Your generic cover letter, as experienced by a hiring manager.
To Whom It May Concern:
I am applying for your open job with this generic, form-looking cover letter.
It is in 12-point Times Roman, with perfect one-inch margins around all sides.
I should probably warn you in advance that this letter will paralyze you with boredom, and tell you virtually nothing new about me. In fact, I'm going to reiterate exact phrases from my resume, just in case you missed them over there.
I'm also going to pad this thing generously with a bunch of empty, overused cliches, including "detail oriented," "outside-of-the-box" and "proven track record."
I may even throw in the term "very unique" because what's better than being unique? You got that right, being VERY unique. Which is me. (I'm sure you can already tell this from the letter, right?)
I'm guessing you're going to know in an instant that I am currently wallpapering the universe with this same letter (cut and paste is such a magical thing, don't you think?) But I'm very very busy, so this is the only practical way someone so very unique (and busy) as I can go about this job search thing.
I'm sure you'll understand.
Throughout this letter, I will also use a terse, robotic tone that will give you zero indication of my personality. It's my fun little way of challenging you to figure out on your own if I'm going to fit in around the place once you hire me, which I'm sure you will.
Oh yes, before I go further, let me tell you what I want in my next job. In fact, let me outline in detail what I want throughout my career, just so you know that I expect frequent accolades, raises and promotions should I join your firm.
You are hanging on the edge of your seat wondering how you can meet my needs, yes?
Finally, I will go off on a strange, irrelevant tangent that leaves you wondering why I even dropped those two sentences into this letter. This is my attempt at standing out.
Thank you, sir, for your consideration. I look forward to meeting you soon.
Your Next Big Thing
Photo: Flickr.com Creative Commons (Jmettraux)