The CEO of the company just sent out a letter about three people who will be leaving over the next week. I drafted an email to her expressing my interest in one of the positions that is going to be open, but I noticed that just about every sentence starts with "I". I am this, I did this, I want this, blah blah blah me me me. (Just look at this post!)

I like how I tell a story in the writing and that I'm talking about how I would be a good fit, but how can a self-centered letter be rewritten to be less so?

  • Depending on the focus you want in answers, you might consider also asking related questions on The Workplace and Interpersonal Skills. – user Sep 6 '18 at 20:12
  • You could try writing the message saying you want the best for the company, it would drive you to say "I" less more. (I'm elaborating celtschk's answer a bit) For example, you could say that since the company needs someone reliable, trustworthy, (other characteristics that you need for the job) they should trust "you" to do it. In quick words, make it seem like the company wants you, not you want the job. – Sweet_Cherry Sep 6 '18 at 21:40

Maybe it helps if you just change your viewpoint. You probably have written the mail with the viewpoint “I want this job.” Instead, consider the viewpoint ”The company will need to refill that job, and I'm a very good fit.”

Think of an advertisement. You'll never find an advertisement that says “We would like you to buy this product. We made it to solve this problem.” Instead the advertisement will say “You have this problem? Our product will save this problem for you.”

So, instead of writing e.g. “I am experienced in writing complex Word documents because I worked as Chief Word Document Editor for two years”, maybe write “This job requires writing complex Word documents, a task in which I could collect a lot of experience in my two-year position as Chief Word Document Editor.” Or instead of simply writing “I've got an award for being the most reliable employee in my department”, write “You certainly want a very reliable person in this job, therefore you will be interested to hear that I got an award for being the most reliable employee in my department.”

  • 1
    Just, IMO, be careful with phrases like "You certainly want..." Writing-wise it's good advice, but when talking to a supposed superior, some social psychology is also required. Telling them "you certainly want" comes off as a bit manipulating and condescending. Let's not solve a writing problem by introducing a social one! – user16555 Sep 7 '18 at 6:52

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