Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Cover Letter Blues...

Well, Congratulations to me.

I have completed the Airframe and Powerplant Course at National Aviation Academy, completed my FAA written, oral, and practical tests, and am now a certificated and licensed A&P Mechanic.

I have extensive training, a license from the Federal Government, and absolutely no experience.

Which makes me the absolute most dangerous mechanic in the world.

And everyone who hires aircraft mechanics knows that.

So, the trick now is to bamboozle some employer somewhere into believing that I won't screw up bad enough to kill several hundred people and destroy a multi-million dollar aircraft before I actually learn something, and convince him that he should pay me for the priviledge of taking on the risk of letting me come near his facility.

There is almost nothing in the world that I enjoy less than looking for a job. I would rather put on a wet suit and a snorkel and clean chicken heads out of a drain in a processing plant than write a resume, and until I graduated last week, I had never heard of a cover letter.

But I have to write one now.

No project should be undertaken without first doing some research, so I went to my favorite web search engine (Gurgle) and typed in the phrase "aircraft mechanic sample cover letter". I got 496,000 results, and they all linked me to the very same sample, which basically read like this:

Dear Employer:
I used to build model airplanes when I was 12, so now you should hire me to work on your F-18s / 767s / A-380s.
I think my lame resume speaks for itself, and just by looking at it, you should be able to determine how lame I am.
I am looking forward to laming up the joint where you are as soon as possible.
When do I start?
Joe L. Jobseeker (The "L" stands for "Lame".)

So that was a lot of help.

Then I decided to try a few drafts in an environment in which I am fairly comfortable writing... The Blogosphere.

Try these on for size...

Dear Sir:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one person to resolve to maintain a more perfect union, establish housekeeping, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common expense, promote staying off Welfare, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle him, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that he should declare the causes which impel him to go get a job...

Nah. Too political.

Okay, check this out...

'Sup, Holmes?
I'm Hone-gray.
I need a J-O-B.
I gots my licenses, I gots my certificates, I gots my work ethic, Yo...
So, the ball's in your court, Dawg...
Hit me up! My digits is on this Resu-mizzay.
Peace out.

Maybe not. Besides, I think one of the other students who graduated with me is pro'lly gone' use that one.

How about this one?

Dear Sir:
I am the greatest.
I am contacting you to make you aware of just how good I am.
I have no doubt that when you realize just how badly you have needed me for the past several years, you will stop at absolutely nothing to get me on your team, and that the mediocrity you have endured from the employees for which you have had to settle to this point can finally be put behind you, and that now, finally, greatness can ensue.
I am looking forward to reviewing your generous offer soon, and I hope that it will adequately meet my requirements.
It is my sincere hope that you and your company will be willing to avail yourselves of the benefits of my greatness, however expensive I may be.

No, too subtle.

Here you go...

Dear Sir:
Out of concern for the state of the Economy and the rising rate of Unemployment, I am attempting to do my part to stamp out poverty and economic hardship in the world, starting here, at home.
I hope that you and your company will join me in this quest by hiring me to work for you.
Together, we can make the world a better place. (For me.)
Tugboatcapn (A Global Citizen.)
(P.S. This letter is printed on recycled paper. Please ignore the grocery list on the back. Thank you.)

No, still doesn't feel quite right...

I don't know.

Maybe if I take a break and go wash the dishes or something, the right words will come to me...

We'll see...

I am open to suggestions...


Trader Rick said...

I've read hundreds of these things, Tug. They are not so important. The Resume is the thing that gets the attention.

As for the letter: Short and Sweet, stick to the facts, Maam.

tugboatcapn said...

The finished product that I submitted this morning was very professional, concise, and to the point.

One thing that I discovered through this process was the fact that this blog has proven to be a resource.

It has given me valuable practice in getting my thoughts into words, and recognizing when those words are flowing in a coherent stream. (More or less.)

Not to mention providing a forum in which I could blow off steam and get the whole situation into perspective.

Trader Rick said...

Dear Sir, or Madame as the case may be:

As evidenced by my attached resume, you can quickly see how my 49 years as sucessful dictator of a large tropical Island nation gives me a unique set of proven tools for turning around a dismal situation such as that that your company now faces... And I still have a pretty mean fastball for company picnics!!

Mark said...

Tug, what you need to keep in mind is that potential employers don't give a damn about how badly you need a job. They want to know how you can help them. If your cover letter can convince them you have something special to offer them, that should at least get you an interview.

Now, as far as an interview goes, I can't help you. I can't handle interviews myself. Too many "Tell me about a time" and "How did you handle that situation?" questions.

Those things have most certainly happened to me in my 40 years in the nations work force, but when I am asked, I can never think of one time.

BTW, Tug, I know you play guitar, and it was with you and Eric in mind that I posted today's blogpost.

Mark said...

Tug have you considered contacting companies in my hometown of Wichita, Kansas? Wichita is the "Air capitol" of the world. It is home to Cessna, Beech, Piper, and Gates Lear jet. It also has the military division of Boeing Aircraft.

Edwin Drood said...

I too have to rely on certs. to keep my job. All they mean is that you have proven to be trainable. It's the first step to becoming an expert in your field.

If everyone had the drive to better themselves then we wouldn't even be having a health care debate or an entitlement society. Then again we wouldn't have a DNC either.

Edwin Drood said...

to be honest with you I work IT industry and occasionally I have to hire people. When I get cover letters I just scan them for spelling mistakes or technical errors then throw them in the trash. It's all about the resume. Don't be afraid to have a light resume for an entry level position.

Just make sure it can be read in less than 15 seconds and leave out the "objective" its a waist of time.