You probably already understand that there is no such thing as the perfect cover letter. That can make creating a cover letter for your resume a real challenge, especially if you’re so intent on getting everything just right that you lose sight of the forest for the trees. While there is no ideal cover letter, there are common traits that all great cover letters share. What you need is a general cover letter that can meet your specific needs. We’ll show you how to write a generic cover letter along with some tips.
Main Points for Your Generic Cover Letter
These letters all contain some common elements, and a fairly routine format. For example:
- Your general cover letter should not just repeat key details from your resume, but should instead highlight the points that showcase you as the best candidate for the job.
- The letter should include a greeting, opening paragraph, a key achievement that captures the hiring manager’s attention, an emphasis on your relevant skills, and a closing call to action.
- Remember, it’s not about you. The hiring manager isn’t looking to join your fan club; he or she is looking to learn how you can benefit the company.
- Proofread your cover letter. Then proof it again. Then have someone else do it too. Accept no mistakes.
- Limit it to one page. Hiring managers generally have little time to waste, and no one is interested in reading your entire autobiography.
- Tailor the cover letter to that specific employer. Your generic cover letter shouldn’t be too generic!
Generic Cover Letter Example
Begin with the formalities, and adhere to standard professional letter formatting:
Your name, address (including city, state, and zip), phone number and email should be listed on separate lines, on the left side of the page. The date goes next, with the recipient’s contact information placed below that date.
That recipient information should include the contact name and title of the hiring manager, the company name, and business address.
That should be followed by a salutation, and the content of the general cover letter:
Naturally, the details of your general cover letter will differ from this example, but the basic format and style is one that can work well for a variety of different needs. And once you draft your generic cover letter, you can customize certain details to ensure that you more specifically address the needs of the company you’re attempting to join.
3 Important Tips When Writing a General Cover Letter
Quantify Your Experience
Use numbers wherever possible to catch the hiring manager’s attention. Don’t just say you increased sales, state the specific percent or dollar amount increase.
Use Compelling Language
Always make an effort to use strong verbs to describe your experience. Managed, increased, hired and implemented are some examples. We wrote an awesome list of 101 power verbs to use on a resume and cover letter.
Send a Well Written Resume
Remember that your cover letter is a gateway to the resume. Once the hiring manager looks at your resume, they should be convinced that you’re a great candidate for the position. You can get a free resume review from ZipJob and see what improvements you can make on your resume.
Good luck with your Job Search!