The Cover Letter Uncovered

I’ve sent out a few emails recently inquiring about an “opening position” here and there.  At one point, I actually got stuck in the “formal” writing style.  I definitely recall mumbling a few “I have attached my resume to this email for your convenience” lines in my sleep.  Yikes.

I’ve written cover letters.  I’ve edited and reedited my resume.  I’ve talked about my strengths as a person in such a way that I feel…Well, to be honest, I must sound like everyone else: Energetic! Curious! Passionate!

I am all of these things, but so is everyone else.  If anything, my LinkedIn Profile stands out because I don’t have a page-long description of my accomplishments right under my profile picture. No, no, I’m not mocking those who have “done it all” in the search for work.  I just want to talk to a real person at this point.  What’s that you say?   But technology is the way to the future?  I know.  There is no denying it.

However.  HOWEVER.  I’m absorbing all of this information on how to write a cover letter.   I’ve looked at a handful of examples on how to sound like a good candidate for the job—which to me sounds like a bunch of echoes bouncing off some automated email that no one has dared change in the last few years.

How am I going to write the “perfect cover letter” when my brain, with no filter, would write it like this?:

Dear E——-,

Here is a paragraph about why you are contacting this person, and how you heard about the job opening. *Insert name dropping moment here if you’re on top of your game.* After all, your network is your net worth, or so the saying goes.

Here, talk about why you’re so excited about an opportunity to work with this company. You know, you have followed them since before following was a thing. You bask in the essence of their social media announcements. Basically, let the company know that you know how to do your research. However, don’t babble too much because these people are like everyone else, meaning, they have the attention span of a goldfish. Oh, and they’re busy.

Now, here’s a nice paragraph talking about your awesomeness. Take your top five awesome things about you and weave them into nicely written sentences that are formal enough to make bragging excusable. I mean, why hire you if you’re not proud of what you’ve done anyway, right?

Here is the final paragraph that goes in for the kill. After all, you’re not going to play around for three paragraphs and not ask this company upstairs, right? So, just as if you were walking a date to their doorstep, show them why they’re really here. You want the job. Thank them for taking the time to read the last three paragraphs, and move right along and ask them for more time. Get that interview. Get that phone call. Hammer it down. You’re the right fit for that opening position. Of course, that might come out as a measly, “I would appreciate discussing my qualifications with you at your earliest convenience. I will call next week to arrange an appointment. Thank you.” But what can you do? Once it has been said, the ball is in their court. So sign off the letter and kiss it goodnight:

Sincerely,

(Don’t forget to leave space for a signature! Duh…Unless it’s an email. If it’s an email, then just go for it on the keyboard)

(Your name: Typed)

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