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Sample Letter Of Intent Cover Letter

Smart tips to help you format and write a cover letter

Struggling to write a cover letter that will catch an employer's attention? We've got tips to help you show your best self—and a sample you can use to get started.

There's nothing scary about writing a cover letter.

You've found the perfect job, hit the "apply" button, and started the process with your engines revved and ready. But wait! Slam the brakes! They want a cover letter. Oh no. 

Don't let this request derail you. Here's everything you need to know to write a letter that truly sells your skills. Plus, scroll down to see a sample cover letter you can use to craft your own.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a one-page document that, along with your resume, is sent with your job application. A cover letter is your chance to tell a potential employer why you’re the perfect person for the position and how your skills and expertise can add value to the company. The letter should be professional but personable, and serve as a sort of introduction.

Do I need to send a cover letter?

A lot of job seekers today wonder if a cover letter is still appropriate to send with your resume—and the answer is yes! Even if an employer doesn’t ask for a cover letter, it couldn’t hurt to send one. In fact, it’s can help you get someone's attention in a different way, and it can be a great way to display your enthusiasm for the job and company.

What are the basic elements of a cover letter?

  1. Greeting: Address your cover letter to the proper person.
  2. Opening: Write a personable, inviting opening paragraph that notes how your skills are a perfect fit to the job and displays your enthusiasm.
  3. Hook: Highlight your past achievements as they relate to the job you're applying for.
  4. Skills: Emphasize additional relevant skills, such as computer languages or certifications.
  5. Close: Briefly recap your strengths as a candidate, and include your contact information.

Cover letter tips

1. Parrot the keywords: Just like with your resume, your cover letters should be customized for each job you apply to. Start by reviewing the job description. In it, you will find important keywords that let you know what kind of employee the company is hoping to find. Use these same keywords throughout your cover letter.

2. Adapt for the company: Each version of your cover letter should talk about how your skills will benefit the particular company that you want to work for. You want to target the company’s needs—not your own. Demonstrate how you could help them achieve their goals. Remember: You're selling yourself in a resume and a cover letter, but the employer has to want to buy.

3. Show you "get" them: Your cover letter should demonstrate that you have done some research into what the organization's pain points are. Presenting yourself as a solution to a hiring manager’s problem can help your cover letter take the right tone. If you’re applying to an administrative position, be sure to mention your time-management skills; if you’re an IT professional, include your expertise in improving efficiency. Always ask yourself: How can I help this company?

4. Proofread. Don’t assume spell check will catch every mistake (it won’t). Slowly review your cover letter to make sure everything reads properly. Have someone else read your cover letter for backup.

Need even more confidence before you start your cover letter? Below are some additional cover letter tips you could reference—or keep scrolling for a cover letter sample:

Cover letter mistakes you should avoid: From overusing “I” to being too vague, there are a bunch of pitfalls that can trip you up. Don’t let them!

Cover letter format and advice tips: Learn how to set up your cover letter and what each section should include.

Cover letter tips for new grads: You might lack real-world work experience, but your cover letter can be chock-full of activities that demonstrate your potential to succeed.

Cover letter tips for technology professionals: The ease of applying to online jobs has led many IT professionals to skip sending a cover letter, but that’s a mistake. 

Cover letter tips for finance professionals: If you’re searching for a finance job or want to be prepared just in case, you will need a dynamic cover letter to grab the hiring managers’ attention.

Tips for better email cover letters: If you're emailing a resume, your cover letter will deliver the first impression. These eight tips will help you craft a better email cover letter.

Cover letter sample

Check out the sample cover letter below (or download the template as a Word doc) to get some inspiration to craft your own. And we've also got you covered if you're looking for a cover letter in a specific industry. 

Once you've finished your cover letter, consider joining Monster—you can upload and store up to five cover letters and resumes, so that you can apply for jobs on our site in a snap!


[Date]

Ms. Rhonda West
Customer Service Manager
Acme Inc.
123 Corporate Blvd.
Sometown, CO 50802

Re: Customer Service Representative Opening (Ref. ID: CS300-Denver)

Dear Ms. West:

I was excited to see your opening for a customer service rep, and I hope to be invited for an interview.

My background includes serving as a customer service associate within both call-center and retail environments. Most recently, I worked on the customer service desk for Discount-Mart, where my responsibilities included handling customer merchandise returns, issuing refunds/store credits, flagging damaged merchandise for shipment back to vendors and providing back-up cashiering during busy periods.

Previously, I worked within two high-volume customer-support call centers for a major telecommunications carrier and a satellite television services provider. In these positions, I demonstrated the ability to resolve a variety of issues and complaints (such as billing disputes, service interruptions or cutoffs, repair technician delays/no-shows and equipment malfunctions). I consistently met my call-volume goals, handling an average of 56 to 60 calls per day.

In addition to this experience, I gained considerable customer service skills during my part-time employment as a waitress and restaurant hostess while in high school.

I also bring to the table strong computer proficiencies in MS Word, MS Excel and CRM database applications and a year of college (business major). Please see the accompanying resume for details of my experience and education.

I am confident that I can offer you the customer service, communication and problem-solving skills you are seeking. Feel free to call me at 555-555-5555 (home) or 555-555-5500 (cell) to arrange an interview. Thank you for your time—I look forward to learning more about this opportunity!

Sincerely,



Sue Ling

Enclosure: Resume


By now, you probably think you’re familiar with all the pieces of an application package and process. You have your resume (or CV), your cover letter, your list of interview questions. And if you have those together, updated and ready to go, awesome! But there’s another potential piece lurking out there: a letter of intent. Wait, what? Is that the same as a cover letter? And if not, how do you write one?

Spoiler alert: a letter of intent is not the same as a cover letter. They’re similar (being letters and all, and focused on yourself), but are actually used in different situations. Your cover letter is what you write when you’re applying to a specific job you found through traditional channels (online job search, referral, recruiter). It details why you’re a great fit for this particular job. A letter of intent is what you write when you’re cold-calling (leaving a resume without being solicited for one), or applying for a job in a more general situation, like a job fair or submitting your resume to a general pool. The letter of intent is similar in that you’re selling yourself, but tends to be less granular about a particular position. Letters of intent are often more networking-related, or aspirational, than position-oriented.

So what goes into your letter of intent? Let’s break one down into pieces as an example.

The Greeting

Because you may have fewer specifics in hand about what you’re applying for and who will be reading your application package, it’s likely you won’t have the most personalized opener. That’s okay! Be general, but professional, formal, and polite.

Bad Examples

Hi,

[No opening]

Hey hiring manager,

Dearest sirs and madams of JobTech, Incorporated,

Good examples:

To whom it may concern:

Dear JobTech team,

As with any professional correspondence, you don’t want to seem too stiff or formal, like you’re writing a letter from a Victorian template or a bad spam email asking someone to send money to a deposed prince overseas—but you also don’t want to be too conversational. You’re not in a dialogue yet, so it’s important to treat this like a professional first interaction, and not like you’re skipping several steps and asking to meet for coffee. The tone you’re reaching for is, “You don’t know me yet, but I’m interested in your company and want to tell you more about why.”

The Body

Here’s where the difference comes in between a cover letter and a letter of intent. With a cover letter, you likely already have a solid idea of what the job opportunity is, and how to position yourself for it. With a letter of intent, you have to make a slightly trickier balance—positioning yourself as qualified for a job that may not be clear yet. To do that, align your self talk around the company or the industry, making sure to highlight your skills and achievements that would make you a good fit for the company. You can also be specific about your level and experience. For example, you should make it clear that you’re looking for a manager-level position if you don’t want to be considered for more junior or entry-level roles.

Without job-level specifics, it can be tempting to get stuck in an “I’m awesome” loop without giving enough specifics. If you have a general idea of what job groove you’d be seeking at this particular company, build your letter body around that. If you’re truly just trying to get a foot in the door at a company, you can use clues from your research about the company. What does their website say about their mission and priorities? What do current and past employees say about the company in online chatter? Even without specifics, you can cobble together a pretty good idea of what the company is seeking in potential employees. Sell your skills and experience points that are special to you, and especially relevant to your industry.

Some Dos and Don’ts
  • DO be specific about your accomplishments and skills.
  • DON’T get into details about why you left your last job.
  • DO mention what drew you to the company.
  • DO keep paragraphs short. Long-windedness is the enemy when it comes to fighting for attention in a crowded resume pool. Consider following this formula for the body:
    • Paragraph 1: introduce yourself and summarize your intent (goal) in sending the letter
    • Paragraph 2: background information (brief summary of most relevant education, skills, and experience)
    • Paragraph 3: call to action/summary
A Bad Example

Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Jean, slayer of sales goals and all-around great coworker. I have a B.A., and my people skills are superior. I am interested in JobTech for my next career opportunity, and have attached my resume for consideration. I hear you’re hiring, and given that I’m seeking a job, it sounds like a great fit.

I hear good things about JobTech, and since I quit my job at Career Industries after working with a nightmare boss (never work with a Scorpio, ha!), I am very interested in your opportunities for an experienced sales manager like me.

I’ll be calling you as well to make sure you received my letter, and are considering me for a position at JobTech.

A Good Example

My name is Jean Smith, and I am writing to you today to submit my resume for consideration on your Sales and Marketing teams. As a proven leader with more than a decade of beating aggressive sales goals and working with diverse teams to produce great results, I am very interested in opportunities to bring that experience and growth to JobTech.

With 12 years of experience in Sales and Marketing in a variety of different roles (from an all-hands-on-deck startup to a Fortune 500 company), I know I can bring a strong, customer-oriented strategy to your company. Since graduating with a B.A. in Marketing from Benjamin Franklin University in 2005, I’ve built my career on using customer data and strategic campaigns to get results. Most recently, as Sales Leader at Career Industries, my innovative sales strategies and overhaul of our social media lead generation program increased widget sales by more than 200% from 2013 to 2016. While my time at Career Industries has been a valuable experience, I’m ready to move on and grow into a senior manager position that better blends sales, marketing, and innovative strategy. Based on JobTech’s commitment to being on the cutting edge of widget sales, I believe my skills and background jibe well with that mission.

I look forward to talking with you about my qualifications, and potential opportunities with JobTech. I am attaching my resume, and have a comprehensive career profile at www.joblinkcareernetworking.com/JeanSmith. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach me at J_Smith@emaildomain.com. Thank you for your time and consideration!

In the bad example, Jean is too vague, and has a few red flags, like suggesting that her last job didn’t end well, and making an inappropriate joke about Scorpios to gloss it over. You can tell people you’re great, but it’s better to prove it by offering specifics, like she does in the better example. In the second example, Jean’s letter body is more clearly organized, and makes sure to give the most relevant details about her career so far.

Also, her closing call to action sounds more like a threat. You want to leave the reader with an avenue for follow-up, but don’t intimidate them into responding. After all, they’re not obligated to respond. You want to make them want to reach out to you for more information or next steps.

The Closer

You want your closing statement to be the Mariano Rivera of letters of intent: a clean win, effective, and unambiguous. Don’t overthink it! Basic, professional closings are the way to go.

Bad Examples

[No closing] Jean Smith

Call me please,

Email me if you read this,

Bye,

Fondest wishes to you and yours,

Good Examples

Sincerely,

Best wishes,

Regards,

Go with one of the classics, because they’re used for a reason. If you sound too stiff and formal, it comes off like a holiday card. If you reiterate your call to action, it can carry a whiff of desperation. Just get out gracefully and quickly once you’ve said your piece.

Assess Your Final Draft

At this point, you’re ready to send it off, either in the mail, handing it off, or sending it through the Internet tubes. Let’s take a last look at the good examples put together, Jean’s better draft.

Dear JobTech team,

My name is Jean Smith, and I am writing to you today to submit my resume for consideration on your Sales and Marketing teams. As a proven leader with more than a decade of beating aggressive sales goals and working with diverse teams to produce great results, I am very interested in opportunities to bring that experience and growth to JobTech.

With 12 years of experience in Sales and Marketing in a variety of different roles (from an all-hands-on-deck startup to a Fortune 500 company), I know I can bring a strong, customer-oriented strategy to your company. Since graduating with a B.A. in Marketing from Benjamin Franklin University in 2005, I’ve built my career on using customer data and strategic campaigns to get results. Most recently, as Sales Leader at Career Industries, my innovative sales strategies and overhaul of our social media lead generation program increased widget sales by more than 200% from 2013 to 2016. While my time at Career Industries has been a valuable experience, I’m ready to move on and grow into a senior manager position that better blends sales, marketing, and innovative strategy. Based on JobTech’s commitment to being on the cutting edge of widget sales, I believe my skills and background jibe well with that mission.

I look forward to talking with you about my qualifications, and potential opportunities with JobTech. I am attaching my resume, and have a comprehensive career profile at www.joblinkcareernetworking.com/JeanSmith. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach me at J_Smith@emaildomain.com. Thank you for your time and consideration!

Regards,

Jean Smith

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