An Honest Cover Letter from Gen Y

Dear Potential Employers:

Firstly, thank you for actually reading this cover letter. We know a significant percentage of HR employees toss us in the “not interested” pile after they see our limited résumés. The yawning gaps in employment. The interim jobs for which we were massively overqualified. The impractical but beloved degrees. It’s nice of you to read our cover letter; we appreciate it.

We’re writing to be considered for whatever job you would consider offering us. At this point, some of us are more than a little desperate. Others have given up entirely. But really — we’re not picky. We would just like jobs. Considering that just over half of us have one, well. It’s been a rough few years for us. For everyone, but maybe especially for us.

You see, we grew up in the 90s, a time of plenty. We saw our parents do pretty well. We thought when we grew up and went to college, we would do pretty well, too. But then the economy tanked and as of 2008, new graduates had a more difficult time finding employment than the US government did finding Osama Bin Laden.

Sorry. We don’t mean to whine. We know what you’ve heard about us. That we have entitlement issues. That we possess the attention span of a goldfish on methamphetamines. That we need a lot of positive reinforcement. That we’ve been ruined for the workforce by the last four years or so. We simply don’t have the experience. (By the way, all those “entry level” jobs that require 1-3 years of experience? What a riot.)

Of course, we never will if you don’t hire us.

But we’re not asking for handouts. There are reasons you should hire us — good reasons.

Firstly, we have the technological know-how. You don’t have to put “computer skills” in the job description for us. We grew up with computers, with the internet. New systems don’t scare us. We switch every 2-3 years anyway.

And on that score, we’re quick learners. More of us have gone to school than any previous generation and many of us have pretty good educations. Because the job market’s been so bad, we’ve even gone back to school to get postgraduate degrees.

We don’t have as much professional experience as you might like, but we’ve taken on internships and volunteer projects as enthusiastically as we would if they were salaried jobs. We’re one of the most idealistic and tolerant generations, which has gotten us into some trouble, but we stick to our beliefs and surely there’s something worthwhile about that.

Actually, if we could highlight the one quality that makes us worth a chance, it’s that enthusiasm. We want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We will devote our time and energy to learning the skills you need us to learn. We’ll show up to work every day. Many of us will arrive early and leave late. We want the opportunity to be active members of society and, however naïve it might sound, we still want to change the world.

We hope we get the chance.


Generation Y


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