How to Write a General Cover Letter (Complete With Cover Letter Templates and Examples)
Keeping a top-notch general cover letter on hand can help you save considerable time and effort when hunting for a new position. A well-written general cover letter is a valuable resource when applying for numerous jobs because it can be repeatedly customized to reflect each role’s unique requirements.
Below you’ll learn what to include in a generic cover letter and how to quickly repurpose and customize a cover letter for multiple roles. You’ll also find multiple cover letter samples to help you create a general cover letter tailor-made for you.
What is a general cover letter?
Unlike a specific cover letter tailored to a particular job opening, a general cover letter can be adapted and customized for multiple job applications, even when applying to more than one job at the same company. Your generic cover letter will showcase your transferable skills, qualifications, and experience in a way that is easily applicable across various industries and multiple jobs.
When job hunting, an ideal general cover letter can be quickly repurposed many times over, saving the applicant time and energy on their applications.
How to write a generic cover letter
Use a professional format in your cover letter
While it’s important to use a warm and friendly tone, it’s more important to remain professional. Employers are looking for evidence that you approach your work earnestly and take your responsibilities seriously. By formatting a cover letter professionally, you’ll afford yourself the leeway to infuse a personal touch, providing hiring managers with more background and insight into your personality and professional brand.
Employ a general greeting for easy editing
Before you begin, it’s important to know how to address a cover letter. You can keep this aspect static while you customize other portions of each application to save time. When the aim is efficiency, you don’t want to be fussing over something as simple as your greeting.
You’ll want to greet the hiring manager by name as often as possible. When you have a contact person’s name, you can address the cover letter:
Example: Dear Ms. Doh,
When a job posting doesn’t identify the hiring manager, make an effort to find out who it is. LinkedIn is a great resource to do some digging; you can also explore the company website or call the company directly and ask to speak to human resources. Briefly explain that you're submitting a job application and would like to address the hiring manager by name on your cover letter.
Some companies may prefer not to disclose the hiring manager’s name; if this is the case, you can use a generic cover letter greeting:
Example: Dear Hiring Manager,
Include your personal contact information in each cover letter
Always include your contact information near the top of the letter. You want to be sure you’re easy to get in touch with should they find you a qualified fit.
While there is no agreed-upon standard on where to place this information, it’s usually somewhere up top. You can place it along the top, where you’d put a header, or in the right or left corners of a generic cover letter for multiple jobs.
You’ll also want to include the hiring manager's contact information. By providing the hiring manager's details, you can rest assured that your letter will reach the correct recipient, knowing it’s properly addressed.
Introduce yourself and explain why you’re applying
You’ll want to start your general cover letters with a brief snapshot of your professional background, which you can customize with more detail later, and explain what drew you to the role. Your potential employers are looking for someone who cares about and understands their work.
Showcase your passion
A passionate cover letter will stand out more than all-purpose cover letters that only show mild interest. Highlight a few aspects you enjoy about work in general that would be applicable to multiple positions, enabling you to use your generic cover letter for numerous applications. For example, you might draw attention to your collaborative instincts, passion for mentoring others, affinity for your target industry, or desire for professional growth.
Highlight relevant skills demonstrated in previous roles
When writing a cover letter, showcase your transferable skills from past experiences that would be valuable for any job you’re applying for. Think about valuable competencies like organizational skills, attention to detail, self-starting nature, or the ability to remain focused under pressure. An excellent general cover letter should demonstrate clear value to various roles—which can then be expanded upon and customized for each job application.
Even if you have limited work experience, you can still pull relevant skills from academic projects, volunteer work, group/club leadership, etc.
Express a willingness to adapt and learn in your generic cover letter
Communicating your willingness to learn and adapt to a new job setting can be valuable for a company. Employers want to hire individuals who are open to learning and can adjust to new or fast-paced environments. You can show this by highlighting instances from previous roles where you’ve had to learn unique key skills or adapt quickly. By expressing your welcoming approach to challenges, you can make a strong case for why you would be an excellent fit for the job.
Include “blanks” for both customization and plug-and-play
While it’s important to include portions that will be valuable to any role, leave space for customization. This lets you tailor your letter each time—and also reminds you to do so. Your generic letter might include something that looks like the following:
I'm thrilled to apply for [ROLE] at [COMPANY]. I appreciate the way [COMPANY] approaches [insert specific market challenge or problem] to provide consumers with [insert notable value].
I am a sales professional with 10 years of experience in outbound sales, inbound sales, renewals, and business development. My experience in [insert applicable experiences] would provide substantial value to [COMPANY] due to my demonstrated ability to [include specific skills].
Show respect through flexibility
In your closing remarks, state that you look forward to hearing from the person and are looking forward to an interview. If your schedule allows for flexibility, make it clear you’re happy to work around their schedule. Hiring managers are often inundated with applications, and by making yourself easy to schedule, you make it easy to confirm your interview.
Tips for writing a general cover letter
Demonstrate enthusiasm and motivation
Employers want to hire an ideal candidate who is motivated to contribute in a meaningful way. Expressing enthusiasm professionally can help you stand out from other candidates who may have similar qualifications but are less passionate about the work, giving you a leg up in the hiring process.
Keep it concise and error-free
Keep your general cover letter brief yet thorough and, most of all, error-free. A well-written, concise cover letter free of grammatical and spelling errors shows professionalism and attention to detail. Excellent resources commonly used are Grammarly and pretty much any spell-check feature. By keeping the letter concise, you’re not only providing a focused look at your candidacy but respecting the hiring manager’s time.
Use a professional tone
When writing a cover letter, use a professional tone when conveying your interest for the job. A professional demeanor shows that you take the work seriously and put effort and careful planning into your application. You can still be warm and friendly, but it’s best to avoid overly casual terms or colloquial expressions.
General cover letter example and template
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am thrilled to express my interest in the [Position] role at [Company]. As an experienced [Industry] professional with [X] years of experience, I’m confident my skill set and qualifications would provide considerable value to this position.
In my current role at [Current Company], I have gained valuable experience in [relevant skill or experience]. I am particularly proud of [accomplishment or project], which demonstrates my ability to [skill or trait related to the position].
I am drawn to [Company] because of its reputation for [company values or mission]. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute my skills and experience to a company that shares my passion for [industry or field].
In addition to my experience, I possess excellent [skill relevant to the position], as well as [soft skill or trait]. I am a quick learner, a team player, and I can work under pressure to meet tight deadlines.
Thank you for considering my application and enclosed resume. Please let me know a time and day that works best with your schedule to further discuss my qualifications and the role. I’d love to learn more about what you’re seeking in a [Position], I’m happy to work around any time constraints.
You can use AI technology like ChatGPT to generate cover letters for different positions and multiple applications.
Cover letter templates for different job titles
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am excited to apply for the Executive Assistant position at [Company]. With over [number of years] of experience as an executive assistant, I am confident in my ability to provide comprehensive support to senior executives and make a positive impact on your organization.
In my previous role at [Previous Company], I worked closely with the CEO and other senior leaders to manage their calendars, arrange travel, and coordinate meetings and events. I also played a key role in managing projects, preparing reports and presentations, and handling confidential information.
My strong organizational and communication skills, attention to detail, and ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment have enabled me to consistently deliver high-quality work and build positive relationships with colleagues and clients alike.
I am excited about the opportunity to bring my experience and skills to your team and contribute to your organization's success. Thank you for considering my application.
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am excited to apply for the Marketing Manager position at [Company]. With my extensive experience in marketing strategy and execution, I am confident that I can lead your team in achieving your marketing goals and driving growth for the company.
In my previous role at [Previous Company], I successfully managed a team of marketing professionals to develop and implement effective marketing campaigns that increased brand awareness and drove sales. I am experienced in market research, consumer behavior analysis, and developing comprehensive marketing plans that align with company objectives.
In addition to my strategic skills, I have strong project management skills and experience working cross-functionally with teams such as product, sales, and design. I am also proficient in marketing automation tools, CRM systems, and data analytics software.
I am passionate about marketing and am excited about the opportunity to bring my experience and skills to your team. Thank you for considering my application.
Human resources coordinator
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am excited to apply for the Human Resources Coordinator position at [Company]. With my strong organizational skills and experience in HR administration, I am confident in my ability to provide valuable support to your team and contribute to the success of your organization.
In my previous role at [Previous Company], I managed HR processes such as onboarding, benefits administration, and employee records management. I also supported recruitment efforts by screening resumes, scheduling interviews, and assisting with the hiring process.
I am proficient in HRIS systems and have a deep understanding of HR compliance and regulations. Additionally, my strong communication skills and ability to build positive relationships have enabled me to effectively support employees and management.
I am passionate about HR and am excited about the opportunity to bring my experience and skills to your team. Thank you for considering my application.
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am excited to apply for the Accountant position at [Company]. With my extensive experience in accounting and financial analysis, I am confident in my ability to contribute to your organization's success.
In my previous role at [Previous Company], I managed general accounting processes, prepared financial statements, and provided analysis to support strategic decision-making. I am also experienced in tax planning and compliance, payroll processing, and internal controls.
I am proficient in accounting software such as QuickBooks, and have strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Additionally, my attention to detail and ability to work collaboratively with colleagues have enabled me to consistently deliver high-quality work.
I am passionate about accounting and am excited about the opportunity to bring my experience and skills to your team. Thank you for considering my application.
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am excited to apply for the Project Manager position at [Company]. With my extensive experience in project management and leadership, I am confident in my ability to deliver successful projects and drive growth for your organization.
In my previous role at [Previous Company], I managed complex projects from conception to completion, utilizing project management methodologies such as Agile and Scrum. I am experienced in resource allocation, risk management, and stakeholder communication, ensuring projects are delivered on-time and within budget.
I have strong leadership skills and experience managing cross-functional teams of both internal and external stakeholders. My ability to foster positive relationships and communicate effectively with colleagues and clients has enabled me to deliver successful projects and exceed expectations.
I am proficient in project management software such as Asana and Trello, and have a deep understanding of project management best practices. Additionally, my problem-solving skills and ability to adapt to change make me a valuable asset to any team.
I am passionate about project management and am excited about the opportunity to bring my experience and skills to your team. Thank you for considering my application.
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am excited to apply for the Software Engineer position at [Company]. With my extensive experience in software development and programming languages, I am confident in my ability to contribute to your organization's success.
In my previous role at [Previous Company], I designed, developed and maintained complex software systems utilizing programming languages such as Java, Python and C++. I am experienced in the full software development life cycle including requirement gathering, design, development, testing and deployment.
I have strong analytical and problem-solving skills and am proficient in software engineering tools such as Git and Jenkins. Additionally, my ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues and clients has enabled me to consistently deliver high-quality software solutions.
I am passionate about software engineering and am excited about the opportunity to bring my experience and skills to your team. Thank you for considering my application.
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am excited to apply for the Graphic Designer position at [Company]. With my strong design skills and experience in visual communication, I am confident in my ability to create effective and impactful designs for your organization.
In my previous role at [Previous Company], I designed a wide range of marketing collateral, including logos, brochures, social media graphics, and website layouts. I am proficient in design software such as Adobe Creative Suite and have a deep understanding of design principles such as color theory, typography, and composition.
I have a strong creative vision and am experienced in working collaboratively with clients and colleagues to bring their ideas to life. Additionally, my ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet tight deadlines has enabled me to consistently deliver high-quality work.
I am passionate about design and am excited about the opportunity to bring my experience and skills to your team. Thank you for considering my application.
Biochemical research assistant
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am excited to apply for the Biochemical Research Assistant position at [Company]. With my strong background in biochemistry and experience in laboratory research, I am confident in my ability to contribute to your organization's scientific research.
In my previous role at [Previous Company], I conducted biochemical assays, performed data analysis, and contributed to research publications. I am experienced in techniques such as protein purification, gel electrophoresis, and spectrophotometry.
I have a deep understanding of biochemical principles and am proficient in laboratory software such as GraphPad Prism and Excel. Additionally, my attention to detail and ability to work collaboratively with colleagues have enabled me to consistently deliver high-quality work.
I am passionate about biochemistry and am excited about the opportunity to bring my experience and skills to your team. Thank you for considering my application.
Social work case manager
Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am excited to apply for the Social Work Case Manager position at [Company]. With my strong background in social work and experience in case management, I am confident in my ability to provide effective services to your organization's clients.
In my previous role at [Previous Company], I provided case management services to individuals experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges. I conducted assessments, developed treatment plans, and connected clients to necessary services such as housing, mental health treatment, and medical care.
I have a deep understanding of social work principles and am proficient in case management software such as HMIS and ClientTrack. Additionally, my ability to build rapport with clients and work collaboratively with colleagues has enabled me to consistently provide high-quality services.
I am passionate about social work and am committed to helping vulnerable populations access necessary services and resources. I am excited about the opportunity to bring my experience and skills to your team. Thank you for considering my application.
Limitations of a general cover letter for multiple positions
Keep in mind that your generic cover letters are intended as a starting point for further customization, serving as a tool to build upon. Tailoring your generic cover letter to a job description is paramount to an application that indicates your clear suitability and candidacy for the role. Neglecting to mention specifics can come across as lazy and careless.
When crafting your general cover letter, whether it’s a cover letter for an internship or a full industry shift, be sure to infuse some personality into it so that your cover letter doesn’t fall flat. You want to be professional without sounding robotic while reminding the reader you’re a human.
Hiring managers read many cover letters, and it’s clear who has put time and consideration into submitting personal, thoughtful cover letters and who has used the same cover letter repeatedly. Employers don’t want to hire someone who is merely looking for their next salary; they want an individual who will be thrilled to join the team and grow with the company.
Craft a customized cover letter with Teal
With Teal, you can select a cover letter template using the AI Resume Builder with AI functionality to help you easily personalize your cover letter to incorporate job-specific phrases and ATS keywords. Teal’s AI Resume Builder and cover letter template feature leverages AI to collect key details from your resume and any job posting to quickly produce a custom cover letter for multiple positions.
Use the AI functionality within Teal’s AI Resume Builder to tailor multiple versions of your cover letter to make it easier to apply to more than one position.
Remember that you have a lot to offer, and Teal can help you identify all your applicable skills. By customizing your cover letters to your desired roles, you will have a better chance of securing an interview and landing your dream job.