I can’t resist cross-linking to a recent post over at “The HR Capitalist” blog that highlights an extremely creative cover letter the author received — and one that many people, including myself, would hold up as an example of superior cover letter copywriting. Take a moment to click here and read the posting in question.
Pretty original, eh? You certainly won’t find many people out there putting this much thought into their materials or going to such lengths to argue why they should receive an interview despite their “underdog” status. It’s really quite brilliant. The only small problem (despite the factual error one of the blog reviewers pointed out, which was that Jordan was drafted as the third pick when he entered the NBA, not the second) is that these types of letters can’t really be duplicated — or used in any effective capacity as a template. They’re so original that you’d have to be the one who comes up with the initial idea yourself, or one like it, since duplicating this letter “as is” would expose you to easily-discoverable plagiarism.
So going forward, at least you now have an example of the type of cover letter you COULD write if suitable circumstances presented themselves and you had a major stroke of inspiration. In the meantime, don’t worry if you’re not quite turning out pieces at this level. Millions of people still get hired by simply submitting their resume, along with a straightforward, more pedestrian cover note that explains why they’re writing and a few key qualifications they could bring to the job in question.
If the spirit so moves you, however, you can try taking more of a creative risk like the individual showcased above. I’ve certainly seen many such examples during my tenure as a career coach and would be happy to offer feedback on any such draft you put together. There’s a fine line between “clever” and “gimmicky” and if you stay on the right side of it, there’s no question about it — you can really get an employer’s attention!