Monday, September 29, 2014

My Cover Letter To Rock Paper Shotgun

A few months ago I applied for a job with reputable PC-gaming centric website Rock, Paper, Shotgun. About a week ago I got an email telling me that I didn't get the job. As far as I can tell from the language of the email, I wasn't even so much as a runner up. I'm disappointed, but unsurprised. I have no real world experience, and my writing has a long way to go. I was holding onto this, but this news helps me realize where I stand right now. I need to work on my skills and apply myself.

I wanted to publish my cover letter, since I worked very hard on it. It reads more like a diary entry than a cover letter (resumé writing isn't one of my skills), and I think that probably hurt me in the long run. As such, I waited to hear back before I did anything, but now I'm going to publish the letter in its entirety (with some personal information edited out).
To Whom This Does Concern,

I don’t take the easy way. I make cookies from scratch; shave with a safety razor; use Arch Linux; type in Colemak. I am a PC gamer. The hard way comes with failure. Many burnt desserts, deep cuts, long frustrating nights. A new challenge every day, brings along new victories. My first batch of good cookies; my first glorious shave; Arch working; playing a game on PC. Each is an accomplishment, and merit a prize.

My personal heroes are: Justin McElroy, Jesse Thorn, Christopher Livingston, Arin Hanson, Jeff Green, and my Mother. A list mostly composed of men, except for my mother. They’re all pretty different. Justin is a games journalist; Jesse is a public radio show host; Christopher is a freelance writer, but also much more; Arin is an internet famous animator; Jeff is old; my Mother made all the sacrifices needed  for me to be where I am today. Each boosted me up and guided me. Without my heroes, I would never have accomplished anything (especially without my Mother.)

Writing isn’t hard for me, but choosing it has been. I went to school for Computer Science and French, paths that I thought would be easy and enjoyable. I’ve spent years looking for the right thing to do, but playing games and writing were too easy for me. I thought choosing that would be cheating. I’m not the best writer and I’m not the best gamer, but I never seem to want to do anything else. I realise now that it’s right. Art is something I care about. Writing is art; videogames are art.

The best bets in contacting me are through email or my phone. My email address is: [REDACTED]. My phone number will always be [REDACTED] (I’m in the good ole’ √Čtas-Unis.) I am @Zacmanman on Twitter. I write a blog, infrequently, at I have a YouTube channel where I post Let’s Plays, with other types of videos. As YouTube puts it, I have a net -1 subscribers. Negative. One.

Of course character references are available on request, but you already knew that.

Forever Yours,
    Zachary Portwood

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