It’s been a while, a long while, since I wrote my last blog entry. But it had little to do with a lack of motivation in creative writing. Since September, I’ve been focusing on finding a new job: calling companies to check whether the vacancies are still open, asking for more specific information, writing an awful lot of cover letters and receiving even more rejection letters.
Nothing is more frustrating than putting effort into a letter, only to get a pathetic automatic reply saying: “Thank you for your interest in the position for which you recently applied. However, we have selected other candidates for consideration whose background and experience more closely matches the job requirements. We wish you much success in your job search.”
Rejection letters should come with a warning: “Caution, receiving too many rejection letters may seriously damage your physical and mental health.”
“Oh MY God. This is IT. This is THE job for me! I’m soooo lucky to find this unique vacancy. It was made for me!” That’s the attitude you need for each and every cover letter you write. After a couple of weeks of writing letters though, this enthusiasm is long gone. It may not be the dream job, but you need to pretend nevertheless. The thing is, as soon as your letters get too standard, Human Resources or whoever else is reading the letter notices this. Instead of being considered, both letter and CV end up in the bin.
Tired of writing uninspired letters, I decided to write the letters a bit more like a story – trying my best to pull my reader in. Although the letters will never pass for a story, they at least brought back some of the joy in having to write them. Instead of it being a chore, it became a challenge to write a story-like letter without becoming a narrative.
This wasn’t the turning point in my job-hunting career. Nor will I claim that writing letters the way I did was the reason I got invited for job interviews. But I do think that the joy I eventually found in this process reflected in the letters, and I think that is the reason why I got invited. Still, that didn’t mean people liked my letters. Some were impressed while others thought the job I applied for might be beneath me.
What’s important for me though, is realizing that I could combine something I really love to do with something much less enjoyable.