How to Start a Cover Letter

by | Last updated Apr 24, 2024 | English Learning

Struggling to find the right way to begin your cover letter? This guide provides you with the top cover letter introductions and opening paragraphs to kickstart your cover letter.

Need help initiating your cover letter? This guide provides top-notch cover letter introductions and opening paragraphs to assist you.

What is your English level?

Find out your A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 level of English with our quick, free online test.

How to Start a Cover Letter

Recruiters receive numerous letters, and it’s crucial to capture their attention and convey the main message quickly. So, the key question is: How do I begin my cover letter to stand out? Here’s your solution:

1. Organize the header.
2. Address the hiring manager correctly.
3. Strategically craft your opening sentence.
4. Highlight your top qualities in the first paragraph.

We’ll delve into each aspect and offer actual samples for your reference. Let’s dive in:

1. Format the Heading Area

The initial element the hiring manager encounters in your cover letter is the header.

Given that a cover letter typically adheres to a formal structure, adhere to the business letter format when composing it. This entails placing your details first, followed by the date of writing, and then the recipient’s name and address. Unless utilizing a specific cover letter template designed otherwise, left-align all elements.

Why does the address on a cover letter hold such significance? Because when executed flawlessly, it’s nearly imperceptible to the recruiter. However, if mishandled, it could detract from your application before you even commence.

Here’s a sample template for how to start a cover letter with a header: 

2. Address the Cover Letter Directly to the Hiring Manager

With the header sorted, the next step is to kick off our letter the right way.

As business communication has evolved toward informality in recent years, the traditional “Dear Sir/Madam,” opening for addressing an unknown recipient may now seem a bit outdated. So, what’s the alternative? Simply, address the hiring manager by name. This immediately adds a personal touch and a sense of familiarity.

But what if you can’t ascertain the hiring manager’s name? Don’t fret! Engage in some detective work. Check the company’s website or LinkedIn profile. If those avenues fail, consider reaching out to the receptionist.

Still unable to find a name? Here’s how to start a cover letter without one:

Dear Hiring Manager,
Dear Marketing Department Lead,
Dear ABC Company Team,

Be as specific as possible. While you may not have their name, attempt to determine the job title of the individual handling your employment process. This demonstrates your diligence in the process.

3. Grab their attention with the opening sentence of your cover letter

While effective cover letter strategies may vary across industries, certain tips are universally applicable to any cover letter striving for excellence.

Below, you’ll find a plethora of examples of opening lines for cover letters to choose from:

1. Introduce yourself and specify the position you’re applying for.

Although the recruiter understands the purpose of your letter, they may not necessarily know who you are or which position you’re seeking (especially if the company is hiring for multiple roles simultaneously).

If you’re not applying through a referral or if you’re unfamiliar with the hiring manager, incorporating these details into your first sentence is a courteous gesture.

My name is Michael Scarn, and I would like to apply for the Customer Service Officer position at Sellesto.

2. Mention The Relevant Experience That Makes You a Good Candidate

The ideal method to grab attention in a cover letter? Highlighting your experience.

This approach is most effective for candidates with substantial experience. Therefore, if you possess a professional track record of 3+ years, it’s advisable to emphasize it right from the start.

I am a software development engineer with over 7 years of experience working for Amazed and FIA Mobile. 

3. Show That You Love the Company

The Boston Consulting Group’s emphasis on employee development is why I’m so excited about this position. My 98% client satisfaction rate at Deloitte owes a lot to my commitment to constantly improving my skills. I’m excited to see where I could take your client KPIs within such a well-constructed system.

Tailoring a cover letter to align with the job requirements is essential for its effectiveness. One effective way to customize your cover letter introduction to the company is by expressing your admiration for it or demonstrating your understanding of its goals.

4. Name-Drop by Saying You Know Someone Relevant

Did someone internal refer you to the job? Let them know with this method:

As a web designer for the past decade, I’ve collaborated with many people on various projects, large and small. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with James Ellegaard. After working together for several weeks, he recommended that I apply to join the Product Design team at Osiris Visuals. With my 100% client satisfaction ratings, I believe I am the right candidate to hire as the next graphic designer. 


Are you C1 Advanced English?

Get your C1 Advanced English certificate now!

Add your certificate to your resume

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

5. Exude Enthusiasm, Excitement, and Passion

Demonstrating enthusiasm is perpetually fashionable in cover letter introductions. Employers seek genuine human connections, not the robotic replacements that may emerge in the future.

Yesterday, I stumbled across the news that Jedno Corporation has set a strict goal to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2025. I applaud your company’s goal! One thing led to another, and I found a perfect specialist position waiting to be filled on your careers page. I would love to be a part of Jedno’s historic reduction in dependence on fossil fuels.

7. Display Some Creativity & Humor

It won’t always work, so be careful! But for less formal job applications, a little joke goes a long way (unless, of course, it falls flat—you’ve been warned).

You posted a job ad for a line cook for the Red Sparrow Restaurant’s kitchen staff. I would love to apply for the position, as I can make a reduction like no one’s business, do crazy utensil-flipping tricks like those chefs at Benihana, and cook a steak people fight over. Also, I’m a size small if you hire me, so it could save you money when you order chef jackets (compared to hiring some larger candidates). 

8. Get straight to the point

If you sense that being indirect might deter the employer, consider stating your intent to apply for the job directly in the opening of your cover letter.

I’d like to officially submit my application for the manager position at Smith’s Wholesale Club. With 5+ years of experience as a supervisor at Costco, I’ve developed a knack for effective, empathetic leadership and easily discernible results. I know that my supervisory experience and sales floor skills make me a perfect prospect to be one of Smith’s management staff.

9. Craft a Powerful Belief Statement

A belief statement directly articulates a specific idea or value that holds significant importance to you, often aligning with the company’s perspective.

As a web developer, I believe every person should be able to access the internet on any device, unrestricted and efficiently. I admire Johnson & Gilchrist’s commitment to bringing affordable electronics and unfettered network connectivity to the less fortunate. I would love to be a part of your praiseworthy efforts and submit my official application for the back-end developer position.

What is your English level?

Find out your A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 level of English with our quick, free online test.

International Test

International Test

Related Posts