The only honest cover letter you’ll ever read

Sincerely yours.

Internet Culture

Published Oct 19, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 7:08 pm CDT

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to you because I really, really need a fucking job and this particular position with your company/organization, at this juncture in my life, seems good enough. 

Your company/organization is appealing to me only because of its potential to provide me a salary, and a matching 401(k) program if I’m lucky. I am passionate about bullshitting my skills, and have done so in countless cover letters such as this one, and I hope to utilize this passion to serve your company/organization’s benefit. I may add a line or two here directly from your mission statement, to show I’ve done my research!

This position is listed as entry-level and requires 3 years of experience in addition to a Bachelor’s degree, and a Master’s degree is preferred. That’s pretty fucked up, so this is where I’ll try to embellish my one year of international nonprofit experience to make it seem commensurate with additional experience in the field. Insert quantified outcomes here! I am confident I can translate this background to effectively [verbatim buzz-phrase from job posting] and [verbatim buzz-phrase from job posting].

I swear on my mom’s life that I was a really good student at my university (i.e., please don’t make me prove it by having to provide transcripts) and this part is where I’ll tell you about all the accomplishments I achieved when I was a student, hoping that you’ll deem them worthy of consideration as experience, and that you’re even still reading this letter. 

Now I’ll mention my undergraduate involvement with [student organization] and [student organization], student organizations dedicated to [something even remotely related to what your company/organization does], and use it as an example of literally any type of skill set you could possibly require. By the way, if you haven’t noticed yet, I have fucking great verbal and written communication skills, and I will say so directly here.

I understand you’re likely reading hundreds of similar cover letters from other twentysomethings who did everything they were told and did well in school and got their degrees and are now also facing the constant feeling of impending doom that is unemployment… but I can promise you that I’m different and unique and exactly what you need! 

I look forward to learning more about this opportunity as an employee with your company/organization, a company/organization with which my career goals and personal values only moderately align. I also look forward to any future occasion during which I can convince you to hire me. 

If I haven’t been abundantly clear, I’m very broke and need this. You can contact me at [email] or [phone number] at almost any time of any day because I’m usually not doing much aside from applying for other jobs, watching Netflix, and having panic attacks about my future. In the meantime, thank you for your consideration!


Mary Shannon

This post originally appeared on Medium and has been reprinted with permission.

Mary Shannon is a currently unemployed twentysomething hoping to break into the fast-paced world of international development from her parents’ house in Illinois. When not being a sarcastic asshole on the Internet, you can find her eating tacos and reading up on behavioral economics.

Photo via Gabriela Pinto/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Oct 19, 2015, 10:00 am CDT