Air Canada has an HR management company called Taleo looking after job applications these days. The site only accepts updated resumes for positions they are hiring for, and as everyone in Canadian aviation probably knows, they have just opened the Pilot job for applications. I was on the road for a few days, but today have opportunity to re-apply. I put it number one on the to-do list and bailed out of bed. How hard can this be? I have to re-total my logbook, combine the various columns in the way that Air Canada asks about, and click though a few webpages. Should be done in time for breakfast, eh?
The adding up and entering in isn't too bad. It's the uploading. I hate my résumé. It's a depressing catalogue of jobs that I accepted or left at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons. It represents people and places I miss, opportunities lost, and a sad lack of overall career progress. Is this why I hate filling out job applications? I update the numbers on my resume, make sure no one has edited it to change my job duties to dirty words, save and upload it. Now the cover letter.
The first part is okay. Name. Address. Date. I got that far without messing up, I think. And just to demonstrate that I have a basic grasp of business etiquette, I know that I should not commemorate Talk Like A Pirate Day in a job application letter. I must write terrible cover letters. I've never got a job through a formal job application. Every job I get is through referrals or personal visits. I can bang off five blog entries in an undisturbed afternoon, but I can't lay out my skills and aptitudes in a simple letter. Let me try again.
Dear Nice Air Canada People:
I am a good pilot. I always check to make sure there is enough gas in my aeroplane before I take off, can fly in really straight lines, follow all the rules, and never ever get into fist fights with my coworkers or customers. I have a nice haircut (or at least I will when I go to work) and know how to make my shoes shiny.
Please hire me to help fly your aeroplanes. I will do a good job and even stop blogging about aviation if you wanted me to.
Love and kisses,
Nailed, it, eh?
I honestly don't know why this is so hard for me. I put my heart into applying for jobs, because I don't like to do anything halfway, and I hate being rejected without even being seen. Is it so hard to write because I am trying to psych myself up that this time will be different? I don't find other impossible goals so hard to start. I'm still running and although I don't think I'll make my long term speed targets, I enjoy running and second by second I'm inching closer to those distant goals. Of course it's impossible for me to see the difference between being in the pile of instant rejects and the pile that almost got called for an interview.
agonizing over what to write procrastinating by doing other things, I read an e-mail from someone who hopes one day to be a pilot, describing a co-worker who used to be an airline pilot. The ex-pilot said that the airliners are all under the company's control, and all the time asking:
Why are you 2 knots slower?
Why are you 2 degrees of course?
What happened on this landing?
Why did you take the wrong exit?
I ask myself questions like that all the time. I want to be super efficient and accurate. But like someone who stands there and tells you what to do just as you're about to do it, someone who asks why you do everything just as you're thinking about it yourself, doesn't sound fun. I want to believe that I hate applying for jobs because mine is so good that I don't want another job, but I suspect that it's more a case that I hate doing things badly, and I know that I'm bad at this game.
So here's me taking advantage of the resources at my disposal. If you can write a better cover letter than the one above, and can handle a bit of negativity and whining, I wouldn't mind some help.