Cover letters are challenging. You need to let potential employers know that you’ll be desperate for scraps, but maybe not quite as desperate as that. Here are some tips to dial your letter back just a few notches from your actual feelings.
Make sure to start out strong with a confident salutation. You’ll have the whole rest of the letter to undermine yourself:
- Okay, moneybags
- Eyes on me, punk
- Hey, Mac
Include something to spark their interest! There are two things that all employers absolutely love to hear about: high quarterly profits and hidden pirate treasure. It doesn’t matter how you bring them up; remember to capitalize words you want employers to actually read:
- I hope this letter finds you well, much as I frequently find HIDDEN PIRATE TREASURE.
- Am I HIGH QUARTERLY PROFITS? Because you should have me at your company.
- I was recently discussing HIGH QUARTERLY PROFITS, with my friend, whose name is HIDDEN PIRATE TREASURE.
Share something that’s special about yourself. If you can’t think of anything, try making up something that’s difficult to disprove.
- I can eat STEEL, but I’m ALLERGIC.
- I understand what it’s like to be a MOSQUITO.
- The physical sensation you experience as JOY, I experience as PROFOUND TERROR.
Make sure to relate to your employer. Share something that the two of you have in common. A few friendly references to it can make a real connection.
- Both of us are made, partly, of HAIR.
- Did you know neither of us could survive more than a FEW DAYS without water?
- So, I hear YOU’RE reading applications for this job. Coincidentally, I WROTE one of them.
Show you’ve done some research into the company and the person making the hiring decision. This will make yours stand out from all the cookie-cutter letters.
- When you were young, you dreamed of being a SCULPTOR. You tell yourself you’re happy anyway, but you know you’re LYING.
- I’d like to share with you the fact that you can donate BLOOD to me, but I can’t donate it to you.
- The day after your mother’s death, you threw a half-empty TRASHBAG into a dumpster at night. You THOUGHT no one saw you. I did.
It never hurts to badmouth unions.
- Your company looks like a great fit for me, UNLIKE a worker’s union!
- I love teamwork, but I’d NEVER let it go so far as solidarity.
- Staying awake during night school is the ONLY class consciousness I know!
A lot of other people will be trying to get the same job as you, so try to subtly separate yourself from the other applicants.
- I think it’s quite rude of the other applicants to CONSPIRE TO MURDER your family, and I told them so too.
- An advantage of hiring me over the applicants is that I ONLY POOP IN TOILETS.
- I’m an enthusiastic worker, and unlike the other applicants, not THE SAME PERSON in several dozen HORRIFYING SKIN COSTUMES.
Finally, end on a high note. Your letter closing should be confident, but professional.
- You haven’t seen the last of me,
- Acceptably desperate,
Put all this advice together, and you’ve got a perfect letter. Just check out our example!
Listen up, BUTTERCUP,
I am writing you concerning HIGH QUARTERLY PROFITS and HIDDEN PIRATE TREASURE, but more directly about the position of CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE. I was created in a LAB ACCIDENT two days ago, and fake evidence of my childhood was PLANTED by a secret government organization.
Both of us have a CLAVICLE. I am WATCHING YOU as we speak. You are SITTING DOWN in a red chair, much like lazy union members! Stand up and WALK OUTSIDE without looking suspicious; THE OTHER JOB APPLICANTS are ALSO WATCHING, and they will KILL YOU. None of them have CLAVICLES.