As I wile away the time between being an Almost-Adult and being a Finished Adult – perish the thought – I have gotten myself a part-time job in a bookshop. It’s not a life time goal, but a facilitator for the many I hold. For, like it or not, money makes this giant sphere rotate around an off-vertical axis. Or something more catchy than that. So, I’ve got a job at a bookshop, which is already infinitely better than counting money in a department store. Books are my thing.
As some of you may recall from previous posts, the process of filling out job applications and writing covering statements is a task I much lament. I therefore took a bit of a different tack with my cover letter on this occasion and, evidently, it worked…
To Whom It May Concern,
To be blunt, I really want to work in [Big-Brand Bookshop]. I’m looking for a part-time position with flexible hours, and I’m happy to work weekends, and a position in your shop would be perfect for me.
I’ve been a book lover ever since I can remember. I remember the first book I ever read; it was called Look, and on each page was one word, “Look.” It was my first book, what do you want from me? I remember the first time I read a whole book in one day. It was Fantastic Mr Fox, by Roald Dahl – that’s a big achievement when you are seven years old. I remember my older sister reading Mr Men books to me when I couldn’t sleep. I remember racing against my sister to finish the latest Harry Potter. I remember staying up all night, because I couldn’t put down The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. I remember the sense of discovery I felt when I read Plato’s Symposium. I remember the quiet desolation of Sylvia Plath. I remember despising Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France by the end of my university dissertation. And I remember learning not to be snobbish about self-help books, with Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers.
This is turning into a reading list, so let’s leave it at that. The point is, I love books and I have a passion for so many kinds of writing. I have a blog which regularly features posts about books and reading. I wish I had more time to spend on books – this job would be the perfect opportunity for me to explore and learn more, and help others do the same.
Whenever a film adaptation of a treasured memory comes out, I worry about what painful deviations they’ve made from the original. I leave the cinema lamenting the missing chapters or altered endings, much to the annoyance of my friends, who “rather enjoyed it, actually.” Books are best.
I worked in [Family Name Department Store] in the cash office, but also worked shifts on reception and the shop-floor. All three positions meant dealing with customers and colleagues in different ways. In the cash office, I was working with money, numbers and computer problems, while also liaising with managers and assisting disgruntled customers. On reception, I took phone calls, received visitors and dealt with various administrative tasks. On the shop-floor, I made customers feel welcome, helped locate desired items and put those items into bags. It’s a job I did well, but not a job that satisfied me. I always put my best efforts into whatever job I do, but it is an obvious truth that one works better in a job one enjoys, and I would love working in [Big-Brand Bookshop].
If I came to work at [Big-Brand Bookshop], I would look forward to spending shifts surrounded by books and talking to people about books. I also believe it incredibly important that bookshops are kept alive, struggling as they are against the tide of e-books and all the technology that goes with them. I would love to get involved in creating marketing strategies and creating visually dynamic displays, to encourage people to keep coming into [Big-Brand Bookshop].
Please give me a job. The alternative is a job in [Teenage Clothes Shop]. Don’t make me work in [Teenage Clothes Shop].
Thank you for reading, I hope this letter made you smile rather than snooze through the normal cover letter buzz words.
The fact that my posting this could be seen as procrastinating, while once again battling with drama school applications and the new season of cover letters is moot. Kindly disregard any such notion… and mind your own business.