CVs and Cover Letters and Research Proposals, Oh My!

resume-sucks-graduation-ecard-someecardsI have not submitted my thesis.  I’m not even sure what that means in terms of going ‘on the market.’  It’s even less clear-cut here than in the US where you can at least say that you’re ABD (All But Dissertation, for those who don’t know) and that you’ve passed a bunch of exams and stuff.  Here, there’s no guaranteeing anything – that is to say, my thesis could crash and burn and I might end up with no doctorate.  While I really don’t think that’s likely (nor do I think my supervisor would let me submit a crash-and-burn-style-thesis), it’s still a possibility.  How do I convey to someone who I want to give me a job that I am not going to slink quietly down the drain into research oblivion.  Particularly when going against candidates who already have their PhD in hand – submitted, viva’d, vindicated.

So, I’m presently editing (re-editing, re-drafting, throwing away and re-writing from scratch) my three most important assets in this near-hopeless pursuit: my CV, cover letter and research proposal.  This is what I’ve done, why you should take a chance on me, and what work I will do while you’re paying me.  Here’s the trouble: how to write these things (particularly the cover letter) without sounding like please hire me I’m desperate and I’d love to work for you because you’re GREAT! (i.e. a desperate suck-up!)

Now that you’ve got this far, I’d like to tell you that there’s no point to this post beyond trying to get out all of my desperation before I start (another) edit.


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