The Cover Letter That Got Me 2 Weeks' Work as a Mechanic


Blair Vidakovich Concord West NSW 2138 Email: Birthday: 12 Feb 1991

My name is Blair Vidakovich, and I am applying with your business to be an apprentice in your trade.

I am just finishing my PhD in Philosophy, but I am not interested in having a career at a university. I did not undertake my PhD because I wanted to be an academic, I did my PhD because I had good marks, and I really wanted to explore a topic that interested me.

I am interested in doing a trade because I believe in practical work. Too often jobs in academia are just writing papers that you think will get published and help your career, not because the things you write are actually important, or even something you’re vaguely interested in. I believe that doing a trade will help make me an actual useful member of society, as opposed to just writing things you think people will want to hear.

I have always been a practical person. As you can see from my resume I have done a lot of work in stock management and warehousing. I also worked for a summer (4 months) as a cleaner. I really enjoyed that job, and it made sense to me. I am not afraid of manual work.

I am constantly working on hobby projects that require a lot of practical work. I recently built some furniture and fences from wood sourced from pallets with my Dad while he was over here in Sydney for a holiday. I am particularly interested in electronics—I have built radios, radio transmitters, simple musical instruments, little handheld electronic games and kitchen timers. Some of my more ambitious projects have been designing and building computers out of discrete transistors. A lot of these projects require careful measurement and a lot of testing and debugging to get right.

I did very well in maths, chemistry and physics at high school, and I can provide my marks.

I am proficient in several computer programming languages—Ada, Python, Visual BASIC, and Assembly language. I have coded several computer games for different platforms, and I am currently helping engineer some more games and other software projects at the moment. You can find them all on github under my username: bootlicker.

I enjoy working with my hands. This is what I want to do with my life. I have been at university since 2009, and I am over it. I would love to be a physically active, practical person who engineers tangible, physical things that people can actually use, instead of writing highly technical articles that no-one will ever read, less understand.

I suppose the best thing about my years at uni is that I am a very good communicator. I had to learn how to simplify difficult concepts for first-year students to understand while I was teaching at Notre Dame University. Academic writing demands a certain complexity, but teaching people who have just left high school requires a lot of humility—walking into a room and expecting everyone to respect you for the mere fact that you are doing a PhD is an excellent way to ‘piss everyone off’.

I look forward to hearing back from you,

Blair Vidakovich