Cover letter: sample, structure, examples + tips

Every application begins with the cover letter. It is at the top of all application documents and – together with the resume – forms the core of your application. Online or on paper.

The cover letter is all about your motivation for the job and your personality. A professional cover letter is well structured and individually formulated. On a maximum of one DIN A4 page it has a clear reference to the desired position. The goal of the cover letter is to arouse interest. It should arouse curiosity – about you and the rest of the application portfolio. How to succeed?

We show it to you! With all important tips for the cover letter structure: introduction, content, conclusion, examples and formulations. Get free cover letter samples and templates (Word) to help you increase your chances of landing your dream job..

➠ Content: What you can expect

Cover letter structure

The cover letter is classically divided into six sections or paragraphs. Generally, the cover letter structure follows this pattern (from top to bottom):

  1. Letterhead (name, address, recipient, date, subject line)
  2. Introduction
  3. Main part
  4. Company reference
  5. Conclusion
  6. Greeting, signature, attachments

The cover letter should be clear, the layout and design must match the rest of the application documents. This makes the profile and curriculum vitae look like a unified whole.

Cover letter length: one DIN A4 page

92 percent of the personnel managers we interviewed say that a good cover letter should not be longer than one DIN A4 page. Personnel managers don’t want to read more – especially when they have to sift through hundreds of applications. In addition, a compact letter of application says in the subtext that you distinguish important from unimportant, can express yourself precisely and also argue in the same way. All important skills in almost any job.

In no case should you use the font reduce for body text to fit on one page. At some point, the cover letter becomes unreadable. The body text should never be smaller than 11 points. An orientation to the DIN 5008 for business letters in the application letter format is possible, but not mandatory.

Cover letter sample

Do you have a hard time formulating a meaningful cover letter?? Then use our free cover letter templates (Word) to apply – including sample texts for various professions. Here is a selection for free download.

Application Letter Template English Dual Study Office Administrator

Application letter template customs police administration

Cover letter template word: 120+ free samples

Use our professional application designs and free application samples to apply for a job. Benefit from more than 120 templates in the design package – including cover letter, cover page, and resume – all as Word files to edit.

Cover letter content

Below you will find cover letter wording and examples for all important sections. The elements and details show recruiters that you can write a professional application and fit the job perfectly.


The letterhead consists of your contact information, recipient, date and subject. Be as careful as possible. Typos and number errors in your contact information prevent people from reaching you. Errors have a negative effect on the recipient and are considered an indication of sloppy workmanship. This is how the letterhead is composed:

1. Sender / contact details

Here are your personal data: First name and last name, address (street + house number, postal code + city), telephone and e-mail address. If you like, you can provide a link to your application homepage, an application video or to a business profile on Linkedin or Xing (update first!).

2. Recipient

Three lines below your contact details, state the recipient and employer with contact person. The recipient’s address is built classically and MUST be error-free:

  • Company name (incl. GmbH, KG, AG, SE, etc.)
  • First and last name of the contact person
  • Address (street& house number, zip code& Place)

If you like, you can write above the recipient’s address still small, in 7-8 point, repeat the own address. If you later send the documents in a C4 envelope with a window, the sender will appear there. This looks professional and is useful for returns.

3. Date

Right-aligned below or next to the recipient comes the current date in the cover letter. Cover letter tip: Choose the date of mailing for this purpose. The form "TT.MM.YYYY", where missing digits are filled with a zero ("01.05.") we find bureaucratic. Save the zeros, and rather write out the month.

4. Subject

The subject line has the largest font size in the cover letter. It stands out and is usually read first. Formulate it as concretely as possible and no longer than ONE line. Very important: NEVER write the word "subject"! In case of need use a reference line. Means: Under the subject line comes – in smaller font size – the reference to the job advertisement. Example:

Application for a job as a saleswoman
Your job offer on karrieresprung.en, reference number: 2021/138

5. Salutation

A good cover letter starts with a personal salutation. The formulation "Dear Sir or Madam" is impersonal. Try to research a contact person in advance. If the is not mentioned in the job ad, a call to the HR department or a look at the company homepage and career site as well as Linkedin and Xing will help. The call can be camouflaged with a simple question, motto: "I wanted to inquire whether the position is still available. If yes: Who is the contact person?"A directly addressed cover letter of the type: "Dear Ms. Mustermann" always looks more professional.

6. Introduction / The first sentence

The cover letter introduction should arouse interest. The introductory sentence "I hereby apply…" does not do the job. Even phrases like "I was very pleased to read your job advertisement…" are taboo. You are not wrong, but boring. The introduction should catch, attract attention and sympathy. This is even more true for the speculative application.

It is perfect if in the introduction you include provide important keywords and arguments. How to make the cover letter more individual. And they prove that it is not a "mass application. Also helpful: questions that every recruiter asks themselves. You then answer these in the first sentence. Sample questions: Why do you want THIS job with THIS employer?? What are your specific strengths? Why are you the perfect candidate for the job?? What is your personal working style? – Introduction cover letter examples:

  • "right at the beginning, I would like to give you three reasons why you will benefit from me as a new employee: 1. … 2. … 3. …"
  • "Basically, we have known each other for a long time: I have been a loyal customer of your company for __ years. Especially your product _____ has done it to me…"
  • "You are looking for a decisive and experienced _____, for whom social competence, organizational talent and assertiveness are not just empty words, but lived practice? Then read on: …"
  • "It was a huge pleasure to meet you in person at the _____ trade show last week. The presentation of your company and the discussions with your employee, Mr. Max Muster, have made a lasting impression on me and have strengthened my desire to complete my training as _____ with you. Therefore, I am applying for…"
  • "after a good ten years of professional experience in the field of _____, I would like to take on new challenges. I am convinced that I will be able to put my professional qualifications and team-oriented approach to work to profitable use at your company. Because…"

7. Main body

The main part is about your personal qualifications, soft skills. The hard skills are already in the resume. Applicants score points by demonstrating convincingly that they can meet all the requirements of the job. But please do not use phrases like "I am a team player, dedicated, motivated." Even if it’s true, it sounds cliche. To stand out from the crowd of applicants, write better short, and concrete examples and prove the skills so indirectly.

Important: The skills and knowledge described should always have something to do with the job. So don’t list what you have done, but choose relevant and make a reference. Never underestimate the power of numbers in your cover letter! Anything you can quantify should be mentioned. Paper is patient, numbers are resilient! Application letter formulations examples:

  • "During my internship at ___, I was on fire for the ___ project, which I was allowed to organize and lead. To get colleagues on board and excited, I .. . A complete success! Within two weeks, together we were able to…"
  • "One of my strengths lies in the practical solution of problems in the operational process. Due to the good cooperation in the team and the willingness to work quickly (even on weekends), I have often managed to minimize or completely avoid a loss of production by __ percent."
  • "…there I managed a team of 10 people. In this role, I successfully coordinated several projects and worked with my team to develop a solution for XY task in less than two weeks."

8. Company reference

If you haven’t already done so, you should now at the latest establish a link to the company in your cover letter – a connection between your motivation to work here and the qualifications you present. In short, it is about your suitability and the added value you offer.

Proven, If you research the Internet in advance of the application and think about what new professional challenge is associated with the job. Which know-how is particularly interesting for the employer? Write a short paragraph on how you plan to successfully apply your knowledge in the first few days. Again: Not mass, but class counts! Cover letter wording Examples:

  • "For about 20 years I have been developing and selling products and solutions to ____. As a key account manager at ____, I was able to increase sales by __ percent through targeted optimization of sales processes. In addition, customer satisfaction improved from __ to __ percent within two years. In this position, I would also try…"
  • "Sustainable customer relationships are inherently close to my heart. At my current employer, I have independently initiated a project to optimize existing customer management. Customer satisfaction subsequently increased measurably by around __ percent. I can well imagine that this is a successful approach for this position as well, which I expand upon by…"

9. End

The finale in the cover letter needs a climax. The cover letter concluding sentence sticks in the recruiter’s mind. Up to this point, you sound competent and motivated, radiating self-confidence. You must keep it that way. The biggest job application mistake you can make is to use the subjunctive mood. "I would be pleased to hear from you." Or: "I would be happy to explain my motivation in the interview…". Deadly!

No matter if you are writing a retail cover letter or formulate a cover letter as a temp without experience: Such sentences sound sympathetically modest. In the final sentence, however, applicants come across as insecure and small. Rather tread confidently (not arrogantly!) and express your willingness or pleasure for a personal meeting in the interview. Cover letter wording examples:

  • "Have I aroused your interest?? Then I look forward to a personal conversation."
  • "I would be happy to convince you in a personal meeting that in me you are gaining an employee who is both committed and experienced."
  • "I look forward to receiving your positive feedback."
  • "If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or e-mail."
  • "If you are looking for a competent, reliable and resilient employee, then I would be happy to receive an invitation to an interview."

In the closing sentence of the cover letter you have three additional options: Some employers require applicants to state their salary requirements or the earliest possible starting date in the job advertisement. You should never ignore such requests, but be sure to include information about them!

Cover letter salary requirement

Salary expectations are always stated as gross annual salary. Additional benefits, such as vacation pay or capital-forming benefits, are not mentioned. If you change jobs, orient yourself to the current annual salary. You should not mark up more than 20 percent. Ideally, you should state a figure that is as specific as possible ("46.580 euros"). This signals that you know exactly what you are worth. Examples:

  • "My salary expectations are 32.530 euros gross per year."
  • "According to my professional qualifications I feel a salary of 43.880 euros as reasonable."

Cover letter entry date

If you have to observe a period of notice according to your employment contract, you should mention this. The reference strengthens your negotiating position. You currently still have a job! Meanwhile, you can ask for discretion with a so-called blocking note. Sample wording:

  • "Since I am currently in a non-terminated employment relationship, the earliest I could start the job would be on DD.MM.YYYY. Please treat this application confidentially and call me back only in the evening after 8 p.m. at the above number."

PS in the cover letter

The letters PS stand for "postscript". A small addendum. Because it is so unusual, the PS in the cover letter always stands out and is read. Good for you! In the "PS" you can, for example, mention the desired salary or the date of joining the company. Or formulate a personal and original note. This way your application will be remembered even more. Example:

  • "PS: Please try to ignore the tie in my application photo. Normally I do not use."

10. Greeting formula& Signature

Formally, the application letter ends with a greeting formula (classic: "Yours sincerely") and your handwritten (not printed)!) Signature. With your signature, you document that the information and statements made are true. Please always sign with (blue or black) fountain pen or ballpoint pen. Never pencil, felt-tip pen or fineliner.

11. Attachments

If you are not sending a brief application (it consists only of a cover letter and tabular resume), attachments are also part of a "complete" application portfolio.

Mention them at the very bottom of the cover letter – in the so-called attachment directory. Important: The order of mention must be the same as in the portfolio! As a heading to the list of attachments are common today: "Attachments", "List of attachments", "Contents" or "Appendix". These include:

  • Cover sheet (optional)
  • Resume
  • Letter of motivation (optional)
  • References (max. 3)
  • Further education& Certificates
  • Internship certificates
  • References
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Certificates of honorary service

Do you need help with your application??
Professionals from the personnel sector write customized application documents for you – cover letter, resume … always the right package. Inform now!

Frequently asked questions about the cover letter

Because there are numerous questions about the application disc, we have answered the most important ones here.

Every application begins with a cover letter. It gives applicants the chance to present their suitability for the job in a more personal and detailed way than in their CVs. In it, they describe their motivation for the job and create a convincing link between their resume, qualifications, important soft skills, and the position. Especially for career starters, career changers and candidates with gaps in their resume or breaks that require explanation, it is THE chance to justify the application and positively stand out from the crowd. A professional cover letter contributes significantly to the overall impression of the application.

First, read the job posting carefully: Who is the company looking for? What is the exact job profile? Which must and can qualifications are relevant? You should then match your application documents with the requirements and add any important key qualifications to the tabular resume and cover letter. The "complete" application folder includes a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and attachments – usually certificates of employment, continuing education certificates, and references. The cover letter itself should primarily answer 4 key questions (see video).

When explaining why you want to change professions, the most important thing is the towards motivation. So, why you want "towards" the new job – not "away from" the old one. Career changers should also link their motivation to previous experience and skills that are also important in the new job. The greater the overlap, the more convincing the cover letter will be.

In your letter of application for an internship, you should explain why you want to complete the internship with THIS employer of all companies. Show that you have dealt with the company and what you hope to gain from the insights into practice. You can score points here with suitable qualifications and interests, which you can demonstrate, for example, through relevant school subjects, your own projects or voluntary work.

You can always justify dropping out of your studies or changing your course of study in your letter of application by stating that you are reorienting yourself professionally. You have determined that other study content excites you more. Internships or part-time jobs may have contributed as well. The main thing is that the new course of study and the passion match the current job.

Formulate your desire for a change in a positive way only. Means: Never blaspheme about previous jobs or employers! This looks like an escape. Explain the job change better with the already mentioned motivation – with new perspectives and positive development opportunities that you hope for.

Short answer: No. Please note that the formalities for applying abroad may be completely different from those in Germany. Sometimes the cover letter is omitted completely. Or apart from a "CV" or "Resume" there is not even an application portfolio. As applicants often ask us questions about this and have problems with applying abroad, here is a list of further articles and tips. Free templates and examples included:

A cover sheet for the application is not a must. In the case of extensive documents, it provides a better overview, can visually enhance the application folder and has other advantages. It can also unnecessarily inflate the application if it only repeats facts. On the cover page to the application letter belong: Headline, application photo, personal contact information, and the list of attachments. If you like, you can add a motto or a quotation.

The date in the cover letter must be absolutely current. According to DIN 5008, it is inserted between the recipient’s address and the subject line, right-justified. The standard format for this is: "Place, TT.MM.YYYY" or "Place, DD. Month YYYY". However, the sender’s location is only mentioned if it differs from the applicant’s place of residence (which is rarely the case). If it is identical, applicants write only the date.

There is no predefined format for the structure and layout of the cover letter. The most important thing is good readability and a clear structure that fits in with the rest of the application documents. Means: Use the same fonts as in the CV (optimal: between 10pt and 12pt). The margins should be identical, the line spacing should be at least one line, maximum 1.5 lines. A good orientation for this is the DIN 5008 for business letters.

If possible, always address the addressee personally by name. The salutation "Dear Sir or Madam" is only for emergencies, when a contact person cannot be identified. The salutation is followed by the introduction (with a blank line in between). Never start with "I hereby apply as…" – unoriginal. The first sentence must be catchy. Ideally, applicants start with a personal reference, a relevant unique selling point, or their best argument for their suitability and high level of motivation.

For the company reference in the cover letter, applicants should carefully analyze the job advertisement and the requirements profile, as well as research background information on the employer on the Internet. It is important to find as large an intersection as possible between the future tasks and your own experience and skills. Applicants should describe in a maximum of 5-7 lines HOW they want to do the job with their unique know-how and create added value for the company. Ideally through concrete examples.

The end of the cover letter should reiterate the motivation for the position. If requested, applicants state their exact salary requirements (gross annual salary) and earliest possible starting date. The cover letter ends with the pleasure of being invited to a personal interview (no subjunctive mood)!). If you are in a position that has not been terminated, you can still make a sog. Add a blocking note with the request to keep the application confidential.

According to AGG, the application photo is now an optional addition to the application. The right place for it is the curriculum vitae. If a cover page is used, the application photo goes there and is then omitted from the CV. This saves space. The photo has no place in the cover letter. However, applicants can integrate web links to your online profile, an application homepage or an application video in the letterhead here.

First of all, ready designed and formulated cover letter samples are a good orientation and help for applicants. Templates with sample texts save time, inspire and help to avoid mistakes. Nevertheless, you should never copy these verbatim. Tips from professionals are useful, but in the end your application must always be individual and fit you personally. Personnel managers sense whether a cover letter is "too perfect. Or you fly off the handle in the job interview when you have your application written.

There are now companies that allow you to apply without a cover letter. These include, for example, Deutsche Bahn, Telefonica Deutschland, Rossmann, SAP… The reason is that too few applicants apply for their jobs and employers want to lower hurdles and appear more modern. As much trouble as the cover letter is, it’s the wrong way to go without it!

In fact, the cover letter offers an enormous chance for applicants – above all for occupation beginners and Quereinsteiger, in order to explain job changes or to balance the still thin curriculum vitae by good arguments. Take advantage of this opportunity! Precisely because so few applicants make an effort with their cover letter, you can use it to positively stand out from the crowd.

Even more answers about applications and cover letters you find in THIS multi-page PDF, which you can download free of charge and use in the application phase.

The perfect application for your dream job

Do you already know our Career Bible Academy?? In our 5-part online course, the best application trainers coach you and show you the latest insider tips for the perfect application. In addition: 200 pages Workbook, exclusive interviews with experts and recruiters… Inform here:

Cover Letter Generator

With our cover letter generator you can create your cover letter directly online in your browser. Just click on the framed sample text. You can then conveniently edit and rewrite it – until you are satisfied with your cover letter. Afterwards by Copy& paste into a word processing program (z.B. MS Word), design and print.

Max Sample Man
Examplestr. 12
12345 Sample city
Fon: 01234 / 56 78 90
Mail: [email protected]

Target company GmbH
z.Hd. Mia sample
Template way 90a
12345 Sample city

Application as _____

Dear Ms. Muster,

what a positive surprise! There I am looking for a looking for a professional challenge and read that you will soon expand the area _____. This is exactly what I wrote my master thesis about. "This is a perfect fit", I thought to myself – and so I immediately applied to you for the position available on TT.MM.YYYY advertised position as _____.

Why should you hire me of all people, you will ask yourself. I have excellent references, for example, I was able to optimize sales at _____ AG and thus increase sales by XX percent. I see my strengths mainly in the practical solution of problems in the operational process, in organization and in project management. Due to the good cooperation in the team at that time and the willingness to work in a flash (even after work hours), I always managed to meet deadlines, but even more to deliver sustainable and mature results.

On top of that, I don’t need a long training period because I already know your company. In fact! Already during my internship at your company (department _____, from TT.MM. until TT.MM.JJJJ) I was on fire for the project _____, which I was able to co-initiate at the time and eventually take responsibility for. It was a complete success, as Mrs. _____, my former manager, will be happy to confirm. I would like to use my experiences from that time as well as my current knowledge from studies and further internships with you with added value. Full verve comes free of charge.

Since I am currently employed in a non-terminated employment relationship, I could start working for you – subject to a notice period of __ weeks – at the earliest on DD.MM. start. My salary expectation is a gross annual salary of _____ Euro. Please treat my application confidentially.

Have I aroused your interest?? Then I would be happy to convince you in a personal interview that you are gaining an employee who is as committed as he or she is experienced.

Yours sincerely

PS: It is exactly 20 minutes by bicycle from my front door to your company headquarters. This means: While the other employees are still stuck in traffic, I could be the first one in the office in the morning.

– Curriculum vitae
– Testimonials

In our guide to creative applications, you will find further tips for a modern application layout.

Application letter examples

Depending on the occasion and the goal of your application, you will set different priorities in your cover letter. Here are a few recommendations that will improve your chances of applying for the job.

Unsolicited application letter

The speculative application is particularly suitable for career changers or for applications on the hidden job market. In other words, for jobs that are not (yet) officially advertised. Here you score points with the cover letter by writing above all about your enthusiasm for the company. Show how you intend to use your know-how and soft skills for the company.

Letter of application eMail

In the case of an e-mail or online application, the cover letter can be the e-mail itself. However, we recommend that you combine it with all the other documents in the usual order to form a PDF and include a short 3-liner in the e-mail.

Dear Ms. Muster,

Enclosed you will find my application as a temporary employee for your advertised position. Why I am highly motivated for the job and have numerous advantages, please see my detailed and attached application documents. I am looking forward to a personal interview.

Yours sincerely

Internal letter of application

Do not underestimate the importance of the cover letter when applying internally. Please invest just as much time and effort here and write with a focus on what development you associate with the new position and why you will soon be able to create even greater added value there.

Short cover letter

The letter of application should never be longer than one DIN A4 page. It may also be shorter. However, it is hardly meaningful if it is less than half a page long. A short cover letter focuses solely on the motivation for the job (introduction) and one or two relevant qualifications and skills that speak for the employment. It works like a movie trailer: gives a quick overview, piques interest, and makes you want to know more.

Informal cover letter

The informal application consists – like the short application – only of a cover letter and a curriculum vitae. There are no further attachments such as references or certificates for further training courses. The informal application letter does not differ from others – not even formally. This is intended for internships, temporary jobs or internal applications. Therefore, it is your motivation that counts here. At the end, you should mention that – if you wish – you will submit any letters of recommendation or work references later on.

Letter of application after termination

Terminations happen in every career. You do not have to justify this. Especially not in the cover letter. Concentrate instead on the so-called towards-motivation. So why, you want to work for this employer and what you can bring about. Not why you no longer have the previous job.

Unemployed? No work experience?

In life, not everything runs smoothly. Lack of work experience or a long period of unemployment inhibit many applicants. Effect: They make you feel insecure and question your suitability. Please avoid any form of justification. These are not convincing. Try to get to your goal via detours: Emphasize all the more your commitment and willingness to learn. Work out what you bring with you that is valuable for this position: Experience, contacts, references..

A letter of motivation is also suitable for this purpose. Or a cover sheet to the application. Both can emphasize and make clear special arguments. Because that would go beyond the scope of this article, you will find a list of further guides here:

Cover letter tips

If the structure and content in the cover letter are right, you can score more points with a professional cover letter design. For example, make sure to divide the cover letter into short paragraphs. A paragraph should not be longer than 4-6 lines. In between, you may also work with bullet points. This loosens up the typeface and increases readability.


Always use the same font in all application documents (maximum of two). If you mix up the design too much, you signal that it is a "patchwork application": nothing well thought-out, but a hodgepodge of recycled documents. 99 percent of such applications end up as rejections. Classic fonts are Arial and Times New Roman. Fonts such as Helvetica, Verdana, Calibri or Georgia look more personal and professional.

Font size

The standard font size is 12 point. In order to get your cover letter onto one page for longer text, you may reduce the size to 11pt. But the writing must remain legible. Small print unfortunately also looks petty and reminds of ugly general terms and conditions. The same applies here: The selected font sizes for body text or headings should be adhered to throughout. So also in the resume or letter of motivation.

Line spacing

We recommend formatting the cover letter left justified. Justified text looks tidier, but is not as readable. Means for the application letter line spacing: A single to 1.5-line line spacing is sufficient and is optimal.


Feel free to deviate from the monotony of black and white when it comes to colors or font colors. Of course, the cover letter should not look like a paint box afterwards. For example, by discreetly using the logo colors of your employer of choice (in the subject line or in the attachment list), you subtly signal a high level of identification with the employer.

Cover letter mistakes

Mistakes happen. Also in the cover letter. Depending on the type and size, they can drastically reduce your application chances. The most common mistakes in cover letters can be avoided if you know them. Here is the list:

  • Names
    Everyone is sensitive about their own name. One typo in the name of the company, one wrong contact person – and the cover letter will look sloppy.
  • Date
    The date should always be current. Often an old cover letter template is used or the cover letter is created over a longer period of time. Since the (old) date is at the top, it is overlooked. So be sure to check again at the end! The date should be identical in the cover letter, resume and cover sheet.
  • Capitalization and punctuation
    Correct grammar and spelling is extremely important. More than every second recruiter rejects applications because of spelling mistakes. If you fluff here, you create one of two impressions: Either you were not careful – or you do not know your language.
  • Slang
    You do not have to write in an overly formal way in the letter of application. But phrases like "I really want this job" are too flippant. Also forbidden are superlatives (unbelievable), convoluted sentences (no one understands) as well as passive formulations (boring) or turgid expressions (blah blah blah). Ideally, you should match the style of the job posting.
  • Repetition
    The cover letter is the place for a convincing argumentation. Do not repeat resume (redundant!). However, this is exactly what many applicants do when they are looking for a new professional challenge by means of a cover letter. This is your chance to positively stand out from the crowd. Be original, refreshing, cheeky!
  • Copy
    You are applying for five, ten or 20 jobs and use the same cover letter each time? This is convenient, but a mistake. Every job, every company culture is different. Recruiters who read tens of cover letters every day have an eye to see if it is a mass letter. ALWAYS make the effort to write your cover letter individually for the respective employer.
  • Length
    The cover letter is the quintessence of your personality, motivation and skills – not a novel. It states – clearly and pointedly – your added value and advantages. The three strongest arguments are sufficient. Likewise one DIN A4 page.
  • Send
    If the job ad specifically states that the company wants an online application, do not mail a paper portfolio. Always choose the mailing method that the company names. When sending by mail, however, you should always pay attention to a high-quality print and a professional application folder.

You or you? Many applicants are confused when they are addressed by their first name in the job posting. As a general rule, you may always mirror the style of the job offer. If the employer sends you a letter, you send it back – and vice versa. If you are still unsure, use the first form of address. With this you will never do anything wrong!

Cover letter checklist

To make the letter of application formally as meaningful as it is convincing, you should pay attention to the following requirements. In terms of structure and content, please follow the checklist below:


  • Length: max. 1 DIN A4 page
  • Always individually formulated
  • Design to match job& Industry
  • Current date
  • Handwritten signature


  • Motivation for the position
  • Reference to the company
  • Special qualifications
  • Unique selling points
  • Motivation to change
  • Salary expectations (if requested)
  • Earliest starting date (if required)
  • Blocking note (for discreet application)


  • Letterhead (names, addresses, contact)
  • Subject (with reference line)
  • Introduction (original, arouses curiosity)
  • Main body (motivation, soft skills)
  • Company reference (commitment, goals)
  • Closing sentence (outlook, greeting, signature)
  • Attachments (resume, references, certificates)

Sources of error

  • Spelling mistakes
  • Names misspelled
  • Recognizable mass writing
  • Missing signature

Free download: You can download the checklist for the application and the application letter format HERE free of charge as a PDF.

Cover letter in the folder

In the case of a written application, the letter of application always lies loosely on top of the application folder. It is the initial of the application, the rest of the documents are stapled in. Structure the application portfolio according to this sample:

You can download the sample for the structure of complete application documents as a PDF free of charge here.

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