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A strong subject line for your cover letter

Tips for choosing an effective subject line.

Learn to choose an effective subject line.

A first impression is often a lasting impression. But how do you make a strong impression on your first attempt? Well, when applying for a job, a simple way is to use a great subject line in your cover letter. This not only adds weight to the letter but also increases your chance of being noticed and shortlisted. The tips below explain how a good subject line can make your job application more effective.

Make the most of the subject line

Do not leave the subject line on your cover letter blank. It is a small space, but one that can make a huge difference—provided you use the right words. So, rather than write only the job code, try to squeeze in as much info as possible. Only, remember to keep it short. A good example of this would be, ‘Experienced Research Fellow Applying for the Position of Librarian (Job #123)’.

Keep it short and simple

Stick to the basics and do not try anything fancy here. A brief and to-the-point subject line is the key to success. Avoid using any informal words or salutations and keep the humour away. Remember that the employer has very little time to scan through letters. Should he find something inappropriate in your subject line, he might just brush aside your entire application.

Use the right keywords

Nowadays, many employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS). The ATS scans CVs and cover letters for specific keywords. Insert the right keywords in your subject line to ensure that your application reaches the next round of (human) short-listing. For instance, you could write, ‘Experienced Teacher for Third-Grade Teaching Position.”

Finally, in your hurry to send out multiple job applications, do not make an error in the subject line. Proofread and crosscheck to ensure that your subject line is perfect. If you are applying for two jobs simultaneously, the biggest blunder would be to mix up the subject lines of the two cover letters! This could lead to your application being rejected at both places without your CV even being considered. So, be very careful.

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How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

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After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!

You’ve perfected your resume. 

You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.

You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.

But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.

Now you’re stuck wondering how to write a cover letter ...

Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.

  • What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
  • How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
  • How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
  • What excellent cover letter examples look like

New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!

So, let’s get started with the basics!

What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. 

A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:

how to write cover letter

Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.

The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:

  • Header - Input contact information
  • Greeting the hiring manager
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  • Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
  • Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
  • Formal closing

Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:

structure of a cover letter

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step. 

Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?

cover letter templates

You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!

As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.

Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header

As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:

contact information on a cover letter

Here, you want to include all essential information, including:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.

And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:

  • Your Full Address 
  • Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.

matching resume and cover letter

Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.

The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .

That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this. 

The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.

So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And voila! You have your hiring manager.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Here are several other greetings you could use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .

The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..

  • Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

So now, let’s make our previous example shine:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.

See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?

Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.

So, let’s get started...

Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job

This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.

But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.

For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.

Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company

Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.

Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.

How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.

Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.

Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.

You’d write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device. 

I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.

What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):

I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.

See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have. 

The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.

Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.

So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.

Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action

Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.

And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:

So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.

Step #8 - Use the right formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional email
  • Relevant Social Media Profiles

Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?

Do you successfully convey that you’re the right pro for the job?

  • Did you identify the core requirements?
  • Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?

Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?

Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?

5+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).

College Student Cover Letter Example

college or student cover letter example

Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .

Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught. 

After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.

...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.

If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.

Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.

resume examples for cover letter

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
  • A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
  • Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
  • There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
  • Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…

  • How to Write a Motivational Letter
  • How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
  • Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

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How To Email a Resume and Cover Letter Attachment

what should be the subject of a cover letter

Ashley Nicole DeLeon / The Balance

Depending on the job for which you're applying, you may need to email your resume and cover letter to the hiring manager. That's often the case with smaller employers. For other employers, you'll apply online or via a job board.

What's the easiest way to attach your resume and cover letter to an email message? When you're asked to send a resume or cover letter via email, follow these steps to ensure you have correctly attached your documents, written an email explaining what you are sending and why, added your signature to the email, and included a subject line that will get your message opened and read by the recipient.

Key Takeaways

  • Most employers request a Microsoft Word document or a PDF file of your resume. 
  • It's easy to save your documents in the file format requested by an employer.
  • When saving your documents, use your name as the file name.
  • Include a subject line that states who you are and what job you are applying for in the email message.

Check the Employer's Instructions

When you apply for jobs via email , the employer may require you to send your resume and cover letter as an attachment to an email message. It's important to send your attachments correctly, to include all the information you need so your email message is opened and read, and to let the receiver know how they can contact you to schedule an interview.

What's most important is to follow the employer's instructions and send exactly what they have asked for in the format it's requested. If you don't, your message may end up in a spam or trash folder.

Save Your Cover Letter and Resume

When sending your cover letter and resume attachments, the first step is to save your resume as a PDF or a Word document . The job posting should specify how to send the attachment. This way, the receiver will get a copy of the resume in the original format.

If there aren't instructions on how to send your documents, submit your resume as either a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or as a PDF file. These are the formats most commonly preferred by employers, and it's easy to save the documents and add them as attachments to your email message.

You can either save your cover letter in document format or write it directly in the email message.

Save as a Word Document

If you have word processing software other than Microsoft Word, save your resume as a Word (.doc or .docx) document. File > Save As , should be an option in your program.

Save a Google Doc as a Word Document

If you don't have Microsoft Word, you can save a Word (.docx) version of a Google Doc. Select File > Download and choose Word Document (.docx).

How to Save as a PDF

Whether the employer requests a PDF file or you opt to send a PDF, here's how to convert a document file.

To save a Word document as a PDF:

  • Select  File > Save As  in Microsoft Word.
  • Select  PDF  from the  Format  drop-down menu.

To save a Google Doc as a PDF:

  • Select  File > Download and choose  PDF Document .

Choose a Unique File Name

When saving your document, use your name as the file name , so the employer knows whose resume and cover letter it is, i.e., janedoeresume.doc and janedoecoverletter.doc.

Don't use "resume" as a file name, because it will be hard to differentiate your resume from those of the other applicants.

Include a Subject in the Email Message

The subject line is one of the most important parts of the email messages you send to apply for jobs. If you don't include one, your message may not even get opened. 

Your email message must include a subject line, and it should explain to the reader who you are and what job you are applying for. Be specific, so the recipient knows what he or she is receiving. Employers often hire for many positions at the same time, so include both your name and the job title.

Add a subject to the email message before you start writing it. That way, you won't forget to include it afterward.

Here's what to write:

Subject: Your Name - Job Title

If the employer requests additional information, like a job ID number, be sure to include that too.

Write an Email Message to Send With Your Resume

Once you have saved your resume and cover letter and they are ready to send, the next step is to write an email message to send with your documents.

First, open your email account. Then click on Message at the top left of the screen or click on File > New > Message .

You can either write your cover letter as part of the email message or send it as an attachment. Here's how:

Write Directly in the Email

You can either type your cover letter directly into the email message , copy and paste it from a word processing document, or if the company requests an attachment, send your cover letter and resume with the email message. So, your choices are to send a cover letter attachment or to use the email message as your cover letter.

If you are attaching a cover letter, your email message can be brief. Simply state that your resume and cover letter are attached. Offer to provide additional information and let the reader know how you can be contacted.

Be sure to follow the directions in the job posting for how to apply when sending your cover letter and resume or your application may not be considered.

Adding Your Signature To the Email

It is important to include an email signature with your contact information, so it's easy for hiring managers and recruiters to get in touch with you.

Include your full name, your email address, and your phone number in your email signature, so the hiring manager can see, at a glance, how to contact you. If you have a LinkedIn profile , include it in your signature. Do the same with any other social media accounts you use for career and business purposes.

Sample Email Signature

Jared Harshbarner jared.harshbarner@email.com 617-123-3790 linkedin.com/in/jared.harshbarner

How To Add Your Signature

To add your signature to your email message, click on File > Insert > Signature , if you have a signature saved that you use for job searching. If you haven't created an email signature, type your contact information (name, email address, phone, LinkedIn) at the bottom of your message.

Attach Your Resume and Cover Letter to an Email Message

Once your email message is ready to send, you need to attach your resume and cover letter to your message:

Click on Insert > Attach File. Your email client will display a list of files in the default file folder of your computer. If your resume and cover letter are stored in a different folder, click on the appropriate folder.

Click to select the file you want to add to your email message , and then click on Insert to attach the document to your email message. Take the time to carefully proofread the message before you send it.

Before you click Send , send the message to yourself to be sure all the attachments come through, and your email message is perfect.

Send a copy of the message to yourself, as well as to the company, so you have a copy for your records. Add yourself as a Bcc (blind carbon copy) by clicking Bcc and adding your email address.

Then click Send , and your cover letter and your resume will be on their way to the employer.

Review a Sample Email Message

Here's a sample email message sent with resume and cover letter attachments to apply for a job.

Subject: Sarah Smith – Museum Docent

Dear Ms. Cooper,

I’m writing to apply for the summer docent program at the Museum of Local History.

I have extensive docent experience, having volunteered at both the Harbor Museum and ABC Art, and have led tours both as a student leader and a member of the town historical society. In addition, I’m a lifelong town resident and an enthusiastic amateur historian.

I’ve attached my cover letter and resume for your review. I hope you’ll contact me at your convenience to discuss the program and arrange an interview. Thank you for your time.

Sarah Smith sarah.smith@email.com 555-555-1234 linkedin.com/in/sarahsmith

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it better to send a word document or a pdf to apply for a job.

A PDF file retains the format of your resume and letter, so the recipient will see them as you wrote them when they open the file(s) you send. A Word document is easily read by the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that employers use to manage job applications. What's most important is to follow the company's application guidelines.

How can I be sure my documents are formatted correctly?

Send a test message, and email your resume and cover letter to yourself before you send it to the employer. That way, you'll know your documents are formatted and attached correctly.

ZipJob. “ Resume PDF or Word: The Best File Format in 2022 ."

Google. " Create, View, or Download a File ."

Microsoft. " Save or Convert to PDF or XPS in Office Desktop Apps ."

Adobe. " How to Convert a Google Doc to a PDF ."

Eller College of Management | Home

How To Write a Cover Letter With Examples

Cover Letter Do's and Dont's

Cover letters can help differentiate you from other job applicants and be the determining factor of landing your dream job. By taking the time to craft a custom cover letter, a single sheet of paper can help communicate all the human elements that a resume may fall short of capturing about yourself. 

But what do employers and recruiters have to say about how to write a cover letter? What are the best tips they have to offer for graduate students who are writing a cover letter?

We asked 11 employers for their best cover letter tips. Here is what they had to share.

Let it Set the Stage

In many ways, cover letters should provide background information and context to your resume, while simultaneously addressing how that resume addresses the specific requirements of the job opportunity. The cover letter is your opportunity to "set the stage" and to convince the hiring manager why your specific set of skills, experiences and interests will provide value to their team and its objectives.

Andrew Horrigan '11 BSBA (Management Information Systems), Product Manager at Cisco

Research the Hiring Manager

If possible, find out who the hiring manager is and look them up on LinkedIn. Do your research on the company you're applying for. What's their mission statement and how do they portray their company culture? Hopefully what you're looking for in a job is reflected by those things. Make sure the hiring manager knows that and understands who you are and what drives you. A resume is often about as robotic as things can be. Make sure your cover letter is the opposite—personalize it and let yourself shine through.

Joshua Schlag ’05 BS (Computer Science) ’11 MBA, Digital Marketing Manager at Pyramid Analytics

Utilize Career Development Resources

The University of Arizona and Eller College of Management go to great lengths to make sure students are prepared for their impending career journey. Because cover letters are so important to getting your foot in the door, there are several career development resources online and on campus to take advantage of. The university’s cover letter builder serves as a nice template to get started. And of course, it never hurts to make an appointment with an Eller Career Coach through eSMS to have a professional review your letter before submission. 

Brett Farmiloe, ’06 BSBA (Accounting), Founder, Featured

Discover Past Samples of the Position

Do your research on the company and personalize your cover letter to the role for which you are applying. Don't be afraid to Google, "How to write a good cover letter for X position." Seriously, it helps! There is so much information out there from various perspectives—applicants, hiring managers, etc. Most importantly be yourself and let your personality come through. And don't forget to spell check!

Mariam Nikola '17 MS MIS, Consultant at Point B

Highlight Your Soft Skills

When writing a professional cover letter, there are a couple things you can do to set yourself apart from the pack. First, make sure you tailor your letter to the specific position you are applying for. This should not be a general, "one size fits all" letter—be sure to discuss specific details surrounding the role or the company itself. Secondly, this is an opportunity for you to show a little bit of your personality. Obviously, you want to remain professional, but this is a great time to highlight some of your soft skills that might not be fully conveyed through your resume.  

Brian Ellis ’17 BSBA (Management), Staffing Manager at Randstad Office and Administrative Professionals

Fill in the “Why” Gaps

As a talent advisor, I review a lot of applicants and agree that a cover letter can be a great way to stand apart, if it is done correctly. A great cover letter for me covers the ‘why’ that I cannot understand from just a resume alone. It should clearly state why you are interested in the role, what your goals are for utilizing your graduate degree (if recently graduated) and explain any career pivots reflected on your resume. If you answer those questions in a direct, concise manner it will add value to your application.

Monica Larson , ’11 BSBA (Marketing) ‘20 MBA, Talent Advisor

Tell Your Story

A cover letter is your opportunity to tell your story—tying your experience and personal interests into why you want a position and why you are the best candidate for it. Paint the picture of your journey and what about the position excites you personally and professionally. Similar to your resume, keep it short and sweet. No need to repeat what’s already on your resume. Recruiters and hiring managers don’t have time to comb through a novel, so you need to engage them with as few words as possible while also grabbing their attention.

Kelly Castoro, ’06 BA (Spanish, Portuguese), Project Manager at Squarespace

Tailor Each Cover Letter to the Position You Are Applying

Be sure to research the role and customize your cover letter for each position, relating your experience to the particular role you are applying for. Personalization is key—research who you are sending the cover letter to and address the letter to them directly. End your letter with a call to action, stating you will follow up by phone or email if you haven’t heard from anyone. Follow ups are very important! 

Jessica Rosenzweig, ’15 BSBA (Business Management), Account Manager at PeopleWare Staffing

Communicate Bankability and Personality 

Your cover letter answers two crucial questions; are you bankable and are you someone the company will enjoy working with? Communicate bankability with your knowledge of the company, industry and why your skills, capabilities and interests are a great fit. Share your passion for their mission, culture, brand—whatever excites you about becoming a member of their team.  

When conveyed through a concise, well-formulated, well-worded cover letter, you demonstrate the ability to write an effective business case—communicating that you are a ready professional and worthy teammate who will hit the ground running.

Theresa L Garcia, ’83 BSBA (Human Resources), Senior Change Management and Organization Capability Consultant at Boeing

Keep it Concise but Compelling

A cover letter is your chance to speak directly to the hiring team and tell them why you are not only the best match for the position for which you are applying but also give them additional insight into yourself as an individual that is less visible from your experience.

A great cover letter should be attention grabbing and touch upon the qualities that make you stand out from others in the applicant pool, highlight both your recent and most distinguished accomplishments and drive home why you are the right person for the job. Professionalism is always important, but don’t be hesitant to put your voice into the letter to let your personality shine through. Research the company, understand where they currently are, where they are going and show why you are the right person to get them from point A to point B. Recruiters spend a lot of time reviewing applicants and making yourself stand apart from the crowd is key. Keep it concise but compelling!

Matt Reineberg, ’14 BSBA (Marketing), Senior Talent Acquisition Sourcer at Cox Enterprises

Highlight the “Why”

Why are you applying to this company? Why do you want this position? Your cover letter should aim to answer the why behind applying for the job. Conveying an interest and excitement for working specifically for this job at this company, rather than a desire to get any job anywhere that will give you money, can go a long way. Show the company that they should hire you and your passion over someone that might have the skills needed for the job, but doesn’t care about the work as much as you do. 

Ryan Nouis, Trupath 

Ready to Learn More?

what should be the subject of a cover letter

How important is a cover letter? Very. Here's how to stick the landing: Ask HR

Johnny C. Taylor Jr. tackles your human resources questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world's largest HR professional society and author of "Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval.”

The questions are submitted by readers, and Taylor's answers below have been edited for length and clarity.

Have a question?  Do you have an HR or work-related question you’d like me to answer?  Submit it here .

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Question: I’ve always had trouble crafting a cover letter. It often seems redundant to the information in my resume. What is a good strategy for writing a cover letter? – Dierdre

Answer: Your No. 1 priority in your job search is to make you stand out among the sea of applicants. Start by personalizing your cover letter for the respective position.

Hiring managers are well-versed in spotting generic cover letters. Many don’t even mention the organization or the specific position. A cover letter customized for each role you apply to will set you apart from the other candidates.

Your cover letter should complement, not replicate, your resume. Resumes itemize employment information and qualifications, while customized cover letters provide an additional opportunity to tell your story and delineate your goals and intangibles. Cover letters should contextualize the value of the experience outlined in your resume.

You are essentially looking for a fit between your skills and personality to a defined role and work environment. A customized cover letter gives the hiring manager a preview of an interview. It signals that you are genuinely interested in the organization and discussing why you might be a prime candidate.

Remember to tailor the letter to showcase your relevant qualifications and accomplishments and project how you would fit in the role. Hiring managers look for people who will not only be a good fit but will also be an asset to their company for the long term. A well-crafted cover letter can demonstrate your potential value and fit for an organization.

I wish you much success in your career journey.

Work or school?: Should I accept a job offer while still in college? Ask HR

Poor job review: How do you respectfully disagree with a performance review? Ask HR

I enjoy my job, but the recent uptick in the cost of living feels almost like I’m taking a pay cut. What’s the best way to ask for raise without jeopardizing the good relationship with my employer? – Mack

Request for raises should not surprise most employers. However, you should be thoroughly prepared to state your case for a more competitive wage.

First, do your research. Examine market salary data and assess how it compares with your own. Be sure to factor in your experience, job duties, and education. Review similar job postings to gauge comparable starting salary information and perks or bonuses used to attract talent. Understand your organization’s compensation philosophy and pay merit increase process. HR can help you better understand their pay structure if it is unclear.

Be prepared to confidently justify your request for higher pay. Has your workload increased due to staffing shortages? Have you taken on additional assignments or roles and learned new skills or technology? If possible, quantify the value you have added to their business.

Especially given the state of the economy, be prepared for your employer to stand their ground and not make out-of-cycle raises.

Next, plan a meeting with your manager with an apparent reason for the discussion and a brief agenda to stay on track – craft written talking points for the meeting. Choose a time and date when your workload is moderate. Be sure to communicate your satisfaction with the job and the organization. Be open to feedback and ask for a follow-up meeting to discuss the final decision. Your manager will most likely need to consult with HR or their manager before making any pay adjustment decisions.

Remember, your employer may be unable to accommodate your request due to budget constraints. If a pay increase is not feasible, inquire if there are considerations for earning a raise in the future. Be prepared with alternative suggestions, such as learning a new skill or taking on stretch assignments. Consider areas where the company is struggling and make suggestions on ways you can fill the gap. Be creative.

Regardless of the outcome, remain flexible and open. Look at alternative perks, benefits, or bonuses instead of a base pay increase.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How important is a cover letter? Very. Here's how to stick the landing: Ask HR

The No. 1 priority in your job search is to make you stand out among the sea of applicants.

What to Know About Donald Trump’s New $60 Bible

“all americans need a bible in their home, and i have many. it’s my favorite book.”.

what should be the subject of a cover letter

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A simple collage of Donald Trump holding a bible in front of white dollar signs.

Mother Jones illustration; Shealah Craighead/White House/ZUMA

One month after releasing a line of gilded high-tops for $399, Donald Trump revealed on Tuesday a new item: the Bible. “All Americans need a Bible in their home, and I have many,” the former president explained in a video promoting the country singer Lee Greenwood’s version of a King James translation, the “God Bless the USA Bible.”

“It’s my favorite book,” Trump added.

Throughout the rest of the clip, as if daring us into a collective disgust, Trump swerved through random opportunities to rail against bureaucrats and a country under threat—all while hawking a holy text.

But his latest sales pitch also prompted some legitimate questions. Such as: What the hell is going on? And: Excuse me? Here, we try to answer some of the queries.

So, that first question—what the hell—but more formally: What exactly is Trump promoting and how much will it cost me to shell out for this? 

Trump is encouraging his supporters to buy a Bible endorsed by himself and Lee Greenwood. It costs $59.99, without taxes or shipping included. That seems to sit on the more expensive end of Bibles on sale at Barnes & Noble . But those books presumably don’t include copies of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the handwritten lyrics to the chorus of Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”

The “God Bless the USA Bible” does include these items .

Trump is in a serious cash crunch . So is he going to make money with this Bible?

According to the book’s official site , the God Bless the USA Bible has nothing to do with Trump’s campaign. It is “not owned, managed, or controlled by Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization, CIC Ventures LLC, or any of their respective principals or affiliates.” Instead, Trump’s “name, likeness, and image” are being used “under paid license from CIC Ventures LLC.”

Wait, what is CIC Ventures LLC, though?

Okay, so CIC Ventures LLC is, according to the  Washington Post , basically a pipeline to Trump:

In [Trump’s] financial disclosure released last year, he’s identified as the [CIC Ventures LLC’s] “manager, president, secretary and treasurer” and the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust is identified as a 100 percent owner of the business. The same entity also receives royalties from his book “A MAGA Journey” and speaking engagements.

In case it’s not already obvious: if you look at the company’s documents, you’ll find the principal address for CIC Ventures LLC is 3505 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida. That is a Trump golf course . Moreover, in a 2022 disclosure, Nick Luna is listed as a manager. Luna was Trump’s personal assistant and body man.

So, I’m sorry, but let me ask again: Is Trump making money off this?

The New York Times reports that “according to a person familiar” (classic) Trump will receive royalties from sales.

You could have just said that.

I wanted to tell you about the other stuff I found. Any other questions?

Yes. Who is Lee Greenwood?

The country singer who wrote “God Bless the USA.” Greenwood is a fierce MAGA guy who otherwise made news after pulling out of an NRA concert in response to the Uvalde, Texas, mass shooting.

Does Greenwood have a Christmas album with an oddly sexual cover?

Yes. Look at this .

Perfect sweater. Anyway, I feel like I’m experiencing deja vu. Hasn’t Trump made headlines before with a Bible?

You’re probably recalling that despicable photo-op when Trump held up a Bible in front of St. John’s Church, which had been a location of racial justice protests in the days prior. There was a complicated saga, afterward, about whether or not Trump deployed the police to clear protesters to get to the church. An Inspector General’s report ultimately concluded that he did not.  

Man, it’s pretty rough remembering all the awful shit we went through with him as president.

Yep. If you ever want to wallow in political depression, check out this quick compilation .

But wait. Wasn’t there another time Trump and the Bible made waves for something far more stupid?

Christian nationalists adore Trump, so there have probably been many times that Trump has referenced the Bible. But you might also be thinking of this incredible clip of Trump attempting to name his favorite verse .

Has a presidential candidate ever partnered on a holy text sale with a country musician?

Not to my knowledge. But this is from a dude who just last week seemed to compare his current legal jeopardy with the persecution of Jesus Christ. Happy Easter!

People stand in shallow water and assemble cage-like structures on floating blue work tables.

Indonesian Communities Are Reviving Coral Reefs Decimated by Humans

Syris Valentine

what should be the subject of a cover letter

A Former State Department Staffer on Why She Publicly Resigned Over Gaza

Noah Lanard

Donald Trump and the United States of Amnesia

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This Kind of Fracking Can Help Solve Our Climate Problems

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IMAGES

  1. 32 Best Sample Cover Letter Examples for Job Applicants

    what should be the subject of a cover letter

  2. How to Write a Cover Letter That Lands the Job

    what should be the subject of a cover letter

  3. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2021

    what should be the subject of a cover letter

  4. What to Include in a Cover Letter (Examples for 2023)

    what should be the subject of a cover letter

  5. How to Write a Great Cover Letter

    what should be the subject of a cover letter

  6. How to Format a Cover Letter: 4+ Examples & Structure Tips

    what should be the subject of a cover letter

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  5. How to write a cover letter: Template & Tips

  6. Is cover letter important or not? (Part 1)

COMMENTS

  1. What to Include in a Cover Letter (& What to Leave Out)

    A great cover letter consists of the following components: 1. Your name and contact information in a header. The hiring manager needs to have your contact information. Without these details, they have no way of inviting you for an interview. The most eye-catching way of adding your contact information to your cover letter is by creating a large ...

  2. Emailing a Cover Letter: How To Guide With Example

    Here is an example of a cover letter you can send as an email. Subject line: Mary Harcourt Cover Letter | Sales Manager. Dear Ms. Pritchard, I'm writing to apply for the sales manager position at The Bruges Place. I have over five years' sales experience, three of which were spent managing a 70-person regional sales team.

  3. 7 Key Components of an Effective Cover Letter

    A great cover letter uses a logical progression of ideas to advertise your skills. There are seven sections that every cover letter should include to fit employer expectations and highlight your best qualities: 1. Header. All cover letters start with a header that includes your contact information. People often use the same header for their ...

  4. How To Write a Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)

    Middle paragraph (s) Closing paragraph. Letter ending and signature. Your cover letter should be one page long and use a simple, professional font, such as Arial or Helvetica, 10 to 12 points in size. Your letter should be left-aligned with single spacing and one-inch margins. Show Transcript.

  5. What to Include in a Cover Letter (Examples for 2024)

    Here are the 7 things you should include in a cover letter: Cover Letter Header: add your contact information and contact details of the company. Salutation: tailor the cover letter greeting and use the hiring manager's name instead of the cliché " Dear Sir or Madam ".

  6. How To Format a Cover Letter (With Outline and Examples)

    If you're providing a hard copy of your cover letter, handwrite your signature and also include your full typed name. Download Cover Letter Outline Template. To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file. Related: Creating the Perfect Cover Letter (With Template and Example)

  7. A strong subject line for your cover letter

    A brief and to-the-point subject line is the key to success. Avoid using any informal words or salutations and keep the humour away. Remember that the employer has very little time to scan through letters. Should he find something inappropriate in your subject line, he might just brush aside your entire application.

  8. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

    Header - Input contact information. Greeting the hiring manager. Opening paragraph - Grab the reader's attention with 2-3 of your top achievements. Second paragraph - Explain why you're the perfect candidate for the job. Third paragraph - Explain why you're a good match for the company.

  9. How To Craft A Compelling Cover Letter for your job search

    Kick-off with a strong introduction. The purpose of your cover letter is to engage the reader instantly and make them want to review your resume and get to know more about you. So you need to kick ...

  10. How to Send an Email Cover Letter (Samples & Tips)

    To write a perfect cover letter email for a job application, follow these steps: Use our email cover letter template. Apply a clear, strong subject line. Open with a proper greeting—address the hiring manager by their name. In the first sentence, explain why you're writing and what position you're targeting.

  11. How To Format a Cover Letter (With Examples)

    Font choices: The details count when it comes to cover letters, so choose a professional font in a 10 or 12 point size.This is no time to break out emoticons or emojis. Email versus hard copy letters: The sample letter below is formatted for a printed out hard copy.If you are emailing your cover letter, you'll need to pay particular attention to the subject line of your email.

  12. How To Write the Subject Line in an Email for a Job Application

    Mention the name of the position in the subject along with a phrase like "job application" or "job candidate". It is also a good idea to include additional keywords in your cover letter and resume. When possible, use the same words and phrases as you see in the potential employer's job description. 5. Mention any referrals.

  13. The Best Cover Letter Examples for Any Job Seeker

    The Cover Letter Example. Here's an example of an impact cover letter where the writer's 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.

  14. Exactly What to Write in the Subject Line When Sending…

    For instance, it might say: "Submit your resume, cover letter, and portfolio to [email protected]. Subject line: Senior product designer #29881.". In these cases, you'll want to use the exact subject line they give you, because they may be employing filters to sort and direct the messages to the right folder or person.

  15. 11 Steps To Email a Cover Letter

    Example of a cover letter email You can follow this example cover letter when sending it via email: Email subject: Bruce Jenkins-cover letter-customer service manager Dear Ms. Burrow, I am writing this letter to formally apply for the role of customer service manager at HighRev Corporation. As a seasoned customer service manager with over seven years of experience coordinating diverse customer ...

  16. Cover Letter 101: Everything You Need To Know

    You should include one to two small body paragraphs to expand on your previous experiences and how they could benefit an employer. Here is an example of one cover letter body paragraph: "I worked as a marketing coordinator for a large retail corporation for three years. There, I learned about email marketing campaigns and how to structure images with copy and subject lines to encourage ...

  17. How To Email a Resume and Cover Letter Attachment

    Include a Subject in the Email Message . The subject line is one of the most important parts of the email messages you send to apply for jobs. If you don't include one, your message may not even get opened. Your email message must include a subject line, and it should explain to the reader who you are and what job you are applying for.

  18. How to write the perfect cover letter (With examples)

    1. Begin by introducing yourself. To start your cover letter, introduce yourself. This means including your full name, your specific interest in the position and the reasons you've chosen to apply. If you got a referral to the job from another party, ensure to mention this in the first paragraph. 2.

  19. How to Format a Cover Letter (With Example)

    Follow the format of First Name-Last Name-Cover-Letter (e.g. Manish-Pal-cover-letter.doc) to make it more convenient for the person downloading it. Cover Letter Format Example Finally, here is a cover letter format example: Sheetal Iyer (91) 302-45678900 [email protected] January 23, 2019 Dear Hiring Manager, I am excited to be applying ...

  20. Cover Letter Headings: How To & Examples

    Cover letter heading template. If you want a no frills cover letter template, you could copy and paste our template below—we won't tell anyone. (If your cover letter is going into an email, just paste this at the end rather than the beginning.) Feel free to play with the formatting—for example, by making your name larger, combining some ...

  21. How To Write a Subject Line for a Job Application in 9 Steps

    Related: 7 Powerful Ways To Start a Cover Letter (With Examples) How to write a subject line for a job application Here are several steps you can consider when creating a subject line for a job application: 1. Create a professional email address A professional email address clearly states your first and last name, or your first initial and last ...

  22. How To Write a Cover Letter With Examples

    A cover letter is your opportunity to tell your story—tying your experience and personal interests into why you want a position and why you are the best candidate for it. Paint the picture of your journey and what about the position excites you personally and professionally. Similar to your resume, keep it short and sweet.

  23. How important is a cover letter? Very. Here's how to stick the ...

    A customized cover letter gives the hiring manager a preview of an interview. It signals that you are genuinely interested in the organization and discussing why you might be a prime candidate ...

  24. What to Know About Donald Trump's New $60 Bible

    Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters. One month after releasing a line of gilded high-tops for $399, Donald Trump revealed on ...

  25. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE GRO APRIL 4,2024

    WEBSITE STREAM: https://ncnguyana.com/2023/live-radio-streaming/ NCN RADIO STATIONS ACROSS GUYANA : 98.1 HOT FM, Voice of Guyana (102.5FM/560AM),...

  26. Should You Include a Cover Letter? With Expert Tips

    Here are some benefits of including a cover letter in your job application: 1. They showcase your personality. Cover letters typically reveal insights into a candidate's values, character traits and outlook on work. Many hiring managers prefer candidates who align with the organization's culture, so highlighting your unique personality in your ...