Published at Thursday, May 09th 2019. by Aubry Andrieux in cover letter.
Have you met free cover letters and their best friend the trashcan? They go hand in hand. Whenever you see a free cover letter, and you're tempted to borrow it and tweak it to pass it off as your own, you should know that letter is going to probably end up in the trash can. We've all seen the sites online for free cover letters. We know they are out there and if we know it then guess what, employers know also. You may feel like it's the answer to all your prayers, but the truth is, it's really more of a nightmare for you. First take the time to read the letters. They sound really good right? Wrong. While they can provide an excellent guideline for what your cover letter should resemble, they do not contain one ounce of personality. More importantly they do not contain your own personality. Most of these free letters are boring. There is not one ounce of originality in them. Essentially you get what you paid for. You paid nothing for them and they really are nothing.
For the most part cover letter examples are just that, they are generalized examples that can be used by anyone needing a cover letter. So keep in mind that it is only an example and that you can not just change around a few words and send it out as your cover letter. When you send a cover letter out like this you are taking huge risk that your employer has seen the same old cover letter countless times before. As stated above they are looking for any reasons and that means any reason at all.
So while these cover letters online can can be a excellent resource when it comes to learning the format of a cover letters, their content leaves little to be desired. Most of the employers and hiring managers are so skilled at reading cover letters they can spot a generic online one from miles away. It's one thing to use these free samples as a reference for when you are writing your own cover letter, but to copy it word for word changing a word here or there is the kiss of death in the job hunting world.
The answer is simple. They aren't. It is important to move away from using resume cover letter templates and begin using a personalized resume cover letter that makes the hiring manager convinced that one is the right person for the position. It is definitely more work, at least a first, but the process of a personalized cover letter reaps greater benefits. The percentage of positive responses to a personalized cover letter, versus a resume cover letter template, is greater. Thus the amount of resumes a job-seeker has to send out is lessened. This makes the initial work of writing a resume cover letter even out against the traditional job-seeker which uses a resume cover letter template.
One of the key elements to writing a good cover letter is the first sentence. It should be a strong sentence, and grasp the reader's attention, and then should keep building. It is also important to address a good cover letter to the actual individual that is overseeing hiring for that position. This may require a little research, but it will be worth it in the end. Once the first paragraph has the hiring manager's attention, it's all downhill.
Look at the second paragraph of these free letters. Do they include any highlights from your resume? Do they show how your skills and qualifications match those of the position? Probably not, because the letter is not geared toward any company or position. One of the key functions of a cover letter is to show how you and company are a great match. There is no way a free cover letter that you didn't write is going to get that across. This is the paragraph where you really have the chance to endorse yourself. You want to show the company that you are the solution to their problems. Why would you depend on a cover letter written by a complete stranger to do that for you? Ask yourself this, would you send a stranger in to an interview for you?
You can add more to the cover letter than is suggested if you feel it is necessary, however, cover letters should be relatively short. They should be no longer than two pages at the most, but ideally one page of three to four paragraphs is what you should aim for. Remember when writing cover letters that they should be short, concise and to the point. Do not include anything that is not directly relevant to your application. Make it as easy as possible for a potential employer to see that you fulfill all the specifications for the job. Your cover letter is meant to both inform and influence. In a sense, writing cover letters that are effective and interesting will predispose potential employers in your favor and they will read your resume more proactively and positively than otherwise.
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