Ok, so I've been job-hunting, pretty seriously, since about mid-January. I've written dozens of cover letters, each intended to be the definitive statement on Me and Why I'm Wonderful, each more an apologetic "sorry to make you read this, but I'm looking for a job would you mind reading it, so sorry, thank you." Obviously, I have yet to master the fine art of Selling Myself.
If these were the old, pre-tech days, I'd have a trash can full and overflowing with wadded-up rejects. I tried the humorous approach ("I am an editor who can ferret out mistakes like a pet up a pantleg"); I tried the ultra-professional angle ("I am highly intolerant of errors and vigilant in maintaining voice and message"). I went with conversational and friendly ("I'd love to join the staff of your nature magazine and be a writer of environmental wrongs!") And I briefly considered employing guilt ("I went to school for six years and all I got was this lousy temp job.") I am now bordering on the desperate ("My mother thinks I'm smart.") The whole thing has me so stressed out, I'm actually dreaming about zombies. Zombies. Who dreams about zombies, for crying out loud? It's not like anyone actually wants my brain, for eating or otherwise.
It's not that I truly think I'm pathetic and have nothing to offer. On the contrary, I probably have a little too much faith in myself (blame my most excellent friends who give me so much praise I'm lucky I can lever my bloated head through the front door of the Pub). Perhaps I am aiming a bit high, jobwise. But I also witness sub-standard writing a million times a day: poor grammar, terrible spelling, a complete inability to put a cohesive sentence together. And that's from the president!
So it's back to the drawing board for me. Back to lists of "power words!" (developed rather than did; facilitated over helped; consolidated in place of put together in a big pile; allocated instead of stuck an underling with because I'm too lazy to do myself). Back to deciding between the assertive "Thank you for your time; I'll call next week to arrange an interview" and the modest, "Thank you for your time; I look forward to hearing from you soon" when in fact what I really mean is, "I can do the effing writing job, note the accurate use of semi-colons; call me as soon as you get this, and let's talk compensation" (rather than money).
Wish me luck. Or advocate an expedited, successful resolution. Whatever.