Creating a job search cover letter doesnt need to be a laborious process. Effective cover letters are short, skimmable and easy to read (a good rule of thumb no matter WHERE your cover letter is going) three to four paragraphs tops.
If you are answering an ad, address the requirements in the ad and speak to how your experience relates to each. If you are sending the letter cold, make sure your letter reflects some research on the company, how your background relates, and why you have an interest in that company.
But instead, what generally happens is this. Bob is looking for a job. He looks through the paper, finds a bunch of ads that sound interesting, and circles them all with red pen. Then he sweats out the cover letter, personalizes each address, attaches his resume, mails them out, and congratulates himself on a job well done.
Then nothing happens. He wonders why. He shrugs his shoulders and starts all over again. On the other hand, Bob could take control of his career and set out to find his perfect job.
First, he gives some careful thought to his previous jobs: which ones he’s liked and why, which ones he hasn’t liked and why,...