Cover letter application examples - download free as PDF or Word!

What makes the cover letter so important for your job application, besides the CV? so important? 400 applications for an advertised position and 20 seconds for the hiring manager's first decision. From this often results in the decision: Rejection or invitation to an interview. This is often how job applications are how job applications are often handled in companies.

Did Did you know how little time a human resources manager has, especially in large large companies have to sift through job applications? Let's stay with our example. Imagine the position of a secretary of a secretary is to be filled. In a very short time several hundred applications for this job arrive. Each application consists of at least a CV and a letter of application including attachments. But there are only one or maybe two employees, who have to look through all these documents. And they don't have have four weeks to do it, it has to be done quickly. So the first impression is decisive. How do you get your application application land on the first positive pile?

In addition to a lot of information you will find on our homepage

  • Professional cover letter samples
  • Cover Letter as Word Template
  • Application cover letter
  • Short cover letter sample
  • Good cover letter
  • Blind application cover letter

The most important in 5 points

What is What is particularly important in a letter of application?

  1. The cover letter must not have any errors
  2. Make the cover letter reader-friendly
  3. Stick to the formal and usual structure
  4. Remain authentic in all parts
  5. Your information must be truthful and verifiable.

Tips for a successful cover letter

The The cover letter for an application is not just typed on the computer in a few minutes. on the computer with good content and no mistakes. At least if you want to make an impression and land the job. the job. You don't think you can manage to write a unique introduction for this important document? introduction for this important document? We are sure: You can do it! Read our tips and advice carefully. advice.

First First of all, be aware that your job application is primarily one thing: Advertising on your own behalf. You want to convince people of your merits and you need a marketing strategy. Read one or two template and cover letter sample. You will see that that many of them already differ in terms of content in the introduction.

What must not be in the first sentence

For For every cover letter: The first sentence must captivate the reader and invite him and invite them to read on. "I hereby apply for.....", is the worst possible way to start. Just like "With I have read your job advertisement with great interest" or or "I would like to apply". These are also introductory sentences for the cover letter that no one and are used in an inflationary manner.

One One of our example sentences is used in almost every cover letter. So right off the bat, boredom is preprogrammed is pre-programmed. The fact that you are applying for a job, an apprenticeship training place or an internship is clear from the subject of your cover of your cover letter. So you don't have to emphasise in the first important sentence that you are applying. The same applies to mentioning what you are applying for. This has also already been in the subject line. You would like to apply? Then do so and don't use the subjunctive! You are very interested in the job advertised? That is assumed and does not need to be mentioned.

There are similar or other frequently used phrases that signal: "The applicant has not put any thought into this but used some kind of platitudes". Always remember: Your job application is the first sample of your work, that a potential employer will see of you. Make So think about the content of every single sentence. and take a look at our cover letter samples.

The first sentence decides?

The most important thing for the first sentence is your unique selling proposition. This USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is an important criterion in sales psychology. It is precisely this insight that you should make use of it. Think about it, ask others for their opinion about you and reflect on your previous experiences. What distinguishes you from others in the professional field, what makes you unique? unique? What motivates you as a student to want to do exactly this one want to do this kind of training? Why do you want to do an internship? complete a traineeship? What content do you want your professional life to have?

That can be be many things.

  • Maybe you already knew as a small child that you wanted to repair things when you grew up.
  • You completed your training for specific reasons.
  • Did you have a special experience that led you to your studies/your profession?
  • It may be that you had a special role model or else,
  • that you only found your current profession after some detours.
  • What makes you unique and distinguishes you from other applicants?
  • What added value do you offer a company?

In the first sentence you can also explain,

  • why you love your job,
  • what you want to achieve or
  • why exactly you would like to work for the company you are applying to. (An exception to the company reference is the i application. We explain why below).

You can at the very beginning, i.e. in the introduction. establish a reference to the company:

  • Perhaps you know and use products of the company
  • What challenges would you like to overcome?
  • It is possible that the corporate culture or the corporate goals inspire you.

That sounds a lot of work now? It's true! Invest your time and It will be worth it! Give yourself the time you need time you need to hone your really good application. polish. Ask yourself what you want to do in the future, what your what your skills are, why you love your job.

As The basic rule is: The length of the cover letter should not exceed one A4 page. You will also notice this from the cover letter samples on our homepage.

We will come to the and format of the cover letter later.

Cover letter differences

When you write your cover letter, you should be guided by it, whether you are looking for a job in the traditional way, on your own initiative or job search. Some things have to be worded even if the content is similar.

Classic application

Here you apply for a specific job advertisement. Be it a printed job advertisement, a job on a job board or an application on the application on the company's homepage.

Relation to the company

You must (as well as the speculative application) do good preparatory work and do thorough research. Look for as much information as possible about the company you are applying to. you are applying for. What are the core tasks? What is the company philosophy? Find out about the company's history, get to know virtual perhaps already know your superiors or colleagues. Find your Find your contact person for the application. All this information not only in your cover letter, but also later in the interview. but also later in the interview.

Here are a few tips for research:

  • You can find a lot of information about a company in search engines
  • Find the company homepage and have a thorough look at the content
  • Read reviews
  • Research the social networks

In the In the middle part of the cover letter you can then refer to the the job advertisement and include the information you have collected. you have collected.

This This part of the cover letter also helps the company to get to know you a little. to get to know you a little. However, it does not make sense now to skills and qualifications from your CV into text form. in text form. Do a little story-telling. In a few sentences in a few sentences about yourself, your achievements, your strengths and feel free to use a special experience or a special project. (You can also use one or two of our template from our cover letter sample).

Your Your skills should also be mentioned in the middle of your cover letter - ideally in bullet points and also unique. unique again. "Team player", "communicative" and and "flexible", these are characteristics that are always in job applications. Formulate your competencies in such a way that it is more individual and more more meaningful!

The closing section of the cover letter serves to once again to express your interest and to include important information such as possible start of work or willingness to travel and relocate. The salary expectations should only be mentioned if this is expressly explicitly requested in the job advertisement.

Unsolicited application

If you take the initiative and apply to a company for a job without a specific company for a job without a specific job advertisement, you will have to cover letter a little differently. The structure is identical for all The structure is identical for all cover letters.

Since you cannot cannot refer to any job advertisement, you have to score even more with your own profile. Because you do not know what a company expects, so you have to sell yourself all the better. sell yourself. There is no clue as to what is required and what is expected. But this even has an advantage for you. You temptation to adjust your own profile or not to send an application because your application because your skills do not match the requirements of a job advertisement. skills do not match the requirements of a job advertisement. match.

With an you are the active part and act instead of reacting. react. What should you pay attention to? Our tips:

  • As described above, do some research on the company to which you want to send a speculative application.
  • The subject does not contain a specific job, but your desired job. "Application as....."
  • Try to find a contact person. If this is not possible, please use "Dear Sir or Madam".
  • Be confident in the text, but not arrogant.

Unsolicited applications are often very successful because the number of competitors is very low. few.


The i-application is a special form of unsolicited application. It is less work-intensive for applicants than the than the previous two forms of application, but it is very effective. The difference is that you do not have to spend a lot of time and their areas of focus, because with the i-application with IPSER, companies are contacted according to your selected sectors and area of your choice. The special feature: You apply on the covert job market. The hidden job market includes all those jobs that are not publicly advertised, and there are many more than many more than you might expect. Around 2/3 of all vacancies are in factnotclassically written out. The has many different reasons that benefit you. Often your i-application arrives at the company at exactly the right time. almost without competition. It is not without reason that IPSER has already recorded over 3,000 satisfied customers. You too can be part of it!

You yourself can therefore devote yourself intensively to the to the writing of your application documents. And make your cover letter, your CV and your other documents into what they can be, what they can be: Interesting one-offs.

Let's how you can best format your letter of application and how you can and how to set the scene visually.

Structure and content of a cover letter

Your cover letter should be adapted to different circumstances. It can be classic, conventional, original, creative, modern or innovative. How you design and formulate your cover letter depends, for example, on the industry and profession in which you are which profession you are applying for.

In a creative profession - perhaps as a designer - you will choose a different layout than for a business application. The cover letter should always correspond to the form and be polite. polite. However, there are also differences here and you have to decide whether you want to be very formal or a little more relaxed.

Not entirely one must not completely disregard one's own personality. personality. The reader gets an idea of the applicant based on the picture of the applicant. That is why you should remain authentic in the cover letter. An example: You have your by a friend who uses an infinite number of foreign words. words. You, on the other hand, express yourself in a way that everyone can understand and don't even know all the terms used in the letter of application. used in the letter of application. You will notice this at the at the latest during the job interview.

Formatting the cover letter

For For the formatting of private and business letters, formal formal rules. You can always use the DIN 5008, which tells you exactly which information belongs where on a DIN A4 sheet of paper. Except in professions where where compliance with this standard is part of everyday life, no one is likely to check whether you have observed every detail, every line spacing and every every millimetre. However, DIN 5008 should be used as an important guideline for formatting your cover letter. apply.

Arrangement of the individual data in the cover letter

We give only a brief overview of the formatting of the without going into detail about how much space you need to have to the margin and how many lines there should be between the various fields. between the different fields.

  • Your sender belongs at the top. This means your name, your address and your e-mail. It's up to you whether you centre this information or left- or right-justify it. right-justified is up to you.
  • The address field is then left-justified below this. If you use this field, please make sure that it fits into the window of an envelope when sending the application documents. make sure that it fits into the window of an envelope.
  • This is followed - now right-justified - by the date. Preferably with the location.
  • In the subject line, either include the information from the job offer or write "Application" or "Unsolicited application as.....".
  • In the following salutation, either name a specific contact person or use "Dear Sir or Madam".
  • Now comes the text. Well divided in terms of content and appearance, very happy with bullet points.
  • The greeting is almost always "Yours sincerely".
  • Finally, you will find the signature (scanned) and once again the name.

Colour and boldness in the text

Bolding are used to emphasise certain parts of the text. For example, the subject line is often written in bold. Such emphasis is also possible are also possible in the text. However, please make sure that as little bold as possible. A text is otherwise otherwise it is very difficult to read, and the text will look unstable and confusing.

The The same applies to colours in the text of the cover letter and the italics. You can certainly colour the subject line or even the the name of the sender in colour. But here too, less is often more.

Fonts and text formatting for the cover letter

As nice as it might look to use a fancy font, please stick to the standard - please stick to the standard fonts Times and Arial. The reason for this is quite simple. Not all people use the same office programmes. And so it can happen that your application becomes almost illegible for the recipient almost illegible. No recruiter will go to the trouble of reformatting your application documents, to reformat your application documents so that he can read them in a relaxed read them.

There are There are various ways of formatting the text in the display format: Right-justified, left-justified, centred or as a justified. For the text of your cover letter, right-justified and and centred are completely out of the question. What remains is justified or left-justified formatting. There is no compulsory rule. However, you must bear in mind that with justified type each line should have a certain number of characters. Otherwise there will be gaps that impair the readability of the text. readability of the text. Here is an example:

Thank you for your interest!

In the example above, the text has been left-justified, below in justified. Decide for yourself: Which reads better?

As We recommend a font size of 10, 11 or 12. and pleasant to read on a monitor if the font size is the same throughout the the same font size in all parts of the application. in all parts of the application. If we have extreme fluctuations in the font sizes, we may have to zoom in. This takes time and effort. (We have samples and tips ready for you to help).

Common cover letter mistakes

You are asking how you can create the perfect cover letter? We think: There is no such thing as THE perfect cover letter. You can and put a lot of effort, love and authenticity into your authenticity into your application documents. Nevertheless, the recipient may not be recipient is not enthusiastic, even though everything seems to be right to the layout, everything seems to be just right.

This is simply because all people are different, and not because you not because you necessarily did something wrong! The one recruiter may like it very simple and only want to have text without any design. Another wants a short, and concise cover letter, while the next one might could do without. Then there is the recruiter who who gets a kick out of seeing that applicants put a lot of have put a lot of effort into the content and appearance of their with their application. And you - as the applicant - of course don't know which type will receive your documents.

Depending on the industry the cover letter is adapted. For a creative profession it will usually look different than an application for the top floor of a bank. bank.

So: Do your best, take your time and give your documents to other people to read. documents to other people for proofreading. That way you have done everything you could.

Error-free cover letter - factual and grammatical

In your You have done extensive research on your future potential about your future potential employer. Not only for reason that you should never misspell the name of the company or the the name of the company or the contact person incorrectly. This mistake would already be a first KO criterion.

Speaking of Speaking of mistakes. Your application should be free of grammatical and spelling grammatical and spelling errors, although of course you can never the occasional slip of the pen. mistakes. However, if a cover letter or CV is riddled with spelling with spelling mistakes, it is difficult to be lenient. exercise leniency. There are several reasons for this:

  • The reader may wonder why the applicant did not make an effort and was sloppy.
  • The recipient will wonder why the author did not use the spell checker (which can be found in every office program). in any office programme). This makes it possible to minimise errors without much effort.
  • With all due understanding for possible weaknesses in spelling - you can have other people proofread or commission professionals like IPSER to optimise your application. optimise your application.

All your must of course be true and, at best, verifiable. and, in the best case, be verifiable. It makes no sense at all, to "upgrade" qualifications. At the latest in everyday professional life at the latest, it will turn out that your statements did not correspond to the facts. A boss will not always be lenient. In the worst case, lying in an an existing employment relationship, lying on your application grounds for dismissal.

Important information about the cover letter, key data

  • What is the aim of the cover letter? You want to arouse interest in the recruiter and get an invitation for an interview. Do not lose sight of this.

  • You need to put a lot of information in the right places in your job application. In the cover letter you can projects, present your strengths and skills, and much more. Please always make sure that your information should not be repeated in other parts of the application.
  • As far as the length of the cover letter is concerned, there is a clear recommendation that it should not exceed one DIN A4 page. On the other hand it should not be too minimal either.
  • The layout of the cover letter should be adapted to the other application documents. It is an advantage if you can see at a glance that the individual It is advantageous if you can immediately recognise that the individual parts of the application can be assigned to one person.
  • Letter of motivation, cover, résumé - they are not all the same. You are welcome to read more about this further down in the text.
  • Salary expectations should be clarified in a personal interview. The only exception is if the employer explicitly asks for salary the employer explicitly asks for salary requirements in the job advertisement. In that case, however, it is advisable to state a salary range in the letter of application. This gives you a little room for negotiation.

Parts of the cover letter

Via You have already read a lot about the formal classification of a cover read a lot about the formal division of a cover letter. Now we come to the structure, content and design of the individual parts. Let's start with the header.

Your sender

In this part of the application letter you will find your name, your address and your e-mail. The e-mail address should ideally correspond to your name. Funny pet names or strange terms have no place here. have no place here. It is not originality that is required here, but seriousness and recognition value.

How is what about the telephone number? In the i-application you enter phone number for organisational reasons, for example. organisational reasons. You can enter your telephone number in the classic and speculative applications. you can enter your telephone number. This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the recruiter can reach you quickly and easily. easily and quickly. The disadvantage is that you may be called at a very at a very inconvenient time and you may not react react appropriately.

Subject and salutation in the cover letter

The The subject line of the cover letter should state the reason for your application. If it is a job application for a specific job advertisement you will already find a number or reference in the advertisement. or a reference. Copy this into the subject line.

The The subject of an unsolicited application or i-application will contain your career aspirations.

Our Tips on what not to do:

  • In the past, the subject line was started with "Subject" or "Subject". This has not been common for a long time
  • The subject should not consist of several lines.
  • The subject line is not underlined.

With the classic application and many speculative applications, you will have have a specific contact person. You should also address address them directly: "Dear Ms. Sample Woman" or "Mr. Sample Man". or "Dear Mr. Sample Man". If you do not find a If you do not find a contact person in the job advertisement, simply simply by telephone.

Refrain personal forms of address such as "Dear Mrs. Mustermann" or or fancy formulations such as "I greet you, Mr. Mustermann!" Even if you know the person responsible personally personally, stick to a correct form of address. salutation. A job application often passes through several hands and and it would look strange if the salutation were to say "Hello, my dear Max! "Hello, my dear Max!"

Introduction cover letter

To We have already explained a few things by way of introduction. To summarise the first sentence(s) should be as unique as possible. unique as possible. Refrain from using empty phrases and what everyone writes, what everyone else writes. Do not copy parts from other letters. As is well known, the internet never forgets and copy & paste from a from a sample or another application letter is quickly exposed.

Middle part of the cover letter

The middle section is the most informative. Here you can report on projects or experiences, you can list your qualifications list your qualifications. Explain why the company you are applying to is of particular you are applying for is particularly interesting to you. Let the reader share with the reader where you want to go on your professional journey.

What motivates you, what drives you? What can you offer a offer a company?

One thing you should not do here under any circumstances. Do not repeat or copy your information from your CV and qualifications profile. Why would anyone be interested in reading the same information twice or twice or maybe even three times?

The last paragraph in the cover letter, something special?

At the end of the application, it is important to show interest. Interest in the company, interest in the job and, above all, interest in a personal interview. Because that is exactly your first goal: A personal interview in which you can prove yourself. yourself. In the final part, people often make the mistake of using the subjunctive. subjunctive mood. "I would be happy...", It would be nice...", I would like to have...."
The subjunctive is out of place here. It is a form of possibility, so it doesn't indicate a firm intention. "I would an interview" vs "I am looking forward to an interview. am looking forward to an interview." Which sounds more firm and confident?

Postscript -> Is almost always read!

The cover letter is almost finished. What's missing now is the greeting, the signature and maybe a little extra.
"With Yours sincerely" - you can't go you can't do anything wrong. Here, too, avoid anything fancy or and exaggerated. "Warmest regards" are just as unlikely to go down well with the recipient as "Best wishes from the model country".

A There should already be a signature. This is not a problem with a printed but what about a job application that is sent online? sent on its journey online? It's best if you can scan your signature your signature and insert it in the appropriate size. appropriate size. In any case, however, you should repeat your own name your own name. This helps you to memorise it and recognition.

What did we mean by a little extra? Our tip: Use the good old PS. Post scriptum, which used to be handwritten or typewritten letters a postscript, if you forgot something and didn't want to start the whole letter over. from the beginning. Today, this PS is a little extra, in which you can put something concise that will be remembered by the recipient. in the recipient's memory. This can be the start of work or a special added value. You can certainly think of something!

Mistakes to avoid

  • Keep your language within the normal range. Neither a colloquial, flippant choice of words is well received nor an overly highbrow German.
  • Avoid extremely long and convoluted sentences. Sometimes there are sentences in applications that go on for several lines and at the end and at the end you no longer know what you started with. If possible, keep your sentences short and to the point.
  • You can certainly begin one or two sentences with "I". However, this should not be used throughout the entire cover letter.
  • Do not write a novel, your cover letter should not be longer than one page.
  • Avoid being boastful. Excessive self-confidence not only casts doubt on your ability to work in a team.
  • But don't underplay either, you have to present your skills adequately. You know what you can do and the employer should know that.
  • Do not refer to your other application documents. "You can find more information in my CV" - you can save this reference. It is simply useless.
  • The PDF of your application must not exceed a certain size. Check the size of the pdf and compress it if necessary. (There are special free tools for reducing the size of a pdf).

Our tips for a successful cover letter

If you can't think of what you should say about yourself and your activities about yourself and what you do, then just take a look have a look at your references. It doesn't matter whether it's an evaluation from an internship or a qualified reference. You may discover forgotten details. Remind yourself what successes you have already had. These do not not have to be the big things. It is more about the fact that You can describe your qualifications.

Hard skills and soft skills

Professional Professional skills and personal qualities, both are important for important for a company. When it comes to professional qualifications, it is no problem to outline them briefly. If they are too extensive, you should draw up a separate qualifications profile. (For this (We provide some samples for this as Word files or pdf files). If you read several applications a day as a recruiter, you have the impression that many people have the same personal have the same personal qualities. There is hardly an application in which that the applicant is a team player, communicative and motivated, communicative and motivated.

Stand out stand out from the crowd and don't use these phrases! Why should you emphasise qualities that are in any case a prerequisite for good cooperation? Again and again there is, for For example, the enumerated sentence "I am a team player, communicative and motivated." If you want to mention that, it could be much more pleasant and informative: "With my team team, I have been able to achieve very good very good success through good communication and smooth cooperation. It was possible for us to increase the profit of product XY by 20 per cent."

When When applying for an apprenticeship, please consider the following tips:

Explain You,

  • what particularly interests you about the training you are aiming for,
  • why you want to learn the chosen profession
  • which of your skills you will use in your training.

Information from the CV need not be repeated in the covering letter. be repeated in the cover letter.

The letter of motivation

Many people have the opinion that the cover letter and the motivation letter are the same. the cover letter and the motivation letter are the same thing. This is not true. The formatting and structure are the same or at least similar. At In principle, however, the focal points of the two forms can be seen from the obvious from the name.

In the cover letter, the focus is on your application. You introduce introduce yourself, present your skills, explain why you are applying and why you are particularly suitable particularly suitable for a job. In short: you advertise yourself.

In contrast When writing a letter of motivation, focus on your career path, your goals and your motives. Here you can highlights from your training, job or internship. internship. You can also mention your hobbies and social commitment. The focus is therefore more on your own person or your own personality. in the centre.

Most of the time The letter of motivation is usually written when it is explicitly job advertisement. The biggest problem problem is that here, too, you have to duplicate and triple from other parts of the job application, such as the CV. CV, for example. The cover letter is placed in your third place in your application folder after the cover letter and CV. after the cover letter and CV.

Application by e-mail

Maybe you send your application to a company by e-mail. How do you do with the cover letter? Our tips:

  • You can send the cover letter together with the other application documents as one PDF file. With this version, your application application exactly as you designed the documents beforehand. You must pay attention to the file size here and possibly compress the PDF. In this case, you will be brief in the text of the email.
  • If you copy the cover letter into the text field of the e-mail or a contact form, the formatting will almost always suffer. Depending on the email programme, the cover letter will be displayed differently than you had carefully prepared it.
  • When you go to a company via a contact form for a speculative application, you will be guided exactly what the company wants and which documents you should upload as a pdf.

With the i application, we will summarise and send your documents as one PDF file in a file in a suitable size and send it to you.

Special case - Cover letter as a graduate (specialisation, experience, exude self-confidence)

Of course you do not only need a cover letter and CV when looking for a job cover letter and CV, but also for internships and training. The structure does not change, but of course newcomers to the job market cannot score points in their cover with a lot of experience and skills.

If you are looking for an apprenticeship after leaving school, you might be able to tell about an internship. Formulate the cover letter in such a way that a recruiter recognises how much you are you are passionate about the training you want to do.

During During the study period, one or the other internship is completed. Here you can - depending on the progress of your studies - have some some competences. Present your skills skilfully skills and make it clear to the recruiter that you are the right person you are the right person for an internship!

Conclusion: How to make your cover letter a success

After all theory and all the formalities, we have some very special tips and a checklist for you:

  • Prepare well for the preparation of your application documents and cover letter. All documents should be ready to hand and you should know exactly who you are and what you want.
  • Take a look at at least one template for each part of your application (we not only have numerous cover letter samples ready for you).
  • Have other people check all parts of your completed application (cover sheet, cover letter, CV, qualifications profile, overview of certificates). checked by other people. You are blind to some mistakes and four eyes see more.
  • Put yourself in the role of a recruiter and ask yourself what he wants to know from you and what information he wants to have. they want. (This is independent of whether you are looking for a new job, an internship or a training position.
  • Sleep on your finished application before you send it off. This may sound strange to you at first, but it has often proven to be proven to be right. The next day you have a little distance and see some things differently.
  • Listen to your gut feeling! In today's world, reason and rational thinking prevail. Heart and gut feeling often often fall by the wayside and are so infinitely important for making the right decisions.
  • Believe in yourself! You have never won with a negative attitude.

We wish you a lot of success in implementing our tips and shaping your professional future! Please feel free to on our homepage. We offer you samples for Curriculum vitae and covering letter, etc. as Word files and pdf files.

Advantages of a speculative application with IPSER

Gladly offer you our professional support, so that you can soon say: "I have found my dream job! my dream job!" How does it work?

You send us your application documents (initially a letter of application and curriculum vitae) and if you work with us you will enjoy the following advantages

  • Optimisation and, if necessary, layout of your application
  • With your i-application you conquer the hidden job market (i.e. jobs that cannot be found in advertisements or job boards.
  • Your application goes to a wide range of employers
  • Select the industry and postcode area
  • We accept the feedback
  • You get the positive feedback

The means that you save a lot of time, stress and work and can prepare for your personal talks in peace and quiet. in peace. In most cases, you will receive several invitations to an interview. you will receive several invitations to a job interview.

Get in touch with one of our Contact one of our job coaches and get advice!

Keyword Application cover letter

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