The challenge with sending out dozens and dozens of resumes, if not hundreds; is that you must also send out that many cover letters.Â While I have always recommended having two separate resumes on rotation, that is not the case with cover letters.Â Each cover letter must be unique to the job you are applying for.
That is right, one hundred different, unique cover letters for each of the one hundred resumes you plan to mass mail.Â Hope I did not just ruin your day.
The thing is whether you use just one resume or have several in rotation, you only need a few resumes at best.Â It is, by definition, a form document.Â If necessary, you only need modify the resume to the job or functional position that you are interested in.
That is not the case with cover letters.Â Cover letters introduce your resume to the reader.Â It is, by definition, a personal letter.Â It cannot be a form letter with a different address and salutation pasted in.Â If you use the same letter for every resume; you might as well address it, “To Whom It May Concern.”
And if that is the case, do not waste the stamp.
Each letter must be unique to the company you are applying for.Â On surface, that may seem hard, but actually, it is not too bad.
If you have followed any of my other articles, then you know that I recommend no more than about six sentences for your introductory letter.Â Beyond the obvious of the address and salutation, you need only modify two, maybe three sentences to make it unique.Â That is modify, not completely rewrite.
The simplest way to make the letter unique is to add in some detail about the company to show you did your homework.Â Write the letter in the language of the job posting but tweaked to show that the companyâ€™s values are in line with yours.
There is nothing wrong with honest praise or recognition.Â If the company you are applying for has been in the news of late for positive reasons, mention some of it as it relates to you.Â But you should avoid sounding false.Â If the recognition flows with your letter, go with it; but it needs to be forced in, do not.
If you know someone that works where you are applying to, ask them for some information on the companyâ€™s values or culture.Â Do the research and gather a few details that you can sprinkle throughout the letter.Â
You will send a lot of resumes out.Â I understand that you do not want to rewrite an entirely new cover letter for each resume.Â But you absolutely must personalize each letter, if you are going to be successful.Â You reconcile the two needs by modifying or altering a couple of sentences within your core letter to reflect the company you are applying for.
The little details, the going the “extra mile,” will contrast in your favor when it goes up against the deluge of form letters that your competitors will have sent in.