Workshop Wednesday – January 9, 2013

Each Wednesday I randomly select a cover letter sent in by sports job seekers and critique the letter. If you want to know more about how Workshop Wednesday works or how to send in your cover letter, see this post.

I have left comments open, but I will only approve comments with respectful questions or comments.

Please note, names and companies have been changed to protect anonymity. This person is applying for an advertising sales position with a sports-related publication.

Dear Hiring Officer:

I am very interested in the Inside Advertising Sales position with [Company]. I believe that my education, employment background, and career goals make me a great fit for this position.

I’m not a fan of “Dear Hiring Officer,” but maybe that’s just me. Feels a little sterile. Always best to have someone to directly address your letter to, but otherwise I’d go with “Dear Sir or Madam”.

Not a bad opening paragraph. Pretty average. Spice it up by being just a bit more detailed: “My previous experience with X makes me well-qualified for this position.” Then they know from the jump that you have experience and aren’t just someone applying for every job opening he sees.

During my tenure at [X University], I have had a growing interest in sales and marketing. Last summer, I interned with the CNS Sales and Marketing team at [Company]. My position involved working with outside agencies to help carry out the strategic marketing goals of our brands. During this internship, I was the only intern selected to attend a week-long Digital Marketing MBA course hosted by [Y University]. In this course, I learned a lot about the digital marketing landscape beyond what I was able to learn in the classroom. More importantly, this role allowed me to coordinate efforts of various people in the office in order to smoothly execute the team’s marketing plan. Through this, I was able to learn some important aspects of brand management including marketing research and supply chain management.

There are a couple of things I want to say about this last paragraph, so I’ll break them down one at a time:

“My position involved working with outside agencies to help carry out the strategic marketing goals of our brands.”

I have no real idea of what you did during your internship. This is incredibly vague. You might have been intimately involved with an advertising campaign, had direct contact with the outside agency and provided feedback on drafts or proposals… or you might have sat around all summer and done nothing. Give at least one specific example of a task or project.

Love that you were the only intern selected for the week-long Digital Marketing MBA course. Not sure I understand the next sentence though:

“In this course, I learned a lot about the digital marketing landscape beyond what I was able to learn in the classroom.”

You were in a course – so I assume you were in the classroom.

I think in the rest of the paragraph you’re trying to explain how you applied what you learned in that course to the remainder of your internship… but I’m not really sure. And again, it’s vague:

“More importantly, this role allowed me to coordinate efforts of various people in the office in order to smoothly execute the team’s marketing plan. Through this, I was able to learn some important aspects of brand management including marketing research and supply chain management.”

You’re on the right path, but be a little more direct. This is overly simplified, but saying something along these lines: “Through this course I learned X, which I applied by doing Y when I returned to my internship.”

While at [X University], I was blessed to spend over three years working for the football program as recruiting assistant. I was primarily responsible for coordinating the outgoing recruiting mail as well as maintaining our recruiting database. In addition to working with others to carry out the coaching staff ‘s recruiting plans every day, I was put in front of some of the nation’s top high school athletes and helped sell [X University] from a student’s point of view. During my time there, the program signed three Top-20 recruiting classes.

This last paragraph is great. I know exactly the type of work you did as a recruiting assistant.

I believe that my experiences in marketing, interpersonal skills, and sports experience make me a prime candidate for this position. I am a diligent worker and very passionate about my work. I know I will be a valuable asset to [Company] and this opportunity is a perfect chance for me to grow and further the development of my sales and marketing skill set.

This last paragraph is vague and something anyone can say. It does nothing to set you apart from the other candidates. Save the space for detailing more specifics about your previous experience.

Thank you very much for considering my application for candidacy. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any additional questions. Thanks for your time and I hope to hear back from you soon!

Best Regards,
John Doe

You did such a nice job explaining your job duties at the university. Do the same thing for the internship in the second paragraph. Based on the job title of the position you’re applying for, I believe you gained some experience at the internship that directly relates to the open position. Now close the gap for me and tell me specifically what you did and how it gives you the experience you need to be great at the job being filled.

0 Comments

  • Erick S. Taylor Jr.
    Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 7:27 am 0Likes

    Hello Ms, Dosh,

    I’m currently a sophomore at Georgia State University, and I am pursuing a career ultimately as a college basketball coach. Right now I am majoring in Law and Society with a pre-law concentration. I plan to attend to attend law school and focus on learning business law. I want to use that to parlay my way into working with athletics whether that be college or professional and eventually build up connections so that I can become a coach. I would like to volunteer during my undergraduate summers, but I am not sure how exactly to gain entry level experience at least not the kind that would qualify for a position somewhere. I have spoken with my school’s head men’s basketball coach and his advice to me was to volunteer at as many camps as I could since the attaining a job along these lines is about networking. I have been following your blog for a few months now and saw your opinion on law school not too long ago. I have also seen and read several blogs about whether it’s worth it to go to law school. I would just like any advice you can give me. I have thought about not going to law school, but if I do not go to law school I diminish any chance I have for job security in the future;because the coaching option leaves me with a major that doesn’t lead to any profession. I would also have to rely on chances of getting to know the right people still with no guarantee of even an assistant job. You can see how these thoughts are my most important life decision now, and I know I am following a similar path as you so I would just like your advice.
    Thank you in advance for all your help.

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