Cover Letters the Speed Dating Version

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Reposting a blog entry from one my favourite blog posts its non IT Though.

I really really hate cover letters. They restrict my breathing and cause traffic jams in my usually uncongested neural pathways. No matter how hard I try to sound unique and interesting, something about the process makes doesn’t quite ring true. Maybe it’s the formulaic nature of it all. Or that every recruiter believes keeping it short and to the point is crucial since no one has the time to bother with more than one A4 page anymore.

So, this is my ode to the cover letter (I will abide by some basic rules but essentially do away with all the pomp and ceremony that generally gets me nowhere). I am writing it as a blog entry that I’m hoping will one day be a part of the Twice archive. And if not, it will find a home at


Bearing in mind that the reader may need to get back to work soon I will give the abridged version of it here. More detailed notes and insights are available on request. Born in Zimbabwe, raised in Swaziland, educated in Cape Town and Brighton I am a bit of a rolling stone. All four places complete my sense of home – which makes for interesting political debates and fights during cricket matches. I have always had a fascination with making things, from knitting to T-shirt design, papier mache piggy banks to cheesecake- still trying to master that one. I love the process of creating new things and the feeling of knowing that there is no other one like it in the world. When I’m not making stuff I dream of making stuff, which is probably why I’m a bit of an insomniac, really. So, I can speak English and Shona and passable basic Afrikaans, French and siSwati. What this means is most people need to be pretty creative to swear at me. I love to sing and dance (but try not to in the office as I’m not really an X Factor candidate). I’m fascinated by words: poetry, prose, hip hop. I collect remixes of my favourite songs. My favourite place in the world is the middle of the Namibian desert, and no, not because Angelina had a baby there. Visually I’m impressed by film making above all other forms of art.

My very first school report read: Vimbai is too talkative. Some might say I have the gift of the gab. I have since refined this skill into some impressive public speaking and presentation skills. I can chat about anything from Brian Lara’s batting average to why Sarah Palin will not be the next Vice President of the USA, and why Rex should not win Big Brother. I like to have opinions and share them occasionally. Despite the picture we’ve painted so far, I generally prefer to listen that to talk…you learn more that way. And I’d rather read or listen to the new Roots album than watch TV, unless there’s a good movie on.

So, that’s my attempt at unique and interesting. Did I mention I like chocolate?


Ideas, ideas, ideas. It is my favourite way to shock people to suggest that people get dumber every generation. A favourite author of mine wrote: Too many morons, not enough Michelangelos. I really don’t think this is true. It’s just easier in most cases to wait for someone to give you the answer. I think there is a lot of power in this. The Church did it, then politicians did it. Now its global brands that tell us how to behave and what choices we should be making on everything from baby food to where to go on holiday. Brand designers are at the top of the pile here. We are the ones who tell the brands what to tell the people to think. And the key to this is persuasion and self awareness. At Twice, this process is clearly and simply laid out. Idea, relationship, action. No fuss, no strings. The best kept secret is the one that’s left in the open. Twice is a company that constantly produces results for their clients so the real secret must be in the execution. This is what I wish to learn.

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For me branding is the difference between a turkey and a peacock. Something that seems obvious, but that can be broken down on many levels and tweaked to achieve different results. Essentially they are the same bird, one just figured out a way not to be eaten. I’m still working on this thesis and would love some feedback on the premise. The facts and figures of what I’ve done so far that may be useful in a company like yours are basically that:
-I like to think and to do
-I know how to work with people and how to talk to them
-I think inside AND outside the box
-I love to muck in

I suppose that’s pretty much it. They say you shouldn’t give too much away on the first date and I hope that I’ve sparked you interest enough to discuss things further in person. I’m available at your convenience (though this is a bit of a text book ending to the cover letter, sometimes there’s no need to mess with a classic).

By Vimbai K