I Don’t Want to Sell Myself

I don’t want to sell myself.

I don’t want to pitch, persuade, cajole, soft sell or hard sell. I don’t want to struggle with my angle, match my tone precisely to yours, or inquire if you did indeed receive my application, because I have not yet heard back from you. I am done.

Because every time I try to master this apparently essential skill for success, my attempts look sad and transparent. I have written a million cover letters and still can’t find a way to start them.

“To Whoever,

I believe I would be an excellent candidate…”

“To Whoever,

My experience best qualifies me for…”

“To Whoever,


“Dear Sir or Madam,

I present myself as a Most Excellent candidate for your consideration—or shall I say, for your immediate hire— so absolutely, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt sure I am that I am the one you seek. Do you understand me? Your quest is over.

I’ve tried them all. Nothing works.

The thing is, I shouldn’t have to sell myself. My inherent worthiness should just be apparent to potential employers/editors/friendsandlovers. “That Allison,” they should be thinking as soon as they see me, “She’s really got it.” My grandma things so. My step-grandma thinks so. Shall I list those sources as references, should one have any doubt that I do, indeed, “got it”?

It should be clear by that canny look in my eye that I am a Person Who Knows What She’s Doing. I can take the heat, in or out of the kitchen. I’ll do what it takes because I’m just that dedicated. You’ll want to have cocktails with me during and after work because I’m so much fun to have around. I’m a superstar, a go-getter, a real class act. I’ve got my cylinders firing and my guns blazing. I cut through the crap. I’m gutsy, luminous, bursting with talent, a force to be reckoned with, destined for greatness and now give me a real challenge! I am so good. 

To steal my self-branding line from L’Oreal, it’s because I’m worth it that you should choose me out of your wheedling, self-selling candidates who are pitifully lacking in the “it” that I’ve “got.” And while we’re on the subject, yes, I was born with it, and no, it’s not Maybelline.

I feel that since I’ve been practicing the self-sell since I was applying to college, I would have gotten a little better by now. But I haven’t. So, all you potential employers, editors and intimates, let’s just spare both of us the time. The fact is, I got it.