Professional Returning to Work Cover Letter Examples for 2024

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Your returning to work cover letter should immediately highlight your eagerness to rejoin the workforce. Demonstrate how your time away has reinforced your commitment to your career. In the second paragraph, focus on the skills you've maintained or gained during your break. This shows potential employers that you have kept pace with industry changes.

Crafting a returning to work cover letter can be a stumbling block for many job seekers who have already plunged into the application process. While your resume presents the facts, your cover letter should narrate the compelling story of your proudest professional triumph without echoing your resume. Striking the balance between professionalism and personal touch, all while dodging overused phrases and keeping it to one page, can seem daunting, but it's your ticket to stand out.

In the next few paragraphs, our returning to work cover letter writing guide will show you how to:

  • Personalize your returning to work cover letter and get inspired by other professionals to tell a compelling story;
  • Format and design your returning to work cover letter to make an excellent first impression;
  • Introduce your best achievement in your returning to work cover letter to recruiters;
  • How to make sure recruiters get in touch with you, using your returning to work cover letter greeting and closing paragraphs.

What is more, did you know that Enhancv's AI can write your cover letter for you? Just upload your returning to work resume and get ready to forward your job application in a flash.

Returning to Work cover letter example

Aiden Kelly



Dear Hiring Manager,

I have taken a thorough look at your company's vision and the innovative HR approaches you stand by. This careful orchestration of culture and strategic HR practices truly resonates with my professional philosophy and past experiences.

During my tenure at IBM, I spearheaded the implementation of a transformative automated recruitment system, which reduced the hiring process duration by an impressive 40%. This not only optimized operational efficiency but also allowed us to attract and onboard top talent at an accelerated pace, fostering a more dynamic and competitive workforce. My knack for deploying technology in HR processes, coupled with a keen focus on employee relations, significantly contributed to creating a coherent and positive work environment.

I am eager to bring this blend of innovative HR solutions and a proven track record of enhancing employee satisfaction to your esteemed company. By aligning with your firm's forward-thinking strategies, I am confident in my ability to further strengthen our shared goal—that of shaping a thriving and engaged workforce. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my experience and skills will be beneficial to your team.


Aiden Kelly

Experienced HR Specialist
What makes this cover letter good:

  • Emphasizing relevant past experiences, like the implementation of a transformative automated recruitment system at IBM, directly showcases the candidate's capability to innovate and improve HR processes.
  • Highlighting the results achieved, specifically the reduction in hiring process duration by 40%, provides tangible evidence of the candidate's impact and effectiveness in past roles.
  • Articulating alignment with the company's vision and innovative approaches in HR demonstrates that the candidate is not only qualified but also a cultural fit for the organization.
  • Explaining the desire to contribute to a shared goal of a thriving and engaged workforce indicates a candidate's team-oriented mindset and dedication to organizational objectives.

Structuring and formatting your returning to work cover letter

Here's what the structure of your returning to work cover letter should include:

  • Header (with your name, the position you're applying for, and the date);
  • Salutation (or greeting);
  • Introductory paragraph (or your opening statement);
  • Body paragraph (or further proof of your experience);
  • Closing paragraph (with a call to action);
  • Signature (that is optional).

Use the same font for your returning to work resume and cover letter - modern fonts like Lato and Rubik would help you stand out.

Your returning to work cover letter should be single-spaced and have a one-inch margins - this format is automatically set up in our cover letter templates and our cover letter builder.

When submitting your cover letter, always ensure it's in PDF, as this format keeps the information intact (and the quality of your document stays the same).

On one final note - the Applicant Tracker System (ATS or the software that is sometimes used to initially assess your application) won't read your returning to work cover letter.

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The top sections on a returning to work cover letter

  • Header: This includes your contact information, the date, and the employer’s contact information. It's essential as it provides the recruiter with immediate access to your details and establishes a professional layout of the document.

  • Greeting: Address the letter to a specific person if possible, using their name and title, to personalize the letter and show that you've done research on the company, which reflects your genuine interest in rejoining the workforce.

  • Introduction: Briefly state your intention to return to work, mention the role you're applying for, and give a concise reason why you are a strong candidate, which will capture the recruiter’s attention and set the tone for the cover letter.

  • Body: Divide this section into one or two paragraphs detailing your relevant work experience, the skills you've maintained or gained during your time away from the workforce, and how these will benefit the company, proving you are updated and prepared to return to your professional career.

  • Closing: Conclude with a strong closing statement that reaffirms your enthusiasm for the role, includes a polite request for an interview, and thanks the recruiter for considering your application, leaving a positive and professional final impression.

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Key qualities recruiters search for in a candidate’s cover letter

Since the job title is not specified in the request, I will provide a general list suitable for most professional roles. If you have a specific job title in mind, please specify so I can tailor the list accordingly.

  • Relevant experience in the field: To ensure job competency and the ability to hit the ground running.
  • Industry-specific skills: To demonstrate expertise and reduce training time.
  • Strong communication skills: To interact effectively with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders.
  • Adaptability and learning agility: To adjust to changes and new technologies in the workplace.
  • Leadership and teamwork: For roles that involve managing teams or collaborative projects.
  • Achievements from previous roles: To show a track record of success and contribution.

How to personalize your returning to work cover letter greeting

Before you start writing your returning to work cover letter, take the time to find out who is recruiting for the role.

Search for the recruiter's name on LinkedIn or the corporate website to address them personally in your returning to work cover letter salutation.

What if you can't find out who's recruiting for the role?

Always aim to avoid the very impersonal "Dear Sir/Madam" - instead, opt out for "Dear HR Team" or "Dear Hiring Manager" to make a better first impression.

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List of salutations you can use

  • Dear Hiring Manager,
  • Dear [Company Name] Team,
  • Dear [Department Name] Department,
  • Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name],
  • Dear [First Name] [Last Name],
  • Dear Dr. [Last Name],

Your returning to work cover letter introduction and the value you bring

Moving on from the "Dear Recruiter" to your professional introduction.

Use those first two sentences of your returning to work cover letter to present the biggest asset you'd bring to the organization.

Don't go into too much detail about your achievement or the skill set, but instead - go straight for the win.

That is - what is your value as a professional?

Would you be able to build stronger, professional relationships in any type of communication? Or, potentially, integrate seamlessly into the team?

Intro Paragraph
I am imbued with a profound appreciation for [Company's] innovative approach to [industry-specific aspect], a vision that resonates deeply with my own professional philosophy and past achievements. Returning to the workforce, I am poised to contribute substantively to [specific company project or goal], leveraging my experience and the rich expertise I have honed during my career.

What to write in the middle or body of your returning to work cover letter

Here's where it gets tricky.

Your returning to work cover letter body should present you in the best light possible and, at the same time, differ from your resume.

Don't be stuck in making up new things or copy-pasting from your resume. Instead, select just one achievement from your experience.

Use it to succinctly tell a story of the job-crucial skills and knowledge this taught you.

Your returning to work cover letter is the magic card you need to further show how any organization or team would benefit from working with you.

Body Paragraph
Leveraging my expertise in data analysis at TechCorp, I spearheaded an analytics project that resulted in a 30% increase in cost savings annually by identifying inefficiencies in supply chain logistics. This accomplishment demonstrates my strong analytical skills and my ability to translate data insights into meaningful financial outcomes, which I am eager to bring to your team.

Finishing off your returning to work cover letter with what matters most

So far, you've done a fantastic job in tailoring your returning to work cover letter for the role and recruiter.

Your final opportunity to make a good impression is your closing paragraph.

And, no, a "Sincerely yours" just won't do, as it sounds too vague and impersonal.

End your returning to work cover letter with the future in mind.

So, if you get this opportunity, what do you plan to achieve? Be as specific, as possible, of what value you'd bring to the organization.

You could also thank recruiters for their interest in your profile and prompt for follow-up actions (and organizing your first interview).

Closing Paragraph
Eager to discuss how my skills align with your goals, I welcome the opportunity to interview and join your team.

No experience returning to work cover letter: making the most out of your profile

Candidates who happen to have no professional experience use their returning to work cover letter to stand out.

Instead of focusing on a professional achievement, aim to quantify all the relevant, transferrable skills from your life experience.

Once again, the best practice to do so would be to select an accomplishment - from your whole career history.

Another option would be to plan out your career goals and objectives: how do you see yourself growing, as a professional, in the next five years, thanks to this opportunity?

Be precise and concise about your dreams, and align them with the company vision.

Key takeaways

Winning recruiters over shouldn't be difficult if you use your returning to work cover letter to tell a story that:

  • Is personalized by greeting your readers and focusing on key job skills greets;
  • Isn't spread all over the place, but instead focuses on one key achievement and selling your value as a professional;
  • Introduces your enthusiasm for the role, passion for the job, or creativity in communication;
  • Is also visually appealing - meeting the best HR practices;
  • Ends with a nod to the future and how you envision your growth, as part of the company.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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