A cover letter template can be a good place to start, but should not be where you stop. Just like with an executive level resume, your cover letter should be unique to you and the position you are applying to.
Generic cover letters with a few key words sprinkled in for the Applicant Tracking System is not going to get you the corner office or C-suite. Your career is beyond that now. You have leveled up and your cover letter and resume both need to reflect that. At this point in your career you have a good handle on what you are good at and how you can contribute to a team and company. You have a track record and the stats to prove it.
The issue isn’t the credentials – you’ve got them. It is how to portray your skills and assets through your cover letter and resume in the right way to beat out your competition and land the job. You’ve got this!
When a Cover Letter Template Just Won’t Cut It
You wouldn’t have made it this far in your career without realizing the wisdom in not “reinventing the wheel.” So, a cover letter template can be useful in the following ways:
- A good example of proper formatting
- Research similar cover letters related to your field and career path
- Can help you organize your information
- Look at examples of greetings and openings (Read: Best and Worst Greetings for Cover Letters)
The first thing you need to do when you find a template you like is to download it or copy and paste it and then delete ALL THE WORDS. Just assume none of these words apply to you. It is best to find your own voice and use your own words to convey why you are a good fit for the job and introduce your experience and skills.
You should write a new cover letter for each job you apply to. Find out as much as you can about the company and the position. If there is a job posting you can use the posting to help you write the perfect cover letter.
A Few More Tips About Cover Letters
Once you find the cover letter template you like for the formatting, here are a few more things to keep in mind:
- Write in your own words. Ultimately you want the letter to embody your own voice and reflect your own, individual experience.
- You want to come across as approachable and personable.
- Proofread it several times and have other people look at it too. It’s hard to proof our own writing so have your friends and family look it over.
- Use a standard font type. Times New Roman, Georgia or something similar, are simple and easy-to-read fonts. The size should be between 10 and 12. Don’t minimize the font to make it fit on one page. No one wants to break out the magnifying glass to ready a cover letter.
- Save the file as a PDF (which avoids it being changes or edited by someone else).
- Name the document something that includes your name, like John Smith Cover Letter. This will help the people you are sending it to.
Need more job advice?
For more insights and a community of like-minded professionals join our LinkedIn group Resume Help and Advice for Professionals and Executives