Guide: How to Use Cover Letter Templates for Google Docs

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 18, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Applying for a new job can be both an exciting and overwhelming process, especially when trying to format your documents. A professional-looking cover letter can distinguish you from the other applicants. Knowing how to find and use cover letter templates for Google Docs can help you create the best version of your documents. In this article, we discuss Google Docs templates for cover letters, reveal the benefits of using templates, describe methods for using them, reveal five free templates, explore finding templates through other sources, and offer tips for writing cover letters.

Cover letter templates for Google Docs

Cover letter templates for Google Docs offer an easy and cost-effective way to create cover letters that can match the style and theme of your other documents. These templates come formatted and can also guide you on what information you might want to include in your cover letter. They also offer an option to customize your cover letter to create a unique document that can help attract the attention of employers.

Benefits of using Google Docs templates

Often, job postings receive many applicants. Using a cover letter template can potentially help your cover letter attract the attention of a hiring manager. Here are some other benefits of using Google Docs templates:

  • Guides you through the writing process

  • Grants easy access from anywhere because Google saves documents to the cloud

  • Lets you collaborate with others in real time from any location

  • Gives a voice-activated option

  • Saves all changes automatically so you won't lose your edits if you forget to save them

  • Allows you to edit and comment on the document

  • Assures virus-free documents, which makes employers more likely to open them

  • Maintains privacy because you control with who you share documents

  • Allows you to share documents with anyone through a system-generated link

Related: What Is a Cover Letter? (With Tips, Template, and Example)

Methods of using Google Docs templates

If you don't already have a Google Drive account, consider creating one to use Google Docs. While many programs offer a variety of templates, Google Docs has advantages over many of these. For instance, Google Docs templates can range from more conventional themes to some unique or unconventional formats and styles.

There are many benefits beyond the Google Docs program. For example, Google Drive can also store your contacts, offer quick access to other features like Google Maps, Google Play, and Gmail, and other compatible programs you might use in the job search process. Here are two ways to use Google Docs to create a cover letter:

Method 1

Here's how you can find a Google Docs template by searching the template gallery:

  1. Log into Google Drive.

  2. Click on "Google apps," the icon with nine circles at the top far right side of the screen.

  3. Click "Template gallery" on the right side.

  4. Scroll down to the "letters" section.

  5. Select a template.

  6. Name your document in the top left corner where it states "Untitled document."

  7. Start writing your cover letter using the template as a guide.

Related: How to Choose a Cover Letter Font in 5 Steps (With Tips)

Method 2

The alternative method for using Google Docs includes these steps:

  1. Login to Google Docs.

  2. Click on the "blank" document with a plus icon under "start a new document."

  3. Select "file" on top far left side of the screen under the document name.

  4. Click "new" in the drop-down menu.

  5. Click "From template" in the next drop-down menu, which opens the Google template section.

  6. Scroll down to the "letters" section.

  7. Select a template.

  8. Name your document in the top left corner where it states "Untitled document."

  9. Start writing your cover letter using the template as your guide.

Related: 3 Free Cover Letter Templates to Create an Impactful First Impression

5 free Google Docs cover letter templates

A cover letter is normally a one-page letter you submit to employers along with your resume or CV when applying for a job. This brief letter introduces you to employers and summarizes your specific job-related experience and skills. Typically, cover letters are no more than 400 words, but can range in length and are usually a minimum of 250 words. Here's a list of types of Google Docs cover letter templates you might consider when creating your cover letter:

1. Spearmint

This template is simple, yet professional looking. It might be beneficial if you like a lot of open white space and a classic feel you can match to a similar Google Docs resume template. By right clicking on the template, you can customize it, use the system dictionary, or choose other options in the drop-down menu, such as inserting hyperlinks or comments.

2. Swiss

This template is a more creative cover letter template than the classic ones. It purposely highlights your name and contact details by creating a column on the left side of the page. This provides a more updated feel to the cover letter while maintaining its professional look. You can also customize this template by changing or adding text colour, italicized or bold fonts, or inserting hyperlinks. By right clicking on the border line near the top of the page, you can also choose an alignment style or colour.

3. Geometric

Although this template falls under "Business letter" in the menu, you can still use it to construct a creative-looking cover letter. It contains geometric shapes that might make the letter more visually appealing. It's often best, though, to use your judgment when creating non-traditional cover letters, as some employers may prefer standard formats. Some jobs in creative fields, like illustrators, social media managers, or other professions that are typically less formal, might be good options for this cover letter. There are also many customizing options to choose from by right-clicking anywhere on the letter or double clicking on the geometric shapes.

4. Modern writer

This is another template labelled as a business letter, but it's a more traditional letter template that has a modern presentation. It's got a bold header and break line and also features two coloured fonts. You can customize this by right-clicking anywhere on it or highlighting text sections with your cursor and then using various features in the toolbar at the top of the letter. This can allow you to change font size, colour, and style, or change the break line colour or thickness.

5. Plum

This template is one of the most informal of the template letters. It has a fun and laid-back feel that might be appropriate for companies with a similar type of corporate culture. It uses a mixture of fonts and styles, like bold and italics and various colours, but it also includes a more traditional page layout. Like other cover letter templates, you can customize it by right-clicking anywhere on the template. You can change colours, fonts, or if you are really creative, you might add graphics or images if appropriate.

Finding templates through other sources

While the number of Google Docs templates has grown, you can also do a quick search online to find a variety of other free compatible templates. There are also many paid template sites you can explore. Whatever cover letter template you choose, it's generally important to follow standard cover letter guidelines and any application instructions before submitting documents.

Related: Short Cover Letter Examples (With Definition and FAQs)

Tips for writing a cover letter

Not every job asks applicants to submit a cover letter with their resume, but you might consider writing one anyway unless the application instructions explicitly say not to include one. Cover letters can help employers learn more about you, like how you communicate, your personality, how you might fit into the company, and any special skills you can offer. These introductory letters typically have common guidelines most employers might look for, so it's often useful to know what to include in your letter and what items to omit. Here are some tips for creating a strong cover letter:

  • Choose an appropriate cover letter template: There are different cover letter formats and styles, like an e-mail letter, standard application letter, or a referral letter, so consider checking which type is most appropriate.

  • Address the right person: Many job postings include the hiring manager's name, but when they don't, you might consider searching the company's website or social media pages. Finding this information can show an employer your leadership skills and attention to detail.

  • Customize every cover letter: Employers typically expect cover letters to show an applicant's interest in the position, so taking the time to personalize it can often show intent and respect.

  • Proof, proof, and proof again: A cover letter is often the first information an employer reads because it can often help them narrow the list of potential applicants. Spelling mistakes, typos, or a poorly written cover letter might show an employer the candidate isn't serious, lacks skills, or doesn't pay attention to details.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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