Cover Letters And Resume Templates
Smart tips to help you format and write a cover letter
Struggling to write a cover letter that will catch an employer's attention? We've got tips to help you show your best self—and a sample you can use to get started.
There's nothing scary about writing a cover letter.
You've found the perfect job, hit the "apply" button, and started the process with your engines revved and ready. But wait! Slam the brakes! They want a cover letter. Oh no.
Don't let this request derail you. Here's everything you need to know to write a letter that truly sells your skills. Plus, scroll down to see a sample cover letter you can use to craft your own.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document that, along with your resume, is sent with your job application. A cover letter is your chance to tell a potential employer why you’re the perfect person for the position and how your skills and expertise can add value to the company. The letter should be professional but personable, and serve as a sort of introduction.
Do I need to send a cover letter?
A lot of job seekers today wonder if a cover letter is still appropriate to send with your resume—and the answer is yes! Even if an employer doesn’t ask for a cover letter, it couldn’t hurt to send one. In fact, it’s can help you get someone's attention in a different way, and it can be a great way to display your enthusiasm for the job and company.
What are the basic elements of a cover letter?
- Greeting: Address your cover letter to the proper person.
- Opening: Write a personable, inviting opening paragraph that notes how your skills are a perfect fit to the job and displays your enthusiasm.
- Hook: Highlight your past achievements as they relate to the job you're applying for.
- Skills: Emphasize additional relevant skills, such as computer languages or certifications.
- Close: Briefly recap your strengths as a candidate, and include your contact information.
Cover letter tips
1. Parrot the keywords: Just like with your resume, your cover letters should be customized for each job you apply to. Start by reviewing the job description. In it, you will find important keywords that let you know what kind of employee the company is hoping to find. Use these same keywords throughout your cover letter.
2. Adapt for the company: Each version of your cover letter should talk about how your skills will benefit the particular company that you want to work for. You want to target the company’s needs—not your own. Demonstrate how you could help them achieve their goals. Remember: You're selling yourself in a resume and a cover letter, but the employer has to want to buy.
3. Show you "get" them: Your cover letter should demonstrate that you have done some research into what the organization's pain points are. Presenting yourself as a solution to a hiring manager’s problem can help your cover letter take the right tone. If you’re applying to an administrative position, be sure to mention your time-management skills; if you’re an IT professional, include your expertise in improving efficiency. Always ask yourself: How can I help this company?
4. Proofread. Don’t assume spell check will catch every mistake (it won’t). Slowly review your cover letter to make sure everything reads properly. Have someone else read your cover letter for backup.
Need even more confidence before you start your cover letter? Below are some additional cover letter tips you could reference—or keep scrolling for a cover letter sample:
Cover letter mistakes you should avoid: From overusing “I” to being too vague, there are a bunch of pitfalls that can trip you up. Don’t let them!
Cover letter format and advice tips: Learn how to set up your cover letter and what each section should include.
Cover letter tips for new grads: You might lack real-world work experience, but your cover letter can be chock-full of activities that demonstrate your potential to succeed.
Cover letter tips for technology professionals: The ease of applying to online jobs has led many IT professionals to skip sending a cover letter, but that’s a mistake.
Cover letter tips for finance professionals: If you’re searching for a finance job or want to be prepared just in case, you will need a dynamic cover letter to grab the hiring managers’ attention.
Tips for better email cover letters: If you're emailing a resume, your cover letter will deliver the first impression. These eight tips will help you craft a better email cover letter.
Cover letter sample
Check out the sample cover letter below (or download the template as a Word doc) to get some inspiration to craft your own. And we've also got you covered if you're looking for a cover letter in a specific industry.
Once you've finished your cover letter, consider joining Monster—you can upload and store up to five cover letters and resumes, so that you can apply for jobs on our site in a snap!
Ms. Rhonda West
Customer Service Manager
123 Corporate Blvd.
Sometown, CO 50802
Re: Customer Service Representative Opening (Ref. ID: CS300-Denver)
Dear Ms. West:
I was excited to see your opening for a customer service rep, and I hope to be invited for an interview.
My background includes serving as a customer service associate within both call-center and retail environments. Most recently, I worked on the customer service desk for Discount-Mart, where my responsibilities included handling customer merchandise returns, issuing refunds/store credits, flagging damaged merchandise for shipment back to vendors and providing back-up cashiering during busy periods.
Previously, I worked within two high-volume customer-support call centers for a major telecommunications carrier and a satellite television services provider. In these positions, I demonstrated the ability to resolve a variety of issues and complaints (such as billing disputes, service interruptions or cutoffs, repair technician delays/no-shows and equipment malfunctions). I consistently met my call-volume goals, handling an average of 56 to 60 calls per day.
In addition to this experience, I gained considerable customer service skills during my part-time employment as a waitress and restaurant hostess while in high school.
I also bring to the table strong computer proficiencies in MS Word, MS Excel and CRM database applications and a year of college (business major). Please see the accompanying resume for details of my experience and education.
I am confident that I can offer you the customer service, communication and problem-solving skills you are seeking. Feel free to call me at 555-555-5555 (home) or 555-555-5500 (cell) to arrange an interview. Thank you for your time—I look forward to learning more about this opportunity!
Google Docs Resume and Cover Letter Templates
It can be helpful to use a template to get started on building your resume and writing cover letters, and Google Docs has you covered.
Google Docs offers a variety of free resume and cover letter templates that job seekers can use as a starting point to create a professional-looking representation of their skills and experience. You’ll find formats with sleek column options, bullets, color accents, and well-chosen fonts.
Google Docs' letter templates give you a coordinated look to match the style of your resume.
Read below for advice on how to use Google Docs templates, and advice for using resume and cover letter templates in general.
Tips for Using Templates
It is important that your resume and cover letter are professional and polished. They need to be visually appealing, properly formatted, and well written. Templates can help you structure your letter and resume so that they are well organized.
A template helps you with the layout of your documents. They also show you what elements you need to include in your letter, such as introductions and body paragraphs.
A template also simply helps you save time. A template gives you a suggested structure for your documents, so you can quickly start writing.
You should use a template as a starting point for your letters and resumes. However, be sure to change all of the elements of the template to fit your own needs.
For example, if a cover letter template only has one body paragraph, but you want to include two, you should do so. Similarly, if you do not want to have a skills section in your resume, but your template has one, you can simply delete it.
Getting Started on Google Docs
To use a Google Docs template, you'll need to register if you don't already have an account.
To choose a template to use. first log in to your Google account. Or, you can choose a template first, and then log in to your Google Docs to access and edit the template.
Here's more on how to use Google Docs.
Using Google Docs Resume and Cover Letter Templates
It's quick and easy to find and use templates. Just follow the steps below:
- Navigate to Google's home page and click on Google Docs. Sign in if you have an account.
- Click on “Template Gallery” to see a list of template options. There are multiple letter formats you can use for your cover letter, and multiple resume formats as well. You can find additional templates by clicking the “More” arrows and scrolling through the options.
- Select a template you like. Click on the template you want to use, and it will open in a new window.
- Personalize the template with your information. The templates are filled with nonsensical dummy text. Simply click where you want to edit, delete the dummy text and start typing. Changes are automatically saved into your account on Google Docs.
- The template name appears at the top of your screen, above the toolbars. For example, if you selected the basic Resume template, “Resume” appears above the toolbars. To rename the file, simply click on the template name. It opens in a textbox for editing. After you've changed the name, click out of the textbox, and your new name is saved. If you are making multiple versions of your resume or cover letter, be sure to label each one with a specific title that will help you remember which is which (such as the title of the job you're applying for).
- Once you've completed your basic resume but want to customize it for a particular job application, make a copy of the resume or cover letter through the "File" menu and give it a different name. Google Docs automatically saves your new file with your other docs.
Storing and Sharing Your Google Docs Resume or Cover Letter
Once you have created a final version of your resume or cover letter, you'll be able to store it on Google Docs, update it, use it to apply for jobs, and share it with hiring managers and recruiters. You can also choose to store it on Google Drive, an organizational system in which you can create, upload, edit, and save documents. Here's how to store and share your resume online with Google Drive.
Finding More Templates
Some companies have created add-ons that you can download with resume or CV templates, usually for free.
These include VisualCV and Vertex42.
There are also resume and cover letter templates that you can access through other platforms, programs, and databases. For example, check out some of the following templates:
Related Articles: Tips for Using a Cover Letter Template | Sample Cover Letters