Great Cover Letter Samples that landed a job!

Here are some job-winning cover letter samples, written by real people to successfully land a job of their choice.

The cover letters that are sent out to the hiring managers are more or less the same. They fall in 3 criteria:

  • Irrelevant – they constitute 25% of all applications in general
  • Bad- which are 25% of the applications
  • Average – these constitute 40% of the applications (will not be hired)
  • Good – it constitutes 9% of the applications (hiring occurs here)
  • Perfect – there is almost always just one applicant (you will be hired)

Now, how do you write that one piece of cover letter that gets the job?

What to Write in a Good Cover Letter?

The 40% applicants that fall in the average category and write the following cover letter with minimal change except for what they do.

How Not to Write Your Cover Letter

Dear Sir/Mam,

I’m Clare, working as a Sr. Software Engineer at IT Pros. I have 6 years of experience as a Software Developer and I’m sure I can add value to your organisation with my excellent work ethics and communication skills.

My current roles and responsibilities include, grasping project concepts, selecting the functions to develop, setting weekly targets for delivery, coding, code reviewing and testing.

Please view my attached resume to find detailed information of the projects I have worked on and the responsibilities I held in the past.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,
Jason Tate


This may look like a no-fault cover letter, but if you write like that, you are writing what every other applicant is writing.

There is no way for a hiring manager to distinguish between such applications (both cover letter and resume). They are all relevant, they have similar experience and they are all a good fit, is what they say.

At best, you’ll not be remembered for being horrible. You are a no-one with that cover letter.

What to Include in a Good Cover Letter?

A good cover letter talks to the employer; it gives a hint of the real person.

It clearly talks about what the candidate does now and what they have done in the past.

A good cover letter displays all job-relevant primary skills of the candidate, their education, other capabilities transferrable to the job and sets a tone for the recruiter to remember by.

Discover Best Cover Letters – the Perfect ones


Your average hiring manager goes through at least 100 applications every day, including the irrelevant, messy, average, or bad ones and the good ones.

They all found the vacancy where it was posted and they all have experience…

How do you change that theme?

It is crucial to break the monotony and offer something interesting and inviting.

Therefore, the best applicants always have something extraordinary on their application- an out-of-the-world experience, presentation or innovation.

The sample below is a cover letter written by an applicant who was hired at the end of the recruitment process.

This cover letter does not follow the standard cover letter format.

It breaks the convention of writing a formal cover letter and presents a letter that would help the hiring manager in deciding how well the candidate fits the job.

It proves that the candidate is a 100% match to the advertised job. And, that makes it fairly easy for the hiring manager to decide on interviewing the applicant.

Job-Winning Cover Letter Sample- Breaking the Rules

[NOTE: The name of the person has been changed to protect identity.]

Attn: Hiring Manager

As a seasoned Product Manager with over 9 years of diverse software development and management experience, I am applying for the Project Manager position. Attached below you'll find my resume and a brief description of my qualifications.

I am a highly motivated, hands-on Product Owner and an advocate for agile methodologies, transparency and collaboration among customers, product managers, software developers, and stakeholders. 

I believe that the combination of agile methodologies and increased transparency can help organisations build highly efficient and successful teams that are capable of creating products and solutions that customers love.

I look forward to speaking with you in further detail about the open position and opportunity with Wells Fargo.
Advertised RequirementsMy Qualifications
Work with clients to define the vision and scope of the project and effectively communicate the vision to the creative and development teamsConducted Feature-Mapping and Requirements Gathering sessions with prospective and existing clients to formulate Scope and Backlog.  Responsible for managing and creating a backlog, writing stories, and acceptance criteria for all managed projects.  
Collaborate with the development team to define, design, accept and adapt features; Ensure each iteration delivers expected result.

Proactively manage and prioritise a backlog according to business value, complexity, and expectations.
Wrote and prioritised backlog and held Project Kickoff sessions between design and development.  Scheduled and ran all Scrum ceremony meetings.  Tracked release and burn-up charts.  
More requirements from the job posting
Related work experience
Sincerely, 
Richard Wooldridge


That is an excellent presentation of skills –

  • Makes it easy to analyze by writing experience against the requirements
  • Presents in a way that breaks the monotony of the standard letter

Uses “presentation” as an upper hand on top of the relevancy factor displayed in the cover letter.


There is another example of a job-winning cover letter to consider here.

This one doesn’t break the rules but does write something that people have found difficult to digest as being acceptable on a cover letter.


Job-Winning Cover Letter Sample- Passion towards Profession

[NOTE: The name of the person has been changed to protect identity.]

Dear Siena,

Today, on Indeed.com, I found your available position at Robert Half. Enclosed is my resume for the position as a part-time Graphic/Web Designer. 

In review of the attached resume, you will find that I am highly capable of this role, and would be a great fit for your team at Robert Half. While looking through your company website I was excited to see how versatile your portfolio is and the many different services that you provide. One of the things that I value about graphic design, other than being creative for a living, is it's versatility and that every project will teach you something new. I love learning new things and always try to stay on top with my skills. 

A year ago, I picked up on photographic retouching and have now included that to my freelance services. I recently graduated from where I completed my Bachelor of Design, majoring in Visual Communication. During my studies I interned at — a professional graphic design studio. In this position, I was able to apply the knowledge from my university studies in a work situation, designing everything from simple flyers to branding with multiple applications for real clients. At the same time, I was juggling my internship with part-time retail work and full-time university studies - proving my effective time-management skills. 

As such, I believe I can make a significant contribution to your team, and I would even be happy to do a free work trial for one or two weeks to prove my skill set and work ethic to you. In the meantime, I have attached my CV and a link to my website portfolio. I can also bring my printed portfolio to an interview and would love the opportunity to do so. 

I understand that recruiting can be a stressful process, I hope that everything goes well for you.

Thank you for your consideration and I hope to hear from you soon. 

Sincerely,
Jared Juan

You might find the second last sentence on the letter to be something that will see a rejection even if everything else went right.

You aren’t wrong in thinking so, but the candidate who wrote this cover letter got the job.

It was a risk worth taking!

No, this doesn’t mean that you have to do something wild in your cover letter to seem different. That will definitely get you rejected!

What you should rather notice in this cover letter is that the candidate displays immense passion towards the work– whether it is design, photography, or business.

The candidate essentially is intrigued by the possibilities surrounding him and is eager to take challenges, learn new things, and create value from the knowledge gained.

In addition to that, juggling a full-time university education, an internship and a part-time unrelated job confirms his time-management skills, insatiable appetite for diversification, and the desire to accommodate variety in life.

Nevertheless, it is not false that many recruiters feel good about being understood and connecting at a personal level with the candidates.

This is a way to build that personal connection and be liked and remembered for being real and sensible.

If you think this is poor judgment, and it just messes with your chance to get that interview, think again!

Remember, your personal style, even if it isn’t the most appealing to the hiring manager, carries less weight than your profile.

If you have that piece right, don’t worry about a benign statement causing any damage to the reputation you have built otherwise.


Takeaway

  • Format of a resume doesn’t seem to matter much as long as you have substance in your work experience
  • Innovation kills competition and makes you the only one who is ‘perfect’
  • When everything else is just right like many others might have too, presentation is your key to success

Check out more job-winning cover letter samples