Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cover Letters

My whole life, I've been writing the same cover letter.

You know what I mean - not the exact same word-for-word submission to each job. That would be ridiculous. No, I mean the same formatted cover letter. I've got it down to a science at this point, and I can knock one out in under twenty minutes.

Clearly, citing my unemployed status here, this is not working. So I'm thinking of trying a new approach.

No longer will the - introduction about myself, two paragraphs about my skills and how they will nestle perfectly into insert-company's atmosphere, and final paragraph containing necessary contact information - cut it. It's time for a change.

From now on, I'm cutting the formalities. Why don't my cover letters sound like my blog posts? Obviously, they can't be quite as conversational. Grammar and spelling are still important. However, I don't talk like a robot. Why would I want my cover letters to make me sound like I do.

Before you jump all over me - I've never once used a template, technically. I've created a template in my head, sort of. I'm eerily consistent with myself. I try not to copy-and-paste from one company to another, but I've gone back to read old submissions and they sort of all sound the same. This is a problem.

I already use my own personalized 'stationery' (I use quotes because I'm submitting a PDF, 99% of the time). That's not changing. I like the idea of my cover letter matching my resume, and I'm currently in love with my resume design.

It's the content that's changing.

None of this "I'm writing to apply to whatever job, whatever ..." This information is repeated from the subject line of the email. No more, "My education and experiences have taught me ..."

Even just writing it now, it all sounds so awful.

So here's to new approaches, new techniques, and hopefully new beginnings. I will get this job. I will get the next job. I'm done assuming each one is going to be another rejection, because they won't be able to reject what I'm sending their way.

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