Write an awesome esports & gaming cover letter (with examples)
Ah, the cover letter! Possibly the most underappreciated part of the application process.
Well, no longer we say! We're here to show you the value of a great cover letter and to tell you exactly how to write one.
The first thing for you to consider is that your cover letter is probably the first thing a hiring manager or recruiter will read about you.
This means that it's your true first impression, and we all know that first impressions really count. So don’t let a bad cover letter be the excuse a hiring manager needs to toss you onto their “no” pile!
Here at Hitmarker, we’re all about getting people into the “yes” pile, so let’s get to it!
We’re going to lay out what we believe to be the ideal way to structure a cover letter based on our experience of dealing with good, bad, and average cover letters on a daily basis.
This is the general template that we’ve seen have the most success at getting candidates to the next stage of the application process. We’ll also throw in a full example at the end, for good measure.
If you prefer to learn through videos rather than articles, we've also collated all the cover letter advice we've gathered over the years into an in-depth course on Skillshare. In this, we go lesson-by-lesson through each objective of the cover letter and how to achieve them.
If you prefer a written guide, then we'll start with the easy part of the cover letter: those first few words.
A “salutation” is how you address the person you’re writing to, and on a cover letter there are a number of variants we see regularly:
- Dear Company Name,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Sir/Madam,
- Hi there,
All of these are perfectly fine (with the exception of “To whom it may concern”), but we’ve seen that for community management, marketing and social media roles, the more informal “Hi there,” is a great choice.
The type of career you’re going for plays a big part here, as does the level of the job you’re going for. If it’s a more senior and serious type of role you may want to start with one of the top three from this list, but if it’s more junior and informal then look towards the bottom of the list and go with one of those.
We've also written an advice article on creating a cover letter for internships, so if that's the area you're applying in then we'd recommend checking that out too.
Most importantly, pick a salutation that suits your own character. You want your personality to shine through in this document, and this is how you set the tone from the very outset.
The first paragraph of the cover letter is undoubtedly the most important because it’s your chance to really engage the hiring manager, so no half-assing!
- First, we want you to get across your obvious excitement at finding the role.
- Second, we want you to compliment the company you’re applying to and show that you have some knowledge of them and what they do.
- Third, we want you to tell them that you’re an excellent candidate for their advertised position.
Let’s jump back and talk more about that first sentence…
So many times we see people open with something like “I was interested to see your advertisement for a Social Media Manager on Hitmarker.”
This isn’t good. It’s not engaging, it shows very little enthusiasm, and it’s not going to encourage a hiring manager to want to keep reading.
However, some subtle tweaks can make a lot of difference…
“I was very excited to see your Social Media Manager position being advertised on Hitmarker, and knew I had to apply as soon as I could.”
Do you see the difference here?
The enthusiasm shines through and you’ve instantly got the hiring manager on your side because they want people to feel excited about their job. Now it’s time to butter them up a little bit more with a compliment about their organization AND to show off your knowledge of their company.
If you don’t have true knowledge of who they are, then take the time to do some research. Hit their company website (particularly the About page), check out their socials to see how they interact with people, and try to get some third-party views of them from the media (if they’re big enough) and from what people say about them on Reddit or Twitter.
Now that you’re prepared, say something nice about their organization and talk about how you’ve followed them for a while, but if you can be more specific, that’s great.
Then it’s time for the really important part. While you’ve got them smiling, tell them WHY you’re the ideal candidate for them. Look at the top three requirements from their job post and knock them off one by one. Typically, the top requirements in a job description are what's most crucial to a company.
Do this by using your previous experience, ideally, but rely on your personal qualities and education if you have to and don’t have the experience required.
You want the hiring manager to come out of your opening paragraph excited and thinking “we’ve got a good one here!”
Read it over and over again to make sure you’ve achieved this, or get a family member or friend to check it for you if you’re not sure.
Not just the best song ever written (thank you Jimmy Eat World), the middle is also a hugely important part of your cover letter!
Now you’ve got the hiring manager excited it’s time to tell them more about your professional experience and personal character. This is your big chance to sell yourself, so don’t let it slip!
You can do this well in a few ways:
- If you have the previous experience that fits the role then lean heavily on that and talk about your achievements in the roles you’ve had.
- If you don’t have the experience then lean heavily on the character traits that would make you a good fit for the role and your love for the gaming industry.
- If you have something relevant from your education (even if it’s something from school) then don’t be afraid to mention that either.
If by the end of this paragraph you can show them that you’ve had prior experience that makes you a good fit for the role, you have the character traits that make you a good fit for the role, you have the education that makes you a good fit for the role, AND you’re already tuned into the gaming scene then you will have almost sealed the deal.
We haven’t been too hands-on with this part because it’s such a personal section, but make sure it doesn’t repeat too much from your resume.
You want to focus on showing why you’re a great fit for their job role first and foremost, so keep that job description to hand while writing and keep referring back to it!
Now it’s time to finish strong by filling in any gaps left over from your second paragraph.
By this point, you should have sold the hiring manager on your suitability for the role from a technical perspective, but they probably want to know a little bit more about the person behind the words.
So, if you’ve mainly talked about your relevant skills and fit for the job, then it’s time to speak a little bit about your characteristics and professional approach.
People like to hire someone they can relate to and feel like they’d enjoy working with, not just someone that ticks all of the requirement boxes.
With this in mind, don’t be afraid to be you!
The best cover letters we see have a healthy dose of honesty in amongst everything else. Talk about your passion for gaming, talk about any other passions you have that are relevant to the role, and don’t be afraid to discuss the path you’ve taken in your career to date in an open and honest manner.
Finish off by saying that you know you can bring a lot of value to their team and are ready to take the next step in your career by joining them.
We always like to recommend a simple, confident sign off that leaves the path clear for the hiring manager to reach out to you.
Something like, “Thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you soon!”
Don’t worry about being too formal here, just encourage action and make it seem like you’re confident of landing the position. This puts the ball in their court and should be a strong ending to a very strong document.
The only thing to avoid is being overly confident to the point where it comes off as arrogant. Ending with something like, "I can't wait to be your next hire!" is rarely going to land well, even if it's well-intentioned. Stick with something respectful and professional so as not to sabotage yourself at the final hurdle.
7. Finishing touches
If you really want to put a bow on things we have a few more tips and tricks up our sleeve…
If you’re sending the cover letter as a document attachment then try to match the font and styling to what you have used for your resume. We always recommend going with a clear, modern font that is easy to read (something like Open Sans) and putting the cover letter as the first page in a two (or three) page PDF document.
DO NOT simply save the file as “Cover Letter.pdf”. A hiring manager in gaming will get a ton of applications for every given role; don’t be one of those people who can get lost in the shuffle by failing to add their full name to the document title. You don’t want to give anyone a reason to forget your name. Save the file as firstname_lastname_cover_letter, or something equivalent.
Finally, don’t just copy and paste the same cover letter over and over again. Tailor each cover letter to each role you apply for — hiring managers can spot duplicated cover letters at a hundred yards! Yes, this takes effort, but it’ll pay off in the long run!
With all of that being said, how about we show you how we would apply for a social media manager role with our own company?
As an avid Hitmarker user, I was excited to see an opportunity with your organization on the board yesterday and knew I had to apply as soon as I could. I have been on your website every day for the past few months and find it to be the best resource for jobs in the gaming industry, so I know it would be great to be a part of your team.
As someone who has managed social media accounts for numerous growing gaming organizations over the past few years, I know what it takes to build a following, and my previous customer service experience outside of games means I would be very capable of dealing with your users on a day-to-day basis. In addition to this, I have regularly used Adobe Suite for over three years and consider myself an expert with Illustrator and Photoshop in particular.
Becoming Hitmarker's new full-time Social Media Manager would be the next logical step in my career after working on a freelance, part-time basis in the gaming industry for the last three years. I have taken newer organizations like Team X from a few hundred Twitter followers to over 10,000 by creating unique content and using tools like Buffer to schedule posts to land at the most impactful times.
My extensive graphic design experience and strong command of the English language means that I could be described as a Social Media Machine. I turn up fully committed every day of the week and love to have a personal investment in the brand I represent. I feel like I can adapt to become the voice of any organization due to my immersion in the industry.
In my spare time, you’re most likely to find me watching or playing Warzone, keeping up with the latest fashion trends or researching successful social media accounts from outside of the space. I am also a huge sports nut and a keen reader, with autobiographies being my preference on that front.
I know I can be an immediately-contributing team member to Hitmarker because my familiarity with your brand gives me a head start on 99% of the other applicants you will get for this great role.
Thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you soon!
You’ll see it doesn’t follow our advice to the letter but a lot of the same themes are applied and it fits nicely on one page!
We don’t know about you, but we’d definitely give this guy an interview...