Free Cover Letter Templates

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 November 2021 | Published 26 May 2021

Updated 22 November 2021

Published 26 May 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 an integral part of the job application process. They're just as important as resumes, as they allow you to further sell yourself to an employer and demonstrate your genuine interest in a position. When you're looking and applying for jobs, it's helpful to know the different cover letter formats available and when to use them.

In this article, we discuss the four main cover letter types, outline the four steps you need to follow to customise your cover letter and provide you with cover letter templates to make your own.

Related: Q&A: Should You Include a Cover Letter?

The four main types of cover letter templates

There are a variety of cover letter templates and formats used today, depending on your workplace and situation. However, the most commonly used cover letter template is called an application cover letter, which is submitted during the job application process along with your resume. Here are the other cover letter formats discussed in this article:

  • Application cover letter

  • Prospecting cover letter

  • Networking cover letter

  • Informal cover letter

Application cover letter

An application cover letter is the standard formal cover letter submitted with your resume when you apply for a job. As it's written for a specific job, it should primarily focus on how your skills and qualifications match the requirements outlined in the job advertisement. An application cover letter also serves as a way for you to sell yourself as the best candidate for the position.

Prospecting cover letter

Next is the prospecting cover letter, which is helpful when you're generally inquiring about open positions at a certain company. You may send a prospecting cover letter with your resume or instead wait to send your resume once the employer responds with information on any open positions available.

Networking cover letter

Networking cover letters are useful when you want to ask for career-related advice or about potential job opportunities within your professional community. Generally, networking cover letters are more casual and shorter than application cover letters, since they're often sent to friends, mentors and former colleagues. However, if you decide to send a networking cover letter to an individual who was recommended to you by someone within your own network, it's best to be more formal while introducing yourself.

Informal cover letter

The informal cover letter is an optional addition alongside your resume if the job advertisement doesn't require a formal application cover letter. An informal cover letter is short yet professional. Beginning with a greeting, it often includes just one paragraph detailing your interest in the company and your relevant experience. At the end of your informal cover letter, reference any included attachments.

How to tailor your cover letter in four easy steps

No matter which cover letter template you choose, it must be customised to your prospective audience. Most HR professionals can instantly tell if you've written a generic cover letter, which they commonly interpret to mean that you lack honest interest in their company. Instead, use the below cover letter templates as an outline and include information that's unique to each company and job application. To catch the reader's attention, follow these four steps:

1. Show genuine interest and enthusiasm

In your cover letter's introductory paragraph, be specific when stating your genuine interest in the company or position. It's also beneficial to include a sentence conveying your passion for the business' mission, product or company culture. Show the reader why you specifically want this position.

Here's an example introductory paragraph of someone applying for a sales role at a solar company:

“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

Following on from the introduction, focus on your skills, qualifications and experiences that match the requirements listed in the job advertisement. Most importantly, every skill or experience listed in your cover letter must correlate directly to the specified job requirements. For example, if you're applying for an accounting role that requires knowledge of a certain bookkeeping software program, mention when you have used it or a similar program on a successful project.

3. Ensure it's an extension of your resume

Rather than repeating what's listed in your resume, your cover letter should elaborate on your specific skill set and experience. Decide on two or three top qualifications and workplace accomplishments to highlight in your cover letter. Go into detail and explain why these qualifications would bring value to the prospective company.

4. Include a clear call to action

At the end of your cover letter, it's imperative to include a call to action. Consider what you want to happen once the reader views your letter and include a request that makes sense for the intended audience. Depending on the cover letter format, you could decide to encourage the reader to review your resume, schedule a call or organise a meeting. Alternatively, you could mention that you'll follow up in a specified amount of time, which gives the reader incentive to respond to your letter within that time frame.

Related: Cover Letter Checklist: What to Review Before You Submit

Free cover letter templates

Here are some cover letter templates for you to use as a guide when you compile your own cover letter.

Application cover letter template

[Your name]
[Phone number]

Dear [Hiring manager's name],

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

My [skills] are well demonstrated in my over [years of experience] in [specify area]. 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].

I have acquired an understanding of [responsibilities specified in job description], as well as how to meet and exceed [goals] 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.

[Your name]

Prospecting cover letter template

[Your name]
[Phone number]

Dear [Hiring manager's name],

I am writing to you to inquire about openings at your celebrated organization. I learned of [company name] through [online search/forum] and I found [specify what is interesting or exciting about their work] 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 relevant to the job]. I received [compliments/promotion] 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 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]
[Phone number]

Dear [recipient's name],

[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:

  • [List your experience and skills relevant to the job position, as well as an overview of excellent results you've received on a previous work project.]

If you are looking for a [description of what you bring to the company] professional who is willing to [adapt/lead], 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.

[Your name]

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