I’m filling out lots of applications these days which means I’ve written more cover letters than I’d like. (I’d like to write zero.)
I’ve been contorting my work experience and supposed passions into all sorts of convoluted narratives, so I might as well see how far my skills might take me if I were applying for things even further outside of my qualifications.
Guard of the Citadel (The Lord of the Rings)
This feels like the LOTR equivalent of a post-doc: barely one step above an internship but might lead to some great networking opportunities thanks to all that proximity to power, without having to deal with the stress of anyone reporting to you or needing to really make decisions of any sort. Here’s what would go in my cover letter:
As a two-time bridesmaid, I am experienced in standing still for long periods of time, maintaining a thoughtful expression on my face no matter what overly personal thing the preacher says. If given the opportunity to join the Guard, I would be honored to stand around the white tree no matter how many cave trolls are punching their way through the city. I was deeply saddened to learn of the recent destruction of the Robin Hood tree in Northumbria and am motivated to do my part to protect Gondor’s most prized natural resources and symbols.
Although I do not have formal arms training, I am CPR-certified and therefore able to deduce if someone is actually dead and therefore ready to be cremated, a skill I understand your department to be in need of.
Also, my Spotify Wrapped each year primarily consists of sad folk songs, so I would be able to sing somber ballads for the Lord Steward upon request.
Wack-Bat Coach (Fantastic Mr. Fox)
Obviously being a teacher is tough, but at least I’d get to be outdoors, hopefully get a good pension, and maybe earn some discounts at local businesses after I lead the team to their first state championship in school history and they hang banners of my face all over town. And I’d get a whistle—which provides the strongest sensation of power most mortals ever have the chance to know.
As a life-long player and watcher of all sorts of sport, I know the power it has to enrich one’s life. I believe strongly in the importance of instilling a love for sport, and an active lifestyle in general, at a young age, and no one is better positioned to do so than a youth sports coach. And I was an assistant coach for a 4th/5th grade YMCA basketball team for half a season a few years ago.
Although I have never played whack-bat myself, I have played softball, have a general knowledge of aerobic exercise, and did watch a game of cricket that one time. All of that put together yields the necessary component parts of the sport, and anything I’m missing I would be eager to learn. My multiple Basketball Leadership Awards granted between grades 7 and 12 illustrate my natural leadership ability in a sporting context, and I would be honored to apply that skill and experience to this fine team.
Also, I’m great at starting fires, something required for the game to be played.
I’m (almost) twenty-seven years old, I’ve no money and no prospects. I’m already a burden to my parents and I’m frightened.
Thank you for taking the time to review my application and I look forward to any future communication about the position.
Christina Ribbens (’19) graduated with a major in history and minors in studio art and data science. After working in campus ministry for a few years, she’s getting her master’s in public humanities at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She has a benevolent dependency on tea, is always down for a game of pick-up basketball, and would love to have you over for pancakes sometime.