Whether you are an experienced HR professional looking for a new challenge or a recent grad eager to break into the HR field, a strong HR cover letter can help you land your dream job.
To put it simply, if you are applying for a job in human resources, your cover letter is not just a formality you need to get out of the way. It is your entry pass into the company's beating heart, where you can have a significant impact on the people and culture.
So, settle in with a cup of coffee and get ready to join us as we delve into the art and science of writing an HR cover letter that demonstrates all your greatest assets.
Recruiters will immediately judge your application based on its format and structure, so pay close attention to these details.
Your HR cover letter needs an engaging opening paragraph and a persuasive closing paragraph with a call to action.
In the middle part of your HR cover letter, you should emphasize how your experiences and qualifications align with the organization's needs.
Highlight your compatibility with the company's culture by listing relevant interests and hobbies.
Human Resources Cover Letter Format
The format of your cover letter is just as important as its content because most hiring managers won’t even bother to read the letter if it isn’t correctly formatted and visually appealing. So, here’s a brief outline of what your HR cover letter should look like:
Cover Letter Format
The header of your cover letter should contain your complete contact information, including your name, job title, phone number, and email address.
A formal greeting should go below the header as an opening to the letter.
The body of your HR cover letter should be structured so that it has three parts - the introduction, the focus part, which contains all the essential information, and an effective ending part with a call to action.
A formal closing should round off your cover letter, and optionally, you might want to add a postscript, which would include some particularly interesting details about your experience.
The length of your cover letter should not be shorter than 200 words or any longer than 400 words.
When choosing a font type, opt for safe choices like Arial or Calibri, as these are easy on the eyes, and set the font size to 10–12 pts.
The margins should be 1 inch on all sides, and the line spacing should be set to 1.0.
This is the universal business letter outline, which should serve as a guideline for writing an HR cover letter of the highest quality.
Human Resources Cover Letter Sections
Now that we’ve addressed the HR cover letter format and layout, let’s get into the details of how to write each section. Here's a visual example of a cover letter template to help you out:
The heading is the first section hiring managers’ eyes land on, and it should include all your contact information in the following order:
Header Mandatory Details
Optionally, if you find it relevant, you may also want to include:
Header Optional Details
Relevant social media links
Personal website or portfolio
The header should also include the recipient’s contact information in the same order. It would be ideal if you knew the hiring manager’s name to address the letter to them, so use your research skills and try to find it. Such details show that you’re willing to put extra effort into connecting with the hiring manager even before you get the chance to meet them in person.
Finally, remember to include the date of writing as well.
Now, let’s see what this looks like in practice:
Stacey Tailor HR Specialist 2443 Menson Street 715-385-9823 firstname.lastname@example.org Los Angeles, 09/09/2023 Lana Sims Hiring Manager HR Consulting 1811 Bolt Street Los Angeles
The greeting should be formal and simple—the phrase "Dear" followed by the recipient's name is all that is required. However, if you can’t get hold of the name of the person to address the letter to, use their job title instead, or a simple Mr. or Ms. if you don’t know the job title either.
The key is to avoid generic phrases like “To whom it may concern.”
The first paragraph of your HR cover letter is your chance to grab the hiring manager’s attention. If you get them hooked in the first paragraph, the chance they’ll read the entire document gets higher.
The best way to do that is to highlight a few of your most remarkable achievements that give hiring managers a glimpse of your potential.
This is an example of how to do that:
I am writing to express my strong interest in the HR position at [name of the company]. As a dedicated HR professional with 12 years of experience, I have consistently achieved remarkable results by leveraging data-driven strategies. My history of success includes a 20% increase in employee retention and a 30% decrease in the time it takes to hire new workers.
This candidate communicated the tangible results of their work and the scope of their experience in just a few sentences.
#4. Skills, Qualifications, & Experiences
Think of the body of your HR cover letter as your canvas where you can paint a vivid image of your competence. This paragraph is your chance to highlight the skills and achievements that make you the best candidate for the position you’re applying for.
The most important thing to do here is to thoroughly research the specific attributes and expectations the employer has of the candidate for the role you’re applying for. Then, you should tailor a narrative that seamlessly aligns with the job requirements.
Rather than merely asserting your skills and knowledge, demonstrate your expertise with numerical evidence, translating your achievements into tangible, measurable accomplishments. This sets you apart and leaves a lasting impression, as you substantiate your prowess with concrete, data-backed proof.
If you are writing an HR cover letter for an internship or an HR cover letter with no experience, you can still achieve the same effect by highlighting your skills and competencies instead of experiences. Just make sure to emphasize the ones that match the job description.
Here’s an example:
I have always stressed the importance of teamwork in HR because I consider employee relationships to be its cornerstone. In my role as an HR specialist at [name of the company], I restructured the onboarding process for seasonal hires by introducing face-to-face checkpoints, daily meetings, and fun events to track progress, provide motivation, and foster teamwork. The result was a 20% decrease in seasonal employee turnover and a 15% increase in employee satisfaction. Furthermore, summer recruitment improved by 18% for us thanks to word-of-mouth alone.
#5. Why You’re Applying For This Position
As you highlight your skills, consider adding a personal touch that would illustrate your genuine interest in the company to your letter. You should stress that your interest in the company wasn’t just a random choice but a purposeful one driven by your appreciation for their work.
Here’s an idea of how to do that:
I have followed the work of HR Consulting Company since my college days and have always been impressed with your dedication to fostering a healthy work culture and uncompromising ethics. Having the opportunity to work for a company with such a strong human resources department is something I would count as a major career accomplishment.
#6. Call to Action
The final touch to your HR cover letter should be a strong call to action. You can add it to the document by thanking the hiring manager for considering your application and expressing your desire to elaborate on your application in person.
Here's an example:
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I would love the opportunity to discuss further how my skills and experiences align with your company’s goals. Please feel free to contact me for an interview whenever it is convenient for you.
#7. Closure & Sign Off
The closing of your HR cover letter should be just as formal and simple as its opening.
Here’s an example:
Human Resources Cover Letter Example
Here’s an HR cover letter sample that follows all the rules:
4 Expert Tips for Creating a Human Resources Cover Letter
Finally, here are some last-minute expert tips to polish your human resources cover letter:
Tips for Writing a Human Resources Cover Letter
Include relevant soft and hard skills. A career in HR typically requires highly developed soft skills. While you should definitely highlight them, bear in mind that specific hard skills relevant to the position you’re applying for could be just the thing that distinguishes you from other candidates.
Review your cover letter. If possible, share the letter with a friend, colleague, or family member. They could offer an objective perspective on what needs to be improved or not.
Use keywords. Many companies nowadays use automated applicant tracking systems for hiring to ensure your cover letter includes all the relevant keywords.
Customize your cover letter. It is not the same if you are writing an HR assistant cover letter or an HR manager cover letter, so make sure you customize the letter for each role you’re applying for.
Using the guidelines we provided, all you need to write a perfect HR cover letter is to add the right blend of professionalism and charm.
Since HR is all about positive relationships, we wish your job and you to be like a match made in heaven! Should you need any assistance in writing your cover letter, bookmark this article so you can always come back to it easily. Happy writing, and best of luck in your HR career journey!