Resume Cover Letter - Help

JasenP

Screenwriter
Joined
Dec 21, 1999
Messages
1,280
Location
Kalamazoo, MI
Real Name
Jasen
I am applying for a position with a local University and I am in desperate need of a very good cover letter. My current cover letter is fairly generic and too wordy.
Does anyone have any examples they could share?
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Brian Mansure

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 15, 2000
Messages
460
Jasen,
I don't have an example available at this time but I found sites like www.careerlab.com/letters/default.htm ,
very helpful. When I had to update my resume a little over a year ago, I just searched the internet for resume/cover letter examples and sorta combined all the parts I liked from several different resumes to write my own unique and professional resume and cover letter.
Worked like a charm for me.
Good Luck,
Brian
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BAM
"If I'm not back in 10 minutes... just wait longer."
[Edited last by Brian Mansure on August 29, 2001 at 07:55 AM]
 

Steve Schick

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 20, 1999
Messages
84
A professor once told me that if it was a job I really wanted, make the letter sound like you're trying to kiss the employers ass, without giving the employer an idea that is what you're trying to do.

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AdrianJ

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 1, 2001
Messages
532
Am I the only one that thinks that cover letters are unneccessary? I mean they might take a brief look at it before ripping it off and reading the resume. I've never used one and it hasn't stopped me from changing jobs 4 times in the last 6 years.
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Adrian Jones
 

Tom-G

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 31, 2000
Messages
1,707
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Real Name
Thomas
No, you aren't the only one, Adrian! I've been told that one should include a cover letter only if the advertisement for the job has a request for it.
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Andrea W

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 19, 2001
Messages
777
Real Name
Andrea Whitlock
I think cover letters are important, but should be short. Here is one I printed for my mom a few months ago:
February 17, 2001
mailto:[email protected]
 

Adam Barratt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 16, 1998
Messages
2,344
Real Name
Adam
Cover letters are very important in my opinion. I recently went through 60 applicants for a position with my company and I definitely paid more attention to those that included a good cover letter. Resumes without a letter were just thrown on the pile: if the applicant couldn't be bothered writing a letter I wasn't going to put any effort into reading their resume.
When you're going through a lot of resumes they often blend together, but a good letter makes an applicant stand out from the pack. If your resume is scanned electronically and pre-shortlisted, a good cover letter can make all the difference (don't forget, they're always looked at by an actual person eventually).
For a few tips on what not to put into your cover letter check here.
(BTW, Rule number one is always check your spelling and grammar!)
Adam
 

andrew markworthy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 30, 1999
Messages
4,762
This is a tricky one. I'm a professor at a Brit university, and certainly over here expectations of what should be in a covering letter vary enormously from institution to institution, and also from job to job. What sort of post are you applying for?
Generally, over here if you're applying for a research post (as in leading a research project) then the covering letter is a brief formality and what matters is the number of research publications and grants you list in your resume. For other posts, it's generally expected that your covering letter at least draws attention to the relevant sections of the resume and indicates why you want to work there. Familiarising yourself with the work of the folks you'd be working for or with also helps. Nothing pleases an academic more than someone who is at least vaguely aware of what they do.
 

Tim Markley

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 12, 1999
Messages
1,279
Your best bet for a cover letter is to list the qualifications that they're looking for and for each one show how you have that qualification. I usually do this in a table. This style has been very successful for me in the past. I even had one small company tell me that my cover letter was the best that they'd ever seen!
 

Aurel Savin

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 15, 1998
Messages
839
I think cover letters are important as someone said before ... they make you stand out from the other applicants.
Also, a cover letter should show your personality in some way ... and depending on the job you are applying for it should be tailored toward that position.
I have a pretty good knack for writing cover letters and getting my foot in the door at companies ...
Once I applied for a job at Troma Films here in NY for some type of Sales position ... I had no real qualifications but the cover letter I wrote was littered with references to their movies and I wanted to get in the film business at the time. Got an interview and even the person that called me said it was because of the cover letter ... Well even though I got my foot in the door, I guess I wasn't good enough to get the job

... so YES ... cover letters are important!
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Chris Wittry

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 23, 1999
Messages
130
A format that has worked for me in the past has been to take the qualifications that are listed in the job advertisement and basically say "This is how I fill those qualifications and this is why you should hire me." The resume is just there to prove what you are saying in the letter and provide a little more background info. In my opinion, and that of many others who I know, the cover letter is the MOST important part of the pre-interview application process.
 

McPaul

Screenwriter
Joined
Apr 1, 1999
Messages
1,798
Location
Vancouver
Real Name
Paul M
Make it brief.
First paragraph
interested in applying for job i saw posted (where). see attached resume.
Second paragraph,
tell them what you can do for them. make your points follow the posting
Third paragraph,
what they can do for you.... career goals, want to get into a (industry) company, interested in developing skills in (this area)
Fourth paragraph,
available anytime, reached at this number, look forward to meeting with you, thank you for your time
don't forget to sign it after it comes off the printer
sincerely
(signature)
name.
if your last job was related to the one you're applying for, or in the same company, what i usually do, is make 1 or 2 pages, detailing out what you did in the past job. include specific results if possible. in addition to resume and cover letter, of course.
Resume should only be 1 page in itself.
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Tom-G

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 31, 2000
Messages
1,707
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Real Name
Thomas
I recently participated in a class on job searching and resume writing and the teacher told us that the cover letter is VERY important. I stand corrected. I have the information on what each paragraph should contain. I will post it after I retrieve it at home if anyone needs it.
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