“Please do not use cover letters that you copied out of a book. If you write ‘I understand the position also requires a candidate who is team- and detail-oriented, works well under pressure, and is able to deal with people in departments throughout the firm’ then at best people will think you're a bullshit artist and at worst they will think that you were not born with the part of the brain that allows you to form your own thoughts and ideas.”
PS. This article got two kinds of feedback:
Ok Joel, I've been getting you newsletter for a while now. Mostly I was glad to. I'm a twenty year vet myself and I agreed with most of what you had to say. You were always a little pompous, but the resume "thing" takes the cake. PLease take me off you maliing list.
It's absolutely perfect. Please make sure that this article stays on your site for a very long time. I want to maintain a link to it and recommend it to everybody who is looking for a job. Thank you!
Why the disparity?
Attention, All Gay Men on the Planet: OK, I can understand you don't want to dress up for the interview, but at least pick out a handbag that matches your outfit!
You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.
I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, which lets you organize anything, together, FogBugz, enlightened issue tracking software for bug tracking, and Kiln, which provides distributed version control and code reviews. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.