Not sure how to start a cover letter for a job? Use a cover letter introduction to introduce yourself in detail, explain why the job is exciting for you, and show that you are a perfect fit.
Of course, there is no one way to get it right. That means you have several options and we will show them to you.
Whether you are looking for a universal method or something less conventional, you will find it in this article. Even some good successful cover letter opening lines that impressed well-known companies like HubSpot, Siemens, or Lush!
In this article, you will learn:
- What’s the best way to write a cover letter?
- How to get a recruiter’s attention from the start;
- 7 best ways to start a cover letter;
- Good examples of introductory paragraphs for each method;
- 5 additional introductory examples of successful cover letters;
- What else to include at the beginning of your cover letter.
Let’s start with handpicked cover letter introductions from successful cover letter samples from our users who landed a job at recognized companies.
Do you want to know how to create such a strong cover letter by opening yourself up? You will find a quick guide below.
Would you rather see more examples of hired professionals or find a job-specific cover letter example for your industry? Visit our library of cover letters.
Introductory paragraph: How to start a cover letter
You already know that you need to start your cover letter in a way that grabs the recruiter’s attention. But the question is: when should you pick a standard opening paragraph, and when should you pick something more creative?
All of that depends on a particular job and company culture – are they formal or casual? Take the time to research each company and their tone of voice. Look at the job description, their website, social media accounts and you can get the right idea.
Depending on that, choose one of the following methods:
1. Be direct
Employers are busy people who generally don’t have time to read overuse long texts or cover letter phrases. What they want to know is simply if you fit in well. Why not make it easier for them and be specific from the start?
Let them know what position you are applying for and use your cover letter opening to highlight years of experience in your field and any relevant physical or soft skills you bring. It is a universal but effective answer on how to start a cover letter.
Dear Jane Doe,
I am very interested in the Sales Specialist opportunity at (XYZ Company) that was advertised on LinkedIn. I am a dedicated and hard-working individual with over two years of extensive industry experience, a Business and Management degree from McGill University, and a strong determination to meet and exceed all business goals and objectives.
2. Target the needs of the business
Employers want to know how you can contribute to their business. The first paragraph of your cover letter is a great place to show it.
Take a look at the job opening, go over the company’s needs and choose those that you can easily identify with. Then take a look at your impressive accomplishments and skills and use them to illustrate how you can bring value to your new job. Ideally, mentioning any quantifiable results of your previous work.
Dear Mark Smith,
Over the course of the past year, I more than doubled (Company XYZ’s) Twitter followers and ran two successful Instagram ad campaigns that generated $ 35K + in revenue. I would love to bring my experience in organic expansion of social reach and delivery of ROI to the position of social media manager at (XYZ Company).
3. Include company news and facts
Companies want to see that you are interested in them and in their industry. If you show that you already know them and have done your research, you can make a great first impression.
Browse their website and search the Internet for related news articles. They can provide you with interesting facts related to your role. It can be anything: a specific event, a fact, a notable statistic, or an award the company has recently received.
Dear Emma Robertson,
When I saw (Company XYZ) featured in Fortune magazine last month for their commitment to renewable energy and reducing waste in the workplace, I was truly inspired. With my record of reducing costs by more than 30% and promoting sustainable technologies, I am excited about the opportunity to take on the role of account executive to expand your business growth and work towards a greener future.
4. Highlight a mutual connection.
References can work like magic when it comes to being invited to a job interview. So if someone has referred you for a position or if you know someone at the company who can vouch for you, please mention their name immediately.
After reading your cover letter, recruiters will likely want to know why your referrer thought you would be a good fit for the position. At the very least, it will get recruiters to pay attention to the rest of your cover letter.
I was excited to hear about this job opportunity from my former colleague, Lucy May. We have worked closely together for several years, most recently on a complex data analysis project at (XYZ Company). He recommended I apply because he thought I would be a good fit for this position on his team.
5. Show passion for what you do.
Employers love candidates who are excited about what they do. These candidates tend to perform better and are more dedicated to their role.
So if you are excited about your work, feel free to infuse your cover letter with a couple of sentences that show your enthusiasm for what you are doing.
Dear Anna Sallent,
I have had a gift for writing since I was the senior editor of our high school magazine. Thanks to my more than 15 years of experience, I have transformed my passion into a fashion blog with more than 30,000 monthly readers, featured articles on Time and Cosmopolitan that have garnered more than 50,000 visits, and a writers workshop that I founded for promising young people. writers.
6. Open with a relevant achievement
Hiring managers like achievers. If you’ve accomplished something noteworthy while working with your previous employer, chances are good that you can bring the same value to your next job, too. Plus, it shows that you are an expert in your field.
If you have special skills or accomplishments that will make you stand out from other candidates for the job, mention it right away. However, try not to make blanket claims without providing proof. Support your argument with real numbers and statistics.
Over the past year, as a digital marketing manager at (XYZ Company), I generated over $ 50k in revenue, increased organic traffic to our blog by 18%, and nearly tripled our ROI on social media.
7. Use humor and creativity
Recruiters are human beings too (shocking). In a pile of boring resumes and repetitive cover letters and motivation letters, they might find a good joke, a juicy pun, or a funny opening phrase as a nice refreshing break. It can also be a reason to call you for an interview.
If the company seems to have a laid-back vibe, use humor to draw attention to your relevant skills or personal traits that are needed for the position you are heading for.
Before I flood you with all the reasons why I’m going to be your next writer, I’d like to tell you a little about myself. I didn’t learn to hold a pencil until I was six, which made everyone think that I would never write a single letter. And now here I am, making an offer to become his next Shakespeare.
Cover letter start: What else to include?
There are a few other things to include at the beginning of a good cover letter: contact information for both you and the company, a headline (optional), and a personalized greeting.
Header: your contact information and that of your company
At the top of the page, list your contact details, such as ffull name, memail and prefine the number. Optionally, you can also include your professional title, address ydate.
Also, add information related to the company, such as the manager’s name and title / department, ncompany name, and yourddress.
Align everything to the left or choose a pre-designed cover letter template and just fill in the details.
You don’t need to include it, but it can help you grab the hiring manager’s attention.
You can use interesting numbers, questions, or adjectives. Something like “Five Ways I Can Help You Improve Your Business Marketing”. Alternatively, you can indicate the name of the position you are applying for.
Greeting: how to write a cover letter
Try to avoid using “To whom It May Concern” or “Dear Mr / Mrs”. This form of address, while correct, has been overused and will not help you stand out at all.
Instead, try looking up the name of the hiring manager online. Look at the job posting, check the company website or LinkedIn. Alternatively, you can direct it to the entire team or HR.
Generally, follow these rules:
- How to send a cover letter to a recruiter or hiring manager: The best practice is to use a personalized greeting as follows: “Dear (name)” or “Dear Sir / Madam. (Last name)” for formal companies.
- How to send a cover letter to multiple recipients: If you are sending your cover letter to the entire team or HR, you can use “Dear team of (company / department name)“or “Dear Human Resources”.
- How to send a cover letter to an unknown person: If you can’t find the name of the hiring manager and don’t want to send your cover letter to an entire team or HR, use “Dear Director of Human Resources”, “Dear hiring officer”.
Then you can continue with an attention-grabbing introductory paragraph.
Key takeaways: how to start a cover letter
The beginning of your cover letter will determine whether or not hiring managers will read the rest. If you want them to pay attention to what you have to say, make sure the opening of your cover letter:
- Use a personalized greeting;
- It says who you are;
- Show that you are passionate about the job or the company;
- Highlight your main (and relevant) achievements and skills;
- Mention a mutual contact;
- Reflects the tone of voice of the company;
- It is adapted to a specific position and the needs of the company;
- Use keywords from the job description;
- It is short, sweet and direct.
Of course, the rest of your cover letter is also important. If you want to know what to write in the rest of your letter, check out our complete cover letter guide or get inspired by an in-depth analysis of IBM cover letters.