Day Twenty-Two: Correction

I want to do this right.

I have that thought about 80 times a day now. I want to do this right. I want to some how find success in pursuing fulfillment. In the course of doing this right, I have made a conscious effort to stop doing what I’m told.

During college, we all took a course that prepared us for finding internships and jobs. We were taught how to create a cover letter, and fluff up a resume’. We were coached on how to answer interview questions, and how to dress for success. Having always been one who takes direction well, I implemented all these tools.  They were useful, and very helpful. However, every time I walked out of an interview, I felt a little bit like a liar. I’d been coached to be a wonderful employee, who was exactly like thousands of other wonderful employees. I can rattle off a decently eloquent response during an interview. I can even punch it up with the correct hand gestures, and appropriate jokes, but they’re not seeing who I am.

As I take on this strange new challenge of declaring myself whatever the hell I want to be, I want to do it right. I want potential employers to know exactly who they are buying. A while back, I applied for a position at a marketing firm. Based on their listing, I had all the requirements of the position, and I was more than ready to jump in. I sent them a resume’, with my own twist on a cover letter. I essentially wrote them a blog entry. I did spend quite a good deal of time trying to make sure I expressed the proper level of interest, and assure them of my ability to perform the job. I also made sure there was plenty of me in the letter. It felt necessary. They never called. I did follow up with them. The receptionist assured me that my information had been received.

Rejection is part of the process. I’m actually very okay with being rejected, as long as I feel I’ve properly expressed myself. If I had written a standard letter, plugged them over the head with my qualifications, and still been rejected, I would have been irked. There would have been no good reason not to interview me. However, I gave them a taste of my personality and they sent back the message that it wasn’t the right fit. That’s perfect. What I want more than anything right now is the BEST fit. So I saved us both a lot of time by laying myself on the line right up front.

In that same college class, we learned what seemed like hundreds of different formats for cover letters and resumes’. All of them were, “correct.” Every source seemed to pitch and stand behind their version of correct wording and formatting. So, if they are all right, how do you do it wrong? This thought frustrated me to no end. How do I know what format so-and-so thinks is right? If I send in a different version, will they think I’m incompetent?

This is exactly why I have decided to toss all those versions away and do this with just my instincts. I’ll make sure you know my qualifications, and I’ll prove to you that I’m capable of working in a professional environment, but I refuse to be applicant number 4567 any more. Maybe this means that I won’t get hired. I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

I want to do this right.



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