“Please do not use cover letters that you copied out of a book. If you write ‘I understand the position also requires a candidate who is team- and detail-oriented, works well under pressure, and is able to deal with people in departments throughout the firm’ then at best people will think you’re a bullshit artist and at worst they will think that you were not born with the part of the brain that allows you to form your own thoughts and ideas.”

Getting Your Résumé Read

PS. This article got two kinds of feedback:

Ok Joel, I’ve been getting you newsletter for a while now. Mostly I was glad to. I’m a twenty year vet myself and I agreed with most of what you had to say. You were always a little pompous, but the resume “thing” takes the cake. PLease take me off you maliing list.


It’s absolutely perfect. Please make sure that this article stays on your site for a very long time. I want to maintain a link to it and recommend it to everybody who is looking for a job. Thank you!

Why the disparity?

Attention, All Gay Men on the Planet: OK, I can understand you don’t want to dress up for the interview, but at least pick out a handbag that matches your outfit!

About the author.

In 2000 I co-founded Fog Creek Software, where we created lots of cool things like the FogBugz bug tracker, Trello, and Glitch. I also worked with Jeff Atwood to create Stack Overflow and served as CEO of Stack Overflow from 2010-2019. Today I serve as the chairman of the board for Stack Overflow, Glitch, and HASH.