write a good cover letter (with examples)

The best letters are unique, tailored to the job description, and written in your voice — but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a job cover letter template.

Great cover letters contain the same basic elements and flow a certain way. Take a look at this cover letter structure for ref erence while you construct your own.

1. Add a header and contact information

While reading your cover letter, the recruiter shouldn’t have to look far to find who wrote it. Your document should include a basic heading with the following information:

  • Pronouns (optional)
  • Location (optional)
  • Email address
  • Phone number (optional)
  • Relevant links, such as your LinkedIn profile , portfolio, or personal website (optional)

You can pull this information directly from your CV. Put it together, and it will look something like this:

Christopher Pike

San Francisco, California

[email protected]

Alternatively, if the posting asks you to submit your cover letter in the body of an email, you can include this information in your signature. For example:

Warm regards,

Catherine Janeway

Bloomington, Indiana

[email protected]

(555) 999 - 2222


2. Include a personal greeting

Always begin your cover letter by addressing the hiring manager — preferably by name. You can use the person’s first and last name. Make sure to include a relevant title, like Dr., Mr., or Ms. For example, “Dear Mr. John Doe.”

Avoid generic openings like “To whom it may concern,” “Dear sir or madam,” or “Dear hiring manager.” These introductions sound impersonal — like you’re copy-pasting cover letters — and can work against you in the hiring process.

Be careful, though. When using someone’s name, you don’t want to use the wrong title or accidentally misgender someone. If in doubt, using only their name is enough. You could also opt for a gender-neutral title, like Mx.

Make sure you’re addressing the right person in your letter — ideally, the person who’s making the final hiring decision. This isn’t always specified in the job posting, so you may have to do some research to learn the name of the hiring manager.

3. Draw them in with an opening story

The opening paragraph of your cover letter should hook the reader. You want it to be memorable, conversational, and extremely relevant to the job you’re pursuing. 

There’s no need for a personal introduction — you’ve already included your name in the heading. But you should make reference to the job you’re applying for. A simple “Thank you for considering my application for the role of [job title] at [company],” will suffice.

Then you can get into the “Why” of your job application. Drive home what makes this specific job and this company so appealing to you. Perhaps you’re a fan of their products, you’re passionate about their mission, or you love their brand voice. Whatever the case, this section is where you share your enthusiasm for the role.

Here’s an example opening paragraph. In this scenario, you’re applying for a digital marketing role at a bicycle company:

“Dear Mr. John Doe,

Thank you for considering my application for the role of Marketing Coordinator at Bits n’ Bikes.

My parents bought my first bike at one of your stores. I’ll never forget the freedom I felt when I learned to ride it. My father removed my training wheels, and my mom sent me barrelling down the street. You provide joy to families across the country — and I want to be part of that.”

4. Emphasize why you’re best for the job

Your next paragraphs should be focused on the role you’re applying to. Highlight your skill set and why you’re a good fit for the needs and expectations associated with the position. Hiring managers want to know what you’ll bring to the job, not just any role.

Start by studying the job description for hints. What problem are they trying to solve with this hire? What skills and qualifications do they mention first or more than once? These are indicators of what’s important to the hiring manager.

Search for details that match your experience and interests. For example, if you’re excited about a fast-paced job in public relations, you might look for these elements in a posting:

  • They want someone who can write social media posts and blog content on tight deadlines
  • They value collaboration and input from every team member
  • They need a planner who can come up with strong PR strategies

Highlight how you fulfill these requirements:

“I’ve always been a strong writer. From blog posts to social media, my content pulls in readers and drives traffic to product pages. For example, when I worked at Bits n’ Bikes, I developed a strategic blog series about bike maintenance that increased our sales of spare parts and tools by 50% — we could see it in our web metrics.

Thanks to the input of all of our team members, including our bike mechanics, my content delivered results.”

5. End with a strong closing paragraph and sign off gracefully

Your closing paragraph is your final chance to hammer home your enthusiasm about the role and your unique ability to fill it. Reiterate the main points you explained in the body paragraphs and remind the reader of what you bring to the table.

You can also use the end of your letter to relay other important details, like whether you’re willing to relocate for the job.

When choosing a sign-off, opt for a phrase that sounds professional and genuine. Reliable options include “Sincerely” and “Kind regards.”

Here’s a strong closing statement for you to consider:

“I believe my enthusiasm, skills, and work experience as a PR professional will serve Bits n’ Bikes very well. I would love to meet to further discuss my value-add as your next Director of Public Relations. Thank you for your consideration. I hope we speak soon.


Tips to write a great cover letter that compliments your resume

When writing your own letter, try not to copy the example excerpts word-for-word. Instead, use this cover letter structure as a baseline to organize your ideas. Then, as you’re writing, use these extra cover letter tips to add your personal touch:

  • Keep your cover letter different from your resume : Your cover letter should not duplicate the information on your resume. Instead, it should provide context and explanations for key points in your resume, emphasizing how your qualifications match the specific job you're applying for.
  • Customize your cover letter . Tailor your cover letter for each job application. Address the specific needs of the company and the job posting, demonstrating that you've done your homework and understand their requirements.
  • Show enthusiasm and fit . Express your enthusiasm for the company and position in the cover letter. Explain why you are interested in working for this company and how your values, goals, and skills align with their mission and culture.
  • Use keywords . Incorporate keywords from the job description and industry terms in your cover letter. This can help your application pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS) and demonstrate that you're well-versed in the field.
  • Keep it concise . Your cover letter should be succinct and to the point, typically no more than one page. Focus on the most compelling qualifications and experiences that directly support your application.
  • Be professional . Maintain a professional tone and structure in your cover letter. Proofread it carefully to ensure there are no errors.
  • Address any gaps or concerns . If there are gaps or concerns in your resume, such as employment gaps or a change in career direction, briefly address them in your cover letter. Explain any relevant circumstances and how they have shaped your qualifications and determination.
  • Provide a call to action . Conclude your cover letter with a call to action, inviting the employer to contact you for further discussion. Mention that you've attached your resume for their reference.
  • Follow the correct format . Use a standard cover letter format like the one above, including your contact information, a formal salutation, introductory and closing paragraphs, and your signature. Ensure that it complements your resume without redundancy.
  • Pick the right voice and tone . Try to write like yourself, but adapt to the tone and voice of the company. Look at the job listing, company website, and social media posts. Do they sound fun and quirky, stoic and professional, or somewhere in-between? This guides your writing style.
  • Tell your story . You’re an individual with unique expertise, motivators, and years of experience. Tie the pieces together with a great story. Introduce how you arrived at this point in your career, where you hope to go , and how this prospective company fits in your journey. You can also explain any career changes in your resume.
  • Show, don’t tell . Anyone can say they’re a problem solver. Why should a recruiter take their word for it if they don’t back it up with examples? Instead of naming your skills, show them in action. Describe situations where you rose to the task, and quantify your success when you can.
  • Be honest . Avoid highlighting skills you don’t have. This will backfire if they ask you about them in an interview. Instead, shift focus to the ways in which you stand out.
  • Avoid clichés and bullet points . These are signs of lazy writing. Do your best to be original from the first paragraph to the final one. This highlights your individuality and demonstrates the care you put into the letter.
  • Proofread . Always spellcheck your cover letter. Look for typos, grammatical errors, and proper flow. We suggest reading it out loud. If it sounds natural rolling off the tongue, it will read naturally as well.


Common cover letter writing FAQs

How long should a cover letter be.

A cover letter should generally be concise and to the point. It is recommended to keep it to one page or less, focusing on the most relevant information that highlights your qualifications and fits the job requirements.

Should I include personal information in a cover letter?

While it's important to introduce yourself and provide your contact information, avoid including personal details such as your age, marital status, or unrelated hobbies. Instead, focus on presenting your professional qualifications and aligning them with the job requirements.

Can I use the same cover letter for multiple job applications?

While it may be tempting to reuse a cover letter, it is best to tailor each cover letter to the specific job you are applying for. This allows you to highlight why you are a good fit for that particular role and show genuine interest in the company.

Do I need to address my cover letter to a specific person?

Whenever possible, it is advisable to address your cover letter to a specific person, such as the hiring manager or recruiter. If the job posting does not provide this information, try to research and find the appropriate contact. If all else fails, you can use a generic salutation such as "Dear Hiring Manager."

Should I include references in my cover letter?

It is generally not necessary to include references in your cover letter. Save this information for when the employer explicitly requests it. Instead, focus on showcasing your qualifications and achievements that make you a strong candidate for the position.

It’s time to start writing your stand-out cover letter

The hardest part of writing is getting started. 

Hopefully, our tips gave you some jumping-off points and confidence . But if you’re really stuck, looking at cover letter examples and resume templates will help you decide where to get started. 

There are numerous sample cover letters available online. Just remember that you’re a unique, well-rounded person, and your cover letter should reflect that. Using our structure, you can tell your story while highlighting your passion for the role. 

Doing your research, including strong examples of your skills, and being courteous is how to write a strong cover letter. Take a breath , flex your fingers, and get typing. Before you know it, your job search will lead to a job interview.

If you want more personalized guidance, a specialized career coach can help review, edit, and guide you through creating a great cover letter that sticks.

Ace your job search

Explore effective job search techniques, interview strategies, and ways to overcome job-related challenges. Our coaches specialize in helping you land your dream job.

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

3 cover letter examples to help you catch a hiring manager’s attention

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Unemployed? Put Your Cover Letter to Work

Don't let time away from the workforce prevent you from writing a good cover letter.

For many of us, writing a cover letter is about as fun as having a root canal or being audited by the IRS. Add a period of unemployment to the mix, and the task can seem downright daunting. Don't let time away from the workforce prevent you from writing a good cover letter. Try these expert tips.

Keep It Positive

The purpose of a cover letter is to pique employers' interest so they want to interview you. "Talking about unemployment is a downer, and job candidates should only provide information that enhances their value to an employer and makes a compelling case for an interview," said Linsey Levine, a licensed counselor and president of CareerCounsel, based in Ossining, New York.

Sue Campbell, president of resume-writing firm 1st-Writer.com, agrees that the cover letter should emphasize the job seeker's strongest qualifications. "Focus on what you can contribute and how this contribution will benefit the employer," Campbell said.

Address relevant skills, abilities, education and experience that will enable you to provide exemplary work, she adds, not extraneous information about your unemployment. (See our sample cover letter for an unemployed job seeker.)

Fill the Gap

If you've been sitting idle at home when you could have been engaged in career-related activities, it's time to spring into action.

"Job hunters with big gaps of unemployment should demonstrate what they did to be productive while they were not working," said Nancy Friedberg, a career coach with Career Leverage in New York City.

Friedberg coaches her clients to remain active and keep their skills fresh during periods of unemployment. "If you have done nothing career-related during your unemployment, start today," she said.

Friedberg suggests volunteering, going back to school, securing freelance or part-time work, assuming leadership roles in charitable organizations or becoming active in your professional organization. "Every activity you undertake requires a skill, whether you are paid or not," she said.

Be Honest But Don't Overshare

Millions of people have lost their jobs recently, and employment gaps no longer carry the stigma they once did. It's not necessary to explain a few months of unemployment due to circumstances beyond your control, such as a layoff.

However, it is a good idea to account for longer-term unemployment. Trisha Scudder, president of New York City-based Executive Coaching Group, coaches her clients to deal with the gap and avoid making excuses.

"The bottom line is that there's a gap," she said. "You can't hide it. Tell it straight and don't make apologies. Show the interviewer how this makes you a more attractive candidate."

For example, she suggests adding a line to your cover letter, saying something like: "Returning to full-time employment after caring for an ill family member, I am eager to contribute my 15 years' experience in (career field) to benefit your company."

Campbell also offers verbiage to help explain unemployment: "Since leaving my last employer, I have been completing intensive training in ____," or "I have been contributing my time and talents to the successful advancement of Charitable Organization while actively seeking a full-time position with a leading company such as yours."

Scudder advises job seekers not to provide too much information about the unemployment.

"Don't let this gap distract you from the primary purpose of the cover letter -- demonstrating what you could do for the organization if hired," she said.

Use Your Judgment

However, sometimes special circumstances can work to your advantage. Scudder suggests thinking about how the unemployment could make you a better employee. "For example, did it inspire you to move to a new industry or career? If you took on freelance work, did it teach you the value of retaining clients?" she said.

Friedberg had a client who was diagnosed with cancer and missed an entire year of employment after graduation. "In his cover letters, he confidently and honestly wrote about his cancer," she said. "He explained that he doubled up on classes in between chemotherapy treatments in order to graduate and sat for the first part of the CPA exam. An accounting firm was so impressed that they called him in for a series of interviews and hired him based on his character, his can-do attitude and his perseverance."

Focus on Your Strengths

Whether your time off has been because of a layoff, job termination, illness, care of sick relatives, child care, a sabbatical or any other reason, the purpose of a cover letter -- to generate a call for an interview -- remains the same.

"If job seekers can draw a correlation between what they offer and how they will benefit the employer, then the cover letter should achieve some real success," Campbell said.

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Cover Letters

Cover Letters

Cover letters, like resumes must be targeted for each position you seek or contact you make. Deciding what to put in the letter remains tricky since you do not want to repeat your entire resume, yet you will want to make a strong case for a company to, in fact, look at your skills and experience to see if they fit any open positions.

Cover letters and emails are employed in a variety of circumstances, ranging from applying for advertised jobs to serving as a "letter of introduction" to companies where you want to work, requesting networking leads or informational interviews. The targeted audience may be different, but the general approach remains the same.

Cover Letter Audiences

Cover letters serve different readers. Typically, cover letters are targeted at specific job openings in a company. These "application" letters match your qualifications to a position's advertised requirements.

Another variation, the "prospecting" letter, is used to contact employers who haven't advertised or published job openings. You may have cold-called a company and gotten the name of someone you want to contact with a letter, resume and follow-up call. These letters call for describing your skills and matching them to the perceived needs of the employer based on your research.

The "networking" letter, in contrast, first refers to the person who gave you the referral before asking for an informational interview or, in the case of an opening, consideration for the position. It's fine to ask in a networking letter for recipients to share more contacts at other companies if they're willing.

Whenever you use any of these letters remember to include a second attachment - your resume.

Tips for Writing Strong Cover Letters

Printed Cover Letters : Use a standard business letter format. Below your name and address - or masthead - will be the date, followed by an empty line, then the recipient's name and title, street address, city, state and ZIP code.

Email Cover Letters : Subject line - use the exact job title and any position reference numbers that are often included in job openings followed by a dash and your first and last name. Make sure that your document name matches the name you put in the subject line. Sign your email with a professional closing.

Address a Person : Always address the letter to a specific person by name and title. Even if responding to a job that states "no phone calls" consider calling to politely ask the name of the hiring authority or search through your LinkedIn network to see if one of your contacts knows the name of the hiring authority. You may not always be able to identify the name of a specific person. In this case, send the letter to the title of the recipient (Production Manager, Maintenance Supervisor, Office Manager, Human Resources or Search Committee).

State Your Intent : In general, your letter should state your interest in the job. In the case of a letter of introduction, simply state you would like to work for the company. Use the first paragraph to express your energy, enthusiasm, skills, education and work experience that could contribute to the company's success. Use the second and third paragraphs, or a list of bullet points, that exhibit your talents, experience and achievements. These can be brief summaries of what you illuminate in greater detail in your attached resume.

The T Formation : Consider the "T" letter format, which first names the specific requirements an employer has asked for in the job posting and your corresponding qualifications. If you have collected a list of likely qualifications for the positions you seek, you can do the same thing. The strategy might look like the following. An advertised position asks for experience managing, writing, marketing and accounting. You could in the middle section match your skill set to those abilities, as in the following example:

Managing : Supervised a department of 10 employees at Marketing Inc. in Minneapolis for five years that won three national awards.

Writing : Crafted more than 150 brochures and print ads, including several that won national awards.

Marketing : Led a total of 12 campaigns integrating social media, print, Web, and radio for three different clients over the past three years.

Accounting : Completed several financial classes toward an MBA and understand major accounting software systems.

The Final Paragraph : Use the final paragraph to mention you will make a follow-up call within a week, perhaps within a few days, to confirm the document has been received and to ask for an interview. Thank the person for taking the time to read your letter. Use a formal, professional closing.

One More Look : Be sure to proofread your letter to check content, grammar and spelling, and ask someone else to have a look, too. Sign printed cover letters in blue or black ink. In writing the letters, avoid appearing too familiar, overbearing, humorous or cute. Avoid starting too many sentences or bullet points with "I" if possible. Keep sentences short and to the point. The entire letter should be one page composed of three to five paragraphs. Remember, your resume will fill in details.

Mail First Class : Skip business class envelopes and use 8 1/2" x 11" mailers so you don't have to bother folding your letter and resume. A larger envelope keeps the documents flat and crisp and will be worth the extra cost.


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Writing Cover Letters, Thank You Notes, Emails and Letters Quick Guide

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Cover letter templates

Impress employers with a perfectly designed cover letter.

Introduce your resume with a little color without distracting from the purpose.


Basic cover letter format with a strong heading makes for an ideal introduction.

A representation with just enough vertical color to highlight personal information.

Bold colors line the top while a subtle background balances the look.

Easy to create with a classy, sophisticated look, start your application off right.

A modern approach to a cover letter complete with bold color, shapes and design.

Incorporate color and vertical columns with this casual cover letter template.

A colored heading to highlight personal information, and a basic letter outline.

A basic template with minimal shape and color for a little dimension.

Keep things simple with this straightforward cover letter template.

Bold and creative look with an easy-to-follow overview of your skills and experience.

Easy to read yet powerful cover letter template to showcase your experience and background.

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Home » Covering Letters » Unemployed Cover Letter Example

Unemployed Cover Letter Example

By Guest Author

Unemployed Cover Letter example can be used for your job applications. Amend it as suitable and use it for free.

Covering letter for a unemployed job seeker.

Be the first applicant to be called for an interview with your CV accompanied by the best cover letters you can ever write. Writing an effective and powerful cover letter can be tedious and boring at times. However, practice can make you a perfect candidate for the job you are applying for. Take serious efforts in learning how to write a good letter and CV for your own sake. There are best cover letters that you can see but personalising them and making them your ticket for the job interviews takes a lot of efforts and serious study. For one,a good resume cannot stand alone;hence,it needs the help of a good cover letter to hold the interest of the reader. He/she may or may not check further the details you have provided in the CV.

The best cover letters can stand alone because they already summarise your CV. Simply put,the letter must have the right format and well organised thoughts. The highlights you have written in the letter reveal your personality and must therefore speak of your qualities as required of the job. Most employers do not have the luxury of time to read long letters and CVs. If you are able to capsulise your skills, experience and abilities relevant to the position you are applying for, chances that you have held the interest of your reader are high. To write best cover letters – refer to the qualities and job requirements that the company is looking for from the candidate. You can briefly indicate your qualifications in each specific requirement. The resume’s goal is to back up your cover letter.

There are several approaches in writing letters but you have to take into account the qualities that make up the best cover letters. Your letter must be able to convince the employer that you are the fittest person for the job by being relevant to the position. It should be able to explain briefly your skills and experiences/training to match the job requirement. Employers are only interested in applicants who meet the requirements and who can be an asset to the company because they know what they can get from you and not what you get from them.

Mrs Janine Brown 1 The House Something Street Anytown AB12 3ZY Mrs H Stanley

SuperBig Department Stores 22 The Square Townland

Dear Mrs Stanley

I am writing to express my interest in working for your store as a Purchasing Assistant, as advertised.

I am currently unemployed, although I am extremely keen to get back to work as soon as possible. In my previous job, I worked as a junior procurement assistant, which involved me working as part of the purchasing team for a large store like yourselves. I was also responsible for managing invoices and communicating them to the Accounts Department for payment.

I have a diploma in Business Management through The Big University, as well as familiarity with the role you need to fill. I am also very organised and have outstanding communication skills, which is essential when negotiating purchases with clients. My skills and qualifications are detailed further in the attached copy of my CV for your perusal at your earliest convenience.

Should you wish to interview me, I can be available within just a few days and I can provide references at the time of interview should they be required. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kindest regards

Janine Brown

Unemployed Cover Letter Example

Reader Interactions

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October 30, 2018 at 10:51 am

Make sure you don’t sound like you’re unemployed because you’re unemployable or lazy.

Two types of people look for jobs: those who are unemployed and those who are looking to change from one job to another.

You could explain why you’re unemployed. If you’ve left a job, don’t make it sound like it was because you can’t stick at anything. If you were sacked, you don’t stand a very good chance of being favoured, unfortunately, but just don’t make yourself sound like a terrible person to employ.

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Cover Letters Tips for Older Job Seekers

cover letter for unemployed job seeker

Discrimination Against Older Workers

Age-proof your cover letters, cover letter tips for older job seekers, review a cover letter example.

Applying to jobs when you're in your 50s, 60s, or beyond brings with it some unique challenges. Sure, you have plenty of experience. But hiring managers don't necessarily see all those years on the job as an asset. They may believe seasoned, mature candidates will expect more money or responsibility, struggle to work with a younger manager, or lack up-to-date skills.

And while the Age Discrimination Act in Employment Act means that discriminating against older employee and job candidates is illegal, we hear from many unemployed job seekers who feel that their age is an issue.   They say things like:

  • I have learned that age does matter in employment.
  • My age seems to be my biggest enemy.
  • I think my age is my downfall right now.

It's true—despite legal protections, being considered an older job seeker can hinder your chances of finding employment. However, there are ways you can age-proof your resume and address age issues when writing cover letters. Review these cover letter writing tips for older job seekers to help market your candidacy effectively to employers.

Key Takeaways

Pay Attention to Word Choice: It's essential that your cover letter does not look old-fashioned. Watch for dated language, too. Your word choices can potentially make you seem older or younger than your actual age.

Keep It Snappy: Favor short, snappy sentences over longer, more complex syntax. Consider having a younger professional—preferably in your industry—read through your cover letter to make sure your phrasing doesn't date you.

Don't Promote Your Age: Avoid terms like “seasoned professional,” “a wealth of experience,” “worked for many years,” or anything similar. There's no need to highlight, in general, your years of experience. Instead, stick to the facts (e.g., "I led a team of 10 marketing professionals over at XYZ company.").

Your cover letter is a sales pitch. In a few short paragraphs, it needs to convince the hiring manager that you’re a good fit for the job. These tips will help you close the deal.

Target Your Cover Letter

The most important way you can show the employer that you're worth interviewing is to customize your cover letter . Take the job posting and list the criteria the employer is seeking. Then list the skills and experience you have, either in paragraph form or in a bulleted list. This way, the hiring manager can see why you're qualified for the job.

Don't Summarize Your Entire Resume

This advice applies to candidates of all ages. A good cover letter doesn't read like an autobiography or a distillation of your resume. For older candidates, it is important to veer away from a sequential recounting of your employment, and instead focus on experience relevant to the job at hand.

Don't Include Years of Experience

Don't list the length of experience you have in your cover letter. For example, it's not advantageous to say you have 20 or 30 years of experience. It will flag you as an older candidate.

Emphasize Your Related Experience and Strengths

While highlighting your years of experience isn’t helpful, talking about your related experience will get the hiring manager’s attention. Your cover letter is an opportunity to mention your proven experience, which a less-experienced candidate may not have. Again, specify how that experienced is related to the job you're applying for—the more specific you are, the more relevant a candidate you'll be.

Do Mention Connections

As always in a cover letter, it's powerful to mention a connection . Review samples of cover letters with referrals to guide your own writing. 

Focus on Flexibility

Mention your flexibility, adaptability, and willingness to learn in your cover letter. It will peg you as young and eager, even if you aren't so young in years. Similarly, highlight any knowledge of current technology, since this is often a big concern for hiring managers.

Be Careful About Salary Requirements

If the job posting requests your salary requirements , note that you're flexible. That way employers won't think of you as being overqualified and/or overpriced.

Polish Your Cover Letter

Presentation matters. Make sure your cover letter is correctly formatted . That means opting for the right font (and font size). Use a plain font, never a scripted one. Include a space between every paragraph, and choose an appropriate salutation and closing sign-off , too.

Be Prepared to Email Your Cover Letter

Be sure that you are following email etiquette guidelines when you email your cover letters.

You can view a sample of a cover letter for an older job seeker, and download the cover letter template (compatible with Word and Google docs).

Cover Letter Sample for an Older Job Seeker

Annabel Elder 123 Shady Rest Lane Tampa, FL 33605 (123) 456-7890 aelder@email.com www.linked.com/in/annabelelder

February 25, 2021

Ms. Catherine Collins Director Helping Hands Nonprofit Organization 1234 Sunset Way Tampa, FL 33605

Dear Ms. Collins:

It was with much interest that I learned, through Indeed.com, about the Executive Assistant position that has opened with Helping Hands Nonprofit Organization.

Your position announcement intrigued me, since many of the qualifications you list are ones I’ve developed as an Executive Assistant to four C-level officers of ABC Enterprises, a global development group. Examples of my skills and experience that align with your requirements include:

  • Demonstrated efficiency and accuracy in calendaring and appointment scheduling, travel planning, and in drafting correspondence to project stakeholders.
  • Well-versed in coordinating all venue, catering, travel, and entertainment details for large-scale events including fundraisers, stakeholder meetings, and conferences.
  • Effectiveness scheduling and supervising office teams of ~5 administrative assistants and receptionists.
  • A proactive stance in learning rising administrative and office management technologies, as evidenced by my recent transition of the ABC Enterprises office to a cloud-based communications system.

As part of ABC Enterprises’ community outreach program, I’ve had the privilege of working with Jason Edwards, one of your trustees, and have found him to be a passionate advocate of the good that Helping Hands Nonprofit Organization does for underrepresented groups in Tampa. I would thus welcome the opportunity to use my administrative talents to ensure the smooth running of your initiatives.

Thank you for your time and consideration; I look forward to your response and hope to meet with you soon to learn more about the great work you do.

Best regards,

Signature (hard copy letter)

Annabel Elder

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “ The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 .” Accessed Feb. 25, 2021.

More From Forbes

Expert advice for job seekers in 2024.

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Today's job market is challenging.

If your job search has hit a standstill, you’re not alone. While the unemployment rate remains historically low, job growth overall has cooled. In fact, white-collar workers, in particular, are struggling to find jobs. Data recently published by Vanguard shows that the hiring rate for high-income employees has fallen to the lowest since 2014. For those in the midst of a job hunt, that means working harder to find a new position.

Whether you’re trying to bounce back from a layoff or escape a toxic work culture, there are job-hunting strategies that can help anyone speed up their job search. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to consider when looking for a new role in today’s competitive market.

Do Leverage AI Tools

A successful job search isn’t just about working hard. It’s also about working smart. Knowing how to leverage AI tools will give you a competitive edge. According to experts , recruiters take only six seconds to scan a résumé. To help you craft a stellar résumé, use ChatGPT or a service like Kickresume, which also enables you to create cover letters. Are you ready to improve your interviewing skills? LinkedIn offers an interview preparation feature that gives you the ability to practice your answers to interview questions, either by recording a video or writing a response. Then, you can get instant, AI-powered feedback. If you’re ready to conduct mock interviews , the job interview training platform Big Interview offers a combination of AI-driven mock interviews and expert feedback.

Do Develop Your Personal Brand

In a competitive job market, you need to find ways to stand out and get noticed. That’s why personal branding is a game changer for your job search. In a survey conducted by The Harris Poll , 71% of U.S. hiring decision-makers believe that viewing candidates' social media profiles is an effective way to screen applicants. So, take the initiative to elevate your personal brand. The first step is to Google yourself in an incognito window. This view is most likely what hiring managers will see. Check to make sure that your online profiles support the qualifications listed in your résumé. Then, think about your target audience and what makes you an exceptional candidate. By focusing on your unique selling points, you’ll set yourself apart from the competition and leave a lasting impression.

Do Ask For Help

There’s no reason to hide the fact that you’re looking for a job. In fact, you should do the opposite. Announce on LinkedIn that you’re actively looking for a new position. Also, change your LinkedIn settings to enable the #OpenToWork feature. That will alert recruiters to the job titles you’re interested in, preferred locations and start date preferences. Also, tell people you’re looking. Experts estimate that anywhere from 50% to 80% of positions are filled through networking. So, rekindle connections and reach out to new contacts. Finally, consider hiring a career counselor or coach. Working with a trained professional can help you gain clarity, set achievable goals and stay motivated.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of 2024

Best 5% interest savings accounts of 2024, don’t burn out.

In a recent survey by iHire , nearly half of job seekers say their job search negatively impacts their mental health. These results aren’t surprising—especially in today's environment where finding a job requires more effort. Other factors that add to the stress are a lengthy hiring process, getting ghosted by employers and an uncertain future. To prevent job search anxiety, try to follow a routine, celebrate small wins and take breaks as needed. Also, nurture yourself in other ways, like through hobbies and spending time with family and friends. As you continue your job hunt, make note of any situations that trigger your anxiety. That way, you can cope better in the future by anticipating your reaction.

Don’t Apply To Hundreds Of Jobs

One reason your job hunt may be taking too long is that you have an unfocused strategy. A successful job search requires a targeted approach. Make a list of potential employers and set goals for yourself. Rather than applying for every position you’re qualified for, set clear objectives. Focus on quality over quantity. That way, it will be easier to concentrate your efforts and remain energized.

Don’t Limit Yourself To Online Applications

While applying for jobs online might seem easy, it’s not effective as your primary strategy. One reason is that it's time-consuming (and boring). In addition, the average job posting has hundreds of applicants, which makes the odds of securing an interview very slim. You also may unknowingly be applying for a ghost job . While these fake jobs appear online, they are either already filled or don’t exist. Instead of relying on online job ads, build relationships and leverage your network. Since most open positions aren’t even posted online, you’ll find yourself more successful and less frustrated.

The market is challenging for job seekers right now. If you find yourself losing momentum, remember to focus on those elements within your control. By remaining optimistic and prioritizing your mental health, the hard work will eventually pay off.

Are you a woman who needs help changing careers? Download my FREE 22-page e-book: How Professional Women Can Master Career Change!

Caroline Castrillon

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  1. Unemployed Job Seeker Sample Cover Letter

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    There is no difference between a cover letter when you are unemployed and one written while in a job, from a format perspective. It is easy once you get your head around it! Begin with an opening paragraph that expresses your interest in the role. The next paragraph focuses on why you are suitable for the job. This is where you sell your skills ...

  9. Sample Cover Letter for an Unemployed Job Seeker

    Sample Cover Letter for an Unemployed Job Seeker. By Monster Contributor. If you're currently unemployed, you can still craft a cover letter that plays up your experience and accomplishments. Get ideas from this sample cover letter below. David Brentwood. (02) 555 55 55 | [email protected] | Fleet street 235| 4444 Sometown /p>. May 25, 2010.

  10. Cover Letter Examples, Templates and Writing Tips

    What to say in a cover letter for a variety of different job seeker scenarios. Resume cover letter examples for hundreds of industries and job titles. ... After a global pandemic and the resulting economic turmoil, every candidate pool will have job seekers who've been unemployed. Use your cover letter to explain why you lost your job ...

  11. Cover Letter Writing Tips for the Unemployed

    Say nothing and hope they don't notice. Seriously. Your cover letter above all else should be positive, confident, and professional. And there's nothing positive or confident about a gratuitous apology, especially for a circumstance that isn't your fault. You may be unemployed, but the average job search in 2013 lasted for eight months ...

  12. Cover Letter Example Addressing Current Unemployme

    A good cover letter explains why you, over all the other candidates, are worth taking the time to find out more about. This is designed for an individual who is unemployed and looking to get back into work. If you think your Covering Letter is ready to provide your resume with some helpful back up, create your cover letter on Monster now.

  13. How to Address Unemployment on a Resume & Cover Letter

    Instead, use numbers to describe your performance. Emphasize Newly Acquired Skills. Another way to address unemployment on your resume and cover letter is to emphasize any newly acquired skills. If you took the time to learn new skills while you were unemployed, be sure to highlight these on your application.

  14. The Best Cover Letter Examples for Every Type of Job Seeker

    So that's what we're going to give you—all the cover letter examples and tips you need to make yours shine (we're unfortunately not experts in recipes or. 445Bush Street St. 300 San Francisco CA 7678 +1(415) 449-5538 ... Older job seekers often face discrimination in the job market. They may be overlooked for jobs because of their age ...

  15. How to Write a Great Cover Letter in 2024 (+ Examples)

    1. Personalization. Address the hiring manager or recruiter by name whenever possible. If the job posting doesn't include a name, research to find out who will be reviewing applications. Personalizing your cover letter shows that you've taken the time to tailor your application to the specific company and role. 2.

  16. Cover Letter Examples & Samples (Any Job or Industry)

    Use an AI cover letter generator to make a targeted cover letter in minutes. Find an example of an application letter for a job in your field for inspiration; we have more than 200 cover letter samples to choose from. Add your contact information to the header. Write the date. Add the recipient's address.

  17. Unemployed? Put Your Cover Letter to Work

    The purpose of a cover letter is to pique employers' interest so they want to interview you. "Talking about unemployment is a downer, and job candidates should only provide information that ...

  18. Write an impressive cover letter in minutes

    A good cover letter is both formatted and flexible. Using cover letter templates can help ensure that you get the right information across to the hiring manager, but it's still important to adjust and tailor each letter to the specific job application.. Heading: This section should include your name, physical address, phone number and email address. . Furthermore, you can use a professional ...

  19. Cover letter examples

    Looking for a new job can be incredibly stressful. As a job seeker, you have so much to consider. Choosing the best resume templates or looking for ways to make it past the automated applicant tracking system can trip up even the most confident and qualified applicants.. For many, though, the greatest challenge of all is the cover letter.

  20. Cover Letters / Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

    Email Cover Letters: Subject line - use the exact job title and any position reference numbers that are often included in job openings followed by a dash and your first and last name. Make sure that your document name matches the name you put in the subject line. Sign your email with a professional closing. Address a Person: Always address the ...

  21. Cover letter templates

    Basic cover letter format with a strong heading makes for an ideal introduction. Use template. Vertical. A representation with just enough vertical color to highlight personal information. Use template. Horizontal. Bold colors line the top while a subtle background balances the look.

  22. Unemployed Cover Letter Example

    Covering letter for a unemployed job seeker. Be the first applicant to be called for an interview with your CV accompanied by the best cover letters you can ever write. Writing an effective and powerful cover letter can be tedious and boring at times. However, practice can make you a perfect candidate for the job you are applying for.

  23. Cover Letter Tips for Older Job Seekers

    Pay Attention to Word Choice: It's essential that your cover letter does not look old-fashioned. Watch for dated language, too. Your word choices can potentially make you seem older or younger than your actual age. Keep It Snappy: Favor short, snappy sentences over longer, more complex syntax. Consider having a younger professional—preferably ...

  24. Expert Advice For Job Seekers In 2024

    Do Develop Your Personal Brand. In a competitive job market, you need to find ways to stand out and get noticed. That's why personal branding is a game changer for your job search. In a survey ...