Uncovered

I’ve always found writing resumes and cover letters awkward. I hate the process and the feeling. They are meant to be boastful and concise, but not too boastful and concise.

The tone is strange. I don’t actually sound like that in real life: point form, active verbs. It is not me, and is barely a valid representation of me.

For my student newspaper the job description seems to fall short of what I actually learned there: all the triumphs, failures, lessons and shenanigans. Student clubs were a place to hang out, a microwave to heat up your lunch and a place to truly enjoy being a student while doing nothing remotely studious. Where does pop can jenga and our beer cap collection fall in relevant work experience?

Then there are those skills that no employer would care to know you have. Like a thorough knowledge of what makes for a good eggs benedict, the ability to make obscure Gilmore Girls references or aggressive spot getting at coffee shops. Or my stash of pirate jokes. These things will never get me a job.

It is hard to place yourself in that box employers expect—and that becomes meaningless the day you get hired. I don’t know how helpful it is for either of us.

In Blink Malcolm Gladwell suggests that you can get to know someone just as well by looking at their room as by speaking in person. Mine would probably tell you that I am crafty, organized (kind of) and like to read. All of my books are alphabetized but my closet is mostly unsorted. I was once told that I have the room of an English major. I take that as a compliment. Maybe your room just says things about you that you can’t put on a piece of paper.

At the end of the day it’s as hard to judge somebody based on a cover letter as it is to write one.

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