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Quick Advice on Cover Letter?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by LumiLapin, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. LumiLapin

    LumiLapin Bad Bad Bun

    Guys this is extremely hard. I thiiiiink it's almost long enough but I don't know how to wrap it up.

    Dear Ms. [Name];

    I have recently finished my college courses and wish to enter the workforce. My friend [Another Name] has worked with your company before and highly recommended it to me when I was first making inquiries. I have a good deal of schooling under my belt and some experience with working in a costume shop when they were under deadline, but I wish to broaden my horizons and gain the experience needed to reach my full potential. While in classes, I often took point in group projects, but I am also fully capable of falling into a more subordinate role as needed; I am equally experienced in organizing communication and complete of products within the team. I am a quick learner and am skilled at memorization; both qualities have helped me both in the classroom and in my experience with theatre. I am a proficient writer, but I am equally capable of addressing unforeseen questions and problems. I am not afraid to experiment and find my own solution, but at the same time I am always ready to seek the advice of an overseer or leader at their convenience.
     
  2. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    I know basically nothing about cover letters, but i might try to break it up into 2-3 paragraphs for easier readability?
     
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  3. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Generically, you can wrap things up with 'Thank you for your consideration; I hope to hear from you soon', or something like that.

    More general advice -

    You're being super formal here, and it makes you sound really young and unsure of yourself. If you can, knock it down a couple levels in formality. Also, tie things to their company more, and the specific job you're applying to. Check their website for their values and interests, and bring things in - especially because right now, there's very little that suggests this isn't a form letter which you send to everybody.

    For instance, if you were looking to work for ... -throws dart at wall- ... FedEx, as a... -throws dart- Truck Control Agent ( https://careers.fedex.com/express/jobs/RC45094?lang=en-us ). FedEx has something called "FedEx Cares" at the top of their page which links to some stuff about social responsibility, and this particular job focuses on basic office skills, coordinating people, and organization. So you might say something like this...

    "Dear Ms. [Name],

    I recently graduated from college, and my friend, [name], recommended FedEx highly. I'm excited about your Truck Control Agent position because it would help me to build leadership skills in a more formal business setting, and I believe I have the organizational skills to excel in the position. While in college, I balanced a full courseload with theater and part-time work at a costume shop. I've found that I really shine under pressure, coordinating and prioritizing duties for my team during the busy seasonal rush; I think those skills would translate well into a business setting like this.

    I'm also drawn to FedEx's emphasis on social responsibility. Social responsibility and environmental sustainability are really important to me, and it's important to me to work for a company which shares those values.

    Thank you for your consideration; I hope to hear from you soon.

    [Name]"

    I know it's tricky to do these for the first time; best of luck on it.
     
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  4. LumiLapin

    LumiLapin Bad Bad Bun

    Ok.....stopping my avoidance streak for now....
    How...do I do this? I have two written formality levels- "conversational" and "writing to a distant relative to inform them that their great-granduncle has unfortunately perished under mysterious circumstances and if they wish to claim their share of the substantial inheritance they must attend the reading of the will, which will be held in their opulent but decrepit estate in the Scottish moors." How do I just knock things down a couple levels
    I'm applying to temp agencies so I guess right now I am trying to stress how I'm a quick learner and fairly flexible. Any ideas how to make that more specific?
     
  5. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Err on the side of 'conversational' for this - that's where cover letters are normally meant to be. Resumes should be fancier, but the point of a cover letter is to show your actual voice and personality. Don't swear or make rude jokes, but the way you're writing right now is just fine.

    Sure. Check their websites, but I think this would work for most...

    - "As a recent college graduate, I'm excited to explore work in many different capacities and industries." Or in other words, you'll put up with having a bunch of short-term positions because you're feeling out what you'd like to do as a more permanent job. Most folks want a long-term, stable job, so expressing that you're willing to bounce around, at least for a while, might help.

    - If they talk about volunteerism or corporate values, go for that, something like I did above with FedEx. It's likely to be in the "about" section, and most companies will have this. It's basically just a way of saying "I read your website, this isn't a form letter I send to literally everyone."

    - You're trying to show you're flexible by saying "I could do x, but also y, but also z...". I think you'll have better luck if you take one positive point and stick to it, because it's hard to tell what you're enthused about here, what kind of work you would actually like, and what you'll just settle for because you really need a job. (You do not have to actually be excited. Performative excitement: Whee.)

    If you're saying that you actually want varied work, I would instead say something like, "I enjoy work where I need to continuously learn new skills, and where I wear many hats. Balancing college and my part-time jobs could be hectic; I might be working on payroll, analyzing chemical reactions, and serving customers, all in one day."

    If you're saying that you'll just put up with whatever, stick to a few wheelhouses you actually do like, and talk about how this job will let you improve those skills. E.g., "I particularly enjoy working with teams - writing clear communication which keeps the team on track, managing deadlines, and keeping teammates motivated. I'd love to continue improving those skills with [company]."

    It's also more useful if you can tie those traits into the specific work you like to do, not intrinsic character traits. For instance, I said "writing clear communication which keeps the team on track", rather than "being a good writer." The latter is static, hard to prove, and needs the hiring manager to interpret what it means to you. If you tie things into more specific work responsibilities, like "communicating with customers", "writing documentation and project plans", or "explaining esoteric topics in a way which is easy for laypeople to understand", it feels a lot more concrete.
     
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