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The opening sentences of a cover letter are considered to be the most important. You want to open a cover letter in a way that entices the hiring manager to read the rest of it. We’ll show you how to start a cover letter that grabs the attention of the hiring manger and increases your chances at an interview.

How to start a cover letter

There are a few things you need to include in the first few opening sentences of a cover letter:

  • State your qualifications (briefly)
  • Express your desire to work there
  • Position you’re applying for
  • Name of the person who referred you (optional)

 

You don’t want to go into your qualifications too much, you could just mention the number of years of experience you have in a certain position or a major career achievement.

You should also always show your desire and a genuine interest to work there as it’s a major purpose of a cover letter. Try to mention the company name which always catches the attention of a hiring manager.

Also mention the position you’re applying for. Hiring managers don’t want to waste time trying to figure out which position you’re applying for.

Lastly, always mention the name of a referral if you have one. Nothing catches the attention of a hiring manager like a referral does. Remember that 85% of the jobs filled in the U.S. are through some sort of referral.

We’re not going to go into detail about writing a complete cover letter but here are some awesome examples on how to start a cover letter. (We wrote a good post on writing a cover letter here).

 

Good Examples of Opening a Cover Letter

 

Here is a good basic example:

Dear [Hiring Manager]

I’m very interested in the junior web developer position available at Google. Web development has been my passion for the last four years and I recently graduated from Stanford with a degree in computer science. I did a summer internship at Chegg where I was part of a team who helped optimize and improve the UI drastically.

 

Here is an example when mentioning a referral:

Dear [Hiring Manager],

Alison Lombardi suggested I contact you regarding the position you have open for a graphic designer. Having been in graphic design for the past 9 years, I would love the opportunity to interview for the position and explain how I can benefit [name of company].

 

Here is a good example from Monster:

Dear Ms. West:

I was excited to see your opening for a customer service rep, and I hope to be invited for an interview.

My background includes serving as a customer service associate within both call-center and retail environments. Most recently, I worked on the customer service desk for Discount-Mart, where my responsibilities included handling customer merchandise returns, issuing refunds/store credits, flagging damaged merchandise for shipment back to vendors and providing back-up cashiering during busy periods.

 

Here is one with a really friendly and personal tone from the Interview Guys. Don’t be afraid to add some personality to it!

Dear Mr. Sorensen:

When I saw the job posting looking for a Production Office Coordinator for the educational television series, “Wonder Kids,” I knew I had to submit my resume. I am a hard-working and enthusiastic Production Office Coordinator with over eight years of practical hands on experience and am ready for my next adventure! I am currently looking for an opportunity to continue working within the industry and know my skills and experiences would be a good fit for the position and the “Wonder Kids” team overall.

 

This is another good example from Askamanager:

Dear Hiring Manager:

It is with great enthusiasm that I submit my application for the position of Sales Coordinator for the Westeros Castle Project. As an administrative professional with over ten years’ experience, I know my diverse skills and qualifications will make me an asset to the Westeros project team.

 

Follow these good example above to capture the hiring manger’s attention and increase your chances of landing the interview.

 

There are a few opening sentences you should avoid using which we want to mention:

 

Cover Letter Openings to Avoid

 

 

Bad cover lettter opening

 

This is just too boring and the hiring manager could care less what your name is at this point. If they really wanted to know your name, they’ll check the header. Don’t waste the most important real estate on a cover letter with “my name is”.

 

To whom it may concern on cover letter

 

Okay, there’s no need to even explain this. Just don’t!

 

 Please find my resume attached on cover letter

 

Really? Do you think the hiring manager doesn’t already know that? To go along with the first point, don’t take up this valuable space with unnecessary information that will most likely piss the hiring manager off.

Always make an effort to find the name of the hiring manager and address the cover letter correctly. 

 

Remember to keep your cover letter short, concise and to the point. Use quantifiable achievements and action verbs to capture the attention of a hiring manager.

Now that you know how to start a cover letter, check out this post on how to end one that entices the hiring manager to invite you to an interview.

 

 

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