I’ve spent a large part of the past month applying to jobs. Since many of these are writing jobs, I’ve toiled long and hard over the perfect cover letter, figuring that if the sole quality I’m selling is my supposed mastery of the written word, I better well as heck communicate something Pulitzer Prize-worthy in the only representation of myself to a company. (No pressure, you know?)
On this fun Friday, I thought I’d share the cover letter I wrote a few weeks ago for BuzzFeed’s Fellowship program. In a moment of “who-cares-they-likely-won’t-read-it-anyway”, I decided to write something a little different, in the style of Buzzfeed. Not going to lie: a small part of me thought that if I could make it go as viral as one of Buzzfeed’s cat videos, well, maybe just maybe I’d have better luck getting my application through the black hole of online submission.
I could humor you for several paragraphs on why I want to be a BuzzFeed Fellow but it’s pretty obvious. Who doesn’t want their friends to gawk, “OMG you get to look at cute cats all day?!” That would be a very clear win.
In all seriousness, I like cats but am a newshound more than anything. I’ve been an avid consumer of news since well before the days of GIFs and viral lists. I loyally watched the 6:30 evening broadcast as a child, which resulted in a serious crush on Tom Brokaw’s stately baritone voice. Having since reported for local and national news mediums, I can comfortably write and produce the full range of content – 800-word articles and videos- at rapid newsroom pace. But additionally, I spend a large portion of my day following hashtags and tweeting 140 characters of wisdom @heyguey. Times have regressed, they say. However, I see the most apathetic of my friends taking an interest in content – cat videos AND heavier matters alike – and to me, that’s progress. Social news gets people engaged. I want to learn how to make serious journalism go viral. I’m already a natural sharer (ask my pre-K pals- I always shared Lunchables, Dunkaroos, and even Gushers!). Yet I also realize there’s more to virality than simply tweeting and posting things to Facebook.
Truthfully, I am probably no more qualified for a Fellowship than the majority of your applicant pool. There are many talented writers and editors who can do what I do: write, curate, and generate buzz. So I’m going to simply tell you a little bit about myself,BuzzFeed style. Maybe it will go viral, most likely it won’t. My simple hope is that, at the very least, you’ll get a laugh out of it.
5 Things You Should Know About Me
Through Embarrassing Videos I’ve Made
4. I’m Asian.
In short, I am a pesky Asian reporter who likes eating food, chasing zombies, and making Blair Witch-style videos. I care deeply about meaningful content. It excites me to read impactful stories on BuzzReads and easy-to-read conversations on BuzzFeedBrews. I also want good writers to make a living, which is why I am eager to learn more about sponsored content and native advertising. I believe journalism could use a boost from BuzzFeed’s understanding of human emotion and the way we share. My goal as a BuzzFeed Fellow is to create and aggregate content in a way that advances the conversation and brings journalism back to its watchdog roots.
If given the opportunity to join BuzzFeed, I will be absolutely bold and enterprising. I already consume and generate content like it’s my job…so it might as well be.
Hope to hear from you.
I never heard back which is okay. In fact, it’s more relieving than anything that no one watched those videos. Last night I saw the founders Jonah Peretti and Ken Lehrer speak at Columbia and I paused for a nanosecond fearing that they would recognize me as the kooky Asian girl who applied to their company with these silly, poorly done videos. Then, I remember that they don’t read the intern applications. Plus, a whole department there makes a living looking for pictures of cute animals. What is more silly than that? No shame. In this day and age, just be yourself and share away. Happy Friday!