The High Price of a Free Sample Cover Letter

By Jimmy Sweeney Author of the brand new, "Amazing Cover Letter Creator."

How a Free Sample Cover Letter Can Cost a Dream Job

A free sample cover letter can seem like the boring office assistant that only has two stories to tell and tells them over and over again like a stuck record. Perhaps the stories were interesting the first time around, and maybe even the second. But when you have heard them hundreds of times, all they make you want to do is throttle the storyteller. Considering how many job applications many HR managers see on a weekly basis, can it be possible that any free sample cover letter hasn't also been seen hundreds of times over? And is it remotely plausible that it is still interesting, after that many times?

Free Sample Cover Letters Aren’t Worth the Price

The Web is full of sites proclaiming the benefits of free sample cover letters, and there are tons of places to go to in order to download some of these. They will tell you that they are the perfect accompaniment to your application and that to omit to use one is to lessen your chances of landing your dream job. But while it is true that a resume submitted without a cover letter is likely to be regarded with some disdain, it is just as likely that one submitted with a downloaded cover letter example will suffer the same fate. There is really nothing to be gained through using one. Oh, and forget the notion that a cover letter tailored to a particular profession can be any better than a standard generic one. They are as bad for your employment prospects as each other

While job-specific free sample cover letters may be subtly different from generic employment ones, they have all the same hallmarks of failure etched into them. Your cover letter needs to be a unique document and it is furthermore a reflection of the amount of effort you intend to put into the job for which you are applying. Though most managers would be pleased with an employee who has found a way to take some time out of a project and therefore generate some extra efficiency within the company, they are unlikely to smile on a blatant display of laziness.

They are also unlikely to reward you for obviously not applying any creative thought to a given task. Using a free sample cover letter therefore offers up the worst possible example of how hard you are willing to apply yourself. When the HR manager is looking for personal information about your character, your vision and your skills in a prÈcised form, and what they are getting instead is a set of generic platitudes with no substance whatsoever, the chances are that they are going to reward you in kind. If you are only submitting your resume as a peculiar form of entertainment then all well and good, but since it is much more likely that you actually want that job, you are simply going to have to out a lot more thought into this step of the application process. Consider it an extension of the job itself, played out before you sign the contract, and don't stop until you have broken a sweat!

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