Open Cover Letter

Okay, so this is awesome.  This is what I mean when I write things and say “DO SOMETHING”.

Stephen X. Flynn has launched Open Cover Letters: Anonymous Cover Letters from Hired Librarians.

If you’re on the job market, and want examples of successful letters that have gotten real people real jobs, here’s your resource. Check it out.

Well done (and done is the engine of more).


  1. I really like this idea, but I find it ironic that most of the letters on there somewhat contradict your advice on “don’t talk about yourself”. It would appear, to me, that a number of of the posted cover letters are rehashing their CV/resumes by saying “I’ve done this for x years”. By no means do I think they are bad cover letters or that your advice is wrong, but clearly opinions on what constitutes a good cover letter vary widely. What they do have in common is being clear, well-written and the authors show enthusiasm and commitment to the job/field.

    As a current job seeker, I love this website! It gives me confidence that my cover letters are just as good as, many of these individuals who appear to have obtained excellent jobs! I’m sure they are great interviewers as well, another essential piece of the puzzle.

    p.s. I hope you didn’t take offense to this. I don’t mean to sound all “neener-neener you’re wrong”. I’ve learned that when it comes to resume/cover letter help, no two people ever give the same advice. So I’ve learned to take the advice I read with a grain of salt and a lot of intuition. Thankfully, I’m already employed as an academic librarian, so if I did it once, I can do it again!


  2. Dear Jenica,

    I too feel that there is no definitive answer as to what constitutes the best format for resumes/cover letters. I feel it is highly subjective where ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.

    I recently revamped my resume and am getting a good response i.e. interview invitations. One rejection email opened with the comment; Nice Resume! So I think I’m on a winner.

    My resume has a clean format, one font, lots of white space with everything aligned left. I don’t centre my name and contact details as many resume schools of thought prefer. My advice is to constantly rework your resume to find a format that gets you an interview.

    I’m still working on a system for my cover letters but I do tailor each one and I’ll take on your advise and stop talking about myself.


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