Land the job with cover letter templates

Show hiring managers why you're the perfect job candidate with professional, customizable cover letter templates. find the perfect cover letter template for any industry or career path..

Cover letter template surrounded by 3D design elements

Download free cover letter templates

Stand out from other job applicants with free, professional cover letter templates. Cover letters are a perfect complement to your resume and provide an effective opportunity to show your personality and enthusiasm for a position. Focus on writing a compelling cover letter and let a professionally designed template do the rest.

These free cover letter templates are perfect for any stage of your career, whether you're looking to land an internship or your dream job. If you're applying for a corporate position, you may want to opt for a simple cover letter template. There are a variety of other cover letter designs available, from basic cover letter templates to creative cover letter templates.

Each of these cover letter templates is customizable in Word , so you can add your own text, change design elements, and more. Print out your cover letter or download it for free to use for online job applications. Once you've customized the perfect cover letter, explore resume templates that will match your cover letter design, or download free business cards for your next networking event.

Cover Letter Templates you Download with One Click

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Microsoft Word Cover Letter Templates

Thesee free Word cover letters formats by Microsoft . They are freely editable to your liking. These formats work best in the newer versions of Word. Most of these templates are fully editable to your liking. Color, format and all the content, edit to make your own stunning cover letters! For free, with direct downloads.

word cover letter template

Classey Casey

word cover letter template

Clean Green

Edgy Edward CL e1697717512490

Edgy Edward

word cover letter format

Geometric 1

word format cover letter

Geometric 2

word cover letter template

Jack Wilson

word cover letter

Download them directly with one click. The formats might not be compatible or work optimal with older verions of MS Word.

Template cover letter docx

Little Grey

word cover letter template

Retro Ricky 1

microsoft word cover letter format

Retro Ricky 2

microsoft word cover letter format

Retro Ricky 3

Microsoft Word cover letter

Simply Good

microsoft word cover letter template

We earn by promoting  resume.io’s cover letter generator, which is completely free, always. If you later become a paying subscriber to their resume builder tool, we earn a commission, at no cost to you.

Google Doc Cover Letter Templates

Google Docs Cover Letter Template 2

Swiss Template

Google Docs Cover Letter Template 1

Spearmint Template

Google Docs CV

Modern Template

Google Docs Cover Letter Template 3

Minimal Template

Free cover letter templates.

These cover letters have been made with the, absolutely free, cover letter tool (AI-assisted) from  Resume.io .

Here you can download the Pdf- & JPEG files, but with the tool, also in Word format, so you can keep editing them yourself.

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Cover Letter Template

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Cover Letter Sample Nurse

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Clara Barton Cover Letter Template 11

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Use the cover letter builder tool and make matching resume’s. Fill in and download yours. Easy does it.

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Cover letter example nurse

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How to end a cover letter.

A few good and quick tips on how to end your cover letter strong and convincing.

creative resume format download pdf

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Simple cover letter templates

Finish your application and get hired with ease. Our simple templates are the right balance of attractive and functional design.

Simple cover letter template London

Reviewed by the community. Trusted by professionals

The perfect simple cover letter template to get the job done.

Who ever said simple was a bad thing? Sometimes a basic design that’s both straightforward and classy is just what you need to get your application finished and in the hiring manager’s inbox. After all, you can’t get hired if you don’t submit your materials. Our simple cover letter templates are perfect for the moments when speed and ease count for everything.

One of the biggest advantages of simple cover letter templates is their versatility. Whether you’re a high school student looking for your first job, a seasonal employee or skilled professional in a trade industry, a simple cover letter template keeps the focus on you, your abilities and experiences.

When to pick a simple job application letter template

There are dozens of instances when a simple job application letter template is the best choice. When applying to multiple positions at similar types of companies, in retail for example, you’ll want a job application letter that you can put together and edit quickly. These templates are perfect for when the content of your job application letter should be the star of the show.

That’s not to say that a simple job application letter lacks style. On the contrary, its strengths lie in its ability to highlight your skills and achievements without calling too much attention to itself. This collection of templates are elegant and timeless, meaning the cover letter you create today will look its best even in future applications.

How to write your resignation letter (with examples & templates)

Explore why a good resignation letter is important and how to write it, and check out our free resignation letter examples.

Top 5 why choose a simple cover letter for a resume

  • This is your first cover letter and you want to keep the format simple
  • You’re aiming to keep the focus on your letter’s writing and content
  • You appreciate classic design that works well for a variety of positions
  • You work in a skills-based industry where no-frills formatting is preferred
  • You need to create a cover letter quickly and easily

What makes a basic or simple application letter

A basic or simple application letter doesn’t get bogged down by the details. It remains classy and classic by keeping the focus on the important stuff – your strengths and abilities. Our basic and simple application letter templates help you to achieve this goal by serving as a blank canvas for your personal expression and perspectives.

One mistake many applicants make is writing with too much professional jargon or overly complex grammar. Just like your template, it’s OK to keep your writing simple and effective. Don’t be afraid to capture your natural tone of voice.

In order to make your basic application letter stand out, you should use emotive language and strong action verbs to bring your anecdotes and experiences to life. It’s also important to keep your letter concise and focused on the key qualities that make you a great fit for the position. With an application letter or resume , there’s no need to over-complicate the process – it’s all about writing a letter that gets you hired!

Free simple cover letter template – download as PDF or Word file

At Resume.io, our mission is to help you land the job you’re after without wasting precious time and energy. That’s why we offer a free simple cover letter template that you can download as a PDF or Word file. Edit your document in the program that’s most comfortable for you so you can submit your application and get back to the things that matter most.

How to write a cover letter - expert guide [2024]

Here is exactly how you can write a cover letter that will stand out from the crowd, and help you land that interview.

With our free simple cover letter template, you can be sure you’re getting a classic design that will benefit you in virtually any position or industry. These simple templates are the best of both worlds when it comes to style and functionality. And most importantly, they make sure the emphasis stays on you. Check out our collection to see how a free simple cover letter template can enhance any application and don't forget to check out our simple resume templates ! 

Try our professional Resume builder now!

Cover Letter Template

While a resume provides details to show you CAN do the work, a cover letter shows you WANT to do the work. Cover letters are used to introduce you to the prospective employer, highlight the most important details about you, and if well written, entice the reader to seriously review your resume. Continue reading below to learn how to write a cover letter, see examples of cover letters and to download a free cover letter template .

Resume Cover Letter Template

Resume Cover Letter Template

Other Versions

Description.

Looking for a change in employment? Use this free resume cover letter template to help you get started. Looking for help on Resumes? Check out our tips and templates for resumes .

Author : Brent Weight and Jon Wittwer

License : Limited Use

Cover Letter Objectives

Before writing a cover letter, make sure you have a clear understanding of the goals or objectives for the letter. These objectives include:

  • Introduce yourself and your resume
  • Explain your experience in more detail by providing pertinent stories or experiences
  • Provide a sample of your written communication
  • Hook the reader so they will want to read your resume

Personalize Your Cover Letter

Cover letters should be personalized as much as possible. Never send out the same cover letter twice. It may require you to do some research and to reach out to your network to make connections and introductions. Here are some things to include.

  • Make sure you tailor your letter to a specific individual and greet them by name.
  • If you don't have a name, then consider skipping the generic salutation.
  • Try to include details specific to the company or the position.
  • Provide a reference about how you heard about the job. This may include the date of the newspaper post or the online job reference number.
  • If you have had prior contact with the recipient, remind them of it in the introduction.
  • Be sure to mention any third parties that are recommending you or referring you for the position.
  • Consider listing the job you are applying for in a subject line.

The main body of the cover letter should have appropriate content. Don't use it to simply recreate your resume. Pick 3 or 4 key traits, skills or attributes you really want to highlight and focus on those. Consider picking traits that may be most appropriate based on the job listing. Use experiences, stories and results to demonstrate your use or possession of the traits or attributes.

Make sure you end with a strong closing that is short and to the point. The time for details and stories has passed. Consider inviting them to read your resume and include a request for a response or an interview. You may decide to keep the ball in your court and simply inform them you will follow up with a phone call. And be considerate and thank them for their time.

Additional Cover Letter Writing Tips

  • Use a formal business letter structure - You are writing a letter, not a memo or email. Use a formal business letter template .
  • Avoid bad grammar and spelling. - Poorly written and edited letters can kill your chances before they even look at your resume. Consider hiring a professional to edit your cover letter.
  • Don't sound desperate - Avoid sounding desperate by avoiding phrases such as "I really need this job" or "I hope you pick me".
  • Use formatting wisely - Use formatting such as bullets, italics, bold and font changes to draw attention to key items and to increase readability.
  • Avoid anything negative - Honesty about issues or special circumstances you face is important, but you don't have to mention it in your cover letter. Use interviews to provide these details.
  • Keep it short - Your letter should highlight and demonstrate, not bore and wander. Keep to the main points and be succinct.
  • Don't mess up in the delivery - Make sure your letter looks correct when printed. Consider using nicer paper for actual letters. When sending electronically, send it as a PDF since almost everyone has software to read a PDF file.
  • Avoid uncommon language - Avoid terms that are specific to past employers and not used my most people. This would include acronyms and company jargon.

Use AI To Help Write a Resume Cover Letter

AI Letter-writing Robot

There are multiple generative AI tools that can help you come up with a draft for a letter. For example, using the Bing AI Chat or ChatGPT, you could use some of these prompts:

  • Create a cover letter for this job posting. [Paste job listing here]
  • Create a cover letter for a job as a tie fighter pilot in the empire.

BONUS! If you have a ChatGPT Plus account, check out our Letter Writing AI .

Sample Cover Letters

Sample cover letter for recent graduate.

Bill Stevenson 123 Anywhere Street Somewhereville, Best State 88889

Mr. Ryan Francom IT Manager XYZ Aviation Company 456 Somewhere Road Best Town, Best State 88888

Dear Mr. Francom,

In May, I will graduate from Tech University with a Master's of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. I am seeking to pursue my life long goal of becoming an aeronautical engineer for a world-class aviation company. Let me briefly highlight the skills, values and passion I will bring to XYZ Aviation Company.

  • Lifelong passion for all things aeronautical including receiving my pilot's license at the age of 15.
  • Solid understanding of aeronautical design processes and procedures gained at ABC Corp as a Level 1 engineer.
  • Ability to work with others on interdisciplinary design teams in order to meet goals and complete projects on time.
  • An aptitude for defining problems and identifying creative solutions while building consensus between all affected parties.
  • A hardworking and self-directed work ethic with a dedication to detail.

An interview to further review your needs and my skills would be mutually beneficial. Next week I will contact you to schedule an interview. I look forward to talking to you soon.

Bill Stevenson

Example Cover Letter

Nancy Thompson 123 Anywhere Street Somewhereville, Best State 88889

Ms. Emily Smith HR Manager XYZ Company 456 Somewhere Road Best Town, Best State 88888

Dear Ms. Smith,

Bob Jones, your IT director, suggested that I contact you regarding the recently listed Sales Director position. I would love to be an integral part of your leadership team and contribute my proven management skills, efficiency and productivity to your corporate goals.

Highlights of my 20 year career include

  • Over 10 years of experience managing direct sales staff with 20 years of marketing and sales experience.
  • Creation and implementation of a direct sales program with annual sales reaching $50 million in less than 4 years.
  • Deadlines met on time and in budget with a willingness to work with others to accomplish corporate tasks.
  • Led the successful acquisition and merger of ACME Companies catalog sales division with ABC Companies sales division.

I am confident my qualifications will allow me to add significant value to your company as the Sales Director. I will call you directly to schedule an appropriate time for us to speak about the challenges and opportunities your company faces and how I can contribute to your company's future growth and success. Thank you in advance for your time.

Nancy Thompson

More Resume Cover Letter Templates

There are some sample cover letters in the Microsoft Office template gallery, under the category Letters . You can also find templates by opening Microsoft Word, going to File > New, and searching for "resume cover letter." Below are examples of some of the letters you can find this way:

  • Resume Cover Letter to Use When Referred by a Colleague
  • Cover Letter for an Entry-Level Resume
  • Cover Letter in Response to Advertisement
  • ... for a Temporary Position
  • ... Announcing Your Job Search
  • ... for a Functional Resume
  • ... with Salary Requirements
  • ... for Unsolicited Resume

Additional Resources

Below are some additional resources to help you write a great cover letter for your resume. They contain additional writing guidelines and tips.

  • What is a Cover Letter? at purdue.edu - A down-and-dirty guide to writing cover letters.
  • 6 Secrets to Writing a Great Cover Letter at forbes.com - Some extra tips
  • Cover Letter Tips (PDF) at michigan.gov - Basic cover letter structure and tips with additional examples.
  • Cover Letter Writing at northwestern.edu

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Home  »  Free Resources  » Cover Letter Templates » Word Cover Letters

Free Word Cover Letter Templates

Enhance your job application with our exclusive collection of Word cover letter templates. These professionally designed cover letter templates for Word are user-friendly and customizable to fit your unique career story. We craft each template in Microsoft Word .docx format to ensure ease of editing and compatibility.

The cover letter templates available on this page are free to download and designed to complement our wide range of Word resume templates . This means you can create a cohesive and professional application package with matching designs. With our cover letter templates for Word, you can stand out in the competitive job market. Download your preferred template today and start crafting a compelling cover letter that aligns with your professional aspirations.

New Cover Letter Templates for 2024

Effective Cover Letter Template

Modern Layout

Word Cover Letter Template

Perfect cover letter template

ATS Cover Letter

Cover Letter Template for Job Application

Cover Letter with Photo

Cover letter template downloads for word.

Cover letter with photo

Cover Letter Templates by Profession

Here you can find cover letter templates designed for specific professions. If you are looking for more examples take a look at our inventory of cover letter examples by profession.

Registered nurse cover letter

Other Cover Letter Formats Available

We have got you covered if you require cover letter templates in a file format other than Word.

Google Docs

Google Docs

Apple Pages resumes

Apple Pages

PowerPoint resumes

Do I Need a Cover Letter?

Cover letters enable you to explain things you may not be able to in the resume, for example to explain a gap in work history, or your reason for a sudden career change, or if you have any connections to the company and need to name drop.

If you want to be the chosen one for the job you’re applying for, make sure to always keep in mind the following: crafting a personalized cover letter tailored to the company’s needs is crucial. Trust me, it will make you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of landing that dream job!

Why Choose Our Word Cover Letter Templates?

Choosing our cover letters offers several advantages that can significantly enhance your job application process. Firstly, these templates are professionally designed, ensuring that your cover letter will have a polished and sophisticated appearance.

Another key benefit is the ease of customization. Our user-friendly cover letter templates allow you to modify various elements like color schemes, fonts, and layout to fit your personal style while maintaining a professional look. This flexibility ensures that your cover letter will be both unique and relevant to the position you are applying for.

In addition, these templates are designed to complement our range of Word resume templates, providing a cohesive and coordinated application package. This consistency in design between your cover letter and resume can demonstrate your attention to detail and organizational skills, traits highly valued by employers.

Finally, our cover letter templates for Word are easy to download and edit. They are compatible with Microsoft Word, a widely used and familiar software, which makes the process of editing and personalizing your cover letter straightforward, even for those with basic computer skills.

By choosing our Word cover letter templates, you’re equipping yourself with a tool that enhances your ability to present a professional, customized, and coherent job application, increasing your chances of making a strong impression on potential employers.

How to Create a Unique Cover Letter by Using Template?

Creating a unique cover letter using a Word cover letter template is a straightforward yet creative process that begins with selecting the right template. Opt for a template that aligns with your industry and professional level, and ensure it has a matching cover letter template to maintain consistency in design and formatting.

Once you’ve chosen the template, start personalizing it. The key to a standout cover letter is making it uniquely yours. Edit the color scheme, fonts, and layout to reflect your personal brand while keeping it professional.

Next, focus on the content. Tailor your cover letter to the specific job and company you’re applying for. Use the template as a guide, but ensure your personality and career achievements shine through. Highlight relevant experiences, skills, and why you are the ideal candidate for the role. The goal is to make a compelling case for why you’re a great fit, using clear, concise, and engaging language.

Finally, proofread your cover letter thoroughly. A well-designed cover letter can lose its effectiveness if it contains typos or grammatical errors. Consider getting a second pair of eyes to review it for errors and to provide feedback on the overall flow and impact of your letter.

By carefully selecting and customizing your Word cover letter template and focusing on writing your cover letter , you can create a unique cover letter in Word that not only complements your resume but also captures the attention of potential employers.

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  • Cover Letter

50 Microsoft Word Cover Letter Templates (Free Download!)

Welcome to our curated gallery of more than 50 free cover letter templates for Word. They’re all 100% free to download and edit. Each template was hand-picked by a career expert.

Tom Gerencer

You just hit the jackpot.

We searched far and wide to find the best free Word cover letter templates on Earth.

We stacked them in five categories to help you find your favourite quick.

Bonus: we added hints and tips on flawless cover letter writing.

Plus—

Free means these cover letter templates are 100% free to download and edit.

You don’t even have to sign up for a spam list.

In this article you’ll find:

  • Professional Cover Letter Templates for Word
  • Modern Cover Letter Templates for Word
  • Simple Cover Letter Templates for Word
  • Creative Cover Letter Templates for Word
  • Executive Cover Letter Templates for Word

Save hours of work and get a cover letter like this. Pick a template, fill it in. Quick and easy. Choose from 21 cover letter templates and download your cover letter now.

Create your cover letter now

cover letter template example

What users say about ResumeLab:

I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your cover letter.” Patrick I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work! Dylan My previous cover letter was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful! George

Do you also need to write a CV? Here you can find several free MS Word Cv Templates .

1. Free Professional Cover Letter Templates for Word

Professional cover letter templates for Word are essential when you have to look your best.

The samples below are universal. They fit any job title or organisation.

These professional cover letter templates are recommended for:

  • Accounting Cover Letter
  • Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
  • Consulting Cover Letter
  • Internship Cover Letter
  • IT Cover Letter
  • Nurse Cover Letter
  • Receptionist Cover Letter

Each of the links above will whisk you to a step-by-step guide. Click to see how to turn a cover letter template into a job-getting cover letter of your own.

Expert Hint: Writing a professional cover letter can be daunting. Luckily, we have a selection of cover letter writing guides for dozens of professions .

1. Blue Grey

free cover letter template word

The Blue Grey cover letter Word template is minimalist, with just a splash of blue. It includes a headshot, so they’ll remember it at interview time. Download it free here.

2. Clean B&W

free cover letter template word

This free cover letter template for Word adds a bold black info column around your all-important contact info. Download it free here.

3. Cosmopolitan Violet

free cover letter template word

This free cover letter template for Word has a bullet list for achievements, an eye-catching header, and a call-to-action paragraph. Download it free here.

Expert Hint: It can be tough to write a cover letter, even with free templates. Want to see how to write a cover letter in 10 minutes? See our cover letter writing guide .

4. Designer and Developer

free cover letter template word

This minimalist MS Word cover letter template gets your points across without a lot of distraction. The header spotlights your name and title. Download it free here.

5. Everest Orange

free cover letter template word

This cover letter template Word doc leads with a dark, sharp header, with hex icons for important contact info. Download it free here.

6. Mint Green

free cover letter template word

Want to keep it simple? To ditch the clutter, go with this cover letter template for Microsoft Word. Download it free here.

7. Penthouse Original

free cover letter template word

The Penthouse Original cover letter for Microsoft Word adds a professional flair to your application. It’s also universal enough for any kind of cover letter. Download it free here.

Expert Hint: All these letter templates are one-page only. Is that the right length? Your cover letter length should never be more than a single page, and usually half a page or less

>8. Premium Peach

free cover letter template word

Clean and spare, the Premium Peach Microsoft Office cover letter template keeps attention where it belongs—on your talents. Download it free here.

9. Professional Fresher

free cover letter template word

Blue highlights draw the eye in the Professional Fresher cover letter format for Word. The text section is short and to the point. Download it free here .

2. Free Modern Cover Letter Templates for Word

Modern office cover letters can’t just be stylish. They’ve got a job to do.

Consider—

The average CV gets 7 seconds of eye-time. That’s just enough to throw yours in the trash.

Your cover letter can stretch that time to 7 minutes—and get you in the interview.

That’s why our gallery of free cover letter templates for Word has been designed for easy reading.

These modern cover letter templates are recommended for:

  • Cover Letter for Internship
  • Marketing Cover Letter
  • Project Manager Cover Letter
  • Sales Cover Letter

Each guide listed above shows steps to turn a blank template into a job-getting cover letter.

Expert Hint: How can you format a cover letter? What about margins and fonts? What should you say in each paragraph? See our cover letter format guide .

1. Basic Modern

free cover letter template word

This modern free cover letter Word template reminds us of a geometric theorem. It’s eye-candy, sure, but it gets your points across fast too. Download it free here.

2. Blue Grey

free cover letter template word

Want to add a photo? Don’t put it on your CV. But—you can put one on your application with this free cover letter template for Word. Download it free here.

3. Bold Monogram

free cover letter template word

If you’re going for bold and beautiful, this spare, striking, free Microsoft Word cover letter template has you covered. Download it free here.

4. Corporate Purple

free cover letter template word

Looking for minimalist design, with all the right facts? Try this free cover letter Word template. Download it free here.

Expert Hint: Writing an entry-level cover letter ? You still need to show achievement. But you can get it from school or personal pursuits.

5. Dark and Light

free cover letter template word

Guaranteed to stand out in the pile, this modern free Microsoft cover letter template grabs the eye. Download it free here.

6. Majestic Original

free cover letter template word

Feeling cosmopolitan? This free cover letter for Word puts a big, bold cityscape in the header, just above your selling points. Download it free here.

7. Minimalist

free cover letter template word

Was this free cover letter template for Microsoft Word given the wrong name? Anything but minimalist, this one pops with shapes and colour. Download it free here.

Expert Hint: The perfect cover letter isn’t perfect without a great last paragraph. Not sure how? Knowing how to end a cover letter means writing a good call to action.

8. Modern Chronological

free cover letter template word

Looking to impress them with job-fitting accomplishments? Use this free cover letter format for Word. Download it free here.

9. Modern Initials

free cover letter template word

Make sure they remember you with this free Microsoft cover letter template. It comes with space for copious contact info, plus your big and bold initials at the top. Download it free here.

10. Stylish Teal

free cover letter template word

If teal’s your thing, this modern cover letter template for Word may be for you. Download it free here.

11. Visual Designer

free cover letter template word

This modern Microsoft cover letter puts all the right points between two classic grey bars. 

Expert Hint: Writer’s block? Most people get that. Don’t let it stop you. Knowing how to start a cover letter means finding your biggest selling point.

3. Free Simple Cover Letter Templates for Word

Why go with a simple cover letter template in Word?

If your job is all about simplicity, you’ll want an uncluttered letter.

The office cover letters below say, just the facts.

These simple cover letter templates are recommended for:

  • Engineering Cover Letter
  • Software Engineer Cover Letter

Each of the above guides will take you through the steps to turn your template into a job-magnet of a cover letter.

Expert Hint: Need to write a CV to go with your cover letter? See our CV writing guide . It’s got tips to ace every section of your CV.

free cover letter template word

Spare, with just a little colour, this free cover letter template Word doc includes bold headings to lead them through your message. Download it free here.

2. Classic Dark Blue

free cover letter template word

This classic free Word cover letter template puts your name in blue, then serves up your value proposition. Download it free here.

3. CV Cover Letter

free cover letter template word

Among the most basic free cover letter templates for Word we’ve found, this one adds a touch of bold to make your message pop. Download it free here.

4. Elegant Brick Red

free cover letter template word

This free Word cover letter template puts your name in red, then moves on to your lift speech. Download it free here.

Expert Hint: What should you put in a cover letter? It can’t be just a rehash of your CV. But it has to show your passion and a few startling accomplishments.

5. Manhattan Dark Blue

free cover letter template word

This spare and simple free cover letter template for Word has all the right paragraphs, with your name in blue up top. Download it free here.

6. Shades and Lines

free cover letter template word

This plain black and white free cover letter Word template is dressed-down to impress. It uses a respected layout while highlighting your contact info. Download it free here.

free cover letter template word

Here’s an attention-getting free Microsoft cover letter template with a blue-green bar bordering your message on the left. It’s built in the respected 3-paragraph layout. Download it free here.

8. Simple and Perfect

free cover letter template word

Another simple free cover letter template from Word, this one has all the right points, with a creative font to draw them to your name. Download it free here.

9. Simple Grey

free cover letter template word

Just black and white make this Microsoft Word cover letter template both simple and professional. Download it free here.

4. Free Creative Cover Letter Templates for Word

Want to show a little flair?

That can go over big for creative jobs or jobs in smaller companies.

Hiring managers read cover letters . If your chosen job needs creativity, one of these creative free cover letters for Word can show it.

Send your letter and CV directly to the hiring manager’s inbox if you can.

These creative cover letter templates are recommended for:

  • Graphic Design Cover Letter
  • Teacher Cover Letter

Each of the guides above will take you through the steps to turn a template into a job-getting cover letter.

Expert Hint: Wait—do you even need a cover letter ? Well, almost half of all employers will skip CVs that don’t have letters.

1. Blue Sky

free cover letter template word

Air out your skills with the blue sky cover letter template for Microsoft Word. It puts your contact info in a dark blue bar, then adds your photo on the right. Download it free here.

2. Blue Spheres

free cover letter template word

If straight lines aren’t your thing, consider the Blue Spheres cover letter format for Word. It puts your photo amid colourful accents that frame your message. Download it free here.

free cover letter template word

The Columns Microsoft cover letter template reads like a web-page wireframe. The boxes make it easy for the hiring manager to find everything she needs. Download it free here.

4. Contemporary

free cover letter template word

The purple sidebar in this cover letter for Microsoft Word lets you add a personal motto above your contact info. Your name and text fill the negative space to the right. Download it free here.

Expert Hint: The address on a cover letter matters. Plus, don’t say “Mrs.” or “Miss,” when “Ms.” will do. Plus, a simple, “Dear,” works fine, with the hiring manager’s name if you can find it.

5. Contemporary Photo

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This wow-getting free Microsoft Office cover letter template uses geometry and colour to put key facts in the spotlight. The message is trim and clean, to keep them focused on your CV. Download it free here.

6. Creative

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Creative and simple, this Microsoft cover letter packs in a short message with your vital contact info. The rest is left to easy-breathing white space. Download it free here.

Double your impact with a matching CV and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

create your cover letter now

CREATE YOUR COVER LETTER NOW

Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here .

7. Crisp and Clean

free cover letter template word

Here’s a cover letter template for MS Word for free with a single yellow square to draw the eye. Your text floats in the white space below. Download it free here.

8. Green Cube

free cover letter template word

This creative free cover letter template for Word uses shades of green to show your selling points. Your name is the most prominent feature of this letter. Download it free here.

9. Headshot

free cover letter template word

If blue and orange are your favourite colours, try this free cover letter template Word doc. It leaves space for a short, punchy message in between its coloured accents. Download it free here.

Expert Hint: More applicants send email cover letters today. With email, short and sweet is the key rule. You don’t need to attach a PDF cover letter with an email letter.

10. Organic Shapes

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Evocative of clouds and mountains, the shapes in this free Word cover letter template frame your headshot and contact info. Add bullets to show key skills. Download it free here.

free cover letter template word

This creative free Microsoft Word cover letter template features a headshot, a sidebar with contact info, and the classic 3-paragraph layout. Download it free here.

12. Pink Floral

free cover letter template word

The hiring team won’t misplace this free cover letter template for Word. Its natural theme stands out amid the pile of other letters on the manager’s desktop. Download it free here.

13. Rose Suite

free cover letter template word

If you like shades of rose, give this cover letter Word template a try. It stacks your first and last names, putting contact info in a block of white space beneath your headshot. Download it free here.

14. Sticky Note

free cover letter template word

Reminiscent of a Post-It note, this Microsoft cover letter template adds four bullet points to the classic 3-paragraph format. Download it free here.

5. Free Executive Cover Letter Templates for Word

C-Suite recruitment documents need one thing: professionalism.

They don’t need softness, quirks, or graphics.

That’s why the executive Microsoft cover letter templates below are all about the spare experience.

These executive cover letter templates are recommended for:

  • C-Suite Cover Letter
  • Executive Assistant Cover Letter

Each of the above guides will help you turn your chosen template into a living document. Just follow the simple steps.

1. Art Executive

free cover letter template word

The cover letter template for Microsoft Word above makes creative use of shape and colour. It keeps your text professional and clean. Download it free here.

Expert Hint: Put your contact information first. Put job keywords in your cover letter. Most of all, don’t be boring.

2. Clean Gold

free cover letter template word

The gold bar atop this cover letter template for Word pulls them to your name. The text below sets you up for success. Download it free here.

3. Colour Block

free cover letter template word

Looking for a little creativity in your Microsoft cover letter templates? The cross-matched colours in the header of this colour-block layout let your passion show. Download it free here.

4. Executive

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Your name is clear in massive block text with a businesslike thin border in this cover letter for Microsoft Word. The bullets let you show your C-Suite chops. Download it free here.

5. Executive Blue

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This executive cover letter for Word uses black and blue for a high-end feel. Your name stands out as the only red font on the page. Download it free here.

6. Executive Dark

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This Microsoft Office cover letter template keeps it simple, with plain text and a creative shape above your name. Download it free here.

free cover letter template word

This corporate cover letter template for Word for free blazes with professionalism. It boasts simple shapes and a two-tone colour scheme. Download it free here.

8. Unique Orange

free cover letter template word

Here’s a spare executive cover letter template for Word with one small circle and the rest left businesslike. Download it free here.

With ResumeLab’s CV builder you’ll write your CV in a flash. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Improve your CV in our CV builder now .

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Nail it all with a splash of colour, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Just pick one of 18 CV templates and get started now .

Do you have questions about using these free Word cover letter templates? Did we miss a free Word cover letter template you love? We’re always glad to hear from you! Give us a shout in the comments below .

About ResumeLab’s Editorial Approach

At ResumeLab, excellence lies at the heart of our values, underpinning our promise to provide outstanding career resources. Our team of career experts meticulously assesses each article in line with our editorial guidelines , guaranteeing our content's high quality and dependability. We consistently engage in original research, illuminating the nuances of the job market and earning acclaim from various influential news outlets. Our commitment to delivering professional career advice draws millions of readers to our blog annually.

Tom Gerencer

Having published over 200 career-advice articles, Tom Gerencer is a career expert who covers the whole array of job-seeking topics for people at all career stages, from interns to C-suite members. His insights, commentary, and articles reach over a million readers every month. With inside knowledge of key industry players and in-depth research, Tom helps job seekers with advice across all professions and career stages.

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Resume Companion

Home Cover Letter Templates Basic Cover Letter Templates

Basic Cover Letter Templates: Free Word Download

cover letter sample docx

Are you seeking a hassle-free cover letter to win over a wavering hiring manager? Our basic cover letter templates were crafted to boost your chances of landing an interview with their high-quality and impactful designs. The good news? They’re all completely free .

Pick your favorite template, download it for free in Microsoft Word format, and insert your information. Then, you’ll soon be ready to send out your application (if you’ve already paired your cover letter with a matching resume template , that is).

See also > Professional Cover Letter Template Library

Table of Contents

  • Simple Cover Letter Template
  • Targeted Cover Letter Template
  • Stand-Out Cover Letter Template
  • Elegant Cover Letter Template
  • Quick Cover Letter Template
  • Traditional Cover Letter Template
  • Beginner Cover Letter Template
  • Minimalist Cover Letter Template

1. The ‘Simple’ Cover Letter Template

Why it’s called the simple, and who should use it.

As its name implies, this cover letter template is simple. But don’t be deceived by the name: it’s also effective , since it quickly allows you to present the clear facts about your experience and abilities to a hiring manager.

A splash of color is used to make your name stand out so that anyone lucky enough to receive your application will remember it.

Top = .62"Font = Calibri
Bottom = .24"Name Size = 24pt
Right = .59"Header Size = 11pt
Left = .59"Text Size = 11pt

Simple Black and White

Black and White Simple Cover Letter Template

Simple Forest Green

Forest Green Simple Cover Letter Template

Simple Aquatic Blue

Aquatic Blue Simple Cover Letter Template

Simple Ruby Red

Ruby Red Simple Cover Letter Template

Simple Amethyst Purple

Amethyst Purple Simple Cover Letter Template

Download the Simple Template Pack

2. The ‘Targeted’ Cover Letter Template

Why it’s called the targeted, and who should use it.

Have your eye on that coveted management position? Applying to a well-established company? The Targeted cover letter template is tailor-made for you. Classic and confident, this template is expertly designed to help you nail down that position you’ve been after — all with an air of style and class.

Top = .62"Font = Arial
Bottom = .24"Name Size = 18pt
Right = .59"Header Size = 11pt
Left = .59"Text Size = 11.5pt

Targeted Black and White

Black and White Targeted Cover Letter Template

Targeted Forest Green

Forest Green Targeted Cover Letter Template

Targeted Aquatic Blue

Aquatic Blue Targeted Cover Letter Template

Targeted Ruby Red

Ruby Red Targeted Cover Letter Template

Targeted Amethyst Purple

Amethyst Purple Targeted Cover Letter Template

Download the Targeted Template Pack

3. The ‘Stand-Out’ Cover Letter Template

Why it’s called the stand-out, and who should use it.

Hitting the perfect balance between subtle and confident, the Stand-Out cover letter template is ideal if you want to make your application noticeable while maintaining a strict degree of professionalism.

This template puts your name and contact information front-and-center, so it’s impossible for the hiring manager to miss.

Top = .68"Font = Calibri
Bottom = .59"Name Size = 20pt
Right = .59"Header Size = 10.5pt
Left = .59"Text Size = 12pt

Stand Out Black and White

Black and White Stand Out Cover Letter Template

Stand Out Forest Green

Forest Green Stand Out Cover Letter Template

Stand Out Aquatic Blue

Aquatic Blue Stand Out Cover Letter Template

Stand Out Ruby Red

Ruby Red Stand Out Cover Letter Template

Stand Out Amethyst Purple

Amethyst Purple Stand Out Cover Letter Template

Download the Stand Out Template Pack

4. The ‘Elegant’ Cover Letter Template

Why it’s called the elegant, and who should use it.

With clean lines and simple formatting, the Elegant cover letter template boasts the same level of professionalism as the rest of our Basic collection, but adds a subtle splash of color for a hint of individuality.

Top = .43"Font = Calibri
Bottom = .59"Name Size = 28pt
Right = .59"Header Size = 10pt
Left = .59"Text Size = 12pt

Elegant Green

Green Elegant Cover Letter Template

Elegant Sky Blue

Blue Elegant Cover Letter Template

Elegant Coral Red

Coral Red Elegant Cover Letter Template

Elegant Lilac

Lilac Elegant Cover Letter Template

Elegant Gray

Gray Elegant Cover Letter Template

Download the Elegant Template Pack

5. The ‘Quick’ Cover Letter Template

Why it’s called the quick, and who should use it.

As its name suggests, the Quick cover letter template was designed to get straight to the point. A minimalist header and simple formatting will draw the hiring manager’s eyes directly to where you want it: your qualifications.

Top = .68"Font = Tahoma
Bottom = .24"Name Size = 22pt
Right = .59"Header Size = 11pt
Left = .59"Bullet Point Size = 12pt

Quick Black and White

Black and White Quick Cover Letter Template

Quick Forest Green

Forest Green Quick Cover Letter Template

Quick Aquatic Blue

Aquatic Blue Quick Cover Letter Template

Quick Ruby Red

Ruby Red Quick Cover Letter Template

Quick Amethyst Purple

Amethyst Purple Quick Cover Letter Template

Download the Quick Template Pack

6. The ‘Traditional’ Cover Letter Template

Why it’s called the traditional, and who should use it.

As they say, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. The Traditional cover letter template is a timeless staple for any job seeker.

Professional, simple, and clean, you can’t go wrong with this tried-and-true design.

Top = .5"Font = Calibri
Bottom = .59"Name Size = 20pt
Right = .59"Header Size = 10.5pt
Left = .59"Text Size = 11pt

Traditional Black and White

Black and White Traditional Cover Letter Template

Traditional Forest Green

Forest Green Traditional Cover Letter Template

Traditional Aquatic Blue

Aquatic Blue Traditional Cover Letter Template

Traditional Ruby Red

Ruby Red Traditional Cover Letter Template

Traditional Amethyst Purple

Amethyst Purple Traditional Cover Letter Template

Download the Traditional Template Pack

7. The ‘Beginner’ Cover Letter Template

Why it’s called the beginner, and who should use it.

The name says it all: the Beginner cover letter is perfect for anyone trying to get their foot in the door in a new industry (or even at their first job).

With clean lines and a pop of color in the header, this template is guaranteed to catch the hiring manager’s attention and draw them into the content of your cover letter.

Beginner Green

Green Beginner Cover Letter Template

Beginner Sky Blue

Sky Blue Beginner Cover Letter Template

Beginner Coral Red

Coral Red Beginner Cover Letter Template

Beginner Lilac

Lilac Beginner Cover Letter Template

Beginner Gray

Gray Beginner Cover Letter Template

Download the Beginner Template Pack

8. The ‘Minimalist’ Cover Letter Template

Why it’s called the minimalist, and who should use it.

Understated and space-efficient, the Minimalist cover letter template will help get you hired. This template is designed for anyone looking to give their application a direct, no-nonsense feel.

Top = .68"Font = Tahoma
Bottom = .24"Name Size = 20pt
Right = .59"Header Size = 11pt
Left = .59"Text Size = 12pt

Minimalist Black and White

Black and White Minimalist Cover Letter Template

Minimalist Forest Green

Forest Green Minimalist Cover Letter Template

Minimalist Aquatic Blue

Aquatic Blue Minimalist Cover Letter Template

Minimalist Ruby Red

Ruby Red Minimalist Cover Letter Template

Minimalist Amethyst Purple

Amethyst Purple Minimalist Cover Letter Template

Download the Minimalist Template Pack

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18 Free Cover Letter Templates That Will Actually Get You Interviews

Simple Cover Letter

Simple Cover Letter

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Creative Cover Letter

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Jobscan’s cover letter templates are clean and professional . We intentionally avoided using flashy colors and design elements when creating them. Why?

Because most companies nowadays use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes and cover letters. These systems can struggle to read and interpret visually complex documents.

This means your beautifully designed, eye-catching cover letter might remain stuck in an ATS database, never to be seen by an actual human being.

By using one of our simple, easy-to-read templates, you’ll significantly improve the chances that your cover letter will successfully pass through an ATS and into the hands of a hiring manager.

It’s super easy to get started too! Simply click the download button to get your hands on a Word document that you can customize to fit your unique situation.

When you’re done writing your cover letter, run it through Jobscan’s ATS-friendly cover letter checker to get personalized feedback on how to improve your letter and make it even more compelling to employers.

White resume on big screen

Basic Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Formal Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Career Change Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Operations Manager Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Pharmacy Technician Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Project Management Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Prospecting Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Engineer Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Supervisor Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Human Resources Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Intern Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Marketing Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Networking Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Communications Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

Changing Careers Cover Letter

Original resume on big screen

What is a cover letter?

It’s a letter of introduction that you send along with your resume when you apply for a job.

The key thing to remember about your cover letter is that it shouldn’t simply regurgitate your resume. Instead, it should support it.

Your cover letter can do this by:

  • Explaining why you’re excited about the job opportunity.
  • Showing how your skills and experience match the job requirements.
  • Addressing any gaps in your work history.
  • Showing off your personality (but not too much!).

By highlighting your strengths and showing your passion for the role and the company, your cover letter can make a strong case for why you deserve an interview.

NOTE : Get inspired by our expertly crafted cover letter examples and learn what makes each one shine. Our examples cover a wide range of jobs, industries, and situations, providing the guidance you need to create a winning cover letter.

Are cover letters necessary in 2023?

While some companies may not require one, a cover letter can still set you apart from other applicants and increase your chances of landing an interview.

In one survey , 83 percent of hiring managers said cover letters played an important role in their hiring decision.

In fact, most of the respondents in that survey claimed that a great cover letter might get you an interview even if your resume isn’t strong enough.

So don’t skip the cover letter ! When done correctly, it can be a powerful tool in your job search toolkit.

Why should you use a cover letter template?

Here are the 5 main reasons why you should use a cover letter template .

  • It saves you time by creating personalized letters quickly and easily.
  • It provides a framework or structure for your cover letter.
  • It ensures that all the necessary information is included.
  • It makes it easy to customize your cover letters for multiple applications.
  • It helps you create a professional and polished cover letter without starting from scratch.

A template helps you streamline the cover letter writing process. This means you can devote more time and energy to other important aspects of your job search, such as networking and researching potential employers.

Generate a personalized cover letter in as little as 5 seconds

Our AI-powered cover letter generator uses GPT-4 technology to create a personalized and ATS-friendly cover letter in one click.

Computer with resume

What should you include in your cover letter?

Every cover letter format should include the following information:

Contact information : Your name, address, phone number, and email address should be at the top of the letter.

Greetings : Address the letter to the hiring manager or the person who will be reviewing your application.

Opening paragraph : State the position you’re applying for and explain how you found out about the job. You can also briefly mention why you’re interested in the position and the company.

Body paragraphs : Use one or two paragraphs to highlight your relevant skills, experience, and qualifications that match the job requirements. Provide specific examples of your accomplishments and how they show off your abilities.

Closing paragraph : Repeat your interest in the position and thank the hiring manager for considering your application. You can also include a sentence or two about why you believe you’d be a good fit for the company culture.

Closing : Conclude your cover letter with a professional sign-off, such as “Best regards,” or “Sincerely”.

Do you need a unique cover letter for every job?

Absolutely! Do NOT use the exact same cover letter and simply change the name of the company and the position.

Instead, tailor each cover letter to the position you’re applying for.

You can do this by highlighting how your skills and experience match the specific requirements and responsibilities of the position.

It’s crucial to include the keywords that are in the job posting.

Why? Because your application will most likely go straight into an ATS database. Hiring managers search through this database for suitable job candidates by typing keywords into the search bar.

If your cover letter includes these keywords , it will be seen by the hiring manager. If it doesn’t include these keywords, your cover letter will remain in the database.

Not sure if your cover letter is ATS-friendly? Try running it through Jobscan’s cover letter checker .

This easy-to-use tool analyzes your cover letter and compares it to the job listing. It then identifies the key skills and qualifications that you should focus on in your letter.

How to write a cover letter if you have no work experience

If you don’t have much work experience, writing a strong cover letter can be challenging. But you can still do it!

Here are some tips to help you out:

Hook the reader right away . Introduce yourself and explain why you are interested in the position. If possible, mention a specific aspect of the company or role that especially appeals to you.

Highlight your relevant skills and experience . Focus on the skills you’ve gained through school projects, internships, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities. Be sure to provide specific examples .

Showcase your enthusiasm and willingness to learn . Employers look for candidates who are eager to learn and grow. Use your cover letter to convey your enthusiasm for the role and your willingness to take on new challenges.

Close with a strong call to action . End your cover letter by requesting an interview or expressing your interest in discussing the position further.

Proofread your cover letter carefully and customize it for each position you apply for.

Cover letter do’s and don’ts

  • Use a generic greeting, such as “ To Whom It May Concern .”
  • Use a one-size-fits-all cover letter for all your job applications.
  • Simply repeat your resume in your cover letter.
  • Use overly casual or informal language.
  • Write a long and rambling cover letter.
  • Use jargon or technical terms that the hiring manager may not understand.
  • Include irrelevant information or details.
  • Send a cover letter with spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Address the letter to a specific person or hiring manager, if possible.
  • Include your contact information at the top of the document.
  • Tailor your letter to the company and position you’re applying for.
  • Use keywords from the job description.
  • Highlight your relevant skills and experiences.
  • Use specific, measurable results to demonstrate your abilities.
  • Try to inject some of your personality into the cover letter.
  • Proofread your letter carefully for errors.
  • Run your cover letter through Jobscan’s cover letter checker .

Q: How long should a cover letter be?

Most cover letters are too long. The ideal length is around 250-400 words. Hiring managers probably won’t read anything longer.

Q: Should I use a PDF or a Word cover letter template?

Either one should be fine. Some older ATS might not accept PDFs, but this is rare these days. Always check the job listing. If it says to submit a Word resume, then do that. Otherwise, a PDF resume works just as well.

Q: Can I email my cover letter instead of sending a cover letter?

Yes, you can email your cover letter instead of sending a physical copy through the mail. In fact, many employers now prefer to receive cover letters and resumes via email or through an online application system.

Explore more cover letter resources

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Cover Letter Formats

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Cover Letter Writing Guide

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20 Free Cover Letter Templates For Microsoft Word Docx And Google Docs

Home » Download Free Templates

A cover letter, job letter, or application letter goes along with a résumé explaining why it’s being sent or why they should hire you. Resume is like the ‘Technical’ information about you, whereas a cover letter is the ‘Introduction’. Like all presentations, keep the letter short and simple.

See More ➤ 45 Free Modern Resume / CV Templates – Minimalist, Simple & Clean Design

What to include in a cover letter? Keep the letter between one to three paragraphs in length. Let the employer know what position you are applying for, what interests you about it, why you would be an ideal candidate, and how you will follow-up. Mention a few of your key strengths as supporting details. Also thank the employer for considering you for the position. Here are 5 Steps to an Incredible Cover Letter.

As usual, have someone read your rough draft and give you feedback on its effectiveness, grammar and spelling. Write the final version and print it. Make sure and hand sign the letter in ink before sending it.

1. Download Microsoft Word Docx

Support your resume with a professional cover letter. This accessible template features clean modern design. Use as is or easily customize to suit your needs and tastes.

Screenshot of free cover letter templates in Microsoft Word Docx

2. Download Microsoft Word Docx

Accompany your resume or CV with an impressive cover letter. This template showcases your experience and talent with style. Easily customize fonts and colors or use as is. Either way it makes a statement.

Screenshot of free cover letter templates in Microsoft Word Docx

3. Download Microsoft Word Docx

Screenshot of free cover letter templates in Microsoft Word Docx

4. Download Microsoft Word Docx

This is an accessible, easy to create, and great looking cover letter to accompany a resume or CV.

Screenshot of free cover letter templates in Microsoft Word Docx

5. Download Microsoft Word Docx

Accompany your resume or CV with an impressive cover letter. Includes a space for your photo. This accessible template showcases your experience and talent with style. Easily customize fonts and colors or use as is. Either way it makes a statement.

Screenshot of free cover letter templates in Microsoft Word Docx

6. Download Microsoft Word Docx

Screenshot of free cover letter templates in Microsoft Word Docx

7. Download Microsoft Word Docx

Accompany your resume or CV with an impressive cover letter. Includes a space for your photo. This accessible template showcases your experience and talent with style. Easily customize fonts and colors, or use as is. Either way it makes a statement.

Screenshot of free cover letter templates in Microsoft Word Docx

8. Download Microsoft Word Docx

Created in partnership with digital print and design company, MOO, this accessible template was made for jobseekers wanting to showcase their creativity and design eye. Remember, this template is customizable to your needs! Accompany your resume or CV in style.

Screenshot of free cover letter templates in Microsoft Word Docx

9. Google Docs

Screenshot of free cover letter template in Google Docs

10. Google Docs

Screenshot of free cover letter template in Google Docs

11. Google Docs

Screenshot of free cover letter template in Google Docs

12. Google Docs

Screenshot of free cover letter template in Google Docs

13. Google Docs

Screenshot of free cover letter template in Google Docs

14. Download Harvard Cover Letter

via gdoc.io | Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint, MacOS Keynote

Maximize your chances of getting into your coveted university with their Harvard Cover Letter Free Google Docs Template. With a well-structured and organized format, this template gives you the opportunity to effectively introduce yourself to potential employers.

Harvard Cover Letter

15. Download Professional Cover Letter

Professional Cover Letter

16. Download Nursing Cover Letter

Nursing Cover Letter

17. Download Job Application Cover Letter

Job Application Cover Letter

18. Download Teacher Cover Letter

Teacher Cover Letter

19. Download Cover Letter

Cover Letter

20. Download Job Cover Letter

Job Cover Letter

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I think the most valuable tip here is “Keep the letter between one to three paragraphs in length”, I can’t agree more. Making your cover letter longer may just penalize you. I had a difficult time at first trying to squeeze my document to the correct length for the IT role I applied for but I found some great resources online that helped me figuring out how to write it correctly.

Hello my name is kenny Adams, have a warm gretting from me to you and letting you know that all of these templates are cool, they a flow, very well estructured and articulated. congratulations on these templates. thanks i´m enjoying them so much doing a lot of cover letter and resumes with all these samples. thank you

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I was in desperate need for a cover letter template and this was ideal for a template that fitted my needs. Thank you so much.

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7 Essential Tips on How to Format a Cover Letter

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7 Essential Tips on How to Format a Cover Letter was originally published on Resume.io .

cover letter sample docx

When you come to writing one of the most important letters in your life, you may need a few ground rules to help you to get started with the format of your cover letter.

That blank page can look awfully daunting otherwise.

Here are some must-follow tips around the structure and content of your cover letter:

Well-designed header

The header section of the cover letter should be attractive and space efficient. Graduates might be tempted to select a header design that reduces the amount of space that they need to fill for their cover letter, but you will have more to say than you think.

The header should contain all essential contact details (in addition to those on your resume) – full name, email, and mobile. You don’t have to include your full address and you definitely don’t have to include the “inside address” of your employer.

Mouthwatering intro

The intro of a recent grad or early career cover letter should be far more than a “this is what I want out of my career.” The hiring manager understands that you want the job – applicants need to prove to them that they are worthy of it. Make a compelling case.

The cover letter introduction should lead with your most relevant accomplishment for the role in question, with a hint of personality around how you achieved it. Avoid a generic cover letter that you send to everyone – you might not have much experience, but you should still strive to be as selective as possible.

Only relevant career stories with context

The length and content of your cover letter should be dictated by the amount of relevant experience that you have to share. Do not feel that you need to fill a page by parroting the responsibilities of the role or long lists of skills and personality traits without evidence.

Empty space is better than empty words – employers will value quality over quantity for the early career professional. What they want to understand in the cover letter is that you understand the demands of the role and can justify why you think you will do a good job.

Conclusion with call-to-action

End the conclusion of the early-career cover letter with a final detail about your personality and motivation and share your interest in learning more about the role. Saying that you hope to have the opportunity of an interview to learn more about the role is a powerful call-to-action which demonstrates your belief in yourself. Remember to keep the tone hopeful.

After the raw content come the syntax and visual choices:

Powerful action verbs

When you only have a certain number of sentences to create a favorable impression, your choice of verb can have a surprising impact on how your messages are received. Insightful action verbs can add a new level of meaning. Did you “manage” or “orchestrate” a project?

A word of warning: sprinkle action verbs and other buzzwords liberally. The cover letter should read like a conversation starter, so ensure that it sounds natural enough.

Impactful fonts, sensible sizes, and shot paragraphs

Increasingly the font size to take up more space on the page will fool no one. Stick with a standard 10 or 12 size and choose a suitable professional font that is easy to read.

Use short 2-4-line non-indented paragraphs and leave a line between each one. Give the reader a natural break between each of your career stories and consider using bullet points for your greatest accomplishments (the ones that you can ideally quantify with numbers). The cover letter should be strictly no more than one page – ideally aim for 3/4 of a page.

Right choice of template

Finally, very few cover letters or resumes are send as a blank word document these days. There are a wide choice of resume and cover letter templates – it is a great idea to use the same visual look for both your cover letter and resume. When a hiring manager is viewing a large number of candidates, this association will stick in their minds.

There is a subtle art to writing a persuasive cover letter when you do not have experience.

Strike a balance between outlining hopes for the future and sharing the greatest hits from your past. Your future employer will want to understand both.

If you are curious to explore further (you should be), the following article from Resume.io provides substantial further food for thought: “ How to Format a Cover Letter in 2022: Examples and Tips ”

How To Write a Sample Email to Send a Resume to a Recruiter

Sarah Colley

3 key takeaways

  • The best way to write an effective job application email to a recruiter is to get straight to the point.
  • Lead with the outcomes you’ve achieved and how you align with the role in an application email.
  • Teal’s Job Application Tracker includes email templates for every stage of your job search.

HR professionals and recruiters don’t actually like sorting through resumes. They can see hundreds in a single day, even if they’re using an ATS.

To get through them, they’ve created procedures to prioritize the best-fit candidates. 

That’s why, if you’re going to email your resume directly to a recruiter, that email has to catch their eye. It has to be appealing enough to get them to willingly review yet another resume.

In this article, you’ll learn how to craft the perfect sample resume to send to a recruiter. You can also speed up the process and keep track of the jobs you’ve already applied for using Teal’s Job Tracker and Email Templates .

Struggling to land interviews with your resume? Get started with Teal’s AI Resume Builder for free.

How to write an email with your resume to a recruiter

In most cases, if you’re sending your resume to a recruiter it’s because:

  • They’ve reached out to you, either on LinkedIn or through email, to express interest in your background and your fit for the role. 
  • They list their email in the job posting, asking for resumes in their inbox rather than in an application.
  • You’ve discussed work with someone on social media, in-person, or another medium and they’ve asked you to send your resume.

In the first case, recruiters are sending out dozens of canned messages to all candidates within their database, or within a LinkedIn search. They often have a list of criteria they’re using to run this search, and you just happen to fit within that data set.

They know the more emails they send out, the more likely they are to get a response and, hopefully, find the right candidate within those responses. 

In both the first and second scenarios, recruiters are seeing a lot of emails from a lot of people. That is why you shouldn’t send your resume to a recruiter until you are sure it’s a decent match for your skills, work history, and interests for your next role.

Learn as much about the role as you can first. When you feel secure enough to send your resume, you can send it with confidence.

Once you’re ready, here’s how to email a resume to a recruiter:

Step 1: The subject line for a resume email

Your subject line is your first impression, and if it’s too generic, it’ll be completely ignored. An anonymous recruiter on a hiring forum made this clear, stating: 

“As someone who has seen a ton of these, I 100 percent do not suggest something generic. It's quite obvious from some people that they sent the same email to several people. These emails get ignored 90 percent of the time unless the hiring manager is desperate. As for the title, I suggest [you] to be very clear in what you are looking for, even if it's a little long. Example: "Expression of interest for XX-0X Position - [group name, ex: Policy Division] - Seeking Deployment Opportunity."

That’s why your email subject line needs to be a clear indicator of these few things:

  • Who you are (name)
  • The role you’re applying for
  • Your qualifications, if applicable (MBA, CP, Ph.D…)

Email subject lines are rather short, even on a desktop (60 characters at most), but they’re even shorter in mobile inboxes. 

You need to be clear not only about why you’re reaching out, but also put the most important words at the beginning to ensure they’re seen. 

Sample subject line in an email to send to a recruiter

If you’re referred to by someone, that’s what you should include first. The subject line, in that case, might look something like this:

sample email to send resume to recruiter

If you weren’t referred, here are a few other examples of email subject lines to a recruiter:

  • Notice of Interest - [Job title you seek]
  • Applying for [Position] – [Name] Resume
  • “[Job title][Your name],[Your qualification or job title]

Step 2: Greeting

Keep your greeting simple and professional with a “Hello” or “Dear” followed by their first name. 

Just be sure to spell it correctly. They won’t take kindly to being called something other than their name, especially when you can generally just look at their email to ensure correct spelling. Check their LinkedIn profile if you are unsure.

Step 3: Introduction

The introduction of your email is the first line after your greeting, and it’s really more of a courtesy than anything else.

You don’t need to draw it out. One or two sentences explaining why you’re reaching out and how you found out about the opportunity is adequate, especially if you were referred to the role. If you were, be sure to name drop.

If you really want to stand out from the standard email though, get straight to your message and express your enthusiasm for the position with something that stands out. 

Sample intro in an email to send to a recruiter

Sample email to send resume to recruiter with intro

Step 4: Qualifications and value proposition in your email body

Don’t just list your qualifications in your email as if it’s a resume. Instead, share the biggest highlights of your career in a conversational tone.

The best way to do this is to think through the outcomes you’ve produced in your position. If the role you’re applying for, or the roles you’ve had in the past, are not outcome based, consider how your work contributed to business goals. 

Maybe you’ve led a team that completed a detrimental project for the company. Maybe you’ve saved the company money somehow or increased the efficiency of an internal process. 

If former or current employers have benefited from your work in any way, share that. Then, of course, also share any certifications or earned titles, such as Ph.D.

Sample qualifications in an email to send to a recruiter

sample email to send to a recruiter or hiring manager

This works because it’s straightforward. Instead of oversharing, it dives right into the  results of past work. It wastes no time delivering the essential details that’ll help the recruiter make a decision.

Pro tip: Teal’s Job Tracker includes job application email templates tailored to your resume and cover letter.

Step 5: Call to Action

Point the reader in the direction you want them to take with confidence. Don’t leave it open-ended. 

For example, “please let me know if I’m a good fit” is too passive.

Instead, you want to be more assertive to earn the hiring manager's attention, urging them into action without coming across as entitled or pushy.

Sample call to action in an email to send to a recruiter

“Please see my resume attached to the link in my portfolio [URL] to check my samples and testimonials. My resume is also attached to this email. If I look like a fit, I'd love the opportunity to speak with you further on how I can apply my skills to [outcome] for [Company]. I'm available all Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Would you be up for a chat?”

Step 6: Best resume email closings and sign-offs

After asking for a meeting or closing with another call to action, thank the recruiter for their time and consideration. 

Sign off your email with a professional closing, such as "Best regards," "Sincerely," or "Thank you."

Include your full name, contact information, and any relevant links (such as your LinkedIn profile) in your email signature.

There are a few websites that make it easy to create a professional email signature . 

Sample signature in an email to send to a recruiter

sample email signature

You simply have to go into your email settings, to your signature, and paste your professional email signature there. From then on, every email you create will automatically include your signature. 

Step 7: Attaching your resume to a recruiter email

A lot of job applicants question whether or not they should email their resume as a word doc or a PDF file . 

A PDF has long been thought of as the clean and professional standard. They also have the advantage of maintaining your formatting, so recruiters will always see your resume as intended. 

But recently Word docs have been making a come back due to fears that ATS software isn’t able to read PDFs. 

However, as long as the text in the PDF isn't rasterized or cluttered with images and icons, an ATS should be able to read it. 

Annette Marie, a job seeker, shared this word of caution about using PDF resumes for job applications:

“The entire top portion of my PDF resume did not appear in the finished ATS scan, but everything appeared when I scanned my Word document (.docx). However, it’s worth mentioning that the top portion of my resume is within a text box, which may explain the issue. Just be cautious with shapes and objects, as they don’t seem to be compatible when using a PDF format. Nonetheless, the PDF still presents well for in-person interviews.”

Recruiters may sometimes favor Word doc resumes due to their ability to make changes, either to the formatting, or to remove certain items that might lead to unconscious bias (such as a picture).

Some recruiters might also need to remove contact information in order to protect your details and keep their clients from contacting you directly. 

But you’d have to be willing to have a recruiter alter your resume, potentially without consulting you. 

Unless they’re a career coach, a trusted friend, or a resume writing service, no one should be editing your resume. 

Step 8: Follow up on your recruiter email

There are several ways to follow up on a job application email, because, no, you don’t necessarily have to follow up via email.

  • Email: It’s rare for recruiters to get through all of their emails in one sitting, so it might take a few days to get to yours. But, if you haven’t heard back in a couple of days, it’s safe to send an email reasserting your interest in the position.

Aside from re-expressing your interest, you might also want to ask when you’ll be able to connect with a hiring manager. You can also reattach your resume and cover letter. 

Sample follow up job application email template

Subject line: [Your Name] - Job Application Follow-up for [Position] at [Company] Hello [Hiring Manager's Name], A few weeks ago, I applied for the [Position Title with Hyperlink to the Application] role at [Company Name]. I'm very excited about this opportunity, so I wanted to reach out, introduce myself, and see if you have any details from the hiring manger about the decision timeline. I'm a [Your Current Job Title] at [Your Current Company Name] who's [insert relevant qualifications and/or accomplishments] over the last [X] years. In particular, I'm interested in [Company Name] because [mention specific reasons why you're interested and why you’re a good fit]. Please let me know if you have any questions about my application or require further information from me. I look forward to hearing from you soon and learning more about the timeline. I can't wait to share some of my ideas on [insert challenge or goal related to your desired new job title]. [Best/Kind regards/Thank you], [Your Name] [Your Phone Number] [Your LinkedIn]
  • Phone: Resort to a phone call only after you haven’t heard back on your follow-up email. 
  • LinkedIn: Try to avoid reaching out to a recruiter on LinkedIn unless that was their initial method of contacting you. The reason? It’s far more informal and some recruiters only use their LinkedIn for personal use, or may not check it regularly. 

Here’s a simple follow-up LinkedIn message template : 

Dear [Contact Name], I recently submitted my application for the [Position] at [Company], and I wanted to follow up to express my continued interest in the opportunity and inquire about the status of my application. I am excited about the possibility of joining the team at [Company], and I believe my skills and experience make me a strong fit for the [Position]. I am confident that my [mention of relevant skills, qualifications or experiences] would contribute to the success of the team and the company. If there are any additional materials or information I can provide to support my application, please let me know. I am eager to further discuss my qualifications and how I can contribute to the success of [Company]. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Best regards, [Your Name] [Your Phone Number]

Note: Within Teal’s Job Application Tracker, you’ll find job application email templates to get your started in crafting a personalized email to a recruiter.

Common mistakes to avoid when sending your resume via email

Most emails sent to a recruiter are canned—a template or exact copy of an email sent again and again with little to no alterations. And recruiters are sick of it. 

Jules Lalo, a recruiter , echoes this when with this statement:

“One of my pet peeves is a CV with no context [in the email] intro [so] I have to decipher what group level they are substantively. This has a huge impact on filtering later on.”

In other words, recruiters aren’t just asking for more details and personalization from you because they don’t like it. They simply need more details to help place you in a role or ensure you’re a right fit (and they want to be able to find your email later).

But a lack of context isn’t the only mistake many job seekers make when sending a job application email. Here are a few common mistakes recruiters see: 

Using an unprofessional email address

Elby James , a former HR associate and resume consultant, finds it shocking how often people send emails from unprofessional email addresses. 

“The email address should be a professional email address. I don't mind Gmail or AOL but really, how much does it cost to buy a domain name today? Especially when it is for something as important as your career.

I remember seeing email addresses such as [email protected] . [email protected] . [email protected] . ”

Spelling errors on your resume or in the email 

Spelling mistakes won’t be a make or break for all recruiters, but it can be a put off for many, especially in a short email. With tools like Grammarly available today, most recruiters don’t take kindly to spelling mistakes. 

Elby shares his thoughts on this as well:

“I abhor typos. Maybe this is the graduate English major inside of me acting out but really, there is no need for typos; there are two reasons I say this: The first reason is spell check… it’s free! The second reason is [that] a resume is an important document, you should check it as many times as possible.”

Try to avoid buzzwords

You might be keyword stuffing your resume to get into the candidate pool, but you shouldn’t apply that same logic to a recruiter email. And really, you should try to avoid overstuffing your resume as well. 

Recruiters will often use keyword stuffing as a mental filter. They’ll automatically toss any resume or email that overly-uses buzzwords.

They need to be able to tell what you do in the simplest of terms and with a quick glance. But if you’re using phrases like—“transformed big-thinking into actionable steps, aligning with business goals and channel objectives”—no one will understand you. 

Pro tip: Teal’s free Chrome Extension shares the top five keywords in a job posting for free, and Matching Mode helps you optimize your resume accordingly (meaning you only need to use the most important words).

Teal's free Chrome extension pulls the top keywords from every job posting

Lack of personalization

It doesn’t take a lot to personalize an email to a recruiter. 

You’ll keep most of the details the same, like your qualifications and your call to action. But you’ll alter the company’s name, the recruiter’s name, and details about how you found out about the role. 

You’ll also want to alter anything pertinent to the role itself, such as how your experience applies. This isn’t the same for every role, and it’s very easy to tell if you aren’t paying attention to those differences. 

Recruiters want to know exactly how you fit that role, without digging. 

Start with a sample email to send a resume to a recruiter

As you may have caught on, recruiters see hundreds of resumes. They’re unsurprised by most stylings or attempts to be unique. But they’re far more numb to the generic resume emails they see all day.

So while it’s important to add personalization, get straight to your point, and include only the most compelling details in your email, you still need an email template to get started.

While recruiters may see a lot of emails, there’s truth to the job search being a numbers game. The longer you spend on one email, the longer you might be searching for a role. You might even miss out on some opportunities because you’re spending too much time on emailing a recruiter that will spend only seconds determining whether or not to put you in a candidate pool.

Using a sample resume email for recruiters as a template, you can speed up the process while adding some personalization. 

To find simple, but effective job application email templates, try Teal’s Resume Builder. Teal’s Job Application Tracker includes email templates to send your email to recruiters and hiring managers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you write in an email when sending a resume to a recruiter.

When sending a resume to a recruiter, keep your email concise and professional. Start with a clear subject line, greet the recruiter by name, briefly introduce yourself, highlight key achievements, include a call to action, and close with a professional sign-off.

What should you write when sending a CV via email?

When sending a CV via email, include a personalized greeting, a short introduction stating why you’re reaching out, and a summary of your qualifications and accomplishments. Add a clear call to action, thank the recruiter for their time, and attach your CV in a preferred format.

What should you write in an email subject line when sending a resume?

Your email subject line should clearly indicate who you are, the role you’re applying for, and any relevant qualifications. Examples include "Notice of Interest - [Job Title]", "Applying for [Position] – [Your Name]", or "[Job Title] - [Your Name], [Qualification]".

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F. Federal Award Administration Information

Summary Overview of Key Information: Railroad Crossing Elimination Program (RCE)

Issuing AgencyFederal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation.Program OverviewThe purpose of the RCE Program is to fund highway-rail or pathway-rail grade crossing improvement projects that focus on improving the safety and mobility of people and goods.Eligible Applicants• A State (including the District of Columbia Puerto Rico, and other United States territories and possessions). • A political subdivision of a State. • A federally recognized Indian Tribe. • A unit of local government or a group of local governments. • A public port authority. • A metropolitan planning organization. • A group of entities included above.Eligible Project Types• Grade separation or closure, including through the use of a bridge, embankment, tunnel, or combination thereof. • Track relocation. • The improvement or installation of protective devices, signals, signs, or other measures to improve safety, provided that such activities are related to a separation or relocation project described above. • Other means to improve the safety and mobility of people and goods at highway-rail grade crossings (including technological solutions). • A group of related projects described above that would collectively improve the mobility of people and goods. • The planning, environmental studies, and final design for a project or group of projects described above.FundingThe total funding available for awards under this NOFO is up to $1,148,809,580.DeadlineDeadline: No later than 11:59 p.m. EST, September 23, 2024.

The RCE Program provides a federal funding opportunity to fund highway-rail or pathway-rail grade crossing improvement projects that focus on improving the safety and mobility of people and goods. Such projects will improve American rail infrastructure to enhance rail safety, improve the health and safety of communities, eliminate highway-rail and pathway-rail grade crossings that are frequently blocked by trains, and reduce the impacts that freight movement and railroad operations may have on underserved communities.

The purpose of this NOFO is to solicit applications for projects through the competitive RCE Program, which is authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Sec. 22104, Public Law 117-58 (November 15, 2021), and funded by the 2023 and 2024 advance appropriations in Title VIII of Division J of the IIJA. This NOFO describes funding available, application submission requirements, and the selection and evaluation criteria for projects under the RCE Program. The RCE Program requirements are codified at 49 U.S.C. 22909 .

This NOFO integrates FRA's Guidance on Development and Implementation of Railroad Capital Projects (Jan. 12, 2023, 88 FR 2163 ) (FRA's Capital Projects Guidance), which assists project sponsors in developing effective and complete capital projects by defining the project development process and describing implementation tools, processes, and documentation that may be required for a grant. FRA's Capital Projects Guidance can be found here: https://railroads.dot.gov/​elibrary/​fra-guidance-development-and-implementation-railroad-capital-project .

In December 2023, FRA updated its standard grant agreement terms and conditions. The new FRA grant agreement consists of three parts: Attachment 1: Standard Terms and Conditions, Attachment 2: Project-Specific Terms and Conditions, and Terms and Conditions Exhibits. The updated agreements are available at: https://railroads.dot.gov/​grants-loans/​fra-discretionary-grant-agreements .

DOT seeks to fund projects that advance the Administration Priorities of safety, equity, climate and sustainability, workforce development, job quality, and wealth creation as described in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Strategic Plan, [ 1 ] and in executive orders, which are described in section E.

Terms defined in this section are capitalized throughout this notice.

a. “Capital Project” means a project for acquiring, constructing, improving, or inspecting rail equipment, track and track structures, or a rail facility, including expenses incidental to the acquisition or construction including pre-construction activities (such as designing, engineering, location surveying, mapping, acquiring rights-of-way) and related relocation costs, [ 2 ] environmental studies, and all work necessary for FRA to consider the effects of the proposed project under the National Environmental Policy Act; Highway-Rail Grade Crossing improvements; communication and signalization improvements; and rehabilitating, remanufacturing, or overhauling rail rolling stock and rail facilities.

b. “Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation” means short-haul rail passenger transportation in metropolitan and suburban areas usually having reduced fare, multiple rides, and commuter tickets, and morning and evening peak period Start Printed Page 56790 operations, consistent with 49 U.S.C. 24102(3) ; the term does not include rapid transit operations in an urban area that are not connected to the general railroad system of transportation.

c. “Construction” means the Lifecycle Stage of a Capital Project during which the Capital Project is completely built, installed, and placed in use. Construction activities include, but are not limited to, physical construction and installation of the Capital Project, including testing of equipment, workforce training, and start-up testing. Construction activities occur after a project has completed Final Design. Construction is described in FRA's Capital Projects Guidance.

d. “Final Design” or “FD” means the Lifecycle Stage of a Capital Project during which the Capital Project design is advanced to be ready for Construction. This is when the agreements necessary to construct and operate the Capital Project are secured, acquisition of right-of-way is completed, and final engineering plans and specifications necessary for the construction of the project are produced. Final Design activities occur after a Capital Project has completed Project Development, and before a Capital Project can advance to Construction. Final Design is described in FRA's Capital Projects Guidance.

e. “Grade Separation or Closure” means an underpass or overpass to eliminate level crossings between railroad and highway users at an existing highway-rail or pathway-rail grade crossing, or the closing of a highway-rail grade crossing to vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

f. “Highway-Rail Grade Crossing” means a location where a public highway, road, street, or private roadway, including associated sidewalks and pathways, crosses one or more railroad tracks at grade.

g. “Improvement Project” means a project related to an existing highway or pathway-rail crossing including: installation, repair, or improvement of crossings, grade separations, railroad crossing signals, gates, bells, audible warning devices and related technologies; highway traffic signalization, lighting, crossing approach signage, and roadway improvements such as medians or other barriers; pathway improvements such as bollards; railroad crossing panels and surfaces; and other safety engineering improvements, or highway-rail programs to reduce risk.

h. “Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation” means rail passenger transportation, except Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation, see 49 U.S.C. 22901(3) , and in this NOFO, it has the same meaning as “Intercity Passenger Rail Service” and “Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation.”

i. “Lifecycle Stage” means each of the consecutive stages of a Capital Project as it is developed and implemented that include Systems Planning, Project Planning, Project Development, Final Design, Construction, and Operation. Each sequential stage involves specific activities. Lifecycle Stages are described in FRA's Capital Projects Guidance.

j. “Major Project” means a Capital Project with a capital cost estimate equal to or greater than $500 million and with at least $100 million in federal assistance under the Railroad Crossing Elimination Program. Major Project is described in FRA's Capital Project Guidance.

k. “National Environmental Policy Act” or “NEPA” ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. ) is a federal law that requires federal agencies to analyze and document the environmental impacts of a proposed action in consultation with appropriate federal, tribal, state, and local authorities, and with the public. Environmental Review under NEPA consists of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Environmental Analysis (EA) or Categorical Exclusion (CE). The NEPA class of action depends on the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action. For purposes of this NOFO, NEPA also includes all related federal laws and regulations including the Clean Air Act, section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, and section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Additional information regarding FRA's environmental processes and requirements is located at https://railroads.dot.gov/​rail-network-development/​environment/​environment . NEPA consultation and documentation are considered part of the Project Development Lifecycle Stage, as described in FRA's Capital Projects Guidance.

l. “Pathway-Rail Grade Crossing” means a pathway that crosses one or more railroad tracks at grade and that is: (1) explicitly authorized by a public authority or a railroad; (2) dedicated for the use of non-vehicular traffic, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and others; and (3) not associated with a public highway, road, or street, or a private roadway.

m. “Preliminary Engineering” or “PE” means engineering design to define a Capital Project, including identification of all environmental impacts and design of all critical project elements at a level sufficient to ensure reliable cost estimates and schedules. The PE development process starts with specific project design alternatives that allow for the assessment of a range of rail improvements, specific alignments, and project designs. PE is considered part of the Project Development Lifecycle Stage, as described in FRA's Capital Projects Guidance.

n. “Project Development” means the Lifecycle Stage of a Capital Project during which the project sponsor conducts design, environmental, and other studies to ensure the project is ready for implementation. Project Development activities occur after a project has completed Project Planning, and before a Capital Project can advance to Final Design. Project Development is described in FRA's Capital Projects Guidance.

o. “Project Management Plan” means, under this NOFO, a document that describes how the Capital Project will be implemented, monitored, and controlled to help the project sponsor effectively, efficiently, and safely deliver the project on-time, within budget, and at the highest appropriate quality. Project Management Plan is described in FRA's Capital Projects Guidance.

p. “Project Planning” is the first Lifecycle Stage of a Capital Project during which the project sponsor identifies Capital Project concepts to adequately address transportation needs and opportunities; identifies and compares costs, benefits, and impacts of project options; identifies the impacted environmental resources; and engages with interested parties, agencies, and infrastructure owners. Project Planning activities are completed before a Capital Project advances to Project Development. Project Planning is described in FRA's Capital Projects Guidance.

q. “Rural Area” means any area that is not within an area designated as an urbanized area by the most recent Bureau of the Census.

r. “Track Relocation” means moving a rail line vertically or laterally to a new location in order to eliminate an existing Highway-Rail Grade Crossing. “Vertical Relocation” refers to raising above the current ground level or sinking below the current ground level of a rail line. “Lateral Relocation” refers to moving a rail line horizontally to a new location.

s. “Tribal Lands” means any lands reserved for a federally recognized Native American tribe or tribes under treaty or other agreement with the United States, executive order, or federal statute or administrative action as permanent tribal homelands, and Start Printed Page 56791 where the federal government holds title to the land in trust on behalf of the tribe.

The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is up to $1,148,809,580, made available by the FY 2023 and 2024 advance appropriations provided in Title VIII of Division J of IIJA and by remaining unawarded FY 2022 RCE Program balances. [ 3 ] Should additional RCE Program funds become available after the release of this NOFO, FRA may elect to award such additional funds to applications received under this NOFO. Any selection and award under this NOFO are subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

Further, of the available award amount listed above, certain funding amounts are set-aside for the following purposes under this NOFO:

a. Planning Projects—At least three percent of the total FY 2023-2024 RCE Program grant funds available, or $36,000,000, as well as $2,281,580 in FY 2022 RCE funds, will combine to make $38,281,580 available for planning projects described in 49 U.S.C. 22909(d)(6) . Of these funds, $10,840,000 (which includes $1,840,000 in FY 2022 carryover funds) will be made available for planning projects located in Rural Areas or on Tribal Lands. Further, FRA specifically expects to support planning projects that seek to advance efforts to grade separate at least one or more at-grade crossings. Planning projects are also subject to special considerations for award size and preference, as detailed in the following section 2(a).

b. Rural or Tribal set-aside—At least 20 percent of the total FY 2023-2024 RCE Program grant funds available, or $229,305,600, will be made available for projects located in Rural Areas or on Tribal Lands, as required by 49 U.S.C. 22909(f)(3)(A) . [ 4 ] At least five percent of these set-aside funds, or $11,465,280, will be made available for projects in counties with 20 or fewer residents per square mile, according to the most recent decennial census, provided that sufficient eligible applications have been submitted.

c. In addition, FRA will make at least $3,000,000 available for grants that carry out Highway-Rail Grade Crossing safety information and education programs. FRA expects that activities to promote further awareness of grade crossing safety will be based on existing best practices and such efforts will be implemented in a comprehensive manner through coordination with relevant stakeholders.

FRA anticipates making multiple awards with the available funding. FRA may not be able to award grants to all eligible applications even if they meet or exceed the stated evaluation criteria (see section E, Application Review Information). FRA strongly encourages applicants to seek funding for the appropriate Lifecycle Stage of a Capital Project, consistent with the application tracks in section C(3)(c) below. Where an application includes multiple Lifecycle Stages of a Capital Project, FRA may decide to only award funds for what it determines is the appropriate Lifecycle Stage.

In addition, projects may require more funding than is available. FRA encourages applicants to propose a project that has operational independence, or a component of such project, which can be completed and implemented with funding under this NOFO as a part of the total project cost together with other, non-federal sources. (See section C(3)(c) for more information). There are no predetermined maximum dollar thresholds for individual awards, but no more than 20 percent of the grant funds available ($229,761,916 total from both FY 2023-2024 funding and FY 2022 carryover funds) will be awarded for projects in any single State.

Applicants are not limited in the number of projects for which they seek funding. Applicants submitting more than one application are requested to submit a priority ranking of their submitted applications that is consistent with each application package submitted.

FRA will not award grants for less than $1,000,000, except for a Planning project, as described in 49 U.S.C. 22909(d)(6) . Projects requesting less than $1,000,000 must consist solely of Planning activities (Planning is defined in section A.3.n of this NOFO) to be considered eligible. Applications that request funding for a combination of Planning and Project Development activities must exceed $1,000,000 in federal assistance under this NOFO.

FRA will make awards for projects selected under this notice through grant agreements and/or cooperative agreements. Grant agreements are used when FRA does not expect to have substantial federal involvement in carrying out the funded activity. Cooperative agreements allow for substantial federal involvement in carrying out the agreed upon investment, including technical assistance, review of interim work products, and increased program oversight. The term “grant” is used throughout this document and is intended to reference funding awarded through a grant agreement or a cooperative agreement.

The funding provided under this NOFO will be made available to grantees on a reimbursable basis. Applicants must certify that their expenditures are allowable, allocable, reasonable, and necessary to the approved project before seeking reimbursement from FRA. Additionally, the grantee is expected to expend matching funds at the required percentage concurrent with federal funds throughout the life of the project.

The new FRA grant agreement consists of three parts: Attachment 1: Standard Terms and Conditions, Attachment 2: Project-Specific Terms and Conditions, and Terms and Conditions Exhibits. The grant agreement templates are available at: https://railroads.dot.gov/​grants-loans/​fra-discretionary-grant-agreements . These templates are subject to revision.

DOT and FRA may concurrently solicit applications for transportation infrastructure projects for several financial assistance programs. Applicants may submit applications requesting funding for a particular project to one or more of these programs. In the application for funding under this NOFO, applicants must indicate the other program(s) to which they submitted an application for funding the entire project or certain components, as well as highlight new or revised information in the application responsive to this NOFO that differs from the previously submitted application(s).

This section of the notice explains applicant eligibility, cost sharing and matching requirements, project eligibility, and project component Start Printed Page 56792 operational independence. Applications that do not meet the requirements in this section are ineligible for funding. Instructions for submitting eligibility information to FRA are detailed in section D of this NOFO.

The following entities are eligible applicants for all projects permitted under this notice:

a. A State (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other United States territories and possessions).

b. A political subdivision of a State.

c. A federally recognized Indian Tribe.

d. A unit of local government or a group of local governments.

e. A public port authority.

f. A metropolitan planning organization.

g. A group of entities described in any of paragraphs (a) through (f).

The applicant serves as the primary point of contact for the application, and if selected, as the recipient of the RCE Program grant award. An application may identify entities that are not eligible applicants as project partners.

The federal share of total costs for RCE Program projects funded under this NOFO may not exceed 80 percent. The estimated total cost of a project must be based on the best available information, including engineering studies, studies of economic feasibility, environmental analyses, and information on the expected use of equipment and/or facilities. Additionally, in preparing estimates of total project costs, applicants are encouraged to use FRA's cost estimate guidance documentation, “Capital Cost Estimating: Guidance for Project Sponsors,” which is available at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/​Page/​P0926 . Project sponsors should account for the impact of factors such as inflation as the applicant prepares their scope, schedule, and budget.

The minimum 20 percent non-federal share may be comprised of public sector ( e.g., State or local) or private sector funding. FRA will not consider any federal financial assistance, or any non-federal funds already expended (or otherwise encumbered) toward the matching requirement, unless such sources are compliant with 2 CFR part 200 . In-kind contributions, including the donation of services, materials, and equipment, may be credited as a project cost in a uniform manner consistent with 2 CFR 200.306 . In addition, applicants may count costs incurred for Preliminary Engineering associated with Highway-Rail Grade Crossing and Pathway-Rail Grade Crossing Improvement Projects as part of the total project costs. Such costs are eligible as non-federal share or for reimbursement, even if they were incurred before project selection for award, consistent with 49 U.S.C. 22909(g) . Such costs must have been incurred no earlier than November 15, 2021, and must be otherwise compliant with 2 CFR part 200 and the requirements of this RCE Program.

Funding under this NOFO may not be used for costs that are included in or used to meet cost sharing or matching requirements of any other federally financed award or program. If the applicant is seeking additional funding for a project that has already received federal financial assistance, costs associated with the scope of work for the existing federal award are not eligible for funding under this NOFO. Only new scope elements/activities ( e.g., new deliverables) are eligible for funding under this NOFO.

Before applying, applicants should carefully review the principles for cost sharing or matching in 2 CFR 200.306 . See section D(2)(a)(iii) of this NOFO for required application information on non-federal match and section E for further discussion of FRA's consideration of matching funds in the review and selection process. FRA will approve pre-award costs incurred after announcement of awards consistent with 2 CFR 200.458 , as applicable. See section D(6). Cost sharing or matching may be used only for eligible expenses for authorized Federal award purposes.

All contracts for projects financed with federal funds will be subject to applicable federal requirements. Applicants that have entered into contracts for a proposed project prior to award must ensure that applicable federal requirements are included in the contract in the event the project is selected and federal funds are obligated.

The following Highway-Rail or Pathway-Rail Grade Crossing Improvement Projects (including acquiring real property interests) that focus on improving the safety and mobility of people and goods are eligible for funding under 49 U.S.C. 22909(d) and this NOFO:

i. Grade separation or closure, including through the use of a bridge, embankment, tunnel, or combination thereof;

ii. Track Relocation;

iii. The improvement or installation of protective devices, signals, signs, or other measures the improve safety, provided that such activities are related to a separation or relocation project described in paragraph (i) or (ii);

iv. Other means to improve the safety and mobility of people and goods at highway-rail grade crossings (including technological solutions);  [ 5 ]

v. A group of related projects described in paragraphs (i) through (iv) that would collectively improve the mobility of people and goods; or

vi. The planning, environmental review, and design of an eligible project described in paragraphs (i) through (v).

Consistent with 49 U.S.C. 22909(j)(1) , grants under the RCE Program are not subject to the limitation in 49 U.S.C. 22905(f) and may therefore be awarded for commuter rail passenger transportation projects. Consistent with 49 U.S.C. 22909(j)(2) , FRA will transfer such projects to the Federal Transit Administration to administer.

If an applicant requests funding for a component or set of components of a larger Capital Project, the project component(s) included in the application must be attainable with the award amount and comply with all eligibility requirements described in section C. In addition, the component(s) must enable independent analysis and decision making, as determined by FRA, under NEPA ( i.e., have independent utility, connect logical termini, and not restrict the consideration of alternatives for other reasonably foreseeable rail projects).

Applicants are not limited in the number of projects for which they seek funding. FRA generally evaluates applications in Tracks based on the Lifecycle Stages of a Capital Project. While applications covering multiple Lifecycle Stages are not precluded, FRA generally expects that applications identify only one of the following tracks for an eligible proposed project:

  • Track 1—Project Planning;
  • Track 2—Project Development;
  • Track 3—Final Design (FD)/Construction.

FRA strongly encourages applicants to seek funding for the appropriate Lifecycle Stage of a Capital Project, consistent with these application tracks. Start Printed Page 56793 To the extent possible, applicants should describe their projects consistent with FRA's Capital Projects Guidance, which provides a detailed description of each Lifecycle Stage and its required activities: https://railroads.dot.gov/​elibrary/​fra-guidance-development-and-implementation-railroad-capital-project .

If an application seeks funding under more than one application Track for multiple Lifecycle Stages, FRA may award funds for the application Track and corresponding Lifecycle Stage(s) it determines most appropriate based on project readiness information. Applicants are directed to identify the project components and estimated amount of federal funding requested for each Lifecycle Stage. If an application selected for award includes multiple Lifecycle Stages, FRA will require the grantee to complete the Lifecycle Stages in the order consistent with FRA's Capital Projects Guidance.

i. Track 1—Project Planning: Track 1 consists of Project Planning specific to an eligible Capital Project. Example activities for Project Planning include: the development of a purpose and need statement; completion of conceptual engineering and other design; documentation showing that project alternatives were considered; completion of an environmental resource inventory and potential environmental concerns analysis; scale design drawings; public and stakeholder involvement; completion of an order-of-magnitude project cost estimate; and for Major Projects, completion of an initial Project Management Plan. Project Planning projects funded under this NOFO must be sufficiently developed when complete to support Project Development activities.

FRA strongly encourages Track 1 Planning projects given the RCE Program's dedicated set-aside funding for planning activities. Please note that, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 22909(d)(6) , the minimum award requirement of $1,000,000 does not apply to applications for awards that fund only activities consistent with the Project Planning Lifecycle Stage. Consistent with Section A.2 of this NOFO, FRA intends to prioritize Planning projects that seek to grade separate one or more grade crossings.

ii. Track 2—Project Development: Track 2 consists of projects for eligible Project Development activities. Example activities include: completion of PE and architectural or other design; PE drawings and specifications (scale drawings at the 30 percent design level, including track geometry as appropriate); design criteria, schematics and/or track charts that support the development of PE; work that can be funded in conjunction with developing PE, such as operations modeling, surveying, project work/management plans, preliminary cost estimates, and preliminary project schedules; completion of environmental review; and completion of applicable project management documentation (such as a Project Management Plan, schedule, capital cost estimate, and financial plan). Project Development projects funded under this NOFO must first demonstrate completion of Project Planning elements prior to Project Development funds being awarded and be sufficiently developed when complete to support FD or Construction activities.

iii. Track 3—Final Design (FD)/Construction: Track 3 consists of projects for eligible FD and Construction activities. Applicants must complete all necessary Planning and Project Development stages, including PE and NEPA requirements, prior to moving to the FD/Construction stage of a project. FD activities may include completion of the FD documentation, acquisition of right-of-way, [ 6 ] resolving remaining uncertainties or risks associated with changes to the design and scope of the Capital Project; addressing procurement processes; and updating/completing the applicable project management documentation (such as a Project Management Plan, schedule, capital cost estimate, and financial plan). [ 7 ] Construction activities may include physical construction and installation of the Capital Project, including procurement and manufacturing of vehicles and equipment, project administration, testing of equipment ( e.g., signal equipment and rolling stock), systems integration testing, workforce training, system certification, procurement of insurance, provision of warrantees, pre-revenue service, and start-up testing. Prior to obligation, applicants selected for funding for FD/Construction must demonstrate completion of applicable Systems Planning and Project Planning and Project Development activities, consistent with FRA's Capital Projects Guidance.

FRA will consider a project to be in a Rural Area or on Tribal Lands if all or the majority of the project (determined by geographic location(s) where the majority of the project funds will be spent) is located in a Rural Area or on Tribal Lands. However, in the event FRA elects to fund a component of the project, then FRA will reevaluate whether the project is in a Rural Area or on Tribal Lands.

Required documents for the application are outlined in the following paragraphs. Applicants must complete and submit all components of the application for the application to be reviewed by FRA. An applicant that fails to submit all required documentation prior to the closing period of the notice may have its application deemed incomplete and will not advance to evaluation review. See section D(2) for the required documents and information for an application package. FRA welcomes the submission of additional relevant supporting documentation, such as planning, engineering, and design documentation, and letters of support from partnering organizations, which will not count against the Project Narrative 25-page limit.

Applicants may access application materials at https://www.Grants.gov and must submit all application materials in their entirety through https://www.Grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. EST, on September 23, 2024. Applicants must complete an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) profile on www.Grants.gov and create a username and password. Additional information about the registration process is available at: https://www.grants.gov/​applicants/​applicant-registration .

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early to ensure that all materials are received before the application deadline. FRA reserves the right to modify this deadline. General information for submitting applications through Grants.gov can be found at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/​Page/​P0270 . FRA is committed to ensuring that information is available in appropriate alternative formats to meet the requirements of persons who have a Start Printed Page 56794 disability. If you require an alternative version of files provided or paper copies of materials, please contact Ms. Laura Mahoney, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590; email: [email protected] ; or telephone: 202-578-9337.

The E-Biz point of contact (E-Biz POC) at the applicant's organization must respond to the registration email from Grants.gov and login at www.Grants.gov to authorize the applicant as the AOR. Please note there can be more than one AOR for an organization.

If an applicant has difficulty at any point during this process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Center Hotline at 1-800-518-4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (closed on federal holidays). For information and instructions on each of these processes, please see instructions at: https://www.grants.gov/​support .

FRA strongly advises applicants to read this section carefully. Applicants must submit all required information and components of the application package to be considered for funding. Applications that are not submitted on time or do not contain all required documentation will not be considered for funding. To support the application, applicants may provide additional relevant and available optional supporting documentation that may have been developed by the applicant, especially such documentation that provides evidence of completion of the appropriate Lifecycle Stage(s) of a Capital Project. Additionally, applicants selected to receive funding must satisfy the requirements in 49 U.S.C. 22903 and 22905 , including FRA's Buy America requirement and conditions explained in part at https://www.fra.dot.gov/​page/​P0185 and further in section F.2 of this notice.

Required documents and information for an application package include the following:

Application informationNOFO section for guidanceProject NarrativeSee D.2.a.Statement of Work (SOW), project budget, estimated project schedule, and performance measuresSee D.2.b.i.Environmental Compliance DocumentationSee D.2.b.ii.Draft Agreement required under , if applicableSee D.2.b.iii.SF 424—Application for Federal Assistance  See D.2.b.iv.SF 424A—Budget Information for Non-Construction or SF 424C—Budget Information for ConstructionSee D.2.b.v.SF 424B—Assurances for Non-Construction or SF 424D—Assurances for ConstructionSee D.2.b.vi.FRA's F 30—Certifications Regarding Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters, Drug-Free Workplace Requirements and LobbyingSee D.2.b.vii.FRA F 251—Applicant Financial Capability QuestionnaireSee D.2.b.viii.SF LLL—Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, if applicableSee D.2.b.ix.

This section describes the minimum content the applicant is required to provide in the Project Narrative section of the grant application. The Project Narrative must follow the basic outline below to address the program requirements and assist evaluators in locating relevant information.

I. Cover PageSee D.2.a.i.II. Project SummarySee D.2.a.ii.III. Grant Funds, Sources and Uses of Project FundsSee D.2.a.iii.IV. Applicant Eligibility CriteriaSee D.2.a.iv.V. Project Eligibility CriteriaSee D.2.a.v.VI. Detailed Project DescriptionSee D.2.a.vi.VII. Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Information and Education ProgramsSee D.2.a.vii.VIII. Project LocationSee D.2.a.viii.IX. Grade Crossing InformationSee D.2.a.ix.X. Safety BenefitSee D.2.a.x.XI. Evaluation and Selection CriteriaSee D.2.a.xi.XII. Project Implementation and ManagementSee D.2.a.xii.

The applicant must provide the content listed above in a narrative statement. The Project Narrative may not exceed 25 pages in length (excluding cover pages, table of contents, and supporting documentation). When possible, applicants should submit supporting documents via website links rather than hard copies. If supporting documents are submitted, applicants must clearly identify the relevant portion of the supporting document with the page numbers of the cited information in the Project Narrative. The Project Narrative must adhere to the following outline.

i. Cover Page: include a cover page that lists the following elements in either a table or formatted list:

Project TitleApplicant Name Amount of RCE Program Funding Requested under this NOFO$:Amount of Proposed Non-Federal Match$:Does some or all of the proposed Non-Federal Match for the total project cost consist of Preliminary Engineering costs incurred before project selection (but after November 15, 2021)?If yes, how much?Other Sources of Federal funding, if applicableProvide funding source and amount $:Source(s) of Proposed Non-Federal MatchIf applicable, are set-aside funds requested? Is the project eligible for a funding set-aside in Section B.1?Yes/No. If yes, please specify which one [Planning Projects, Safety Information and Education Program, Rural or Tribal Set-Aside].If “Yes,” amount of set-aside funds requested:$:Total Project Cost$: Was a Federal Grant Application Previously Submitted for this Project?Yes/No. If yes, please specify the program, funding year and project title of the previous application, and identify any differences between the applications. City(ies), County(ies), State(s) Where the Project is LocatedIs the Project Located in a Rural Area or on Tribal Lands?Yes/No.If the Project is located in a Rural Area or Tribal Land, is the Project Located in a county with 20 or fewer residents per square mile, according to the most recent decennial census?Yes/No.Congressional District(s) Where the Project is Located Application Track(s) proposed to be funded by this NOFO?Lifecyle Stage(s) proposed to be funded by this NOFO?Current Lifecycle Stage and Anticipated completion of current Lifecycle Stage? Is the Project located on real property owned by someone other than the applicant?Yes/No. If yes, list real property owners and the nature of the property interest.Host Railroad/Infrastructure Owner(s) of Project Assets;Other impacted Railroad(s)Tenant Railroad(s), if applicableIf applicable, is a -compliant Railroad Agreement executed or pending?Yes/No/Pending. Is the project currently programmed in ANY medium- or long-range planning document: ?Yes/No. If yes, please specify.   Yes/No. If yes, please specify the corridor(s).

ii. Project Summary: Provide a brief 4-6 sentence summary of the proposed project. Include challenges the proposed project aims to address and summarize the intended outcomes and anticipated benefits that will result from the proposed project.

iii. Grant Funds, Sources and Uses of Project Funds: Project budgets should show how different funding sources will fund project activities and present the data in dollars and percentages. The budget should identify other federal funds the applicant is applying for or has been awarded, if any, or intends to use. Funding sources should be grouped into three categories: RCE request, non-federal, and other federal with specific amounts for each funding source. If other federal funding is proposed as match, demonstrate the applicant's determination of eligibility for such use, Start Printed Page 56796 and the legal basis for that determination. If federal funding for the project is currently or has previously been sought, identify the federal program and fiscal year of the funding request(s), as well as highlight new or revised information in the application responsive to this NOFO that differs from the application(s) to other financial assistance programs.

As shown in the table format below, the applicant should indicate the amount in dollars and percentages of RCE Program funding requested, the amount of non-federal match, source(s) for all non-federal match, [ 10 ] other federal funds (if applicable), and the total project cost. FRA may not award more funding for a project than is requested in an application.

The applicant should itemize funding by project Lifecycle Stage(s) and by project activity. For a Major Project, applicants are encouraged to provide an annualized budget in year of expenditure dollars. Project budget information must be consistent throughout all application materials, specifically the Standard Form (SF) 424, Project Narrative, Statement of Work, and funding commitment letters. [ 11 ] The project budget should be specific to the project scope described in the applicant's request for funding under this NOFO. If the project proposed to be funded under this NOFO is part of a larger scope, the applicant may reference the larger scope in the Project Narrative but should only include the project scope proposed to be funded under this NOFO within the budget table.

If applicable, the applicant should explain if the RCE Program request or other funds must be obligated or spent by a certain date.

If applicable, the applicant should provide the type and estimated value of any proposed in-kind contributions, as well as explain how the contributions meet the requirements in 2 CFR 200.306 . If the applicant is requesting set-aside funds per section B(1), identify the dedicated activities and amount requested within the budget table.

Example Project Funding Table: Applicants may use the following table to describe project funding, and may use additional rows and columns, or additional project funding tables, as appropriate.

Task No.Task name project componentCostPercentage of total costSource of funds and citation, as applicable
1
2
Total Project Cost
Federal Funding Requested in this Application (RCE Program Request)
Total Non-Federal Match
Non-Federal Funding (State)Cash:
In-Kind:
Non-Federal Funding (Private Sector)Cash:
In-Kind:
Non-Federal Federal Funding (Local)Cash:
In-Kind:
Other Committed Federal Funding  ( Federal Highway Administration, congressionally directed/earmark, other FRA grant program funds—including previous RCE grants, etc.) Note: If there are multiple sources of other federal funding, please break funding down by each source
Other Pending Federal Funding Requests 
Amount (if any) of funding request eligible for set-aside funds as described in section B(1) (Planning, Rural/Tribal set-aside, or Highway-Rail Grade Crossing safety information and education programs)
Portion of Total Project Costs Spent in a Rural Area, if applicable
Does some or all the proposed Non-Federal Match for the total project cost consist of Preliminary Engineering costs incurred before project selection (but after November 15, 2021)?  If yes, how much?

iv. Applicant Eligibility Criteria: In this section, the applicant must explain how it meets the applicant eligibility criteria outlined in section C of this NOFO and include citations to appropriate authorities that demonstrate the applicant's eligibility to receive federal funds. For example, if the applicant is a political subdivision of a State, public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more States, the applicant should provide relevant legislative language, including citations to the applicable enabling legislation, that demonstrate the applicant's legal status. Applicants that fail to adequately demonstrate their Start Printed Page 56797 legal status may be found ineligible and their application will not be reviewed.

v. Project Eligibility Criteria: Explain how the proposed project meets the project eligibility criteria in section C(3) of this NOFO.

vi. Detailed Project Description: In this section, the applicant must provide a detailed project description that expands upon the brief project summary. This detailed description should provide, at a minimum: additional background on the challenges the project aims to address; a summary of current and proposed railroad operations in the project area and service frequency, which should include identification of all railroad owners and operators; typical daily, weekly, or annual train counts by operator; the primary expected project outcomes such as increased safety outcomes or reduced delays, improved rail network asset condition and performance, or similar outcomes and benefits; the expected users and beneficiaries of the project, including all railroad operators; the specific components and elements of the project; and any other information the applicant deems necessary to justify the proposed project. Applicants should specify whether the project will result in the elimination of one or more grade crossings. Provide detailed descriptions on the proposed improvement to each grade crossing included in the application. For all projects, applicants must provide information about proposed performance measures, as described in section F(3) and required in 2 CFR 200.301 .

vii. Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Information and Education Programs: For these projects, specify how the program will enhance education and informational outreach to help prevent and reduce pedestrian, motor vehicle and other accidents, incidents, injuries, and facilities, and how the program will help improve awareness along railroad rights-of-way and at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings. FRA expects that activities to promote further awareness of grade crossing safety will be based on existing best practices and such efforts will be implemented in a comprehensive manner through coordination with relevant stakeholders.

viii. Project Location: Applicants must include geospatial data for the project, as well as a map of the project's location. Geospatial data must be expressed in decimal degrees for latitude and longitude with at least five decimal places of precision. If the project includes a length of track or corridor development, the start and end coordinates for each corridor or segment must be provided. Milepost, railroad, and subdivision identifiers can also be provided but must be accompanied by corresponding latitudes and longitudes. For projects with multiple locations, the corresponding geospatial data must be included for each location, with individual columns for latitude and longitude, in table form as an attachment to the application. On the map, include the Congressional districts in which the project will take place.

ix. Grade Crossing Information: Cite specific US DOT National Grade Crossing Inventory information for each grade crossing to be addressed in the proposed application, including the US DOT grade crossing inventory number. Include latitude and longitude coordinates for each grade crossing location, the railroad that owns the infrastructure (or the crossing owner, if different from the railroad), the primary railroad operator, and the roadway at the crossing. To find US DOT grade crossing inventory number(s) and location(s), please visit: https://railroads.dot.gov/​safety-data/​fra-safety-data-reporting/​crossing-inventory-data-search . For projects involving Pathway-Rail Grade Crossings that do not have US DOT grade crossing inventory numbers or data, please provide as much locational data as possible.

List the following details for each grade crossing involved in the application scope of work, either in the following table format within the Project Narrative or, if more space is needed, in a separate, unlocked Excel file attachment (the table will not count against the 25-page Project Narrative page limit). Please include, to the best of the applicant's ability, specific US DOT National Grade Crossing Inventory information that may combine information requested under both this section and E.2.a.viii “Grade Crossing Information,” including:

a. US DOT grade crossing inventory number;

b. The proposed improvement requested in the application, using “new, separated, closed, or improved” to describe proposed improvement (such as gate additions, lights, etc.);

c. The primary railroad operator;

d. The railroad that owns the infrastructure (or the crossing owner, if different from the railroad); and

e. The roadway at the crossing with location latitude and longitude coordinates.

Example Table 1. In Project Narrative or attached as an appendix in unlocked Excel file format:

* Example Table 1—Grade Crossing Information for Proposed Project

US DOT grade crossing inventory #Proposed improvementRail operator(s)Railroad ownerLatitude coordinates (at least five decimal places of precision)Longitude coordinates (at least five decimal places of precision)

x. Safety Benefit Data: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit safety justifications for the project that rely on standardized, objective safety metrics and data, if available, including data from sources such as: GradeDec.Net; National Risk Index; 49 CFR part 234 ; safety metrics found in Appendix D of 49 CFR part 222 ; the FRA crossing incident dashboard (FRA Safety Data & Reporting | FRA ( dot.gov )); or other relevant safety data or metrics. FRA will analyze data for each grade crossing, including information and data detailing the history of each crossing's incident history for the past five calendar years (2019-2023), to demonstrate the existing level of risk for each grade crossing proposed for improvement, as well as other tools and measures to better inform selection evaluation. [ 15 ]

viii. Evaluation and Selection Criteria: The applicant must include a thorough discussion of how the proposed project meets the evaluation and selection criteria. As described in section E, FRA will evaluate applications based on project readiness, technical merit, and project benefits, and will consider how the applicant's project aligns with the Start Printed Page 56798 Administration Priorities. If an application does not sufficiently address the evaluation criteria and the selection criteria, it is unlikely to be a competitive application. Applicants are expected to follow the directions and format requested in this NOFO, and adherence to these directions will be considered in evaluations. Applicants are encouraged to include quantifiable railroad data, such as information on delay, failure or safety incidents, daily train movement, or similar metrics, and should include qualitative data on accessibility improvements to either new or existing assets. To the extent feasible, such railroad metrics should be provided and analyzed discretely for intercity passenger rail and, if applicable, Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation and freight rail transportation services involved in the proposed project. For more information on performance metrics see FRA's Metrics and Minimum Standards for Intercity Passenger Rail Service, available at: https://railroads.dot.gov/​elibrary/​metrics-and-standards-final-rule-november-16-2020 .

xiii. Project Implementation and Management: Applicants must describe proposed project implementation and project management arrangements. Include descriptions of the expected arrangements for project contracting (construction, maintenance, and operation), contract oversight and control, change-order management, risk management, and conformance to federal requirements for project progress reporting (see FRA Reports, available at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/​Page/​P0274 ). Further, applicants must provide their plan for taking affirmative steps to employ small businesses consistent with 2 CFR 200.321 . Describe experience in managing and overseeing similar projects; the technical qualifications and demonstrated experience of key personnel proposed to lead and perform the technical efforts; and the qualifications of the primary and supporting organizations to fully and successfully execute the proposed project within the proposed timeframe and budget, including a discussion of the factors in 2 CFR 200.206(b) and the proposed approach to assessing and mitigating project risk.

Applicants must submit the following documents and forms. Note, the Standard OMB Forms needed for the electronic application process are available at: www.Grants.gov .

i. A Statement of Work (SOW), addressing the scope, project budget, estimated project schedule, and performance measures, for the proposed project if it were selected for award. The applicant should include sufficient detail in those documents so that FRA can understand the expected outcomes of the proposed work to be performed and can monitor progress toward completing project tasks and deliverables during a prospective grant's period of performance. Applicants are expected to include Articles 4-7 of Attachment 2: Project Specific Terms and Conditions, at a minimum. [ 16 ] Applications that do not follow this format may be considered incomplete and may not be reviewed. In addition, FRA encourages applicants submitting planning projects to look at the planning-specific Statement of Work template available here: https://railroads.dot.gov/​elibrary/​RCE-Grant-Project-Planning-SOW-sample .

When preparing the budget, the total cost of a project must be based on the best available information as indicated in cited references that include engineering studies, economic feasibility studies, environmental analyses, and information on the expected use of equipment or facilities. Applicants must include annual budget estimates in year of expenditure dollars for the duration of the project.

ii. Environmental compliance documentation, as applicable, if a website link to such documentation is not provided in the Project Narrative.

Applicants should explain what Federal (and, if appropriate, State, Tribal, and local) environmental compliance and permitting requirements have been completed. Such requirements include NEPA and other Federal, State, Tribal, and local environmental permitting requirements, if applicable. For all other Federal, State, Tribal, and local permitting requirements, the applicant should describe which permits apply, the status of those reviews, and the expected timeline for completion. If the NEPA process is complete, an applicant should indicate the date of completion, and provide a website link or other reference to the documents demonstrating compliance with NEPA, which might include a final Categorical Exclusion determination documentation, Finding of No Significant Impact, or Record of Decision. If the NEPA process is not yet underway, the application should state this. If the NEPA process is underway, but not complete, the application should detail the type of NEPA review underway, where the project is in the process, and indicate the anticipated date of completion of all NEPA and other environmental requirements. Additional information regarding FRA's environmental processes and requirements is located at https://fra.dot.gov/​environment .

iii. Draft or finalized agreement required under 49 U.S.C. 22905(c)(1) , if applicable. Provide information about the status of agreements with infrastructure owners. FRA encourages early cooperation between applicants and any relevant infrastructure owners. Under section 22905(c)(1), a grant applicant must have entered into a written agreement with a railroad that owns rights-of-way to be used by the project (referred to as the 22905 Agreement) prior to grant obligation. If the agreement is complete at the time of the application, an applicant should indicate the agreement's effective date, and provide a website link or attach the agreement as part of the application. Applicants are also encouraged to provide draft agreements. The written agreement between the grantee and the railroad should describe use and ownership, including any compensation for such use; assurances regarding the adequacy of infrastructure capacity to accommodate both existing and future freight and passenger operations; an assurance by the railroad that collective bargaining agreements with the railroad's employees including terms regulating the contracting of work will remain in full force and effect according to their terms for work performed by the railroad on the railroad transportation corridor; and an assurance that the grantee complies with liability requirements consistent with 49 U.S.C. 28103 . For additional guidance see the FRA Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Rail Improvement Grant Conditions under 49 U.S.C. 22905(c)(1) : https://railroads.dot.gov/​elibrary/​frequently-asked-questions-about-rail-improvement-grant-conditions-under-49-usc-ss-22905c1 .

iv. SF 424—Application for Federal Assistance.

v. SF 424A—Budget Information for Non-Construction or SF 424C—Budget Information for Construction.

vi. SF 424B—Assurances for Non-Construction or SF 424D—Assurances for Construction.

vii. FRA F30—Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters, Drug-Free Workplace Requirements and Lobbying, located at https://railroads.dot.gov/​elibrary/​fra-f-30-certifications-regarding-debarment-suspension-and-other-responsibility-matters . Start Printed Page 56799

viii. FRA F 251—Applicant Financial Capability Questionnaire, located at https://railroads.dot.gov/​elibrary/​fra-f-251 .

ix. SF LLL—Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.

Forms needed for the electronic application process are at www.Grants.gov .

See section F(2) of this notice for post-selection requirements.

To apply for funding through Grants.gov , applicants must be properly registered in SAM before submitting an application, provide a valid unique entity identifier in its application, and continue to maintain an active SAM registration all as described in detail below. Complete instructions on how to register and submit an application can be found at www.Grants.gov . Registering with Grants.gov is a one-time process; however, it can take up to several weeks for first-time registrants to receive confirmation and a user password. FRA recommends that applicants start the registration process as early as possible to prevent delays that may preclude submitting an application package by the application deadline. Applications will not be accepted after the due date. Delayed registration is not an acceptable justification for an application extension.

FRA may not make a grant award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable SAM requirements, and if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the federal awarding agency is ready to make a federal award, the federal awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a federal award to another applicant. Late applications, including those that are the result of a failure to register or comply with Grants.gov applicant requirements in a timely manner, will not be considered. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the submission deadline, the application will not be considered. To submit an application through Grants.gov , applicants must follow the directions below in this subsection.

All applicants for federal financial assistance must maintain current registrations in the SAM database. An applicant must be registered in SAM to successfully register in Grants.gov . The SAM database is the repository for standard information about federal financial assistance applicants, grantees, and subrecipients. Organizations that have previously submitted applications via Grants.gov are already registered with SAM, as it is a requirement for Grants.gov registration. Please note, however, that applicants must update or renew their SAM registration at least once per year to maintain an active status. Therefore, it is critical to check registration status well in advance of the application deadline. If an applicant is selected for an award, the applicant must maintain an active SAM registration with current information throughout the period of the award, including information on a grantee's immediate and highest-level owner and subsidiaries, as well as on all predecessors that have been awarded a federal contract or grant within the last three years, if applicable. Information about SAM registration procedures is available at www.SAM.gov .

On April 4, 2022, the Federal government discontinued using DUNS numbers. The DUNS Number was replaced by a new, non-proprietary identifier that is provided by the System for Award Management ( SAM.gov ). This new identifier is called the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), or the Entity ID. To find or request a Unique Entity Identifier, please visit: www.SAM.gov .

Applicants must complete an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) profile on www.Grants.gov and create a username and password. Applicants must use the organization's UEI to complete this step. Additional information about the registration process is available at: https://www.grants.gov/​applicants/​applicant-registration .

The E-Biz POC at the applicant's organization must respond to the registration email from Grants.gov and login at www.Grants.gov to authorize the applicant as the AOR. Please note there can be more than one AOR for an organization.

If an applicant has trouble at any point during this process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Center Hotline at 1-800-518-4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (closed on Federal holidays). For information and instructions on each of these processes, please see instructions at: https://www.grants.gov/​support .

Applicants must submit complete applications to www.Grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. EST, September 23, 2024. Applicants will receive a system-generated acknowledgement of receipt. FRA reviews www.Grants.gov information on dates/times of applications submitted to determine timeliness of submissions. Late applications will be neither reviewed nor considered, no exceptions. To apply for funding under this announcement, all applicants are required to be registered as an organization with Grants.gov . Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early to ensure all materials are received before this deadline.

To ensure fair competition for limited discretionary funds, no late submissions will be reviewed for any reason, including: (1) failure to complete the Grants.gov registration process before the deadline; (2) failure to follow Grants.gov instructions on how to register and apply as posted on its website; (3) failure to follow all the instructions in this NOFO; and (4) technical issues experienced with the applicant's computer or information technology environment.

Intergovernmental Review is required for this program. Applicants must contact their State Single Point of Contact to comply with their State's process under Executive Order 12372 .

Consistent with 2 CFR 200.458 , as applicable, FRA will only approve pre-award costs if such costs are incurred pursuant to the negotiation and in anticipation of the grant agreement and if such costs are necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. [ 17 ] Under 2 CFR 200.458 , grant recipients must seek written approval from FRA for pre-award activities to be Start Printed Page 56800 eligible for reimbursement under the grant. Activities initiated prior to the execution of a grant or without FRA's written approval may be ineligible for reimbursement or matching contribution. Cost sharing or matching may be used only for authorized Federal award purposes.

Applicants may count costs incurred for Preliminary Engineering costs on Highway-Rail and Pathway-Rail Grade Crossing Projects as part of the total project costs. Consistent with 49 U.S.C. 22909(g) , such costs are eligible as non-federal share or reimbursement, even if they were incurred before project selection for award. Such costs must have been incurred no earlier than November 15, 2021, and must be otherwise compliant with 2 CFR part 200 and the requirements of this NOFO.

Please use generally accepted formats such as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx and .ppt, when uploading attachments. While applicants may embed picture files, such as .jpg, .gif, and .bmp, in document files, applicants should not submit attachments in these formats. Additionally, the following formats will not be accepted: .com, .bat, .exe, .vbs, .cfg, .dat, .db, .dbf, .dll, .ini, .log, .ora, .sys, and .zip.

FRA will first screen each application for applicant and project eligibility (eligibility requirements are outlined in section C of this NOFO), completeness (application documentation and submission requirements are outlined in section D of this NOFO), and the 20 percent minimum non-federal match.

FRA will evaluate all eligible and complete applications using the evaluation criteria outlined in this section to determine project readiness, technical merit, and project benefits.

i. Project Readiness:

In evaluating Project Readiness, FRA will evaluate project and applicant risk based on the applicant's preparedness and capacity to implement the proposed project, including whether the applicant is reasonably equipped to begin the capital or planning project in a timely manner to meet its proposed schedule. FRA will evaluate whether the applicant is able to meet project milestones and use Federal funds efficiently to deliver the proposed project. [ 18 ]

FRA will evaluate the application for the degree to which—

(A) The application demonstrates strong project readiness, evidenced by status of required NEPA actions and environmental permitting readiness (if applicable);

(B) The status and timeline of agreements, such as an agreement required under 49 U.S.C. 22905(c)(1) , necessary for the legal, financial, and technical capacity to complete the project as proposed, are sufficiently developed;

(C) The application identifies the appropriate Lifecycle Stage(s) for the proposed project, demonstrates that the project has completed or will complete any preceding Lifecycle Stage(s), and the project is able to complete all requirements of the identified Lifecycle Stage(s); and

(D) Project partner coordination and commitments, including letters of support, agreements, and funding, are secured or able to be secured without undue delay.

ii. Technical Merit:

In evaluating Technical Merit, FRA will evaluate the degree to which the application, statement of work, schedule and budget are reasonable and appropriate to achieve the expected outcomes, commitment of necessary resources and workforce to deliver the project, and the proposed project elements are appropriate for the project funding request. FRA will also consider applicant risk, including the applicant's past performance in developing and delivering similar projects.

FRA will evaluate application information for the degree to which—

(A) The tasks and subtasks outlined in the SOW, project budget, and estimated project schedule are appropriate to achieve the expected outcomes of the proposed project;

(B) The technical qualifications and experience of key personnel the applicant proposes to lead and perform the technical efforts, including the qualifications of the primary and supporting organizations, demonstrates the ability to fully and successfully execute the proposed project within the proposed time frame and budget;

(C) The project is identified in the freight investment plan component of a state freight plan, a state rail plan, a state highway-rail grade crossing action plan, a state freight plan, or other equivalent document;

(D) The project will use innovative technologies, innovative design and construction techniques, or construction materials that reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

(E) The project will use financial support from impacted rail carriers; and

(F) The project will improve the mobility of multiple modes of transportation, including ingress and egress from freight facilities, or users of nonvehicular modes of transportation such as pedestrians, bicycles, and public transportation.

iii. Project Benefits:

FRA will evaluate application information for the extent to which the proposed project—

(A) Improves safety at Highway-Rail or Pathway-Rail Grade Crossings;

(B) Proposes to grade separate, eliminate, or close one or more Highway-Rail or Pathway-Rail Grade Crossings;

(C) Improves the mobility of both people and goods;

(D) Reduces emissions, protects the environment, and provides community benefit (including noise reduction);

(E) Improves access to emergency services;

(F) Improves access to communities;

(G) Provides economic benefit; and

(H) Uses contracting incentives to employ local labor, to the extent permissible under federal law.

For each evaluation criterion—Project Readiness, Technical Merit, and Project Benefits—FRA will evaluate whether the application demonstrates level of risk or responsiveness, as applicable, as described in the rubrics below.

For each merit criterion, FRA will use rubric ratings with applied criteria to evaluate whether the applications meet the defined thresholds:

For the Project Readiness Criteria described in section E(B)(i), FRA will evaluate the application's responsiveness to the criteria, including an assessment of supporting justifications, and assign a cumulative Project Readiness risk rating. Start Printed Page 56801

UnacceptableHigh riskMedium riskLow riskApplication provides limited or no information necessary to assess the project readiness criteria; application does not demonstrate support, progress, or completion of required Lifecycle Stage(s) pre-requisites; or application contains one or more significant barriers that would prevent project deliveryApplication provides insufficient information to assess the project readiness criteria; application does not demonstrate sufficient support, progress, or completion of required Lifecycle Stage(s) pre-requisites but indicates risk to advancing the project without foreseeable delays; or application contains a barrier that would likely prevent project delivery in any of these areasApplication provides sufficient information to assess the project readiness criteria; demonstrates support, progress, or completion on one or more required Lifecycle Stage(s) pre-requisites, but indicates some risk to advancing the project in a timely manner; and the application does not contain a barrier that would likely prevent project delivery in any of these areasApplication provides thorough and complete information and evidence to assess the project readiness criteria, and demonstrates strong support, progress, or completion on required Lifecycle Stage(s) pre-requisites, and indicates minimal risk to advancing the project in a timely manner; and application does not contain a barrier that would likely prevent project delivery in any of these areas.

For the Technical Merit Criteria described in section E(B)(ii), FRA will evaluate the application's responsiveness to the criteria, including an assessment of supporting justifications, and assign a cumulative technical merit rating.

UnacceptableAcceptableResponsiveHighly responsiveApplication provides limited or no information necessary to assess the technical merit criteria, or application demonstrates one or more significant technical challenges that would prevent the applicant from delivering the projectApplication contains insufficient information to assess one or more of the technical merit criteria, or application demonstrates technical challenges that could affect project delivery, but not prevent the applicant from delivering the projectApplication provides sufficient information and evidence to assess the technical merit criteria and demonstrates that the applicant can deliver the project with minimal technical challengesApplication provides thorough and complete information and evidence to assess the technical merit criteria, and sufficiently demonstrates that the project can be successfully delivered by the applicant.

For the Project Benefits Criteria described in section E(B)(iii), FRA will evaluate the application's responsiveness to the criteria, including an assessment of supporting justifications, and assign a cumulative Project Benefits rating.

UnacceptableAcceptableResponsiveHighly responsiveApplication provides insufficient information necessary to assess the project benefits criteria, and does not demonstrate that the project will achieve its intended benefitsThe application contains limited information to assess the project benefits criteria; or the project is not likely to achieve all of its intended benefitsApplication provides sufficient information to assess the project benefits criteria, and adequately demonstrates that the project will likely achieve its intended benefitsApplication provides thorough and complete information and evidence to assess the project benefits criteria, and sufficiently demonstrates that the project will achieve its intended benefits.

In addition to the ratings described above, FRA will also apply the selection preferences described in section E(C)(i) and consider the Administration Priorities described in section E(2)(c)(ii).

After completing the merit review, FRA will apply the selection criteria and consider the Administration Priorities in this section.

(A) result in one or more grade separated crossings;

(B) close grade crossings through Track Relocation; or

(C) result in corridor-wide grade crossing improvements. [ 19 ]

ii. Administration Priorities

FRA will consider how projects address the following key Administration Priorities:

Safety: FRA will assess the project's ability to foster a safe transportation system for the movement of goods and people, consistent with DOT's strategic goal to reduce transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries across the transportation system. Such considerations will include, but are not limited to, the extent to which the project improves and upgrades infrastructure to achieve a higher level of safety, reduces incidences of rail-related trespassing, upgrades infrastructure to achieve a higher level of safety, and uses an appropriately trained workforce. Overall, FRA expects that projects will provide positive safety benefits for all users and not negatively impact safety for all users.

Climate Change and Sustainability: FRA will assess the project's ability to reduce the harmful effects of climate change and anticipate necessary improvements to prepare for extreme weather events. Such considerations may include, but are not limited to, the extent to which the project reduces emissions, promotes energy efficiency, increases resiliency, incorporates evidence-based climate resilience measures or features, and avoids adverse environmental impacts to air or Start Printed Page 56802 water quality, wetlands, and endangered species.

Applicants are encouraged to use the DOT Navigator Climate checklist in responding to this criterion. Applications that are rated highly on this criterion will be those that use data-driven and evidence-based methods to demonstrate that the project will:

  • Significantly reduce GHG emissions in the transportation sector; and
  • Incorporate evidence-based climate resilience measures or features.

Equity and Justice40: FRA will assess elements including how the project will create positive outcomes that will reduce, mitigate, or reverse how a community is experiencing disadvantage through increasing affordable transportation options, improving health or safety, reducing pollution, connecting Americans to good-paying jobs, fighting climate change, and/or improving access to nature, resources, transportation or mobility, and quality of life. FRA will consider the benefits and potential burdens a project may create, who would experience them and how the benefits and potential burdens will impact disadvantaged communities.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the FRA's Justice40 Rail Explorer Tool ( https://usdot.maps.arcgis.com/​apps/​webappviewer/​index.html?​id=​fd9810f673b64d228ae072bead46f703 ) to identify the rail infrastructure in their project and features of the surrounding community as the basis of their assessment. The FRA Justice40 Rail Explorer Tool is a rail-specific complement to the USDOT ETC Explorer and leverages the same methodology and metrics. The FRA Justice40 Rail Explorer Tool provides GIS information on existing rail infrastructure, communities, and pollution levels based on the proposed project's location, and applicants can thus use this tool to note how their project location scores across several different measures. Transportation disadvantaged communities experience burden, as a result of underinvestment in transportation, in the following five components: Transportation Insecurity, Climate and Disaster Risk Burden, Environmental Burden, Health Vulnerability, and Social Vulnerability.

Applicants are also encouraged to use Climate & Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), a new tool by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), that aims to help Federal agencies identify disadvantaged communities as part of the Justice40 initiative to accomplish the goal that 40% of benefits from certain federal investment reach disadvantaged communities. Applicants should use CEJST to identify disadvantaged communities (Justice40 communities). Applicants are encouraged to use the USDOT Equitable Transportation Community (ETC) Explorer to understand how their community or project area is experiencing disadvantage related to lack of transportation investments or opportunities. Through understanding how a community or project area is experiencing transportation-related disadvantage, applicants are able to address how the benefits of a project will reverse or mitigate the burdens of disadvantage and demonstrate how the project will address challenges and accrued benefits.

Workforce Development, Job Quality, and Wealth Creation: FRA will assess how the project will create good-paying, safe jobs with free and fair choice to join a union including through the use of a project labor agreement, promote investments in high-quality workforce development programs, adopt local and economic hiring preferences for the project workforce, and promote local inclusive economic and entrepreneurship programs.

For Administration Priorities, FRA will consider the application's responsiveness to the criteria, and will result in a rating of “Non-responsive, “Acceptable,” “Responsive,” or “Highly Responsive” as described in the rubric below. Applicants do not need to respond to all of the Administration Priorities if the criterion is not applicable to the proposed project.

For the Administration Priorities Criteria described in section E(C)(ii), FRA will consider the application's responsiveness to the criteria, including an assessment of supporting justifications.

Non-responsiveAcceptableResponsiveHighly responsiveApplication contains insufficient information to assess any of the Administration Priorities, or project is inconsistent with one or more of the Administration PrioritiesApplication contains limited information that is supported by some evidence, but primarily described qualitatively, that the project is consistent with at least one of the Administration PrioritiesApplication contains sufficient information that is adequately supported by both quantitative and qualitative evidence that the project has clear and direct benefits in at least one of the Administration PrioritiesApplication contains thorough and complete information that is strongly supported by both quantitative and qualitative evidence that the project has clear, direct, and significant benefits in one or more of the Administration Priorities, and is not inconsistent with any of the Administration Priorities.

Upon completion of all reviews, FRA will finalize an Overall Rating for each application. This rating will be a combination of the results of the three Merit Criteria reviews, specifically Project Readiness, Project Benefits, and Technical Merit criteria ratings as described in sections E(B)(i)-E(B)(iii); and the Administration Priorities as described in section E(c)(ii). Provided in the Overall Rating Rubric below, each rating has defined parameters to which each application will be assessed. Start Printed Page 56803

Overall Rating

Not recommendedAcceptableRecommendedHighly recommendedThe application received an overall score of not recommended based on Project Readiness, Technical Merit, and Project Benefits ratings, and consideration of Administration PrioritiesThe application received an overall score of acceptable based on Project Readiness, Technical Merit, and Project Benefits ratings, and consideration of Administration PrioritiesThe application received an overall score of recommended based on Project Readiness, Technical Merit, and Project Benefits ratings, and has clear and direct benefits in one of the Administration PrioritiesThe application received an overall score of highly recommended based on Project Readiness, Technical Merit, and Project Benefits ratings, and has clear, direct, and significant benefits in one or more of the Administration Priorities.

The evaluation process may draw upon subject matter experts within FRA Division offices whose expertise is relevant to understanding the application's responsiveness to the program criteria, such as assessing the applicant's capacity to successfully deliver the project in compliance with applicable federal requirements based on factors including, but not limited to, the recipient's experience working with federal agencies, previous experience with DOT discretionary grant awards and/or the technical experience and resources dedicated to the project. Finally, in determining the allocation of program funds, FRA may also consider geographic diversity, diversity in the size of the systems receiving funding, and the applicant's receipt of other competitive awards.

FRA will conduct a five-part application review process, as follows:

  • Intake and Eligibility Phase: Screen applications for applicant and project eligibility, completeness, and the minimum match (completed by the Evaluation Management and Oversight Team, or “EMOT,” comprised of FRA program review directors who manage the pre-award process);
  • Evaluation Review Phase: Evaluate remaining applications against the statutory technical merit criteria, project benefit criteria, project readiness and the applicant's ability (based on past performance and relevant project factors) to develop and deliver similar projects, and alignment with Administration Priorities (completed by technical merit review panels consisting of FRA and other Department of Transportation (DOT) staff). The EMOT will compile the results of the Evaluation Review Phase consistent with the RCE Program set-asides and selection preferences. After considering all FRA reviews under the statutory criteria, applications will be assigned an overall rating of “Highly Recommended,” “Recommended,” “Acceptable,” or “Not Recommended”;
  • Steering Committee Phase: The Steering Committee is comprised of Senior Directors with the Office of Railroad Development, which may also include senior leadership from the Railroad Office of Safety and other relevant offices. The EMOT briefs the Steering Committee on all rated applications, and the Steering Committee may request more information from FRA offices whose expertise may be relevant. The Steering Committee provides strategic direction, in line with program goals outlined in this NOFO, on the development of materials and approach for the Senior Review Team (SRT) briefing;
  • Senior Review Phase: The SRT, which may include senior leadership from the Office of the Secretary and FRA, will review and apply selection criteria, and recommend an initial selection of projects for the FRA Administrator's review; and
  • Selection and Award Phase: The FRA Administrator will recommend awards for the Secretary or his designee's review and approval.

Before making a federal award with a total amount of federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold per 2 CFR 200.1 and 2 CFR 200.320 , FRA will review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)). See 41 U.S.C. 2313 .

An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM.

FRA will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.206

F. Federal Award Administration Information  [ 20 ]

FRA will announce applications selected for funding in a press release and on FRA's website after the application review period. This announcement is FRA's notification to successful and unsuccessful applicants alike. Following this announcement, FRA will contact the point of contact listed in the SF 424 to initiate negotiation of a project-specific grant agreement. This notification is not an authorization to begin proposed project activities. FRA requires satisfaction of applicable requirements by the applicant and a formal agreement signed by both the grantee and FRA, including an approved scope, schedule, and budget, before obligating the grant.

In connection with any program or activity conducted with or benefiting from funds awarded under this notice, grantees of funds must comply with all applicable requirements of federal law, including, without limitation, the Constitution of the United States; the relevant authorization and appropriations, the conditions of performance, nondiscrimination requirements, and other assurances made applicable to the award of funds in accordance with regulations of DOT; and applicable federal financial assistance and contracting principles promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget. In complying with these requirements, grantees must ensure that no concession agreements are denied, or other contracting decisions made on the basis of speech or other activities protected by the First Start Printed Page 56804 Amendment. If DOT determines that a grantee has failed to comply with applicable federal requirements, DOT may terminate the award of funds and disallow previously incurred costs, requiring the grantee to reimburse any expended award funds. The new FRA grant agreement consists of three parts: Attachment 1: Standard Terms and Conditions, Attachment 2: Project-Specific Terms and Conditions, and Terms and Conditions Exhibits.

Examples of administrative and national policy requirements include: 2 CFR part 200 ; procurement standards at 2 CFR part 200 subpart D , 2 CFR 1207.317, and 2 CFR 200.401 ; compliance with federal civil rights laws and regulations; disadvantaged business enterprises requirements; debarment and suspension requirements; drug-free workplace requirements; FRA's and OMB's Assurances and Certifications; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); safety requirements; NEPA; environmental justice; compliance with 49 U.S.C. 24905(c)(2) for the duration of NEC Projects; and 2 CFR 200.315 , governing rights to intangible property. Projects assisted with funds provided through the Maglev Grants Program are subject to 49 U.S.C. 5333(a) . Unless otherwise stated in statutory or legislative authority, or appropriations language, all financial assistance awards follow the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200 and 2 CFR part 1201 .

Assistance under this NOFO is subject to the grant conditions in 49 U.S.C. 22905 , including labor protective arrangements that are equivalent to the protective arrangements established under section 504 of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 ( 45 U.S.C. 836 ) with respect to employees affected by actions taken in connection with the project to be financed in whole or in part by grants, subject to 49 U.S.C. 22905 , the provision deeming operators as rail carriers and employers for certain purposes, and grantee agreements with railroad right-of-way owners for projects using railroad rights-of-way (see section D(2)(a)(viii)(A)(5)). [ 21 ]

Projects selected under this NOFO for commuter rail passenger transportation for positive train control projects may be transferred to the Federal Transit Administration for grant administration at the Secretary's discretion. If such a project is transferred to the Federal Transit Administration, applicants will be required to comply with chapter 53 of title 49 of the United States Code .

Projects that have not sufficiently considered climate change and environmental justice in their planning, as determined by FRA, will be required to do so before receiving funds for construction, consistent with core policy goals of assessing these potential impacts. For example, see Executive Order 14008 , Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad ( 86 FR 7619 ), and Executive Order 14096 , Revitalizing Our Nation's Commitment to Environmental Justice. In the grant agreement, recipients will be expected to describe activities they have taken or will take prior to obligation of construction funds to address climate change and environmental justice (EJ). (See Article 9 of FRA's Attachment 2: Project-Specific Terms and Conditions for a list of project activities that address climate change and environmental justice priorities, available at: https://railroads.dot.gov/​sites/​fra.dot.gov/​files/​2024-02/​Attachment_​2_​Project_​Specific_​Terms_​12.11.23_​PDFa.pdf . ) Activities that address climate change include, but are not limited to, demonstrating the project: will result in significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions; supports emissions reductions goals in a local/regional/state plan; improves disaster preparedness and resilience; incorporates resilience in its design; and primarily focuses on funding for state of good repair and clean transportation options, including public transportation, walking, biking, and micro-mobility. Activities that address environmental justice may include, but are not limited to: basing project design on consideration of community impacts; information gained from screening tools such as CEJST, EPA's EJ Screen, or other appropriate environmental and community impacts tools developed by a State agency; connecting transportation disadvantaged communities or other communities with environmental justice concerns based on information gained from either the screening tools noted above or FRA's Justice40 Rail Explorer Tool; conducting enhanced, targeted outreach to potentially affected communities, including disadvantaged communities; considering environmental justice in alternatives analysis and final project design; and supporting a modal shift in freight or passenger movement to reduce emissions or reduce induced travel demand.

Projects must consider and address equity and barriers to opportunity in their planning, as determined by FRA, and as a condition of receiving construction funds, consistent with Executive Order 13985 , Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government ( 86 FR 7009 ). The grant agreement should include the grantee's description of activities it has taken or will take prior to obligation of construction funds that address equity and barriers to opportunity. These activities may include, but are not limited to: completing an equity impact analysis for the project; completing a community needs assessment; adopting an equity and inclusion program/plan; conducting meaningful public engagement to ensure underserved communities are provided an opportunity to be involved in the planning process in a manner consistent with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (Title VI); including investments that either redress past barriers to opportunity or that proactively create new connections and opportunities for underserved communities; hiring from local communities; improving access to or providing economic growth and wealth building opportunities for underserved, overburdened, or rural communities; or addressing historic or current inequitable air pollution or other environmental, health, or economic burdens and impacts. (See Article 10 of FRA's Attachment 2: Project-Specific Terms and Conditions for a list of project activities that address efforts to improve racial equity and reduce barriers to opportunity, available at: https://railroads.dot.gov/​sites/​fra.dot.gov/​files/​2024-02/​Attachment_​2_​Project_​Specific_​Terms_​12.11.23_​PDFa.pdf . ) While not a selection criterion to the extent the project includes or is part of a station area, DOT encourages project sponsors to consider how the submitted project could develop or facilitate economic development, including commercial and residential development that enhances the economic vitality and competitiveness of the surrounding neighborhoods and region.

To the extent that applicants have not sufficiently considered job quality and labor rights in their planning, as determined by the Department of Labor, applicants will be required to do so before receiving funds for construction, consistent with Executive Order 14025 , Worker Organizing and Empowerment ( 86 FR 22829 ), and Executive Order 14052 , Implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act ( 86 FR 64335 ). Specifically, the project planning activities and project delivery actions must support: strong labor Start Printed Page 56805 standards and the free and fair choice to join a union, including project labor agreements, local hire agreements, distribution of workplace rights notices, and use of an appropriately trained workforce; support of high-quality workforce development programs, including registered apprenticeship, labor-management training programs, and supportive services to help train, place, and retain people in good-paying jobs and apprenticeships; and comprehensive planning and policies to promote hiring and inclusion for all groups of workers, including through the use of local and economic hiring preferences, linkage agreements with workforce programs that serve underrepresented groups, and proactive plans to prevent harassment. (See Article 11 of FRA's Attachment 2: Project-Specific Terms and Conditions for a list of project activities that address efforts to support good-paying jobs and strong labor standards, available at: https://railroads.dot.gov/​sites/​fra.dot.gov/​files/​2024-02/​Attachment_​2_​Project_​Specific_​Terms_​12.11.23_​PDFa.pdf . )

As a condition of grant award and consistent with Executive Order 11246 , Equal Employment Opportunity ( 30 FR 12319 , and as amended), all federally assisted contractors are required to make good faith efforts to meet the goals of 6.9 percent of construction project hours being performed by women, in addition to goals that vary based on geography for construction work hours and for work being performed by people of color. Under section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and its implementing regulations, affirmative action obligations for certain contractors include an aspirational employment goal of 7 percent workers with disabilities.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is charged with enforcing Executive Order 11246 , section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. OFCCP has a Mega Construction Project Program through which it engages with project sponsors as early as the design phase to help promote compliance with non-discrimination and affirmative action obligations. OFCCP will identify projects that receive an award under this notice and are required to participate in OFCCP's Mega Construction Project Program from a wide range of Federally assisted projects over which OFCCP has jurisdiction and that have a project cost above $35 million. DOT will require project sponsors with costs above $35 million that receive awards under this funding opportunity to partner with OFCCP (if selected by OFCCP) as a condition of their DOT award.

It is the policy of the United States to strengthen the security and resilience of its critical infrastructure against all hazards, including physical and cyber risks, consistent with Presidential Policy Directive 21— Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, and National Security Memorandum (NSM-5) on Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems. Each applicant selected for federal funding must demonstrate, prior to signing of the grant agreement, efforts to consider and address physical and cyber security risks relevant to the transportation mode and type and scale of the project. Projects that have not appropriately considered and addressed physical and cyber security and resilience in their planning, design, and project oversight, as determined by DOT and the Department of Homeland Security, will be required to do so before receiving funds.

As expressed in Executive Order 14005 , Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America's Workers ( 86 FR 7475 ), the executive branch should maximize, consistent with law, the use of goods, products, and materials produced in, and services offered in, the United States. Funds made available under this notice are subject to the domestic preference requirement in 49 U.S.C. 22905(a) (FRA Buy America) and the Build America, Buy America Act, Public Law 117-58 , 70901-52. DOT expects all applicants to comply with the applicable domestic preference requirements. However, Major Projects applicants should include a domestic sourcing plan that provides details on the extent to which the materials covered by the plan are to be imported and the extent to which such materials can be sourced domestically. Applicants should also provide an explanation in the plan of the number of domestic jobs—temporary and permanent—that will be generated by the project and outline a plan to transition any foreign labor responsibilities to domestic jobs. Major Projects applicants may also request a waiver from certain Buy America requirements along with the domestic sourcing plan.

As a condition of a grant award, grant recipients should demonstrate that the recipient has a plan for compliance with civil rights obligations and nondiscrimination laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and implementing regulations ( 49 CFR part 21 ), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and all other civil rights requirements and accompanying regulations. This may include a current Title VI plan, completed Community Participation Plan, and a plan to address any legacy infrastructure or facilities that are not compliant with ADA standards. DOT's and FRA's Offices of Civil Rights may work with awarded grant recipients to ensure full compliance with federal civil rights requirements.

Each applicant selected for a grant will be required to comply with all standard FRA reporting requirements, including quarterly progress reports, quarterly federal financial reports, and interim and final performance reports, as well as all applicable auditing, monitoring, and close out requirements. Reports may be submitted electronically. Pursuant to 2 CFR 170.210 , non-federal entities applying under this NOFO must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements should they receive federal funding.

Applicants selected for funding are required to comply with all reporting requirements in the standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards, including 2 CFR 180.335 and 2 CFR 180.350 . If the total value of a selected applicant's active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all federal awarding agencies exceeds $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of this federal award, the applicant during that period of time must maintain the information reported to SAM and ensure it is made available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)) about civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings described in paragraph 2 of this award term and condition. This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417 , as amended ( 41 U.S.C. 2313 ). As required by section Start Printed Page 56806 3010 of Public Law 111-212 , all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.

Recipients and subrecipients are also encouraged to incorporate program evaluation, including associated data collection activities from the outset of their program design and implementation, to meaningfully document and measure their progress towards meeting an agency priority goal(s). Title I of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Evidence Act), Public Law 115-435 (2019) urges Federal awarding agencies and Federal assistance recipients and subrecipients to use program evaluation as a critical tool to learn, improve equitable delivery, and elevate program service and delivery across the program lifecycle. Evaluation means “an assessment using systematic data collection and analysis of one or more programs, policies, and organizations intended to assess their effectiveness and efficiency” ( 5 U.S.C. 311 ). Credible program evaluation activities are implemented with relevance and utility, rigor, independence and objectivity, transparency, and ethics (OMB Circular A-11, Part 6 Section 290).

For grant recipients receiving an award, evaluation costs are allowable costs (either as direct or indirect), unless prohibited by statute or regulation, and such costs may include the personnel and equipment needed for data infrastructure and expertise in data analysis, performance, and evaluation ( 2 CFR part 200 ).

Each applicant selected for funding must collect information and report on the project's performance using measures mutually agreed upon by FRA and the grantee to assess progress in achieving strategic goals and objectives. Examples of some rail performance measures for RCE funding are listed in the table below. The applicable measure(s) will depend upon the type of project.

Performance Measure Examples

Rail measuresUnit measureTemporalPrimary administration goalSecondary administration goalDescription
Reduced Grade Crossing IncidentsCountAnnualSafetyEquity and Barriers to OpportunityThe number of grade crossing incidents at the grade crossings addressed by the project. Comparison of actual versus baseline and expected post-project number of incidents.
Reduced blocked crossing timesCountAnnualEconomic StrengthSafetyAverage amount of time trains blocks the grade crossings addressed by the project. Comparison of actual performance versus baseline and expected post-project performance.
Improved emergency vehicle response times due to reduced blocked crossingsTime/TripAnnualSafetyEquity and Barriers to OpportunityMeasures how improvements impact emergency service vehicle response operations. Comparison of actual performance versus baseline and expected post-performance.
Increased percentage of freight transported by rail from commercial facilityPercentageAnnualEconomic StrengthClimate ChangeIncreased amount of freight transported compared to the baseline pre-project.
Average Daily Minutes of DelayAverage daily minutes of delay experience by vehiclesMinutes/DayEconomic StrengthEquity and Barriers to OpportunityTraffic analysis can be performed to determine the average daily minutes of delay experienced by vehicles compared to baseline and expected post-project performance.

As a condition of grant award, grantees may be required to participate in an evaluation undertaken by DOT, or another agency or partner. The evaluation may take different forms, such as an implementation assessment across grant recipients, an impact or outcomes analysis of all or selected sites within or across grantees, or a benefit/cost analysis or assessment of return on investment. DOT may require applicants to collect data elements to aid the evaluation. As a part of the evaluation, and as a condition of award, grantees must agree to: (1) make records available to the evaluation contractor; (2) provide access to program records and any other relevant documents to calculate costs and benefits; (3) in the case of an impact analysis, facilitate access to relevant information as requested; and (4) follow evaluation procedures as specified by the evaluation contractor or DOT staff. For grant recipients, evaluation expenses are allowable costs (either as direct or indirect), unless prohibited by statute or regulation, and such expenses may include the personnel and equipment needed for data infrastructure and expertise in data analysis, performance, and evaluation ( 2 CFR part 200 ).

As a condition of grant award, for construction and non-construction projects, recipients may be required to post project signage and to include public acknowledgments in published and other collateral materials ( e.g., press releases, marketing materials, website, etc.) satisfactory in form and substance to DOT, that identifies the nature of the project and indicates that “the project is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.” In addition, recipients employing project signage are required to use the official Investing in America emblem in accordance with the official Investing in America Emblem Style Guide. Costs associated with signage and public acknowledgments must be reasonable and limited. Signs or public acknowledgments should not be produced, displayed, or published if doing so results in unreasonable cost, expense, or recipient burden. The recipient is encouraged to use recycled or recovered materials when procuring signs. Start Printed Page 56807

For further information concerning this notice, please contact the FRA NOFO Support program staff via email at [email protected] . If additional assistance is needed, you may contact Ms. Jenny Zeng, Transportation Industry Analyst in FRA's Office of Rail Program Development, by email: [email protected] or telephone: 857-330-2481.

All information submitted as part of or in support of any application must use publicly available data or data that can be made public and methodologies that are accepted by industry practice and standards, to the extent possible. If an application includes information the applicant considers to be a trade secret or confidential commercial or financial information, the applicant should do the following: (1) note on the front cover that the submission “Contains Confidential Business Information (CBI)”; (2) mark each affected page “CBI”; and (3) highlight or otherwise denote the CBI portions.

DOT regulations implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) are found at 49 CFR part 7 subpart C —Availability of Reasonably Described Records under the Freedom of Information Act, which sets forth rules for FRA to make requested materials, information, and records publicly available under FOIA. Unless prohibited by law and to the extent permitted under the FOIA, contents of applications and proposals submitted by successful applicants may be released in response to FOIA requests. DOT may share application information within DOT or with other Federal agencies if DOT determines that sharing is relevant to the respective program's objectives.

Issued in Washington, DC.

Jennifer Mitchell,

Deputy Administrator.

1.  Additional information about the USDOT Strategic Plan, Research, Development and Technology Strategic Plan can be found here: https://www.transportation.gov/​dot-strategic-plan .

2.  FRA will consider right-of-way acquisition only if it is included in an application also seeking Construction funding.

3.  $1,146,528,000 in combined FY 2023-2024 supplemental appropriations ($573,264,000 each year) are provided by Title VIII of Division J of IIJA, as well as $2,281,580 in carryover FY 2022 supplemental appropriations from Title VIII of Division J of IIJA. This creates a total of $1,148,809,580 available.

4.  FRA awarded all of the FY 2022 Rural or Tribal set-aside to eligible applicants. No additional set-aside funds are carried forward to FY 2023-2024.

5.  Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Information and Education Programs are eligible under this category. FRA generally interprets this project eligibility category to relate to projects that directly improve safety and mobility at existing at-grade crossing locations.

6.  FRA will only award funds for right-of-way (ROW)/property acquisition activities if the proposed project also includes construction activities consistent with the Construction Lifecycle Stage. FRA will not fund ROW acquisition activities independently or if proposed project only includes pre-construction activities or Lifecycle Stages ( i.e., Project Planning, Project Development, or Final Design).

7.  Applicants selected for funding are encouraged to submit the following before obligation: an updated Project Management Plan (including a schedule, capital cost estimate, and financial plan), as grantees will be expected to develop a Project Management Plan under the grant agreement. See FRA's Capital Projects Guidance, Section V—Project Management for additional information.

8.  The amount requested from the RCE program on the SF-424 is the official record of request, and therefore must be consistent with the amount requested in the Project Narrative and Statement of Work documents, including the breakdown of Federal and non-Federal sources. For applications with discrepancies, FRA will defer to the funding amount in the SF-424.

9.  For more information about selected Corridors under the Corridor Identification Program, please visit: https://railroads.dot.gov/​elibrary/​fy22-CID-program-selections .

10.  Applicants should submit evidence of the availability of non-Federal funds, which may include a board resolution, letter of support from the State, a budget document highlighting the line item or section committing funds to the proposed project. The applicant may provide this documentation in an appendix. Documentation of previous and recent local investments in the project may evidence of local financial commitment project, but cannot be used to satisfy non-Federal matching requirements. Any funding commitment letters must be signed by an authorized representative of the entity providing a non-Federal match.

11.  If there is a discrepancy between materials, FRA will defer to the funding amounts shown in the applicant's SF 424 as the amount requested for funding.

12.  For other Federal funding sources proposed as match, the applicant should explain why the Federal funds are eligible as match and the legal basis for that determination.

13.  For other Federal funds that will be used for the project, the applicant should identify the Federal program and fiscal year of the funding request(s), as well as highlight new or revised information in the application responsive to this NOFO that differs from the application(s) to other financial assistance programs.

14.  If seeking to use Preliminary Engineering costs as match for a Highway-Rail and Pathway-Rail Grade Crossing Improvement Project or trespassing prevention projects, please identify the costs incurred before project selection (but after November 15, 2021).

15.  Applicants can review the history of highway-rail crossing incidents relevant to their project on FRA's public safety website: https://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/​OfficeofSafety/​publicsite/​crossing/​crossing.aspx or https://data.transportation.gov/​dataset/​Highway-Rail-Grade-Crossing-Accident-Data-Form-57-/​aeeh-bp8c/​explore .

16.   https://railroads.dot.gov/​grants-loans/​fra-discretionary-grant-agreements .

17.  For more information on pre-award costs, see FRA Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Pre-Award Authority, available at: https://railroads.dot.gov/​elibrary/​federal-railroad-administration-answers-frequently-asked-questions-about-pre-award .

18.  Additional information on DOT's Project Readiness checklist can be found here: https://www.transportation.gov/​grants/​dot-navigator/​project-readiness-checklist-dot-discretionary-grant-applicants .

19.  FRA considers corridor-wide grade crossing improvements to be projects that directly improve a series of linked, consecutive grade crossings.

20.  More information on FRA Discretionary Grant Agreements can be found at: https://railroads.dot.gov/​grants-loans/​fra-discretionary-grant-agreements .

21.  More information on labor protections can be found here: https://railroads.dot.gov/​elibrary/​equivalent-labor-protections .

[ FR Doc. 2024-15061 Filed 7-9-24; 8:45 am]

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Blog Cover Letter Help Short Cover Letter Examples

5 Short Cover Letter Examples (And How to Write Your Own)

As long as you can explain why you’re the ideal candidate, a short cover letter is just as effective as a long cover letter. In fact, when done right, it can be even more compelling.

cover letter sample docx

As featured in *

To write a short cover letter that still lands you the interview, draw inspiration from our short cover letter samples and template below. You can use these examples however you like — either download them as Microsoft Word files or copy and paste the text.

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Five short cover letter examples

Our professional short cover letter examples include everything needed to capture the hiring manager’s attention and earn an interview.

Short cover letter sample #1

A short cover letter sample with a yellow header.

Short cover letter sample #1 (text version)

February 29, 2020

Principal’s Name

Washington High School

Portland, Oregon 97174

(971) 847-2122

[email protected]

Dear Principal [Name],

I’ve been passionate about teaching since I began tutoring for pocket money in high school.

I have seven years of teaching experience, instructing children with a diverse range of abilities. I’m also successful at boosting achievement, having increased average grades by 15% at my current school. I believe this makes me an ideal candidate for the tutoring role at Brearley High School as advertised on LinkedIn.

I can be contacted at 971 874-2478 or [Your Email]. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

This brief cover letter works because it quickly makes an impact by highlighting the candidate’s passion for tutoring.

Additionally, the cover letter is just long enough for the candidate to include some concrete achievements from their past work. These examples show employers what the candidate is capable of in a few short sentences.

Short cover letter sample #2

A short cover letter example for a server.

Short cover letter sample #2 (text version)

March 15, 2020

Hiring Manager’s Name

47 Jackson Street

Derry, Maine 04401

(207) 421-3698

[email protected]

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

Since graduating from high school in 2010, I’ve waitressed at four different establishments in Derry. If Atwater’s restaurant is looking for an experienced professional, I’m your candidate.

I’m a reliable, diligent worker, with a 100% attendance record. I’m also popular with the local clientele: my ability to create a rapport with customers increased daily wine sales by $50+ in my current role.

I look forward to hearing from you. I can be reached at [Your Email] or (207) 014-7858.

Despite this short cover letter’s length, the candidate quickly spotlights their interpersonal skills and full attendance record — both details that will impress employers.

By the end of this cover letter, the reader is left with a clear understanding of this candidate’s qualifications and confidence in their abilities.

Include a call to action in the last paragraph of your cover letter to encourage hiring managers to reach out to you and schedule an interview.

Short cover letter sample #3

A short cover letter sample for a nurse using a blue template.

Short cover letter sample #3 (text version)

April 7, 2020

1047 Osage Boulevard

Tulsa, Oklahoma 74169

(539) 258-0014

[email protected]

As a state-qualified registered nurse with 17 years of experience tending to the infirm, I believe that I’m the ideal candidate for the nursing position at St. Mary’s Hospital.

In my present role, I evaluate the conditions of approximately 30 patients daily, developing personalized support plans for each of them, all while interfacing with colleagues to ensure effective care.

I’m responsive to emergency medical situations, and provide sympathetic support to patients as well as their friends and families. In 2018, I was awarded the Leadership in Ethics Award by the ANA in recognition of these qualities, so I believe I would be a valuable addition to St. Mary’s

I look forward to speaking to you about this position. I can be reached at 918.184.5447 or [Your Email].

This concise cover letter is effective because the applicant wastes no time highlighting how much experience they have.

The candidate quickly shows that they were recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA) for their emergency response performance and strong sense of ethics. In less than 150 words, they effectively draw attention to their top hard and soft skills in a convincing yet brief cover letter.

Mentioning industry-specific awards and certifications can make a short cover letter more impactful than a longer letter filled with less relevant information.

Short cover letter sample #4

An example of a short cover letter that uses bullet points to showcase the applicant's abilities.

Short cover letter example #4 (text version)

August 31, 2021

Company Address

Atlanta, GA 30347

(xxx) xxx-xxxx

Dear [Mr./Ms./Mx.] [Hiring Manager’s Surname],

I’m writing to apply for the chief copy editor position at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution you advertised on Indeed.com.

Here are the reasons why I believe I’d be suitable for the role:

  • I know the AP stylebook inside and out
  • I have 7+ years’ experience as a sub-editor, including 2 as deputy chief copy editor
  • In my current role, I edit 7,000 words per day
  • I’m used to working to a (midnight) deadline
  • I’ve adapted to working on rotation, often working weekends
  • As deputy chief copy editor, I’m responsible for all copy editing on 3 days a week, supervising a team of 5
  • Since I was hired, I’ve reduced the incidence of typos by 17% through my attention to detail and organizational skills

Thank you for reviewing my qualifications. You can contact me at your convenience to organize an interview at (470) 000-1234 or [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.

This short cover letter succeeds by packing plenty of information in a small space.

The applicant uses bullet points to showcase their relevant achievements and organizational skills . In this case, the applicant is applying for a copy editing role, so they talk about how they’ve successfully improved copy in the past, backing up those achievements with hard numbers.

Short cover letter sample #5

An entry-level short cover letter sample.

Short cover letter example #5 (text version)

February 1, 2022

74 Company Address

Murfreesboro, TN 37131

(615) 123-4567

[email protected]

Dear [Mr./Mx./Ms.] [Hiring Manager’s Surname],

I’m thrilled to be writing to you to apply for the Tour Guide position that Greenbay Tours is advertising on LinkedIn.

Guiding tourists around our historic city and teaching them about its colorful past requires strong leadership and communication skills. I grew into an effective leader and communicator as President of the Tubman High School Debate Team, and these abilities paired with a passion for history make me the perfect fit for this role.

I have no doubt that I could apply my charisma and sincere interest in our city’s past to showcase its marvels to tourists. Please feel free to reach out to me for an interview at (615) 000-1234 or [email protected].

This example demonstrates that you don’t need work experience to write an effective short cover letter.

In fact, short cover letters are perfect if you’re writing an entry-level cover letter . The shorter format lets you get right to the point and allows you to focus on your top 1–2 achievements that make you a good fit for the role.

Short cover letter template

Prefer using a template where you can simply plug in your information? We’ve got you covered.

Fill-in-the-blanks cover letter template using a beige header background

Short cover letter template (text version)

City, State, ZIP

As a [Position Name] with [X] years of experience [Action], I believe that I am the ideal candidate for [Company Name].

I am a [Adjective], [Adjective] worker, and in my current position have successfully [Achievement — with numbers]I look forward to hearing from you. I can be reached at [Your Email] or [Your Phone Number].

This template ticks all the boxes of a well-written short cover letter: it’s properly formatted, concise, and addresses the hiring manager by name. You can download this template — or copy and paste the text — and fill in the blanks.

How to write a short cover letter for a job application

To write an effective short cover letter, you need to summarize your relevant experience, skill set, and achievements as quickly as possible.

Follow these tips to create a brief cover letter that wins over hiring managers.

1. Don’t use this overused opening line

“I’m writing to apply for the role of…” is the most overused opening line job seekers use on their cover letters.

Most hiring managers have seen it thousands of times. When writing your cover letter, try to avoid this boring opener.

Instead, learn how to start a cover letter with creativity and personalize your opening to you, and you’ll get noticed by more recruiters.

To illustrate how to do this, here’s an example of a captivating opening line:

“As an experienced and innovative marketer with an excellent track record, I’m thrilled to submit my application for the Senior Marketing Specialist role at ABC Enterprises.”

Then later on your cover letter explain the details about the role you want to fill and where you found it.

Additionally, make sure you know how to address a cover letter professionally to make a good impression.

2. Cut meaningless buzzwords

Anyone can describe themself as “detail-oriented” or a “self-starter,” but buzzwords mean little to recruiters.

Rather than describing yourself as “self-motivated,” give an example of an achievement that demonstrates this quality in action.

For instance, if you’re applying for a sales role, you could write:

Researched a new search engine optimization strategy that led to a 47% increase in sales.

Adding an accomplishment that reflects your strongest skills demonstrates to the hiring manager that you actually have those skills, and aren’t just saying so.

Instead of using buzzwords, start every bullet point you write with a powerful action verb to best showcase your accomplishments.

3. Don’t mention every past job

You don’t need to mention every job you’ve ever had in a short cover letter.

Instead of talking about specific roles, discuss the accomplishments and skills listed on your resume that make you the perfect fit for the job.

Read the job posting carefully to find out what skills the company is seeking, and highlight them in your short cover letter.

You can give a more detailed overview of your previous positions when writing your resume .

4. Use short words rather than long phrases

Without realizing it, we sometimes write unnecessarily long phrases on professional documents when a single word is enough. After you’ve written your cover letter, go back and reread it.  Replace longer phrases with single words (or at least fewer words).

Here are some examples of long phrases that are frequently used in cover letters along with some shorter words to use instead:

  • Accomplished
  • Regarding/About
  • In order to
  • I am capable of/I am able to
  • Due to the fact that
  • Successfully accomplished
  • A large number of
  • With regard to
  • At the present time

cover letter sample docx

How to write a cover letter

Dread writing cover letters? Read our guide to learn how to write a great cover letter that convinces hiring managers you’re the ideal person for the job.

Short cover letter FAQs

Here are the answers to some common questions about short cover letters.

What do I include in a short cover letter?

Include the same sections of a cover letter you’d normally have, including:

  • a cover letter header with your contact information
  • the hiring manager’s mailing address
  • a proper cover letter salutation
  • the body of your cover letter
  • a sign off and your signature or typed name

How do I format a short cover letter?

Format your short cover letter the same way you’d format a cover letter that’s standard length.

Standard formatting elements include:

  • a professional cover letter font (size 10.5–12 points — your contact details can go down to around 8 points)
  • 1” cover letter margins
  • PDF or DOCX format

When shouldn’t I use a short and concise cover letter?

There are a couple of situations when you shouldn’t use a short and concise cover letter:

  • If the hiring manager has set a minimum word count — make sure you hit it.
  • If you have many relevant achievements, skills, and certifications that the hiring manager absolutely needs to know about (and you can’t describe them properly in your resume) — then you can add them to your cover letter.
  • If writing at a high level is part of the job — showcase your written prowess with your cover letter.
  • If you’re changing careers  — a compelling career change cover letter needs to be long enough to explain why you’re making the change and convince employers that your skill set will be an asset to their company.

However, here’s the Golden Rule of cover letter length : Never go past one page!

How can I make a short cover letter quickly?

If you need to make a short cover letter quickly, you can use a cover letter builder , which breaks the process down into a few quick steps. Or if you dread setting up a cover letter because you don’t know how to make it eye-catching, use a cover letter template instead.

Will hiring managers be turned off by a brief cover letter?

No, hiring managers won’t be turned off by a brief cover letter. In fact, many hiring managers will appreciate your ability to get to the point. Hiring managers have dozens of applications to review, and if you can sum up why you’d be the perfect hire in 200 words or less, they’ll appreciate you saving them time.

How short should a cover letter be?

As long as you can present a solid reason for why you should be hired, there’s no real rule about how short a cover letter should be. The shortest one we feature is under 150 words, but if you could convey the same information in fewer words, then go for it!

Headshot of Ida Pettersson

Ida Pettersson

Career Coach and Resume Expert

Committed to empowering job seekers of all experience levels to take the next step in their careers, Ida helps professionals navigate the job hunt from start to finish. After graduating from New College of Florida with a B.A. in Philosophy and Chinese Language and Culture, Ida moved to Hong Kong to begin her own career journey and finally settled in Taiwan. Her insights on resume writing, interview strategies, and career development have been featured on websites such as LawCareers.net, Digital Marketer, and SheCanCode.

Short Cover Letter Examples

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    The cover letter should read like a conversation starter, so ensure that it sounds natural enough. Impactful fonts, sensible sizes, and shot paragraphs. Increasingly the font size to take up more space on the page will fool no one. Stick with a standard 10 or 12 size and choose a suitable professional font that is easy to read.

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    You can also reattach your resume and cover letter. Sample follow up job application email template Subject line: [Your Name] - Job Application Follow-up for [Position] at [Company] Hello [Hiring Manager's Name], A few weeks ago, I applied for the [Position Title with Hyperlink to the Application] role at [Company Name].

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  27. 5 Short Cover Letter Examples (And How to Write Your Own)

    Short cover letter example #5 (text version) This example demonstrates that you don't need work experience to write an effective short cover letter. In fact, short cover letters are perfect if you're writing an entry-level cover letter. The shorter format lets you get right to the point and allows you to focus on your top 1-2 achievements ...