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Free Cover Letters And The Trashcan

Oct 25, 2007
Have you met free cover letters and their best friend the trashcan? They go hand in hand. Whenever you see a free cover letter, and you're tempted to borrow it and tweak it to pass it off as your own, you should know that letter is going to probably end up in the trash can.

We've all seen the sites online for free cover letters. We know they are out there and if we know it then guess what, employers know also. You may feel like it's the answer to all your prayers, but the truth is, it's really more of a nightmare for you. First take the time to read the letters. They sound really good right? Wrong. While they can provide an excellent guideline for what your cover letter should resemble, they do not contain one ounce of personality. More importantly they do not contain your own personality. Most of these free letters are boring. There is not one ounce of originality in them. Essentially you get what you paid for. You paid nothing for them and they really are nothing.

When you apply for any position, I'm sure you are all too aware that you are not the only one applying for that position. This is why it's so important to have a good cover letter. Your cover letter is going to get your foot in the door. It's the first step to the hiring process. Your cover letters needs to be more than just an average cover letter from the internet. Your cover letter needs to stand out among the rest. A boring cover letter is just going to wind up in the trashcan.

Most of the free cover letters you will find out there are very generic. Their introductions can sometimes include the 5 most fatal words a cover letter can contain "To Whom it May Concern". Those words alone will earn any cover letter a trip to the trashcan. A good cover needs to be addressed to a specific person. The first paragraph is always customized for that company you are applying to. A free cover letter is never going to show that you understand the business needs of the company. A free cover letter is never going to be able to introduce you and why you want to work for the company. Only you can do that.

Look at the second paragraph of these free letters. Do they include any highlights from your resume? Do they show how your skills and qualifications match those of the position? Probably not, because the letter is not geared toward any company or position. One of the key functions of a cover letter is to show how you and company are a great match. There is no way a free cover letter that you didn't write is going to get that across. This is the paragraph where you really have the chance to endorse yourself. You want to show the company that you are the solution to their problems. Why would you depend on a cover letter written by a complete stranger to do that for you? Ask yourself this, would you send a stranger in to an interview for you?

So while these cover letters online can can be a excellent resource when it comes to learning the format of a cover letters, their content leaves little to be desired. Most of the employers and hiring managers are so skilled at reading cover letters they can spot a generic online one from miles away. It's one thing to use these free samples as a reference for when you are writing your own cover letter, but to copy it word for word changing a word here or there is the kiss of death in the job hunting world.

Take the time to sit and write a good your own cover letter. While a cover letter needs to contain a lot of information in a small amount of space, it's not too hard to write if you keep it one thing in mind: If you were the employer, what would make you hire yourself? There is no way a free cover letter sample could answer that question. While they may seem like a quick and easy fix to the dilemma of writing a cover letter, in the long run it's not worth the damage it can do to your job hunt. You can see now why a free sample cover letter and the trashcan are best friends.
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 checkout his recommended websites.
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