How to Write a Cover Letter: A Sarcastic Guide for the Desperate and Confused

how to write a cover letter

Ah, the cover letter! That awkward, one-page digital handshake designed to make recruiters swoon and toss your resume to the top of their “Will Call Eventually” pile. Of course, you’ve been pondering the ancient art of cover letter writing, right? Because you’ve got nothing better to do — like, say, watching paint dry or reading the nutritional information on cereal boxes. Well, dear prospective job-hunter, you’ve come to the right place. Get ready for the ultimate, groundbreaking, paradigm-shifting tips that will make you the Shakespeare of cover letter writers.

Step 1: Begin With a Killer Salutation

“Dear Hiring Manager” is so 2005. Go ahead, dazzle them with your creativity! How about “Yo, Recruitment Rockstar!” or “Hey, Master of the Employee Universe”? On second thought, maybe just stick with “Dear Hiring Manager.” We wouldn’t want your spunky enthusiasm to be mistaken for a lack of professionalism or — God forbid — excessive use of coffee.

Step 2: The “Perfect” Opening Line

First impressions are everything. You have to pack a wallop in that first sentence. “I am writing to apply for [Position Name]”? Please, that’s like starting a romantic novel with “It was a dark and stormy night.” Mix it up a little! Try “I’ve been dreaming of [Position Name] since I was but a wee child, tirelessly toiling away in the dungeons of my previous job!” Because nothing says “hire me” like childhood dreams of corporate glory.

Step 3: The Hallowed Introduction

This is the part where you explain how you heard about the job opening. This is crucial because the hiring manager has absolutely nothing better to do than hear how you stumbled upon their LinkedIn post while procrastinating on your current job. “I saw your job posting and thought, ‘Wow, what a fabulous opportunity to become a cog in your machine!'” Oh, they’ll love that.

Step 4: Sell, Sell, Sell!

You must sell yourself as though you’re the latest iPhone, but with more personality and fewer bugs. List your qualifications as if they were rare Pokémon cards—valuable, enchanting, and utterly incomparable. Throw in lots of buzzwords like “synergy,” “disruptor,” and “blockchain,” even if you have no idea what they mean. Just make sure you sound like you could deliver a TED Talk in your sleep.

Step 5: The “Tailoring” Act

Don’t just write a one-size-fits-all cover letter. No, no, no! Tailor it to the job description like you’re Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother crafting a magic gown. Use the exact keywords from the job posting; if they’re looking for a “self-starter,” declare yourself “the Usain Bolt of self-starting.” It doesn’t have to be true; it just has to sound good.

Step 6: Showcase Your Research

Slip in some details about the company to prove that you did your homework. Comment on their recent acquisition or their “exemplary sustainability initiatives.” Yes, you read the last annual report. You adore their mission statement, and you’ve practically memorized their About Us page. You’re not stalking; you’re “meticulously researching.”

Step 7: The Humblebrag

List your achievements but disguise your bragging with humility. “I was lucky enough to lead a team that achieved a 300% increase in sales” is corporate code for “I am a god among mortals.”

Step 8: The Dramatic Conclusion

Your ending should be like the final scene in a movie where the hero walks away from an explosion—unfazed, cool, maybe in slow motion. Close with a powerful statement like, “I’m not just a candidate; I’m THE candidate.” Drop that metaphorical mic, but also remember to politely ask for an interview. Because you’re not a savage, you’re just confidently desperate.

Step 9: The Sign-Off

Choose a sign-off that is the epitome of professionalism: “Sincerely.” Don’t even think about “Cheers,” “Best,” or “Yours Truly.” Those are for amateurs and email correspondence with your grandma.

Step 10: Obsessive Proofreading

Read. Reread. Repeat. Then have your neighbor, your cat, and your fifth-grade English teacher read it. Use Grammarly, use spell-check, use a Ouija board if you have to — just make sure that cover letter is cleaner than a monastery.

There you have it! With these absolutely life-changing tips, you’re sure to pen a cover letter that will land squarely in someone’s inbox, destined to be skim-read by a recruiter who’s sifting through hundreds of other equally captivating letters. Oh, the glory! Now go ahead, shoot your shot, and may the odds be ever in your favor.