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Dangers Of The Free Cover Letter Example

Oct 18, 2007
Sometimes the internet makes things too easy. If you want to know how to do something, like write a cover letter, chances are there's a free example just waiting for you. However, just because something is free to use, it doesn't mean you should use it. Free cover letter examples fall into this category.

While a free cover letter example may give you a good guideline for how to structure your cover letter, it shouldn't be used for much more than that. The danger lies in relying too heavily on the free example, and not enough on your own talents and abilities. Unfortunately, your free cover letter looks like every other free cover letter. It doesn't stand out from the crowd, and cover letters that don't stand out don't get a second look.

Be Unique, Be Specific

Free cover letter examples are written to be somewhat generic. They have to be. They are written to be used by just about anyone. They cannot talk about your specific experiences or skills, and they do not say anything about the job you are applying for.

To be effective, your cover letter needs to be specific to you, and what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to let the people hiring know you are serious about the job you are applying for, you should at least take the time to write a cover letter that is targeted for that job. You should make sure you address what skills the position requires, and tell the person hiring how your skills match up. Most companies are not as concerned about how they can help you as they are in knowing how you can help them. If you do not tell them, they will never know.

Address your cover letter to a specific person when possible. This can be somewhat challenging when responding to classified ads. Many times these ads do not give any contact information other than an email address, but try to find out who is doing the hiring. This is another way of showing that you are serious enough to take the extra steps.

Before you start writing your cover letter, you need do some research about the company. This will help you be better able to market yourself. If you have an understanding about what the company's goals and values are, you can work that into the cover letter. If one of the company's values is to provide excellent customer service, you will be able to mention ways you have shown excellent customer service. Again, it's about making your cover letter specific to the job and company that is hiring.

Show Your Passion and Energy

Free cover letter examples also tend to be fairly lifeless. That is not a good thing when you are trying to draw attention to yourself. Your cover letter is, in essence, a personal sales letter. Think about your own preferences. Would you be more likely to buy something from a bored salesperson who drones on about the features of that product, or from a salesperson that spoke passionately about the product, and told you how it could benefit you? The same is true of your cover letter. You need to be able to send the message that you are a unique individual. You need to let those doing the hiring that you have confidence in your abilities, and that you have the passion and energy to be an asset to the company.

Ask For the Job

One thing I have noticed that is missing from many free cover letter examples is anything that asks for an interview. There is plenty that implies you want the job, or expresses interest in the position, but they do it without specifically asking for the interview. If you really want the job, ask for it.

After you ask for the job, make sure you let them know how to contact you. Make sure you include your phone number and email address so they can get a hold of you to set up an interview. Do not make them have to search to find your contact information. Even if it's in the header, list it again. Make it as easy as possible.

Sell Yourself

From the opening salutation to the ending period, your cover letter should be focused on one thing: selling your ability to fill this position. Show you skills and abilities to be of benefit to the company. Show that you have the passion and energy to be a valuable asset. Show that you have enough interest in the position to write a cover letter that is specific to this one job.

This is your personal sales letter. This is your chance to blow your own horn. If you do not sell yourself, who will?
About the Author
Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For more information on free cover letter example checkout his recommended websites.
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