“Brutally Honest Cover Letter,” by Camille Leigh Tinnin

Mar 4th, 2015 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Dear potential employers,

My name is Chloe Keen and I am about to finish my master’s degree. I study women’s rights and human rights. I am ready to enter the work force and to change the world, because everyone in my life taught me that I can do just that. Sure, sometimes I am overwhelmed with the path that I have chosen, fighting for the rights of the oppressed and the ignored. Then I remember that I have no real marketable skills outside of my little depressing niche, so I better stick with it.

Other people in my program have talked about “selling out”, going corporate, at least until they can pay off their student loans. There is nothing for me to sell out and go into. Unlike the human rights lawyers, I can’t just go into corporate law for a while. I don’t have a strong business background. I am a social scientist. I went into my education wanting to learn how to help people. I am leaving with no other options but to do so, since I have nothing to offer the professional world other than a deep understanding of human rights norms, the ability to research “why the world sucks”, a can-do attitude, and unwarranted and waning idealism.

My previous education background also prepared me intellectually and practically to work in this, and only this, ambiguous field of ‘helping people’. In my tender youth, as an undergraduate student (less than two years ago), I studied “Family, Youth and Community Sciences” which was BS. Meaning, it was a Bachelor’s of Science degree. This social science backing pairs beautifully with my master’s degree that blends law, international relations and philosophy without becoming an expert in any of them.

Social sciences often get a bad reputation from biologists and chemists, who claim that they are not “real science”. To which I ask: “Is there anything about your upbringing that shaped your perception of what is real or what is science, culturally, within the family system, or within the educational system?” and “How does that make you feel?”

Social scientists are as united in their fight against dismissal by nuclear physicists as they are in their drive to distinguish themselves from those in the humanities (with whom I also identify). Still, social scientists are stratified. Economics is the Brad Pitt of social sciences. Everyone listens to Brad Pitt. Just as when Brad Pitt, say, wears a certain hat, or advocates for more funding for AIDS research, people put on said hat and empty their pockets, when economists promote a policy to a government or international organization, the government responds. Which explains some of the current issues within the United States (Reaganomics; Bush Tax Cuts), but that is a conversation for another day. Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, Psychology, International Relations, and so on, are, at least in policy making, less listened too. They are the B and C list celebrities. Their contributions shape prime time television and fill in the important character roles in our favorite films. But we don’t always know their names. Although, sometimes they have a cult-like following. I am talking about you Matthew Gray Gubler. And psychology.

What I am saying is, I am not a “real scientist”, a lawyer, or a sexy economist. (But I’m sure I could dress up like one for Halloween next year. Let me see if Amazon has a costume…) I am also not a sociologist, psychologist, anthropologist, or international relations specialist. But I know more than the average person about each of them. Or maybe that is the millennial in me talking. I was taught to have high self-esteem! And I can understand statistics! I can make a chart that is accurate, unlike most of our news outlets. My skills are nicely mixed together like a salad. Kale and tomatoes and radishes and some cheese and crusty bread and olives all together. Who doesn’t like salad? It’s good for you!

On second thought, my skills are like fruits, complementing each other in a delicious fruit salad that also has nuts and chocolate and marshmallows and is very palatable and useful and should be gainfully employed. The salad. Me.

In conclusion, I do have plenty to offer on the front of making the world a better place including my can-do attitude and my ability to make people laugh so that they won’t cry when I present the information on the current status of the world, my knowledge of salad, and ability to create food metaphors. I just need someone to take a chance on me.

Please hire me,

Chloe Keen
Defenestration-Camille Leigh TinninCamille Tinnin is a graduate student studying human rights– but she is still a super fun person, ok? She has the hobbies of a 70-year-old woman including knitting and solving the (mini) New York Times crossword puzzle. She dreams of someday living in a portable tiny house she built herself out of recycled materials with a cat named Yoda Kotb.

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