I’m not looking for a job, but it is something I think about from time-to-time as our girls get older. To get it off my mind I did some spin-doctor-writing on what I imagine my first cover letter/email might look like if and when I do try to re-enter the work force. This is not because I believe cover letters are a great way to get hired but because, let’s be honest, it’s who you know and how well you can – as my mother would say – “Dazzle ’em with your brilliance or baffle ’em with your BS.” I needed some baffling and writing practice.
Dear Esteemed Hiring Director:
I submit my qualifications for This Illustrious Role in O’ Great Company. I am confident you will find my experience and skills to be ideal for the leadership position you have described.
You will notice a four-year gap on my resume between my last place of formal employment and today. Nevertheless, the skills pertinent to successful leadership have been deeply developed during this time. I will account for these four years in the following paragraphs and will include my education and professional success of the prior years in the attached document.
I chose to leave my career in international education – spanning experience in non-profit management and higher education – for a position that I knew nothing about. It was a decision I do not regret. The experience from this period that translates to professional development falls into three main categories: leadership, management, and communication.
I implemented effective methods for building cohesion and inspiring action. For example: doughnuts. Yet, I do not shirk from making unpopular decisions in favor of long-term priorities. For example: drinking water and eating vegetables. Most importantly, while these two examples might seem counter-productive they demonstrate my commitment to a balanced approach to the demands of reality and a willingness to use tools from myriad strategies to optimize success.
My management style is responsive to the need of the given situation (and, let’s be honest, the amount of coffee in my system). I can navigate an atmosphere of mess and disorder to allow for creative problem-solving, but I can also administer non-negotiable boundaries in order to direct attention and energy. Managing multiple persons, priorities, and projects – all changing several times within an hour – is expected and handled to achieve the objectives at hand. I have used incentive-based systems, competitive activities, and team-building tactics to reach goals.
I brought strong communication skills to this gap role four years ago, but I found that in my new capacity I was no longer afforded the convenience and ambiguity of professional and academic lingo. My ability to give directions, offer encouragement, and assert my decisions is now sophisticated and versatile. I anticipate the moments when it is necessary to S-P-E-L-L it out and those instances when a more elaborate construct such as a brief story or example are appropriate for clarifying expectations.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you and discussing further how I am an asset to O’ Great Company’s future initiatives.
Dazzling and Baffling,
Spin Doctor Mom
Okay, I feel better. That was fun.
How do you dazzle or baffle? What would your fake cover letter include?