Is it ever done? At what point do you say, “Okay, you freak, stop revising and just send the damn thing!!”?
Clearly, not yet.
The thing is, it gets better with each little piece of revision. I haven’t started cannibalizing it yet, and each little tweak gets it stronger.
By the way–some aspects of it may not apply as much to music jobs, but I have taken great inspiration and assistance from the Professor’s infamous blog post, “Why your Job Cover Letter Sucks (and what you can do to fix it).” I still have terminal list addiction, but I have successfully played some of it down, and de-adverbed most of it, and simplified where possible…definitely read the comments as well, they contain a pretty valuable number of caveats from other academics who say, “Nope, not in this field you wouldn’t do that” and so forth.
Are we there yet?
Will I eventually actually write the dissertation and stop farting around with job letters that say “I anticipate finishing my dissertation by such and such a date,” that date getting farther into the future with every job letter I send?
Another sigh. My brain hurts.