Monday, November 24, 2008

Writing a decent cover letter

Times are tough, and many of us will soon find ourselves back on the job market. Many people ask me how I've gotten so many jobs for which I am clearly not qualified. A lot of the credit goes to the excellent cover letters I have written over the years. A decent cover letter sets the tone for a successful interview. I'll try to boil down the key practices that I try to emphasize throughout the entire interview process:
  1. Be yourself - be honest about your strengths and weaknesses
  2. Don't let a position's requirements stand in your way
  3. Make your expectations clear
Here is a cover letter I helped my friend Erskine write for a lab tech position that recently opened up:
To whom it may concern,
I am very interested in your Research Specialist position. Although I have none of the skills you listed, I am confident my overwhelming sense of entitlement will win you over.

A series of bizarre and unfortunate lab accidents has left me without the use of the left side of my body. I also have syphillus, but that is a long story. Anyway, when the insurance money ran out I decided it was time to get back in the game. Word to your mother.

The only thing I request, other than the $85k/yr, is that the lights in the lab be dimmed when I am working - too much stimulation gives me seizures and/or provokes violence in me. I am also profoundly racist, so please do what you need to do in that area. I will reveal my gender to you, in private, when I feel the time is right.

I have tried to enlist references but their phones appear to be blocking my number so I doubt you would have better luck. The gang at Top2Bottom knows me pretty well so just ask around.

Regards,
EBL
To make a long story short, Erskine got the job!

4 comments:

  1. dear Jermdemo..
    I cant believe such a cover letter can fetch one a job. down here in India i don't think this will work.. such a cover letter will destroy the existing chance i feel seriously

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  2. Cover letter is a very important part of any letter. That is making it decent is a good thing to do. It will make your letter more effective.

    letter sample

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aldrin, truer words have never been spoken. I am wiping away the tears.

    ReplyDelete