As an HR professional, you know how to make employees and the corporation happy, especially when you bring in new talent. But even though you know the ins and outs of the hiring process, getting hired yourself is tricky.
We understand that getting hired isn’t easy—even if you’re familiar with the process. Our guide, complete with three HR cover letter examples, will walk you through how to write a cover letter that will land you an interview and, hopefully, your dream job.
Why this cover letter works
Why this cover letter works
Why this cover letter works
Writing a stunning human resources cover letter is difficult, so let’s break it down into three simple factors: research, details, and presentation.
As an HR professional, you know that reading generic cover letters is exhausting and annoying. They fail to show initiative or explain how the candidate will help you once they get hired.
So, in your cover letter, you need to show you care about the company and can help them reach its goals. But you’ll only know what to write once you know what the business wants.
Start by reading the human resources job description to get a feel for their personality. Then scan their website to find their mission statement, vision, and goals.
Assure the employer that you can deliver the results they desire by addressing their unique concerns and applying your relevant qualifications.
As you know, reading redundant paperwork is a complete snooze-fest. So, your human resources cover letter can’t be a repeat of your resume, or the recruiter will be snoring before they hit the second paragraph.
Think of your cover letter as a presentation and not just a document. Pick one to two of your accomplishments that echo the job description’s requirements and give the full scope of those experiences. You could:
Your cover letter needs to strike a balance between unique and professional, personal but not sentimental. Easier said than done, right?
Start by limiting your cover letter to one page. Then you can start modifying your message. Present a logical argument with enough ethos (credibility) and pathos (emotion) to sell anyone on your skills.
Then adjust your tone. Your cover letter can be funny, heartfelt, or candid—but moderation is key. Let the job description help you choose your content, your words, and how you phrase your message. Most of all, shoot for a tone that matches the company.
Don’t despair if this is difficult; next up is revision, where you can fix any errors and tweak the content. Now is also a perfect time to let someone else read your cover letter to recommend improvements.
We know that starting any project with a blank slate is intimidating, so use this HR cover letter outline to get you started on the right foot!
Your contact info: Give employers a helping hand and provide your contact information right from the get-go. List your name, number, email, and physical address right at the top of your cover letter template.
Formatting: If you’re using a block format, only include your physical address, and save your name for the signature.
Date: Even in a virtual letter, you should include a date. It makes your cover letter look more professional, and it gives the hiring manager a timeline for your application.
Just make sure the date on your cover letter reflects the day you submit it, especially if you re-work your cover letters based on previous submissions.
Formatting: Write out the full date, e.g., June 16, 2022.
Inside address: Your address isn’t the only one that matters; also include the inside address, aka the employer’s address. It should have the hiring manager or recruiter’s name, their title, and the company’s physical address. This shows the employer you’ve researched their company and know to whom you’re speaking.
If the company doesn’t list its address or has multiple locations, check sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and the company’s website (you can also check Google Maps, too).
Min Ju Ha, Director of Talent Acquisition
50 Eggs Hospitality Group
7350 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138
Formatting: Each part of the address should be on a new line. Double space between the inside address and greeting.
Greeting: A polite greeting is always in vogue, so start your human resources cover letter with a formal, yet personal, salutation. Use the tried-and-true “dear,” followed by “Ms.” or “Mr.” and the hiring manager’s last name to avoid ruffling feathers (some businesses don’t appreciate casual introductions).
Finding the person in charge of hiring can be a pain, but people love to be addressed by name, so it’s worth it to spend the time to make a great first impression. Worst case scenario, address either the whole HR team (“Dear HR Hiring Team”) or the department head (“Dear HR Manager”).
Formatting: After your greeting, you’ll need either a comma or a colon; a colon is the preferred business option, but if the business is more casual, you can get away with a comma. Let the job description guide you.
Body: This is the hardest part to get right, but we have you covered. First, focus on cutting your letter down to three to four short paragraphs.
Within those paragraphs, express your enthusiasm for the job, your qualifications, and your desire for future discussion.
Opening paragraph: Remember the last time you read a book that started like, “I am writing to inform you of my purpose, which is to write a really good book?” Yeah, us neither. Yet, most people begin their cover letters with similar statements that are polite but boing, like this:
I read your job post on LinkedIn, and I am eager to apply. This human resources director position sounds like a perfect fit for my experience, and I know I can help your department reach its goals. My years of experience in human resources and management makes me an ideal candidate.
This information might not be wrong, but it’s vague and generalized—and like 95% of other cover letters in the stack of applications. A good opening is unique and exciting while still being formal. It should address the company and express personality immediately, like this opener:
Central New Mexico Community College’s core values of connection, compassion, and inspiration resonate with my values as a human resources professional. Your unique value-based approach has unsurprisingly made CNM one of the top 5 community colleges in the U.S. That, combined with your defined vision plans, inspired me to apply because my work would make a concrete difference for students and staff.
From the start, this candidate explains what they appreciate about the company and how they align with its beliefs and goals.
Paragraphs 2-3: These paragraphs should provide evidence for your qualifications and dig deep into your achievements; it’s time to define your part of the project and how you turned it into a success.
However tempting, don’t try to tackle a job’s worth of successes. Your letter will just sound cluttered and unfocused. Instead, focus on one accomplishment at a time, and provide plenty of details about that experience.
I also have experience solving complex employee relations issues. As the HR manager with Cygna Labs, positive mediation was roughly 50% of my role. I investigated complaints, ensured compliance with legal employment requirements, and developed new policies and procedures. By the end of my position, our retention rate had increased by 45%, our human capital return on investment had improved by 23%, and the number of promoter-level NPS scores had increased by 42%.
Although 50% of their role focused on other tasks, this candidate only mentioned mediation/resolution and their successes with such.
Closing paragraph: Don’t quit while you’re ahead—finish strong with a closing paragraph that summarizes your values, qualifications, and eagerness for an interview. This can sound like a lot, but rest assured, it can be done.
Start with a sentence summary of what you value based on the work experience you’ve described and how that adheres to the company’s values. Next, describe what you hope to accomplish in the position. Lastly, thank the employer and reassure them of your willingness to talk further.
Just remember: you are an ideal candidate, but you shouldn’t sound like this:
As you can see, I have done everything you require (and more) at my previous jobs, which makes me the perfect candidate for this position. I know I can handle all employee relations responsibilities and ensure complete compliance as I have done at every HR job so far. Please give me a call or email at your earliest convenience; I look forward to making your day at my interview.
Even if all this was true, it’s self-centered and doesn’t address the company at all. Instead, remind the employer of what they stand to gain when they hire you. Further establish how your goals align with theirs and what you’ll do for their HR department.
I strive to improve the lives of employees by implementing modern practices and offering practical solutions to common problems. As your HR director, I desire to develop new training programs, ensure compliance, and increase employee engagement/satisfaction. Thank you for considering me for this position, and I hope to experience your restaurants first-hand soon.
This candidate explains their competency and their goals without sounding brash. It’s a delicate balance, but we know you can find it!
Formatting: Single space your letter but double space between paragraphs.
Signature: All that’s left is to sign off and say “thank you” if you didn’t in the closing paragraph. Use a professional closer along with your name.
Formatting: If you’re presenting any hard copies of your human resources cover letter, quadruple space at the bottom to leave room to sign your name.
Enclosure(s): Many people don’t know about this section, but it’s important. It lists the other documents you’re submitting, reminding employers there’s more to come. It also helps them keep track of what you’ve included.
HR positions usually require a job application and a resume, but some also require a supplemental questionnaire or references. Carefully scan the job description and application to make sure you provide everything requested.
Formatting: Use the singular or plural form of “enclosure” depending on how many documents you’re enclosing. Most of the time, it will be plural, but you should check it every time.
Now that you’ve written your human resources cover letter, you’ll likely want to hit “submit” immediately. But don’t forget you still need to outline your resume and polish it to shine.
You have a great persuasive argument, aka your cover letter, but you still need a document that quantifies your work experience, aka your resume. When combined, they paint a glowing picture of your career.
Want to know how to make your HR resume just as impressive as your cover letter? A look at our resume examples will give you the boost you need, and you can even edit this HR resume directly.
If you’ve already started, try out our resume checker to get AI-powered advice to make your resume the best it can be.
Now go snag the dream job you’ve always wanted!