As I'm applying to jobs I keep thinking: If only I could just take these recruiters out and chat with them over a beer, I could so better give them an idea of who I am, what my strengths are, and how I could be a good fit for them! Instead, I'm left here agonizing over the few small paragraphs I have in a cover letter and the few bullet points in a resumé, hoping to somehow catch their attention.
Do they want me to say something original, clever, funny? Or should I keep it simple, concise, professional?
Which parts of myself do I highlight? My people skills, the "hobbies" I've had which I feel have much more shaped me and my work ethic than the few internships I've had? Or do I really bolster up the work experience I have and make it seem like I'm some superstar workaholic?
How much should I write? Should I somehow be complimentary to them? Will that seem like sucking up? Do I lie? What do I even lie about?
In other words: What do they want??
A person just doesn't fit very neatly into two small pages. Plus, that weird thing happens in writing where I feel like you get too deep into your own work that you lose any objectivity about what sounds good or what comes across strangely.
I feel like I'm sending all these applications out into the world, begging the stranger on the receiving end of them to love me. And it's so draining. The worst part of it is—I'm one of those people who, if you tell me what you need, I will adapt so well and just give it to you. I listen really well and I learn so quick on the job, that I'll deliver what you need perfectly. And I want so bad to be able to do this with these job applications. Only, I don't know what they want! Won't someone tell me what they want?
(And Freddie Mercury sings: "Cant anybody tell meeeee, oh what you wanttt!")