It’s come to my attention that many millennial students have a fear they share: fear of the cover letter.
I know. You thought the cover letter was dead?
It’s not in the field of media and communication and yet it is feared, loathed, hated and avoided at almost all costs by students.
“Why?” I’ve asked many times. “Why will you not apply for a position if it asks for a cover letter?”
- Too much time.
- Have to talk about myself.
- Don’t know what to say.
- Probably a waste of time anyway.
Now you might think this is really a case of laziness.
I don’t buy it. My students work part time or full time, sometimes commute, go to school and are involved on campus and balance all of that every day. They are working hard. It’s not laziness.
I’m pretty certain it’s fear; fear of risking time, ego and hopes on something for which they may be rejected.
When you think about it, this is the kind of fear that stops all of us from reaching for what we want.
We buy into our deepest fears that “we aren’t good enough”. We’re afraid that might be confirmed and who wants to face that? Better not to apply or try, right?
It’s hard to step through that wall of fear unless we can retrain our brain.
I believe with all my heart first-time experiences help us do that.
Taking risks large and small on a regular basis helps us see it’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to just try something without being too attached to the result. It’s okay to fail. And sometimes we’ll be surprised by what happens if we just go for it. We achieve little if we reject change and do the same thing over and over again.
This is why after my Year of Firsts I continue to try new things as often as possible; dare organizations, companies and my students too, to do the same.
I’m on a campaign this year to move the needle on this: “Be fearless. Write a Cover Letter”.
Well, it doesn’t matter what the fear is. Facing it is one small courageous act that can lead to others.
Face the small fears and you are more likely to tackle the big ones.
Imagine what might happen if we tried the thing we fear. I guarantee you, you’d be living more of the life you want.