The first thing a potential employer sees in your job application is the cover letter. This doesn't just support your CV – it's an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd and persuade the recruiter to put you through to the next round.
Be wary of spending hours on perfecting your CV at the expense of your cover letter. If you need some inspiration on what to include and what format to use, here are our helpful guides – just remember not to copy them as exact templates.
1. Standard, conservative style
This is ideal for sectors such as business, law, accountancy and retail. For more creative sectors, a letter like this might be less appealing, and could work against you.
Dear Mr Black,
Please find enclosed my CV in application for the post advertised in the Guardian on 30 November.
The nature of my degree course has prepared me for this position. It involved a great deal of independent research, requiring initiative, self-motivation and a wide range of skills. For one course, [insert course], an understanding of the [insert sector] industry was essential. I found this subject very stimulating.
I am a fast and accurate writer, with a keen eye for detail and I should be very grateful for the opportunity to progress to market reporting. I am able to take on the responsibility of this position immediately, and have the enthusiasm and determination to ensure that I make a success of it.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this application and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
2. Standard speculative letter
This may vary according to the nature of the organisation and the industry you're applying to.
Dear Mr Brown,
I am writing to enquire if you have any vacancies in your company. I enclose my CV for your information.
As you can see, I have had extensive vacation work experience in office environments, the retail sector and service industries, giving me varied skills and the ability to work with many different types of people. I believe I could fit easily into your team.
I am a conscientious person who works hard and pays attention to detail. I'm flexible, quick to pick up new skills and eager to learn from others. I also have lots of ideas and enthusiasm. I'm keen to work for a company with a great reputation and high profile like [insert company name].
I have excellent references and would be delighted to discuss any possible vacancy with you at your convenience. In case you do not have any suitable openings at the moment, I would be grateful if you would keep my CV on file for any future possibilities.
3. Letter for creative jobs
We've used the example of a copywriter but you can adapt it for your profession. The aim of a creative letter is to be original and show you have imagination, but understand what the job entails. Balance is essential: don't be too wacky, or it will turn off the reader.
Dear Ms Green,
· Confused by commas?
· Puzzled by parenthesis?
· Stumped by spelling?
· Perturbed by punctuation?
· Annoyed at the apostrophe? (And alliteration?)
Well, you're not alone. It seems that fewer and fewer people can write. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who can read. So they'll spot a gaffe from a mile off. And that means it's a false economy, unless you're 100% sure of yourself, to write your own materials. (Or to let clients do it for themselves.)
To have materials properly copywritten is, when one considers the whole process of publishing materials and the impact that the client wishes to make, a minor expense. Sloppiness loses clients, loses customers.
There is an answer. Me. Firm quotes are free. You can see some of what I do on my multilingual website at [insert web address]. If you'd like, I can get some samples out to you within 24 hours. And, if you use me, you'll have some sort of guarantee that you can sleep soundly as those tens of thousands of copies are rolling off the presses.
Luck shouldn't come into it!
With kindest regards
Other helpful resources
•How to write a perfect CV and cover letter
•Applying for jobs without experience? How to build and sell your skills
•Five steps to the perfect graduate CV
•School-leavers and graduates: how to write your first CV
•How to write a personal statement for your CV
•CV templates to fit every stage of your career
Looking for a job? Browse Guardian Jobs or sign up to Guardian Careers for the latest job vacancies and career advice
Resume examples by industry
You need to create a resume that highlights the specific skills employers are looking for. Check out these resume templates for a variety of industries.
Write your resume with these tips.
If you're wondering how to create a resume, you're in the right place! It doesn't matter what level you're at in your career—to get noticed by potential employers, your professional resume needs to knock their socks off. Your resume is much more than a compilation of your work history; it's a tool that lets hiring managers know that you're the candidate they've been hoping for.
Recruiters and hiring managers have seen every type of resume format imaginable. For maximum wow-factor, you must build a resume that highlights your industry-specific experience, accomplishments, and credentials, as well as important skills. If you need resume help, check out these resumes examples for various careers and career levels in the following industries:
Administrative/Support Resume Examples
Art/Design/Media Resume Examples
Automotive Resume Examples
Business Resume Examples
Child Care Resume Examples
Education Resume Examples
Engineering Resume Examples
Finance/Accounting Resume Examples
Health Care Resume Examples
Human Resources Resume Examples
Insurance Resume Examples
Legal and Law Enforcement Resume Examples
Manufacturing Resume Examples
Marketing/PR Resume Examples
Nursing Resume Examples
Real Estate Resume Examples
Restaurant and Hospitality Resume Examples
Retail Resume Examples
Sales Resume Examples
Student Resume Examples
Science Resume Examples
Technology Resume Examples
Trades Resume Examples
Transportation and Warehousing Resume Examples
Find all jobs on Monster.
Get your resume seen
For all the job ads out there, a hiring manager can expect to see dozens (sometimes hundreds, sometimes thousands) of resumes from hopeful candidates. Could your resume use a little help getting noticed? Join Monster today. As a member, you can upload up to five different versions of your resume—each tailored to the different types of jobs you're interested in. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with awesome people, just like you. Make it easier for them to find you, and for you to find a new job.