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The editor I work with is pretty awesome: she has a bunny and she’s done some amazing edits for her publishing house and for my resume. She actually had me write up a cover letter she could look at, too. It was kind of a weird assignment, though, considering that she had me write a cover letter to any publisher about thier currently unavailable position. I surmised this probably meant something like Editorial Assistant, Assistant to the Publisher, Assistant to someone’s assistant, Copyeditor, Assistant to the Coffee-Fetcher, etc and went with that angle.

When she read the following, she told me the secret to the year’s past unemployment in the field of my heart’s desire: “This is a good cover letter, but these don’t go to the editors. You have to get it past HR and they generally scan cover letters looking for the words that were posted in the job advertisement.” I asked her why they couldn’t be trusted to figure out that I’m good at writing after reading what I’ve written, but it seems that deductive reasoning is not one of the tasks of HR.

One of my coworkers at the house (and probable member of my Top Ten Favorite People in the World list) called it “ballsy.” I figured maybe that’s exactly why I haven’t been getting too many job offers, but everything in it’s also 100% true. Usually my cover letters aren’t this bold, but I kind of went for space fillers about my awesome levels because I couldn’t tailor my awesome to a job description.

Anyway, I’ve decided to post the letter here for a couple of reasons:  1) I won’t be showing it to any employers, B) I can make fun of my self more and 3) this way it won’t be relegated to the forgotten recesses of my hard drive.

[My Address Line 1]
[My Address Line 2]

September 8, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

My dad raised me on books and the blues. He and I both agree that, after living in New York for over a year, the only mistake I’ve made was never attending a Les Paul performance while he was alive. Les invented the majority of modern music recording and performing and I sit in my room and local libraries reading books and listening to music. Both DeLillo and Easton Ellis were published by the age of 23 while I¹, at the same age, write songs that I show only to my best friend from high school² and at least two cover letters a week that I show to just about everyone: I don’t want to be a published author, I just want to work for you [Ed note: Notice how this is two things: very nearly a run-on sentence and very nearly a desperate plea. “I have no idea who you are but I really want to work for you. My writing will improve, swearsies.”]

My writing skills are in tip-top shape these days and my interpersonal skills are exceptional mostly because my mother trained me to find most things hilarious. While my dad was teaching me the importance of words and chords, my mother spent all her time teaching me to laugh, to keep neat and to be nice. (Emasculating though it may be, I still refer to myself as nice because other people are ready to use that adjective to describe me before I am.) I train to keep my vocabulary on Formula 1 levels by finishing an AM New York crossword puzzle Monday through Friday and by occasionally losing myself in a game of Connect the Dots [Ed. note: This should probably be lowercased.] with the Webster’s Fourth Edition Collegiate.

Beyond my free time, my resume illustrates that I have professional experience in the publishing industry that has not forced me away. Rather, my internship at Hatherleigh has proved, time and time again, that I belong in publishing and not in retail. Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for my managers and I frequently enjoy what I do, but I simply cannot go on knowing more about panties and bras than girls do for the rest of my life. I think it kind of feels like cheating, like I gained vast amounts of knowledge without any effort.

At any rate, I would like to request an interview at your earliest convenience. Should you require any clips, sample edits or recommendations [Ed. note: In the future, this should be “references.”], please feel free to let me know. I tend to answer phone calls made to [my phone number] and it has become a recent habit to return all emails sent to [my email address].

Thank you for your consideration,
Chris [Ed. note: With balls this big, you could sign it, “Thor,” and they’d probably call to make sure you know you’re signing your letters with your alter ego’s name. Or that someone else has clearly written your letter for you. We’ll see, but, more likely, we won’t.]

1. Ed. note: …and Keats was dead at 25. So what? Quit procrastinating, shithead.
2. Ed. note: Whoah, little personal. Cheer up, emo kid.


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