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Dangers Of A Free Cover Letter Template

Oct 24, 2007
You did your internet search for a free cover letter template, and even found one written for the job you wanted. Now all you have to do is make a few modifications, and you are good to go. Are you really?

Probably not.

While free cover letter templates are good as a reference, that is really their only useful purpose. Just read the thing. Do you know anyone who talks like that? Does anyone really say, "Please reference the enclosed resume"?

The good news for you is, so many people use these free cover letters that if you right anything original your cover letter has a much better chance of standing out from the crowd, and that is what this game is all about; getting your cover letter noticed.

Stand Out From the Crowd

The internet has made it so easy to click a button and send out a resume and cover letter that hiring managers may have to sift through dozens (or hundreds) of cover letters to find a few that are worth interviewing. With that volume, it is unrealistic to expect that they will read each individual letter from start to finish. Instead, they quickly scan the cover letters to see if there is anything that catches their attention. If your letter uses the same tired language as every other applicant that used a cover letter template, it will blend right in with the crowd. If you want to stand out, you have to be original.

Do Your Research

The first step toward originality is to do a little research. Start by finding the name of the person that will be reviewing your cover letter. Catch their attention by including their name. After reading "Dear Hiring Manger" countless times, seeing their own name will make them slow for a second look. Not only does it stand out, it sends a message that this is important enough to you to make the extra effort.

The next area you want to find out is a little bit about the company and its values. While you are writing the body of your cover letter, make sure you word it in a way that reflects the values of the company. If the company values excellent customer service, you can talk about ways you have demonstrated a commitment to customer service. Remember, if you want this job you have to show them how you can benefit them. It is not about you.

Be Specific

When you do write the body of your cover letter, limit yourself to a few specific qualifications. You only have one page to work with, so you have to be brief. Look at the list of requirements in the classified ad, and pick a couple that you feel are strong areas for you. Then you can mention what they require, and tell them how your experiences and qualifications will fill the company's needs. Anything you can add that will demonstrate that you have done some research about the company will increase the level of interest in your cover letter.

Be Alive

If you have taken the time to read one of the free cover letter templates, you quickly see how lifeless they are. If this is supposed to be a reflection of you and your abilities, then lifeless is not the message you want to send. You are unique individual with likes and dislikes. There you feel passionate about things. Your cover letter needs to show that.

If there are areas in your job that you love to work on, say so. Read your cover letter out loud; if your passion does not come through reword the letter so it does come through.


Before you close your letter, make sure you ask for an interview. So many cover letters miss the mark here, and it is a very important step. While it is all well and good to express an interest in the job, it is the call for action that really catches the reader's attention. After you ask for the interview, be sure to include your phone number so the interviewer can contact you.

This is your chance to call attention to yourself. If you do not get noticed, you will not get hired. Be unique. Be alive. Be yourself.
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 template checkout his recommended websites.
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