You probably clicked on this post thinking we were going to warn against writing generic cover letters because you might make an error and use the wrong business name somewhere in the document. While that’s a big mistake (and one that will probably cost you an interview), it’s only part of the reason you should write a new cover letter for every job application.
We always recommend starting cover letters from scratch, instead of using a template. This allows you to tailor each cover letter to the specific job so you can show employers why you want to work there and why you’d be a good fit. If you start writing and can’t figure out what to say, it’s probably a sign that this isn’t the right job for you. You have to be able to convince yourself first. Do your qualifications match what’s being asked for in the posting? Does this job sound fun? Is it a company you’re passionate about?
Write honestly, and make it personal. It’s pretty obvious when employers get a recycled cover letter. If you can sound like an actual human, you’re a lot more likely to get a call. And the best way to do that is to open up a fresh email or Word document and start typing.
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan