experienceTHIS CEO wrote 5 tips to use when responding to a job posted for his company. This is great advice, not just for CraigsList job postings but for all! link
His advice is from his perspective, and I agree with it, mostly. He is searching for a product manager, and his company seems to have a more "laid back" culture so this greatly influences the style of writing and approach he is looking for. Please read the sample cover letter he recommends you don't use. It is so 1980's, dated, or as he calls it blah, blah, blah.
Knowing the company you are applying to is critical. You need to try and match their style. Please, please, don't say "yeah, but most jobs I apply to don't have any company information". First, that's an easy excuse not to do the work and second, it makes me wonder about the jobs you are applying for. I believe some jobs are blindly posted and for legitimate reasons. This is why you need to do more than just apply for jobs on-line.
The other tips are to explain why you specifically want to work for that company and specifically state some relevant accomplishments. The reader wants to speak with someone they feel they know and who has a track record of success.
My prediction has been, that in a few years, we probably won't be using a cover letter. There may be something else but who knows what that will be. It could be your LinkedIn profile, a video clip, something so that the reviewer feels like they know you.
On another note, what do you do when the posting asks for salary requirements or history? You have two choices, divulge or withhold.
If you are going to divulge what you made or how much you want, know that this information could quite likely get you eliminated if your named figure is out of their range.
"My salary requirements are negotiable. Based on the stated requirements of the job, I feel a fair range for this position with your company would range between X and Y".
"In my last few positions, my salary ranged from X to Y".
"I would be happy discuss my salary requirements upon scheduling of an interview. There are many factors to consider and I would appreciate the opportunity to learn more about your company and needs before stating a specific number".
"I have been compensated fairly for my performance within the last several positions. I would be happy to provide more detail during the interview"
Bottom line, try something different. If you have been using the same cover letter template for months, ditch it and take a risk.