How Do Cover Letters Start? (Career Advice)

A cover letter is a one-page document that gets attached to your resume when you apply for a job. It should briefly describe why you’d be a great fit for the position and how your skills and qualifications make you the best candidate. 

Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to show your personality through anecdotes and humor something that most companies are looking for in their employees (and something they don’t get from reading dozens of resumes).

Get Hired: How to Write a Powerful Cover Letter in 3 Simple
Customize your cover letter for each job you apply for
Use a strong and engaging opening line to grab the hiring manager’s attention
Highlight your most relevant skills and experiences in your cover letter
Keep your cover letter concise and to the point, with no more than one page
Stick to professional language and avoid using humor or unconventional language

What Should A Cover Letter Say?

The cover letter should be a separate document from your resume. It’s important to note that the hiring manager will not see your resume first, so keep it brief and professional (no more than 1 page). The cover letter should contain the following:

A greeting. Use “Dear [Hiring Manager]” or “To Whom It May Concern,” followed by their full name in a formal salutation such as “Dear [Hiring Manager]”.

An introduction to yourself. Briefly introduce yourself and explain why you’re writing this letter remember, they may not have requested one. 

If you already know something about them or their organization, mention it here! It’s also a good idea to include where you found out about the position if applicable; this could be one of several places such as LinkedIn searches

Through networking events hosted by companies like ours which connect students with employers who are looking for interns/full-time employees at certain times during each semester when school is in session (fall semester starts August 15th).

A summary of why you’re applying for a said position at a said company in particular? This section is optional but can help give an employer further insight into who exactly they’re looking at interviewing next week when our team does interviews during Career Week here at CSULB (which happens every year around mid-October).

Starting a cover letter can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Our guide on how to start writing a cover letter provides tips and examples to help you craft an engaging opening that captures the reader’s attention.

How Do You Address A Cover Letter?

The job application cover letter is your introduction, and it’s important to get the tone right. The best way to do this is by being straightforward and respectful. Use the person’s name and title, as well as all pertinent information about where you’re writing from (including their company). 

If possible, also include their phone number, email address, website URL, or social media handle so that they can get in touch with you quickly if they want to learn more about what makes you such an awesome candidate for their position.

If you’re applying through LinkedIn instead of applying directly via email or postal mail then use the same format as above but replace “Name” with “First Name,” replace “Title” with “Job Title,” replace “Company Name” with “Company Name & Location.”

How Do You Write A Good Cover Letter?

When it comes to writing a good cover letter, the first step is knowing what not to do:

  • Don’t just copy and paste from a template
  • Don’t just write a list of skills (that’s what your resume is for)
  • Don’t just write a list of accomplishments (they should speak for themselves)
  • Don’t just write a list of responsibilities (think about how they’ve helped you grow as an employee and person)

Don’t just write a list of achievements (unless they’re impressive enough to warrant their paragraph).

What Should Be Included In A Cover Letter?

Although the exact format of a cover letter depends on the position and industry, it’s always important to include your contact information at the top. 

Include your name, address, and phone number in addition to an email address if you have one. It’s also helpful if you include your website or LinkedIn profile link so that a potential employer can get a better idea of who you are.

If this is your first time applying for a particular position, make sure that you’ve done some research on how people in similar positions have written their cover letters before writing yours; there are many resources online that detail what should be included in each part of your letter. 

But no matter what kind of work experience or qualifications you have, some things should never be left out:

  • Your occupation(s)
  • The job for which you’re applying
  • How long it will take for them to fill the position (if known)
  • Your salary requirements

A well-crafted cover letter can set you apart from other job applicants. Take a look at what a cover letter looks like and learn how to structure your own letter for success.

How Do I Fill Out A Cover Letter For A Job That Has No Experience?

  • Address the cover letter to the right person.
  • Tailor your cover letter to the job you are applying for.

Be specific about why you’re interested in that particular position and company, especially if they do not offer any or much information on what they are looking for in their job postings.

Who Should You Address The Cover Letter To?

When writing a cover letter, it’s important to remember how many eyes will be reading it and who they are. The first person that comes up when thinking about addressing a cover letter is the name of the company you’re applying for (which, in most cases, isn’t an individual). 

Even if you know it’s addressed to “Dear Sir or Madam,” this can still be problematic because some companies have multiple people with these titles. In these cases, try going with “To Whom It May Concern.” If this sounds too impersonal (or if your mom taught you better than that), go ahead and use their names instead.

If all else fails, keep it simple and stick with “Dear Hiring Manager.”

How Do I Start My Cover Letter With No Experience?

If you have no experience to speak of but are applying for a job that requires or would benefit from the relevant experience, you can still get your foot in the door. The key is to show that you are capable and willing to learn. You might say something like:

“I am writing because I have heard that [company name] has an excellent reputation for teaching their employees new skills.”

“I am sending this letter of interest because I believe my background in [field] would be useful at [company name].”

Writing a cover letter may seem like a hassle, but it can make a significant difference in your job search. Our all-inclusive guide to cover letters covers everything from formatting to content and will help you create a strong and compelling letter.

Is Dear Sirs And Madams Acceptable?

Dear Sirs/Madams is not acceptable. It sounds like you are addressing a group of people, which isn’t the case. Instead, use Dear Ms. Smith or Dear Mr. Smith followed by a comma if you want to include both names in the salutation.

Let’s break it down:

Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. followed your name and contact information-this is usually sufficient for most job applications (though there may be some exceptions). 

The only time this format will change is when multiple candidates are applying for one position, in which case they may get asked to submit resumes at different times and so each resume should have its cover letter attached.

If you don’t know whether someone has been referred to as Mr., Ms., Dr., etc., then it’s best to go with “Sir” or “Madam” until you find out for sure!

In a competitive job market, a well-written cover letter can be the difference between getting an interview and being overlooked. Check out how important a cover letter is when applying for a job and learn how to make your application stand out.

What Are Some Mistakes Made In Cover Letters?

A cover letter template is the worst thing you can do for your job search. You won’t use a template and then be able to customize it so that it represents you and your skills, which are unique from all other applicants. 

Instead of using a template, take the time to write out your letter by hand it will make all the difference in showing off how well-prepared and thoughtful you are as an employee!

When writing your cover letter, don’t try to cram everything into one paragraph or use too many fancy words that sound like they’re straight out of Hogwarts (i.e., utilize instead of use). 

Employers need to understand what makes you stand out from other candidates and making sure it comes across clearly will help them make up their mind about whether or not they want to hire someone like YOU! 

If there’s something special about who YOU ARE as a person (and why), then make sure everyone knows about those things when reading through YOUR COVER LETTERS!

And again: Don’t overdo it with big words or phrases unless someone specifically asks for them in their job posting; otherwise stick with simple sentences without too much detail beyond what’s necessary (don’t get carried away).

A cover letter is an opportunity to showcase your skills and experience beyond what is listed on your resume. Our guide on how cover letters work explains why a cover letter is important, how to customize it for each job, and what mistakes to avoid.


We hope that the information we’ve shared here will help you write a cover letter that will get you noticed. We know how hard it is to find work these days, so don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t work out. Just keep at it and keep practicing until you get it right!

Further Reading

Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter: offers tips on how to start a cover letter that will make a strong first impression and grab the attention of the hiring manager.

How to Start a Cover Letter: 7 Proven Tips: Novoresume provides practical advice on how to start a cover letter that will make you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting an interview.

How to Start a Cover Letter: Opening Lines, Examples, and Tips: The Muse offers examples of effective cover letter opening lines and provides tips on how to customize your letter for each job you apply for.


How important is the opening line of a cover letter?

The opening line of a cover letter is crucial because it’s the first thing the hiring manager will read. A strong opening line can grab their attention and make them want to read more, while a weak or generic one can make them lose interest quickly.

Should I always customize my cover letter for each job application?

Yes, you should always customize your cover letter for each job you apply for. Hiring managers can tell when you’ve used a generic letter, and it suggests that you’re not truly interested in the specific job you’re applying for.

How long should my cover letter be?

Your cover letter should be no more than one page, with around three to four paragraphs. Keep it concise and to the point, highlighting your most relevant skills and experiences.

What should I include in my cover letter?

Your cover letter should include an opening statement introducing yourself and the position you’re applying for, a few paragraphs highlighting your qualifications and achievements, and a closing statement expressing your interest in the job and your availability for an interview.

Can I use humor or unconventional language in my cover letter?

While it’s good to stand out, be careful about using humor or unconventional language in your cover letter. It can be risky and might not be appropriate for all industries or companies. Stick to professional language that demonstrates your skills and qualifications.