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How to begin a cover letter?

Starting a statement of purpose, cover letter or motivation letter can be hard when you are not even sure about your first sentence. You may perfectly understand the purpose of this letter. Still, we often get contacted by young professionals that simply don’t know how to begin a cover letter.

Let us start off by telling you how not to begin a motivation letter.

The 5 worst ways to begin a motivation letter

5. “Dear Recruiter, …” – not the worst opening but do better.
4. “I am writing to express my interest …” – obviously…
3. “Dear Madam or Sir, …” – very impersonal.
2. “To whom it may concern, …” – no one feels addressed here.
1 . “Hello, …” – this is horrible but you do read it sometimes.

So how should you do it? How should you open a statement of purpose? How should you begin your motivation letter? It depends on the situation, but here you have 3 great options to open your statement of purpose. To immediately apply these insights, download our online cover letter template and work along with the video course.

3 perfect ways to begin your cover letter

  1. Find the name of the recruiter or hiring manager and address them personally to begin your cover letter: “Dear Mr. Jackson, …”.
    If you really want to, you will find that name. Use your network on LinkedIn. You may even want to get the free trial LinkedIn premium account to send In-mails to people working at the company. At this point you should do anything it takes because this is how to open a statement of purpose. At this point you should do anything because it’s exactly how to begin a cover letter.
  2. Open your motivation letter or begin your statement of purpose with a passion, a skill or a true motivation (so don’t address anyone):

    “All my friends say I love data more than people. That is not entirely true. I love engaging in constructive interactions with fellow human beings, as long as I get my daily portion of numbers to crunch.”. – This says a lot about you, and it makes for a fun read.

  3. Capture their interest with an exciting story (and simply don’t address anyone): “It was half past eight in the morning and I could not feel my legs. I knew I was about to run and I had trouble breathing. I heard the gunshot. Everything went black.” – This may sound like it’s a bit much, but it’s a very strong intro and you can be sure that people keep reading. 

    Plot twist: this story was about a cross country running competition and the applicant used this intro to imply perseverance and resilience as he went on to run marathons despite anxiety at the first race.

You should remember that you have many options as to how to begin a statement of purpose or how to begin a statement of purpose, and many of them don’t require addressing anyone. Now that you understand how to break into the first paragraph, we hope you are confident about the rest of your letter. In case you need some extra help for the next 3 paragraphs, we have a good example statement of purpose here: cover letter template google docs.

Good luck!  

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