Authors don’t hear from readers that much. It’s usually “there’s a typo on page 116.” But every once in a while, we get something that reveals that our work actually matters.
Here’s what Alex from Amsterdam sent me in an email:
I want to send a letter and give my sincere thanks for the insights provided in your ‘Writing Without Bullshit’ book. I had been struggling to find a job after moving from the U.S. to The Netherlands, and took a step back in order to re-analyze my entire approach. I came across your book after my uncle recommended it via a shared article. Looking at just the title, it was my ‘eureka’ moment: I realized my cover letters—as lengthy and bullshit-filled as possible—were closing doors for me by the end of paragraph one.
So I took a break from applications, read your book, and re-tweaked my approach. There is no question that the correlation between A) an increase in responses from potential employers and B) me applying the bullshit-free approach that you discuss into my cover letters, were directly (and positively) related. I went from no call-backs, to multiple interviews in a span of a few weeks—and every recruiter or manager took the time to let me know that my cover letter stood out from the crowd. I’m happy to report that last week, I accepted a position with a fast-growing tech company in Amsterdam.
Ironically, I’m staring at this e-mail thinking “cut the bullshit!”. So I’ll end it by saying this: This book was, without question, a major factor in me landing a job in a new country where I had little-to-no contacts. And it’s a job that I am excited to start. I cannot thank you enough for the thoughts and insight you provided—it made a difference in my life. I’m going to re-read the book again, and apply it to my new position (and life)… and I’m going to recommend it to anyone else who’s interested!
Apparently writing without bullshit actually works sometimes. Alex is now working for a tech company in The Netherlands, which is what he was hoping for.
If this is too self-serving for you, don’t worry, I’ll be back to my usual posts next week.
If not — well, consider sending a copy of Writing Without Bullshit to someone you know who’s graduating. If we’re both lucky, it might help them get a job.