After 200 cover letters, here’s what I really want to write:
Dear People I Would Very Much Like To Hire Me,
I am applying for this position because it pays decently, does not require the applicant to know nuclear physics, operate complex machinery or speak a language that is not in my current repertoire. You should hire me because I am dedicated, self-motivated, flexible, capable and because I will spend the next 500 words trying to prove to you that this job is all I have ever hoped for, dreamed of and worked towards from the very second I was born.
Although there are many incidents in which I have utilized these exceptional qualities, perhaps the greatest example of my dedication and self-motivation is the fact that I keep writing these cover letters (199 so far). This means that I have spent 199 dedicated and self-motivated hours when I could have been doing other things (soaking up vitamin D for example) trying to find 199 different ways to convince people that I have great interpersonal skills, work well in a team (but also individually) and pay close attention to detail.
As for demonstrating flexibility, literally every single job I have applied for (199, in case you forgot) has asked me to do this, so let me just assure you that I am extremely flexible. I have been practicing yoga for over five years, and have been taking circus classes since January. This means that, among other things, I can climb over twenty feet up a pair of acrobatic silks and, once there, tie myself into perfect splits.
My writing skills can be clearly seen in any one of the hundreds of articles I have written for newspapers, magazines and websites (although not in this cover letter). I am adept at writing in many different styles for a variety of forums (but again, not cover letters) and I am, additionally, a skilled and experienced editor (although not of my own pieces and certainly — cannot emphasize this enough — not of cover letters).
In conclusion, please hire me.
Margaret Sessa-Hawkins is a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Glasgow’s Creative Writing MLitt program who would like to hear from you if you are currently hiring.