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Three Types of Cover Letters to Write

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Summary: Since cover letters are such an important part of getting a job, here are tips on how to write three types of cover letters used in different situations.

Cover letters are an essential part of the job search and application process. Many employers will not even consider an application if the resume does not have a cover letter with it. Even though cover letters are not always read, they are expected. Employers like to see how you communicate outside of the restrictions of a resume.

It may be tempting to write a generic cover letter and try to use it for all your applications, but generic is boring. Employers will not learn anything about what skills you have that apply to the job. If you want to convince the company to interview you, you have to provide specific information on the skills they are looking for that you have.

Three Types of Cover Letters:

1. Cold Contact

A cold contact letter is sent when you don’t know if the company is hiring. The letter serves as an unsolicited application. To write this letter, research into the company is essential. Providing specific details about the company in connection with your skills will provide them with the information they need to determine if you are a match. Do not send a generic letter.

2. Referral

A referral letter is sent when you have a referral from someone in your network about a possible job. Provide the name of the person who gave you the tip on the position if they are known by the employer. Give specific details of how your skills fit with the company’s needs. Researching the company should be a cinch since you have an inside connection to turn to.

3. Response to a Job Ad

This letter is the most common type of cover letter. It is sent in response to a job advertisement. State the job you are applying to and the reference number if there is one. Refer back to the ad’s listed skills to make it clear you have what it takes to do the job. Do not focus on the skills they have listed in the job ad that you don’t have, just highlight the ones you do have. Still, research the company so you have something to use when demonstrating how your skills align with their company’s needs.

Have you ever tried sending a cold contact letter to a company? Share with us your experiences in the comments below.

To learn more about writing a good cover letter, read these articles:


Three Types of Cover Letters to Write by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin