If Cover Letters Were Honest

Dear Prospective Employer X,

I’ve heard it’s rude and shows a lack of initiative if I do not address you directly by name, but this is the sixth job listing I’ve applied to via Craigslist and your website is incredibly difficult to navigate, so I’m going to blatantly disregard that faux pas and jump right into why I’m an amazing candidate for your company even though I’d never heard of it until five minutes ago. Please take a minute to admire the non-Times New Roman yet still perfectly professional font I have chosen for this email, as it is less psychologically damaging for me to imagine you will judge my typeface preferences harsher than you will my existence as a human being [implied but not explicitly written out smilie-face].

In the following paragraphs I will attempt to sum up my entire character through the use of generic albeit slightly differentiated adjectives you may find flattering. I will assure you of my timeliness, organization, and spunky, gung-ho attitude as an employee, while simultaneously resisting the urge to make an inappropriate “I’d love to fill your opening” innuendo (though if you do have any perverts in the office, my rear looks great in a pencil skirt). My syntax will achieve such a remarkable balance between ass-kissery and humility you won’t even realize I’m using an adequate grasp of the English language to pirouette around the fact that I have no concrete career-related ambitions. Something about being a team player even though most people inspire me to think of violently inventive ways to use a stapler here. Senior home volunteering anecdote with a convoluted connection to this position. More ass-kissing. Cheeky witticism. Etc, etc.

If you’ve gotten this far into my groveling, I can only assume you think I’m kinda chill and might actually jive with your most likely mundane and not at all selective work environment. Which is pretty baller, considering my $40,000 degree did absolutely nothing to prepare me for the clusterfuck of responsibility that is adulthood. You may be wondering what sets me apart from all the other desperate 23 year olds with subpar experience, and that is an excellent question. Really, top notch inquiry, boss. I suppose I could prattle off some stereotypical weaknesses, but we all know you’re looking for an answer with just a hint of originality sprinkled with backhanded cockiness, and to be frank I’m much better at self-deprecation mixed with emotional instability. In fact, I should probably be up front and tell you I’m prone to blubbering outbursts at inopportune moments (like, if the vending machine is out of Twix bars or you’re being even moderately critical of my performance), but I’m comfortable spinning my crippling anxieties into something positive like “caring too much” in order to prove I’m willing to do anything for your approval. Just don’t expect me to not bitch about it to everyone in my phone book the second you leave the room.

By now you have reached the culmination of my expertly crafted first impression. Hurray. You will only have a sneaking suspicion I am certifiable and solely interested in this for the health insurance, as I have done such a marvelous job averting your attention elsewhere. Attached you may find my resume if I haven’t forgotten to actually hit the paperclip icon. If you don’t like the formatting, take it up with my best friend, Lucia—I stole the template from her and had to improvise since I’m too poor to afford Microsoft Word. Here is an intentionally placed exclamation mark to prove my enthusiasm!

Thank you for your time and consideration. Don’t be an asshole and completely ignore this message. If I wanted outright rejection I’d hit up that pretentious writer I went out with two weeks ago.

Sincerely,
For the love of God please just hire me, I’m tired of doing my grocery shopping at Dollar Tree.

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