To date, I have sent at least 25 resume/cover letter combos, and that’s not including the several online applications I have submitted.
And that’s just counting from my Gmail outbox. There could be more hiding somewhere.
It might not actually sound like that many. However, I remember trying to word those cover letters the right way, asking for information in a professional manner, and scouring them for typos and spelling errors, and they are not pleasant memories.
It’s like my parents say, “Looking for a job is a job. It’s your job until you find a job.”
Their words are so much more true than I think I realized before.
I found a job listing stating that the Sacramento News and Review was hiring a copy editor. The ad had very specific details for how to set up your email, to only include the cover letter, resume, and set of questions to be answered as attachments, and even what to write in the subject line of the email. I took about two hours just to make sure everything was correct, that my answers were solid and honest, and that I was happy with the application as a whole.
Ten minutes after I’d sent it, I brought my laptop into the living room to show my dad my hard work. As he looked over my resume, I stared in horror at the inconsistency between the dates I’d worked at Nimbus Arts and the rest of my employment.
“Oh my God!” I wailed. “I messed up on my resume!”
My dad didn’t seem worried. “Just fix it.”
I looked at him sheepishly. “I already sent it.”
“Oh,” he said. “Send it again.”
I shook my head sadly. “No, that’s probably not a good idea.”
A week later, I received an email saying that they were pursuing other candidates. It’s not likely, but I still have a hunch that the error in my resume (no matter how minor it was) could have lost me the job. More likely, it was my lack of newsroom experience and a resume that states, “Oh, she worked in school all her life, but nowhere outside of it. How sad.”
You try finding a job outside school when you don’t get your driver’s license till 21.