Everybody has written a cover letter. The vast majority of people write the same cover letter, because there aren’t more than a couple of ways of doing it right. They’re boring to write, they’re excruciatingly boring to read, and really the only point is to prove that the person writing the letter is basically sane.
But, what if you are not sane? Maybe you started off sane, but the terrible job market has driven you to madness? What if you are at the point where you “just don’t give a f***?” What does that cover letter look like?
A few days ago, I received this email:
Frustrated by my failing job search, I decided to write a more unorthodox cover letter….
I sent it to Bingham McCutchen. I chose Bingham because they emphasize the importance of maintaining a sense of humor in the workplace. I emailed it to them and received a rejection letter in the mail within three days. It was one of my fastest rejections ever.
Well, I’ve read the cover letter, and I think that Bingham made a mistake. There is a true talent here and (if properly medicated) this person would have made an excellent addition to the firm.
Read the cover letter after the jump.
UNEMPLOYED J.D. CANDIDATE — COVER LETTER
Normally, in my cover letters, I list my various qualifications with the hope that my record will impress the reader. However, in such a competitive market, my top 15% rank, managing editor position on my journal, and participation in moot court are not as likely to stand out. Even my experience teaching in [Redacted] for two years is incapable of impressing current hiring committees. Moreover, my immodest self-proclamations regarding my superior abilities are unlikely to convince you of anything more than the extent of my vanity. Thus, instead of providing you with a generic cover letter that will be filed away with hundreds of its kind, I have chosen to provide you with an outside perspective of my abilities.
Your colleagues from other competitive firms have had a great deal to say about me; therefore, I would like to share with you some of their opinions. Alston & Bird writes, “your qualifications are impressive.” Remarkably, Blank Rome makes an identical assertion. McKee Nelson also express this view but do not limit its opinion to my qualifications. Rather, it considers my “credentials and qualifications” to be “impressive.” Chadbourne & Parke takes a different focus, indicating that my “background is impressive.”
Other firms convey similar opinions with a different focal point. Epstein, Becker & Green is “impressed” with “my credentials.” According to King & Spalding, my “resume is impressive.” Furthermore, Debevoise & Plimpton feels slightly more strongly, stating that they were “most impressed” with my resume. Uniquely commenting on both my background and credentials, Dow Lohnes indicates that they “were quite impressed.” Cleverly using a more concise adjective-noun wording, Holland & Knight writes that I have an “impressive background.”
Clearly, there is a consensus among many firms that I am “impressive.” Although there is some disagreement about whether my background, credentials, qualifications, resume, or a combination of these is impressive, it is obvious that I am impressive on some level. Furthermore, while these accolades were all included in rejection letters, the opinions still hold true and are strong measures of my value as a candidate in your colleagues’ and competitors’ eyes. Thus, I am undoubtedly qualified for a position in your litigation department.
Finally, if I do not receive an offer for employment, many firms will be quite disappointed. Dozens of firms have indicated a desire for my “success” in the “future” with a “challenging” or “rewarding” position “somewhere else,” and I do not intend to upset these firms by failing. Therefore, I am very motivated to find a position and to impress my employer with my dedication and superior performance.
I have attached my impressive resume and transcript for your review, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Unemployed J.D. Candidate