Generic Cover Letter
Sample generic cover letter. It is always advisable to personalize your general cover letter for the target job opportunity. However, there are situations when it is appropriate to use a generic cover letter. These are usually instances where you are not submitting your resume in response to a job posting or to a specific employer.
You can use a general cover letter when you go to a job fair and you are giving your resume and cover letter to a number of potential employers for different jobs.
You can also make use of the generic cover letter when you upload your resume and cover letter to a general job board or submit your resume to an employment agency to help you find a job.
If you are responding to a newspaper advertisement, online job posting or networking with a specific potential employer it is important to customize your cover letter to each employer and each job opportunity to show how you fit the job and company requirements.
Generic greeting to use for your cover letter
When you have to use a generic greeting there a number of suitable options.
Dear Sir or Madam
To Whom it May Concern
Some people use the salutation Dear Hiring Manager. This can be an issue if the person who reads the letter does not have that title.
In a generic cover letter the first section of your cover letter should include all the information on how the employer can contact you.
The body of your generic cover letter should include:
- the special skills and knowledge you have that result in successful job performance
- the education and qualifications that have prepared you to successfully carry out work-related tasks
- the strengths you have that make you an asset to any employer
- your work-related achievements
Example of a generic cover letter
Dear Sir or Madam
I am a hard-working and determined professional seeking an opportunity to succeed in a dynamic company such as yours. I am confident that my knowledge, ability and experience allow me to deliver successful results for any company in a range of administrative positions
Please allow me to highlight my key skills:
- able to effectively manage my time through careful planning and organization of work activities
- an aptitude for identifying and resolving problems efficiently
- excellent communication skills that result in positive interpersonal relationships
- a track record of meeting deadlines and producing accurate work of a high standard
- proven ability to make sound decisions based on valid information
- the capacity to learn and and apply new information quickly and accurately
- strong computer skills with proficiency in MS Office
I am convinced that I can be an asset in any position requiring hard work, enthusiasm and reliability and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
The enclosed resume expands on my qualifications and experience.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
When writing a general cover letter it is best to focus on transferable skills and core competencies that ensure success in a range of jobs and companies.
12 Core Competencies
List of Strengths
What are your Strengths?
You can use phrases like these to describe generic skills and competencies in your general cover letter.
Motivation - I am an enthusiastic and self-directed worker looking to join a reputable company who would benefit from an employee who is ready to give his/her all to succeed
Problem solving - able to collect and analyze information to find workable solutions to problems
Planning and Organizing - My focus on efficiently planning and organizing my work has proven successful in prioritizing and handling multiple tasks
Communication - Proven ability to effectively communicate with a diverse range of people
Teamwork - I enjoy working as part of a team and positively contributing to group achievementReliability - I approach all my work with focus and commitment to complete the task on time and to standard
Stress Tolerance - I am accustomed to a fast-paced environment and work well under pressure
Use these Sample Cover Letters for different jobs. Adapt the cover letter that suits your needs.
Basic Generic Cover Letter
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You’ve found the perfect job and finally sat down to write that cover letter (good for you!), but immediately you’ve run into a roadblock. How do you even start the darn thing? Should you use Mr. or Ms.? Do you include a first name? And what if you’ve searched high and low, but can’t find the hiring manager’s name?
Don’t fret! Follow these rules for cover letter salutation salvation.
Rule #1: Use a Formal Full Name Salutation
Unless you know for sure that the culture of the company is more casual, use the hiring manager’s first and last name, including a “Mr.” or “Ms.” (e.g., Mr. Jack Smith).
Most letters I see still use the “Dear” greeting, though I’ve seen a growing trend of people dropping it and starting with “Hello” or just the name. Either way works. The most important part is having the actual name. Never use “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear or Sir or Madam”—nothing could be more generic (not to mention archaic). Your cover letter could be the first opportunity you have to make an impression on the hiring manager, so make sure you show that you did your company research.
One note of caution, if you can’t decipher whether to use “Mr.” or “Ms.” based on the name and a little Google stalking (and you don’t have an easy way out with a “Dr.”), just drop the title.
Rule #2: If You Don’t Know the Hiring Manager, Guess
Sometimes, even after hours of online searching (try these tips), you still might not be able to definitively figure out who exactly the hiring manager for the position you’re applying for is—and that’s OK.
If you can only find a list of the executives of the company and you’re not completely confident who the hiring manager is, use the head of the department for the position you’re applying for. In the end, no one will fault you for addressing the letter higher up than necessary. This approach is definitely better than not using a name in your cover letter, because it still shows the time and effort you took to find out who the department head is.
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Rule #3: Be as Specific as Possible
So, you’ve done your due diligence and after an exhaustive search—nothing. You just can’t find a single name to address your cover letter to. If that’s the case, don’t worry. The company is likely privately held with no reason to share who its employees are—and, more importantly, is aware of this.
If this is the case and you don’t have a name to use, try to still be as specific as possible in your greeting. Consider using “Senior Analyst Hiring Manager” or “Research Manager Search Committee”—something that shows that you’ve written this letter with a particular audience in mind.
Ultimately, you want your cover letter to convey your interest in the position. To start off on the right note, get the salutation right by being as specific as possible—ideally with the name of the hiring manager. Of course, that can’t always happen, but as long as the effort is clearly made, you’ll be starting your cover letter in the right place.