Free Cover Letter Templates for Microsoft Word
A good cover letter can mean the difference between catching the hiring manager’s attention and languishing in job search limbo. But many job seekers find it hard to stare down that blank page. How do you summarize your most important qualifications in way that makes it clear that you’re the best candidate for the job?
Cover letter templates can help. A template will give you a "fill in the blank" format you can use to create your own letter to send with your resume when you apply for a job.
It will save you a few steps and help you structure your letter in a professional way.
Free Microsoft cover letter templates are available online from Microsoft Office Online, as a download for Microsoft Word users, or are available within your Word program, to use to create cover letters for jobs. Note that not all templates may work with all versions of Word, so check before you download. There will be a message next to the download button advising if there are restrictions.
Not a Microsoft user? Google Docs also has free template samples available for letters and resumes. Using any of these templates can help you to feel confident that you are properly writing and formatting your cover letter.
Free Microsoft Word Cover Letter Templates
There are a variety of templates available for Microsoft Word. Template options include general cover letters and both job- and career-specific cover letter samples.
For example, there are cover letter templates for professionals, temporary workers, and candidates who are sending in their resumes unsolicited.
Microsoft Word also offers a variety of different cover letter template designs, with resume templates to match. Note that if you choose one of these fancier template designs, you’ll want to choose a resume template to match.
It’s important to be consistent in your application materials, whether it’s matching your cover letter to your resume or choosing a font or format. Ideally, your experience should stand out to the hiring manager, not your stylistic choices.
To Access Cover Letters From Your Computer:
Open Microsoft Word, then click on:
Then, search for online templates by typing your keywords (e.g., “cover letter”) in the field provided.
How to Access the Microsoft Cover Letter Templates
If you don’t own a copy of Microsoft Office or a subscription to Microsoft 365, you can still access cover letter templates via Microsoft Office Online. These templates are free and editable online.
Visit the Microsoft Cover Letter Templates website, browse the cover letter templates, then click on the title to preview the sample. You'll need to sign up for a free account to edit the document.
Once you find a template you like, click Edit In Browser, then follow the instructions to customize and save your cover letter.
There are also sets, which include matching resumes and cover letters, available to use.
Use the Template to Create a Customized Cover Letter
Once you have downloaded or opened a cover letter template file, type over the text in the file to create your own, personalized cover letter.
The template will include all the relevant information that you need to include in your document. Simply change the generic version to include your personal and professional information.
It's a good idea to include additional details about your qualifications and experience. Take the time to match your qualifications to the job description. Include keywords related to your skills and achievements.
To customize your cover letter further, look for a contact person at the company, ideally the hiring manager or HR contact, and address the letter to this person. If you have an employee contact at the company who is willing to refer you, be sure to mention them as soon as possible in the cover letter. Employee referrals carry a lot of weight with hiring managers.
Double-check to make sure there is none of the template information left in your final saved version.
Carefully proofread for grammar and typographical errors before saving and sending your cover letter.
To avoid sending a blank template or the wrong version of your cover letter, choose a file name that’s easy to remember. It should always include your name, and may also contain the name of the position to which you’re applying. Avoid version numbers and cutesy nicknames.
More Templates for Resumes and Letters
More Microsoft Letter Templates
Microsoft letter templates are available as a free download for Microsoft Word users or are available within your Word program, to use to create a variety of letters. There are letter templates for cover letters, resignation letters, reference letters, thank you letters, interview letters, and a variety of business letters.
Microsoft Word Resume Templates
Microsoft resume templates are available as a free download for Microsoft Word users to use to create a resume. Microsoft Word resume options include basic resumes, job-specific resumes, and career-specific resumes.
When was the last time you took a critical look at the appearance of your resume? If you've been updating the same old resume format year after year, your resume could be creating the wrong impression with potential employers.
Even worse, a badly presented resume is more likely to be thrown away. That destroys your chances of even being considered for a position. You can do better. It's time to redo your resume using a modern resume template.
In this tutorial, you'll learn the characteristics of a modern resume. I'll also take you step-by-step through the process of personalizing a modern resume template in MS Word 365.
What Is a Modern Resume?
Do you know the characteristics of a good resume? Most job seekers do not. That’s why they continue to use outdated and old fashioned formats. A modern-looking resume can help you stand out. Here is a short list of the characteristics of a good, modern resume:
- uses professional fonts
- has a well-organized and clean design
- contains current contact information
- customized for the job you're applying for
- includes keywords for skills
- has social media contact information
How to Use a Modern Resume Template with MS Word
In this section you'll learn how to personalize a your resume template in three easy steps. The basic steps to to follow are:
- Gather your information.
- Download your template.
- Personalize your resume.
We’ll look at each step separately.
Let's start with the information you'll need to personalize your template.
Step 1. Gather Your Information
To make a resume template your own, you need your most current information. Besides your full name, you'll need your most recent:
- job titles
- years employed
- educational accomplishments
- awards received
- social media contact information
If you're applying for a specific job, make a list of the key words from the job posting. If possible, include them in your resume and on the cover letter.
To make sure you don't miss any information look at:
- your previous resume
- your Linked-In profile
- your professional portfolio
- your testimonials
Now that you’ve gathered your information, you’re ready to create an updated resume. First, you’ll need the right template.
Step 2. Download the Best Modern Resume Template for Your Needs
Choosing the right resume template can be difficult. You want one that is flexible and easy to update. You want to be able to adjust it quickly for various jobs. We have a great selection of resume templates on EnvatoMarket.
To find the complete selection click the Browse Categories button on the GraphicRiver home page. Select the Print Templates option. Resumes are under the Stationery option: Print Templates > Stationery > Resumes.
After you select Resume from the menu, you get a thumbnail representation of some of the various resume templates available. Here is a look at some of the popular resume templates available in our Best sellers option:
You can sort the resume templates by:
- newest items
- trending items
- best sellers
- best rated
- price: low to high
- price: high to low
You can also specify the date a resume was added or enter a price range.
The Modern Resume Template We'll Customize Today
For the purposes of this tutorial, we've chosen the Resume/CV - Ashley template to customize in Microsoft Word 365.
We chose the Ashley template because it's high quality and has positive feedback from customers. It also features a clean look with room to include your current skills and your social media links. It's reasonably priced and works with the most popular, current versions of MS Word. It can be used on a Mac or a PC.
To purchase the template, click Add to Cart and go through the quick checkout process. Once you have purchased the template these words appear above the template,
You have bought this item. You can download it here.
Click the hyperlink and the words download it here to download the template. The download includes two folders:
- bilmaw - Resume - Ashley Files
Under the bilmaw - Resume - Ashley Files there are two subfolders:
- Resume - Ashley Files'
- Social Icons
You'll also see the files .DS_Store and a PDF help file titled HELP resume - ashley.
The Help file contains useful details on what is included with the template and explains how you could further customize it.
Install the Free Font
After you've downloaded the template, download the free Raleway font used by the template. The complete instructions for installing fonts are found on page three of the PDF help file. The instructions may vary depending on the type of machine and operating system you use.
Here is how you install the font on a PC:
- Download the Raleway font from Fontsquirrel.
- Click the button labelled DOWNLOAD TTF (The button is located at the right next to the name of the font).
- Save the file in any folder.
- Go to the folder where the file is saved and click on the zip file.
- You’ll see variations of the font listed (bold, italic, etc.).
- Click on the variation name.
- In the dialog box that opens, click Install.
Caution: Be sure to open all variations of the font. Each variation, such as bold, italic, etc. must be installed separately.
If you’re working on a machine other than a PC, follow the instructions on page four of the PDF to install the font.
Once you've downloaded the fonts, you’re ready to personalize your resume.
Step 3. Personalize Your Resume
Now let's set up and then customize each section of your resume.
1. Basic Setup
You are now ready to open the template and customize it. Since I am working on a PC, the template is found within the bilmaw - Resume - AshleyFiles folder in the subfolder Resume - Ashley Files.
Choose between a template for A4 size paper or US Letter size paper. For the purposes of this tutorial, we are using US Letter (8 1/2 by 11) size. When you click on the paper size you will see the various types of templates available:
- InDesign CS4-5
- InDesign CS6
- Microsoft Word
- PSD US Letter
For this tutorial, choose the Microsoft Word folder and open the file called resume - ashley US Letter.
To review, the path is: bilmaw - Resume - Ashley Files > Resume - Ashley Files > US Letter > Microsoft Word > resume - ashley US Letter.
Now the MS Word resume template opens. At this point it only shows placeholder information and should look like this:
We're going to update the template with information from a fictitious job seeker, Jane Ann Doe. You should fill in your name instead.
First, check to see whether the Raleway fonts installed correctly:
- Select any text on the document and right-click on it. A font box should display showing some variation of the Raleway font.
- If any font besides Raleway appears in the box, go back and review the instructions for downloading the fonts.
I always suggest renaming and saving the file. That way, if something goes wrong while you are updating the resume template you can go back to the unaltered template file and start again.
After you’ve renamed the file, you are ready to start entering your own information into your resume.
2. Customize the Information
You'll notice that the resume is organized using anchored text boxes. Here is how you replace the text information anywhere in the resume:
- Click in the text box.
- Select and highlight the text you want to change.
- Type your information over the highlighted text.
Tip: To make the text larger, use the MS Word zoom icon.
Now that you know how to update the placeholder text in the resume template, you can replace it with your information. Be careful though, not to accidentally move the text box when you update it.
Several sections of the resume template require additional instructions. Let's start with the Resume Summary.
3. Craft Your Resume Summary
Your resume summary is one of the most important parts of your resume. It's often the first thing a potential employer reads. To create a stronger resume summary:
- Use adjectives to describe your work.
- Emphasize accomplishments you are proud of.
- Match the summary to the job ad.
- Keep it short. Four to five lines is ideal.
- Don't use the words "I" or "my."
In this template, the resume summary appears under the heading Professional Statement. To adjust the size of the text box, click on the handle and drag the edge of the box.
Tip: You can also move the graphic lines in the template using the handles on the line.
4. Change Your Social Media Contacts
One of the characteristics of a modern resume template is the inclusion of social media contact information. The Ashley template comes with a special social media contact section. There are also 36 social media icons included as PNG files, which you can use.
The social media contact information appears in the right center of the template under the heading Social.
To change your social media contact information:
- Click on the information in the text box. The information is then highlighted.
- Type over the information in the text box.
- Right-click on the icon that you want to replace.
- Then, select Change Picture from the pop-up menu.
The dialog box below displays:
- Select the From a file option.
- Click on browse. The fonts are located at bilmaw - Resume - Ashley Files > Social Icons.PNG
- When you find the icon you want to use click on it and click on Insert.
The social media icon you selected replaces the previous icon.
5. Change Your Skills
The Skills section of this modern resume is an excellent place to highlight any skills you've learned on the job or in school. You can also include keywords that are skills.
On this template, your skills appear as a bar chart. The more accomplished you are in a skill, the further to the right the bar goes.
Skills are listed under the Skills heading on the bottom right of the resume.
Here’s how to personalize your skills information:
- To change a skill, click in the text box and type the new skill information over the placeholder text.
- To change your proficiency in a skill, click on the dark line and drag the handles to the right to indicate that you are more proficient or to the left if you are less proficient.
Once you've replaced the resume placeholder text with your information, you are ready to begin your job search. Don't forget to also personalize the cover letter included with the template.
Modern Resume Template Examples
Here is a quick showcase of more modern resume templates and an example resume that was created with each template. Each template includes a matching cover letter.
1. Resume/CV - Blair
Blair is a classic-looking resume updated to include social contact information. It also includes a matching cover letter. It has an attractive, minimal style logo in the upper left corner, making it ideal for freelancers and small business owners. All artwork and text is fully customizable. Multiple format options available, such as INDD, IDML, PDF, PSD, and Microsoft Word DOCX.
2. Job Resume Template
This template includes four corporate resumes and a matching cover letter. The large banner will help you stand out with potential employers and gives this modern resume a professional look. Available in InDesign and MS Word formats, as well as Illustrator EPS for graphic components.
3. My Clean Resume/CV Set with MS Word
This template is a minimalist resume with style. The typography has been intentionally designed to make your resume more attractive and professional. Potential employers can see everything they need to know at a glance. Available in Adobe Photoshop and MS Word formats. These set includes a resume template, cover letter template, and reference page template.
4. Two-Piece Swiss Style Resume Set
This simple design makes good use of color and intentional space for an attractive presentation. You can easily change the color to suit your own taste with one click. PSD and Word formats included, as well as Illustrator EPS for graphic components. Includes a resume and cover letter in this template set
5. Sleek One-Page Resume
This resume template has a place for you to include everything. There's even a place for you to include your hobbies. It has a modern and professional look with clean typography. Each heading includes an attractive icon. All popular file format included (AI, PSD, TIFF, INDD, IDML, DOC, and DOCX. Resume and cover letter templates included.
All of these modern resume template examples can be personalized in MS Word to include your information.
A modern resume helps you make a strong first impression with potential customers or clients. Your resume can mean the difference between getting the job or losing the opportunity. A good modern resume template gives you a quick and easy way to update your resume with clarity and style.