By: John Zachary Townsend
The secret to getting a job is a good cover letter. With so many people applying for the same jobs, how do you stand out? The answer: GREAT COVER LETTERS!
My name is Robert Little. I have been unemployed for 28 months now. It’s been tough and grueling, but I have not given up hope! Because with each application I send out, I’ve learned more and more about the job application process, and I am excited to share my findings and advice with you!
Below you’ll find some cover letters that readers have sent me, and my advice for how they can beef it up. I’m sure some of you readers are wondering, ‘Hey, you’ve been unemployed for 28 months, why should we be asking YOU for advice!?” To which I say, ‘What was that? No what did you say? Seriously? Tell me what you said. What, are you afraid? You wanna go? Cause I’ll go. I've got nothing to live for, I’m not afraid to take you down with me. I will pulverize you punkface. You think I’m afraid of going to jail? Yeah right! You call free meals and not paying rent punishment for stomping a wise guy’s ass in? Cause I don’t. I call it just the lucky break I’ve been looking for. A vacation from the shit storm that is my existence. I am not doing well.”
Here’s my advice on cover letters:
COVER LETTER ONE
‘Hello, My name is Patricia Rubio. I graduated from Rutger’s University in 2008. I am interested in your receptionist position. I have over five years of experience working as a receptionist. I have previously been a receptionist at a law firm and a dentist’s office, both in the New Jersey area.
I hope to hear back from you soon,
Advice: This cover letter works fine, Patricia, up until the ending. ‘I hope to hear back from you soon”? This is a very passive way to end a cover letter, Patricia. Employers don’t want a weak willed, sad sack. They want someone decisive, who takes control of the situation.
Show them you mean business. If I were you, I’d end this cover letter with something like ‘If I don’t hear back from you soon, I am going to manhunt you”, or ‘I am perched outside of your building with a sniper rifle right now, Patricia Rubio”. This shows that you both mean business, and are truly passionate about the job. And it never hurts to point out that you own a sniper rifle.
COVER LETTER TWO
‘Hello, my name is Marcus McCarrey. I am applying for your Office Manager position. If you don’t give me this job, I am going to hunt you down and slaughter you. Truly annihilate you. Take a knife and gut you like the pig you are. I think you are shit head, and suck at living. I hate you. It’s too bad I can only communicate this to you over email, and not in person, because I would spit on you. Probably even rape you. Gangnam style.
Your future employee,
Advice: Hey Marcus! First off I want to say this is a great improvement over the last cover letter you sent me. Much bolder and more unique. Also I'm glad you got rid of those boring details about your previous experiences as an office manager. That’s what resumes are for. Cover Letters are for scaring the fuck out of people.
That said, I think your biggest problem is that you really need to back up your claims. There are tons of people applying for the same job with the exact same credentials as you. Anyone can say ‘I will murder you if you don’t give me this job”, but the trick to getting the job is SHOWING THEM you will murder them if they don’t give you the job. Show, don’t tell, as the great Socrates once said.
Maybe you could attach a picture of a receipt for a gun you own to the email? I personally always like to send a reference letter from a former employer, written in said former employer’s blood. Don’t be afraid to go too far! Send them a photo of yourself standing outside their home, or the school their children attend. Show them that you aren’t afraid to research the things you’re passionate about!
COVER LETTER THREE
‘Hello, my name is Nancy Cartwright. You’re name is Peter Wilson. You live at 248 Windsor Terrace, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Your social security number is 652-23-7140. I own six Cutco knives and two Arabian crossbows. Give me the regional office manager position you posted on your web site or I’m coming for you buddy. Don’t believe me? Just ask your co-worker Derek Fanelli (Social Security Number 432-32-8430). Oh right, you can’t ask him, can you? That’s because he’s missing. And I know this because I’m the one who made him missing. He’s trapped in an underground prison I built in the forest. Which forest? Like I’d tell you! I won’t release him until after the assistant regional manager position is mine.
Go fuck yourself,
Advice: Hey Nancy! Pretty flawless Cover Letter you got here! My only advice?
YOU FORGOT TO WRITE DOWN A PHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL ADDRESS FOR THEM TO GET IN CONTACT WITH YOU!!!
D’oh! It doesn’t matter if you write the best Cover Letter in the history of jobs, if you don’t give them up to date contact info, they won’t be able to contact you! Don’t forget about the tiny details guys. It could be the difference between a sweet full time job and an empty, meaningless existence, filled with despair and escalating madness, where each day the tension rises, your basic human needs falling into question, forcing you to turn to desperate measures, crossing lines of basic human decency you never thought you’d cross, where you’re more accustomed to the taste of human blood than bread…
Woops! Tangent time! Sorry guys. Which brings me to my last cover letter tip: KEEP IT BRIEF! This isn’t a novel, or a suicide note. Short and to the point, that’s what employers want. Employer’s need a long, rambling cover letter like they need a knife in the back!
And don’t forget: employer’s need a knife in the back.