One thing I absolutely hate about the job hunting world is the need to produce a cover letter with every application. And these cover letters need to be tailored specifically to each job. They need to show you know something about the company you are applying for. Theoretically you should pick up some of the language they use in the job post and mirror it in your cover letter. You should strike a balance between professional and creative. From what I understand they have a basic structure of:
- How I heard about the job/ a brief introduction to yourself
- A more indepth paragraph about what you can bring to the company and what your experience is
- A sentence or two closing everything up (i.e. thanking them and saying you ‘look forward to hearing from them’
I have a dislike of/borderline phobia of writing cover letters because of this format, because it’s not enough to just get this bit down to a science. I’ve read all those articles on how to get a job and how to write a good cover letter; they all say the same thing to me: don’t be boring. Given this advice, the structure above makes it sound like I’ve spent the last few days being tortured and the words have forced themselves to the surface as a means of survival.
‘I am interested in the work experience position that I read about on your website and according to my cover letter I have the personality of a jellyfish but without the ability to glow and live underwater and do other cool things’.
I don’t know how to be creative with it because I don’t want them to think I’m crazy (I sent one CV off as a test run of whether or not a crazy cover letter would get me noticed. It probably did, but I still didn’t get a call back) and to be honest, some companies just don’t seem to be interested in the “creative” letter writing types.
Unlike the idea of blogging, which I seem to be getting the hang of, I still can’t master the art of writing a cover letter that will get me any sort of job. I’ve had success with one cover letter out of at least 30, so I guess that’s something.
Still, I can’t help but think that the notion of a cover letter is painfully contrived. Employers hate the majority of them because they’re all boring and sound the same. We hate writing them because they don’t produce an accurate view of who we are and because they make us sound boring and too formal. In a perfect world, there would be some other method by which we were judged by. Or maybe more freedom to say something interesting.
Alas, the idea of change but a mere dream of mine. Or I guess I could stop by the careers centre.