5 memorable cover letters that went viral

Why are cover letters so often dull when they’re supposed to show off a job applicant’s personality? These letters bucked that trend—sometimes with disastrous results.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

A résumé lists a person’s accomplishments; it gives the facts. The cover letter shapes those accomplishments into a narrative; it tells a story.

Yet cover letters are so often dull. As Max Fisher put it in The Atlantic Wire: “Most people try to be as polite and flattering as possible when writing a prospective employer to ask for a job. It’s really the only medium where being obsequious is seen as a virtue.”

The authors of the following cover letters were anything but obsequious. They were emotive, compelling, offensive, and innovative. Not all of them are imitable, but they do offer inspiration—or a cautionary tale.

1. Good grammar be damned—this guy is stronger than a bear.

A South Korean job candidate’s cover letter—which went viral after appearing on Reddit last month—was hailed for its passion and bravado. The language was terrible. “Please feel me,” the non-native English speaker writes at one point.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.