A recently laid-off colleague from a prior employer contacted me about leads for jobs. I willingly offered to help, and made some contacts – one looked like a perfect fit.  Here is the letter my colleague wrote, only slightly edited for public posting:

“David Harkleroad urged me to check out your website and the posting for the XXX position. What immediately struck me was the (perhaps golden) opportunity to bring my professional capabilities together with one of my most passionate personal interests. [The company in question was monetizing a passionate hobby of my colleague – DH.] Being a YYY [the hobby], the concept and potential behind your company greatly appeals to me. Judging by your “people” page, I also particularly like the idea of being part of a small and growing company, where friendliness and fun seem to be built into the work. [my colleague did his homework…]

“AAA and BBB are my areas of deep expertise [and yes, he is pretty good at these, as evidenced on his resume – DH], and I consider myself to be very versatile and eclectic overall. I believe I meet or exceed almost all the requirements you are seeking.

“The only possible snag is that I’ve committed to my family that I will keep our family home here in [HOME LOCATION], and move only as a last resort [my italics – DH]. That said, I’d be more than happy to spend substantial start-up time at your office, and afterward, spend two consecutive days a week, if your company is willing to accommodate. Historically, I’ve been very successful working remotely, having co-workers and clients around the globe. I’m hoping that your company’s personnel philosophy matches it’s business philosophy of working creatively together, regardless of location.

“I would love to discuss this position in greater detail so that we could further assess mutual fit. I’ve attached my resume for your consideration, including contact information. I hope to hear from you soon.”

He heard back, within 24 hours. The hiring executive wrote a nice note concluding, “Given where we are as a company, though, I need someone here with me and the team in [COMPANY LOCATION] full-time.”


There is a positive, though. I shared the cover letter with my college-age daughters and let them evaluate the approach. Was instructive, for dad, to observe the evolution of their thinking…

Interesting dilemma – what would you have done?