Dear Hiring Manager,
Thank you for allowing me the time to justify my resume. I know cover letters are supposed to max out at a few paragraphs, but I need a solid 1,000 words in this case. Without explaining in detail this past year’s work experience, that freshly minted resume of mine is headed straight for the trash.
As I’m sure you’ve seen by now, I spent the last ten months caring for babies at a Spanish daycare. Now I’m applying for this tech-heavy Marketing position, and at first glance, you may have doubts. Diapers and Excel may not have a lot in common. But I just want to let you know exactly how my job taming infants has prepared me to work at your start-up. Ultimately I hope you see that I’m not just a desperate candidate grasping at straws here; in fact, I may just be the most qualified applicant to ever cross your desk.
Allow me to elaborate on these strengths.
This is no longer an acquired skill of mine; it is an inherent attribute. At a daycare, you can’t get away with doing fewer than ten tasks at any given moment. I could simultaneously rock a baby to sleep on one knee, clean up sick off the floor with the other hand, all while singing and miming out the movements to “Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes.” Can your newest CS engineer do that? I don’t want to come off as pompous here, but think about that.
I’m fluent in Spanish, but this is California, so probably half your team is too. The really neat thing is, though, I now speak a toddler’s level of Catalan. It was the first language of the daycare, so if you happen to have a client call with a Catalan on the other end, I could take the reigns, especially if they’re trying to sell us products along the lines of crayons, puzzles, and singing dolls.
I’ve invented full-length, rhyming songs on the spot. I’ve thought up the storyline and illustrated 10-12 page picture books. I’ve devised games that interest a 2-year-old for longer than five minutes. Take a second to really let that last statement sink in. You want these creative brain synapses on your team.
Have you ever tried to explain to the parents of an only child that the massive, throbbing bruise on their 2-year-old’s forehead is not a big deal? That it was just from a quick trip and a fall? Despite the fact that these kids are practically self-harm inflicting masochists, these parents’ common assumption is that we’re not keeping a close watch; that we’re beating our students to a pulp; or that the child must never be let to take a step alone again. I’ve dealt with the crazies, and I’ve talked them off the ledge with the strongest communication skills you’ve ever seen. You can’t not hire this A-level talker.
I know I’m not applying for HR, but you can never have enough empathetic teammates. Despite studying linguistics, not psychology, I’ve stepped up to play the role of counselor more than a few times. Most of my cases involved deciding who has the right to which Lego, but I think you can see the bigger picture here. I’d be a real debate settler in the office; a just and understanding colleague. It’s like hiring an HR rep and a Marketing Strategist all at once, but only paying one salary.
A Quick Word on Health Care.
It’s so kind of you to provide your workers with such comprehensive health benefits, but I’m here to tell you I won’t be needing that. Save your money. You see, I was sick for ten months straight. Every cough, every sniffle, every bout of diarrhea these kids exhibited, I caught it. Perhaps you think I’m exaggerating—can the common cold really last ten months? Believe me, it can, but as a result I have built up the fiercest iron shield of an immune system. I can all but guarantee you won’t hand a cent over to the insurance companies on my behalf.
But none of this matters. None of it. At the end of the day, former daycare employees are the only people you should ever consider hiring. It’s a simple matter of motivation:
We cannot fail; we will not fail.
And that’s because we are so starved for adult contact, so eager to work on a team of coherent, potty-trained, fully functioning humans, so desperate to use critical thinking instead of reciting the alphabet on repeat, that we will do whatever it takes for you to keep us around. We will work till midnight without requesting overtime; we’ll show up with caramel lattes for the whole team; we will sit cross-legged on the floor if you can’t find a desk for us. That’s how afraid ex-daycare employees are of returning to their former world.
This may be a 70-hour-a-week job, in a windowless office, inundated by corporate bureaucracy. But it’s not one filled with temper tantrums and chants about farm animals, and for that, I would be eternally indebted to you for the opportunity.
Please consider this application, despite the absence of the required applicable skills and seven years prior work experience. I believe ten months at a daycare to be the equivalent, and I hope you can agree.