Prospective Employer to Millie Meinwald, February 1, 2005

Benefits? How about "having a job"? That's the best benefit there is!

Dear Applicant:

Thank you for you interest in WorldTec, leading innovators in the world of innovation (TM). We are happy to say that our first several choices have turned us down, so we would like to extend to you an opportunity to interview with us. Please note that our interview process is very rigid, and we will be asking you many questions that you have almost certainly not heard at other interviews. No “What’s your biggest weakness?” from us! (Note: this does not guarantee you will not be asked about your biggest weakness).

First, you will interview with your immediate team, led by a boss who will quit the minute anything more interesting comes along, and a group of co-workers who will surprise and awe you everyday with their ability to fail. If you are hired, working with them will be a living hell, and as you presumably have a pulse, you’ll soon be doing most of their work as well as yours! But don’t worry – We’ll recognize your efforts with a hearty “How come this hasn’t been done, Applicant?!” If you’re really motivated, we might even learn your name!

Next, you’ll interview briefly with your boss’s boss’s boss’s boss. The five minutes he spends telling you how lucky you are to even be sitting in front of him will be the only five minutes he ever spends speaking to you, but he will glare at you periodically and make you think you’re always this close to getting fired. Who knows, maybe you are!

If all goes well, you’ll spend at least eight hours a day in the sort of coma that gets people declared legally dead, as you lurch from periods of interminable boredom to periods of explosive stress. As we say at WorldTec: “Better learn how to kill time on the internet because it’s better than killing yourself!”

Mostly sincerely,

Dom Pedro Frangella-Smith

HR Associate, WorldTec


This letter may be the most rare specimen in our collection: the reply to the cover letter. Of course, 99.9999% of cover letters go unanswered. Otherwise they’d hardly be cover letters–more like social greetings! The best that most people sending cover letters can hope for is the perfunctory rejection. Here’s a textbook example from 2002:

Dear Whatever it was,

Oh shit, we just realized we never got back to you. Um…sorry, position’s been filled by this guy who is sort of a jackass but has a Master’s degree. I’m just saying this to be nice: you could apply next time we have a job posted…or…yeah don’t bother.



CEO of Everywhere You Want to Work, Basically


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