Workshop Wednesday – July 6, 2012

Each Wednesday (or Friday, when the 4th of July falls on a 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 a position with a professional sports team through a friend who used to intern with the team.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Attached please find my resume in consideration for employment within the Dodgers organization.

I think you need a little more in the first paragraph. In your email you told me a friend of yours who used to intern with the organization referred you. I’d mention that referral. I’d also state the position you’re looking to fill. Based on the current language, it looks like you’re sending your materials to be considered for anything. Even if that were the case, you should mention the types of jobs you’re suited for. Having read further in the letter, I know you’re actually interested in the team’s social media initiatives. Make sure you mention that up here.

Currently I work under the title of Creative Assistant at a Herb Alpert owned production company in Santa Monica. Aside from assisting two producers on a day to day basis, I am responsible for creating a website that details the careers of Herb and his wife, Lani Hall. Having access to over 40,000 pieces of metadata, I structured the site’s content appropriately to tell the story of their lives, one album at a time. Having never worked with the program to make the website, Aperture, it was only a couple tough weeks until I was able to navigate the program with ease.

I think it should be “Herb Alpert-owned” and “day-to-day” in the first and second sentences. I like the description of your current job up until the last sentence. They don’t need to know you had a “couple tough weeks.” I would scrap the last sentence and use that space to mention skills related to website building – writing code, etc. Something along the lines of, “Through this experience I have become proficient in _____________.”

After graduating from USC I was hired at Julien’s Auctions, an entertainment auction house that is based in Beverly Hills. I stepped in to fill a growing need. I was solely responsible for the incoming consignments and outgoing purchases. I heavily used excel to keep a track record of incoming property. Furthermore, I tried my hand in social media after being with the company for a year. Provided with complete autonomy from the company, I ran the company’s facebook and twitter sites. I created posts that detailed auction items to entice customers and alerted our followers about future sales. When I was ready to move on from Julien’s, I had established the company with an online presence on two websites and had tripled the amount of their followers.

Facebook, Twitter and Excel should all be capitalized. I don’t really like, “I stepped in to fill a growing need.” Most people are hired because there’s a need. I’d combine the third and fourth sentences to say something like, “I was solely responsible for the incoming consignments, which I tracked using Excel, and outgoing purchases.” I’d ditch the next sentence about trying your hand at social media. That makes it sound like you just randomly decided to do it one day. Use stronger language like, “After a year at the company, I realized how much the company could benefit from a social media presence. I was given complete autonomy to produce content on the company’s Facebook and Twitter sites.” Then you can continue with the sentence that starts, “I created posts…”

Just today I watched a video about the [team B]’ emphasis on their social media sites. I believe a stronger and more strategic social media presence is paramount to attracting the average game’s attendance that the [team A] organization desires. Social media is proving to be one of the ultimately most effective marketing tools in sports today.

By the time someone reads this it won’t be “today” anymore, so I’d just say “recently.” In the first sentence it should be “its” instead of “theirs”.

I’m not even really sure what the second sentence means. It’s the “average game’s attendance” language that’s tripping me up. You could simplify and say something about attracting fans to the ballpark.

I’m struggling with this paragraph in general. I think it’s great to have a paragraph at the end that ties back in your interest in social media and points you that you’re aware of how teams are using it. I’m just not crazy about the way you’ve done it.

You’re applying for Team A, but you mention Team B’s social media initiatives. It’s almost as if you’re implying Team A isn’t doing what some of its peers are doing. I think that’s a dangerous road to go down. Team B better have more followers or in some other way have shown their social media skills to be superior.

Also, you’re telling them social media is important. They know that.

I think I’d rework this paragraph. It’s great to let them know you keep up with what other teams in the league are doing in terms of social media, so find a way to do that. Unless you’ve seen this team specifically say they need to work on social media, however, be careful about implying they need to up their game.

I’m a versatile prospect and quick learner that won’t shy away from any task.

I don’t think this last sentence is necessary. I always emphasize showing over telling. You’ve already done some showing earlier in your letter, so no need to throw this in at the end.

Respectfully,
John Doe

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