Thursday, 7 June 2012

Letter 33

A while ago I mentioned joining a mix tape project called Tape Recorded Delivery. For their first set of swaps I was too busy to make a CD, but this month I totally found the time.

Part of the exchange is writing a little note explaining the mix. So its writing right? It's exchanging, through letterboxes.

As I made my mix, based on the theme of communication, I was reminded of being much younger and trying to make 'perfect tapes' to convey the most complex of emotions. This one was simpler. The track listing is below, in case you want to listen along to Hazel. I hope its OK. I was undecided as to whether Madonna was too much or not enough?

I feel like I've got quite a lot of thoughts about writing and listening and all that subliminal listening stuff. I've not quite got my head round it all enough, for it to make any sense, or for me to not sound like a self-conscious blogging nob. Anyway, here are some songs, arranged from ways of talking through to longer exchanges. But not that one.

Art Brut - Nag Nag Nag

Gene - Speak to me someone

Micah P Hinson - A call to arms

Kelis - Scream

The Whip - Sirens

Madonna - Papa Don't Preach

Etta James - Tell Mama

The National - Conversation 16

Sigur Ros - Hjartad hamast

Micah P Hinson - Letter to Huntsville

Shearwater - The Hunter's Star

Bjork - Virus

Noise for Pretend - It's oh so quiet

All thoughts are welcome ... the next theme is 'People and Places'. I think I know what my first/last song might be.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Letter 32

The hardest letters to write. The letters we all have to write (usually at quite stressful points in our lives).

Covering letters.

Despite having been applying for jobs for well over a decade now, I still find them so so so so so hard to write. As soon as I look at a computer screen, my mind goes blank and little flippety bobbets squabble around making all rational thought impossible. Hours of agonising and deleting sentences ensue. And that's just the my own address. I find it so hard. So, really this is a call for advice - who can come up with an amazing guide to writing a cover letter - or know where to find one. (Preferably with an English tone ...)

That's not to say lots of friends and supervisors haven't offered to look over things. They have. My beautiful boyfriend reads pretty everything before its sent away. But I still really struggle with the process. Then suddenly its four hours before the deadline and I'm massively rushing it. This does get it done, but not very well.

To be fair on myself, the ones I've done so far have got me some job interviews, so must be OK, but I would love to be someone who chips away for a few days a week before the deadline and then sends the letter around. Application forms I find easier. And I do have a couple of my own insights to share, but I'm hoping someone who has the secret recipe will share ...

My top tips:
  • Rough it out first with a pen and paper, running through all the bullet points you want to make, with the person specification alongside. 
  • Be polite. Better to be too formal than not?
  • Demonstrate that you've researched the organisation. 
I probably know more but its breaking the seal on the composition I guess.

I also imagine its  not a skill that comes easily to everyone, but having spent the last few weeks agonising over various ones, I'd really like to know other people's experiences ...

Wish me luck ....