Free Cover Letter Examples with Cover Letter Tips

This article is part of a series called How to Write a Cover Letter. To start this series from the beginning, read the introduction.

It’s always a little bit easier to polish up a resume or write a cover letter when you’ve got a few resume cover letter samples to mull over. Since I’ve spent eons mulling over and contemplating job applications, I’ll spare you some grief and just give you some sample cover letters for free.

Both of these cover letter examples are based on the Classic and Contemporary Cover Letter Formats, so if you’ve read through this series then you’ll know what I’m squawking about. If you’re looking at your computer screen with a blank stare, don’t fret. This blog is a fret-free zone. Got it? Good!

Cover Letter Writing Series:
  1. Cover Letter Anatomy
  2. 6 Sucky Things
  3. 5 Rockin’ Things
  4. Cover Letter Formats
  5. Cover Letter Examples
  6. Free Cover Letter Templates

Each sample cover letter includes a little bio of the example job seeker to give you an idea if a particular cover letter format is a fit for you. So be sure to grab your target job, match your skills to the employer’s requirements, and get downloading these free cover letter samples. Ohh, and there are a few free resume examples available for download too. Aren’t I a super nice gal? Um, don’t answer that.

Classic Cover Letter Examples

The Classic cover letter format is the traditional method of formatting a cover letter since the content resembles a business letter.

Job Seeker Bio: Cindy Smyth, Administrative Assistant

In this sample cover letter, job seeker Cindy Smyth is applying for a job as an administrative assistant in the financial industry. She has opted to use the Classic cover letter format since her application is brief and the company she is applying to is fairly traditional.

sample cover letters cover letter examples classic
Free Download: Classic Cover Letter Example
(Administrative Assistant Example)

Cover Letter Tips

Contemporary Cover Letter Examples

The Contemporary cover letter format starts as a regular business letter, but instead of selling your skills in paragraphs, just list your stuff in a few bullet points. It’s easiest to write a Contemporary cover letter by copying the strongest points from your resume.

Job Seeker Bio: Jane Smith, Software Developer

In this sample cover letter, job seeker Jane Smith is the perfect candidate for the Contemporary cover letter format.

She has skills that are easily highlighted in bulleted points and her industry is not traditional. Due to the number of applicants in the technical field, I bet her hiring manager would appreciate a scannable cover letter.

sample cover letters cover letter examples contemporary letter
Free Download: Contemporary Cover Letter Example
(Software Developer Example)

Cover Letter Tips

  • Compare Jane’s sample cover letter with her sample resume and the target job. See how they match?
  • It’s easiest to write a Contemporary cover letter after the resume, since the best points are pulled from the latter.
  • Don’t be lazy and just list points. Be sure to write a solid introduction and finish with a flourish.

I keep getting emails about my resume advice and I love your feedback. Thank you! Please let me know if these sample cover letters are helpful. Now stay tuned for the next (and last) installment of the How to Write a Cover Letter series since I may include a free cover letter template (or two). :)

Your two cents:

  1. WellHeeled January 27th, 2010

    I am a fan of the contemporary cover letter format. Also, I try to keep CLs to 3 paragraphs with a line of closing. Employers might be too busy to read CLs that are longer.

  2. erin January 30th, 2010

    “Confidant”? Should it not be “confident”? Sorry I’m not trying to be a smart ass :)

  3. Kerry February 1st, 2010

    Oops! Fixed! Thanks for the bug report! :)

  4. billy February 16th, 2010

    I feel that the classic cover letter sample is too wordy. Even the contemporary sample could be shortened. If it were me I would be reading just the first few sentences of each letter. I say keep it to one or two paragraphs maximum.

  5. billy February 16th, 2010

    I think it is presumptuous for someone to suggest that they would be a good fit for the job. That is what the interview should determine.

  6. picky March 15th, 2010

    @Fox

    It should actually be “Oops” and not “Opps” :)

  7. Kerry March 15th, 2010

    Oops. :)

  8. Mr. T January 30th, 2012

    No one will ever hire you if you don’t even think you are a good fit for the job.

  9. Maurice April 3rd, 2012

    Hi,your write ups are exceptional.Any advice on interview tips?

  10. HenryThe2nd May 28th, 2012

    @Kerry
    I recently found your blog and I have to say it is an awesome resource for job hunters.

    I’m curious to hear what you would suggest I do if the application process is through a portal and it asks you to submit a cover letter. Is it still addressed to someone and what if you can’t find who that person is?

    I’ve read that it isn’t possible to source a contact only 10% of the time (not sure how true that is).

    I may be coming off as not hungry enough but I just want to know how hungry I should be so I don’t end up eating myself out of an opportunity.

    Thank you.

  11. Sercro November 15th, 2012

    I find these articles great, specially for those of us who doesn’t have much experience writing a resume. I was wondering if there is any special consideration to take into account when addressing towards an international position, requiring sponsorship for a worker visa. Thanks for the great help you provide with these articles.

  12. Toni January 24th, 2013

    Thank you for the great advise and samples. I think this is the first cover letter I’ve written on my own that I am truly proud of.

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