Memorable cover letters ignore convention and stupid "rules."

I cannot tell you how many cover letter conversations I've had that go something like this:

Client: "What's the 'right' way to address this?"

Me: "Depends. What's the culture of this organization like? What do you know about that person?"


Client: "What if the cover letter goes over one page?"

Me: "No one will die, so long as it's excellent and doesn't rattle on."

or ...

Client: "Am I supposed to put two spaces after the date, or four?"

Me: "If this is your main concern, we've probably got some work to do here." 

Hear me out, people. Please.

Hiring managers, recruiters, HR people, and almost every human on the planet (except for those really uptight English majors who cannot read a single document without mentally copy editing the hell out of it) ...?

They don't care about your line spacing correctness.

They don't care if you address them as Ms. Jill Smith or Ms. Smith or just plain Jill (most of the time).

They don't care if you follow every single textbook rule ever written about writing a cover letter, resume or email.

In fact, most prefer that you not.

What they do care about is that you're amazing, cool, original, genuine and CAPABLE OF DOING THAT JOB for which you are applying.

They want to like you, right from the start.

They want to know precisely what's in it for them if they bring you on board.

They want to know that you've cared enough to study their company, and that you have very specific reasons for loving them and wanting to work for them.

They enjoy wit, creativity, humor and yes ... accurate spelling.

(There's a big difference between being uptight about line spacing and being a pathetic speller.)

And so I beggeth you ...

Next time you sit down to write a cover letter, vow to not get uptight about all the tiny little "rules" you've picked up along the way. 

Instead, buck convention. Be memorable.

Nail the stuff that will make you a true standout.

Exceptional grasp of line spacing?

As far as I'm concerned, this is completely optional because guess what?

A perfectly structured crappy cover letter? Is still a crappy cover letter.