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How to Write a General Cover Letter That’s Not Generic

A CV is just another sheet of paper without a cover letter to show your human side. Use these 3 generic cover letter samples to write your own non-general cover letter fast.

Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Career Writer at ResumeLab
How to Write a General Cover Letter That’s Not Generic

Why do you need a generic cover letter?

Because you don’t want to start from scratch.

That’s smart.

Starting with a general cover letter saves time. It also keeps you from making rookie mistakes.

Plus it gets you to the endgame faster—

Making the hiring manager say, “Hey, she seems like a winner. I should slow down and pay attention to her CV.”

Do that, and you’re halfway hired.

In this article, you’ll get:

  • Three sample generic cover letter templates: one for experienced, one for entry-level, and an email general cover letter.
  • Steps to make a master cover letter you can tweak for every application.
  • The straight dope on why you should always customise generic letters.
  • Tips for how to write a general cover letter for lots of jobs.

Save hours of work and get a cover letter like this. Pick a template, fill it in. Quick and easy. Choose from 21 cover letter templates and download your cover letter now.

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Create your cover letter now

A general cover letter (also called a generic cover letter) is a document that focuses on the essential bits of your CV, including your skills, achievements, experience. It is a useful tool when you don't have enough time to write a targeted cover letter such as when going to a job fair. 

Let’s start with three great general cover letter examples:

1. Generic Cover Letter Examples

Here are three free generic cover letter samples you can copy and paste.

Example #1: Experienced General Cover Letter Sample

experienced

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Text version

[Your Name]

[Your Job Title]

[Your Mailing Address]

[Your Email]

[Your Phone Number]

 

[Date]

 

[Hiring Manager Name]

[Hiring Manager Title]

[Company Name]

[Company Address]

Dear Ms./Mr. [Hiring Manager Name],

It was a thrill to [Your Biggest Achievement that Fits the Job Description’s Needs]. My passion for [Skill #1 Mentioned In the Job Posting] and [Skill #2 Mentioned In the Job Posting] made it happen. That's why I'm so interested in the [Job Title] position advertised at [Company Name].

I heard about your [Company Challenge You Can Help With] when I came across your [Webinar/Speech/Article]. Your belief in [Key Philosophy of Hiring Manager or Company] is exciting, and fits with my own accomplishments:

  • [Skill #1]. Raised [Key Metric] by [%] in [Time Frame] by using [Skill].
  • [Skill #2]. Implemented [Important Program and Job Qualification from the Job Posting] that reduced [Key Metric] by [%].
  • [Skill #3]. Achieved [%] cost savings through the application of [Skill].

The [Job Title] position at [Company Name] is an outstanding opportunity to intensify my [Key Requirement from the Job Description] skills. I'd love to chat with you about your goals for the coming year.

Best Regards,

[Your Name & Job Title]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email Address]

[Your LinkedIn Profile Link]

Wow.

They’ll hope someone else didn’t snap you up first.

That sample generic cover letter is short, engaging, and superglues you to the job. It takes specifics from their ad and shows you’ve nailed them in the past.

It’ll put you first in line at interview time.

But—

What if you’re a new graduate?

See the next of our general cover letter examples:

Example #2: Entry-Level General Cover Letter Sample

entry-level

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Text version

[Your Name]

[Your Job Title]

[Your Mailing Address]

[Your Email]

[Your Phone Number]

 

[Date]

 

[Hiring Manager Name]

[Hiring Manager Title]

[Company Name]

[Company Address]

Dear Ms./Mr. [Hiring Manager Name],

As a new [Job Title] and a recent graduate of [School Name], I'm writing to apply for the position of [Job Opening] at [Company Name]. As I begin my [Career Name] career, I believe I have the dedication and book smarts to be the perfect entry-level [Job Title] employee at your facility.

Your [Job Title] job description online says you're looking for an entry-level [Job Title] who can [First Skill from the Job Ad][Second Skill from the Job Ad], and [Third Skill from the Job Ad]. During my time at [University, High School, or Unrelated Job] [How You Used Skill #1] with [%] accuracy. I also [How You Used Skill #2] receiving a [%] score from my instructor. Finally, I [How You Used Skill #3], achieving [Impressive Metric with Number].

I would highly value the opportunity to talk about your upcoming challenges and goals, and show how my [Two More Skills or Qualifications from the Job Ad], and willingness to learn make me a key contender for the [Job Title] position.

Best Regards,

[Your Name & Job Title]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email Address]

[Your LinkedIn Profile Link]

Flawless.

You’ll look like the best entry-level applicant in history with that generic cover letter sample.

Next—

Do you need a paper letter like the ones above? Or will you be writing a general cover letter via email?

See this sample email generic cover letter sample:

Example #3: Email Generic Cover Letter Sample

Text version

Subject line: [Job Title][Your Name] Seeks Position with [Company Name] (Job ID #[Job Number from Online Ad])

Dear Mr/Ms. [Hiring Manager Name]

My CV for the [Job Title] opening at [Company Name] is attached.

As a [Job Title] with [#] years of experience at [Former Company Name], I cut costs by [%] and raised revenue [£] in [Months/Years] through applied use of [Skill or Job Requirement from the Online Posting]. I'm excited about the [Job Title] opening at [Company Name] because I caught your [Webinar/Speech/Article] last month and I love your approach to [Thing You Love About the Manager’s Philosophy].

I'd love to talk with you about your needs, and how my experience [Big Achievement that Fits the New Position’s Requirements] at [Former Company Name] can help you meet your objectives. Could we set up a time to chat?

Best Regards,

[Your Name & Job Title]

[Your Email Address]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your LinkedIn Handle]

Pow.

The last of our general cover letter samples is short and punchy. Plus, it’s like a candy-store of skills they need.

Now let’s see how to write a generic cover letter for a CV.

Expert Hint: Nearly 60% of hiring managers don’t read cover letters. Unless you know you’re dealing with that 60%, you still need to write the best cover letter you can. If you don’t, you’ll cut your chance of getting hired by 40%. So—an easy-to-adapt cover letter can shorten your time in the jobless zone.

Need all the steps to write your cover letter fast? How To Write a Cover Letter in 10 Minutes (10+ Examples)

Double your impact with a matching CV and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

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Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

2. Use General Cover Letter Templates—But Don’t Submit One

You know you’ll send a cover letter. But—

You don’t have all day to write it.

Or maybe you’re applying for 100 jobs and you just need some boilerplate.

Be careful.

Sending obviously generic cover letters smacks of laziness. They’ll think you don’t care about their company.

It’s like telling the love interest of your dreams, “Hello insert name here. I like your face, hair, personality, or brain. Would you care to get to know me for an unspecified time?”

Won’t work, right?

General cover letters can’t look generic. You have to tweak them so the hiring manager feels special.

If your cover letter looks too general:

  • You’ll look lazy or uncaring.
  • Other candidates will seem to fit better.
  • The employer will think you’re just going through the motions.

Generic cover letters may feel fast, but they can sink your hopes of getting hired. Don’t worry. Just use one of the cover letter templates up top, and fill it with specifics.

3. Create and Use a Master Cover Letter

Here’s the problem:

It takes too long to write non-generic cover letters for each job opening.

But—

If you write specific cover letters for each job, you’ll be 95 before they hire you.

The solution?

Start with one of the general cover letter templates above.

Fill it with your personal info. Then save it as your master cover letter template.

Then—spend 5 minutes tweaking it for each job you apply to.

Warning:

Proofread. Nothing torpedoes your hiring hopes like forgetting to replace “[Company Name].”

Expert Hint: Research in the Corporate Recruiters Survey Report shows 56% of US firms give signing bonuses to new recruits from business school. A better, passionate, targeted generic cover letter for your CV might not just help you get a job. It can boost your bottom line.

Need more tips on writing a general cover letter? See these guides:

How do you address a cover letter template? How to Address a Cover Letter—20+ Examples & 3 Easy Steps

What’s the best way to end a cover letter? How to End a Cover Letter + Example Cover Letter Closings

Want the perfect cover letter format? Cover Letter Format: Examples You Can Copy and Use + a Full Guide

With ResumeLab’s CV builder you’ll write your CV in a flash. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Improve your CV in our CV builder now.

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Nail it all with a splash of colour, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Just pick one of 18 CV templates and get started now.

Key Points

Here’s how to write a general cover letter that gets jobs:

  • Start with a good generic cover letter template.
  • Make general cover letters personal with details from the job ad.
  • List your specific achievements that fit the job posting’s requirements.
  • Create a master cover letter template with your information.
  • Spend 2 minutes updating your master cover letter for each application.
  • Proofread to make sure you didn’t miss a spot of boilerplate.

Do you have questions about writing general cover letters? Need more cover letter samples for generic jobs? Let’s chat in the comments section. And thanks for reading!

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At ResumeLab, excellence lies at the heart of our values, underpinning our promise to provide outstanding career resources. Our team of career experts meticulously assesses each article in line with our editorial guidelines, guaranteeing our content's high quality and dependability. We consistently engage in original research, illuminating the nuances of the job market and earning acclaim from various influential news outlets. Our commitment to delivering professional career advice draws millions of readers to our blog annually.

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Having published over 200 career-advice articles, Tom Gerencer is a career expert who covers the whole array of job-seeking topics for people at all career stages, from interns to C-suite members. His insights, commentary, and articles reach over a million readers every month. With inside knowledge of key industry players and in-depth research, Tom helps job seekers with advice across all professions and career stages. Tom holds a degree in English from Colby College.

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