Is It Better to Use a Free Cover Letter Sample or Create a Personalized One?

Creating a personalized cover letter that speaks directly to the requirements of the position and the culture of the company often proves to be more effective that using a general letter that focuses on broad skills. It is possible to use a sample cover letter and customize it to create a document unique to each application.

Job seekers should make the most of a cover letter by highlighting the most relevant skills and experiences for a given position. Using the same cover letter for every job means the applicant is usually the most pertinent information to the employer, preventing the application from standing out against others.

One method for creating a personalized cover letter is to take a sample letter and modify each section to include the specific experience and qualifications of the applicant. The letter should address the exact requirements that appear in the job listing, explaining how the facts in the resume make the applicant the ideal candidate for the job. It should also feature language and a tone that matches the culture of the company. For example, a large financial firm might require serious and professional language, while an entertainment company may call for more theatrical wordings.