Generic Cover Letter
Sample generic cover letter. It is always advisable to personalize your general cover letter for the target job opportunity. However, there are situations when it is appropriate to use a generic cover letter. These are usually instances where you are not submitting your resume in response to a job posting or to a specific employer.
You can use a general cover letter when you go to a job fair and you are giving your resume and cover letter to a number of potential employers for different jobs.
You can also make use of the generic cover letter when you upload your resume and cover letter to a general job board or submit your resume to an employment agency to help you find a job.
If you are responding to a newspaper advertisement, online job posting or networking with a specific potential employer it is important to customize your cover letter to each employer and each job opportunity to show how you fit the job and company requirements.
Generic greeting to use for your cover letter
When you have to use a generic greeting there a number of suitable options.
Dear Sir or Madam
To Whom it May Concern
Some people use the salutation Dear Hiring Manager. This can be an issue if the person who reads the letter does not have that title.
In a generic cover letter the first section of your cover letter should include all the information on how the employer can contact you.
The body of your generic cover letter should include:
- the special skills and knowledge you have that result in successful job performance
- the education and qualifications that have prepared you to successfully carry out work-related tasks
- the strengths you have that make you an asset to any employer
- your work-related achievements
Example of a generic cover letter
Dear Sir or Madam
I am a hard-working and determined professional seeking an opportunity to succeed in a dynamic company such as yours. I am confident that my knowledge, ability and experience allow me to deliver successful results for any company in a range of administrative positions
Please allow me to highlight my key skills:
- able to effectively manage my time through careful planning and organization of work activities
- an aptitude for identifying and resolving problems efficiently
- excellent communication skills that result in positive interpersonal relationships
- a track record of meeting deadlines and producing accurate work of a high standard
- proven ability to make sound decisions based on valid information
- the capacity to learn and and apply new information quickly and accurately
- strong computer skills with proficiency in MS Office
I am convinced that I can be an asset in any position requiring hard work, enthusiasm and reliability and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
The enclosed resume expands on my qualifications and experience.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
When writing a general cover letter it is best to focus on transferable skills and core competencies that ensure success in a range of jobs and companies.
12 Core Competencies
List of Strengths
What are your Strengths?
You can use phrases like these to describe generic skills and competencies in your general cover letter.
Motivation - I am an enthusiastic and self-directed worker looking to join a reputable company who would benefit from an employee who is ready to give his/her all to succeed
Problem solving - able to collect and analyze information to find workable solutions to problems
Planning and Organizing - My focus on efficiently planning and organizing my work has proven successful in prioritizing and handling multiple tasks
Communication - Proven ability to effectively communicate with a diverse range of people
Teamwork - I enjoy working as part of a team and positively contributing to group achievementReliability - I approach all my work with focus and commitment to complete the task on time and to standard
Stress Tolerance - I am accustomed to a fast-paced environment and work well under pressure
Use these Sample Cover Letters for different jobs. Adapt the cover letter that suits your needs.
Basic Generic Cover Letter
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Cover Letters to Recruiters
In the world of recruiters and executive search firms, resumes rule. But this doesn't mean you should ignore or forgo sending cover letters.
"If a candidate's resume is a good fit to what I'm looking for, then I'm going to take a look at the cover letter," says Dan Anderson, a partner in St. Paul-based executive search and recruitment services firm C. Anderson & Associates. At Anderson's firm, both the resume and cover letter are filed for future reference.
Your Situation Dictates Your Cover Letter Approach
So what do recruiters look for in a cover letter? It depends on which of these three scenarios you're dealing with:
- Ad-Response Cover Letters: If a search firm is handling a job opening, gear your cover letter to the ad's desired qualifications.
"Let's say I'm reviewing responses to a Monster posting," says Anderson. "If the candidate has taken the time to tailor the cover letter and bring out how their background meets the qualifications I want, my impression is going to be that they're a sharp individual.
"One of the best cover letters I ever saw was written by a gentleman who took each point from the ad requirements section and answered every single one with a precise summary of how he fit my client's needs," he adds. "When I read it, I thought, ‘Finally! Somebody answered the question.'"
- Referral Cover Letters: "I always read a cover letter if it begins with something like ‘You worked with my friend so-and-so on a recent search, and he told me about your service,'" says Anderson. "If you've been referred to me by a source, this should be mentioned in the first line of your cover letter."
- Cold Cover Letters: These accompany unsolicited resumes. Recruiters receive dozens of these on any given day, so be brief. "Think ‘meat and potatoes' in terms of communicating only your top qualifications, and eliminate any additional fluff," says Diane Oates, founder and director of Corporate Diversity Search, a Webster, New York, firm that places women and minorities in Fortune 500 companies. Anderson adds that for this kind of cover letter, it's also a good idea to tell the recruiter your salary requirements, your target position and industry, and your availability for relocation or travel.
Eight Rules for Cover Letters
Regardless of what kind of letter you're writing, use this advice from recruiters to guide your efforts and maximize your chances for success:
- Remember Your Purpose: "Candidates need to ask themselves why they're writing to the recruiter in the first place," Anderson says. "Are you answering an ad? Introducing yourself? Or just spamming some generic letter out, which is never going to be very effective."
- Be Brief: "Brevity is extremely important on any cover letter to a recruiter," says Anderson, who prefers cover letters be a half-page or shorter.
- Narrow Your Focus: When replying to an advertised opening, your cover letter will focus on a specific opportunity. But when writing a referral or cold cover letter, many candidates are too broad in their job targets. "Don't try to make yourself all things to all people in your cover letter," Anderson advises. "As a recruiter, I'm looking for specialists with certain sets of expertise, not generalists."
- Set Realistic Goals: Don't use the cover letter to try to secure a position several steps above your current level. "Recruiters can only place people into positions that are the next logical step for them," Anderson explains.
- Emphasize Your Main Selling Points: "I like to see cover letters that profile a candidate's top qualifications," says Oates. "Whether that's a high GPA, a unique skill set or a strong record of professional advancement, write it down."
- Explain Unemployment or Gaps in Your Work History: Otherwise-qualified candidates who don't articulate good reasons for being out of a job or for a gap in their employment run a high risk of being screened out.
- Never Overstate Your Qualifications: Oates advises candidates to avoid exaggerating qualifications in order to be seen as a perfect match to an advertised opening. "Your cover letter, like your resume, should be completely truthful and accurate," Oates says. "Never falsify or misrepresent your background."
- Follow the Rules of Business Writing: "I like to see coherency, fluid sentences and concise writing," Anderson says. "Leave out the flowery language and generic descriptions, don't include personal details like your marital status, don't forget to include your contact information and of course, make sure you spell-check." Consult business-writing references for guidance.