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What a Young Professional Cover Letter Should Look Like

cover letters for young adults

For even deeper insights on how to write a stellar cover letter, check out the article by Rohan Punamia at his blog, 2 by 22 .

Kill the cover letter?

I don’t think so.

In an article called “ Kill the Cover Letter and Resume ,” Jesse Singal at New York Magazine proposes we do away with the pair because they are boring, inefficient and littered with social and racial biases.

Here’s a prejudice I would love an employer to hold: “This person’s cover letter is so damn good that now I am biased and want to interview him.”

Every one of us has experiences and knowledge employers crave…even from an internship, as a volunteer or in college. Problem is, we don’t always know how to convey it.

I hope you find the cover letter template below useful. It contains my best writing/editing practices and is an appropriate length. *** Note: It’s a fictional scenario.***

Two main components of an effective cover letter, in my view:

– Begin with a memorable story to catch the reader’s attention and demonstrate ability ( more info on storytelling ).

– Relate how your skills and experiences can help the company with its challenges.

The Template for an Effective Young Professional Cover Letter

An effective storytelling cover letter contains the six parts listed below. In the two examples on the following pages, I point out where each part occurs within the letter.

PART 1: Open with a line that places readers into the story. Grab their attention and make them think, “Hmm, this is different. I want to know more.”

PART 2: Include concrete details about the story. The more specific you are, the more colorful the anecdote. Provide hard numbers when appropriate and give exact locations and job titles.

PART 3: Demonstrate how the story applies to the job you want. Refer to the job description and make sure the anecdote reflects the person the company wants to hire.

PART 4: Show you researched the company and understand its opportunities in the broader marketplace. Also explain how you will help the company grow its business. Ultimately, managers want to know how you will make the company more successful.

PART 5: Share more of your qualities as they relate to the story at the top. Again, reference the job description, touch on qualities you know the company admires and show how you would be a good cultural fit.

PART 6: Mention your story one fi nal time and bring the cover letter full circle.

1. Start with a unique story; hook the reader.

2. Give concrete details. The more specific, the more colorful the anecdote.

3. Demonstrate how the story applies to the job you want.

4. Prove you researched the company and understand its challenges in the broader marketplace. ( more on this topic )

5. Share more of your qualities as they relate to the story at the top.

6. End by referencing the beginning; bring the cover letter full circle.

The cover letter I wrote is (hopefully) memorable and proves the person is right for the job.

Remember: you have tremendous life experiences. Think hard, bring them to the surface and make your job application impossible to forget.

Featured: itupictures ( Flickr )

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Sample cover letters

Our cover letter templates can guide you through the process of writing a cover letter for your job applications.

These sample cover letters suit a range of situations, including email cover letters and cover letters you can use to ask about available work even when a job hasn't been advertised. 

Whether you finished school early or you're a tertiary grad, and whether you've had heaps of experience or none, one of these samples will suit your needs.

In this section:

Find out how to write a cold calling cover letter for jobs that aren’t advertised.

Cover letter when no resume is needed - no paid work experience

Use this sample cover letter if you have no work experience and are applying for a job that asks for a cover letter but no resume.

Find out how to write cover letter for a job application if you don’t have any paid work experience.

Use this cover letter template if you're applying for a job that has been advertised or you have some formal (paid) work experience.

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Youth Program Coordinator Cover Letter Example

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You should start your Youth Program Coordinator cover letter by addressing the hiring manager directly, if possible. Then, introduce yourself and express your interest in the position. Highlight your passion for youth development and briefly mention your relevant experience that makes you a suitable candidate for the role. For example, "Dear [Hiring Manager's Name], I am excited to apply for the Youth Program Coordinator position at [Organization's Name]. With my extensive experience in youth programming and a deep passion for fostering positive environments for young people, I am confident in my ability to contribute to your team." This introduction is direct, shows enthusiasm, and gives a glimpse of your qualifications.

The best way for Youth Program Coordinators to end a cover letter is by expressing enthusiasm for the potential opportunity, reiterating their commitment to youth development, and inviting further discussion. For example, "I am excited about the possibility of bringing my experience and passion for youth development to your organization. I welcome the opportunity to further discuss how I can contribute to your team." This shows that you are eager, confident, and proactive. Always remember to thank the reader for their time and consideration. Lastly, end with a professional closing like "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your name. This ending is effective as it re-emphasizes your passion for the role, shows appreciation, and maintains a professional tone.

In a cover letter, Youth Program Coordinators should include the following: 1. Contact Information: At the top of the letter, include your name, address, phone number, and email address. 2. Salutation: Address the hiring manager or the person listed in the job posting directly. 3. Introduction: Briefly introduce yourself and mention the position you're applying for. 4. Relevant Experience: Discuss your past experience in youth program coordination or related fields. Highlight specific programs you've managed, the number of participants, and any notable successes or achievements. 5. Skills: Highlight the skills that make you a strong candidate for the role. This could include program planning and development, leadership, communication, conflict resolution, and any specific skills relevant to the organization's programs (e.g., sports coaching, art instruction, etc.) 6. Passion for Youth Work: Show your passion for working with youth. This could be through sharing personal anecdotes, explaining why you find the work rewarding, or discussing your philosophy on youth development. 7. Knowledge about the Organization: Show that you've done your homework about the organization you're applying to. Discuss how your skills and experience align with their mission, values, and current programs. 8. Closing: Thank the reader for considering your application and express your interest in the opportunity to discuss your qualifications further. 9. Signature: End with a professional closing (e.g., "Sincerely" or "Best") and your name. Remember, a cover letter should complement, not duplicate, your resume. It's your chance to tell a story about your experience and passion for youth work that makes you the best candidate for the job.

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How to Write a Stand-Out Cover Letter

  • How to Write a Stand-Out…

How to write a cover letter guide – BPA Blog


Literary agents and many literary competitions require a cover letter along with your sample chapters and synopsis. This is a formal introduction to you and your novel. Note: It is not a CV, a bio or a blurb for the book. It’s a letter, written from one professional to another, that should make the agent or judge want to read more. The biggest mistake entrants to the BPA First Novel Award made this year was getting the balance off, either writing too much about the novel or too much about themselves – some poor novels didn’t get a mention. There’s a rough template most agents and competition judges will look for, and it’s pretty doable! Let’s give it a go.


First, tell us about the novel. That’s what you’re trying to sell! You want the agent to finish the cover letter with such curiosity about the book that they’re hungry for the sample chapters. 

The first paragraph will usually reveal the title , the genre , the word count of the completed manuscript (If you don’t include this, they might worry you haven’t finished it!) and something that offers a taste of the novel, like a mention of the themes you’re going to explore.

Be specific when stating the genre – if it’s general fiction, think about whether the market is commercial, book club, upmarket or literary. If it’s YA, don’t just say it’s YA – is it a YA romance? YA dystopia? Who’s out there writing YA crime? The literary agent will be familiar with all the terms, so the more specific you are, the easier it will be to picture an audience for the book.

Once you’ve provided these core facts, write an elevator pitch . This is a single sentence that conveys your novel’s hook or USP. For inspiration, check out the Sunday Times Bestsellers List:

  • Richard Osman’s  The Thursday Murder Club : Four friends in a retirement village team up to solve a mystery on their doorstep.
  • Paula Hawkins’  The Girl on the Train : A commuter’s fascination with a married couple she passes every day turns deadly.

It’s a good idea to follow this up with a one-paragraph description of the novel. Unlike the synopsis, it doesn’t need to tell the entire story, but it should be just more than the premise. Tell us who the protagonist is, what happens to upset the balance of their life, and what their goal is (presumably to restore said life balance!). If you can do that in a couple of sentences, you might also mention one of the novel’s core turning points.

Cover letters should describe the novel first, then the writer, then remind us of the novel at the end. In a short final paragraph, say what inspired you to write the book and offer some comparable titles . (Check out agent Nelle Andrew’s advice on comparable titles .)

The letter should be targeted towards the literary agent or competition judge you’re writing to. Some writers choose to open with this and others incorporate it into the later paragraphs. The best way to make a connection and show you’ve done your research is to mention an author on the agent’s list who has a relevant readership. You could also explain why you think your novel aligns with what they describe in their wish list.


It’s the writing, not the writer, that’s important … but the agent or judge does want to know about you too. They especially want to know why you were the one person who could write this book . And it’s true – no one else could write the book you’ve written. So tell us why. Did your job as a psychiatrist inspire the analysis of your antagonist’s motivation? Do you live in the idyllic town where the book is set? Have you studied the era of your historical novel? Share relevant details about yourself. 

The agent or judge also wants evidence that you are a writer. You’re not just someone who thinks they have a novel in them; you take your craft seriously. If you can, share what magazines your short fiction has been published in, the competitions you’ve been listed in or the creative writing courses you’ve completed. If you don’t have that kind of experience, share anything that tells us you’re serious. Join a writer’s workshop group and tell us about that. Attend an online masterclass (like the ones BPA runs ) and mention that. Experiment with writing in different forms and tell us about it. S hare which contemporary authors have inspired you, so it’s clear that you’re well read. Just don’t put, ‘This is my first attempt at writing fiction,’ and leave it at that. It doesn’t inspire confidence.

A cover letter should be professional, like the cover letter you would send with a job application, but you also want it to have some personality. And given you’re basically applying for the role of ‘novelist’, it needs to be well written.

So, keep it formal, make sure it’s eloquent, and try to get some flow into it. When you read it aloud, it should sound natural. If it doesn’t, it might be that you haven’t varied sentence length, that you’ve used rigid language, or simply that you’re trying too hard. As formal as a cover letter should be, you want your enthusiasm for this novel you’ve spent so long writing to imbue the lines. 


  • Formatting it like a CV or splitting it into sections titled ‘Bio’ and ‘Novel Summary’.
  • Sharing irrelevant detail about your personal life. 
  • Making it too short – 200-350 words is a good guideline.
  • Or too long – unfortunately, nobody’s going to read a cover letter past the first page!
  • Writing a vague description of the story e.g. ‘When a mysterious event happens, a woman will have to look to the past to uncover the truth.’
  • Including long-winded explanations of why there’s a huge market for your book.
  • Coming across as arrogant … or lacking in confidence.
  • Sharing more about the novel’s message than its story.


Once you’ve finished a manuscript, the instinct is to get it on submission as soon as possible, but it’s worth taking the time to give an accurate and exciting representation of the work . Literary agents receive many submissions a day and have to fit reading time in with a huge workload. You need to grab them in the cover letter so that they’re already thinking of you as a potential client when they read the sample.

Out of everything you could have written on the blank pages of a document titled Novel , you’ve carefully chosen each word of this story that has to be told. You know people will love it and you hopefully have a sense of who and why . Get that across to the agent or competition reader, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll request the full manuscript.

For personalised feedback on your cover letter, you might want to consider a BPA Submission Package Report – enquire here .

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Cover Letters Tips for Older Job Seekers

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Discrimination Against Older Workers

Age-proof your cover letters, cover letter tips for older job seekers, review a cover letter example.

Applying to jobs when you're in your 50s, 60s, or beyond brings with it some unique challenges. Sure, you have plenty of experience. But hiring managers don't necessarily see all those years on the job as an asset. They may believe seasoned, mature candidates will expect more money or responsibility, struggle to work with a younger manager, or lack up-to-date skills.

And while the Age Discrimination Act in Employment Act means that discriminating against older employee and job candidates is illegal, we hear from many unemployed job seekers who feel that their age is an issue.   They say things like:

  • I have learned that age does matter in employment.
  • My age seems to be my biggest enemy.
  • I think my age is my downfall right now.

It's true—despite legal protections, being considered an older job seeker can hinder your chances of finding employment. However, there are ways you can age-proof your resume and address age issues when writing cover letters. Review these cover letter writing tips for older job seekers to help market your candidacy effectively to employers.

Key Takeaways

Pay Attention to Word Choice: It's essential that your cover letter does not look old-fashioned. Watch for dated language, too. Your word choices can potentially make you seem older or younger than your actual age.

Keep It Snappy: Favor short, snappy sentences over longer, more complex syntax. Consider having a younger professional—preferably in your industry—read through your cover letter to make sure your phrasing doesn't date you.

Don't Promote Your Age: Avoid terms like “seasoned professional,” “a wealth of experience,” “worked for many years,” or anything similar. There's no need to highlight, in general, your years of experience. Instead, stick to the facts (e.g., "I led a team of 10 marketing professionals over at XYZ company.").

Your cover letter is a sales pitch. In a few short paragraphs, it needs to convince the hiring manager that you’re a good fit for the job. These tips will help you close the deal.

Target Your Cover Letter

The most important way you can show the employer that you're worth interviewing is to customize your cover letter . Take the job posting and list the criteria the employer is seeking. Then list the skills and experience you have, either in paragraph form or in a bulleted list. This way, the hiring manager can see why you're qualified for the job.

Don't Summarize Your Entire Resume

This advice applies to candidates of all ages. A good cover letter doesn't read like an autobiography or a distillation of your resume. For older candidates, it is important to veer away from a sequential recounting of your employment, and instead focus on experience relevant to the job at hand.

Don't Include Years of Experience

Don't list the length of experience you have in your cover letter. For example, it's not advantageous to say you have 20 or 30 years of experience. It will flag you as an older candidate.

Emphasize Your Related Experience and Strengths

While highlighting your years of experience isn’t helpful, talking about your related experience will get the hiring manager’s attention. Your cover letter is an opportunity to mention your proven experience, which a less-experienced candidate may not have. Again, specify how that experienced is related to the job you're applying for—the more specific you are, the more relevant a candidate you'll be.

Do Mention Connections

As always in a cover letter, it's powerful to mention a connection . Review samples of cover letters with referrals to guide your own writing. 

Focus on Flexibility

Mention your flexibility, adaptability, and willingness to learn in your cover letter. It will peg you as young and eager, even if you aren't so young in years. Similarly, highlight any knowledge of current technology, since this is often a big concern for hiring managers.

Be Careful About Salary Requirements

If the job posting requests your salary requirements , note that you're flexible. That way employers won't think of you as being overqualified and/or overpriced.

Polish Your Cover Letter

Presentation matters. Make sure your cover letter is correctly formatted . That means opting for the right font (and font size). Use a plain font, never a scripted one. Include a space between every paragraph, and choose an appropriate salutation and closing sign-off , too.

Be Prepared to Email Your Cover Letter

Be sure that you are following email etiquette guidelines when you email your cover letters.

You can view a sample of a cover letter for an older job seeker, and download the cover letter template (compatible with Word and Google docs).

Cover Letter Sample for an Older Job Seeker

Annabel Elder 123 Shady Rest Lane Tampa, FL 33605 (123) 456-7890

February 25, 2021

Ms. Catherine Collins Director Helping Hands Nonprofit Organization 1234 Sunset Way Tampa, FL 33605

Dear Ms. Collins:

It was with much interest that I learned, through, about the Executive Assistant position that has opened with Helping Hands Nonprofit Organization.

Your position announcement intrigued me, since many of the qualifications you list are ones I’ve developed as an Executive Assistant to four C-level officers of ABC Enterprises, a global development group. Examples of my skills and experience that align with your requirements include:

  • Demonstrated efficiency and accuracy in calendaring and appointment scheduling, travel planning, and in drafting correspondence to project stakeholders.
  • Well-versed in coordinating all venue, catering, travel, and entertainment details for large-scale events including fundraisers, stakeholder meetings, and conferences.
  • Effectiveness scheduling and supervising office teams of ~5 administrative assistants and receptionists.
  • A proactive stance in learning rising administrative and office management technologies, as evidenced by my recent transition of the ABC Enterprises office to a cloud-based communications system.

As part of ABC Enterprises’ community outreach program, I’ve had the privilege of working with Jason Edwards, one of your trustees, and have found him to be a passionate advocate of the good that Helping Hands Nonprofit Organization does for underrepresented groups in Tampa. I would thus welcome the opportunity to use my administrative talents to ensure the smooth running of your initiatives.

Thank you for your time and consideration; I look forward to your response and hope to meet with you soon to learn more about the great work you do.

Best regards,

Signature (hard copy letter)

Annabel Elder

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “ The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 .” Accessed Feb. 25, 2021.

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cover letters for young adults

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