Dear Hiring Manager For Boring, Minimum-Wage Job,
I was so excited to find your advertisement for a Part-Time Paper Pusher. Because, well, it's a job, and hey- I need a job! It is as if your hiring needs correspond exactly with my employment needs, and really, what are the odds that we would each find our perfect other on the Internet, of all places? So yes, this is truly exciting. But it seems that you are still not convinced, so let me tell you a little bit about myself.
I am a teacher, which means that I possess excellent communication skills, as well as the ability to impose order on small mobs. If a riot ever breaks out in your office, trust me, I am your woman. Additionally, I have also worked as a bookkeeper in a medium-sized corporation. As the sole member of the finance department, I knew exactly how much each person in the company earned and I never, ever gossiped about it, not even when I was drunk. I was also able to use my natural organization skills and attention to detail to quickly and efficiently accomplish tasks while still making time to surf the Internet for at least six hours a day. (Multi-tasking!) Speaking of which, I notice that one of your requirements is "Internet skills," which as I mentioned, I am quite adept at. I mean, it is 2009 after all. I also breathe and digest food almost without thinking about it. (Again, multi-tasking!)
Hiring Manager for Boring, Minimum Wage Job, let's face it: a monkey could do this job. You know it, and I know it. Let me be your monkey. Let me be your monkey.
Lives in a Glass House, Does Not Throw Poo
[Result: Rejected in the time-honored fashion of never getting back to me, one way or the other. Well I'm glad I spent so much time and energy crafting an elegant and compelling cover letter, jerks. Thanks a lot.]
Dear Hiring Manager For Job That Is Actually Perfect For Me, Not That I'll Be Able To Convince You Of That,
I was so excited to discover your advertisement for Weekend Hired Help for Your Highly Respected Non-Profit Organization, and not just because I really need the money (though dude, I really need the money), but also because I am fairly confident that I would totally rock at this job. Now let me tell you why.
I have pretty much already done this job. Not in any kind of direct or straightforward way, but if you take bits of my past work experience and patch them together with play-doh and scotch tape, then mush it all into a ball and pretty it up with some fancy prose, then yes, I have definitely done this job before and I am quite confident that I could do it again. My experience as a teacher means that I am patient and good with people. And by the way, did I ever tell you about the time I led twelve teenagers around France? This shows that I have proven leadership abilities, and probably a mild case of insanity. But I'm better now. Really! Also, as a bookkeeper I completed tasks quickly and efficiently with minimal direction from my supervisers, so I am quite comfortable working independently. Unless you are looking for a team player, in which case, and I don't know if you'll believe this, but I also love working as part of a team! Really, I do! Basically, I just love to work. Work, work, work all the time; that's what I would do if I had my way, such a dedicated and passionate worker am I.
Now I will gush about your organization and what fabulous work you do and how I would be proud to be a part of it, because really, I just love to help people. Let me help you help people, Highly Respected Non-Profit Organization.
Seriously, I'm Not Bullshitting You, I Really Want This Job
[Result: Called in for an interview where I blew them away with my impressive level of awkward, as well as my ability to end every sentence with "um." Surprisingly, they decided to go with another candidate.]
Current status: Dejected with a side of low self-esteem, and a heaping helping of despair. Forecast: Cloudy with a chance of the glums. But seriously, who's a girl gotta blow to get a job in this town???