Dear Vepxal,

I’ve been trying to get hired as a torture master in Hell for years, but my application never makes it past the first round. In fact, the last recruiter I submitted it to cut off one of my horns in punishment for what he described as “a truly execrable cover letter.”

What am I doing wrong? How can I improve before I lose the other horn?

– Injured Demon Enamored Of Torture


Dear IDEOT,

Thanks for your letter. As the hiring manager of one of the largest and most well-known brands in history (Hell™), I see countless resumes and cover letters every day. I also see applicants making the same mistakes again and again.

This is an extremely competitive job market. Your cover letter is your first chance to stand out from the horde of applicants and convince Hell™ that you’ve got what it takes.

Here are common mistakes to avoid if you want to attain your dream job of subjecting the guilty to eternal torment.

1. Addressing your cover letter to the wrong demon.

Does the job posting list who you’ll be submitting your application to? If so, make sure you address your letter to them appropriately. Nothing is more embarrassing than writing “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Satan” when the job posting clearly states to address all inquiries to “Vepxal the Most Foul, Render of Flesh.” If you’re truly stumped, “Dear Hiring Manager” will suffice.

2. Focusing on what Hell™ can do for you, rather than what you can do for Hell™.

I don’t care if your dream since imphood has been to suck the marrow out of children’s puppies. I don’t care if hands-on experience with hot pokers will help you someday manage your own team of poker-wielding demons. This interview isn’t about your dreams or needs: it’s about our bottom line and how you can benefit the organization.

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Save the marrow-sucking fantasies for the privacy of your own den and tell me how you, aspiring demon underling, can aid Hell™ in its goals, introduce efficiencies, and help us cultivate greater brand awareness.

3. Repeating your resume word for word.

Don’t use precious space reiterating what I’ve already seen. Instead, focus on a few key accomplishments that highlight your strengths.

  • Were you responsible for major bloodshed at your last position?
  • Did you introduce an innovative new flaying technique?

This is a chance to expand on the most important bullets on your resume. Rather than telling me you started work in the Pit of Perpetual Sorrow in 2006, tell me how you proposed a new workflow that allowed your department to process twenty more mournful souls a day.

4. Not actually writing a cover letter.

I don’t care if your resume is written in the blood of a virgin: you still need to include a cover letter. I can’t get a sense of your true depravity from a few bullet points.

Even worse is a hastily typed email that says nothing but “My resume is attached.” I know it’s attached because, unlike the thousands of applicants who also typed “my resume is attached,” I still have eyes.

5. Not including the correct number of incisors.

A huge part of a demon’s responsibility is rending the flesh of the guilty, so number of incisors is key. If you only have a few, don’t be ashamed–there are plenty of demons who utilize knives and other tools to accomplish this task.

Surprises are rarely welcome in Hell™, though, so don’t anger the hiring manager by showing up for your interview with only two standard-sized incisors, rather than the “bristling mouthful of pain” you promised.

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6. Listing Satan as a reference.

Sure, you might get past the first round of interviews by claiming that Satan Himself commissioned a torture demonstration from you, but that lie won’t make it past the background check.

Ever since Hell™ launched our new internship program, I have controlled a legion of underlings whose infernal existence is dedicated to researching new applicants. You will be caught and you will be punished, and believe me when I say that Satan gets more than a little upset when underlings use His name to pad their resumes.

Instead of receiving a “Thank you, but we’ve decided to go in another direction” email from me, you’ll receive my most serrated dagger deep inside that pathetic meatsack you call a body. I will bathe in your viscera. I will gnaw on your bones. When I gouge out your worthless eyes, the last sight you will ever see will be my laughing face.

7. Using Comic Sans

Just no. Unless you want me carving my name into your body over and over in everything from Avenir to Zapf Dingbats, stick to readable classics like Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri.

*  *  *

Now that you know what mistakes to avoid, IDEOT, it’s time to write your cover letter. Impress me with your eloquence, relevant experience, and ambition to be the best underling Hell™ has ever seen. You’ll be disemboweling the guilty in no time.

*  *  *

Have a professional etiquette question for our resident demon expert, Vepxal? Send us your questions by shouting “I have an inquiry for Vepxal the Most Foul, Render of Flesh” three times in front of a mirror.

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