What is your impression of America

American cover letter: example, sample and free template

The American cover letter is of the same nature as its German counterpart. It gives the HR manager an expression of the candidate's personality, motivation and skills. However, it is not completely identical in form and content. What to watch out for when you get one American cover letter compose? First tip: keep it short, but don't mention your age ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

American cover letter: that's why it's important

The United States is still the heartland of capitalism - with all its good and bad. Also means: The Application process is a cost factor. No HR manager will deal with it extensively every application deal that lands on his desk. Time is money!

This is why the following applies to applicants here as well as over there: Please keep the cover letter short, get to the point quickly, make a good first impression.

Basically that fulfills American cover letter - the Cover letter - the same function as the German cover letter. It should convince the recipient that he is dealing with the right applicant for the advertised position. What motivation the candidate brings to the job, what skills and what personality.

Rule of thumb: Do not simply write the résumé in writing, but put emphasis in the cover letter.

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

American cover letter: structure

The cover letter has no more than three or four, a maximum of five short paragraphs. It starts with the greeting and a short introduction. In the second and third paragraph you briefly explain why you are using the right candidate are for the position and what qualifications and competencies you have for it - and why you want the job in the first place.

At the end saying goodbye Be polite, thank you for the interest and refer to the attachments (e.g. the tabular curriculum vitae) that you have attached.

Note: The introductory sentence is also particularly important in the American cover letter. It's good if you are already expressing a certain enthusiasm for the job, perhaps also weaving in knowledge about the company - and above all not using hackneyed phrases.

The first sentence leads the HR manager to either read on or to file the application again. But please always remain serious.

The structure of the cover letter looks roughly like this:

  • Greeting and intention: What do you want?
  • motivation: Why are you applying?
  • Qualification: Why are you the right person for the job?
  • References and greeting: Which attachments have you attached?

Tip: Make use of the principle of the so-called listicle, as the media (like us) like to do. So sprinkle one short list Your skills or stations in bullet points. The third paragraph is useful for this. Such an enumeration increases the Readability and takes care of overview.

American cover letter: 7 tips

To ensure that your cover letter is well received, you should take the following tips to heart:

  • Contact Person

    The same applies here as for Germany. First find out that specific contact person and address the cover letter explicitly to him or her. Definitely the name write correctly! And one more thing: After the HR manager's name, it does not continue with a comma, but with a colon. "Dear Mr. Whitehead:" "Dear Mrs. Robinson:".

  • Subject line

    A difference to Germany. With us, the subject line is one of them. In the US, you can safely leave them out.

  • English

    Correct English is of course a must for an American cover letter. Her migration background is not an alibi either. And be careful American English to use and not British English.

  • visa

    Do you even have a visa for the USA? A residency permit? If so, include this fact in the cover letter. Less bureaucracy, more planning security - a concrete advantage that every employer likes.

  • credentials

    They are also on the rise with us. In the USA, however, reference providers are traditionally even more trusted. If possible, name which ones - and indicate in the cover letter that your attachments contain references.

  • Soft skills

    The soft skills should be mentioned in the cover letter. For that reason alone, to set new accents here. The cover letter is not that Prose variant of the résumé, not a series of facts. The HR manager will find this in the résumé. In the American cover letter, the Applicant's personality - primarily its strengths - shine through.

  • Self-confidence

    Note: British love underdogs, Americans love winners. Make that clear to yourself. The number as an outsider attracts much less in the US than elsewhere. You are a master, an expert, a doer - without any irony. You don't need a pinch of self-confidence in your cover letter, but a whole shaker. But: Stick to the truth and don't turn into the surreal. Clear, realistic, confident announcements make that can also be relined.

Cover Letter: That has to stay outside

The US has rock-hard Anti-discrimination laws. You should stick to them meticulously. One of the company's concerns is not to provoke lawsuits from rejected applicants. The Americans are - as you probably know - particularly keen to complain.

This is why this information about you does not belong in the cover letter or in the CV:

  • religion
  • Age (date of birth)
  • height and weight
  • origin
  • Marital status / children
  • health

American cover letter: wording examples

These are the elementary building blocks for the American cover letter:

  • Salutation: Dear Sir or Madam (if recipient is unknown), Dear Mr. Smith / Dear Mrs. Smith (if the recipient is known, best option!), Dear Hiring Manager (Alternative if name is unknown)
  • Closing formula: I greatly appreciate your interest, I am looking forward to meeting you
  • Greeting: Yours sincerely, respectfully yours

You can find more formulation examples in our free template. Note: You are welcome to use one or the other text module from the template. But make sure to adapt each cover letter individually to the respective job.

American cover letter download: Free template


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