Devan Boyle, Features, Stories
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The Worst Cover Letter Ever

My name is Devan Boyle and I am delighted to express my interest in the position of Venue Manager for the [Redacted] Theatre. My personal experiences performing and participating in theatrical productions make the position interesting to me; it is my hope that my professional experiences in nonprofits, customer service, and the arts make me interesting to you.

At the risk of impudence, let me be frank: the concept of a traditional cover letter undoes me. By now you’ve probably read dozens written for this job, some professional, some appalling, most riddled with typos at the least and egregious grammar at the worst. I’m offering something a little different, and it’s no cover.

I believe I am the woman for this job, I’m excited as hell about it, and I’m going to tell you why.

I worked at the front desk of the downtown [Redacted] in Asheville for nearly three years. I learned how to defuse conflict gracefully, interact with people from all walks of life, and maintain a sunny, professional demeanour under the most unholy of customer service situations. I was called on to remember hundreds of details about pricing, membership options, programming, and events at the drop of a hat, keep our front desk attractive and clean, create a monthly work schedule for a dozen other front-desk staff, train new employees, and promote the mission of [Redacted] as a nonprofit, including fund-raising and soliciting community support.

And yes, I handed out a lot of basketballs along the way and folded more group exercise schedules than bear the telling of it. But I also knew the first and last names of hundreds of our members, and could spell those names to boot. I could look at a member’s face and anticipate both their problem and the solution for it almost before they could give it voice. I know this position at [Redacted] would give me a chance for similar satisfaction.

It’s that kind of attention-to-detail combined with big-picture vision that I believe would make me an asset in this position, and I welcome the challenge of a greater scope of responsibility in a field in which I still have much to learn.

In short, I know how to delegate tasks, communicate with efficiency, candour, and poise, and multitask like a crazy-in-a-good way 1950’s housewife. I have excellent taste, badass cleaning skills, and the way I handle a stapler strikes fear in the hearts of men. I can bend any copy machine in existence to my will, type with my eyes closed, and produce flawless paperwork. If necessary I can open a beer with a lighter, tie a cherry stem with my tongue, and get you back into the car you locked yourself out of. I have an instinctive and practiced ability to find the clearest path to smoothing a shitshow into a pile of silk purses. I’m fearless about asking for help when I need it, and resourceful enough to make that a rarity. I’m the secretary that would have saved Don Draper from himself.

I’ll whip your volunteers into warriors for your cause. I’ll brew coffee, take out the trash, file reports, wield a hammer, find the missing glue gun, soothe battered egos, and work tirelessly to make each production a success.

I would love to have the chance to work for you, and I can promise you’ll never regret it.




Devan Boyle lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina.

This post first appeared on her blog.



Top image via mxdwn.

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