Cover Letter for Resume
There’s a reason why a cover letter is one of the most requested application materials. This document is great at highlighting the parts of your career where a resume falls short. By using your cover letter to express your most formative experiences, unique qualities and passion for the position, you can create a personal connection with the employer before you ever set foot in the door.
But good writing is only half of the recipe for a perfect cover letter. Just like with your resume, you’ll need professional formatting to present yourself as a polished candidate. In fact, your cover letter and resume template are the first thing an employer will take in when they start to evaluate your application. That’s why it’s so important to make a good visual impression.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is by matching your cover letter template with your resume template. Aligning your document styles can help you to establish your own “personal brand” – a look and feel that’s consistent across all your application materials. Hiring managers will take notice of the time you invested in good presentation and consider you a candidate who is serious about the position.
Check your potential employer’s branding and image for a sense of the most appropriate template style to use across your cover letter and resume.
Vary the font style or size, color palette or design elements between documents. Consistency is key.
So where do you find matching templates for both your resume and cover letter? Resume.io’s collection of high-quality layouts have been developed by professional graphic designers keeping in mind the needs of both applicants and hiring managers. With our easy-to-use cover letter and resume builder tools, you’ll be able to adjust and personalize each template to your exact specifications. Need to apply for another position? Simply log in and edit your free template (or choose another) as many times as you want. With Resume.io’s free cover letter templates, free sample cover letters and free writing examples for resumes, landing your dream position can finally be frustration-free.
What makes the best cover letter format
No matter your industry or experience level, there are a few design elements that are essential for the proper formatting of your cover letter. By following these widely accepted guidelines, you’ll make sure employers can quickly find the information they are looking for. Clean and straightforward formatting also encourages a hiring manager to actually read the content of your letter. With a strong template, you’ll make a good impression from beginning to end.
Pay attention to your template’s white space. An attractive layout contains a healthy balance of blank space and text or other design elements. This space might seem “empty” but it actually serves to make your document more readable.
When thinking about how to select a free cover letter template, it’s a good idea to choose one that gives you the best chances of personalization. While our builder tool allows for optimal customization, choosing a template that already meets some of your needs can save you time and effort. Let’s break down some of the most important design elements of a cover letter and explore how to select and personalize them.
Name: Your name is the primary focus of your cover letter heading so you’ll want it to stand out. You can also match the font size and text style between the heading of your cover letter and resume to have a better chance of catching a hiring manager’s attention.
Job Title: If you have a clearly defined role, it’s a great idea to list it here. This helps to make a statement about your expertise and identify you from other candidates with similar names.
Contact Information: your phone number and email are musts for allowing a hiring manager to contact you with questions or to set up an interview. You may also choose to include your LinkedIn or other social media information if it is relevant to the field and position.
Mailing Address: If you’re asked to send an application the old fashioned way, you’ll want to include an up-to-date mailing address. When submitting cover letters online, your digital contact information will suffice.
Date: This helps a hiring manager identify the time frame for your application.
Greeting: A personal greeting can go a long way in establishing a positive rapport with an employer. Make sure to use an appropriate greeting and hiring manager’s last name if you have it.
Introduction: The beginning of your cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and entice them to continue reading. Make sure to keep the intro short and snappy.
Body: This section makes up the bulk of your letter and allows you to dive into some of your most impressive achievements and experiences. Don’t forget to include the positive contributions you could make at this new company.
Conclusion: Finish your letter by expressing your enthusiasm for the position and respectfully inviting a hiring manager to contact you.
Signature: Sign off with a professional closing and your first and last name.
Top 10 tips for cover letter formatting
- Choose a template that is appropriate for your industry
- Decide what message you want your layout to convey about you
- Use color sparingly and only if appropriate for the position
- Select professional font styles and sizes
- Pay attention to the balance of text and white space
- Make sure your cover letter conveys the right amount of individuality
- Pick a cover letter template that matches your resume
- Keep your writing concise and easy-to-read
- Customize the template based on your specific needs
- Choose the template that feels right for you!
Top 5 good cover letter templates
- Tokyo: With it’s bold, energetic heading, this template makes for one cool cover letter. Choose this design if you’re sure the prospective employer will appreciate your stylish approach and flair for creativity. If you need to make a statement, go for Tokyo.
- Dublin: If you’re looking for a balance of spark and professionalism, check out Dublin. The sleek sidebar can be adjusted to any color you’d like depending on the formality of the position. With it’s classy, minimalist heading, Dublin gets attention without having to ask for it.
- Milan: This template is guaranteed to keep your cover letter as fashionable as the city it’s named after. The simple heading makes sure your name stands apart, while the sidebar offers plenty of space for your contact information and social media accounts. You can even add a touch of color to the font – bellissimo!
- Santiago: If it’s time to get down to business, look no further than Santiago. This template is no fuss and all action with plenty of room for your personal information and expert writing. This template keeps things simple so the focus stays on you.
- Amsterdam: If trendy is what your after, this template has got it all. The stylish square heading manages to make a statement without distracting from the text. And just like the canals in its namesake city, this template’s clean lines break the page into tidy sections.
Job application letter template
Your job application letter is one of the best ways to convince an employer of your unique skills and qualities. It also allows you to highlight the personality traits that would make you a great fit for the company’s work environment. Tailoring your cover letter to the unique needs of each employer and job posting is one of the most successful ways to land an interview. Get more expert tips on how to write the best cover letter in this overall guide.
Use the hiring manager’s correct salutation and last name in the greeting of your job application letter to establish a personal connection.
Address your letter to “Whom It May Concern.” If you don’t have a specific name, include the company name and a collective noun like “Hiring Team.”
Your writing is not the only thing you’ll need to customize, however. You should also make sure that your job application template matches the look and feel of the company you’re applying to. Our cover letter builder tool makes it easy to choose the perfect job application letter template and adjust it to meet your needs and give you the best chance of making a great visual impression.
Free Word/PDF cover letter template
Whether you’re switching careers, changing companies or applying for your first part time position, the job search can be stressful. That’s why our free Word/PDF cover letter template is designed to make your life easier and get you hired in no time. You can also download our free cover letter template for Google Docs so that editing and submitting is a breeze. To complement our free Word/PDF cover letter template, we also offer dozens of free example guides for a wide range of industries and professions. These free cover letter samples will show you how to write a document that perfectly captures your unique traits and perspectives and convinces a hiring manager that you’re the right fit.
The do’s and don'ts of cover letter writing
- Customize your letter for each company and job description
- Choose a template that’s appropriate for the role and industry
- Address the hiring manager by name if at all possible
- Create intrigue and excitement in your introduction paragraph
- Use a professional tone appropriate for your experience level
- Discuss the personality traits and soft skills that make you unique
- Use short anecdotes to illustrate your competence
- Include concrete facts and figures to back up your achievements
- Explain the contributions you could make to this new employer
- End by respectfully inviting the hiring manager to contact you
- Use a copy-paste or generic form letter for each application
- Waste space with a mailing address unless sending a physical letter
- Write about unrelated or unprofessional hobbies and activities
- Be afraid to show off your personality in your writing style
- Take a presumptive or overly confident tone
- Include confidential information about former employers or clients
- Create a letter that is longer than one page
- Use font sizes outside of the 10-12 pt range
- Discuss negative experiences or talk badly about a previous employer
- Overdo the use of color or text flourishe
CV cover letter template
You’ve put time and effort into crafting the perfect CV. Now it’s time to make sure your CV cover letter gets the same attention to detail. Whether you’re a recent grad or industry veteran, our CV cover letter templates are designed with your needs in mind. Our CV cover letter builder tool allows you to customize each template and to make sure your strongest qualities jump from the page. Test out a free CV cover letter template or switch between several until you find the look and feel that’s just right for you.
Downloading your cover letter as a PDF is a great way to make sure that the formatting you create is the formatting the hiring manager sees. The document type doesn’t change between computers and it’s also best for printing.
Modern cover letter templates
When you’re in an industry that’s forward-thinking and innovative, a traditional cover letter just won’t cut it. That’s why we’ve developed a collection of sleek options to convey your unique abilities in fields like tech, start-ups, marketing and design. If a youthful look is what you’re after, our free modern cover letter templates are right for you.
These templates are characterized by bold headers with energetic color palettes and strong fonts. They allow optimal white space for a clean look, all while highlighting what really matters – your most impressive achievements and unique qualifications.
Professional cover letter templates
If you’re in a professional industry, then you know just how important presentation can be. There’s no point in creating a high-quality professional resume if your cover letter formatting doesn’t have the polished look to match. Our professional cover letter templates make it easy for you to focus on conveying your expertise – the visuals are taken care of.
These free templates feature neutral color palettes with soft leading lines to create an attractive layout without overpowering the essence of your letter. Our professional cover letter templates are especially effective for formal industries like education, administration, medicine, legal and finance.
Creative cover letter templates
There are certain positions in which creativity is not just recommended, it’s expected. For those situations, we've developed a line of creative cover letter templates perfect for expressing your passion and eye for good design. These templates offer just the right balance of text and visual elements to make your cover letter stand out from the crowd.
Ideal for applicants in fields like fashion, media, photography, film, art and design, these templates are for those unafraid of bold colors and page elements that make a statement. With our free creative cover letter templates, you can rest assured that your cover letter is just as unique as you are.
Simple cover letter templates
Sometimes, less is more. Our collection of straightforward designs are not only easy-to-use, their sleek and basic appeal can be a real advantage in fields where hard skills are most important. Combine your simple job application letter with our simple cover letter examples, and you’ve got a job-winning combination.
Perfect for recent grads, high school students and applicants in fields like construction, retail, hospitality, food preparation, transportation and maintenance, a simple cover letter for your resume can make all the difference in the effectiveness of your job application.