How to Start a Cover Letter with format & Writing Tips

Before understanding how to start a cover letter while applying for a job, the applicant should know what a cover letter is and its purpose. A cover letter is nothing but a document that should be sent with the job seeker’s resume. It provides extra information on the applicant’s experience and skills.

How to Start a cover letter

The essential opening sentences of the cover letter should make the applicant stand out from other job seekers. It should be clearly indicated as to which position the applicant is approaching for. Since, the recruiters may look at the job seeker’s application for other position also; the candidate must definitely make sure his or her intention for a specific position in the organization. It will be an added advantage if the name of the referral is mentioned in the cover letter. This might assist the job seeker to be selected for an interview. Mentioning the name of the referral will certainly be a plus point for such a candidate. 

Further, the job seeker has to state his or her achievements attained in the earlier job. The applicant can express the value added to the earlier organization from the job activities for which he or she has worked for. The previous job title can be mentioned if it might be identical to the position for which the candidate is applying at present. 

The job seeker should write about the passion for the work and his or her enthusiasm regarding the company and the job applied for. Here, the cover letter acts as an excellent chance to depict the candidate’s talents to the recruiter. This can reveal how the job seeker is fit for the vacant position. Using keywords found in the list of jobs can be beneficial. A skill mentioned in the ad post, which the applicant might have, must also be written. 

a) Cover Letter Introduction Sample

The first few sentences in a cover letter for a job are very important. This is because hiring managers and recruiters spend little time while going through the application of a job seeker. Hence, it is vital for the applicant to attract their attention as soon as they read the first one or two sentences of the cover letter. It may so happen that the recruiters, if not interested, may reject the application. 

If the candidate feels hesitant in starting to write the cover letter, he or she can review a few models of other such cover letters. This certainly will act as a guide. But, the applicant should write the introduction relating to his or her personal experience, and according to the post for which the application is being sent. If the job seeker indicates how well he or she can be a good match for the post applied, the chances of attending an interview will be better.

b) Cover Letter Opening Salutation

The opening salutation in a cover letter is always very important. This salutation is the greeting which a candidate writes during the commencement of a cover letter. While applying for a job, writing a salutation bears importance. This has to be done either while writing a cover letter or forwarding an email message while submitting a job application. A suitable greeting or salutation will show the importance of the applicant’s letter, which should be presented in a professional manner.  

The job seeker can start the cover letter salutation by writing the Last Name or Dr.or Mr.or Ms. If he or she is not sure whether the person to be addressed is female or male, the applicant can write their complete name. In case the job seeker is unaware of the employer’s name, he or she can address as, Dear Hiring Manager. This manner of addressing in the cover letter is much better than the formal or generic expressions such as ‘to whom so ever it may concern.’ However, it is important for the job seeker to examine the information available with him or her to choose the right type of cover letter greeting or salutation. Here, the applicant should try to choose the one that perfectly works for the job in the company for which the application is being sent. On the other hand, if the applicant is not aware about the contact person in that organization, using general salutation is preferred. Some of the examples of general salutations used today include:

  • Dear Company Name Recruiter
  • Dear Sir or Madam
  • Dear Human Resources Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager

However, it is important for the applicant to make all-out efforts to identify the name of the contact that should be used in the cover letter. This strategy will help the applicant to create a good impression on the recruiter or the employer. 

The applicant should learn the concept of drafting dynamic cover letter openings. For this purpose, he or she should adopt a formula that could be used as guidelines for writing any cover letter. However, it is important for the candidate to know that each cover letter should be special and unique. While writing the paragraphs of dynamic cover letter openings, it is essential for the applicant to keep it, as for as possible, concise. In this regard, it is good for the job seeker to write it within one page only.

The sentences in each paragraph of the cover letter should not exceed one to three sentences. As a part of cover letter openings, which needs to be dynamic, the job seeker should note that it is important for him or her to invoke the interest of the employer while writing the first paragraph itself. 

Further, the applicant should lucidly provide the desired information that could benefit the recruiter or the hiring manager in the future. Hence, presenting such a dynamic cover letter opening paragraph will assist the job seeker to stay high from all the other applicants who have applied for the same job.

An important tip here is that the employer will have twenty seconds maximum, to get impressed from the candidate’s cover letter, by making it more dynamic in the first paragraph itself. In the second paragraph of the cover letter, the job seeker can further give briefly the details about the professional and academic qualifications, achievements and specific accomplishments. In the third paragraph, it is necessary for the applicant to explain by giving details as to why he or she should be considered for the position.

How to Start a Cover Letter - Opening Sentence Examples  

The following are recommended as creative cover letter opening sentence examples.

1. A job seeker being an information technology professional, holding a great experience in high level management, in this industry, can gain success while applying for a new job. This can be achieved by motivating the skills and resources of the applicant and by expressing them with well defined goals.

2. The applicant while applying for the entry-level post in an organization should express his or her interest in the job. The candidate can mention where he or she graduated from and the courses like, business, finance, and investments, studied. The job seeker can mention that these courses will provide a strong base for his or her career.

3. While writing a creative cover letter opening sentence, the applicant can express extreme interest in occupying an International Marketing post in a well known organization. Further, he or she can also mention the colleague’s name who suggested that the applicant should contact the hiring manager directly.       

Given below is the text version of a sample cover letter that can be adopted while the job seeker plans to send his or her application to the prospective recruiter or hiring manager.

Sample Start a Cover Letter (Text Version)

Steve Collins
48 Bond Street
Middle Town, West Virginia 50604

February 14, 2017

Dr. Kevin Thomas
Dental Clinic
6th Avenue, Suite C
Middle Town, West Virginia 50604

Dear Dr. Kevin,
My colleague, Sonia Williams, recommended that I should meet you to indicate my interest in applying for the post of a dental assistant in your clinic.

I hold a dental assistant license, having experience for more than 12 years. I have assisted hygienists and other dentists during my career. Recently, I have gained expertise in the four handed dentistry technology. Besides, I am proficient in using Henry Schein Dentix Software also.

I also possess the following qualifications and skills that match the description of the job mentioned in your website:

  • I have experience in taking and in developing of X-rays
  • I have professional experience in the area of infection control. This covers the preparation and sterilizing of instruments including other equipment
  • I have  excellent knowledge in the work of scheduling several types of soft wares
  • I possess language skills in Spanish and English
  • I provide attention to detail and offer excellent customer service

I wish to mention that I adore people. It will be a good opportunity to assist dentists in enhancing the lives of their patients through my sincere support. 

My resume is enclosed and I anticipate your call for an interview.


Steve Collins

Cover Letter


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