Cover Letters. What exactly is the point? I have been doing internships and applying for jobs for 4 years now and I have yet to understand what in the world these awful things are for. Every website I read and every professional I talk to tells me that it should be a summary of your achievements and skills and how they apply to your desired position. Wait a minute…isn’t that the point of a resume? I am pretty sure I have skills section in my resume and I am almost positive that my resume has a list of my experience and my educational achievements.
Last night, I had a 2-hour conversation with my mother about cover letters. I had sent her a cover letter so that she could get feedback on it. Our friend is a high-up executive at a company and he knows what he is talking about. I figured it couldn’t hurt. I can always use a little extra advice. Apparently, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
I got a fully armed attack on my cover letter – both from my mother and our family friend. The sad thing? I deserved it. All I really put in my cover letter was a sentence version of my experiences and the skills I gained from them. I wrote about how these could be applied to my future career at said company. I told them that I look forward to learning and gaining new skills…blah blah blah.
Do you really think they want to hear the same thing over and over again from all applicants?
Aren’t you interested in writing or marketing?
How could you pursue those career paths if you can’t even write a decent cover letter? How can you sell anything if you can’t even sell yourself?
I don’t know…
My conclusion: I hate cover letters. I am a no bullshit kind of person. Cover letters are bullshit. Clearly, we don’t mix. One of my best friends here in college told me the other day that she is only applying for jobs that do not require cover letters. “As soon as I see a cover letter requirement,” she said, “goodbye!”
Today, out of pure frustration and for my own amusement, I wrote a joke cover letter. It was one of the most honest things I have ever written. I am very much considering sending my “no-bullshit” cover letter with my polished resume. After all, if I was a hiring manager, after a day of combing through piles of “I think I am perfect for this job because…” and “I think your company is the best because…”, I would appreciate the refreshing honesty.