Friday, February 20, 2009



At Reason, Commerce, Justice and Free Beer, we believe in employment for all. We have long supported your efforts to find a job, even when times are hard. Still, we recognize that finding a job is never easy. Employers do not hire as many employees as they used to; there is simply not enough money to go around. Employers have enough trouble making their own payrolls, dispensing dividends and paying executive bonuses; they cannot worry about whether they hire a 22-year-old office clerk. Despite this, we salute job seekers who remain confident in such a bleak market. You can find a job. But it is a delicate business. It is not enough to merely want to work; you have to advertise yourself. You have to know how to make yourself conspicuous on paper to a harried hiring manager. To do that, you must master some technical skills.

No one will deny that a good resume is essential to a successful job search. We have written at length about effective resumes. Today, however, we are pleased to discuss an oft-overlooked job search craft: Writing a cover letter. Many job-seekers believe that a resume renders a cover letter superfluous. This is a grave—though understandable—mistake. Job-seekers tend to be self-centered. They think their resumes say everything about them, and that anyone who receives their resume will instantly see that they are the best choice for the job. But this overlooks the fact that hiring managers are busy. They receive hundreds of resumes every day from desperate job-seekers. They have no way to know which resumes are worth examining. In short, without some extra pizzazz, even the best resume can elude a hiring manager’s view.

Cover letters supply that extra pizzazz. A well-written cover letter can catch a busy hiring manager’s attention. It can convey your genuine enthusiasm for the job. And it can give special voice to the skills you describe in your resume. You might even display a personal touch that will charm a hiring manager, even if your credentials do not suffice. Hiring managers routinely advise us that a personal, handwritten caption above a cover letter can go a long way, such as: “I am sooooo interested in this job; I get excited just thinking about it!” In short, cover letters give you an opportunity to tap into the employer’s values. It is your chance to shine.

We care about your job. We want you to work. Without work, you cannot make money. Without money, you cannot pay your bills. Without paying your bills, you will go homeless and starve. If you are homeless or starve, you will not be happy. Thus, by supporting your job search, we support your quest for happiness. We are pleased to share the technical expertise you need to win employment in today’s competitive market. Below, we print a sample cover letter by a recent college graduate for an entry-level position at a brokerage house. This young lady got the job because she knew what employers were looking for. We sincerely hope you can learn from her success. Remember: Employers want hard work, selflessness, alacrity, dedication, charm, positive attitude, self-effacement, efficiency, youth and tirelessness. Tell them that you possess all those virtues; and tell them you will work hard for less. In today’s economy, low bids win the auction. Always bear that in mind as you write your cover letter.

February 20, 2009

Dear Mr. Cobalt, Hiring Coordinator,

Hello! My name is Candy Puckmie and I am responding to your ad posted in the Los Angeles Employment Pages for administrative assistants at your Cherrywood location. I am extremely excited about the prospect of working for your organization. I have attached my resume to this letter. I know you are busy, but I hope you have time to consider it.

I recently graduated from Merrywether College with a degree in Social Studies. I had a strong grade point average and I was a letter player on the Ladies’ field hockey team. My sports experience taught me how to work well on a team. I learned how to pass, hold, shoot and score without seeking recognition for myself. It felt great to be on a winning team. I think I can help the Cherrywood branch office win, too!

Although I do not have any corporate work experience, I am a fast learner. I possess essential office skills, such as the ability to answer phones, send and receive facsimile transmissions (also known as “faxes”), make photographic duplicates, brew coffee or tea, welcome clients and fill out lunch break spreadsheets. I can type 65 words per minute, and I can take dictation. I am familiar with Microsoft Office 2007®, Lotus Notes® and Internet Explorer®. I can also perform a variety of sexual functions, including erotic massage, manual manipulation, fellatio, cunnilingus, analingus, girl-on-girl and yoga-influenced maneuvers. References and performance scores are available upon request. I am also qualified to provide full service to senior managers and clients alike.

In 2007, I was voted “cheeriest sister” at my school sorority (Lamda Delta Sigma). I smile a lot and I respond well to instructions. Basically, I do what I am told. I do not question or think about my instructions; I just get things done fast. I do not have a husband and I am willing to work nights, weekends and holidays if needed. I would be happy and honored to serve your organization and your managers. I believe I would make a strong addition to the team because I am productive. Last year, I won an intra-school award for best yearbook paper collating production. That shows how productive I am. If you need 25 brochures mailed by 5 PM, I will have it done by 2:45 PM. I promise to bring my spirit of hard work, dedication, productivity, spectacular company service and loyalty to your organization. I really want to start working for you! Seriously, I want this job. I mean, I really want it.

I am willing to work for very reasonable rates. I realize that this is a difficult economy and that you will receive many applications for this position. But unlike my competitors, I am willing to go the extra mile. I am so eager to serve you that I will work for nominal or symbolic pay. Unlike my competitors, I do not expect to receive the $24,500 offered in your advertisement. I will work for free. I want to be an employee and I want you to treat me like one. If you want to give me a $5.00 bill once in a while, I would take it, but you do not have to. You could even pay me 10 Vietnamese Dong per year; I would not object. I do not need health benefits, either; your company is under enough stress as it is without worrying about my health. I will be fine; it will take a lot more than illness to keep me away from work. Only death or total physical and mental incapacitation will keep me out of the office. As explained, I just want to work to satisfy you and your company’s interests. Despite my lack of experience, I believe that my dedication, spunk and willingness to learn will go a long way to please you. I was born to serve. I want to do what I was born to do, even if I do not get paid for it.

Thank you for reading my cover letter. I am ready to do anything you ask for no pay and no benefits. I know that makes me a much more attractive candidate than those who demand salaries and health insurance. I am also patriotic, smart and enthusiastic. I know what it means to play on a winning team and I know how to serve my betters. I sincerely hope that you enjoy my resume. I look forward to serving you and your company. Let’s stop talking; let’s start working! I’m ready to go!

Thanks a million,

Ms. Candy Puckmie

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