Cover Letters

When you write a personalized cover letter for your job search, you get a leg up over your competition. Most job hunters think a cover letter covers all prospective employers. Wrong. That kind of a letter is nothing more than a boilerplate—the same words sent to everyone.

The reason cover letters must be personalized

Whether you’re looking for a job or selling a product or service, sending the same letter to everyone is a bad idea. Presenting your materials in the same way to everyone is a job search no-no.

After all, there are no cover interviews, cover phone calls, or even cover love letters. Boiler plates turn-off readers of your cover letter or e-mail.

Employers and customers of your product or service are just like you—unique individuals with different requirements. So they hire on the basis of those individual needs. That’s why a cover letter or sales pitch that impresses one prospect may not work with the next—even if they’re both in the same business.

So you need to custom tailor all of your elements by anticipating the needs of each prospective employer or customer. Then tell them what you think they want to hear.

How to convert a template into a personalized cover letter

Go ahead and write a template first. It’s to be used only as a model for individual letters you write from it. Some of the words and phrases in your model letter can be used in individual letters and e-mails with words and phrases varied to suit the needs of each hiring manager or customer to whom you write.

When you think of your cover letter as a custom-tailored letter you’ll make each reader feel like you’re a perfect fit for his needs. And chances are good that you’ll be invited to interview. You’ll learn how to turn those interviews into job offers by reading and applying the 60-second coaching vignyetts in my book, Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach. Click here to order from Amazon.

Copyright ©2016 by Ransom (Randy) Place


About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.