Go write a book report

Cover letters suck! Let’s just be honest

Hi everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was great, thanks for asking. I’ve spent the last ~12 hours thinking about the fact that Jamie Lee Curtis was cast in the 2003 masterpiece Freaky Friday a mere four days before filming and still managed to bring the house down. Inspiring stuff.

Let’s chat, shall we?


Stop Writing Cover Letters

Columbia Pictures

How to write a phenomenal cover letter in 2022:

  1. Don’t

It’s that simple. Cover letters? Trash. It’s like writing a book report on your own résumé…which the employer 100% also has right in front of them. As one of you put it when I hard launched my campaign against cover letters earlier this year:

And as it turns out, they’re a waste of everyone’s time. 90% of surveyed hirers said they ignored every cover letter sent to them, according to reCareered.

Maybe that’s because cover letters are a relic of a bygone era, the equivalent of a HitClips cartridge when you have Spotify on your iPhone.

  • Cover letters were introduced in the 1930s as the U.S. economy started to transition from goods-based (manufacturing, mostly) to services-based (not manufacturing, mostly).

  • As employers began to hire for new client-facing jobs that required more soft skills, cover letters were a means of helping HR departments get their sea legs in understanding the human side of potential new hires.

Today, though, we have more effective means of showing our human side than a one-pager on just how *human* we are. We have LinkedIn to share our thoughts, Canva to make personalized résumés, and email to use that exclamation point (or three!!!) to convey enthusiasm.

So why are we still doing the whole cover letter thing?

According to some “employers” who lunged at the opportunity to tell me how “value-add” “cover letters” “are” when I posted about them on LinkedIn, the case for cover letters is centered on a handful of HR’s favorite buzzwords:

  1. Storytelling

  2. Creativity

  3. Standing out

  4. Explaining a gap in your résumé (and if you call it a “time out” to raise children…🤯 prepare to catch these hands)

I understand some of those points! But here’s the thing—if you want to hear someone’s story in their own words…why don’t you just ask them in your own words? Anything written in an impersonal (probably templated) cover letter can be communicated in a face to face (or Zoom to Zoom) conversation.

People call cover letters a “necessary evil.” But idk, the only necessary evil I can think of is the Jennifer’s Body kind. This kind of evil feels like a waste of time in a historically tight labor market, no? Just write a really good résumé and call it a day.

This one’s for my fellow personality hires

We carry a heavy weight on our shoulders. Tirelessly providing our workplace with hard work good vibes, positive energy, and relatable jokes. We are soldiers, we are heroes, we are the unsung—ok sorry I’ll stop now and get to the point.

The Point: My friends at Peloton are making it easier to uplift company culture.

With the Peloton Corporate Wellness program, companies can provide their employees with a benefit that’ll actually impact company morale, build camaraderie, and improve mental health. Some stats to prove it:

  • 87% of program Members report an improvement in their ability to meet their personal fitness goals.*

  • 65% of those Members also felt that their overall mental health has improved.*

  • 64% of those Members also felt more productive at work.*

Not in charge of these types of decisions at your company? Tbh, me neither. But odds are you’ve brought a smile or two to your HR leader’s face (I hear they love your taste in GIFs). Check out this fancy page just for WorkDaze readers (that’s you! omg!) that helps you share Peloton Corporate Wellness with your HR team.

* Based on a May 2022 survey of Peloton Members (3,145 respondents) who receive the Peloton Benefit from their employer

Things to Slack your work besties

Start by sending them the Freaky Friday trailer as a Monday pick-me-up

  • This Atlantic podcast is titled “How to Spend Time on What You Value,” it reckons with toxic productivity culture, and it gives a bit of actionable advice on reassessing your own time management? So basically it checks every box.

  • Now that I’m a newsletter-er, I’m reading way more emails (that, thankfully, require no anxiety-inducing response). This one about pop culture, celebrity miscellanea, movies, music, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc. is becoming a favorite: Hung Up by Hunter Harris.

  • Katy Perry shares 1) how she gets it done and 2) that she uses transcendental meditation to cure her hangovers? Color me intrigued. Because idk, the post-25 scaries are arguably outgrowing any of the remaining soothing effects of a McChicken and a blue Gatorade.

Thanks for reading. Now, I expect the book report on this newsletter on my desk by Thur…jk lol I would never. See you back here Friday!



P.S. If you feel like sharing this with someone that'd be cool and you can send them here :)

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