From Agency Spy, a delightful article: The Universal Cover Letter.

Typically I stay away from Agency Spy. There’s a lot of fairly mean-spirited trolls trashing other people and their work. But I love this piece posted by Kiran Aditham:

Growing sick and tired of writing letters to recruiters, art director/designer Chris Vanderhurst decided to pen one “to rule them all” in his own words. Your end result, at least in text form, is what you see below. It may not do him any favors in reality, but it could at least break the ice. We say that the lad, a Notre Dame/Chicago Portfolio School alum, has the template pretty much nailed down.

Zany greeting no one uses in real life!

Introduction to myself in case you can’t read who this email is coming from. Brief background about myself because the only way I “know” you is by 5 degrees of LinkedIn separation.

Sentence full of innuendo that boils down to me being unemployed. Predictable comment about how your agency and me belong together, ignorant to the fact you are probably friends with several other recruiters I’m sending this exact letter to. Generic compliment that applies to every agency but, for the purposes of this email, “specifically” yours.

Let’s talk about me some more, because I’ve forgotten all of the following information is on my resume, which I made in Microsoft Word even though I call myself creative. I’ll make a list here in paragraph form, beginning with the college I went to that taught me nothing applicable to this position. This would be the perfect place for an unfunny joke about how good the football/basketball team is going to be this year! Giant stretch here talking about my experience, because this position I’m emailing about requires 3 more years of experience than I really have.

Here is where I mention the name of someone you actually may know in real life, who gave me his business card once in college. I hope the name drop makes you more likely to respond to me, but what I don’t know is that guy I just mentioned got let go 8 months ago. Plus, he was kind of a prick. It is now clear just how desperate I am.

A one word, drinking based farewell that implies I’m a fun person, and a wish that I hear from you soon. A warning/threat that I will follow up with another template email in a week if I don’t hear back from you. I hope at this point that you haven’t realized I’ve spent 30 minutes writing this, but not 30 seconds proofreading it.

-First name

Email signature with my full name, a title I don’t deserve, and clever use of punctuation like blackslashes between the digits of my phone number.

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Luke Sullivan

Author, speaker, and ad veteran available to recharge, reinvigorate, and refocus marketing, advertising, and branding firms.

I give a hugely energetic series of presentations on innovation, creativity, branding, and marketing. I spent 32 years in the trenches of advertising (at agencies like Martin, GSD&M, and Fallon) and I’ve put everything I learned into my book, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. But for me nothing beats taking the message out and speaking to living breathing audiences at clients, agencies, and conferences. You can book me on the button below.

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