An open cover letter to that person possibly reading my job application

To whom it may concern,

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter!

I assure you, at least in terms of breaking up the monotony that is hiring a new employee, it’s the best decision you’ve made today.

 I’m sure you’ve received dozens like it, promising exciting job-applicable traits like “Team-Player!” and “Hard-Working” and “Dedicated” and “Passionate!” I’m sure all of them have various examples of such traits like “That one time I saved a several hundred thousand dollar deal from falling through the cracks just because I spell-checked every word in a 200-page memo (showcasing their dedication, attention-to-detail, meticulousness, potential brilliance)” or “That other time I was involved in landing an account that you may know of by the name of HUGE TECH COMPANY (demonstrating their perseverance, persuasion, competitiveness).” I’m sure they are well-spoken individuals, promising longevity, increased revenue, innovative ground-breaking ideas, extensive connections and above all, a personality like a glowing ember, able to light up a room and provide optimistic warmth to even the darkest of situations and workplaces. 

And with such prospective candidacy, how could you possibly decide between any of us? We’re like a litter of adorable puppies begging for attention, pleading you take us all. What an incredibly difficult decision you have before you. I for one certainly do not envy your position!

And so by now I’m sure you’re wondering. Say Meg, enough about your competition. Tell me. What is it ABOUT YOU that sets you apart from all these inherently perfect corporate robotic life forms? What makes you so much more stellar in the planetarium that is our email inbox of shining super-star future employees? Why should I keep reading this letter?

Well. I’m glad you asked! Because I’ve thought awhile about my answer. And it doesn’t lie in experience. It doesn’t lie in a laundry list of personality traits, or accomplishments. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose I am the runt of the potential employment litter-box. My mark on the world is chalk-status, in that it’s visible but slightly uncertain, brush up against it and I often feel I’m just a smudge of foggy possibility. There’s never been the word manager, or senior, or executive in front of my name. I don’t have 4-5, 6-8, 10-12 years experience. I’ve never been in charge of any multi-million dollar accounts, I don’t have a masters degree, I haven’t saved any living thing from a burning building and I speak exactly one language.

So by this point I’m sure you’re thinking alright, wise gal. Wrap up the reverse psychological babble. We have a lot of people who can do all of these things waiting in the ranks. Applicant number 6 can speak 4 languages and regularly saves newborn kittens from trees. You’re out of your league here sweetheart.

And maybe I am. If it comes down to what I’ve done so far in terms of creative accomplishment, I suppose I don’t have too much to bring to the interviewing table. And that is always the struggle I suppose. The battle between what I have already done and what I could do if given the right opportunity.

And so I sign off with my one shining accolade. Potential. That is what I offer. The promise that despite my rather short resume, my youth, my inexperience, my lack of prestigious titles and lengthy accomplishments, I am untapped talent and endless capability. And I say that with absolute confidence. Without flowery statements or grandiose declarations.

Very simply, I believe in myself. And I think you should too.

But maybe that’s not you. Maybe that’s not today. Maybe this is merely as I say above, a chance to break up the tediousness in another 9-5 Monday morning. Maybe potential isn’t enough here. Maybe you need more. And that’s ok. Because someday, sometime, someone will read this and believe it. Believe me.

And then, at that point, I’ll go down to the great chalk board of life, grab a sharpie and write my name in big black permanent ink.

And that will be merely the beginning.

But in between now and then, thank you once again for taking your time to review my application and I wish you the best of luck in your search for your next great employee. May they really be all that they promise they are.



204 thoughts on “An open cover letter to that person possibly reading my job application

  1. mselizabethgrace says:

    Reblogged this on mselizabethgrace and commented:
    *Round of applause* This is absolutely brilliant! I for one will never again be sending a mundane cover letter with any job application – I would hire a person who sent me this in a heart beat. You should too! Think outside the box and it will prove you wise.

  2. Dani says:

    Great stuff, Meg.

    Loved this:

    “In the grand scheme of things, I suppose I am the runt of the potential employment litter-box. My mark on the world is chalk-status, in that it’s visible but slightly uncertain, brush up against it and I often feel I’m just a smudge of foggy possibility.”

  3. Maril says:

    Hah! Intriguing. In years past I read a mountain of cover letters, and never encountered one like this. If I still owned a company, you would be high on the list of interviewees. Love it.

  4. Anthony says:

    Thank you, I enjoyed it immensely. I wish I had the courage to send a cover letter like that. Maybe, in the future, I will.
    I know, job hunting can be terrible, probably one of the reasons I am still at the same job. Good luck, you certainly deserve it for that post.

  5. celtbud says:

    Very good! I’m a 45 year old, ex british forces and police and still can’t get recruiters to give my CV anything more than a passing glimpse! Good luck in your search for that right job!

  6. Julianne Snow (@CdnZmbiRytr) says:

    HI Meg – I’m job searching at the moment and I really appreciate the different take you’ve employed here. Not that we’d actually approach a potential employer this way, it’s still nice to have the emotion behind the shared experience of not feeling like you look the best on paper compared to all the other applicants.

  7. photojourneying says:

    way to go, Meg. you believe in you, and it appears that WordPress believes in you, too. congratulations on being freshly pressed!
    the best is yet to be! thanks for sharing.

  8. Feit Can Write says:

    Positive: You can now add “Freshly Pressed” to the list of accomplishments.
    Negative: I tried something similar like this a few years. I did my damnest to spin my glaring lack of experience into a positive. I did not get an interview.

    Obviously, I hope your experience is much better.

  9. Jess Carey says:

    Dead set thinking of using this approach the next time I apply for a new job… Sometimes it feels like no one actually reads those damn letters anyway! Good on ya!

  10. Tina says:

    You took the words right out of my mouth! This is brilliant!! Thank you for…existing and showing me that I am not alone in this! 🙂

  11. E. says:

    I’ve always hated writing cover letters… I think I now have new inspiration! 🙂
    Also, if I ever open my own business and get a cover letter like this, it would be worth my time. (Which probably means nothing coming from a bored housewife, but still.)

  12. michele says:

    This is the cover letter that will make you or break you.Well done! I Like the out of the box approach and hope it lands you just what you desire.

  13. kazzandrah says:

    If I were looking through cover letters, I would definitely call you up after reading this to meet the intriguing person who wrote this. Sometimes sarcasm mixed with wit is a good way to get attention ;3

  14. pezcita says:

    The only hiring manager I ever met didn’t exactly look at candidates as “adorable puppies”, but that’s just one person. Job searching is finding out who you don’t want to work for as well as who you do I guess.

  15. ditchthebun says:

    I have worked in HR and if I received a cover letter like this I would have you in for interview… well providing the position wasn’t something that needed that amount of experience like for example neurosurgery 🙂
    You might have people say that this isn’t really the kind of thing you should send to an employer, but personally I disagree. That might be true for soulless corporations, but from your letter I am guessing you aren’t looking to work for one of those companies. Your letter shows you have personality, you are determined and importantly you are honest and straightforward. Most people that don’t have much experience fluff their resumes and cover letters with crap like “supervision and training of staff” when all they did was show someone how to print a powerpoint presentation… one time (seriously this was a response when I interviewed someone and asked them to elaborate on that statement). I really appreciate honesty and I also think that in representing yourself honestly from the start you are more likely to end up with a company that you will be happy with.
    Best of luck to you.

  16. phoenixortheflame says:

    You took the words right out of my mouth (fingers?). I think you should scrap all future cover letters and instead use this one. I’ve never hired anyone before (no manager, supervisor, executive title attached to this girl’s name either), but I’d take potential and personality over the ability to copy and paste from the original job posting any day.

  17. robertlampros says:

    You’re hired. Now get out there and make a difference. I have no money to pay you with, but you’ll get back the measure you give out. That’s one of the fundamental and sadly little-known laws of our universe. As your coworker I encourage you to never lose your tenacious attitude. Salmon fight the rapids to ascend the rivers of life, and so must we. See you in heaven. —a servant of God in Christ

  18. Human Relationships says:

    Very best part I liked is this:

    “Very simply, I believe in myself. And I think you should too”.

    When a person says or write those words, I know for a fact that she knows what she can or can’t do and she is telling us that we should believe in her, and then she will turn the World upside down. If for some reason a company would hire her, but not believe in her, she will be a failure to the company.
    I tell you more, if any company hires any person, but don’t believe in their candidates success, it’s not only failure to a candidate, but also failure to the company!

    The person who wrote this post clearly described herself, and the only thing she is asking is to believe in her! I would hire that person before any diploma graduate, just for that one sentence on how clear she made it sounds to everyone!
    Believing in yourself is one of the most important keys to success!

    From Human Relationships point of view I can say that author is a great team player, leader, trainer, organizer, and much more. Good luck on your search and never lose your confidence in yourself!

  19. Fiona McQuarrie (@all_about_work) says:

    ” I’m sure you’ve received dozens like it, promising exciting job-applicable traits like “Team-Player!” and “Hard-Working” and “Dedicated” and “Passionate!” ”

    Yes, yes, yes, and yes (and “great communicator” usually shows up somewhere too). I wish I got to read more cover letters like this!

  20. ethericprojection says:

    Enjoyed that piece. Currently looking for a new job and considered sending something to this affect to potential employers. Didn’t have the balls though – I wonder how many employers are as open minded as you and I?

  21. Kendra Cox says:

    This is how I feel when I send my cover letter and resume to the same department over and over again for the last 4 years. Then I think, do I really want to work for an agency that shut me down 9 times already? Yes, I do. I’ll keep trying.

  22. robertorockyperez says:

    I like your idea of making this ‘open cover letter’. I believe the conventional ways of job hunting nowadays are making applicants increasingly appear like mere data instead of the unique people they truly are. Your innovation to break the boundaries is the first step. After all, how could we ever hope to describe ourselves within a sheet or two of paper?

  23. awax1217 says:

    Refreshing. One size does not fit all. I am tired of the cog mentality which says we are just interchangeable parts in a machine. Our uniqueness should count. At least up to five.

  24. Desire says:

    You’re hired!

    Globally, jobs are really scarce, so you have to do whatever it takes to stand out from the rest of the jobhunting crowd. Good luck!

  25. mdprincing says:

    I like your attitude and I like potential. Many times we need innocent/unexperienced/untainted eyes to see our situations in a new light. If you are mid Michigan and would have some interest in selling truck equipment for a leading family owned company I would love to see your resume and talk to you in person. We need more “why not” people rather “we can’t” people.

  26. Corina says:

    Brilliant! If I was an employer I would be intrigued to meet you 😀 The letter is cute, playful and honest in the same time. Definitely different from anything the other applicants will be sending.

  27. lboogie81 says:

    Reblogged this on The Student Becomes The Teacher and commented:
    If every high school/college graduate/job applicant had the balls to write THIS KIND of cover letter, employers (and businesses) would be SO MUCH better! They would be employing dynamic and engaged people who deserve the job they are applying to!

  28. Victoria Sawyer says:

    I’ve probably been in the world of employment for a bit longer than you, but I too am finding the same problem. There is so much competition for jobs in this market that it’s really difficult to stand out. I’m finding that there’s always someone with more experience and I too have been trying to promote my ability to learn and grow and my potential. I’m just waiting for someone to give me the chance to show what I can do and write my name in big black marker too! Best of luck. It’s a hard road out there.

  29. deebayuu says:

    Reblogged this on adebayoadegbite and commented:
    If there is anything like thinking outside the box, this cover letter is it. This is meant to make you laugh, but underneath all the fun lies a creative masterpiece. READ, LAUGH AND LEARN.

  30. J. Sander says:

    How I wish that I had this much imagination when I was applying for jobs.

    Did you get a call back for this job that you sent this letter to? If not, then they are crazy!

  31. kaytie1993 says:

    Loved this. Only comment in a standard black chalk board you reference if you wrote your name on black sharpie it still wouldn’t be highly visible. I only critique because I love the metaphor and want it to shine as intended.

  32. handmaiden4him says:

    As long as you don’t wear those shoes to work, you’ll be hired! LOL! I feel EXACTLY like this. I went to Wal Mart while I was high on some medication for my injured knee and bought a $150 worth of clothes for when I start going to all the temp forces. I found it’s a lot better to do this before you actually get an interview! I know this because I worked at Dillard’s for 71?2 years. : ) Desparate times don’t call for women trying to all of a sudden figure out how they need to look the day before the job interview! Good luck!

  33. adejokeiyabadan says:

    Reblogged this on Adejokeiyabadan's Blog and commented:
    Loved this part:

    And so I sign off with my one shining accolade. Potential. That is what I offer. The promise that despite my rather short resume, my youth, my inexperience, my lack of prestigious titles and lengthy accomplishments, I am untapped talent and endless capability. And I say that with absolute confidence. Without flowery statements or grandiose declarations.

    Very simply, I believe in myself. And I think you should too.

  34. emelteeevents says:

    What a great approach, I enjoyed reading your cover letter. A creative spin while keeping it real.

  35. Jen says:

    Great cover letter. 🙂

    However, you might want to change the ‘black sharpie’ to, I don’t know, white paint. Black sharpie on a black chalkboard (as they are usually black) will make you effectively invisible, which is probably not the effect you’re after…

  36. katiejtravels says:

    This is brilliant! Currently on the job hunt myself this is something I wish I had the courage to do… maybe it would get me somewhere! I hope you sent this to potential employers and good luck!

  37. Karl Drobnic says:

    The best hire I ever made was when I asked the candidate, “Are you loyal, hard-working and true.” The question took her aback, and then she answered “Yes.” So I hired her and then trained her in the job stuff. She was one of best employees I ever hired. Character is what counts. Make sure it comes through in your interview.

  38. Me says:

    Witty and well-written. But I’m on the other end of the age spectrum. I’m within ten years of retirement age and the letter I would have written would have been very different; jaded and cynical as a battle-scarred veteran of the work world. I hope you find the right job and don’t end up jaded like me.

  39. Geraldine Eliot says:

    I really hope you’re sending this out to potential employers! I love it and think it’s a great example of a cover letter. If its okay with you, I’d like to post a link to this for my students. I teach Business Communications and cover job applications in 2nd level. I try (often in vain) to get my students to write something different, so would love to show them this.

  40. The Moon is a Naked Banana says:

    And just think – on day YOUR company will be able to say that they were the ones who first hired the brilliant Joe Bloggs right at the beginning of his career. YOU were the ones who set him on the golden path to enlightenment and success. Who knows, he may even thank you in his Nobel prize acceptance speech.
    “All of my success I can trace back to the day I stood in the waiting room of the 123 company and was hired and mentored by them. For them, I have nothing gratitude. They saw a young, broke college graduate and saw his potential. And here I am. So to them I would like to donate half my prize money.”

  41. glacialtides says:

    Goo luck in your search.Stay Happy. My daughter is on the same journey. With a college degree, she is presently selling makeup on the streets of a northwestern city. It is how you make yourself unique and a talent to be recognized that lifts you up .

  42. Shelly L. says:

    I’d hire you…It’s truly sad that people with such great potential are not able to get a great job, while others are promoted to their level of incompetence. I’m astounded by recruiting and hiring practices today. Companies and hiring managers act as though they have all this knowledge and skill that they are requiring of their applicants; as though they were never a recent grad. How is one to pay his/her dues, build a career, or “climb the latter” without even being able to land a job due to lack of experience?? Idiocracy at its best…

  43. milliejwilliams says:

    Hahaha this is beyond fabulous, as a writer of countless bland cover letters, I envy you and your creativity.

    Damn girl, that’s some sweet ass potential you have got going on.

  44. Kaia says:

    Hi! I’d like to translate your letter to Spanish and publish it in my blog, saying it’s yours, of course. Have I your permission?
    Thanks a lot 🙂

  45. Avs says:

    Reblogged this on Avs and commented:
    My Thoughts on this???? I dun kow.. I’m just spellbound… Wish I could write stuff like this……….

  46. Amira says:

    I totally feel you, girl. Although, at least you offer potential and confidence to your possible employer. Particularly enjoyed this paragraph:

    “And so by now I’m sure you’re wondering. Say Meg, enough about your competition. Tell me. What is it ABOUT YOU that sets you apart from all these inherently perfect corporate robotic life forms? What makes you so much more stellar in the planetarium that is our email inbox of shining super-star future employees? Why should I keep reading this letter?”

  47. questforahusband says:

    Brilliant. Did you get the job?

    Whenever I was hiring, I was far more interested in a person with personality. Most resumes and cover letters look exactly the same. My guess is that you will go places!

  48. papermarieo says:

    ‘My mark on the world is chalk-status, in that it’s visible but slightly uncertain, brush up against it and I often feel I’m just a smudge of foggy possibility.’ What a bloody marvellous sentence! Whoever hires you will be glad they did… good luck :).

  49. Leeloo Rocks says:

    This is just awesome ! I sent a letter like this for a job application one time. Had a great appreciation by the employer but wasn’t hired unfortunately…(they were looking for an intern, which is another problem…)

  50. PontificaMuse says:

    At the very least, you’ve demonstrated great ingenuity and an ability to write well-constructed, grammatically correct correspondence. Which, sadly, is more than I can say about so many “professionals” I deal with. I suspect opportunities to start demonstrating your full potential are just around the corner. All the best of luck to you!

  51. JennG says:

    This made me smile! I have applied for a lot of jobs and the CV is always the part the stresses me out. If I were half this creative, it wouldn’t have been! Thanks for sharing! If I may, I would like to re-blog this!

  52. mumthinkbusiness says:

    Keep believing in yourself. No one can afford to give up on that. Once you meet the person that sees the potential, you will soon forget all the numerous cover letter and applications. Job hunting is like playing the lottery nowadays – you only need one ticket to win the competition.
    Best of Luck


  53. mumthinkbusiness says:

    Reblogged this on mumthinkbusiness and commented:
    but personality is what brings you head of the game. If I was an employer I would love to hire a women that can look at a business form a different angle – Dear employer, clients don’t need stats; they need real people like Meg.

  54. The Guat says:

    Definitely send this out. When I was in my mid-twenties I sent something similar to this out there and it got me some callbacks and eventually landed me gig. It’d be great if you got an interview, cool and creative letter. Maybe when you get an interview you should post a follow up. I think it would be a good Part II to this 🙂

  55. Anita S. says:

    Reblogged this on Height Envy and commented:
    Is potential enough! Haven’t we all met that one person that had potential to be great but turned out to be a failure? Think about your ex! Your ex- employee, ex-boyfriend, ex-anything. Didn’t they all have potential?!? Great article but I guess potential really isn’t enough. What do you think?

  56. tvschonleber says:

    My my, I have to admit upon first looking at this I had imagined it would be a dull and uninteresting resume cover letter that you were posting in hopes of attaining a review. I was mildly pleased and surprised that you happened to be a very excellent writer. I liked the meticulousness and intricacy as well as the metaphors you used within.
    Have a good day, Meg.

  57. corileephotos says:

    Yes, it’s also good to interview prospective employers to see if they are someone you would like to work for. Your cover letter is a creative way of getting your point across. It may or may not get you a job. I would rather be straight forward than wear a mask and be unhappy. I liked the way you seemed humble about your weaknesses but strength in articulating your words, showing you are clever and determined. That is what employers are looking for. My thoughts.

  58. Relatable XO says:

    I really love this! Speaks a lot to this day’s generation. So hard to get a job without experience, but you need experience to get a job. If you said all of this in an interview, you would get any job! GREAT writing!
    Thanks for posting.

  59. Writer says:

    This was wonderful. It reminded me of the early days of the recession when I could not find work after finishing school. It took me 3 years and near the end, I never thought I would find anything, that there would never be a place for me in the world, that I would never get to live the life of a real adult. I doubted my skills as a writer and myself.

    Good for you for believing in yourself and your potential! I wish I had been that strong. Good luck to you!

  60. Jim Hollenbeck says:

    Meg…I and recently retired after 30 years in the media industry, many as a manager. I have had my share of interviewing candidates and believe me, the interviewers are
    just old farts who have been on the job way too long and believe they have some mystical power over people who apply for a position. They don’t.
    Not so long ago they were just like you.
    Nice letter.
    Be yourself. Be Hired.
    -Jim H.

  61. ellysnows says:

    I hate looking for work, ever since the job market became an employers market it’s sucked! Employers are mean, overly picky (because they can be), demeaning…the list goes one! I’d rather be self employed!

  62. emtag2 says:

    Thanks for sharing! Copying and pasting your letter and sending it out with my job applications sounds like a pretty good option right now… It seems we are in the exact same boat! I put up a post called “No Man’s Land” about this in between study and job-hunting stage which you might like to have a little read of:

  63. sarahas5 says:

    Love it! As a “team player” with excess credentials such as “attention to detail” and “the competitive edge” whose lovely, perfectly written, supremely professional cover letters get ignored, I find this quite tempting. It reminds me of a time when I worked for a newspaper, and the editorial page editor did a spread on readers’ letters, his tidy responses, AND what he’d really like to have said… Spunky and real — demonstrating creativity, the ability to think outside the box, and, definitely, attention to detail! Good luck!

  64. Baalquis says:

    Gorgeous! You make me laugh because I’m also so tired of cover letter and that way of selling ourselves to get a job… I think this is also a kind of job to look for a job, the worst remunerate and the most depriment of all!
    But when I had read the Leonardo’s (Da Vinci) motivation letter and saw he never got the job… I feel, like you, pitiful for the recruiters and this society which wants team players employees but make them compite against others for to be hired… Kind of schizophrenic world, lol!

  65. rjwilbun says:

    This is so awesome! You are not alone feeling this way. And this post is an inspiration to the rest of us… waiting and trying our best to do more. Definitely worth a reblog 🙂

  66. rjwilbun says:

    Reblogged this on rjw. and commented:
    Everybody should ready this! And stay tuned for my own post addressing the terrors that lie ahead of my post-grad, unemployed world.

  67. wildflower says:

    So spot on! Great post there. I can remember 11 years ago when I had the same dilemma; an inexperienced fresh college grad. But now, I realized that your market value increases with your work experience. Good luck to you! 🙂

  68. dragonflygypsyusa says:

    Just wanted to comment on your photo… I love it when people take pics of their feet, shoed or not. I take pics of my feet like that and my husband always rolls his eyes.
    Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

  69. twishimii says:

    Haha! This is great! I’ve just graduated from college, without any experience and I’m looking for a job too! But everyone is looking for at least 5 years of experience. But this is completely out of the box and amazing! and whoever does not give you a chance will be an idiot! This post just made my day! 🙂

  70. heritagecraft3644 says:

    As someone who does hire people, I would appreciate a letter like this. You get fed up reading that once again the applicant had saved the world , and ask myself if their that good why are they applying to work for me

  71. mjmm2014 says:

    This was really great to read. I would never be able to do anything like this but if I was an employer I would definitely say you have some creativity.

  72. clairesinclair says:

    Loved it. My husband has been out of work for some time now, and if only he could be given a chance….it is so hard to see ‘the whole person’ with just a resume. Thanks for sharing.

  73. chellebelle99 says:

    I have to say, I think everything you said in that cover letter is probably about what 99.99% of all of us looking for a job feel. Thank you for putting it in to words.

  74. cigarette electronique says:

    Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material.
    Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my
    Google account.

  75. Fermin says:

    I see a lot of interesting posts on your blog. You have to spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of time, there is a tool that creates unique, google friendly posts in couple of minutes, just search in google – laranita’s free content source

  76. karpalism says:

    “Very simply, I believe in myself. And I think you should too.” Love it. I totally identify.
    “May they really be all that they promise they are.” So true. So many have all the accolades but all the ineptitudes.
    I am in the job search. Amazingly I have an interview lined up, several in the past, and one ready for the future. I’ve never had such luck before, nor so many random experiences.
    Two posts of mine that you might related to are “Help Wanted: Not Qualified” ( and “It’s All a Matter of Perspective” (
    Thanks for your post! Keep up the great work!!

  77. karpalism says:

    Reblogged this on karpalism and commented:
    Excellent point – “What is it ABOUT YOU that sets you apart from all these inherently perfect corporate robotic life forms… Very simply, I believe in myself. And I think you should too”
    Totally relate.

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