Using boilerplate formalities won’t make you sound serious; it will just make it harder to tell one cover letter from another.Use your personality, even if it means channeling your anxieties about the job you hope to get.(At least not yet.) But the museum was impressed with Sam’s enthusiasm, and—perhaps sensing a PR coup—it created a new position for him: Director of Fun.A museum spokeswoman tells Quartz that Sam “retired at the grand old age of 10 in summer 2012 so he could focus on his studies.” Not a bad run for a first job.But if you can sustain a narrative over the course of a few paragraphs, you’ll seem like a person, instead of a faceless email.When Tim Schafer applied to be a programmer and designer at Lucasfilm in 1989, his cover letter came in the form of a text adventure game.I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady.I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory.
All but one of the letters mentioned here come from the recently published book The trouble with most cover letters is that they sound canned.
So job applicants’ cover letters seem unlikely to contain much great prose.
Instead, we tend to fill the page with false notes and empty phrases.
I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde.
Making our lives and experiences intelligible to others is a hard task.(“I believe my skills make me the ideal candidate, and I would appreciate your consideration…”)But it doesn’t have to be that way.