Once again I applied for a year of general training. And once again I crashed and burned - worse, this time, because I wasn't even deemed worthy of interviewing by ANY of the hospitals I applied to. This perplexed me. I don't wish to cast aspersions on my colleagues, but there's some fucking numbnuts out there that seem to have no difficulty at all getting jobs despite presenting a clear and present danger to the lives of their patients and the mental health of their cow-orkers.
So I rang up the hospital to find out what was going on. They told me that I wasn't ranked high enough for interview; I asked why. They said that my aggregate score was not high enough; I asked which scores. They said that my referee reports were very good, my CV was very good, but my cover letter was only average. Well excuse me.
Apparently the cover letter, or to be more accurate, the assessment of the cover letter by an embittered HR manager, is just as important a predictor of success as a doctor as the opinions of said doctor's actual supervisors and their previous record of achievement.
Admittedly, I have nobody but myself to blame. Labouring under the delusion that recruitment would be a rational process, my cover letter basically said something like:
"Dear Hospital, give me a job. I don't want anything special, just don't screw up my paychecks too egregiously. Sincerely, PTR. p.s. I am not a numbnut".And presumably they get a lot of cover letters like that because this was assessed as average.
I'm unsure precisely how one would write an above average (or even exceptional) cover letter. I suppose a below average one would contain errors of fact, spelling, grammar, and so forth. I could get the Hatchling to dictate mine:
"Dear Hossabil, I am a goktor. Do you want moneys? I want moneys. I give you a cuddle. ROOOAAAAR!! No, you not roar. I roar. Sincerely, PTR"Hmm, that's actually pretty good. Perhaps that would actually be assessed as Exceptional. I don't wish to cast aspersions on the cognitive capacity of the typical embittered HR manager, but they don't seem like the fluffiest pavs on the table. But to be honest, given the aggressively proactive manner in which some of my colleagues promote their own career interests, I suspect the Exceptional cover letters read like this:
"Dear Hospital, any o' you sumbitches don't gimme a job, I'm not only gonna kill him, I'll kill his wife, all his friends, and burn his damn house down! Sincerely, PTR"*If I was an embittered HR manager wishing to perpetuate the employment of antisocial personality types in the public hospital system, I would cry from happiness when I got a letter like that. Seriously, try it yourself next time.
So - that's the story of how I came to not have a job. Next - the story of how I came to have one again (or so it seems).
*With apologies for plagiarisation to the writers of Unforgiven.