Best Practices for writing cover letters _ FormatWorks


Are you struggling to write a cover letter that stands out from the crowd? Do you find yourself sending the same generic letter to every job opening? If so, you’re not alone. Many job seekers overlook the importance of crafting an effective cover letter that showcases their skills, experience, and passion for the role. In this post, we’ll discuss what cover letters are, why they are important, and key considerations for writing effective cover letters.

What are Cover Letters?

A cover letter is a document that accompanies your resume when applying for a job. It is a way to introduce yourself to the employer, highlight your relevant skills and experience, and express your interest in the role. A well-written cover letter can set you apart from other applicants and make a strong first impression.

Why are Cover Letters Required?

Cover letters are required by many employers as a way to screen applicants and assess their suitability for the role. They provide additional information about your qualifications, personality, and work ethic that may not be evident from your resume. A cover letter can also demonstrate your writing and communication skills, which are highly valued in many professions.

Key Considerations for Writing Effective Cover Letters

  1. Research the Company: Before you start writing your cover letter, research the company and the role you are applying for. This will help you tailor your letter to the specific needs of the employer and show that you have done your homework.

  2. Customize Your Letter: Avoid sending the same generic cover letter to every job opening. Instead, customize your letter to the role and the employer. Use keywords from the job posting to highlight your relevant skills and experience.

  3. Address the Hiring Manager: Whenever possible, address your cover letter to the hiring manager by name. This shows that you have taken the time to research the company and personalize your application.

  4. Highlight Your Accomplishments: Instead of simply listing your qualifications, highlight your accomplishments and how they relate to the role. Use specific examples to demonstrate your skills and experience.

  5. Keep it Concise: A cover letter should be no more than one page long. Keep your writing concise and to the point, and avoid repeating information that is already included in your resume.

Also Checkout : The Importance of Keywords in Your Resume

Importance of Keywords in Cover Letters

Keywords are words or phrases that describe the skills, experience, and qualifications that employers are looking for in a candidate. Including keywords in your cover letter can help you stand out from other applicants and increase your chances of getting an interview. 

To identify keywords, review the job posting and make a list of the key requirements and qualifications. Then, incorporate those keywords into your cover letter in a natural and meaningful way.

Principles to Remember

(Source : Harvard Business Review)


  • Have a strong opening statement that makes clear why you want the job and what you bring to the table.
  • Be succinct — a hiring manager should be able to read your letter at a glance.
  • Share an accomplishment that shows you can address the challenges the employer is facing.


  • Try to be funny — too often it falls flat.
  • Send a generic cover letter — customize each one for the specific job.
  • Go overboard with flattery — be professional and mature.

Best Practices for Writing Effective Cover Letters

Here are some of the best practices when it comes to writing an effective and standout cover letters – 

Start Strong

Use the first paragraph to introduce yourself, explain why you are applying for the role, and express your enthusiasm for the opportunity.


“Dear Hiring Manager, I am excited to apply for the Marketing Coordinator position at XYZ Company. As a seasoned marketer with five years of experience, I am confident that my skills and expertise align well with the requirements of this role.”

Be Specific

Use specific examples to demonstrate your skills and experience. Avoid general statements that could apply to anyone.


“In my previous role as a Marketing Specialist, I developed and executed a successful social media campaign that resulted in a 20% increase in website traffic and a 15% increase in sales.”

Show Personality

Your cover letter is an opportunity to showcase your personality and interests. Use language that is engaging and demonstrates your passion for the role.


“As a lifelong animal lover, I was thrilled to see the opening for the Animal Care Technician position at ABC Animal Hospital. I am passionate about providing the best possible care for animals and would be honored to bring my skills and dedication to your team.”


Before sending your cover letter, proofread it carefully to ensure that it is free from spelling and grammatical errors.


“I would like to apply for the Sales Representative position at DEF Corporation. Attached, please find my resume and cover letter. I have a proven track record of meeting and exceeding sales targets and am confident that I would be an asset to your team.”

Remember, the key to writing an effective cover letter is to tailor it to the role and the employer, highlight your accomplishments and skills, and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the opportunity. By following these best practices, you can create a letter that stands out and increases your chances of getting an interview.


Writing an effective cover letter is essential for job seekers who want to stand out from the crowd. By customizing your letter to the role and the employer, highlighting your accomplishments, and incorporating keywords, you can increase

your chances of getting an interview and ultimately, landing the job. Remember to keep your writing concise, show your personality, and proofread your letter before sending it off. With these tips and best practices, you can write a cover letter that sets you apart and demonstrates your qualifications and enthusiasm for the role.

In conclusion, writing an effective cover letter requires careful consideration and attention to detail. By following these tips and best practices, you can create a letter that showcases your skills, experience, and passion for the role. 

Remember to customize your letter, highlight your accomplishments, and incorporate keywords to make a strong first impression. With these strategies, you can increase your chances of landing the job of your dreams. 

Good luck!

Download Free CV Resume and Cover Letters

Free, downloadable CV/resume formats and cover letter formats for job seekers. These templates come with demo content that is completely editable, allowing job seekers to customize their resumes and cover letters to fit their unique skills and experiences.

The templates are designed to be user-friendly and visually appealing, making it easy for job seekers to create professional-looking documents that showcase their qualifications and set them apart from other applicants.

Whether you are just starting your job search or looking to update your existing resume and cover letter, these free templates are a valuable resource that can help you land your dream job.