“My initial [cover] letters were short and to the point, discussing my recent graduation and extensive professional experience and isn’t the phrase “master’s degree in communications” a skeleton key to the puzzle of the late 2000s job market (no). I moved on to citing current events in the lede, espousing the importance of environmentalism in response to the Gulf spill or emulating those plucky Egyptians and their Facebook organizing. Often I proffered bullet-pointed suggestions because nothing says Great Future Employee like unsolicited advice. I tried everything short of scrawling “CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONS” across the top of each page. I wrote slogans, constructed mnemonics, dove through clichés with the precision of an Olympic swimmer.”—
Last fall, I wrote an essay for Creative Ladies Are Powerful (C.L.A.P.) about all of the cover letters I’ve written. Since I graduated from my M.A. program in 2009, I have written probably 200 cover letters. No, that’s not an exaggeration. And although those letters have led me to interviews— most of which met with “sorry, we went with someone with 10+ years of experience who got laid off from this other company”—none of the positions I’ve worked in the past three years required a cover letter for employment. They were serving jobs and temp jobs and, most recently, a position that I was approached about and ultimately accepted. None of them began with a cover letter.
But I have written so goddamn many of those things. I have mastered the form— and it’s a form that almost no one reads. No one looks at the “really well written” cover letter.
But anyway, this is my fun way of telling you that I have a new job, that things are changing, and that all is well. Here here to the cover letter, the completely unnecessary form!