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 cover 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 your cover letter 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:
Dear Mr. Jonathon HiringGuy,
I am responding to your recent advertisement announcing a service representative position on Indeed.com, and hope to get the opportunity to meet with you for an interview.
My career has involved service in both the retail and call center industries, where I’ve worked in conjunction with sales and problem resolution teams to enhance customer satisfaction. My most recent customer service experience has been at Sales Emporium, handling new customer accounts, returns and damage assessment, and cashier interactions.
In my time as a call center representative, I worked with cable television customer service and the internet solutions desk. My team was tasked with enhancing our resolution response time, reducing delays in repair technician scheduling, and coordinating new program roll-outs for company service offerings. My personal quota for customer interactions enabled me to service between six and ten customers an hour, depending on the complexity of the problem.
During and immediately after my college years, I gained valuable experience developing fundraising projects, and coordinating charity activities. Along with my major in communications, I have broad proficiency in word processing, spreadsheet, and database software.
I am confident that my technical training, education, and experience with customer relations will help me to provide the problem-resolution and customer service skills that you’re seeking in a new hire. Please feel at liberty to call me at 555-555-0000 to schedule an interview. I am eagerly looking forward to the chance to demonstrate the value that I can bring to your company.
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!
The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.