I was reading an article about how a cover letter would be if it were to be honest. It was a witty and funny article, not missing the depressing part that goes along with the current job market.
As read, and laughed, I realized how much I could relate to it. I remembered all those applications, all those “perfect for me” jobs, the 20-30 resumes I would send out per day. And I always got the same response. So after laughing and feeling a little good, for that misery does love company, I got angry.
Suddenly it downed upon me that all this self-marketing reminded me of something. The thing is, every job applicant worries if their CV is written correctly and by correctly I mean if it matches all the criteria listed on Google, LinkedIn and other jobsites that offer “advice that lead to THE job”. And of course there is the cover letter. You write and you write, you explain what you have done, what you want to do, why you want to do it with that company etc.
You find out what they (companies, employers) want you try to present yourself accordingly. However the point is not only do you present yourself that way, but you try to make or change yourself. You become the perfect candidate, so that you will be one of the some hundred thousand perfect candidates only to get the chance to get rejected.
Then I remembered how women were a few decades ago, when they tried to fashion themselves as the perfect wives. This is what the job market reminds me. I will make myself what you want me to be and then beg you and everyone else to like me and maybe then hire me.
Now, I am not against competition. I do like the idea that out of many the “best” gets hired. The thing is though, who is the “best”? And how do you make one? Is it really comprehensible that a person should study, have many internships, then do more “volunteer” work, then have 2-5 years of entry level experience, then a couple years of managerial experience and, of course, some other “preferable but not essential” skills and experience to get a job that is entry level and pays, well, some money. But you know, nowadays any money is better than no money, and you think if you spend some time at this post then you’ll get promoted and that job, the next one, will pay a bit more. You think.
Not once have I personally wanted a career that pays well. So I have accepted that I wouldn’t be making a great fortune, a career that comes with riches. And that is more than fine for me.
But after overcoming the job hunting depression I feel this anger. I found out that I actually have self-respect and dignity and more than that, I am not willing to give them up for my dream job. My dream job does not pay well. It has long hours and for the most of it, is boring and frustrating. None the less for me it is perfect and I want it. Yet, my dream job gives things to me, makes the person I think I am and allows me to evolve to who I want to be.
If I go through all the steps I have to so that I land that dream job, I will not like myself. I am borderline narcissistic I guess and I really, truly care about people liking me. My so far wisdom made me realize that I would much rather hold a job that I never dreamt about and pay the bills, than keep whoring me to prospective employers with up-to-date resumes and heart pouring cover letters.
I am not giving up. I will continue to apply for my perfect job but I will send my real curriculum vitae. Jobs that require cover letters need not await application. I wouldn’t get hired anyway.