Resumes & Cover Letters

Free Cover Letter Templates

February 22, 2021

Cover letters are essential for many professional job applications and they may help you to sell yourself to your future employer. If you are searching and applying for jobs, it can be helpful to know which cover letter format to use and how to use a cover letter template to develop your own.

In this article, we discuss the different types of cover letters, four steps to customize your cover letter and provide you with free cover letter templates for each type.

Different types of cover letter templates

There are many types of cover letters for a variety of situations. The most commonly-used cover letter is an application cover letter submitted during the job application process. Here are the four main types of cover letters:

  • Application cover letter
  • Prospecting cover letter
  • Networking cover letter
  • The informal cover letter

Application cover letter

An application cover letter is a standard and formal cover letter that is used along with your resume when you apply for a job. The application cover letter is written for a specific job and should include your skills and qualifications for the job. This cover letter type serves as a way for you to sell yourself as a good candidate for the positions you apply for.

Prospecting cover letter

A prospecting cover letter is best if you are inquiring generally about open positions at a company you are interested in. You may also send these letters with your resume, or you may choose to send your resume when the employer responds with their open positions.

Related: Letter of Interest vs. Cover Letter: Definitions, Tips and Examples

Networking cover letter

Networking cover letters may be used to ask for career-related advice and job opportunities within your professional community. These letters are usually casual and short since they are often sent to friends, former colleagues, mentors and other contacts.

Networking cover letters may also be sent to contacts recommended to you by someone in your network. These cover letters should be more formal since you’ll be introducing yourself.

Related: How to Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter

The informal cover letter

The informal cover letter is an optional introduction to your resume if the job posting doesn't require a formal cover letter. This letter is short but professional and usually includes a greeting with a simple body paragraph that explains your interest in the company and your experience. Close the letter with a reference to the attachments you have included such as your resume, portfolio or writing samples.

Related: How to Send an Email Cover Letter (With Example)

Tailoring your cover letter

Each cover letter you submit should be customized to its audience. Most people, including hiring managers and recruiters, can tell if you’ve written a generic cover letter and might interpret it as a lack of genuine interest. Instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, use a template as an outline and fill it in with information that’s unique to the company and position.

Catch the attention of your reader by following these four steps:

1. Show honest interest and enthusiasm

In the introductory paragraph of your cover letter, state why the specific company or position you are writing about interests you. Also, include a sentence that conveys your passion for the organization’s mission, product, culture or other attributes. Show the reader why you want this opportunity, specifically.

For example, if you are writing about a sales opportunity at a solar company, you might include the following background in your introduction:

“I have always been interested in sales. In fact, while growing up, I had endless ideas and multiple business ventures to show for it. I channeled that skill into a professional sales career and, now, as a passionate advocate for alternative energy, I am drawn to your organization. I am impressed by ABC Company’s projects and position as an innovative industry leader and I would be thrilled to offer my expertise to your team.”

2. Share relevant skills and experience

Write about your skills and experiences that match the job requirements in the body paragraphs of your letter. For instance, if you are writing about an accounting role that requires knowledge of a specific bookkeeping software program, then you should write about a time when you have used the same or similar software to work on a successful project. Every skill or experience you include in your cover letter should tie directly back to a job requirement.

3. Make it an extension of your resume

Your cover letter should elaborate on your resume rather than repeating it. Choose two or three of your top qualifications and most impressive accomplishments to highlight. Expand upon them in more detail and explain why your experiences would bring value to the company.

4. Include a clear call to action

Consider what you want to happen as a result of your letter and include a request that makes sense for the intended audience. Depending on which type of cover letter you are writing, you might encourage the reader to review your resume, schedule a call or agree to meet with you in person or virtually. You can also communicate that you’ll follow up with them in a specified amount of time so they have an incentive to respond to your letter.

Free cover letter templates

A cover letter has the well-structured elements of most business letters. For more inspiration, you can browse our library of over 300 cover letter samples by job title. Here are some primary cover letter templates you may use to write your own cover letter:

Application cover letter template

[Your name]
[Email]
[Address]
[Phone number]

[Date]

Dear [Hiring manager's name],

I would like to communicate my sincere interest in the [position] posting with [company name] that I found on [how you found out about the position]. While reviewing your company website, I noticed that your firm is an [compliment them on awards, philanthropy, innovation, being an industry leader]. I am particularly interested in working with you in [specific area/department] because I also find [what you find interesting or inspiring about the company] to be the most important factor in marketing and business.

My keen [skills] are well demonstrated in my over [how many years you've worked] in [areas you've worked in]. Currently, I work as a [position], focusing on [important projects] where my attention to detail and [other skills] were essential to the success of my team and [project, challenge, task].

I have acquired an understanding of [concepts or responsibilities required in job description], as well as how to meet and exceed [goals, standards] set by the companies I have had the pleasure of working for.

I believe I am prepared to handle the exciting challenges this position presents, and I hope you allow me to further discuss my qualifications with you in an interview. I have attached a copy of my resume to this application for your review. Please let me know if you require additional information.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Regards,

[Your name]

Prospecting cover letter template

[Your name]
[Email]
[Address]
[Phone number]

[Date]

Dear [Hiring manager's name],

I am writing to you to inquire about open positions at your celebrated organization. I learned of [company name] through [reading a journal, online search, other] and I found [what is interesting or exciting about their work or why you want to work at this company] fascinating. The [position you are interested in] interests me at your company. Do you know of any upcoming job openings for that position?

I believe my skills and qualifications would be a good fit for your company's needs. I have [education or experience] in [your industry] as well as [years of experience] in [another skill or industry relevant to the job]. I received [compliments, promotion, award] at one of the companies I worked at for my [skill] and professionalism.

I am enclosing my resume for your consideration and I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the position further with you at a time that is convenient for you. You can reach me via my mobile phone at [your phone number].

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to discussing open job positions with you.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

Networking cover letter template

[Your name]
[Email]
[Address]
[Phone number]

[Date]

[Recipient's name],

[Name of mutual contact] suggested that I reach out to you regarding the [position] you have open at your company. My goal is to enter an innovative and professional company as a [position]. I have over [years of experience] in [area you have experience in] and I believe I meet all of the qualifications outlined in the job description.

I am enclosing my resume for your review. Some key areas that may interest you and your company include:

  • [Experience you have had using active verbs such as managing, organizing, developing, implementing and others]
  • [Some technical skill you possess for the job such as proficiency in certain software relevant to the job position]
  • [A description of what you do best at such as customer service, meeting deadlines, collaborating and others]
  • [A brief overview of any excellent results you have received from a work project you completed or managed]

If you are looking for a [ description of what you bring to the company] professional who is willing to [adapt, lead, do extra, etc.] I would love the opportunity to discuss the position and your company's needs further. I will contact you in about a week to follow up on this letter.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Read more: Cover Letter Template with Tips and Examples

Cover letter example

Here is an example of a full application cover letter:

Amber Streeter
9 Summer Circle
La Verne, CA 12345
909-626-3238
amber.streeter@email.com

Dear Mrs. Girard,

I would like to communicate my sincere interest in the digital marketing specialist posting with Marketing Giant Co. that I found on supereasyjobsearch.net. While reviewing your company website, I noticed that your firm is the top choice for many leading companies in the Los Angeles area. I am particularly interested in working with you to provide statistics for digital marketing initiatives because I also find that statistics and knowledge are some of the most important factors in marketing today.

My keen attention to detail and design-based thinking are well demonstrated in my over five years in digital marketing and social media marketing. Currently, I work as a marketing specialist, focusing on B2B businesses where my attention to detail and design-based thinking were essential to the success of my team.

I have acquired an understanding of marketing data and analytics, as well as how to meet marketing deadlines set by the companies I have had the pleasure of working for.

I believe I am prepared to handle the exciting challenges this position presents and I hope you afford me the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications with you in an interview. I have attached a copy of my resume to this application for your review. Please let me know if you require additional information.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Regards,

Amber Streeter

Related: How to Use Cover Letter Samples

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