In Overqualified, Joey Comeau spins a narrative of love and loss via a most unusual vehicle: a series of letters. Not your ordinary epistolary collection, Comeau's missives are in fact letters of application for employment - cover letters, purportedly mailed to companies like HBO, Rand, and Parker Brothers. Each one begins as you might expect an ordinary cover letter would:
Dear Absolut Vodka
I am writing to apply for a position in your advertising department. I have included my resume, which outlines my extensive experience with marketing campaigns, and with the development of brand iniitiatives for alcoholic beverages...
What evolves however is not the professional letter you might expect, but an unleashing of personal exposition - childhood memories, ruminations, philosophical digressions, and rants - all of which, though not likely to land Joey Comeau a job, speak volumes about the author in the way they reveal his humanity and his integrity, a significant departure from the usual cover letter.
My skills as an editor extend beyond my job history to encompass the whole of my past. A stint in juvenile hall added a much-needed bit of excitement to a childhood I can barely remember. I don't mean to imply that I'm a revisionist. I was never a revisionist. I won awards. I dated the prettiest girls.
Overqualified is unlike anything you've ever read. Each of Joey Comeau's letters comments, sometimes subtly, sometimes not, on the emptiness of the system to which we bow during a job search, while simultaneously revealing the humor, beauty, and pain that is all else in this life - a life that Joey Comeau wants you to realize, is short.