Workshop Wednesday – June 13, 2012

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 it 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 assistant manager position with a sports organization.

To whom it may concern:

I like “Dear Sir or Madam” better if you’re unable to get a person to direct the letter, but maybe that’s just me.

I am very interested in the [assistant manager] position with [company].  Having worked closely with various sport organizations throughout my career, I have found that my passion lies in the enhancement of game experience for all involved.  If given the opportunity to work with [company] here is what I will bring to the table:

Exceptional Creativity and Problem Solving Skills:

While planning a banquet for senior club members with a very limited budget, the [name of former company] could not afford a graphic designer.  With a text only-grayscale program looming, I offered my assistance having never worked with Adobe Creative Suite. After a few long nights, I was able to learn Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator in order to produce a high quality commemorative program. It was then that I noticed the program was missing one thing: parent congratulatory ads.  After approval from the club these ads were sold to parents, resulting in a high-quality, zero cost program. For [company] I will bring creativity and problem solving to find innovative ways to increase member allegiance and enjoyment.

Not much I would change here. I think “text only-grayscale program” should be “text-only, grayscale program.” Also, I think “zero cost program” should be “zero-cost program.”

Innovative Communication Skills:

After completing the first year of graduate school, I found there was an apparent need for a communication system within the program.  Provided with complete autonomy from the department, I created virtual maps, Facebook pages, Facebook groups, email newsletters, etc. that served as a sounding board for questions and concerns amongst all levels of the program. This proved to be successful as our graduate coordinator noted a decrease in incoming student questions and concerns. With social media being one of the ultimate marketing tools in sports today, I will use these tools to maximize the potential of the organization.

I wouldn’t use “etc” in a cover letter. I would change the second sentence in the paragraph to: “Provided with complete autonomy from the department, I created virtual maps, Facebook pages, Facebook groups, email newsletters, and other instruments that served as a sounding board for questions and concerns amongst all levels of the program.”

Logistical Awareness:

When working for a basketball league, I noted that the lack of organization and poor scheduling was resulting in unhappy players, parents, fans, and officials. To alleviate this problem, I created a sharable calendar that allowed both coaches and officials to sign up for and view their practice and game times. I then started a listserv to facilitate communications within the league. With these logistical fixes, the league experienced a significantly higher player, coach and official retention rate. I will work diligently to provide a highly enjoyable environment for all involved with [company].

When I first opened this cover letter and saw the bold headlines, I was prepared to hate it. I’m not a big fan of bullets or headlines in a cover letter. I prefer a more traditional, simple paragraph format. However, that’s just a personal preference, so I try to be open to other ideas. Turns out, I loved this cover letter! This person used the dreaded word “passion,” but you’ll note I didn’t call her on it. Why? Because she backs it up, exactly like I’ve been telling you to do.

Given the opportunity, I would love to assist [company] in furthering their goals, while innovatively adding to the current strategies. I look forward to speaking with you further!  Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jane Doe

I’m very impressed – with this cover letter and the applicant. I’d definitely give this person an interview. GREAT example of showing and not telling!

Letter republished with permission from author.


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