Well, let’s be honest: This. Royally. Sucks.
Picture this: You just graduated from college, you did a pretty good job, and now you’re looking for that amazing post-grad job opportunity that will catapult you into the desired career you picked out four years earlier. Let’s assume that you’re one of the masses that doesn’t have amazing connections already in place, and that you’re starting this search from scratch.
Did you know that every entry-level job you apply to has an average of 1,000 other candidates also applying? Gosh, if I was a prospective employer I sure wouldn’t want to read that many resumes and cover letters. Every company has their own way of weeding out the garden…
– some go straight down to the SKILLS section of your resume and look for a specific qualifier. If you don’t have it, you’re out.
– some start with the cover letter and eliminate based on grammar, word choice, sentence structure, and like-ability. Eek. So, basically, you have 3/4 of a page to convince someone that you’re intelligent, hard-working, humorous, fun to be around, conscientious, polite, and mature, without using those particular words.
– some start with your EXPERIENCE, and weed out based on the total numbers of years, and the exact tasks you were asked to complete at those jobs. That’s just going to be the luck of the draw; you can’t change your past experience, you can only hope that you detailed your tasks in such a manner that appeals to anything and everything your potential employer could be looking for.
For those of us attempting to get a job in a location outside of where we currently reside, this process is a complete nightmare. Especially if you are me, and are looking for a job in the entertainment industry, which is one that is notorious for keeping locations and phone numbers secret in order to prevent aggressive pleas for interviews. Here’s the thing about me: I interview really well, and I know it. If I can get a company to agree to interview me (assuming there are no inappropriate, pre-conceived notions, or they already have someone they like better in mind), I know that it is pretty much a wrap. But, wow. I honestly had no idea how difficult it would be to get myself to that position. If I lived in the area I was applying, I am not above banging on the doors of my top choice employers until they agree to give me an interview, but procuring a flight to California or a bus to New York just for that seems a tad expensive.
I live in Boston and want to move to New York City or California by the time September 1st rolls around. It would be foolhardy of me to do so without first securing a job, so I am feverishly searching, as you can imagine, and I am beginning to believe that perhaps I don’t look so good on paper, despite being published several times, working with The MathWorks doing public relations and social media on a global scale, managing an office of professionals when I was only twenty, and assisting in maintaining the on-air promotions schedule and budget for WeTV while still in college.
Since I can’t change my background or resume, the only thing left to do is to write the most amazing cover letter these employers have ever seen, and hope they look at that before eliminating me based on a missing skill or task.
Trust me when I say that no matter what that missing skill or task is, I will learn it faster than you could imagine and I will do it better than anyone else in my position could…
All I need is the chance.