I was asked to review a cover letter last week, which I don’t do that often, but glad I did to share some ideas:
* Make it as specific as possible, not just one version and change out the company and job title.
* Share your knowledge on what you’ve learned about the company’s goals, accomplishments and accolades or the industries and customers they serve, and the expertise and value proposition they offer.
* Specify why you’re interested as it directly relates to them and their mission. Possibly use wording and phrases that they’ve already used in their marketing material without going overboard.
* Take the top 3 requirements of the position and speak directly to how you have met those (provide examples or links to work if you can).
* Be less “you” and more “them” to speak to how they can accomplish greater success with having you on board (again based on your previous track record).
All this with the goal of being concrete, succinct and interesting, as you have about 5 seconds of their attention.
Or to summarize it nicely, as the motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, often said: “Be a meaningful specific, rather than a wandering generality.”