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These days, applying for many jobs is as easy as clicking two buttons (thank you, Easy Apply on LinkedIn!). But what about the cases where Easy Apply is not an option? What about applications that ask for not only a stellar resume, but also the perfect cover letter and thorough work sample, or even a full professional portfolio? 

It can be a lot to take on, especially if you’re desperate and want to apply to numerous job postings. Many, in these cases especially, feel the need to skip the cover letter, since it’s arguably the most time-consuming—having to personalize and rewrite them each time you apply for a new position.

But do you always need a cover letter? And if so, what should your cover letter include?

As you’ve probably noticed from the next header, we’ve got all the answers you need to know.

Yes, You Need a Cover Letter*

As Novoresume notes, “Recruiters might not have the time to read ALL the cover letters they receive, but they will definitely read cover letters if they’re on the fence for a candidate.” And, of course, where they are necessary, not submitting one, they say, is a big red flag.

So, for every job application, make sure to craft a unique cover letter that 1) expresses your interest in the position and the company, 2) how your previous experiences directly relate to the job as described in the job posting, 3) any gaps or changes in your career path, and 4) any referrals you might have had for this job.

And perhaps almost equally as important, remember to always include the following in every cover letter.

  • The date of application
  • The job title/posting number
  • The company name
  • The name of the hiring manager/team members mentioned in the job posting (or, at the very least, a greeting!)
  • A sign-off with your name

This might require a bit of research, but trust me, it’s worth it. You don’t ever want to address the wrong people, misgender or mis-identify a team member, or do any other faux pas that will start you off on the wrong foot.

Then, sign off with your name and the way you’ve like to be addressed (i.e., in an interview, what name should they use? What are your pronouns? Etc.)

*The only times you shouldn’t include one is if the posting explicitly says not to include one or if there is nowhere to upload a separate cover letter file.

4 Tricks for Writing a Perfect Cover Letter for Any Job

1. Use a Simple Cover Letter Template

While you can definitely keep your cover letter simple and straight to the point—i.e., just using a blank Word document and copy and paste the necessary information (the company name, the job posting number, the keywords they use in the posting, etc.)—a more customized cover letter can be a nice touch to an overall concise and readable application package.

Unless the field is an inherently creative one that might instead require a more over-the-top application to show individuality and style, I recommend keeping your cover letter clean and minimal.

These templates from Indeed and Zety, for example, streamline the document quite nicely. This is great for making sure all of the information that is necessary is included, but is also easy to read.

And even the most simple designs, as the above examples show, can make a big visual difference.

2. Use AI and Cover Letter Generators

Just as you might pick keywords from the job description to use in your overview section of your resume, you’ll want to tailor your cover letter to address exactly how well suited you are for the job at hand.

Use the same keywords the job posting uses, and then add your own that are relevant to the field to show you’re meeting all expectations that the posting outlines and are even adding more value to the position than is expected.

Grammarly, for one, has a great tool that takes keywords and phrases from your resume and plops them into a cover letter tailored to that resume.

You can also use AI software like ChatGPT to pick the keywords from a job posting that match your resume, then ask it to put those keywords into a cover letter.

Jacob Jacquet, CEO of, shows how to do so in this LinkedIn article here.

3. Proofread and Add Specific Details

With this above said, if I, a professional copywriter, were to offer you any advice, it’s to never trust the quality of the copy AI writes for you.

Don’t get me wrong, AI software like ChatGPT can be useful for many things, but proofreading for syntax and quality writing is not one of those things. So, if you do go the AI route, make sure you always proofread and edit the text it offers.

Specifically, I recommend reading it aloud to find any sticky points in the sentence flow. When in doubt, keep your sentences short and to-the-point, and use a grammar tool if that’s not your strong-suit!

As well, keep an eye out for vague or passive language. Replace phrases like “I was in charge of” or “responsible for” with “I managed” or verbs specific to your field (i.e., wrote, scheduled, programmed, instructed).

Lastly, avoid using general statements without any key performance indicators (or, KPIs). For example, if a program writes that you are an “excellent communicator,” (and you are indeed one,) showcase how your great communication manifests. That is, maybe you add that you were a great communicator, “successfully building relationships with and gaining over 50 clients over the past month.”

4. Add Links for More about You

Of course, there’s no one way to either start nor end a cover letter. Some suggest adding a postscript (i.e., “p.s. …”) to the end of a cover letter to add a bit of personality and grab the reader’s eye. Others suggest keeping it simple and signing off professionally (i.e., “Sincerely, Kendra”).

I personally am a fan of the professional sign-off with small notes or links after my name. For example, if I were applying to a copywriting job like the one I have now, I would sign off with something like:



MA, PhD Candidate (class of 2025)

Here, I added qualifications that are specific to writing, then offered a link to my LinkedIn profile. You can also offer a link to your personal, professional website, an online portfolio, or any other platform that links readers directly to more of your work and experience.

This way, if they’d like to see more about you and your work, they have the ability to do so in a way that you know will best showcase your professional side.



Above all, remember to always tailor your cover letter just as you would your resume. Always include the company’s title, the job name and number (if there is one in the posting), the addressee/recruiter’s name, and your name at the end of the letter.

The general rule of thumb for a perfect cover letter will always be to keep it short and sweet (3 paragraphs maximum!) and describe as specifically as you can how you will contribute to the company when you’re hired.

Good luck and happy writing! 🤞


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