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A general cover letter, also known as a generic cover letter, is an all-purpose, universal document particularly useful when you apply for multiple positions or when you're going to a job fair. A good general cover letter highlights your relevant skills and experience and sums up the key points of your resume.
You’re a scroll away from it.
But here’s the twist—
We’ll show you how to write a general cover letter that doesn’t feel generic.
Recruiters hate copy-paste-templated job application letters.
Annoy them and all the jobs you found will slip by.
This guide will show you:
- Examples of a general cover letter for multiple positions sure to get you hired.
- How to write a generic cover letter for multiple positions.
- How to make a general cover letter look personalized and keep the employer happy.
- Successful samples and templates of all-purpose cover letters for no specific job.
Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.
Generic Cover Letter for a Resume—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.
Before You Commit to a Generic Cover Letter
The job posting read: cover letter optional. Or required.
Maybe you’re attending a job fair and you feel the right letter will help you.
You’re pressed for time, so, you want a universal cover letter.
Something that would work for any job and position—
Problem is: if you make a general cover letter too generic, you’ll hurt your chances of getting the job.
A bad cover letter will cost you your dream job.
And a bad cover letter is a generic cover letter:
- One-size-fits-all fits no one.
- Make it too generic and it looks lazy.
- You’re missing out on showing how great a match you are for this specific employer.
A generic cover letter feels like a timesaver, but it’s an opportunity killer. The good news is, we’ll show you how to make any general cover letter read like a custom cover letter
Create a “Master” Cover Letter, Instead
Yes, writing specific cover letters for individual job openings takes time.
So here’s a strategy to speed things up:
Make a “master” cover letter to use as a template.
Good cover letter templates do the heavy lifting for you.
You’ll still tailor this generic letter for each company and position you apply to.
But it will take no more than 5 minutes per document—
A perfect generic cover letter template is like playing Mad Libs: the main components of a story are already there—just fill in the blanks to make it unique.
For our ultimate guide on writing a good cover letter for job applications, check out this post: Cover Letter for a Job Application: Write One in 8 Simple Steps
Sample Generic Cover Letter Templates to Use
Here are some free cover letter examples for you to copy and paste to use for yourself.
Example of Cover Letter for General Use
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Hiring Manager’s/Recruiter’s Name
Hiring Manager’s/Recruiter’s Title
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. [Hiring Manager’s/Recruiter’s Last Name]
When I found the opening for the [Position] with [Organization/Company Name] I felt as if it was addressed to me. In my current position as [Position] at [Organization/Company Name], I’ve improved [achievement] by [%] in [months/years] which resulted in [Number + Result]. I’m sure I can use my expertise to bring similar results for [Organization/Company Name].
In my current position as a [Position] with [Current Organization/Company Name], my key challenge has been [Main Responsibility]. Here are some of my recent results:
- Succeeded at expanding [Achievement] by [%] since [Year].
- Skyrocketed [Achievement] scores by [%].
- Optimized [Achievement], saving the company [$/hours] a [month/quarter/year].
- Led a team of [Number] employees to increase [Organization/Company Name] revenue by [%] in [Number] years.
- My team has scored [Achievement] [Number] months/years in a row
I know that [Organization/Company Name]’s current plans involve [Company’s Plans]. It would be an exciting opportunity for me to use [Your Skill] developing [Company’s Project].
Can we schedule a meeting [Date] to discuss my solutions for boosting [Organization/Company Name]’s [Revenue/Traffic/Customer Satisfaction] by [%] in the next quarter?
Your Full Name
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
Your LinkedIn Account
Well, how about that?
This example cover letter template is enthusiastic, short, and damn compelling. It gives them some key achievements and accomplishments from your current job to show how well you’d do in the new one.
It easily allows them to picture you as the perfect candidate for the job.
Pro Tip: In your cover letter use the name of the company you’re applying to. It adds oomph and shows you took the time to write specifically to them.
We won’t talk about the cover letter header here, because we want to cut straight to the chase. See this post: How to Start a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples]
A great cover letter can be a game-changer, but to have a shot at that dream job, you still need to write a perfect resume.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
If you’re a fresh graduate or applying for your first job ever, writing a cover letter is a must.
It is a chance for you to properly introduce yourself and show what value you can bring to the company (though you don’t have the experience, you have transferable skills, achievements, and relevant education).
Check this example out:
Basic Sample Cover Letter for Job Without Experience
29-37 Newtown Ave
Astoria, NY 11102
January 1, 2019
Content Team Leader
1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Dear Mr. Watson:
I was thrilled to see the position you’ve advertised for a new copywriter. I’ve always longed to be a writer, and I would be proud to begin my writing career with the Criminy Jickets website.
During my university studies, I had many tasks which would translate well into a role as a copywriter, including research and editing of an 85-page thesis. Some achievements include:
My final assignment was a paper which was scored a perfect 100%.
- I successfully tutored students who had failed a semester, improving their grades cumulatively by an entire GPA point.
Becoming the new staff copywriter on your blog would really be the highlight of this year. I love following the other writers, and I’d bring that same enthusiasm and dedication to my writing each and every day.
I would be grateful for the opportunity to prove that my university achievements can be built upon for a copy career at Criminy Jickets.
In this one, even though Jane is giving in a cover letter with no experience, she transferred some skills and achievements from her college years which fit the position.
Also, see that she called the HR manager by name in her simple cover letter examples? This personalization shows the employer she did her homework and immediately puts her in front of other generic cover letters.
Pro Tip: Even if the rest of it is a generic cover letter, avoid the general intro statement, “To whom it may concern.” Whether it is in basic cover letter correspondence, emails, or when you’re waiting for your grande soy latte at Starbucks, it rarely works.
But, what if you can’t find a name and need a more generic cover letter greeting? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered: How to Address a Cover Letter: Sample & Guide [20+ Examples]
Sample Generic Cover Letter Template For Career Changers
If you’re not sure how to explain in your resume why you’re switching between careers, a cover letter is the right place to do it.
So show your motivation, willingness, and enthusiasm and make it work to your advantage: present how your previously-acquired skills can translate to the new position.
Here’s an example of a cover letter for a career changer:
Generic Cover Letter for Career Changer
386 Flatbush Ave Ext
Brooklyn, NY 11201
January 1, 2019
2370 Belmont Ave
Bronx, NY 10458
Dear Ms. Fuller:
I’ve only ever had pleasant experiences when dealing with the sales staff at Fuller’s Furniture, from when I furnished my first apartment to recently as I renovated my kitchen. Now you have an availability for the very same sales team, and I’d love to put in my application.
In my previous role as a self-employed graphic designer, I developed many skills which would be perfectly suited to a job as a salesman, including managing clients, ensuring reliable and friendly service, and fulfilling orders. I’m sure that I could achieve similar results at Fuller’s Furniture, such as:
- I won a design competition for color matching, which led to a 17% increase in sales
- I won the community board’s certificate of achievement for my customer service 3 years in a row.
I enjoy helping guests with beautifying their homes and delivering great customer service, and I would really love to continue this dedication as a member of your sales team.
I eagerly look forward to the chance to show you how my graphic design experience would make me a perfect fit for your furniture store.
P.S. I’d love to sit down with you (maybe on a piece of Fuller furniture!) and go over how I can bring my knack for client-building over and replicate it at your store.
This general cover letter shows you that you might have more experience than you’d previously thought.
A graphic designer applying for a furniture sales job didn’t seem too related, but our buddy Jacob here highlighted some transferable skills and accomplishments to show them he’s more than capable.
Pro Tip: Did you notice this one has a postscript at the end? A P.S. at the end of a general cover letter is a great little hack. It grabs their eye at the beginning, even if they don’t read the rest of it.
If you want more general examples of cover letters for specific professions, we got ‘em! Check them out here: Cover Letter Examples for Every Profession
Unless the employer specifically says in the job add not to—
Here are the basics on how to write a general cover letter for multiple jobs:
- Use a template provided above and adjust it.
- Start with “Dear” and the name of the hiring manager (“Dear Hiring Manager” is a last resort.)
- Use the company’s name throughout your cover letter to make it non-generic.
- Add achievements, accomplishments, experience, and skills relevant to the job.
- End your cover letter with a call to action that makes them reach out.
- Optionally, include a postscript to intrigue them even if the rest of the letter doesn’t get read.
Remember: a cover letter should never reiterate a resume. Rather, it should complement the resume by adding supporting details and explaining certain items (such as a resume gap in employment).
Got any questions on how to write a generic cover letter? Don’t know how to replace any general cover letter parts with something more tailored? Get at us in the comments below, and thanks for reading!