Write a job-winning HR manager cover letter in 5 steps
Human resources (HR) managers take on a much heftier load of responsibilities compared to general HR employees. Along with dealing with employee onboarding and relations, an HR manager may also be responsible for consulting with executives, managing the HR department, and more.
In this guide, we will teach you how to win a job as an HR manager by writing an effective cover letter. Keep reading to learn about the following 5 key steps:
- Craft a well-formatted header & headline on your HR manager cover letter
- Tailor your HR manager cover letter for the exact job
- Write an eye-catching introduction as an HR manager
- Showcase your skills and accomplishments as an HR manager
- End your HR manager cover letter with a well-written conclusion
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1. Craft a well-formatted header & headline on your HR manager cover letter
Starting off, the first essential step to take when writing an HR manager cover letter is to create your header and headline. These elements help to give your cover letter better visual flow, as well as provide key pieces of information to the employer.
First up is your cover letter header, a block of text often found in the top left or top center of the document. Your header should include:
- Your name and professional title
- Your professional contact information
- The name of the company & department
- The address of the company
Here is an example of a well-organized HR manager header
John Doe, HR Manager
(123) 456-7890 | email@example.com | linkedin.com/in/john-doe
To: Pheonix Staffing Solutions
Human Resources Department
1234 Street Address
Cambridge, MA, 02139
After you have formatted and filled in a good-looking header, your next step is to create a headline.
Your cover letter headline is a brief title statement used to hook the employer’s attention as quickly as possible. This headline should always include a keyword related to the position, an eye-catching number or trigger word, a powerful adjective or verb, and a promise.
Here is an example of a strong HR manager cover letter headline
3 Excellent HR Management Skills that Make Me the Perfect Addition to Your Company
Trigger word/number: 3 Skills
Keyword: HR Management
Adjective/verb: Excellent, Perfect
Promise: Addition to Your Company – this detail indicates that not only will you describe your key skills but you will also relate them to the needs and wants of the company.
2. Tailor your HR manager cover letter for the exact job
While it can be tempting to type out a generic cover letter that can be used for many job applications, this is not the ideal choice as it can come off as lazy or ingenuine to employers.
Instead, you should always tailor your cover letter to the exact job you are applying to. This is especially important as an HR manager, as it helps you to showcase your attention to detail – a key skill needed in any HR position.
To tailor your cover letter, you will need to thoroughly research the company before applying. During this research period, look for information such as:
- The person who will review and respond to your job application
- What values and professional language the company uses in its marketing materials (you can reflect this information within your cover letter to show you are a good fit)
- What projects or major clients the company is involved with
Once you have this information ready to go, you will begin the tailoring process with a personalized greeting – a type of greeting that addresses a specific person by name.
Here are 3 examples of personalized HR manager cover letter greetings
- Dear CEO Jane Smith,
- Dear Mrs. Jane Smith,
- Dear Mrs. Jane Smith & the HR Team,
3. Write an eye-catching introduction as an HR manager
Now that you know how to tailor and personalize your cover letter, let’s move on to writing the introduction. Your HR manager cover letter introduction needs to be eye-catching to encourage the employer to continue reading.
A strong HR manager introduction should include:
- A brief summary of your professional history
- Your reason & enthusiasm for applying to the position
- A mutual acquaintance (when possible)
Pro Tip: Always include a mutual acquaintance in your cover letter introductions when possible. This will help to build rapport and credibility with the employer. If you lack a mutual acquaintance, use a professional platform like LinkedIn to connect with employees at companies you are interested in – they may even be able to give you tips and tricks for applying!
Here is an example of an effective HR manager introduction
Dear CEO Jane Smith,
I am a driven HR manager with more than 7 years of experience working in high-stakes corporate investment offices. After connecting with your company’s VP – Joe King – on LinkedIn, Mr. King recommended I reach out to you directly to apply for this position. This opportunity is incredibly exciting for me, as it requires the exact specialized skill set I possess.
4. Showcase your skills and accomplishments as an HR manager
Following your introduction are the body paragraphs of your HR manager cover letter. Any good cover letter should have between 2 to 4 body paragraphs that offer more detailed insights into an applicant’s relevant skills, accomplishments, and qualifications.
When describing these professional attributes in your cover letter, make sure to use as many specific and quantifiable details as possible. You want your body paragraphs to be impactful on the employer, clearly showcasing why you are a great fit for the company.
Here are 6 examples of great HR manager skills to describe in a cover letter
- Performance and project management
- Onboarding procedures (hiring, interviewing, training, etc.)
- Directing administrative functions
- Disciplinary practices (disciplinary meetings, complaint investigations, etc.)
- Trend analysis (compensation trends, benefits trends, etc.)
- Developing employee programs and initiatives
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in an HR manager cover letter
As the HR manager for [Former Employer], one of my biggest focuses was improving employee retention rates. To meet this goal, I analyzed the trends of the top 100 companies in the U.S., looking specifically at their compensation and benefits. Using this information, I developed 3 new employee programs for career growth and workplace support, which resulted in a 45% increase in overall employee retention.
5. End your HR manager cover letter with a well-written conclusion
The final component of any well-written HR manager cover letter is a strong conclusion that encourages the employer to contact you. This conclusion should include:
- An enthusiastic closing statement
- An explanation of how and when you can be contacted
- When you will reach out if you have not heard back yet
- A formal sign-off
Here is an example of a well-written conclusion from an HR manager’s cover letter
I am eager to speak with you directly regarding this excellent opportunity and hope to further discuss how I can contribute to your company within the next week. To best reach me, you may contact me at (123) 456-7890 any weekday between the hours of (123) 456-7890. I will reach back out next Monday to check on the status of my application if I have not yet heard back.
If you have ever wondered how a cover letter differs from a resume, this article will tell you everything about the key differences between the two.