Impressive Cover Letters Are a Must in Today’s Job Market

Job applicants today face a tough market.  There can be no doubt about it.  And law students are no exception. Graduating at the top of one’s class from a top law school no longer guarantees an interview, much less an eventual job offer. Upon racking up a number of rejection letters noting his “impressive background” (or something similar), one law student decided to take a new approach to his cover letter.

The entire letter is posted at Above the Law and is worth reading.

The letter recounts the writer’s top 15 percent law school rank and law journal experience, but goes on to offer “an outside perspective”—the opinions of nine law firms, offered in a variety of permutations, that the job applicant has an “impressive” background.

Lawyers at one firm, for example, were “most impressed” with the writer’s resumé. Another firm “remarkably” came to the identical conclusion that that the applicants’ “qualifications are impressive.”

“Clearly, there is a consensus among many firms that I am ‘impressive,’ ” the cover letter posted on the blog says. “Although there is some disagreement about whether my background, credentials, qualifications, resumé, or a combination of these is impressive, it is obvious that I am impressive on some level. Furthermore, while these accolades were all included in rejection letters, the opinions still hold true and are strong measures of my value as a candidate in your colleagues’ and competitors’ eyes. Thus, I am undoubtedly qualified for a position in your litigation department.”

“Finally, if I do not receive an offer for employment, many firms will be quite disappointed. Dozens of firms have indicated a desire for my ‘success’ in the ‘future’ with a ‘challenging’ or ‘rewarding’ position ‘somewhere else,’ and I do not intend to upset these firms by failing.”

Unfortunately, the creative approach did not pan out for this law student – he states that the firm receiving this letter rejected him within three days.