A cover letter template makes it easier to include this important document with your resume. Many employers require a cover letter along with a resume. If you aren’t sure what to include in a cover letter, download a template to guide you as you write. Simple and industry-specific templates are available.
10 Downloadable Cover Letter Templates to Make You Look Professional
You’ve probably written and rewritten your resume several times. Even though it’s hard at first, most job seekers eventually master the task. Cover letters, although, short and sweet when compared to a resume, are another matter.
Due to its brevity, a cover letter serves as an introduction to your resume and your personality and gives a busy employer a reason (or two) to open your resume. Consider the cover letter a first impression that gives an employed a friendly “social media” version of your personality and what you can add to their team.
It’s tempting to hit send on a resume without attaching a cover letter. Sending no cover letter or a generic cover letter may do you more harm than good, especially if you’re applying for a high-profile job or one that has attracted many quality candidates.
A cover letter template saves time and lets you send more professional job applications to prospective employers. The template contains basic text that you can tailor for different jobs and industries.
Cover Letter Tips
Customize your cover letter for every job. Review the keywords used in the ad and parrot them in your cover letter. Think of your cover letter as a response to the job description, and answer each desired task by listing your experience with the subject.
For example, if a job ad lists maintaining data aggregators as a job duty, write a short sentence detailing your experience with that duty. Add a sentence or two that shows you are familiar with the company and relate how you can help the company achieve their goals.
A cover letter should be short and to the point, (ideally no more than a page or half-page long) and use simple language. It should provide additional information instead of repeating what’s on your resume. A cover letter should consist of no more than three or four paragraphs.
Although most employers accept cover letters in Word Doc format, if you don’t use a Word version that is compatible with their version, they may not take time to convert it and move on to the next applicant. Send a PDF when possible, as most people can read a PDF without converting it.
How We Chose Our Ratings
There are many downloadable cover letter templates available on the internet. However, since there are so many variables, such as background, experience, industry and job titles, it’s hard to narrow a list down to ten individual cover letter templates. Instead, we’ve included resources with the best selection of templates.
Here’s what we looked for in compiling our list:
- Downloadable in Word or PDF
- Includes templates for different industries/job titles
- Easy to access/free/no sign-in
- The website includes resume and cover letter tips
- Positive online reviews from jobseekers and experts
- Paid services with many different cover letter templates, and matching resume templates
- Downloadable letterheads and graphics
All cover letter templates, regardless of the source, have a fill-in-the-blank approach to education, job duties, and job accomplishments. In that sense, if you’ve seen one template, you’ve seen them all, so we looked for templates and resources with a more specific approach.
Top 10 Best Downloadable Cover Letter Templates
The downloadable cover letter templates on this list are all free, although you may need to sign up for an account on some sites to download them. A few websites let you download the template and work on your own while others have an online system that requires you to fill in the information before downloading.
Build Your Cover Letter Online – Resume Companion
4.9 of out 5 stars
Build cover letters by answering a few questions to populate specifics in the letter for your preferred industry and job title. After you fill in the blanks, you download the cover letter to send with your resume. There are 15 industries featured on the site, including Finance, Arts and Entertainment, Customer Service, Information Technology, Healthcare and Food Service.
There are several cover letter templates under each industry classification. The Construction and Labor category has templates for Janitor, Maintenance Worker, Shipping and Receiving and Construction Worker. The Marketing and Sales category has seven different cover letter templates.
Some users may find the question portion of the process time-consuming, but it will make the cover letter more job-specific and make it more likely that your resume will be noticed.
The Chicago Tribune, Forbes and Yahoo have mentioned Resume Companion in articles about cover letter and resume writing. Resume Companion costs $7.95 a month.
Be Specific- Novo Resume
4.8 of out 5 stars
The Novo Resume site includes cover letters for college, professional and executive levels, as well as a basic template anyone can use. It features a template for artists, photographers, and other creative professionals. Most resume/cover letter sites lack this resource. The site also features a resume builder so that you can use it for all your job seeking needs.
There are three cover letter layouts – simple, modern and functional- to format your cover letter. You may want to use a bullet list for your accomplishments for mid-level or executive jobs. Entry-level or part-time job seekers can use the simple layout for references or other information.
Novo Resume offers everything you need in one place. The premium service is $6.99 a month and includes cover letters. There is a free service, but it doesn’t include cover letters, only one single-page resume.
Write in Sync with Your Resume – Resume Now
4.7 of out 5 stars
The experts on Resume Now provide information to help you write better cover letters and resumes. The site has a built-in resume builder, which also includes a section to help you customizes a cover letter for your industry and experience. After you’ve created your resume and cover letter, you can download it.
You must create an account and login to use this service. Resume Now has a four-star rating from Trustpilot, and many job seekers have words of praise for their customer service department.
Free and paid services are available, with paid services starting at $1.95 a month for the app.
By Format – Template.net
4.6 of out 5 stars
Template.net lists over 50 free downloadable cover letters in DOC and PDF format. Templates feature professional and resume cover letter templates for accountant, administration, bookkeeping and other common jobs.
The site also features many specific cover letters for lesser-known jobs and jobs in media or health professions. The other professions included as cover letter downloads run the gamut from fashion merchandising to software engineer to graphic designer.
You have the choice of downloading most cover letters in several formats, although some are only available in DOC format.
Paid Resume Plan with Matching Cover Letters- Zety
4.6 of out 5 stars
Zety offers templates with several different designs in addition to sample content. You need an account to use Zety, an online professional resume builder that includes cover letter templates. The online builder gives you tips about the best elements to use in your letter (and your resume), but the final decision is up to you.
Zety is a paid service, with plans starting at $4.99 per month. The premium version is $29.99 per month and includes 20 resume versions with cover letters to match.
If you plan on sending many different resumes and cover letters, then this paid plan will be worth it for you.
Financial Times, Forbes and Huffington Post have featured articles about Zety on their sites. Reviewers on Trustpilot and similar sites comment that the cover letter creators/downloads are easy to use, just like the resume creator.
By Referral or Other Element – Balance Careers
4.4 of out 5 stars
Balance Careers is a free, full-service information site for job seekers.
Balance Careers includes a page with links to Microsoft templates, personalized templates, email templates and job applications for cover letters. The site has information on how to customize your cover letters to get more interviews. Use the provided templates as a starting point and add text as needed.
The site includes examples of cover letters (and networking letters) containing specific elements, such as:
Referred by a Contact
Referred by an Employer
Letter of Interest
Inquiring About Job Openings
Balance Careers may not be as jam-packed with downloadable templates as some other sites, but it has lots of specific information that can help you find a job, and the breakdown of elements used in some of the samples will give you ideas on how to tweak your cover letter.
Basic Letter for Fax, Mail or Email- Vertex 42
4.1 of out 5 stars
The free downloadable cover letter on Vertex 42 has the formatting of the Microsoft Word download, with a bit more guidance on what to include, but not the step-by-step approach of some other templates. You can also use this download in Google Docs.
This cover letter template also has formatting appropriate for inclusion with fax and snail mail resumes/job applications.
Simple Cover Letter – Microsoft
4 of out 5 stars
The Microsoft website provides templates and sample letters for all types of situations, including job applications. You won’t need to worry about converting formats since the letter comes directly from Microsoft.
Download the basic half-page letter or edit it in your browser. The sample text doesn’t provide much in the way of new ideas, but it gives you the correct format. If you already have a good idea of what you want to say, this simple cover letter will work for you. This Microsoft download is free.
Many Versions for Many Industries – Day Job.com
4 of out 5 stars
Day Job.com offers cover letter samples with a more personalized approach. There are many ideas on this resume and cover letter that are out of the box and quite specific to every profession and job title you can imagine. The social worker category alone contains seven different examples for cover letters.
Even though the examples on DayJob.com aren’t downloadable, you can copy and paste them into your Word document and rewrite the letter until it is appropriate for your application.
Day Job is excellent for content and ideas, but since there aren’t any downloadable letters on the site, we knocked its ratings down a few points.
Another Cover Letter/Resume Service – Smart Cover Letter
3.9 of out 5 stars
Smart Cover Letter is a paid service, and it’s part of Smart Resume Wizard. Like other resume/cover letter builders, it guides you through the writing process, and then you download the finished product.
This paid service has a $4.95 seven day trial and $39.95 per month pricing. The information on the site is extensive, and the company claims to have 117,000 happy customers. Smart Cover Letter has many of the same features as other sites, but the cost may be prohibitive unless you are looking for executive-level work.
A free cover letter template may seem like a great deal if you’re on a budget and in a hurry, but using a paid service may help you land your dream job sooner. Any job seeker who isn’t having much luck winging it with cover letters and resumes, (or using free templates) should look into using a paid service.
We recommend using a moderately-priced cover letter/ resume service if you are looking for a niche or executive job. Anyone looking for an entry-level or everyday job (office worker, bookkeeper, domestic help, customer service, etc.), will find it easier and cheaper to tailor a free cover letter sample download to their experience/background.
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