I really despise writing cover letters in 2014. For online applications, they are worse than useless. If you already know the person doing the hiring, or have a reference/connection, they are probably not even read. If you don’t already know the person, you have NO idea what to say that might compel a complete stranger who has never heard of you to want to talk to you more, least of all by spouting platitudes.
Here is what I wish I could write every time somebody says “Why do you think you’d be a good fit for XYZ company?”:
Why do you want to work for XYZ Company, and why do you think you would be a good fit?
Well, right now, I don’t have a job, or perhaps I’m unhappy with my current job. Either way, I want a different job. Unless you’re hiring me to write cover letters, I don’t see what possible benefit me writing this could give. This isn’t a job where I will be asked to write. Anyway, here goes.
I post pretty much everything I do on social media or on my website at robattrell.com, which I designed myself by hand. It’s not amazing, but it gets the job done and gives me something to put on a business card. I’m pretty into technology, and so you can also find me on all the social networks by searching my name. Yes, I make jokes and post silly things on there sometimes, but I’m rarely, if ever, offensive. Please don’t hold that stuff against me.
I’ve done web design, some programming, video production, podcasting, writing, and data analysis. I was a researcher at the University of Ottawa through the tail end of a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s in Chemistry, so I know my way around a chemistry lab, and I’ve mastered Microsoft Office.
I’d love to do some work for you, I will work very hard at any task you give me, and I promise I will approach my work in a creative and interesting way. I might even see something you or your other employees missed from time to time. I’m pretty fun to talk to.
So that’s me. If you are interested in hiring me, that’s cool. I do need to make a living. Otherwise, no hard feelings, I’m probably just not right for the job. I’ll find something.