Google Docs Resume and Cover Letter Templates

Man holding resume in waiting room
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Are you writing a resume and/or cover letter from scratch? If so, you know how daunting that blank page can be. A template can help you get started on building your resume and writing cover letters. You can get free templates from Google Docs that provide a framework to display your experience and skills.

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 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.

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 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.

Want to learn more about using Google Docs? This explainer offers tips on uploading an existing resume, editing documents, and organizing and sharing files. It’s a good place to start, especially if you expect to maintain separate resumes for different types of positions and want to stay organized during your job search.

Using Google Docs Resume and Cover Letter Templates

It's quick and easy to find and use templates. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to Google's home page and click on Google Docs. Sign in if you have an account.
  2. 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.
  3. Select a template you like. Click on the template you want to use, and it will open in a new window.
  4. Personalize the template with your information. The templates are filled with lorem ipsum 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.
  1. 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).
  1. 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, save, and share documents. Keep in mind that many hiring managers prefer to receive resumes as attachments in an email or documents uploaded directly to their corporate job site, rather than shared via link.

If you’re applying online, follow the instructions in the job posting. If you’re sending your resume directly to a recruiter or hiring manager, through a networking contact, ask your connection about the preferred method of delivery.

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, Microsoft Word offers resume and cover letter templates. Chances are, your preferred word processing program has a template feature that’s free for registered users.