Personalizing my cover letters takes too much time

When I tell clients that they need to personalize their cover letters, often the response is “oh but that would take too much time!”

Last week I had a young client who hired me to help him with his goal to be hired in law enforcement. As a new graduate, he was facing the challenge of being in a field that might not have many openings.

He was not geographic bound, which was good, and he was willing to relocate basically anywhere. However, his certifications were only for one state without completing additional training and testing.

Blasting out resumes and a cover letter more general than specific.

He had been blasting out resumes and a cover letter that was more general than specific. He insisted that he couldn’t possibly personalize his cover letters. It would take too much time.

I asked how many resumes he had been sending. He figured he had sent out about 200. He was getting some interviews but they too were more generic than specific. He wasn’t getting offers. We recreated his resume to create something that was unique to him. He kept saying that he wondered why he had waited so long to set his appointment with me. He had first called several months ago.

He had excellent quotes and references from instructors and other sources. I incorporated some of those into his resume and when he brought me his target job description for the cover letter, we talked about using another quote. He had a quote that he said was words he lived by and so I looked it up to make sure we would quote it accurately.We used his quote in the beginning of the cover letter and then went on to explain how the quote connected with his academic success and his goals with their position.

What was the quote?

“Courage is being scared to death – but saddling up anyway.”

Using this as the base of his cover letter and then scouring the job description for the position requirements and incorporating those into the cover letter created a unique document.

How long did it take to personalize?

I made him look at the clock. The time it took us to finesse his resume, look up the quote, review the job description, and talk about strategy was less than an hour. Writing the actual cover letter probably took me 15 minutes. I taught him how to look at the job description to find ways to assure the employer that he could do the job and offer reasons he would be a valuable asset in the position.

Does it take too much time to personalize your cover letters? Perhaps you should consider the results you get if that personalized cover letter leads to a job offer because the employer realizes that you really want to work for them.

Stuck in your job search or just ready to move on from your existing position? Julie Walraven can help you find a new career! To find out how, Click here!

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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