Cover Letter

How to Start a Cover Letter: 10 Ways to Make a Powerful Entrance


Now in this guide, you’ll learn how to start a cover letter and 10 different ways to write a powerful introduction that gets your hiring manager’s attention

All cover letters begin with the header section which includes your contact details:

  • Full name
  • Location
  • Date
  • Email address
  • Company name

After the header section comes the greeting followed by the opening paragraph. 

Now in this guide, you’ll learn how to start a cover letter and 10 different ways to write a powerful introduction that gets your hiring manager’s attention. We’ve also shared examples for each type of opening paragraph structure as well as a hack to generate a powerful introduction in 30 seconds or less. 

Without further ado, let’s get started.

How to Greet the Reader on a Cover Letter

Ideally, address the reader using their last name like so:

  • Dear Mr Jacquet
  • Dear Ms Jacquet

Or if you’re unsure of their name, address them by their job titles such as: 

  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Team

Although it’s not as personal as addressing them by their name, greeting them by their role still sounds much better compared to using a generic phrase that could be sent to anyone. For that reason, it’s why greeting the reader with just their honorifics like “Dear Sir/Madam” isn’t as common.  

The only way you shouldn’t greet the reader is by saying “to whom it may concern”. This is completely impersonal and shows you haven’t done your research to find out who you’re writing to. And this doesn’t leave a good impression. 

Here’s how to find the name of who you’re writing to: 

  • Ask your recruiter 
  • Ask the company’s HR department
  • Check the company’s website about page
  • Check the company’s LinkedIn page

How to Start a Cover Letter: 10 Ways to Write an Engaging Opening Paragraph

Now that we’ve got the opening salutation out the way, we’ll go through 10 ways to write a powerful cover letter opening paragraph that positions you as an ideal candidate. If you’d like to customize your introduction further and make it unique, feel free to mix and match the different structures (but don’t go further than a 4-5 line paragraph). 

On that note, another option is to check out our cover letter examples guide for inspiration based on proven samples.

1. Write About Why You’re Interested in the Job Opportunity

Start by mentioning the job position you’re interested in and how you found out about the opportunity. 

Then, explain why the job caught your interest. While this explanation isn’t always necessary on a cover letter opening, it can be effective for expanding on your introduction but at the same time, you could just get straight into it after stating the job you’re interested in and how you found the opportunity.

Anyhow, here’s some examples of what those reasons might be for explaining why you’re interested in the job:

  • Areas of expertise
  • Passions
  • Industry knowledge
  • Skills match

See the examples below that follow this approach.

Dear Hiring Manager,
As a Civil Engineer, I am very interested in the Civil Engineer position in your company. I believe my education and employment experiences make me an ideal candidate for the position.
Dear Hiring Team,
I am applying for the Data Analyst position at Tata Consultancy Services, as advertised on Linkedin. I have reviewed the job description and believe I have the skills and experience necessary to be successful in this role.

2. Highlight Your Career Goals or Passions

Share your career objectives that align with the company’s vision and mission statement. It shows you’re someone with a passion, which is a sign of a potential long-term candidate. This is a good place to start especially for those of you writing a cover letter with no work experience

Now although this approach focuses on your goals and interests, what you say must be directly tied to how you can help the company grow. Otherwise, if your objectives aren't relevant to how the company would benefit from working with you then it won’t be that useful to know.

See the examples below. 

Dear Hiring Manager,
I’m writing to you regarding the Research Assistant position in the Department of [Department Name] at [University/Laboratory Name]. As a [graduate/postgraduate] in [Your Qualification] from [Your University], I have the necessary academic background to be a competent contributor to your research team. Moreover, assisting with your research in [field of research] directly complements my career as I plan to pursue a [Master’s/doctoral degree] in this field in the future.
Dear Hiring Manager,
I am writing to apply for the Machine Learning Engineer position you advertised on Linkedin, as I believe that my skills would be a great asset to the company. I feel that my dedication to the field of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, along with my problem-solving skills and knowledge of related technologies, will allow me to contribute a lot to your organization.
Dear Hiring Manager,
I’m writing to express my interest in the Physician Assistant role advertised on [Website’s Name]. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, I knew my passion was to work in a medical setting where I could actively help improve people’s lives. After receiving my PA certification, I now have 5+ years of work experience at Resurgens Orthopedics and Alliance Orthopedics that I’d love to bring forward to better serve [Company Name].

3. Showcase Your Qualifications

Mention your qualifications and academic achievements whether that’s a university degree or professional diploma. Then, expand on your point by writing about how you can apply what you know for the company’s benefit. 

This is a great starting point for those of you applying for internship opportunities

See the examples below. 

Dear Hiring Team,
I’m writing to you regarding the marketing role that opened up recently. I came across the job description on [Website Name] and was delighted to find that my academic accomplishments meet all of the necessary requirements. I am seeking a challenging but rewarding internship, which is why I was drawn to this exciting opportunity.
Dear Hiring Team,
I am interested in the Network Engineering Intern position at Company Z. I have been working as a Network Engineering & Operations Intern at Company A for the past 3 months and I am currently in my final year of study at XYZ University. I am completing a Bachelor of Information Technology majoring in Network and Information Security.
Dear Hiring Manager,
I am writing to submit my application for the property manager position that you are advertising on [Wesbite Name]. With 15 years of experience in property management, a BA in Real Estate, and the necessary federal and California state certifications, I believe that I would be an excellent fit for this role.

4. Mention Mutual Connections 

That friend you have that works for the company you're applying to and referred you? Mention them in your cover letter. After bringing up your mutual connections, share what interested you enough about the company to make an application. 

See the examples below.

Dear Hiring Manager, I am applying for the Product Marketing Manager position at company Z. I have spoken with several members of Company Z’s Product Marketing team and was each time impressed by their acuity and passion for both establishing business connections and their firm.
Dear Hiring Manager, I am applying for the Strategy Analyst position at Company Z. After reviewing your website and speaking with a few of your staff members, I am confident that my experience will be a great asset to your company’s continued success.

5. Mention Your Own Experiences With the Company

A personal experience with the company could be something like:

  • Being a long-term customer yourself
  • Following their social media accounts
  • A particular marketing campaign you resonated with

Writing about your own experiences with the company is a good way to stand out. It shows employers that you’re already well-versed in what the company is about which could reduce the amount of time required for the onboarding process. Moreover, it shows that you have a genuine interest

See the examples below. 

Dear Hiring Manager,
Please accept this application for the Sales Manager position in the company’s United States operations. I have followed your company and its affiliates for several years and am impressed with your success and reputation in providing high quality products and services to your clients.
Dear Hiring Manager,
I am very interested in the Front-End Developer position at Company X.
My interest in Company X began when I read an article about the company’s software development efforts. I was particularly interested in the company’s goal of creating an easy-to-use platform for customers to conduct their business online. As a customer of Company X myself, I have always admired the convenience of e-commerce and online banking.

6. Show That You’re a Strong Cultural Fit

Focus on a particular aspect of the company culture and mission statement. What company values do you relate to the most and why? 

It’s worth starting your cover letter with an outline that takes the company culture into account so that you can articulate those ideas more clearly in your writing. Hard skills can be taught and learned but it’s not as easy to find someone with a similar mindset, worldview, and mutual core values. 

See the examples below. 

Dear Hiring Team,
I am writing to apply for the position of Senior Project Manager at Company Z. I am very interested in this position due to the company’s reputation for promoting from within and taking strong leadership in their projects. I feel that I have the necessary experience for this position with my experience of being a Project Manager at Company A.
Dear Hiring Team,
I am applying for a Web Designer position at Google. I have chosen to apply for this position because of your strong reputation for excellence. I’ve developed a strong interest in the Internet, technology, and how people interact with each other and their devices. I’ve shown the ability to solve business problems in an innovative manner and I am excited to bring my experience to Google.

7. Showcase Your Most Impressive Achievements 

In other words, your career highlights. Showcase key achievements from a previous experience that you’re proud of. However, use numbers to back up your points so that it looks more credible. This also prevents you from coming off as cocky. 

Once you showcase your accomplishments, set the agenda of your cover letter. State why you believe your career highlights make you qualified for the position. 

Here’s an example below. 

Dear Hiring Manager,
I am writing to apply for the Senior Analytics Consultant position in Google’s Consulting department. I am a strong team player with the ability to work quickly and effectively in a dynamic and challenging environment. In my previous position at Company A, I worked to identify and develop a Python-based NLP (Natural Language Processing) model to match customer correspondence with customer records. Within two months, I had achieved a 93% match rate, achieving 80% precision and 86% recall.

8. Highlight Technical Areas of Expertise

Similar to the last point but rather than highlighting achievements because you may not have the numbers, showcase your areas of expertise. But if you choose not to highlight your technical skills in your introduction, definitely include this part somewhere in one of your cover letter paragraphs

This is effective for letting the reader know where your strengths are as a professional as well as why they should hire you. 

See the examples below.

Dear Hiring Manager,
With 10+ years of experience in coordinating operations of large-scale projects, I look forward to bringing my exceptional analytical, technical, and administrative abilities to the Project Coordinator opening at [company name].
Dear Hiring Manager,
I am applying for the Data Scientist position at Google with an interest in Machine Learning. I have been utilizing data to solve complex problems, specifically in the sales of Company A. My experience has been in developing analytics solutions to help the company identify their top deal registration opportunities by analyzing the cash flow from the sales data they were generating. I have learned to understand the significance of data analysis and how to effectively communicate my findings to decision makers.

9. Focus on Interpersonal Skills 

Write about how you’re a strong communicator and back it up with either your years of experience or a particular career highlight. Some jobs like manager roles require solid interpersonal skills, which is why a good cover letter tip is to put emphasis on your soft skills.

See the examples below.

Dear Hiring Manager,
I am excited to share with you my interest in applying for the Director of Customer Experience Operations position at Company Z. I am a Senior Operations, Accounting, and Analytics professional with a demonstrated history of working in a variety of roles in the telecommunications, education, and healthcare industries. I am a strategic, results-oriented leader with a proven track record of success in the areas of leadership, team development, stakeholder management, and process improvement.
Dear Hiring Team,
I am applying for the Recruiter position at Company Z. I have been working in the recruiting field for the past six years and have gained a wealth of experience in developing and executing on recruiting strategies, and building relationships with our clients and candidates.

10. Share the Specific Value You Can Offer From Your Years of Experience

Bring up the number of years of experience you have in your profession. From there, share a key benefit you could bring to the table that’s relevant to the company’s needs. This is a compelling starter for two reasons: 

  • It implies that you have the right expertise 
  • Radiates confidence and enthusiasm

See the examples below. 

Dear Hiring Manager,
I am applying for the Director of Digital Marketing position at Company XYZ as advertised on Linkedin. My goal is to use my 5+ years of experience in digital marketing to contribute to the company’s growth and success. I believe that I can deliver a valuable addition to Company XYZ by building and implementing a strategy that will integrate digital marketing tools and techniques to help grow the company.
Dear Hiring Manager,
I’m excited to write to you regarding the open pharmacist position at [Pharmacy Name]. I saw your job posting on [Website], and I noticed that your requirements match my work history perfectly. I have over 10 years of experience as a competent, diligent, and reliable pharmacist. I have a strong record of consistently providing personalized customer service, minimizing administrative errors, and maintaining an efficient pharmacy.

2 Questions to Ask Yourself for a Powerful Cover Letter Opening Paragraph 

You don’t have to rigidly follow each of the structures we’ve listed above. You could even mix and match to create your own unique introduction. However you choose to write your opening paragraph, you’re all good as long you address the following factors. 

Does Your Writing Ooze Enthusiasm?

Hiring managers often want long-term candidates. One sign of a potential long-term candidate is someone that oozes enthusiasm. The way you imply enthusiasm is through your word choices and tone of voice. This also makes your writing sound more personal. 

Use emotive language for when you don’t have much experience or mention your industry expertise and achievements to ooze confidence. 

Here’s a few example sentences that radiate enthusiasm: 

• I am excited to be applying for the <job title> position, which was advertised on the…
• I am keen to contribute to your…
• I feel that my dedication to the field of <industry> along with my problem-solving skills and knowledge of related technologies will allow me to contribute a lot to your company.

Does It Answer Why You’re the Right Candidate?

The purpose of your cover letter is to explain why you’re a good match for the company’s needs. In other words, capture the reader’s interest by highlighting your strengths that prove you would be the best person for the role. 

Make it clear why you’re a good fit immediately. Saving this information until the end of your cover letter isn’t a good choice because your prospective employer may not even read that far. 

4 Cover Letter Examples With Impressive Opening Paragraphs

Here are 4 more cover letter examples with a strong opening paragraph. Take inspiration from each of these but if you don’t see your job title listed, you’ll probably find it here in our library of 180+ cover letter templates

Financial Analyst

Financial Analyst cover letter

Investment Banker

Investment Banker

Marketing Assistant 

Marketing Assistant



Generate a Powerful Cover Letter Introduction in 30 Seconds or Less

Coming up with a strong hook takes time. But it doesn’t have to when you’re using Rezi’s AI writer to do the writing for you. 

Here’s how it works: 

  1. Enter the company name.
  2. Write the job position/title you’re applying for. 
  3. Select a previous job position/title to highlight. 
  4. Press “AI Writer Ready”.

And that’s it. 

Rezi generates a successful cover letter for you by following the best writing practices in reference to your professional background. All you need to do is fill in your details so Rezi can tailor the cover letter based on your work history and the job position you’re applying for. 

Sign up here to get started for free. 

Watch the clip below for a live demonstration of Rezi AI. 


Make the First Impression Count

Out of all the parts on a cover letter, spend more time on the opening paragraph because it determines whether the hiring manager will want to continue reading the rest. 

Like anyone, most of your attention is directed at the start of a presentation as opposed to the middle of a presentation. You can’t retain your reader’s interest if you haven’t captured their interest to begin with. 

In short, a bad cover letter opening sets the tone for the rest of your application. Make the first impression count by investing more time in refining your introduction.

Astley Cervania

Astley Cervania is a career writer and editor who has helped hundreds of thousands of job seekers build resumes and cover letters that land interviews. He is a Rezi-acknowledged expert in the field of career advice and has been delivering job success insights for 4+ years, helping readers translate their work background into a compelling job application.

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