How to create an effective human resources cover letter
In the world of HR, a cover letter can make all the difference. It's a gateway to your dream job, the first impression that could land you a seat at the table.
With the right mindset and approach, you can showcase your unique blend of skills, experience, and personality in a way that dazzles your future employer.
In this guide, we will teach you 6 simple steps for writing a human resources cover letter that won't end up on the reject pile. Keep reading to learn how to:
- Structure your human resources cover letter with a header and headline
- Personalize the greeting and content of your human resources cover letter
- Write a compelling introduction on your human resources cover letter
- Highlight your best professional attributes in human resources
- Demonstrate your passion and interest in the company
- Finish your human resources cover letter with a memorable conclusion
1. Structure your human resources cover letter with a header and headline
A cover letter header is the first detail an employer will see and should provide necessary information such as:
- Your name and professional title
- Your professional contact information
- The name of the company you are applying to (& the department name)
- The address of the company (optional – most commonly included for printed cover letters)
Here is an example of a well-structured human resources header
Jane Allen, Human Resources Manager
(123) 456-7890 | firstname.lastname@example.org | linkedin.com/in/jane-allen
To: Regent Markets, Inc.
Human Resources Department
1234 Street Address
Miami, FL, 33101
Once the header is in place, you can move on to creating your cover letter headline — a short title statement used for hooking the employer’s attention with the most compelling details from your letter.
In your headline, aim to 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 an effective human resources headline, followed by a breakdown of its key components
My Successful 3-Step Approach to Human Resources & How I Will Apply It at Your Company
Trigger Word/Number: 3-Step Approach
Keyword: Human Resources
Adjective/Verb: Successful, Apply
Promise: Your Company – by including this type of detail at the end of your headline, you inform the employer that you will speak directly about how your skills and experience can benefit their company.
2. Personalize the greeting and content of your human resources cover letter
Cover letters can be an immensely helpful tool when applying to jobs when they are tailored for the specific job you are applying to.
To personalize your cover letter for the job, you will need to research the company thoroughly before applying. During this research, look for information such as:
- The employee who is most likely to review your cover letter and application
- Projects the company is currently involved in (and how your skills can be used for this project’s purposes)
- Values and goals the company has publicly stated (this information reveals key language the company uses that you can reflect in your letter)
You will also want to create a personalized greeting that addresses a specific person by name. Including this type of greeting helps to immediately show your attention to detail and the level of research completed.
Here are 3 examples of personalized cover letter greetings
- Dear Mr. John Doe,
- Dear Hiring Manager John Doe,
- Dear John Doe & the Human Resources Team,
3. Write a compelling introduction for your human resources cover letter
After your greeting is written, the next piece of your cover letter to focus on is the introduction. A human resources introduction should be between 2 to 3 sentences in length and include:
- A concise overview of your professional history (years of experience, area of expertise, etc.)
- A statement on why you are applying for the position
- A mutual acquaintance (when possible) – including mutual acquaintances is incredibly useful and impactful for your cover letter. If you lack a reliable mutual acquaintance, try using social platforms like LinkedIn to grow your professional network
Here is an example of a well-written human resources introduction
Dear Mr. John Doe,
I am a human resources professional with more than 5 years of experience working in a C-suite level corporate environment. My professional acquaintance, Jack King, is a manager in your communications department and highly recommended I apply for this opening. I have chosen to take Mr. King’s advice as I believe my skill set is a perfect match for your company’s current needs.
4. Highlight your best professional attributes in human resources
Next up are the body paragraphs of your cover letter. This is the bulkiest section, offering answers to key questions such as:
- What relevant skills, accomplishments, and qualifications do you possess?
- How can you apply your skills and qualifications within this position?
- What can you contribute to the company’s current projects and goals?
As you describe your various professional attributes, make sure to include quantifiable details and specific examples whenever possible. Remember that these paragraphs are where you can showcase the professional value you have to offer, so make the most of this space.
Here are 6 examples of human resources skills to describe in a cover letter
- Employee onboarding processes (recruitment, interviewing, hiring, etc.)
- Developing employee training programs
- Complaint investigation and conflict management
- Employee retention strategies
- Empathetic and active listening
- Collaborative leadership
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a human resources cover letter
As the human resources assistant for [Former Employer], I helped to develop and deploy a new employee training program that increased the productivity rate of new employees by 25%. Additionally, this program introduced new employee outreach initiatives that raised overall employee satisfaction by 30%.
5. Demonstrate your passion and interest in the company
In your HR cover letter, it's essential to showcase your passion for the field and the company you're applying to. This means highlighting what specifically drew you to the company and why you're excited about the position.
Use the cover letter as an opportunity to explain how your personal values align with the company's mission statement and how you can contribute to the company's goals.
For example, if you're applying to a company that prioritizes employee development, you can mention your own passion for learning and your desire to help others grow and develop their skills.
Or, if the company values diversity and inclusion, you can discuss your own experiences working with diverse teams and your commitment to creating an inclusive workplace. By demonstrating your enthusiasm and connection to the company, you can make a strong impression on the hiring manager and increase your chances of landing the job.
Here's an example that demonstrates passion and interest in HR:
During my time at XYZ Company, I was responsible for leading several diversity and inclusion initiatives, including a mentorship program for underrepresented employees and the implementation of a company-wide unconscious bias training. These experiences not only helped me develop a deeper understanding of HR principles, but also ignited a passion for creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace. I am excited to bring this passion and expertise to the HR team at ABC Company and continue to drive meaningful change in the industry.
6. Finish your human resources cover letter with a memorable conclusion
The final step to writing an effective human resources cover letter is to end with a memorable closing statement. This conclusion should include:
- An enthusiastic statement about the position and your plans to follow up
- When you plan to reach back out and how the employer can best reach you
- A formal sign-off
Here is an example of a strong closing statement from a human resources cover letter
Thank you for taking the time to review my cover letter and application. I am incredibly eager to learn more about this position and look forward to hearing from you within the next week. The best time to reach me is any weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (123) 456-7890. If I have not heard back by next Friday, I will reach out regarding the status of my application.
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.