General cover letter template

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When you are looking for work, your cover letter is an important tool – it’s how you introduce yourself to an employer.

How you write a cover and what’s included depends on the situation. In most cases, you will be responding to an advertised job, although sometimes you might want to approach an employer you’d like to work for, even if they haven’t advertised a job.

The purpose of this cover letter is to introduce yourself and create a link between your experience, interests, values or goals and what you’ve learned about the business through your research.

Remember, not all jobs are advertised. If you are interested in a particular employer, you can use this template to write a cover letter to introduce yourself and show your enthusiasm for their business.

What to include

Your contact information

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Date of letter

Opening greeting directed at the reader

Include a person’s name if possible i.e. 'Dear John'.

If this isn’t possible, you can address to letter to ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ or ‘To whom it may concern’.

Reference line

Before the body of the letter, include a reference line, for example:

Re: General application for available positions within your organisation

Body of the letter

The aim here is to get noticed. Make sure you use positive language and get to the point quickly.

Explain why you’re getting in touch and show that you’ve taken the time to find out something about the business. If you know someone in the business, mention their name.

After the introduction, it’s time to ‘sell’ yourself. Show how your skills and experience would be an asset - be as specific as possible.

If you have no paid work experience, you can use the cover letter template - no work experience as a guide for this part of your letter.

Your letter should finish by thanking the reader for their time and consideration, inviting them to get in touch with you and indicating that you will follow up with a phone call soon.


Make sure you use a formal closing such as ‘Yours sincerely’ or ‘Kind regards’.

If you’re sending the letter via mail, include a handwritten signature.


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