3 Free Cover Letter Templates to Create a Good First Impression
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated January 16, 2023
Published October 18, 2021
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.
Cover letters are one form of business writing that is an essential skill when searching for a job. There are many places to find free cover letter templates online. Using a free cover letter template as inspiration can help you create a positive first impression on a hiring manager or recruiter. In this article, we discuss the definition of a free cover letter template, outline different types of cover letter templates, identify how to customize your cover letter, and review three cover letter templates.
Free cover letter templates
When applying for or inquiring about a position, you want to include a cover letter. A cover letter is typically a formal business letter that outlines additional information you've not covered in your resume. There are many free cover letter templates available on Indeed and throughout various online sources. Understanding the different types of cover letter templates and customizing them can improve your chance of securing employment.
Different types of cover letter templates
Below is a definition of the four most common cover letters:
Application cover letter
An application cover letter is the most common form when applying for a posted position. It is typically a formal letter to address the hiring manager or recruiter to create a positive and memorable first impression. You include an application cover letter with your resume to explain further your skills and expertise that you haven't included on your resume. An application cover letter is a tool to help you get through the interview process.
Prospecting cover letter
You can use a prospecting cover letter when inquiring about working for an organization that may not have open positions. The letter expresses your interest in potential jobs at their company, and you can include your resume with the prospecting cover letter. You may also wait to send your resume until the company responds.
Networking cover letter
A networking cover letter is helpful for building and developing professional connections with people in your network. You can use them to ask for career-related advice, introduce yourself to other individuals, or inquire about open job positions. When sending a networking cover letter to someone within your connections, it often has a casual tone. If you reach outside your group to introduce yourself to a recommended contact, ensure your letter is more formal and structured.
An informal cover letter
You can attach an informal letter when a job application doesn't require a formal cover letter to include with your resume. This type of cover letter is typically short and direct, with a paragraph explaining your interest in the job and relevant experience or skills. You can also reference any attachments for your application, such as your resume or portfolio.
How to customize your cover letter
Regardless of what cover letter template you choose, customize each letter to the job position. Here are four simple steps to follow for customizing your cover letter:
1. Express your personality
When writing your cover letter, express your personality that your resume doesn't show. A cover letter is your opportunity to make a positive and impactful first impression on the recruiter or hiring manager. Ensure you express your interest and enthusiasm in the position and company. You can also use your cover letter to tell a brief, unique story that relates to the job and creates a personal connection with the reader.
2. Share relevant skills and experience
Using the job description as a guide is an impactful way to share relevant skills and experience within your cover letter. Review the posting and highlight specific abilities or qualifications in your letter that the company deems necessary. Provide examples of your skills in action and offer quantitative results when possible. For example, a cover letter is a perfect opportunity to share how you increased sales in your department by 40% through leadership and training.
3. Make it an extension of your resume
A cover letter is an extension of your resume, providing context and depth to your skills and experience. Instead of repeating what you've included on your resume, expand upon your accomplishments and abilities. Relate your work experience to the value you can bring to their organization.
4. Include a clear call to action
An excellent cover letter includes a call to action at the end. This means telling the reader what you want them to do. For example, ask for a phone call to answer questions or request an interview to discuss your qualifications further. A call to action can also include telling the reader when you intend to follow up with them.
Cover letter template
There are various templates available on Indeed you can use as a starting point to write your cover letter. Here are three cover letter templates:
Application cover letter template
Below is a basic application cover letter template you can use to customize your own when applying for a posted job:
Dear [Hiring manager's name],
I was excited to see that [company name] is hiring for [position] that I found on [how you learned about the position]. Please accept this letter as a sign of my sincere interest in working for your organization. I know of your company through [how you know about their business, such as their website, social media, or a shared contact] and know that your organization is [offer a compliment about an award, achievement, innovation, or leading the way in a particular area].
My [area you've worked in] skills are well documented in my [how many years you've worked]. I currently work as a [position] and focus on [key projects] where I've achieved [provide quantitative results].
Through my experience, I've developed an understanding of [responsibilities highlighted in the job description]. I also feel confident meeting and exceeding [goals or standards] set by the organizations I've worked for.
I hope to discuss my qualifications further with you in an interview, as I'm prepared to handle the intriguing challenges your position presents. I have attached my resume for your review. Please let me know if you require additional information, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Prospecting cover letter template
Below is a basic prospecting cover letter template you can use to customize your own when inquiring about unposted positions:
Dear [Hiring manager's name],
I'm writing to you as a fan of your organization and inquiring about any open positions at your fantastic company. I know about [name of the company] through [social media, website, business profile] and am intrigued by your work. Because of my skills and experience in [type of position you're interested in], I'd love to know if there are any upcoming job openings in your organization.
I believe my qualifications are a good fit for your company's needs. I feel confident that I could bring value to your organization with [type of work]. I have [experience or education] in [your industry] in addition to [years of experience] in [another industry or skill relevant to the job]. For example, I achieved [quantitative results] at a previous employer and am excited to share a similar quality of work with your company.
I have enclosed my resume for your review and consideration. I would welcome an opportunity to speak with you further at a convenient time for you. You can reach me at [your phone number].
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to discussing open job positions with you.
Networking cover letter template
Below is a basic networking cover letter template you can use to customize your own when reaching out to your network connections about potential job opportunities:
Dear [Connection's name],
[Name of mutual contact] suggested that I reach out to you regarding the [position] you have available at your company. They thought I could contribute positively to your organization because of my skills and expertise as a [position]. I have over [years of experience] in [area you have experience in], and I feel confident that I meet all 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 skills you possess for the job, such as proficiency in specific software relevant to the job position]
[A description of what you do best, such as customer service, meeting deadlines, or collaborating]
[A brief overview of any excellent results you have received from a work project you completed or managed]
If you're looking for a [description of what you bring to the company] professional 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.
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