It’s something we all have to do. After all, unless we have a devoted mother (or other significant person) lurking in the wings singing our praises to all and sundry, there ain’t no-one else who’s gonna do it for us.
I’ve just applied for a job that I really hope to get. On the face of it I’m perfect for it – I have all the skills necessary and it will fit nicely with my university studies, and it’s with an organisation which I have a great admiration for and would like to stay with long-term. However, it’s taken me several days to formulate my application and work out what is so special about me that they would be daft to turn me down… it’s so difficult to do!
Fiction – that’s easy. It’s just making things up. Poetry, that’s easy too, in its own way. You have an image or an idea you believe in, you just need to find the right words to communicate that. And if a few of your readers don’t get what you’re trying to say, it doesn’t really matter. Well, it does, but as long as it works for you as a writer, and for most readers, that’s fine.
Job applications – not so. They have to be just right for whoever’s going to read them. Spot on. No mistakes or crossed wires.
Maybe it’s my innate British-ness, or some childhood trauma I’ve forgotten, or some such ridiculousness, but I find it really difficult to tell people why I’m wonderful. Which is silly. Because I know this job is perfect for me and I’m perfect for it.
They always tell you to identify them. Unique Selling Points, that is. Why should people pick you rather than anyone else? I find this an inherently weird concept – there are so many people in the world, each of whom is Unique. But when you look at a job description or a person specification, the Points they ask for are by no means Unique. So Selling oneself must mean finding and communicating a Unique combination of Points that fits perfectly with the requirements, and Selling that combination so the recruiter has no choice but to offer you the job.
And everyone who applies is doing that.
It’s a weird process…
(wish me luck)