You’re going to need to put in a little work to get the right job with the right salary, and you’re probably going to have to put in the work to keep that job as well. Getting a chance to work is, funnily enough, a lot of work, and it can get tiring sometimes! However, the easiest way to make the process last longer is to cut corners, and one of the corners job seekers choose to cut most often is with the cover letter.
It’s very easy to just change a couple words to make it seem like a cover letter was specially made for Company X or Corporation Y, but that usually means there is too much generic information in the body of the letter. While you may think you’re getting away with it, those weak sweeping statements like, “I will bring my drive and dedication with me every day and apply it to any project I’m given…” don’t leave any kind of impression on an employer; anyone can say something like that. Employers are looking for people who know about the company and can show that they are bringing solutions with them. A much stronger claim would go a little something like this:
“My extensive experience in the field of X, as proven by my time as a Y for Z doing W for the past three years, has amply prepared me to handle T.”
The above statement is specific, to the point and informed. That’s what every sentence in your cover letter should sound like, specifically written for the specific company you’re writing the cover letter for. Not doing so can unnecessarily slow down your job search. It’s a little extra work, but as job seekers you can’t slack off because employers can spot laziness from a mile away. The job search is hard enough, so don’t get in your own way by slacking off on something as easy as writing a cover letter.
As job seekers you’re probably getting pretty good at researching companies, which is great because you’ll need those skills to specialize each cover letter. Take fifteen minutes to look at a company website and see their goals and projects before sitting down to write your cover letter. Then decide how you are going to restate your credentials to fit exactly with what that company needs. There’s an infinite number of ways to say the same thing, you just have to choose the right one.
By specializing cover letters during the job search you also get a chance to see how your experience can be applied in different ways. Forcing yourself to think of ways to apply your skills to a specific company can make you see a whole new world of skills that you may not have known you even had. It’s good for the job search, but it’s also good for job seekers by boosting self-esteem.
Job seekers can’t afford to try cheap tricks during the job search; it just wastes precious time that could have been used more productively. Don’t waste your time by writing a typecast cover letter because you’ll find yourself searching a lot longer than you would have otherwise.
Do you create a new cover letter for each position, or just use the same one and tweak it slightly? Share with us in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by bearstache