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I plan on sending my application to a library page position at my local library today (Christmas 2014). I was thinking about adding a more personal touch at the end of the letter by writing

Happy Holidays!

Sincerely,

[My Name]

Is this unprofessional? Should I stay safe and remove the "Happy Holidays!" ?

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    My caveat is that your letter will look dated when they start looking at it by the middle of next week. I usually prefer my cover letters not to have a built-in expiration date. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 25 '14 at 23:09
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    In spite of the fact that I think the answers below are good explanations why it would be not unprofessional, I think Vietnhi nails it on the head which is why I would never do it. You don't want someone seeing your resume (& cover) for the first time in 3-4 months (which can certainly happen) and immediately wonder if it's out-of-date. Better safer than sorry, in my opinion. (the reason why it could be a few months before some see it the first time is based on how resumes get passed around sometimes). – Chris E Dec 26 '14 at 18:00
  • I'd drop the exclamation mark. – Kevin Dec 30 '14 at 23:17
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I think it is sweet and endearing, and says something about you, the candidate.

It is possible your application will look dated when they do look at it, but it won't be dated by much, and depending on where you live it is possible they'll look at it sometime between Christmas and New Years - so it won't be that dated.

Comparing the two, i think that the "looking dated" downside is more than compensated for by the "endearing and friendly" upside.

I say go for it.

Also, Merry Christmas.

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    I'd add, if it was sent in during the holidays the person recruiting won't think it's dated on your behalf, more... "oh... I perhaps I shouldn't have let this sit this long." (which is neither a plus or minus in my book, but might work to your benefit should this come to an interview) – RualStorge Dec 26 '14 at 17:56
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Just about every culture has some sort of holiday around the time of the solstice, so even those who find the marketing season annoying will generally accept generic seasonal good wishes. I'd say it is, at worst, not inappropriate or unprofessional.

Speaking of which, grated seasonings and best wishes for the upcoming year to the Stack Exchange. community.

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I wouldn't do it. For one thing, the person who receives your letter may not celebrate holidays, so it might not be received well. And for another, you are applying for a job in a library. Libraries in particular tend to avoid alignments with any particular religious viewpoint. It is a library's role to present all viewpoints, and signing off with "Happy holidays" presents a particular bias.

  • well... nobody i have ever heard of "doesn't celebrate holidays" - they might not celebrate Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Winter Solstice, but they will celebrate holidays of some sort. You're right that the OP would be best not to write "Merry Christmas" (my feelings on that are another matter altogether), but i think you might be mistaken about a carte blanch abandonment on well-wishing. – bharal Dec 28 '14 at 10:53

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