How To Choose a Quote for Your Cover Letter (With Template and Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

January 23, 2022

When writing a cover letter, candidates often strive to ensure it's memorable. One method of gaining a hiring manager's attention is using an alternative format, such as starting your cover letter with a quote. Choosing the right cover letter quote can help you quickly demonstrate value, connect your ethics to a company's mission and stand out from other candidates during the hiring process.

In this article, we explore why to include a quote in your cover letter, how to choose the right one and provide a template and example.

What is a cover letter quote?

A cover letter quote is a sentence or phrase attributed to another person included in a cover letter. An alternative to a traditional cover letter format, cover letter quotes may also make your cover letter more memorable to hiring managers. Quotations in cover letters often come from industry leaders, company management or relevant published content that showcases the work ethic, personality or style of the writer.

Why include a quote in your cover letter?

Quotes typically appear at the beginning of cover letters. They may introduce an idea, feeling or context that the writer thinks is essential for a hiring manager to understand. Successful cover letter quotes connect the philosophy behind the citation with actions and accomplishments from previous positions. While people use quotations in their cover letters for a variety of reasons, they typically aim to achieve one of the following goals:

  • Demonstrate how they're different from other candidates

  • Connect their leadership skills with the words of a famous leader

  • Reveal their expertise through knowledge of specific industry thinkers

  • Link accomplishments in their cover letter with well-known achievements

  • Display what motivates them and then connect it to their reasons behind applying for the position

Related: 7 Powerful Ways To Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

How to choose the best quote for your cover letter

You can follow the steps below to help you craft a cover letter with the right quote:

1. Establish why you want to use a cover letter quote

If you're considering including a quote in your cover letter, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I want to show how people have responded to my work in the past?

  • Am I interested in aligning myself with a particular thinker in my industry?

  • Do I have a personal slogan that informs how I work?

  • Am I trying to highlight a challenge I've overcome?

Once you've discovered why you want to use a quote in your cover letter, you can be better prepared to choose the right quote for the position and industry you're applying to.

2. Determine what makes you stand out

When choosing a quotation for your cover letter, it can be helpful to review your professional and personal experience to pinpoint which aspects make you distinct from other candidates. Here's an example of determining this in action:

Areeya is applying for a job as a software engineer at a Japanese company. She is fluent in English and Japanese, and she lived in Japan for two years. During her time abroad, she learned a lot about different work habits, which influenced how she plans her work day. She decides she wants to highlight her multiculturalism and work ethic as unique assets she can bring to her prospective company.

To figure out what makes you a singular candidate, consider examining your:

  • Qualifications

  • Accomplishments

  • Work history

  • Skills

  • Personal experiences

3. Check for documentation of positive employee reviews

Employer feedback can be an excellent way to provide unbiased support for the qualifications listed in your cover letter. If your current employer or mentor has conducted an employee review, one-on-one meetings or provided positive written feedback, consider briefly quoting them in your cover letter. You may also consider asking for brief reference letters from your current employer, former supervisor or a community leader. Testimonials can show a hiring manager the impact you make in the workplace, reveal the reputation you uphold and suggest how you are likely to perform in a new position.

Read more: How To Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter

4. Select a quote that matches your style

To choose the quotation you plan to use in your cover letter, consider the attitude you want to project, including:

  • Confidence: These quotations typically come from well-established leaders in a particular industry. Choosing a quote that's relevant to the position you're applying for can suggest expertise, show your up-to-date knowledge about the industry and frame your skills and accomplishments as elements of confident leadership.

  • Transparency: Transparent quotations often originate from employers, leaders or other mentors you've impacted over the course of your career. These quotes can provide hiring managers an authoritative understanding of your growth and achievements in the workplace.

  • Creativity: Creative quotations can include a quote from a relevant author, speaker or artist, or even a personal slogan that informs your work ethic.

Related: How To Write a Cover Letter

Tips for cover letters with quotations

Consider the following tips for choosing the quote that's right for your next cover letter:

  • Ensure it's adding value. Make sure any quote you decide to use relates to the position, illustrates your accomplishments or aligns with your experience.

  • Let it reveal your passions and goals. A successful quote can show hiring managers why you chose to pursue your career and how your professional life connects to your personal passions.

  • Use it to show why you're the right person to hire. You can showcase how you share values with your intended employer by choosing a quote that highlights your ethics and linking it with your actions and accomplishments in the workplace.

  • Keep it brief. While there are no specific requirements for how long a cover letter quote can be, consider using a 140-character limit as a guide to ensure enough space for the rest of your cover letter content.

Quote cover letter template

[Your first and last name]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]

[Date you submitted your application]

["Your cover letter quotation" - Who said it, why they're important]

Dear [Hiring manager's name],

Hello, my name is [your name], and I'm writing regarding the [name of the job] position at [name of the organization]. [Mention your certifications, licenses or other documents] with over [number] years of experience in [try referring to specifications from the job advertisement here]. I look forward to continuing my [your industry] career with [name of the organization], specifically in [specific areas].

I graduated from [your educational program] with a [degree] in [major]. In [year], I received my [additional licensing not already mentioned] and began working with [a former employer]. As a [your former job title], I [showcase your actions at work and the outcome]. Over my [industry] career, I've [notable long-term impact at work], which [state a measurable outcome of the impact you made].

[Mention ethics you and the organization have in common]. During my [number] years with [your former employer], [a detailed list of steps you took with quantifiable results].

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to discussing this position with you soon.


[Your name]

Example of a cover letter with a quote

Areeya Suwannasook

January 3, 2022

"Areeya is someone who sees an obstacle as an opportunity for connection. Her bilingual background and expertise in Python help her lead junior engineers efficiently, compassionately and successfully." - T. Watanabe, President of Kyoto Software

Dear Hiro Yakamoto,

Hello, my name is Areeya and I'm writing regarding the software engineer position at Tokyo Materials. I am Engineering Association certified with over 10 years of experience using Javascript, C++ and Python. I look forward to continuing my software engineering career with Tokyo Materials, specifically in creating software using Python.

I graduated from Tokyo University with a bachelor's degree in computer science. In 2010, I attended a coding boot camp hosted by Engineering Association and began working with Kyoto Software. As a junior software engineer, I specialized in using Python to create accounting software, which my team developed into a complete program that earned Kyoto Software over $1 million. Over my software engineering career, I've led three teams of Japanese and English speakers, using my bilingual background and Japanese work ethic to lead multicultural groups effectively, which influenced my employer to promote me to senior software engineer.

Consistently improving software while reducing cost is my personal engineering strategy. During my seven years with Kyoto Software, I oversaw the development of new software, encouraged new hires toward their highest potential and managed project planning for 40 distinct programs.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to discussing this position with you soon.


Areeya Suwannasook

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