Max Rysztak: Boilerplate

Given that I was unable to find my application letter to the minor in writing program, I have chosen to use my go-to cover letter for job applications. While I could pretty much copy/paste the entire letter and use it as a boilerplate sample, these are some of the quotes that stood out to me the most:


“I apply for this position with great enthusiasm, which is founded by my passion for politics and public policy.”

I look at this quote and realize that it really doesn’t explain why I’m enthusiastic about applying for the position. Even though most of the positions I apply to are political/policy-related in nature, nothing specifically about this phrase explains to the application reader why their specific office/company/etc. excites me. I think I originally chose to include it (in my opening paragraph) simply because it sounds good.


“The most important thing this position has taught me, however, is leadership. This position has taught me to be creative in my campus-wide-strategy, but it has also taught me to trust and listen to others’ ideas, which I now believe to be one of the most important leadership qualities.”

I added this quote because I wanted to emphasize my leadership skills. But reading back, I realize that most leaders are creative and good listeners. There’s nothing unique about those qualities and they, in all honesty, don’t relate to my experiences in the position I’m referring to.


“I think I am a candidate with great communication skills, political experience, and strong motivation, which will bring unique experiences to the Congressman’s Office. I am truly thrilled about the prospect of joining your team.”

This quote, last but not least, is the epitome of boilerplate. Communication skills, experience, and motivation – what else am I supposed to mention in a cover letter? I included this because I felt it was the only acceptable way to conclude my letter. While that may be true, I certainly could update this phrase to make it less generic than it already is.


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