Basic Cover Letter Template: Simple Examples & Tips for 2020

Learn how to write a simple cover letter to ace your next job application. With a step-by-step, recruiter-approved basic cover letter template to follow.

Writing a cover letter doesn’t have to be difficult. What seems intimidating at first is a piece of cake once you know what to do. So to make your job even easier we’ve prepared this guide to writing a simple cover letter that’ll be as impressive to hiring managers as it’s easy to write.

 

You’ll also get a basic cover letter template and examples that you can follow step-by-step as you write your own. Read on, and you’ll learn that when it comes to writing a cover letter, the simple things really are the most important.

 

Use the LiveCareer cover letter builder and your cover letter will write itself. Choose a professional template, answer a few easy questions and the creator will generate a professional cover letter for you with just one click.

 

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Simple cover letter template

 

Anthony Newley

58 Newington Close

London

N12 6TY

 

22nd September 2020

 

Jennifer Burns

Office Manager

Whyte & Bradley

164 Central Avenue

London

SW1A 7BT

 

Dear Ms Burns,

 

As an experienced administrative assistant, I was excited to see the current opportunity to join your office support team. As a specialist in supporting payment processes in the finance industry, I am confident that I can make a significant contribution to the smooth and efficient running of Whyte & Bradley’s operations.

 

As an administrative assistant with Greentech Finance, I took pride in identifying and remedying inefficiencies during the course of my work. This included identifying and removing redundant steps in an approval process that sped up invoice processing by 25%. I also achieved annual review performance scores in excess of 90% throughout my employment.

 

I am aware that Whyte & Bradley plans to consolidate its administrative support from regional offices into the central London office. Apart from being able to meet and exceed targets for throughput of tasks I am also confident I can support the onboarding of the new team members this change requires. At Greentech I acted as a ‘New Starter Buddy’, providing basic training in software and systems and providing support. It would be an exciting opportunity to help Whyte & Bradley make this transition a success.

 

Many thanks for taking the time to consider my application. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at your convenience, so we can discuss how my advanced skills in Oracle Financials could assist the office support team in meeting its goals.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Anthony Newley

 

You’ve just seen a perfect example of a simple cover letter template. Now it’s time to learn how to write a basic cover letter.

 

1. Use the right simple cover letter format

 

A simple cover letter template for a job application has to be set out properly. Get it right and it’s instant proof of your written communication skills. You also ensure that your cover letter is easy to read as well. Here are the basic rules.

 

Select a professional and easy to read font. The best CV fonts are ideal for cover letters too. Arial, Times New Roman and Garamond are ideal. And don’t get too hung up on serif vs sans serif fonts. There’s good research to suggest it doesn’t really make any difference.

 

Set your page margins to one inch on each side, have line spacing set to 1.15, and leave a space between paragraphs. That creates white space on the page, which in turn improves readability.

 

Also, make sure your cover letter address format is correct. Start with your own contact details, set to right-alignment. Then leave a space and write the date, following the correct format. E.g. 22nd September 2020. And then switch to left-alignment and write the hiring manager’s personal details.

 

Finally, know when to stop writing. The ideal cover letter length is one page or less.

 

Simple cover letter header

 

Anthony Newley

58 Newington Close

London

N12 6TY

 

22nd September 2020

 

Jennifer Burns

Office Manager

Whyte & Bradley

164 Central Avenue

London

SW1A 7BT

 

You can adjust every cover letter created in the builder to meet the job requirements. Choose the name of your profession and the company to which you’re applying, and the builder will automatically adapt the content for you. Create a cover letter faster than you ever thought possible and apply for the job in record time.

 

Create your cover letter nowcover letter builder

 

Create your cover letter now

 

2. Begin with a personal greeting and a compelling first paragraph

 

A simple cover letter begins with a simple premise. Grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep them engaged. From the outset, you need to show you’re a strong candidate who can make a solid contribution to your prospective employer. Here’s how to do exactly that.

 

Begin by greeting the hiring manager by name, using the standard formal greeting. ‘Dear [hiring manager’s name]’ and never ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘To Whom it May Concern’. Using this basic cover letter hack makes use of a proven scientific principle. When a person reads their name it instantly activates their brain. When they see an anonymous greeting though it looks impersonal and generic. If you really can’t find a name, go for ‘Dear Hiring Manager’.

 

Next, move on to your first paragraph. In the first sentence mention the name of the role and the company you’re applying for to make your intentions clear. It also shows you’ve written a tailored cover letter and not just copy-pasted the same one you used for other job applications.

 

Then finish the first paragraph with a ‘hook’. Use your professional achievements and skills to show the hiring manager that you mean business and make sure you show commitment to contributing to the employer’s success.

 

Simple cover letter opening

 

As an experienced administrative assistant, I was excited to see the current opportunity to join your office support team. As a specialist in supporting payment processes in the finance industry, I am confident that I can make a significant contribution to the smooth and efficient running of Whyte & Bradley’s operations.

 

3. Include more proof of your abilities

 

The second paragraph of a basic cover letter should build on the foundations laid by the first. Use it to add even more evidence of your suitability as a candidate. It’s all about emphasising your relevant skills and experience. Here’s how to do it.

 

Refer to the job advert and note the skills and experience that are key requirements for the job. Then make sure you mention aspects of your own experience and abilities that match. The best way to do that is to showcase professional accomplishments, using numbers to quantify them. E.g. ‘I identified and removed redundant steps in an approval process that sped up invoice processing by 25%’.

 

And you can give your accomplishments even more impact by writing them using the PAR formula (problem action result). In the example above the problem is the redundant steps, the action is identifying and removing them and the result is the increase in processing speed. Your aim is to not just say what you did, but prove how well you did it.

 

Basic cover letter second paragraph

 

As an administrative assistant with Greentech Finance, I took pride in identifying and remedying inefficiencies during the course of my work. This included identifying and removing redundant steps in an approval process that sped up invoice processing by 25%. I also achieved annual review performance scores in excess of 90% throughout my employment.

 

You don’t have to create any content yourself. The LiveCareer cover letter maker will automatically suggest the best content for your cover letter with ready-made examples and expert tips.

 

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Create your cover letter

 

4. Demonstrate your passion and commitment

 

Use the third paragraph of your simple cover letter to show you’re excited about the role and that you’ll be a committed employee who’s keen to make a positive contribution. The best way to do this is to find out a positive aspect of the company that makes you want to work for them. Research the company’s recent news and achievements using their corporate website, LinkedIn and Google.

 

In addition, you can also show how your skills can help to resolve challenges or changes that the company is facing. Both approaches are excellent ways of proving you’ll be a great new hire.

 

Simple cover letter third paragraph

 

I am aware that Whyte & Bradley plans to consolidate its administrative support from regional offices into the central London office. Apart from being able to meet and exceed targets for throughput of tasks I am also confident I can support the onboarding of the new team members this change requires. At Greentech I acted as a ‘New Starter Buddy’, providing basic training in software and systems and providing support. It would be an exciting opportunity to help Whyte & Bradley make this transition a success.

 

5. End with a thank you and a call to action

 

The closing paragraph of a basic cover letter needs to make a strong finish. And achieving it is easy. Always say thank you, it’s good manners and another great way of getting the recruiter onside. That’s because it’s a form of prosocial behaviour, which increases altruism. Or to put it in simpler terms, saying thank you makes the recruiter more likely to want to reciprocate your good manners with an invitation to an interview.

 

Then reinforce your desire for an interview with a call to action. Ask the hiring manager to make contact with you so you can discuss the role further. And for a final finishing flourish, you can mention your career goals or include one more accomplishment.

 

Basic cover letter closing paragraph

 

Many thanks for taking the time to consider my application. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at your convenience so we can discuss how my advanced skills in Oracle Financials could assist the office support team in meeting its goals.

 

6. Use the right sign-off

 

A simple cover letter is effectively a formal business document. Make sure you follow the rules with the correct sign-off. Use your full name and ‘Yours sincerely’ if you addressed the letter to a named person and ‘Yours faithfully’ if you started with ‘Dear Hiring Manager’. 

 

Optionally, you can add a scanned copy of your handwritten signature. And if the letter is being sent as the body of an email, your personal details should go below your signature rather than in the letter header.

 

Basic sign-off for a simple cover letter

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Anthony Newley

 

To make it look extra professional, pair your cover with a matching CV cover letter template. And don’t forget that a basic cover letter for any job needs a well-written CV to go with it.

 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Choose a professional CV template and quickly fill in every CV section using ready-made content and expert advice.

 

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Thanks for reading this guide. Please ask in the comments section if you’d like to get more advice on simple cover letter examples. We’ll be happy to help.

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LiveCareer Editorial Team
LiveCareer Editorial Team

About the author

Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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