We surveyed US hiring decision-makers to find out if cover letters are still necessary and if *you* need one to land a job in 2020. Here’s what we found.
You recruit, screen, interview, place, and onboard candidates in top positions.
But the roles are reversed now—it’s time for you to wow HR recruiters.
You know better than anyone else that, sometimes, a basic resume won’t do. You need that extra gear to set yourself apart from other candidates and land that interview—
A jaw-dropping human resources cover letter revealing the true HR superstar you are.
No problem—make your cover letter shine with this guide.
In this article, you’ll find:
- Two sample human resources cover letters: one for experienced HR specialists and one for entry-level candidates.
- Step-by-step tips on how to write a cover letter that will land you more interviews.
- A template you can copy, adjust, and have ready in 15 minutes.
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Let’s look at two human resources cover letter samples to start. Identify why these HR covers are first-rate.
1. Human Resources Cover Letter Examples
The first cover letter comes from Rebecca.
Rebecca has skills. Her ability to find top-quality candidates and onboard them is second to none. She’s been in the HR game for several years now and is the leader for cross-departmental implementation plans for new hires.
She’s ready for a change. She’s applying for a human resources manager position where her responsibilities are to onboard employees, perform compliance checks, and implement new recruitment strategies.
She highlights how her experience makes her a great candidate to fulfill this role in her HR cover letter:
Example #1: Mid-Level Human Resources Candidate
Germantown, September 16, 2019
Head of Customer Experience
2509 E Randolph Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20001
As a human resource professional with 5+ years of experience, I was thrilled to come across the opening for a Human Resources Manager at Dignari. I am confident in my abilities to manage employee relations, conduct onboarding processes for new hires, and instill data-driven solutions to recruiting strategies.
In your ad posted on Indeed, you state you’re looking for a human resource manager who is proactive and able to provide all aspects of HR support to managers and employees. In my current position at La Clinica Del Pueblo, I developed and documented procedures that streamlined different HR processes, ensuring timely investigations for employee issues. I also negotiated and implemented a secondary medical plan which increased employee benefit participation by 15%.
In addition, I sourced over 25 employees at La Clinica Del Pueblo while increasing the internal promotion rate by 20% through bi-monthly succession planning and staffing planning meetings with District Managers. Although HR is a department where many unknowns should be accounted for, I managed to implement a SMARTGoal Initiative, helping coach and mentor employees in managing their employee goal-setting processes. I’m sure this experience will result in similar results for Dignari.
Lastly, my reason for applying to Dignari over other companies is due to your values and principles. I’m impressed with the ethic promoted by Dignari, a woman-owned small business that embraces transformation and maximizes effectiveness. Being part of your team would be a dream opportunity to continue my career development.
May we schedule a meeting or a call to discuss solutions for improving your onboarding, recruiting strategy and talent management?
It’s clear Rebecca knows how to improve processes for the HR team and the hiring manager would be crazy not to take her up on her offer to meet.
But—what if you don’t have the same level of experience? Are you worried your cover letter for human resources will fall flat?
That’s not a problem.
Even if you’re inexperienced, your HR cover letter needs to be top notch. It’s a sure way to get the hiring manager to think:
“She seems very proactive and promising. We need people like this. Let’s give her a shot!”
Cater your human resources cover letter to the position you’re applying for.
Let’s check out Sandra’s human resources cover letter. She’s applying for a junior human resource specialist job that requires assisting the HR team with support functions.
Sandra knows how to land the interview with a simple HR cover letter that highlights her transferable skills.
Example #2: Human Resources Assistant Cover Letter (No Experience)
3877 Highland View Drive
Sacramento, 15 September 2019
Head of Human Resources
Savvee Consulting, Inc.
2379 Prospect Valley Road
Los Angeles, CA, 90017
Dear Mrs. Murkowski:
Having recently graduated, I was thrilled to come across an opening for a Junior Human Resource Specialist at Savee Consulting. With my excellent decision-making, interpersonal communication, and attention to detail, I am positive my skills will be beneficial for this position. I’m excited to start my career at Savee Consulting and am committed to providing excellent administrative and support for senior HR team members.
The call for applications posted on LinkedIn looks for a candidate who can demonstrate outstanding writing and communication skills, along with strong administrative skills relevant to HR operations. During my time as a student, I worked part-time as an administrative assistant in the Student Life office. We organized several annual drives for our students, such as a Blood Drive and Food Pantry Drive, where collections increased by over 20% year over year. I was tasked with screening applicant resumes and interviews for those who wished to volunteer for these drives. The number of new volunteers increased by 13% in the first year and 27% the second. This experience helped me gain knowledgeable skills applicable to the Junior Human Resource Specialist position at Savvee Consulting.
In addition to recruiting volunteers, I also helped compile a database of our volunteers to call upon when the need arose for specific events hosted by the Student Life Office. This helped lower the amount of time we spent searching for new volunteers. I also collected, reviewed, and analyzed qualitative data through surveys related to particular events and feedback given by our volunteers to improve administrative processes for future events.
As I look to begin a career in the HR world, this position at your company spoke directly to my own values. I would cherish the opportunity to work for a data-driven team like the one at Savvee Consulting. Can we schedule a time to discuss how I can help assist the human resources support functions for Savvee Consulting?
There you have it.
Two examples of clear and targeted cover letters for human resources jobs.
Now it’s time to make your own fantastic cover letter. Use our step-by-step guide as a walkthrough and you’ll be good to go.
And what if the deadline for your dream HR job is today? You need a cover letter now.
How does five minutes sound? Go ahead and use our fill-in-the-blank template to make your human resources cover letter. Simply enter your information and you’re set!
Don’t have a resume ready yet? Check out our guide here: Human Resources Resume Sample: 25+ Examples and Writing Tips
2. How to Write a Cover Letter for Human Resources Jobs Step by Step (Template)
Now you’ll know how to craft a professional HR cover letter:
1. Format Your Human Resources Cover Letter in a Professional Way
First impressions matter. Think of how your cover letter looks to hiring managers. Do you want to be known as the sloppy one or the professional one? Make sure your cover letter is formatted in an organized, detail-oriented way, to show you have a great business etiquette.
Use this checklist for formatting your cover letter:
- Make the content left-aligned not justified.
- Use 1-inch margins on all 4 sides.
- Choose a readable font—stay classy with Arial, Georgia, Verdana, Tahoma, or Helvetica.
- Go with 1.15 line spacing.
- Ensure it’s one page. Don’t spill your text onto another page.
Expert Hint: Looking at Duke University statistics, the number of applicants has increased by 18% last year, while accepted applicants increased by 5% for all MA and Ph.D. programs. This bleak outlook is compatible with most other schoolsWith an average outlook, you need to impress off-the-bat. Ensure your job applications are well-formatted to supercharge your candidate profile.
2. List Your Contact Information in the HR Cover Letter Header
Here’s the golden rule for your human resources cover letter header—
It should be an identical twin of the header on your resume.
Make sure your header has the basic information in this order—your full name, job title, and contact details.
Below the header of your HR cover letter, list the city, date, and inside address of the hiring manager.
Here’s a great design hack: left-align all the contents.
Use this template:
Human Resources Cover Letter Header Template
[ Your Full Name]
[ Your Job Title ] (Optional)
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ LinkedIn Profile ]
[ City and Date ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Full Name ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Position, e.g. Customer Service Team Leader ]
[ Company Name ]
[ Company Street Address ]
[ City and Zip Code ]
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
3. Identify the Job You’re Applying To in Your Introduction
You don’t want the hiring manager wasting their time trying to figure out what position you’re applying for.
Use the first paragraph of your human resources cover letter to tell them this.
Address the hiring manager by name in your greeting. Take the time to find out who the hiring manager is. Go on LinkedIn or the company’s website. If you can’t find the right manager, go the extra mile. Call up the front desk and ask. It’s one way to show you have great initiative and set you apart from other candidates.
The start of your cover letter specifies the position you’re applying for and shows how your relevant skills will be put to good use in your new position.
Need some help with your introduction? Try out this template by filling in the blanks with your information.
Human Resources Cover Letter Sample: Introduction
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name]:
When I came across the position for Human Resources Specialist with [target company name], I was ecstatic. With [number of years] of professional experience as a Human Resources Generalist, I am highly skilled in [interpersonal communication/critical thinking skills, organizational skills] that will help meet and exceed your company’s deliverables.
Expert Hint: Need to show you can manage HR tasks and ensure adherence to applicable U.S. laws and regulations? The HR Certification Institute offers a prestigious Professional in Human Resources certificate. Study up, pass, and see how much it boosts your candidate profile!
4. Showcase Your Relevant Strengths
Not all strengths are created equal in the eyes of an HR hiring manager. There are specific requirements you need to meet in order to land that HR gig.
It’s what the second paragraph of your human resources assistant cover letter should deliver.
Specify how you’ll succeed in the new position by selecting a few key requirements listed in the job ad. Find specific examples to show how your past duties and achievements link to these skills. It’s a sure way to show how you’ll solve any upcoming challenges in your new role.
See this fill-in-the-blank example.
Human Resource Generalist Cover Letter: Middle Paragraph
In your job ad, you clarify that you need a Human Resource Generalist who is experienced in [refer to the requirements of the job]. My most recent position with [name of your current or most recent company] I have succeeded in [responsibilities, duties, or projects you’ve successfully completed, supported by metrics, if possible]. I strongly believe my expertise will translate into similar results for [target company name].
Expert Hint: In a 2018 report published by SHRM/Globoforce, 47% of HR leaders cite employee retention and turnover as the main workforce management challenges. If your initiatives helped retain employees in your previous HR job, highlight it in your cover letter!
5. Tell Them Why They’re Special
You’re locked into applying to this company for a reason. Now is the time to tell them why you’re choosing them over others.
Give a compliment or two in this section. It should highlight the third paragraph of your HR cover letter.
Remember, you’ll be hired based on your merit as a candidate. They won’t hire you just because you really want the position. But they don’t want a candidate who will come in and be a robot.
They want their employees to love the company. Let them know why this job is better than any out there.
Too difficult to do on your own? Try out this template:
Human Resources Cover Letter Example: Your Motivation
My personal reason for applying at [target company name] relates to [something you genuinely admire about the company]. My professional beliefs matter a great deal and it’s great to see how your values and mission reflects my own. It would be fulfilling both personally and professionally to have the opportunity to grow at [target company name] and develop my skills further.
6. End with a Clear Call to Action and a Proper Sign-Off
You want to end your cover letter with a bang.
Go out on a limb and ask them to meet you in person or have a chat on the phone. Show them you’re proactive by offering a time to discuss your specific thoughts on how you’ll improve processes at their company.
Try this sample human resources cover letter closing as a reference:
Sample Cover Letter for a Human Resources: Call to Action & Formal Closing
Can we discuss how my skills will help [target company name] achieve your deliverables over an in-person meeting or call?
[Digital Copy of Your Handwritten Signature]
[Your Full Name]
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Remember to follow these steps when writing a cover letter for human resources jobs:
- Address your HR cover letter to the hiring manager directly.
- Start with an introduction and specify which position you’re applying to. Describe your key strengths here.
- Match the job requirements to your relevant achievements and show them how you’ll help meet the company’s upcoming challenges.
- Highlight your motivations for joining the company.
- Request a meeting or call at the end of your cover letter.
Got any questions? Need further help with writing your covering letter for human resources jobs? Let me know in the comments, I’ll be more than happy to help!