Cover Letters

I often browse through my sent emails, picking out and looking at the cover letters that I had sent before. I found one, dated June 18, where I was applying to be a Managing Director of a community art centre. Before anyone says “Wow, Managing Director! That’s reaching a bit high, don’t you think?”, it’s best to describe the duties of the Managing Director.

I would be assisting the Director with administrative duties, take minutes in meetings, help to write grants and proposals, prepare research reports for the board, and get coffee. No, the last one is just me projecting. But to me, it seems as though it was going to be a glorified secretary job, plus the added benefit of writing groan inducing grants.

Since there was a mail-in address provided in the job listing, I decided to run with it old school and deliver it by snail mail.

My mom, who takes several courses in things ranging from resume writing to flower arranging, told me that her instructor suggested sending resumes by snail mail. That way, the hiring manager didn’t have to print out resumes for the hiring process, and they had concrete evidence that you actually existed, and not just as a random bot on the internet.

Here’s a draft of the letter I later printed out and sent in a nice A4 envelope. For this post, I blacked out names and companies. You know, just in case.

cover letter

As I explained my letter, I had lots of experience working with art centres. I like people, I’m a good writer, I know how to write those grants, and I had the Advil to deal with the accompanying headaches. Of course, I never heard back. I suppose hard copies aren’t the way to go, given my bad experiences with Canada Post.

So once again I’m back to the drawing board. Each time I try something a little different, but sometimes I wonder if I should be more consistent about my application process. Then there are little nagging things – this time I was terrified that they would get some hand writing analyst to look at how I’d written the names and address on the front of the envelope. “Hmm, her letters are a little bit slanted. She may not have the ability to write grants. Oh, and she wrote your name in capitals. That’s a sign of aggression.”
“Oh dear me, I dare not hire an aggressive lady! She may be too much for my lady-like company! I’m a lady and she is a lady, this will not work! She must be lady-like enough to fetch me tea, as ladies do not drink coffee!” (Yes, I imagined that David Walliam of Little Britain in drag was in my head saying that).

All this reminds me of the awkward period called Middle/High School, where notes are often slipped into lockers, ending up in either mockery or avoidance. I feel that way right now, the gawky, tall and far too skinny girl with glasses who secretly puts a hand delivered note, replete with flower drawings and cheap perfume, only to find that there is deadening silence as a response. Or worse, something that leads you on, and thinks that you’ll go somewhere, only to end up hurt.

But my multiple interviews that go nowhere will have to be for another post. There are far too many of those, many more than those unrequited first loves in middle school. Until tomorrow, onward!

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