Every company is different, looking for different people and has different needs. Your cover letter should reflect these differences. It can be okay to use a template for some guidance but the main body of your cover letter (the good stuff) needs to be unique and catered to each individual company or even different positions at the same company.
A common mistake that can land your cover letter or dream job into the trash is simply taking your resume and putting it in paragraph form. This is tempting and easy to do when you’re having to write cover letters for different positions and different companies, but it will not get you very far. A cover letter can match your resume style and font but it should not simply regurgitate the same information.
Use the opportunity of a cover letter to tell the employer things your resume can’t!
A big mistake you can make in your cover letter is only talking about yourself. Research the company, look at their company values goals and beliefs and try to incorporate this into your resume. You want the hiring manager to get excited about what you can bring to the company or their team (not what they can do for you).
Show you understand the company and describe how you can be an asset to them!
People, especially hiring managers and recruiters read hundreds of boring bland, corporate lingo filled cover letters and resumes. They will appreciate you writing in a way that feels human but still professional. It should read to show a little bit about who you are and how you communicate. When you or someone read it out loud it should feel like its coming from your voice, not a robots.
Have them read your resume and want to meet you and think ‘Wow this person sounds interesting and I want to work with them’!
CV’s usually focus a lot on jobs that an individual has had, now that employers know this, use the cover letter to highlight some skills or relevant abilities you have. This will also help your cover letter be different than your resume.
Also, be concise, tell them how much money you raised, how many people you lead in an organization. In what specific way do you associate with the company? In what ways does a skill or experience you have and the values or goals of the company both align?