Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh, oh! Pick Me!

I've written before about the hindrances of cover letters. The script of what one has to say leaves little room for sincerity, or at least a recognizable way of communicating it. Because each one must include promises of how much we would love to work here or there, it's hard to tell one potential employer that they are your first choice.

There's something about forced politeness that makes everything sound less enthusiastic than you actually are. Let's face it, when you are scripted to say, "I would be great for this position, I look forward to hearing from you," it's hard to make sure that they truly understand that I would be awesome for this position and I'm crossing my fingers that I hear back soon. Because you can't write that. You have to be eager but not desperate. Available but not at such a loose end you appear undesirable. Seriously, the fine points of the art of flirting are more easily understandable than the rules and regulations of cover letter enthusiasm.

I find that the hardest thing is to try and follow all the rules without just washing myself out, or, conversely, trying to make myself stand out without turning a potential employer off. Because you never know who is on the other end of that cover letter, especially when sent through an e-mail. You don't know their opinions on exclamation points and a little humor.

So crossing my fingers, toes and eyes that I can type with sincerity, and that whoever reads my cover letters can read with a little as well.

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