I created a generic letter for Stanley because he had no time to write customized cover letters. Stanley was working six days a week and many nights. He was lucky to find two hours each Sunday to read help wanted
ads let alone the time it took him to write cover
Stanley wanted a better sales position so we created a generic cover letter that emphasized the skills requested for several sales positions. The generic cover letter saved Stanley a lot of time. All he had to do was copy it, slip it into an envelope and mail it with his resume. Using the generic
cover letter below Stanley received a little less than a 50% request for interviews.
If you wish to apply for positions that are very different, then it's important to write a generic
cover letter for each
type of position - but use them only as a last resort.
For example, Gretta managed a headache clinic and was also a Gemologist (she selected gems for a major jewelry
firm) - so she needed 2 entirely different cover letters. Physicians aren't going to want to know about her gemology background
when they read a cover letter and jewelry stores aren't going to want to know about
headache clinic operations when reading a cover
When applying for either of these jobs, Gretta needed to create individual
cover letters letters focusing only on skills needed in each particular field. Stanley's
generic cover letter generated a high response rate because he only used it to apply for sales positions.
To create a strong generic letter, pull out 5 to 10 ads for similar types of positions you want.
Make a list of
all the skills required, ten group them together and label
them with broad skill headings for use in your generic cover
letter. Create skill headings or bolded statements that address the most important skills or those requirements that are repeatedly asked
for in your job ads to create your generic cover letters.
Since you'll be
printing or photocopying your generic letter and addressing
it individually you can use a salutation like Attn: Recruitment or Attn: Human Resources Department.
As you can see, you won't have a contact's name so you probably won't be able to follow-up. This is a pitfall of generic
If you are like many job seekers you may be thinking that a generic
cover letter is the way to go. However, you
will not generate as strong a response with generic cover letters as you will with customized
cover letters. I know that it is difficult to work, come home and take care of a family and then find time to write resumes, cover letters and applications. But your success rate is dependent upon the time and effort you put into marketing yourself for each individual
job and in writing individual cover letters (even though
this page is about generic cover letters).
In my last job search, several years ago, I was often up until 1:00 am
completing applications and creating customized cover letters. My efforts paid off and I generated a 100% response rate.
So remember, generic cover letters are better than getting nothing in the
mail--but be sure to base them on a variety of job ads for
the jobs you want!
information is extracted from my book, Proven
Resumes Strategies That Have Increased Salaries.
The cover letter strategies in my book have been responsible
for helping clients raise their pay $2,000 to $80,000 more
If you're having difficulty creating a resume and
cover letter - you
might consider hiring me to write your resume.
The fee is $150 or $250 ... or consider buying my largest
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