Cover Letter Templates to Stand Out From the Crowd
When you go to an interview you know the first impression counts. What you wear, how you act and that all important first handshake is scientifically proven to influence your success rate, but first you need to get an interview. In digital terms your first impression is your cover letter, which is why it’s so important to get it right.
The good news is that we’ve got your cover letter ‘covered’ (see what we did there?) with this comprehensive guide on cover letter templates. What they are, how they differ from job to job or across industries and a little on how to write a good cover letter.
Common Questions from UK Jobseekers
What should you include in your cover letter?
A cover letter should include:
- A professional greeting with the recruiter’s name and a subject relevant for the job
- How you found them and why you are applying
- A succinct summary of your relevant experience
- Personalised wording about your interest in them specifically
- Clear guidance to your notice period and interview availability
Even though that may seem like a lot to include, remember that recruiters will have seen thousands of cover letters before. You need to include all of this in a way that gets their attention and showcases your skills concisely. This may sound like a hard task but there’s no need to worry because we’ve done it for you. All of our cover letter templates are created with a specific job and industry in mind, so all you need to do is fill in the gaps.
What is the format of a cover letter?
The format of a cover letter is:
- A universal document type, like Word or PDF
- A maximum of one page long, ideally less
- A maximum of 3-5 paragraphs of text
- Easy to read, with good line spacing (1.5 recommended)
- Professional and neat, with a font at least 12 points in size
If you’re applying via email, don’t be tempted to provide your entire cover letter in the body of the email. Write enough in the email to get their attention but direct them to the ‘attached’ cover letter.
Start with one of our cover letter templates, create your cover letter, then use a snippet from the cover letter builder to write your email. For the email, put yourself in the recruiter’s position: what about your cover letter will make you stand out and motivate them to find out more?
Check Out 30 of the UK’s Most Popular Cover Letter Templates
Whatever job you’re applying for we have a cover letter template that will help you get your foot in the door and make the shortlist for interview. Providing you with cover letter samples for a wide range of jobs from graduate, retail and customer service right through to executive level jobs in finance, law, marketing and IT. Here’s a quick overview of our most popular cover letter templates to help give you an idea of what to expect:
Retail Cover Letter Template
Whether you’re taking your first step into retail or applying for a managerial position, we have a cover letter template that will help you include a customer-focused spin that will get their attention.
Customer service Cover Letter Template
If you’re good at customer service then we will help you impress recruiters with a well-written and personable cover letter that also highlights your relevant experience. That way you can prove you have the customer service skills for the job!
Graduate Cover Letter Template
Fresh out of university you may be worried about how you can stand out from the competition. Our graduate cover letter templates will help you dig deep and showcase your talents, so you can make a good impression.
Sales assistant Cover Letter Template
You will need to highlight your passion for sales and ability to work under pressure. Our sales assistant cover letter template will guide you in the right direction, so you can demonstrate you’re the ideal candidate.
Creative Cover Letter Template
Along with your creative talents, personality is important in the creative industry. This template will encourage you to add a personal touch and highlight specific projects that are relevant to the job.
Sales Cover Letter Template
Recruiters are going to be looking for candidates that are confident and able to work to targets. Our sales cover letter templates help you do exactly that, so you can meet your target and get that interview.
Admin Cover Letter Template
Accuracy and professionalism in an admin cover letter is imperative if you want to get the job. This template will help you create an impressive cover letter that instantly wins them over.
Teacher Cover Letter Template
This template will help you achieve the right balance between being personable but also authoritative and confident. These qualities will help demonstrate that you are right for the job and perfect teacher material.
Legal Cover Letter Template
Every organisation and industry has different legal challenges to manage. This template will help you not just highlight your credentials in law but also the specific industry you applying to work in.
Finance Cover Letter Template
Finance teams are often under pressure to make deadlines but also hold a lot of responsibility and need to be vigilant about accuracy. All qualities we will help you highlight in your finance cover letter.
Law Cover Letter Template
Paperwork is their game, so getting your cover letter right really is going to make all the difference. This template dials up the professionalism a little and helps you reinforce your grasp for legal terminology and passion for a career in law.
IT Cover Letter Template
There are so many different IT roles, so we have a range of IT templates that will help you hyper focus on the areas that make you right for the job They help you create a cover letter that shows your strengths, whether you’re applying for a support role or need to highlight your Java, PHP, C++ or C# skills.
Fashion Cover Letter Template
Fashion sense is one thing, but you also need to prove you are able to take direction and use your initiative. We help you carve out a fashion cover letter that will get you a spot on their interview catwalk.
Receptionist Cover Letter Template
Being good with people is important but you also need to be able to multitask and offer team support. We’ll help you go beyond the obvious and include relevant industry experience and additional skills that will give you the edge.
Engineering Cover Letter Template
Our engineering cover letter template will automatically give you a list of engineering skills and professional terminology that you can adapt, helping you make a good impression from the outset.
Marketing Cover Letter Template
There are so many possible career pathways in marketing, this template offers you a guide with typical skills and experience. It gives you an all-rounder marketing template option that you can customise to work for the specific job you’re applying for.
Graphic design Cover Letter Template
Even if you have amazing design skills potential employers are also looking for the right personality fit for the company. Our graphic design cover letter template includes a list of design tools and techniques that you can adapt for use.
Operations manager Cover Letter Template
Chances are any potential employer will want an operations manager with the relevant experience but also the confidence to manage the team and keep things running smoothly. Worded with this in mind, this template will increase your chances of getting to the next stage of the recruitment process.
Construction Cover Letter Template
The construction industry brings with it an entirely different culture and recruitment approach. Whatever role you’re applying for our informal slant on a typical cover letter will help engage the interest of construction recruiters.
Chef Cover Letter Template
Finding the right chef can have a significant impact on any restaurant or café, and a CV can only say so much. You may be great at the cooking, but we can help you put the same creativity into your cover letter with our chef cover letter template.
Mechanical engineering Cover Letter Template
Mechanical engineers have a defined skill-set, so we have created a cover letter template based on the typical qualifications, accreditations and mid-level experience. Just give it a tweak and weave in your project experience.
Administration Cover Letter Template
Keeping things organised and well-presented is an important part of any administration job, something that needs to be conveyed in your cover letter. Our professional administration cover letter template is just what you need to do that.
Civil engineering Cover Letter Template
There are a range of sub-disciplines in civil engineering, so we’ve created a standard template that covers all bases. That way you can simply remove any parts that don’t fit your skill set or experience and add in some personal touches to wrap it up.
Recruitment consultant Cover Letter Template
A recruiter recruiting for a recruitment role is likely to have high expectations when it comes to the presentation of your application. You are, after all, supposed to be an expert in recruitment! This template will set you off on the right foot to make progress fast.
Management Cover Letter Template
Demonstrating your ability to manage staff and cope under pressure is paramount in a management cover letter. Our professionally written template includes a list of management skills and experience guidance to get the job done.
Science Cover Letter Template
Whether you’re looking for an entry level research position or planning to head up your first lab, our science cover letter template includes a comprehensive list of compatible skills and popular experience options.
Banking Cover Letter Template
While banking may be a corporate career pathway, your application still needs to stand out and include personality. We will help you get the right balance, creating a cover letter that is both formal and personalised enough to be noticeable.
Business analyst Cover Letter Template
It’s really important that you demonstrate your grasp of technology and the ability to link top level thinking with bottom line objectives. It’s something our business analyst cover letter template will help you do with carefully crafted copy and skill base guides.
Manager Cover Letter Template
Your manager cover letter needs to quickly represent your managerial experience but also convey confidence and ambition for the team and company as a whole. Our template will help you achieve this much more quickly.
Why Use a Cover Letter Template?
It’s easy to get disheartened when you’re job hunting, but it’s no easy feat for recruiters either who are dealing with high volumes of applications. To give you an idea of just how much that is, according to Mediargh there can be anything from 150 to 600 applicants for every job in the media industry. A Warwick University study also found that there was an average of 75 applications per vacancy for UK recruiters in 2017. This is why a cover letter is so important. It’s the first thing recruiters will see and your best chance at getting noticed above potentially 100s of jobseekers trying to get the same position.
Recruiter and hiring managers know what they are looking for and will employ any tactics possible to whittle down that list and make their jobs easier. This includes shortlisting using software that omits applications without certain keywords. With this in mind, you are going to need to step up your game if you want to be noticed and well crafted cover letter is a great way to do that.
You are more likely to get noticed
There are over one million jobs advertised every year in the UK, so it makes sense that job seekers often become overwhelmed as a result. Frustrated candidates may start sending out lots of applications with the same CV and standard ‘I want to apply for the job’ emails. Sound familiar?
This lottery ‘hope for the best’ approach rarely works. That’s why actually taking the time to create a cover letter is the quickest way to get the attention of recruiters and get your foot in the door. The simple fact you’ve taken the time to write a custom cover letter that actually applies to the job and company in question will help you get noticed. Our templates can also help you go one step further, giving your cover letter a professional edge.
What’s the best way to stand out?
Getting the right cover letter for the job you want right is the only way you’re going to make it past the next roadblock. That is actually getting your application read and making it to the interview phase.
Recruiters can see right through job seekers who are applying for jobs blindly or in volume. Think about it this way, if you were scrolling through thousands of emails, what would be the quickest way to shorten that list? Ignore the ones without cover letters. Don’t be in that pile and on route to the junk folder.
If you really want that job then it stands to reason that you would actually take the time to customise a cover letter specifically for it. That is how you stand out. Our cover letter templates will help you do that and more.
Still not convinced about the power of a good cover letter? A people and culture manager at TruRating Rachel Gowers put it well saying:
“We love to see covering letters where applicants have made a real effort to connect with us, show that they understand a bit about us and therefore why we would be a particularly good match for each other.”
5 Top Tips for Choosing the Right Cover Letter Template
There are so many cover letter templates to choose from it can be difficult to pick the right one. Here’s five top tips to help you get straight to the template right for you.
Ready to get noticed and pick the right template for you?
All of these tips will help point you in the right direction, now all you need to do is pick the right template and start making progress with your job search.
Choose popular templates for the job
If your peers are using them and getting results, the chances are they are right for you too. That’s why one of the quickest ways to find the right template is to go for the most popular. Take a look at our top 30 popular cover templates section to do this (or use our cover letter builder).
Even though we offer industry specific templates, the trick is to hyper focus on the role itself. If, for example, you are applying for a sales assistant position at a finance firm you may be inclined to use the ‘finance’ template when in fact the ‘sales assistant’ template’ will be more suitable. The finance cover letter template would be much more suitable if you are accountancy trained and applying for a finance role.
Match the cover letter formality with the company
At interview it’s a good idea to mirror the professionalism of the company itself, and it’s a technique that’s also helpful when you select your cover letter template. If you’re applying for a job in a corporate global company for instance, then you need to pick a template that is more professional and formal. If you’re sending in a job application for a new role at a startup, then you need a less formal cover letter template that is more personable and friendly.
This will help show them that you’re the right culture fit for the company, which means your behaviours align with their values and approach. Something recruiters are experienced at detecting by the tone and language in a cover letter. The more compatible your cover letter is with the company itself the more likely you will make it to the top of their shortlist.
Find an appropriate ‘easy to skim’ layout
Anyone recruiting for a role is busy, but if you’re sending your application through a recruitment agency or central recruiter in HR they will be dealing with a much higher volume of applications. They are also more likely to be used to getting low quality applications and spam and therefore likely to hit delete or move on much more quickly. To increase your chances of getting shortlisted and called in for interview you need to choose a format that is engaging on first skim-read. That is likely to deliver everything they need to know in a way that is easy to read and gets straight to the point.
If you put more time and effort into your job application you will not just get in the recruiter’s good books, you’ll also get that phone call you’ve been waiting for. The best thing about our cover letter templates is that we have done most of the work for you. They are structured in a way that is easy to digest with bulleted lists and subheaders, so recruiters can take in the information more quickly.
Use the job description as a guide
The best way to customise your cover letter effectively is to pay close attention to the job description. That includes the advert text and any associated documents provided for the role. As you read through the job description take note of:
- The tone and language - is it professional and logical or creative?
- The length of the paragraphs and sentences - is it short and to the point? Or wordy?
- The application instructions - have they asked for a cover letter? Asked for specifics?
All of those factors will help you find a suitable cover letter template that has a similar tone and layout but also ensure you remember to supply the relevant information they have asked for in the job description. The essential requirements can also help you to hand select key projects that are most likely to impress them right from the offset in your cover letter.
Take inspiration from the recruiter you are contacting
When you have a specific name and email for the recruiter you also have the perfect opportunity to enhance your chances of getting noticed. Search for them on LinkedIn and other social channels like Twitter or Instagram to get an idea of their personality. What do they like? How do they write in their articles or social posts?
Get to know them and you are more likely to write something that will resonate with them. This additional knowledge about the person you are writing too will also help you quickly spot the right cover letter template that will both present you professionally, and appeal to the recruiter..
View Professional Cover Letter Templates
Now that you have a good idea of how to choose the right cover letter template, what you need to include and why a cover letter is important - here’s a list of the types of cover letter templates that are available:
WORD Cover Letter Template
A simple yet professional Word cover letter is typically a great approach for any job application. Using our cover letter builder you are just one click away from Word cover letter templates that will be fit for purpose.
PROFESSIONAL Cover Letter Template
Recruiters get so many cover letters that just don’t hit the mark. It’s something they deal with day in and day out, so it’s no wonder so many job applications fall short. Perfect for senior positions in corporate or large businesses, this is your chance to really get their attention with a professional cover letter that meets their expectations.
BEST Cover Letter Template
It doesn’t matter how talented or experienced you are and how right you are for the job, the only way you are going to ‘be the best’ and actually get the job is by using the best cover letter template. If you are pitching against a lot of competition for a creative agency or big brand then you need nothing less than the best. Our team of experts know their stuff, so you can be confident you are getting just that.
GOOD Cover Letter Template
A lower level position may need to be less ‘amazing’ and more ‘just right’. Too impressive and they wonder why you are applying for a junior position. This template is ideal if you’re just looking for a good cover letter template that does the job so you can get the job.
BASIC Cover Letter Template
Not all job applications need to be over complex, this is especially true if the recruiter hasn’t even asked for a cover letter. Our basic cover letter templates can either be pasted into an email or used in Word format. They’ll do the job without any additional fuss.
SIMPLE Cover Letter Template
Life is hectic and recruiters are busy people. Sometimes the best plan is just to keep it simple, which is especially true if you’re applying for a large call centre or high turnover business. A simple cover letter can help you get noticed without the fuss and get the invite to the next assessment centre or interview round.
ONLINE Cover Letter Template
There are so many alternative digital routes to apply whether that’s via LinkedIn or through recruitment specific websites. Our easy to use online cover letter template makes the process a lot more seamless. You can just copy and paste or adapt the cover letter to work for your online job application.
UK Cover Letter Template
While there may be loads of free cover letter template options available, many are US focused. Our UK cover letter templates are perfected to work for UK employers, which is particularly helpful for international graduates or bilingual applicants.
SHORT Cover Letter Template
Sometimes you just need to get straight to the point. We have a range of short cover letter templates that will help you do just that. Getting straight to the important details will let recruiters see your potential right away, so they can save time trying to work out whether you’re the right fit.
GENERAL Cover Letter Template
You might feel a little overwhelmed by the options available. Not to worry – our general cover letter template works for most jobs and industries. No matter your experience, this template will help you do exactly what it says on the tin - create a cover letter.
Why Professional Cover Letter Templates Give You a Competitive Edge
Have the experience and talent to do the job you are applying for, but not an expert in cover letter writing? A professional cover letter template will give you a competitive edge. Here’s how:
1. They provide inspiration
Job hunting can be a frustrating and overwhelming experience. You start off with good intentions and high energy, but after a while you get tired of the process and start repeating yourself. A cover letter template will give you compelling copy to work with, so you can get inspired and customise each letter for the specific job you’re applying for.
2. They do the heavy lifting
Perhaps writing is just not your thing and that’s okay. You can’t be good at everything. If the job you’re applying for has no need for good letter writing and you’re struggling, then why not use a professional cover letter template? The writing part is done for you, all you need to do is adapt the copy to include key projects or specific references to your experience.
3. They focus on the positives
If you’re a graduate or looking for a career change then what you say in your cover letter is even more important. It’s your opportunity to win recruiters over with your passion and ambition. Our templates can guide you to include life experiences or study projects that may help your application. They guide you through the process and help you to draw out academic achievements or life experiences that will boost your prospects.
What is a Typical UK Cover Letter Template?
Many job seekers find the idea of creating a cover letter daunting, especially when they are applying for a high volume of jobs. As you work through our library of cover letter templates you will begin to see that they all have certain elements in common.
To help you get your head around how a cover letter works and why it is important, we’ve listed the key elements - and added the reason they are important:
1. Letter opening: where you found the job and why you’re applying
This is about context. Helping the recruiter immediately understand where you have come from, why you are contacting them and what job you’re are applying for.
2. Second paragraph: overview of experience that makes you suitable for the job
This is your chance to sum up why you are right for the job quickly. Talk about your overall relevant experience and passion for the company or role specifically. For example, if you’re applying for an admin job with a publishing company you could say:
“I have over five years’ experience in administration within the publishing industry, so have first-hand insight into the publishing process.”
3. Third paragraph: specific project example or success story
It can be tempting to list every single good thing you ever did but here you need to pick that one single thing that is good, but most importantly relevant to the job you’re applying for. Consider what have you done well in the past that would definitely be interesting to them? For example:
“In my current role I was responsible for a team of five and increased productivity by 15% within a year.”
4. Fourth paragraph: reiterate why you will be good for them
This is more about demonstrating your passion, coming across keen for a job with them specifically and including professional yet flattering dialogue about them.
5. Fifth paragraph: lead to an action interview availability and appear keen
Not only is it professional to be upfront, this helps begin the pathway to an interview and the recruiter will be more confident that you are keen to progress with your application, not a time waster.
6. Professional closing: ‘yours sincerely’ (if you know their name) or ‘yours faithfully’ (if you don’t)
It’s pretty self-explanatory that you need to sign off your cover letter professionally, especially if the job you’re applying for includes any form of letter writing to clients or customers.
7. How a cover letter helps your job search
Whatever job you’re applying for, there are likely to be many others trying to get the same job. A well-crafted cover letter really can make all the difference and using templates can help you customise them. This frees up more time for another round of applications and those interview opportunities that will start flooding in soon.
The Advantages of Using Cover Letter Templates
The main benefit of a cover letter template is the time it will save and value it will add when applying for specific jobs in specific industries. It helps you to organise your thoughts and share relevant experience or skills with potential employers in a way that is professional and engaging.
Unless you’re a writer or recruiter by trade, it is likely writing is not your main skill. Our cover letter templates will help you better communicate your key strengths and convince recruiters that you’re the right candidate for the job. In summary, the benefits of using cover letter templates are:
- Time saving: helping you to choose the right words fast
- Professional edge: giving you a structure that you know works
- Standing out: a well-crafted cover letter will put you ahead of the competition
- Confidence building: our templates will help you discover key strengths for the job
- Getting more interviews: increasing your chances of getting more interviews
All of which will ultimately lead to you actually getting the job you want. Think of the cover letter as a pitch or teaser to motivate recruiters to actually look at your CV and take your application seriously. Our team of experts have customised each template in a way that means you can make the most of each opportunity, increasing your chances of getting through any roadblocks, improving your chances of getting an interview and ultimately getting the job you want.
Tap Into the Power of a Good Cover Letter
It’s easy to get caught up in clichés and overselling when you create a cover letter. Phrases like ‘I am a team player’ and ‘I work well under pressure’ are so common they often induce eye rolls and sighs from recruiters.
Our cover letter templates not only help you organise and select the right things to say when it comes to your professional experience, they also guide you to be more authentic and unique. They inspire you to showcase your personality fit too, so you can stand out from the crowd and bag that interview.
Find the right cover letter template for you now
Asking for help isn’t always easy but if you’ve been applying for jobs for a while and struggled to get interviews you probably need help writing your cover letter. Whatever your ambitions, our cover letter templates can help you get your foot in the door and get noticed, so you can focus on looking smart for the interviews about to come your way.
To get started all you need to do is go to our cover letter builder and start browsing. You might also want to check out our cover letter examples or boost your chances of getting the job with our guide on how to write a CV.