Thursday, August 28, 2008

the angriest cover letter in the world

What do you see when you look at the résumé of someone who has attained two college degrees but has yet to attain significant work experience in their field? Do you discount them as insignificant and unemployable or do you see that same person as one whose dreams have been deferred for far too long? Do the retail jobs they have taken to cover their expenses in the meantime cause you to feel scorn, or do you see them as resourceful and responsible, with enough self-esteem to know that taking a job that is "beneath them" does not make them a lesser person? Do you ever think of the resilience and flexibility such a person must have in order to adapt to such circumstances? Would you ever stop to consider the useful skills an educated person might acquire from such a position? Do you fall into the conventional mindset that all applicants must have x years of experience with progressively increasing responsibilities, or do you have the wisdom and insight to know that experience is but one factor in what makes a great designer?

Or do you see someone whose intelligence and potential have been overlooked because some unenlightened person in HR was not able to "think outside the box?" Someone who has been typecast in a role she is ill-suited for simply because it is the role in which she has the most experience? Someone who doesn't have much experience because no one has hired her for a position that will give her the experience she needs?

Most interviewers tout the importance of experience, but passion is more important than experience. I have years of experience in a field I abhor--retail, menial, tedious and utterly uninspiring retail. Experience does not make me want to go to work in the morning or stay late to complete a project. But my passion for design is what keeps me coming back, interview after disappointing interview, hoping to get my foot in the door of a design firm, hoping for an opportunity to contribute my time, talent, and ideas.

I am applying for this job because I am still optimistic enough to believe that you are not as narrow-minded as your competitors, and am hopeful that when you advertise a position as "entry level," unlike your competitors, you actually mean it.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Of course, I never actually sent this letter anywhere. But writing it gave me an exhilirating sense of catharsis.