To whom it may concern, it’s time to kill the cover letter

The salutations alone are insufferable. Here are five reasons why.

by | Nov 6, 2020 | Humor

This story is part of my Adventures in unemployment series.

I’ve been applying to a lot of jobs recently. Beyond inane and incomprehensible job descriptions, the next thing that really irks me is the cover letter. Most employers still ask for one, and many require it. You’d think that, as a writer, I wouldn’t mind cover letters so much, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Just choosing a salutation is often a heated, internal battle. They all feel equally terrible, and I can only imagine how employers react to seeing the same few greetings reused time and time again. In fact, imagine it is exactly what I did for this blog post.

Here is how a hiring manager will read your cover letter based on the five most common salutations. Probably.

To whom it may concern,

I, Beauregard Rutherford Triceratops VIII, henceforth referred to as Beauregard Rutherford Triceratops VIII, do hereby present forthwith my candidacy for a position of employment within your most illustrious organization. Years of rig’rous trials undertaken in similar veins of employ have bestowed upon me an uncommon poise and a nature of excellence, the likes of which candidates of lesser character are unlikely to possess. Enclosed, please find a concise history of my professional and scholarly attainments, which will provide additional details beyond those hitherto discussed.

Yours in everlasting regard,

Beauregard Rutherford Triceratops VIII

To whom it may concern,

I, Beauregard Rutherford Triceratops VIII, henceforth referred to as Beauregard Rutherford Triceratops VIII, do hereby present forthwith my candidacy for a position of employment within your most illustrious organization. Years of rig’rous trials undertaken in similar veins of employ have bestowed upon me an uncommon poise and a nature of excellence, the likes of which candidates of lesser character are unlikely to possess. Enclosed, please find a concise history of my professional and scholarly attainments, which will provide additional details beyond those hitherto discussed.

Dear hiring manager,

I found this job online and I think I would be a good fit. I have not worked much similar jobs to this before in fact I have not worked much at all but I am a quick learner and I think I would be a good fit. I like animals especially ducks and that is why I think I would be a good fit. So that is a little about me and as you can see I am pretty easy going. Oh and I like people too; so in conclusion I think I would be good fit.

Love Johnny

Dear hiring manager,

I found this job online and I think I would be a good fit. I have not worked much similar jobs to this before in fact I have not worked much at all but I am a quick learner and I think I would be a good fit. I like animals especially ducks and that is why I think I would be a good fit. So that is a little about me and as you can see I am pretty easy going. Oh and I like people too so in conclusion I think I would be good fit.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing you this letter in hopes that you can help me. I am a foreign prince living in exile and fear my rival uncle will soon have complete control over my fortunes. I must act quickly to holdfast my riches by finding employment upon your firm, at which point I can move to America and bring all of my gold with me. For your assistance in this matter, I can grant you a small portion of my fortune in the amount of #3,5000,00. After my first two pay cheques have been deposit directed into my bank account, I will send you money order. I am a great worker, you will see.

Please do not tell my rival brother, and act quickly to safe my life!

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing you this letter in hopes that you can help me. I am a foreign prince living in exile and fear my rival uncle will soon have complete control over my fortunes. I must act quickly to holdfast my riches by finding employment upon your firm, at which point I can move to America and bring all of my gold with me. For your assistance in this matter, I can grant you a small portion of my fortune in the amount of #3,5000,00. After my first two pay cheques have been deposit directed into my bank account, I will send you money order. I am a great worker, you will see.

Please do not tell my rival brother, and act quickly to safe my life!

Theodore Todd
1211 NW Way
Boomington, KY

 

Dear Jane Smith,

Firstly, let me draw a small, itsy-bitsy amount of attention to the fact that I took the time to look up your name. If you offer me this job, you can trust me to always go the extra mile, like I did when I looked up your name. Where other applicants did not put in the additional effort required to look up your name, I did. In business, it’s all about who you know, and I know you a little bit better because I looked up your name. And now you know me better, too, because I wrote you such a personalized letter that demonstrates just how far I’m willing to go to look up your name.

Dear Jane Smith,

Firstly, let me draw a small, itsy-bitsy amount of attention to the fact that I took the time to look up your name. If you offer me this job, you can trust me to always go the extra mile, like I did when I looked up your name. Where other applicants did not put in the additional effort required to look up your name, I did. In business, it’s all about who you know, and I know you a little bit better because I looked up your name. And now you know me better, too, because I wrote you such a personalized letter that demonstrates just how far I’m willing to go to look up your name.

To the department team,

What a crew you’ve got! Talk about the dream team, right? A bunch of a cool guys (and gals!) all working toward a common goal. That’s what I’m all about! I’m a huge team player, just look at how much I like sports. (Hint: it’s a lot!) Not golf, though, because golf doesn’t have a team. (Haha who I am kidding, golf is great, right? What do you say we take this to the next level with an interview over a quick nine holes? Is that a yes? Ha, of course it is!) Don’t get me wrong, I can hold my own on my own when I need to, but I really work well on a team. Either way, I’m all about one thing: winning and making that cheddar. Ok, so two things. Go team!!

– Chad T. Ball

To the department team,

What a crew you’ve got! Talk about the dream team, right? A bunch of a cool guys (and gals!) all working toward a common goal. That’s what I’m all about! I’m a huge team player, just look at how much I like sports. (Hint: it’s a lot!) Not golf, though, because golf doesn’t have a team. (Haha who I am kidding, golf is great, right? What do you say we take this to the next level with an interview over a quick nine holes? Is that a yes? Ha, of course it is!) Don’t get me wrong, I can hold my own on my own when I need to, but I really work well on a team. Either way, I’m all about one thing: winning and making that cheddar. Ok, so two things. Go team!!

While unlikely to kill the cover letter, this post probably did kill my chances of ever getting a job as a cover letter ghost writer. Shoot, and just as Donald Trump was looking to hire one.

3 Comments

  1. Rose

    Beauregard is such a great name! And to top it off, Triceratops. Gosh I hate cover letters too. Enough with trying to impress subtly. Remind me again why you don’t write novels?

    Reply
    • Daven

      Because I like to finish things. ‍♂️

      Reply
      • Daven

        Bwahaha that was supposed to be a shrug emoji but I guess WordPress interprets it, um, differently.

        Reply

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