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General Cover Letter Sample, Generic Template, & Tips

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Writing a heartfelt and personal cover letter can be time-consuming. It's no wonder you're looking for a quick option, and a generic cover letter sounds like a time saver. But is it always a good solution? What if it feels fake? It could make the wrong impression on the hiring manager.

Don't worry—we’ll show you how to write a general cover letter that doesn’t feel generic or copy-pasted. 

This guide will show you: 

  • Generic cover letter examples that work for various jobs.
  • How to write a geneal cover letter for a resume.
  • Expert advice to help you fill and personalize our generic cover letter template.
  • Tips on how to make a general cover letter sound more unique.

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.

Create your cover letter now

Generic Cover Letter for a Resume—See more cover letter examples here.

Need help writing your cover letter? These guides can help you:

You can also check our collection of 100+ cover letter examples for various jobs.

1. What Is a General Cover Letter?

A generic cover letter is a universal document you can use to apply for all job types. A general cover letter highlights your key skills and experience by providing insight into the most impressive points of your resume. Knowing how to write a general cover letter can help you apply for jobs faster.

It's understandable that when you’re pressed for time, 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 generic cover letter feels like a timesaver, but instead, it could be an opportunity killer. The good news is, we’ll show you how to make a general cover letter read like a love letter to the company you want to work for. Just like in this general cover letter example below:

General Cover Letter Sample

Luis Johns

Project Manager

913 Lakewood Drive

Bayonne, NJ 07002

201-858-5639

luisjohns@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/luisjohns

New York, 12/10/2022

Mary Penson

Director of Project Management

KVAP

3473 Forest Avenue

New York, NY 10040

Dear Ms. Penson,

I am writing to express my interest in the Project Manager position at KVAP. I believe that my experience and skill set make me the ideal candidate for this role.

As a former Project Manager at Bito, I have gained extensive knowledge of leading cross-functional teams and ensuring timely project completion. One of my most significant accomplishments was managing a project involving 5 departments that was delivered ahead of schedule and resulted in a 7% increase in revenue for the company. Apart from my strong project management skills, I have expertise in risk management, cost control, and stakeholder engagement. My passion for delivering successful outcomes makes me confident that I can add value to your team.

The innovative approach that KVAP takes toward business solutions aligns with my personal values, and I am passionate about being part of such an organization. With my proven track record of delivering results and exceeding expectations, I firmly believe that I can contribute significantly to your organization's growth.

I would love the opportunity to discuss further how I can contribute effectively at KVAP. Please let me know if we can schedule a meeting or a call at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Luis Johns

That's a general cover letter that isn't generic. In the following chapters, you'll learn how to write one just like that.

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 

2. How to Write a General Cover Letter

Yes, writing specific cover letters for individual job openings takes time. So here’s a strategy to speed things up: make a universal 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.

How to write a generic cover letter quickly:

  1. Create a cover letter outline by following the current cover letter formatting guidelines
  2. Make a cover letter header with your contact information and the information of the company you're applying to.
  3. Start your cover letter with Dear + the name of the hiring manager (“Dear Hiring Manager” is a last resort.)
  4. Fill the contents of your cover letter with information about your career achievements, the key skills, and most impressive work experience. Make sure that they're relevant to the job you're pursuing.
  5. Use the company’s name throughout your cover letter to make it non-generic.
  6. End your cover letter with a call to action that makes them reach out.
  7. Include a postscript to intrigue the recipient.

Want a solution that's even faster than completing these steps? Check the general cover letter templates in the following chapters!

For a guide on writing short and snappy cover letters, take a look at this: Short Cover Letter Examples for Job Application: 5+ Samples

3. Generic Cover Letter Templates to Personalize

Here are some general cover letter templates for you to copy and paste to use for yourself.

Generic Cover Letter for All Jobs (Template)

Your Name

Your Address

Your City, State Zip Code

Your Phone Number

Your Email

Date

Hiring Manager’s/Recruiter’s Name

Hiring Manager’s/Recruiter’s Title

Organization/Company Name

Address

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?

Sincerely/Best regards,

Your Full Name

Your Phone Number

Your Email Address

Your LinkedIn Account

Well, how about that?

This general cover letter sample 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 generic 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.

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 a professional resume template here for free.

When you’re done, our online resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will 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 generic cover letter example:

General Cover Letter Sample: Entry-Level Job

Jane Albright

29-37 Newtown Ave

Astoria, NY 11102

347-555-3214

jane.albright.kennedy@gmail.com

January 1, 2019

Humphrey Watson

Content Team Leader

Criminy Jickets

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.

Sincerely,

Jane Albright

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 general cover letter? This personalization shows the employer she did her homework and immediately puts her in front of other universal 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]

4. 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

Jacob Gerry

386 Flatbush Ave Ext

Brooklyn, NY 11201

929-555-9999

jake.gerry@gmail.com

January 1, 2019

Patricia Fuller

General Manager

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.

Sincerely,

Jacob Gerry

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

Key Takeaway

Here are the basics on how to write a general cover letter for multiple jobs:

  1. Use a template provided above and adjust it.
  2. Start with “Dear” and the name of the hiring manager (“Dear Hiring Manager” is a last resort.)
  3. Use the company’s name throughout your cover letter to make it non-generic.
  4. Add achievements, accomplishments, experience, and skills relevant to the job.
  5. End your cover letter with a call to action that makes them reach out.
  6. 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!

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

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Christian Eilers, CPRW
Christian is a career expert and Certified Professional Resume Writer. His guides cover every aspect of the career spectrum, from job hunting and acing interviews to settling in on the first days of a new career. With Christian's guidance, job seekers can navigate the job market with confidence and make the most of their career opportunities.
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