Can I send out the same letter for each application?

Posted in Career Blog

When drafting a cover letter-either for the first time or the fortieth time-it can be a pain. Why? Because whereas your resume is pretty cut and dry-as far as what information is included and where to put it-a cover letter must be an abridged version of this, and also incorporate your career goals, ties to the position/company, as well as offer any other specific information as requested by the job posting or company. Lastly, you have to squeeze all this information into a letter no longer than three to four paragraphs, and make the whole thing compelling and lucid. Once you have taken the time to build a cover letter for your career, you may think you are now done-for quite some time-as the same cover letter can be used for each and every job you apply to. The problem is, you can’t. Let’s take a closer look at just why you can’t use the same cover letter for each application for a job.

Different Jobs
Though many of us think that we can just leave a blank area for a particular job position and/or company on our cover letter-and use it as an ongoing template-we can’t. One of the biggest reasons why is because each cover letter should focus on a different job-and quite a lot varies between one job posting and another. Even if you are applying to the same job titled position, they most certainly are looking for slightly different responsibilities to be carried through-and you must be able to show why your experience makes you that specific match to that position.

Different Companies
Another significant reason why you can’t just draft a cover letter template and use it again and again with different names; is because each and every company is different-to whom you may be applying. So, whole the position may be the same, the company will have a different history, a different mission statement, and a different view on their employees and hiring. So, your cover letter-in order to be effective-needs to be addressed to these specific goals and intentions of the company you are applying for. One of the biggest mistakes applicants make when applying to a company is that they do not do enough research on what the company stands for and how their goals and history factor into the position that they may be applying to. So, beyond just what the company may use an introduction detail on themselves in the post for candidacy; an applicant needs to know how their own goals and mission fits in with the vision and history of the company.

Different Skills Required
Lastly, and quite significantly, is the subject of skills. Each job posting and/or company that you may apply for is looking for a different set of skills for the position you are applying for-from others in the industry, and perhaps, others in that business. The job posting will show evidence of this, and you must target your cover letter inquiry to the skills they have requested-either directly or implicitly in the ad. It shows that you are qualified for the position in the specific ways that they have requested, and took time and thought to apply to this particular job posting.

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