Share this article:
Bookmark and Share

The Cover Letter Template … Not Such a Bad Idea After All

You’ve probably read countless times that each cover letter you write must be personalized or else it won’t be effective. The reality is, however, that if you are using the Internet to post your cover letter and resume, you will need a generic cover letter in order to post it online.

Generic doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take great care in formulating your cover letter, and it doesn’t mean including information with zero substance. A generic cover letter should include relevant information regarding your job history as well as some highlights from your career.

Sample Generic Cover Letter

Please accept my resume in consideration for the open position with your organization. With extensive management experience and consistent success in achieving objectives, I am confident I can contribute the same level of performance as a member of your team.

My experience in management extends over 20 years, as I have progressed from smaller-scale companies to my current role as Director of Financial Services for an $80 million commercial printing firm. Although my achievements span this entire period, I would like to mention a few representative contributions with my current employer to illustrate the skills and abilities I offer.

These achievements span various functions, demonstrating my ability to meet and exceed expectations in a variety of environments. I am certain that I will contribute the same level of performance with your organization.

To provide you with details concerning my qualifications and accomplishments, my resume is enclosed. I would welcome a meeting to discuss our mutual interests and the results you can expect from me.

Why This Cover Letter Template Works

Notice that the cover letter is still strong despite the fact that it doesn’t mention specific information about the hiring organization. Instead, the letter uses generic phrases such as, “…accept my resume in consideration for the open position with your organization” and “I am confident I can contribute the same level of performance as a member of your team.” These generic statements don’t take away from the focus of the cover letter—the applicant’s achievements and strengths.

Recycling the Cover Letter Template

A solid generic cover letter can be recycled for a job-specific letter. You can personalize it by making statements about the hiring organization. For example, “I recently read an article in Forbes magazine regarding your expansion into the international market” or “Brentwood Union School District was chosen as High School of the Year and I am confident that my years of teaching experience will be a welcome addition to your district as well” are the kind of statements that work well in a cover letter.

- Linda Matias

Certified in all three areas of the job search—Certified Interview Coach ™ (CIC), Job & Career Transition Coach (JCTC), and Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)—Linda Matias is qualified to assist you in your career transition, whether it be a complete career makeover, interview preparation, or resume assistance. She is also the author of How to Say It: Job Interviews (Prentice Hall Press) which can be found at or your local bookstore. You can contact Linda Matias at or visit her website for additional career advice and to view resume samples.