Cover letters are slowly becoming a thing of the past but there are still plenty of companies that require a cover letter before considering you for a position. When they do, you want it to be amazing and sell "You" as a great fit for the role. So, recycling your cover letter from company to company is never a good idea.
Your cover letter should be an example of your best-written work that shows you are professional, confident and a great fit for the specific role that you are applying for. Here are 2 reasons why recycling a cover letter is a bad idea.
1. Cover letters should be relatable
Your cover letter should be relatable to the job that you are applying for. If you are using the same cookie-cutter cover letter for every job you apply for, the interviewer will know. Every job has a different description and different responsibilities and qualifications for the role. You should use specifics from the job requirements in your cover letter so that the person reading it can tell that you wrote it specifically for that role.
You should try to specify the name of the person who will be reading the cover letter, not just “Dear HR Department”, or “Dear Hiring Team”. Also, you want to include details you learned about the company and the role. This shows that you did your research about the job and are passionate about it.
2. Cover letters should be unique
The easier your cover letter is to recycle, the more generic it becomes. Hiring managers get dozens of applications for each job. A generic cover letter is going to be much less likely to grasp their attention. You want your cover letter to be unique and attention-grabbing. You want your cover letter to show your personality. If it is boring, you are going to be perceived as boring and most likely just get pushed into the discard pile.
Good and Bad Examples
Here is an example cover letter for a Sales Manager position:
“Dear Sales Director,
I am reaching out to you regarding your open position of Sales Manager at XYZ Company. I have 10 years of management experience leading sales team members to success at ABC Corp. In that time I accomplished….
I have always admired XYZ Company’s sales initiative and would love the opportunity to speak with you more.
I have attached my resume for your review and look forward to hearing back from you.
“Dear hiring manager,
Please consider me for your open position of “Sales Manager” at “XYZ Company”. I am a skilled sales manager who would be a great asset to your company. My resume is attached, I look forward to meeting with you.
Speed is not always a good thing
Even though the first one would be a lot faster to write and you could send it out to multiple companies with minimal changes, you can tell that you did not put much thought or proofreading into it. The second one was unique and related directly to the job and connected with the employer.
There are machines that read your resume but a cover letter is always read by a person. A recycled cover letter is not going to make the impact needed to get you into the interview process. You have to be creative, unique and relate to the job to make a good impression.