The cover letter. More meaningless a document does not exist in the professional world. The infamous cover letter. So often a requirement for job applicants…and yet is nothing more than the take-home-exam of the adult world. A good cover letter is only as good as the writer is imaginative. The cover letter is proof that one’s ability to present themselves with charisma trumps real world experience and expertise. It’s the photoshopped glamour shot of the employment sphere. With adult life so often surrounded by disappointment and letdown, there is still one place where you can be everything you hoped and dreamed to be…in your cover letter.
Dear Sir or Madam,
I’m writing this letter simply because it is a requirement of the applicant per your policy. Whilst I understand the requirement, I am struck by the remarkable meaninglessness of this document. A well-written cover letter will truly tell you nothing about me. I, like everyone else, will use this platform to convey my most desirable qualities while intentionally hiding my flaws.
A well-crafted cover letter is too obviously well-crafted. The flaw in such a document is that the applicant is given time and resources to best describe themselves in relation to a specific set of job requirements. Ultimately, the qualities I cite here in this letter may be different in my next cover letter, as the job demands are assuredly different. None of this self-characterization, however, reveals actual personal characteristics or work habits to the prospective employer.
I can use this space to tell you, the prospective employer, that I’m a genuinely hard worker who takes a tremendous amount of pride in my work. I could write that I’m a team player. I could say that I thrive in both independent and collaborative work environments. Of course, I’m only saying these things insofar as they are the things I think you would probably want to hear from a candidate. You’ll really never know if they are sincere or not until I’m hired.
What I, nor anyone else, would ever say in this letter is that I tend to get complacent in my work. I need constant challenges in order to grow. It is difficult for me to engage co-workers who I feel are not on my level of intellect. Admittedly, I will always strive to counsel my peers and subordinates in order to get the best out of them, yet once I see that someone is not buying in or is a lost cause, my relationship with that person pretty much ends. I probably wouldn’t want to say that I give up on people in a cover letter, however that’s the truth. If you, my co-worker and peer, does not endeavor to excel in your work as I do, then please go find something that makes you happy.
Unfortunately, I’m bound by the requirements of this job application to submit this straightforward description of my motivations and qualities. I’m a good guy and a good worker and yes, I have all the desired elements of this position and more. But how can you believe me after everything I’ve already said?
I feel that I’m a wonderful candidate for this job and that our professional relationship will flourish harmoniously and bestow equal fortune on both the business at hand and our aspirations for personal achievement. That was way too poetic.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Thank you and have a great day. Or don’t. I really couldn’t care less.