I am writing to you today to apply for the role you advertised on the job site I spend most of my waking day glued to.
Every day I ‘favourite’ the jobs that interest me most, adapt my CV to suit vague job descriptions and try to come up with intriguing cover letters to make myself sound impressive. In doing this, I have become very familiar with the art of applying for jobs, so now I’m tired and, I don’t mind admitting, a little bit bored of writing applications.
I don’t have a job at the moment, I lost it unexpectedly, but I do spend many hours working hard at trying to find one. I wake at the same time as when I had to commute to the office, I get myself some breakfast and ready the laptop for a day of selling the best of myself when, frankly, I feel the worst of myself.
And do you know what the hardest thing about all this is?
Despite the fact I’ve put my heart and soul into these applications, it’s very rare I ever hear back from the person I sent them to.
It’s soul destroying and quite unhelpful to spend so much time hoping you have got the information just right, to then receive no response from the vast majority of recruiters.
I estimate around one in five take the time to reply to my emails or pick up the phone.
Does my CV really look that terrible?
Have I not explained well enough that I’m fully qualified for the role?
Did the HR assistant accidentally drop the print out she had of my message?
Or worse, did you look at my education and think ‘she’s too qualified for this role’?
Because, while I really appreciate the compliment, please don’t presume to make that decision for me. I’m applying for this job because I want it.
I hope the CV below is of interest to you. But if it isn’t, please, please, could you take five minutes to drop me a line and let me know where I went wrong?
I know you will be looking through a lot of letters today, but I really would value your feedback.
I’d like to thank you in advance for taking the time to read this, I hope you find the honesty a refreshing change.
AMY DOWNES: CURRICULUM VITAE
Address: A lovely little home in the town of Pudsey, just a short train ride from Leeds and a five minute drive from two major motorways.
Please note: This choice of location was not a happy accident, I made the decision to live here to make working anywhere in Yorkshire easy.
Easy to pass over, but you’d be foolish to think I’m being purposefully vague. These words describe the greatest of my talents.
From writing for a magazine, to connecting on social media. From delivering presentations to doing a piece to camera for a Vlog. These are my favourite things to do and I’m good at them too.
A skill I worked hard to earn in my last job. I ran several activities concurrently, whether it was my job to or not.
Recently updated during my role as a stay-at-home Mum: Now able to multi-task urgent requests while balancing a baby on my hip or toddler hanging off my ankles.
An important skill, yet so many get it wrong. I’m proud of this, because it’s the one others will tell you they like best about me. Being good in a team means my hard work is taken for granted by some, but I don’t let that affect how I work with others.
Charity campaigns - Lots of hard work, very little recognition. Found opportunities to use aforementioned key skills by working late and going to meetings others didn’t want to.
Legal admin - Busy and under pressure. Mind numbing repetitive tasks that had to be done right as others were reliant on me. A good stepping stone to the charity role.
Restaurant supervisor - A step away from my career to support a family business. Right decision at the time, completely wrong one with hindsight. Swore never to wait another table again.
Promoting recycling - Literally spent every day looking through rubbish bins explaining to people what they could recycle. Won’t provide details of the things that I saw, it may put you off your next meal.
Freelance journalist in my home town - My best job so far. Included press conferences at my favourite football team. Heartbroken when recession caused major reduction in freelance shifts.
Hobbies and interests:
I love the weekends. They mean my partner is home and can share the childcare, they mean having wine without feeling guilty and, once a month, they mean abandoning everyday life to spend an afternoon shouting at eleven men supposedly trying to win a game of football.
I have a two-year-old son who I completely adore and our new little family is my life now.
In fact… they’re the reason I’m applying for this job. They’re the reason you can be sure I’ll work my arse off for you and be a success.
References available on request:
I’m tempted to set up a hashtag on Twitter and let my followers tell you all you need to know about me. But I promise to use more traditional contacts if that is preferred.
In fact, that might be safer.
This blog was first published in February 2017 and, in the spirit of honesty, it's one of my favourite things I've written. Hence deciding to re-post it! If you like it too, please do share it on social media :-)