Football and Cover Letters?

January 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I began working on this post a few days ago, but as always I find that I am working on now; a few hours shy of the deadline.

So, what is a cover letter? My understanding of a cover letter is like this, it is your personal statement for why you are the best applicant for that position. Wikipedia states that it is your introduction to your potential employer, explaining why you would be suitable for the job.

Many of the sites I perused expressed that employers most likely wouldn’t even look at your resume unless it had a cover letter. Other sites said that in today’s world a resume without a cover letter is just lazy.
For my internship, it was required by my professor that I write a cover letter. To me the cover letter is one of the most daunting pieces of the application puzzle (it’s all really challenging). “If I write this does it make me sound too eager,” or “What’s the best way to say this to get them to call me back,” even; “Should I say this tastefully provocative statement that would pique their interests or will it cause me to go in file 13?” These were just a few of the questions that flew through my mind.

To make writing your cover letter a little easier here are a few tips and sites that I found to be really helpful.

1.Research. I know that many PR students dread research, but it pays to know. Knowing more than just the basics about the company and the job you are applying for puts you ahead of the competition that didn’t do their research. Know and understand the company’s needs. Through researching the companies mission, goal, founder, current standing in the market place, even members of their board; you have a better understanding of the company’s culture. The time you put into research shows your desire for wanting to work for the company. Ultimately, just be familiar with who you’re dealing with.

2.Determine your selling points. Craft your top 5 best attributes that suit what they are looking for.

3.Review. I have now made it a personal habit to have 1-3 other people read over my cover letter to tell me what they think. If I’m nervous about saying something, but I’m confident in what I wrote, I send it. If they don’t extend the invitation to interview, I accept the possibility that they felt that I wasn’t the right fit for their company. Hey, they know their company dynamics, right?

~ Cover Letters That Sell

~ Cover Letter Help From About.com

Thinking about your cover letter in terms of football might make writing your letter easier (it is the South’s unofficial religion, right?).

You know what you have, but do you know what your opponent (employer) has? Players and coaches watch hours and hours of film, this is their research. They come up with a plan that best suits that particular opponent (job). If you know your opponent has a weak run-game, you play to the advantage that you run like the wind (determining your selling point). Tell them why you would make their game better.
Review; after the game review the tape to see where you missed your cover. Have your coaches (professional) critique you. The more time you spend practicing, reviewing, and working out strong the player. The more time you spend making your team better (you) the better your chances are at winning the Super Bowl (Job!!!)

Here is a little motivational quote from Og Mandio:
“Each failure to sell will increase your chances for success at your next attempt.”

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