See cover letter templates and examples that get jobs and learn how to write your cover letter in no time. Plus: free cover letter samples and tips from HR pros.
Once you get going, you’ll be fine.
But here’s the problem:
How to start a cover letter in the first place?
There’s a simple formula that blows employers away.
Step 1: Pick your biggest achievement that fits the job.
Step 2: Personalise with company needs, facts, events, or name-dropping.
Step 3: Know how to address a letter of introduction, and to whom.
That sounds hard, but there’s a quick way to do it right.
This guide will show you:
- How to start a cover letter that erases other applicants.
- Sample cover letter introductions you can use.
- How to begin a cover letter with the right salutation.
- Why the best cover letter intros start with accomplishments (and how to nail ‘em).
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Here’s how to write an attention-grabbing cover letter first paragraph.
Cover Letter Introduction Example
1602 Ferguson Street
New York, NY 10110
Split Q Inc.
3455 Angus Road
New York, NY 10007
Dear Mr. Talone,
Slashing costs 20% at Kenna Senno was the biggest challenge and most fun I’ve ever had. The highest hurdle? Developing the leadership skills to guide my team of three designers through the daily struggles.
I drew on all my past achievements, including:
- Developing 350+ graphic design projects in two years.
- Spearheading the team that won the 2016 Shopify Design Award at Ama Tama.
- Leading meetings for a project to boost client revenue past 120% of targets.
With my deep knowledge of how to produce high quality while mentoring a team, I’m confident I’m a great fit for Split Q Inc. That’s why when Shauna Paiva suggested I apply, I knew I had to get in touch.
I’d value the opportunity to discuss slashing your costs 25% in the next four months.
PS—I’d love to explain how my belief in adding emotion to my work helped me get the D&AD New Blood award in 2013.
That’s how to begin a cover letter.
Need more cover letter introduction examples? Want to know how to address cover letters without names?
1. Start a Cover Letter With First Paragraph Gold
“When I destroyed Sauron...”
If you’re Frodo, that’s how to start a cover letter.
You don’t talk about your grasp of written Elvish.
You tease your biggest win.
But—it’s got to fit the job like a custom Rolex.
These two cover letter introduction examples show how:
How to Open a Cover Letter Examples
- Your best achievement is boosting sales by 35%.
- The job ad calls for delegation skills.
The achievement in the first of those cover letters shrink-wraps you to the job.
Use these examples in your cover letter openers:
Improved Company Metrics
- Raised revenue 30%.
- Slashed costs 20%.
- Boosted customer retention 15%.
- Delivered all projects at least 3 days before deadline.
- Led the team that raised customer appreciation scores by 22%.
A Great Personal Achievement
- Scored 99 out of 100 in 2 of 4 sections on the CPA exam.
- Manager said I’m the “most professional person he’s ever met.”
- Chosen as team mentor.
- One of my projects received a Webby award.
- Project-managed seven multi-million dollar construction projects.
- Promoted in just 2 months.
Expert Hint: How do you know your big achievement will impress the hiring manager? Connect with a couple company employees on LinkedIn (or phone) and talk to them.
2. Make Your Cover Letter Personal
Your cover letter introduction must be attention-grabbing.
To guarantee dropped jaws—
Tie it to the manager and company.
By adding one of these key facts:
- Company Needs. Do they need cost-cutting most, or marketing ROI? Find out in the job ad, or by reaching out to employees.
- Company Facts. Do they value employee development? Innovation? Learn this on their website or by reaching out.
- Name Dropping. Are you connected to someone at the company? Can you be? Check Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and contact them.
- Company Events. Did they just make the Fortune 500 list or win a huge award? Search news headlines for this cover letter opening trick.
How to use key facts in a cover letter intro?
Do it like these how to start a cover letter examples:
Cover Letter Opening Paragraph Examples
- Your big achievement: Increased development efficiency 32%.
- Company event: Their Agile push was written up in TechCrunch last month.
That first cover letter first paragraph lists a huge achievement. Best, it mentions news the hiring manager is proud of. Guaranteed heart-string tugger.
Expert Hint: Starting a cover letter with the hiring manager’s name is gold. Don’t know it? Call, or do some LinkedIn hunting. Still don’t know it? That’s up next.
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3. Find Out Who to Address a Cover Letter To
Now you know how to start a cover letter.
Who should you address your cover letter introduction to?
How to Start a Cover Letter—Examples
Check these how to begin a cover letter examples:
- Dear Sue,
- Dear Mr. Munoz,
- Dear Arthur,
- Dear Ms. Odom,
Starting a cover letter with names works. Why? Our own names pull attention like electromagnets.
How to Begin a Two Whom It May Concern Cover Letter
Can’t find the name?
Use one of these:
- Dear Project Management Hiring Manager,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
Those cover letter intro examples work because they’re not generic. That’s vs a To whom it may concern cover letter opening statement.
Expert Hint: Don’t know a female employer’s first name? Use Ms. instead of Miss or Mrs. It’s not linked to marriage status and won’t irk the hiring manager.
4. Address a Cover Letter Properly
Had enough introductory paragraph examples?
Just need to know how to write an address on a cover letter?
List your address, the date, then their address.
Do it like this how to start a cover letter example:
Cover Letter Openings—Example
2030 Longview Avenue
Forest Hills, NY
22 Stark Tower
NY, NY 10001
Dear Mr. Stark,
That letter of introduction example is clean, professional, and does the job.
Expert Hint: In an email cover letter, don’t use full mailing addresses. Your web URL, phone number, and email address are plenty.
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Here’s a recap of how to start a cover letter:
- The best cover letter openers start with your most pulse-pounding accomplishment. It could be raised revenue, an award, or a high test score.
- Pick an achievement that fits what the job offer is asking for. If they want cost-cutting, don’t talk about high customer-appreciation scores.
- Mind-meld your accomplishment to the job. Cite company facts, needs, news, or name-dropping in your cover letter opening lines.
- Address a cover letter with “Dear” + the person’s name. Don’t know it? Use “[XYZ] team hiring manager.”
Still wondering how to write a cover letter opening? Can’t find company facts to use for cover letter openers? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply.