Workshop Wednesday – August 8, 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 a marketing internship with a sports television network.

Dear [John Doe]:

I would probably say “Dear Mr. Doe” instead of using his full name.

Please accept this letter as my application for the Marketing Internship located on [network]’s website. As a Communications major at the University of [X], I believe my excellent interpersonal communication, presentation, and organizational skills would only prove to be beneficial to your organization.

Not a big deal, but the “located on [network]’s website” part reads a little funny. Maybe just, “Please accept this letter as my application for the Marketing Internship with [network].”

As a Marketing Intern with [Company Y], I had what seemed like at the time a never-ending relationship with Microsoft Excel. During my internship, I managed the company’s customers, contacts and leads after events, using Excel through databases such as DiscoverOrg, Marketo and Salesforce. Nevertheless, my relationship with Excel did not begin at SevOne, but rather sparked in a previous school research paper, which I decided would be about the history of the Big Five, and its impact in the city of Philadelphia. I explored and researched the season records of each school dated back to 1955, along with their winning percentages against one another, calculated the amount of ticket sales sold, found NCAA appearances and success within the tournament, number of games sold out in each arena, and analyzed major players contribution to their teams accompanied with their future careers in the NBA. As a result, these two experiences with excel displayed my organization skills, research capabilities, confirmed my passion for sports and allowed me to express my love for Philadelphia.

I’m torn about the sort of informal tone in this paragraph. Talking about your “never-ending relationship” with Excel could come off as a complaint about how much time you spent working with the program during your internship. I didn’t take it that way – I thought it showed a little personality in your letter, which most lack. We all want to work with people we like, so I encourage a little personality. That being said, I’m not sure everyone will love the tone. If you want to stick with the less formal tone, I’d just change the “never-ending relationship” wording so it doesn’t sound like a complaint.

I would start a new paragraph with the sentence that begins with “Nevertheless”. I would also rework that sentence a little bit to something like this: “Nevertheless, my relationship with Excel did not begin at SevOne, but rather was cultivated when I researched the history of the Big Five and its impact on the city of Philadelphia for a school paper.”

Also, “dated” should be “dating” in the fifth sentence. Excel should be capitalized in the last sentence.

With the skills that match those you require; I am confident that I would provide immediate assistance with your organization and marketing operations. My enclosed resume provides additional information regarding my qualifications and previous accomplishments.

I am extremely interested in this internship and I would welcome the opportunity to interview with you at your convenience. I will contact you next week to discuss the possibility of meeting with you. Meanwhile, I can be reached at [phone number] or via e-mail [email address]. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jane Doe

My main comment is with regards to the fact that you’ve only really highlighted one skill: proficiency with Excel. I think you did a great job with that, but I’d like to see at least one other skill illustrated with an example, as I’m assuming the marketing internship is about more than just Excel. Take a look at the job listing and see what other skills you have that apply to the position and include at least one more.


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