© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Cover Letter Creator"
Generic cover letters read just like boring form letters.
To land more job interviews, personalization is the key to your cover letters, and using a generic cover letter is a big mistake!
Wouldn't it be nice if there were a generic cover letter that was guaranteed to work every time? A letter that, with an address and name change, could go out to each and every potential employer and be sure to land the job interview. Though such a letter would mean the end for cover letter writing professionals like myself, it would almost be worth it because of all the joy it would bring frustrated job searchers worldwide.
Unfortunately, this generic cover letter does not exist. You see, unlike generic
drugs, which are chemically identical to name brand drugs but without the added
marketing cost of the branded versions, generic letters are completely different
from their personalized counterparts. They look different, they "feel"
different, they have generic information and --- this is the most important
fact, they fail to deliver the desired result.
Generic Cover Letters Leave Out "The Meat."
Specifically, a generic cover letter simply doesn't have the same interview-landing and job-getting potency a personalized cover letter contains. To use the pharmaceutical analogy again, generic cover letters are those little pink baby aspirins -- while finely-crafted, individually-composed cover letters are the mega-strong painkillers.
There's no getting around the fact: Whenever an employer puts an ad in the paper or post an opening on a job site, they are immediately swamped with cover letters and resumes. So YOUR cover letter, to have any chance of being noticed at all, has to sparkle and shine. What's more, it has to do that immediately. Because to get through the stack of cover letters on his or her desk, the hiring manager is going to give it a second or two before tossing it in the "possible interview" or "positive trash" pile.
A generic cover letter, filled with over-used, played out, non-specific (this
is what GENERIC means, by the way) phrases is not going to sparkle and shine
and demonstrate why YOU and YOU ALONE are the best candidate to help the hiring
manager meet his or her company goals. Only letters which are custom-tailored
by you, about you and for the specific job opening can accomplish that task.
Luckily, writing these letters is not as intimidating as you might think. All
it takes is the willingness to learn, and to seek the advice of experts in writing
these clear, specific, attention-grabbing letters. Once you learn how, you'll
never be tempted to look for that mythical, guaranteed-to-work generic
cover letter again.
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