250+ Cover Letter Templates and Writing Tips

A powerfully written cover letter can be elevated with an equally thought-out design. We save you the time and effort of agonizing over margins, font choices and color schemes with our extensive library of downloadable cover letter templates.

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Free Basic and Simple Cover Letter Templates

These elegant and classic designs can help elevate your cover letter, regardless of your level of experience or career path. These templates are especially appealing if you're interested in a conventional job within banking, accounting, teaching or law.

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How to Write Your 2020 Cover Letter

Your cover letter should ideally accomplish the following goals in order to:

  • Lend credibility to your resume with examples of professional accomplishments or advancements.
  • Create a personal connection between your professional motives and the mission statement or business goals of the company.
  • Organically include key phrases and terms from the job description to pass initial applicant tracking software, or ATS, scans.

Our cover letter writing guide can teach you how to successfully convey each of the aforementioned sentiments in your letter, as well as provide tips and examples on how to maximize your use of these templates to successfully share your message with hiring managers.

Upgrade With Our Letter Toolkit

Although we have hundreds of free templates, we also understand that writing a cover letter can be nerve-wracking. If you find yourself struggling, feel free to try our subscription builder. You get access to exclusive templates, pre-written cover letters, job-specific examples and cover letter writing tips along with matching resume services.

Budget-Friendly Cover Letter Templates

Start your resume without spending a dime with any of the following downloadable templates.

ATS Optimized Templates

Before your cover letter makes it to a hiring manager, the format will be scanned by an applicant tracking system (ATS). Each of these downloadable templates has purposely designed ATS-optimized layouts with standardized margins and fonts.

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Clean Templates

These templates elevate basic templates with bold pops of color. Lively designs can help brighten a standard cover letter and visually impress hiring managers.

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Modern Templates

These modernized templates provide streamlined designs with brightly colored margins and minimal font choices. These designs are well-suited for progressive candidates applying for jobs in the tech or creative industries.

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Contemporary Templates

These layouts rely on two- or three-column formats to help you prioritize your personal and professional accomplishments. These designs are ideal for recent graduates or job seekers with work gaps who would like to dedicate sections to explaining those academic and professional breaks.

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Creative Templates

These visually stunning and nontraditional layouts are fancy and bursting with creativity. When selecting from this category, make sure your choice will be considered appropriate in your industry.

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Your Section-by-Section Checklist

Once you’ve downloaded a couple of templates that you like, it’s time to personalize the designs with your professional accomplishments. Every cover letter is going to be unique to both your experience and the open job requirements. However, a successful cover letter needs to include the following information and sentiments in order to sway hiring managers to reach out to you.

After you write your initial cover letter draft — you can learn more about how to get started at our cover letter writing guide — compare your letter against this checklist. Once you mark everything off, you’re ready to submit this application.

Introduction

  • Name
  • Job title/related experience
  • Reason for applying
  • Personal/professional connection

Body

  • Professional example 1
  • Responsibilities/success metrics related to the open position
  • Draw connection and comparison to the open position
  • Professional example 2
  • Responsibilities/success metrics related to the open position
  • Draw connection and comparison to the open position

Conclusion

  • A quick summary that repeats how past experience and success relates to the open position
  • Thank the recruiter/hiring manager for their time
  • Invitation to connect
  • Two forms of contact (phone number and email)

Signature

  • Salutation (Sincerely, Best, Professionally Yours)
  • Four line breaks
  • Typed signature

Cover Letter Template FAQ

Do I need a different cover letter for every job?

You do need a unique cover letter for every job application. That doesn’t mean that you have to create a new cover letter from scratch. Your introduction and conclusion can be templated paragraphs that you tweak to meet each job opening’s unique requirements.

What file format should I use for my cover letter?

You should save and submit your cover letter in a PDF file format unless the job application asks for a specific file format. The PDF format is the ideal format choice because it retains your cover letter’s font, size and margins regardless of the operating system or word processing program that the recipient uses. For example, your copy of Microsoft Word may support the font Helvetica, but your recipient’s might not recognize the font and convert your letter to a standard font that changes your file’s formatting and layout.

How do I find cover letter templates on Microsoft Word?

  1. Visit the Microsoft Office templates website at https://templates.office.com/.
  2. Click Resume and Cover Letter Templates under Popular Templates.
  3. Browse either their Free or Premium Templates.

Should I use a template for a cover letter?

Your formatting decisions around font type and size, margin widths and paragraph breaks can do as much for your cover letter as the actual messages that you write. A cover letter template helps simplify those decisions with optimal design choices. This gives you the time to focus on the content of your letter, rather than struggle over design elements.

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