Cover letters seal the deal when applying for jobs. They need to be customized for each position and organization you apply to. It might be exhausting, but this one single document can make or break your application.
There are generally 4 parts to every cover letter:
Part 1: Introduction of yourself and your interest in the position
Part 2: Your skills and strengths
Part 3: Your interest in the organization
Part 4: Conclusion
Strongly addressing your interest in the organization can and will positively set you far apart from the rest of the candidate pool. You will show the employer that you have done your research and that you are the best fit for the organization.
Many candidates sound like a broken record and restate the organization’s mission and vision statement verbatim from the website. But, you want to take it a step further so you stand out from the crowd. The employees working at the organization (should) already know their mission and vision - they don’t need to hear it again from you.
How do you take it a step further? Clearly articulate HOW and WHY your values and interests align with the mission of the organization and how you already live them out or plan to do so. Kudos if you include information showing you've done research on the organization’s accomplishments and what they are well-known for, especially if it is meaningful to you in some way. Challenge yourself to look beyond what is on the front page of their website.
Try to dig deeper and find things that genuinely motivate you to work at the organization and include them in your cover letter. If you can’t, or have a difficult time doing this, reconsider if you should apply or not.