Tweeting my Cover Letter to Twitter

When you’re unemployed for a few months, you start to question if you’re barking up the wrong tree. Or you’re just not barking right.

When an opportunity to apply to Twitter arose, I couldn’t help but put my name in the hat, and be creative about it, especially since their main product is a freakin’ medium of communication.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I hate cover letters.

Hate ’em.

It is hard for me to engage in an activity I don’t believe in – and I can’t be the only one who thinks like this. This is a general enough statement, and it applies to me specifically around cover letters.

Yes, they tell a story that may not be captured in your resume. I’d argue: fit your story in your resume.

Yes, they are an outlet for showcasing your style. I’d argue: fit your style in your resume.

Yes, they restate how you think you’d be a cosmically-destined fit for the job. I’d argue: of course you think so: you’re applying for that job.

Maybe it’s just me, but now that I’m a hiring manager, I definitely don’t care about them. Granted, I have an awesome technical recruiter who does great high-level screening for me, but if I didn’t have her, I’d look at resumes, and scan for basic technical requirements, any genuine indications of EQ, and possibly a short passage regarding fit (related accomplishments in a ‘summary’ section… plans for growth in an ‘objective’ section… what makes an awesome team in haiku…).

But not everybody thinks like me. (That’d be horrible! Can you imagine all the bad puns flying around? I can. It’d be great. For like 10 minutes. 10 unrelentingly clever minutes of impressively solid creativity showering gracious majesty upon the thankless and unappreciative masses. And then we’d return to our doldrum lives of mediocrity, having experienced a higher level of being, a deeper feat of expression, and an ephemeral barrage of sheer genius, the likes of which ripples through the collective consciousness of humanity: a fleeting taste of ascension, an epic ode to our species, an understanding of what is possible.)

Where was I? Oh yeah: not everybody thinks like me. (It’d be alright. I guess.)

Which means requests for cover letters are still out there, so let me help you get through this.

My strategy? Use your own template. Have most of it be generally applicable for those general applications, then tailor a targeted section or two for each job posting – I customize the first and last paragraphs. This way, you’re crafting a smaller amount of text per opportunity.

Want an extra challenge? Split the result into tweet-length chunks, create a dedicated Twitter account, then tweet those chunks in reverse order so that they’re readable when you visit that profile URL.

Like so:

The first tweet may look like this:

When you visit Twitter’s San Francisco HQ, you may look like this:

Did I get the job?

Did they read the cover letter? Honestly?
I don’t think so.

Did I enjoy the creative challenge of authoring that particular cover letter?

Do I still hate cover letters?
Hate ’em.