Stacy Garrels.
5 min readFeb 28, 2023

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Yours in Mediocrity: A Completely Mediocre Cover Letter from a LinkedIn Candidate in the 50th Percentile of All Applicants

50th percentile— BOOM! That’s how I roll.

Nearly 700 applicants on LinkedIn have applied for this content writer position. LinkedIn tells me my skills put me at the 50th percentile and in terms of job fit I am mediocre in every single way. So I wrote this completely transparent cover letter highlighting my middle-of-the-road abilities in a bid to get an interview.

Hello {{hiring_manager: “Esteemed Person Who Pays People Money for Writing Things”}}

I saw the job posting for a content writer at XXXXXXX and am writing to apply. I have applied for a number of content writing job positions but am always told that the company is not hiring or that I do not meet all of the requirements. However, I found this career opening on LinkedIn and their analysis tells me that I am at the 50th percentile of all 678 applicants. So I know that you are in fact hiring and that I meet the requirements. (LinkedIn says so, and if you don’t believe them then why are you even using their platform to post jobs and find applicants in the first place?)

LinkedIn Thinks I’m Qualified

While initially I was reluctant to apply, being at the fiftieth percentile in terms of skills and competencies, I took a deeper dive into the data.

I have “9 out of the 10 most common skills among all other applicants.” It says I am lacking “Research,” but don’t be fooled. How do you think I tracked down your post? LinkedIn limits the number of skills members can add to their profile.

Like 64% of the other applicants, I have a Bachelor’s Degree.

LinkedIn says your organization “is hiring people like [me]” with 80% growth in marketing hires over the past couple of years.

Unlike most applicants, I do not come from anywhere near New York City, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. I live in fly-over country which means I may be cheaper to hire and excited about travel opportunities and not resentful. (I am still shoveling my way out of a 2-foot snow storm.)

I looked over the sections entitled “What You’ll Do” and “Who You Are” and I can assuredly complete the tasks with appropriate middling to above-average aplomb.

What You’ll Do

Interpret creative direction and turn briefs into persuasive copy concepts and assets. I think we can both agree that this cover letter is, at the very least, moderately persuasive. And I can apply this same unorthodox approach to other copy concepts and assets.

Ensure all copy produced meets the brand’s style and tone of voice of the brand written for, as well as adhere to compliance, legal, IP, and other requirements. Roger. I’m old-hand at getting buy-in from Legal and other departments for copy, but as per my digital entrails, most of the content I’ve written has been off-brand in order to be on-brand: SEO-focused articles and listicles to capture traffic and conversions from trending keywords and misspelled keyword variations.

Deliver clear and consistent copy across a variety of channels including blogs, whitepapers, the XXXXXXX website, email, ad campaigns, social media, and video. I’ve delivered copy for a variety of channels including blogs, websites, email, ad campaigns, social media, video, and whitepapers, with the majority of my experience tied (shackled) to SEO articles.

Do your own research on industry trends and statistics that will support your content assets. Ensure that all copy and content assets stay up-to-date with current research, tone of voice, and brand messaging. Yes. See the introduction and LinkedIn sections of this cover letter.

Master the different personas and industries we target. Yes! I call dibs on Zoomers!

Work with the Content Strategy Manager, Demand Generation Director, and other members of the creative team to brainstorm campaign ideas. Yes! I would love a team to brainstorm and bounce creative ideas off so I can stop talking to my dog.

Work with the designer to produce a final content asset. Yes, I have done this before for one-off design requests or more involved projects with creative briefs, kick-off calls, and wireframes.

Maintain a content publishing calendar and plan copy according to upcoming product releases, events, and more. Yes. I have co-owned content calendars and been involved with planning for product updates or seasonal promotions.

Who You Are

3+ years of experience with copywriting for B2B products. Enterprise Fintech / Payments experience a plus. I have 3 years, give or take, of experience writing copy for financial and consumer rewards apps (including XXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXX), highlighting their fintech and banking partners like XXXX, XXXX, and XXXXXXXXX.

You have a passion for the written word and are a stickler for correct grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling. I silently judge everyone’s grammar.

You have experience writing long-form and short-form copy that converts. Yes!

You have a strong understanding of digital marketing best practices. Define strong.

You are a self-starter with a coachable and highly motivated personality. Most of the time.

Experience with building and executing marketing campaigns from the ground up. The term “ground up” is vague. I built a blog from scratch that reached 4K in monthly uniques within three months without spending a dime in advertising. (I may have spent a nickel.)

You have a portfolio of writing samples demonstrating smart, strategic, and compelling copy. I have a portfolio.

Ability to work autonomously and comfortable taking the lead. Let me at ‘em.

Are interested in the Fintech space and writing about Fintech. I’ve tried dozens of reward and fintech apps, so yes.

Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, balancing long-term and short-term deadlines. No. Everyone always says “yes” to this popular resume cliche, so I’m going to be different. The slower and duller the environment, the better.

I might be a long-shot. But look. Let me level with you. I know how to get SEO content to rank. I know how to get it to convert. And I really want to move my content writing skills into a more polished and elegant direction. Plus, your job ad says you will pay me money. Don’t deny it. You posted a salary range and everything.

And In addition to liking jobs that pay money, I am a delightful person to know.

I can jog really slowly for really long periods of time without ever stopping even once to walk.

I can play Ode to Joy on the recorder with the proficiency of a tone-deaf fifth grader.

I bake, and share, lopsided cakes (made from scratch), quick breads, and sugar cookies that are made from frozen tubes but still oddly satisfying.

So, let’s do it. Let’s meet up and chat about how effective LinkedIn is at sending you absolutely mediocre candidates.

Yours in mediocrity,

Stacy (Another 50th percentile LinkedIn candidate.)

XXXXXXX@gmail.com

~~~~ Hey you! Read this cover letter about how I’m “Confident in my ability to outshine mediocre people everywhere who have jobs they are not even remotely qualified for.” ~~~

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Stacy Garrels.

“Confident in my ability to outshine mediocre people everywhere who have jobs they are not even qualified for.” Humor. Sarcasm. Ballsy copy. Meandering essays.