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How do you write your availability on a cover letter?

You should write your availability on a cover letter at the end of the closing paragraph.

If you’re available starting from a specific date, you can write something like “If hired, I can start this position anytime after March 3rd.” And if you need to give your current employer two weeks’ notice before accepting a job offer, try writing “I can begin work with two weeks’ notice.” Are you ready to start immediately? Simply write “I’m ready to start work immediately if hired.”

However, most job ads don’t require applicants to include availability in their applications, as this topic is often discussed during interviews.

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How to Write a Cover Letter


Writing a good cover letter will help you clinch an interview

After weeks of searching, you've finally found it: a job posting that suits your skills and interests perfectly. You know you're right for the position, but you're worried. What if you submit your resume and don't get called for an interview?

Clinching an interview is vital when it comes to finding employment, so why take a risk? Writing a cover letter that stands out could be all it takes to secure an interview.

The purpose of a writing a cover letter

The purpose of a cover letter is to provide a prospective employer with information on your skills, interests, and experience. A well thought out cover letter will also show an employer that you're organized, professional, and, above all, highly interested in the position. A poorly constructed cover letter can show an employer that you're disorganized, disinterested, or simply desperate for employment.

Consider your cover letter a platform that allows you the opportunity to market yourself to the company. Re-read your cover letter or review cover letter examples to get an idea of what you should include and how you should format a cover letter .

What to include when writing a cover letter

An introduction.

A cover letter, like all formal letters , begins with an introduction. In this section, introduce yourself and specify the position to which you are applying. It is also wise to point out that you are open to other similar positions in the event that the one you are interested in is not currently available. This indicates to the employer that you are flexible, adaptable, and willing to learn about the company.

You should also point out how you learned about the job offer: was it by way of a website posting, a family member affiliated with the company, a friend, or a newspaper ad?

In some cases, you may have already spoken to the person to whom the letter is addressed to ask some general questions about the position and the company. In this case, start off by thanking the person for his or her time with a reference to that conversation; the letter is then a follow-up to that brief discussion:

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me this morning regarding the technical support position currently being offered by ABC Company.

If you spoke to someone at that office and he or she suggested you address your cover letter to someone else, you could write the following:

Thank you for taking the time to review my attached resume. In speaking with Mr. John Smart from ABC Company earlier this week, I understand that you are looking for someone who has experience in technical support.

In a new paragraph, the body of the letter will follow the introduction. Here, we recommend briefly describing how your qualifications will suit the employer, keeping in mind that you are pointing out the highlights of your resume only , not reiterating them in their entirety. You can talk about your education, work experience, leadership skills, communication skills, or organizational abilities as they pertain to the position. Go into some detail, but keep it short.

Remember to use key words or phrases that are used in the actual job offer, if they apply to you. For example, if the job posting states that the company is looking for an applicant who has communication skills and works well with the public, highlight these traits in your description.

Keep in mind that many skills are transferable. If you are applying to a field in which you have no direct experience, remember that, in some cases, you can expand upon your existing skills, such as working with people or using your organizational talents. If the company is looking for a specific quality or certification but you are genuinely interested in the job, mention this but highlight the skills you do possess. For example, you could write the following:

Although I do not have a degree in environmental engineering, my work experience in the field of industrial wastewater treatment for Acme Inc. during the past five years has given me a solid base of knowledge in this profession.

When writing the body of your cover letter, remember to always emphasize your strongest attributes. Even if you think you may not have what the employer is specifically looking for, he or she may be impressed enough to grant you an interview based on your cover letter and experience.

Address the topic of availability

If you have prior commitments (such as finishing up a previous job or attending school), state this in your cover letter:

I can start this position as of January 1, at the end of my fourth semester.

I can start within a few days' notice, or more immediately should the need arise.

If the position is of a temporary nature and you are, for example, going back to school to continue a program, make sure you state this as well for clarification of your availability.

In the closing of your cover letter, thank the employer for taking the time to review your resume. Include a sentence that addresses your wish for a response in the near future, and give the employer the opportunity to contact you at his or her earliest convenience:

Thank you for taking the time to review my resume. I look forward to an opportunity to speak with you sometime in the near future regarding this position. Please feel free to contact me at the number(s) below at your earliest convenience.

After your name and signature, include one or two phone numbers (such as your home and/or cell phone) where you can be reached. Although you have already incorporated this in the heading of your resume, it is always a good idea to add this to your cover letter in case the resume or application is misplaced or they get separated from one another.

Make a first impression in person

Finally, if you have the opportunity to drop off the resume and cover letter in person, do so. Contact the company and ask if the person to whom your letter is addressed would be available for a few minutes to give you the opportunity to introduce yourself with respect to the position being offered.

This is ideal, since it helps the employer "put a face to the name," especially if there are numerous applicants for that job. The fact that you made the effort to meet with the employer demonstrates your determination, and he or she will remember you more clearly because of this.

However, use your discretion here. If the employer does not have the time to see you, you can either bring the resume package to a receptionist or assistant, which may still get back to the employer (i.e., "Mike Scott dropped off his resume today, and he seemed quite nice"), or simply mail it in. Do not force the issue by just showing up and asking for that person once you have been told that he or she is not available. This may be seen as being too aggressive and could land your application in a circular file (commonly known as the trash can).

Review your cover letter

As is the case with most written documents, if your cover letter is riddled with errors, you may be perceived as unprofessional to your potential employer. To ensure your resume and cover letter are free from errors and best represent your abilities and talents, send them to our resume editors for a thorough review.

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Key elements of a cover letter.

The cover letter is usually the first item an employer reads from you. Your letter should immediately indicate what position you are applying for and then give information that demonstrates why you should be considered for the position. Do not repeat all of the information contained in your resume. Instead, highlight or elaborate on resume items that are directly applicable to the position for which you are applying. The following information should be included in your cover letter.

Information about you

Begin your cover letter with your contact information. It should be in block style, on the left margin of your paper, towards the top. Name Current home address Telephone number
Include a date as you would do with any business letter.

Contact Person's Name, Title, Employer, and Address

Including a specific name can get your letter and resume to the hiring manager more quickly and can be an effective personal touch. If you are applying for an advertised position that does not give a name to contact, call the company and ask for the department manager's name.
Choose the appropriate way to address the contact person. For example: Dear Mr. Johns (if a man's name is the contact) Dear Ms. Smith (if a woman's name is the contact) Dear Prospective Employer (if there is no contact name)  

Opening Paragraph

In the opening paragraph tell how you learned about the position. You may, for example, know of a job through: a classified advertisement an unsolicited mailing the Internet personal referrals

Middle Paragraph

This paragraph gives a summary of your background and critical skills (hard skills) that make you qualified for the position.

Second Middle Paragraph

This paragraph can be used to demonstrate your persuasive skills (soft skills).

Contact Information and Closing

At the end of the letter talk about your availability for the job, where you can be contacted, and when you are going to contact the hiring person for an appointment to discuss your application. If you have no contact name you may simply want to indicate your anticipation for a response in this part of the letter. Thank the person to whom you are writing for his/her time and consideration of your application.

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How to Start a Cover Letter [+ Introduction & Opening Lines]

How to Start a Cover Letter [+ Introduction & Opening Lines]

Writer’s block got you staring at your blank screen? It’s not as hard as you think to start a cover letter that will blow the hiring manager away—this guide shows you how.

Aleksandra Nazaruk

As seen in:

You’ve got your resume locked down and are ready to turn in your job application. But that damn cover letter… You’ve been staring at your blank screen for what must be days now.

How to start a cover letter?

In this guide, we’ll show you how to start a cover letter perfectly and captivate the hiring manager enough to want to immediately call you in for an interview. We’ll craft a professional cover letter introduction and sort out all the header details while we’re at it.

Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from  20+ professional cover letter templates  that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.

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Sample Cover Letter for a Resume— See more cover letter examples here .

Aleksandra Nazaruk

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How to End a Cover Letter [20+ Closing Paragraph Examples]

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How Long Should a Cover Letter Be? The Ideal Length in 2023

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The right word count can make or break your cover letter. So how long should a cover letter be? Read on to find out.

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The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Cover Letter

Learn how to write an impactful cover letter that will improve the chances of landing your dream job.

Cover Letter Templates


Save time writing your next cover letter.

job seeker looks up job description to see what to include in cover letter

Updated: 02/25/22

Published: 02/25/22

Nowadays, companies have a computerized system that puts resumes through an online scanner which will automatically reject some applicants and push other applicants through depending on their qualifications.

So, What does this mean for you as a job seeker? Well, the cover letter attached to your application is more important than ever.

→ Click here to access 5 free cover letter templates [Free Download]

We've crafted this ultimate guide to cover letters. You'll find out how to write one that gets read, what to include, and browse tons of templates to gain inspiration.

You can dive straight in, or jump to the section you'd like to read.

How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

How to Format a Cover Letter

Are Cover Letters Necessary?

Tips for Writing Great Cover Letters

Cover Letter Examples

What is a cover letter.

A cover letter is a one-page document designed to persuade a hiring manager to interview you. It serves as a supplement to your resume and helps further explain why you’re a great fit for the job.

How long should a cover letter be?

OK, so you're all fired up and ready to craft the cover letter of the hiring manager's dream. But how do you manage the fine balance between in-depth and overwhelming?

A good cover letter is long enough to communicate why the recruiter should pick you but not long enough to bore them.

One page is usually enough to cover everything you'll need to include, without losing the recruiter's attention. Let's go into those items in more detail:

Your Name and Address

Kick-off your cover letter by adding your name and address to the document.

This step is pretty self-explanatory, but it allows the recruiter to easily connect your cover letter to your resume (especially if they're being printed).

Your name and address also make it easier for the recruiter to get in touch with a job offer. And that's the aim of our letter, right?

Their Name and Address

Similarly, you should add the name and address of the company or person you're writing to.

This shows you've done your research and allows the hiring manager to receive your letter if it's sent to a generic company email address.

The Date of Writing

Make it easier for the hiring manager to file your application by including the date on your cover letter.

Even if you're not successful this time around, the company might store your letter and refer back to it when they're hiring for another position.

Why You're Writing the Letter

We know that the aim of a cover letter is to persuade the hiring manager you're the best fit for their job.

Before you get to the good stuff, be sure to highlight the role you're applying for, as that can get lost.

Something like this will usually do the trick:

"I'm writing to discuss the content strategist role at HubSpot."

Why You're a Perfect Fit for the Job

The next section of a cover letter structure is the fun part. It's where you'll convince the hiring manager they should hire you.

In this section, answer these questions:

Once you've answered these, the recruiter will have a solid understanding of who you are, and (hopefully) be convinced to bring you on for an interview.

What You Can Offer the Company

Have you ever heard the advice to "always sell yourself in a job application"? That concept can be applied to cover letters as well.

Businesses measure success in terms of results. The company looking for a new employee will want to know what they bring to the table and how you fit into their business goals. New candidates are rarely brought on board solely for the soft skills listed in their resume .

That's why this part of your cover letter structure is arguably the most important.

In two paragraphs or less, show the business what you can do — and provide examples of how you've done it before.

Not only does this give you the opportunity to show off your skills, but the company can picture the success you'll bring to their business by hiring you.

Your Availability

In the marketing world, we're always told the importance a call-to-action can make.

Great cover letters end with a brief section on the candidate's earliest start date.

How to Address a Cover Letter

Earlier, we mentioned the importance of addressing the hiring manager by their name and address. This proves you've done your research and ensures the cover letter lands in the right place.

Personalized letters will always outperform generic ones, so including the first name of the recruiter can go a long way.

But in a world where privacy is held close to our chest, you might need to do a bit of digging before finding the hiring manager's name.

Luckily, you can use the power of the internet to do this.

How to Find a Hiring Manager's Name

Head over to LinkedIn and find the company's profile page.

You can do this by entering their name into the search bar or searching for a link to their LinkedIn page on their company website.

Then, click the number of employees to see all employees who are on LinkedIn:

how to look up employer details to format cover letter

How to Open a Cover Letter

After you've addressed the cover letter to the most relevant person, you'll want to:

  • Introduce yourself.
  • List the role you're interested in.
  • Explain your interest.

Here's an example:

" Dear Hiring Manager,

As an avid reader of the HubSpot Blog for the past five years, I am thrilled to submit my application for the content strategist role. I believe that my five years of experience working for B2B SaaS companies have equipped me with the skills needed to thrive in this role."

In the next two paragraphs, highlight your relevant experience and include key details from each role.

How to Close a Cover Letter

Once you've covered

Here are some great options:

  • Looking forward to hearing from you
  • Best Regards

Then, sign the cover letter with your full name.

Should you include salary requirements?

The cover letter should focus on why you are a good fit for the role. Discussing salary requirements doesn’t fit at this stage of your application.

Instead, it’s best to wait until you speak to a recruiter or someone from HR to discuss your expectations.

Are cover letters necessary?

Today, in many industries, cover letters are listed as optional. The question is, should you include one if it's optional?

The answer isn’t exactly clear-cut.

Some research would suggest that cover letters may not hold the same weight as they once did. However, a cover letter can help you stand out among the competition.

Are cover letters necessary job seekers believe getting a job will be harder than in previous years

4. Include data-backed examples.

When referencing experience from your resume, use your cover letter as an opportunity to explain in detail — with examples.

Examples allow the company to picture the success you could bring if they hired you, rather than the person next in their resume pile. But, data-backed examples give an extra edge.

Let's use an example. Which of these options is more impressive?

  • I increased leads for the company.
  • I increased leads by 35% in one month through a single blog post, which became the company's highest lead driver.

It's option B, right? That's because it's descriptive and shows results.

5. Tell a story.

Following on from the previous step, you could elaborate on your data-backed examples by telling a story.

Storytelling helps with relatability and gives a hint of your personality in a cover letter. It also makes the recruiter remember your cover letter amongst a sea of other one-page documents in their review pile.

However, this cover letter tip comes with a warning: Don't overdo it and make sure it's relevant.

6. Get a second pair of eyes on it.

Even the best writers make mistakes, but they can leave a negative first impression.

That's why our sixth cover letter tip is to get a second pair of eyes on it.

Email it to a friend or ask a family member to glance over it before you hit "send." Ask them to highlight any spelling mistakes or suggestions to improve how you're communicating with the person reading it.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Seeing as though a cover letter is one of the first documents a recruiter sees, try to make it perfect.

7. Be unique.

Finally, make your cover letter unique.

If you're applying for a creative role, experiment with colors, subheadings, and layouts.

If you're applying for more of a traditional role, be wary. Not everyone is a fan of bright, bold cover letters, but you can scope your limits by getting a feel of their company culture.

Are they strict and professional, or does the company like to have fun? (You can usually get a feel of this from their website or social media profiles.)

Testing the level of uniqueness can be a case of trial and error. If you're not getting great reactions from your cover letter, revise and try again.

We understand that inspiration can go a long way. That's why we've created a one-stop-shop for cover letter examples , which are available to view here.

You're also free to browse our collection of cover letter samples for extra inspiration on formatting your cover letter and learning from those who've helped to land dream jobs.

Now you're fully equipped to write a cover letter that will help you get your foot in the door.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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