Each Wednesday I randomly select a cover letter sent in by sports job seekers and critique the letter. This week was a little off with a Monday and Thursday post – but hey, at least you got two, right? If you want to know more about how Workshop Wednesday works or how to send in your cover letter, see this post.
I wanted to do a little something different this week and show you a cover letter that landed someone a position with a professional sports team. Lucky for me, one landed in my inbox from Meghan Smith, who graciously agreed to let me post her letter and use her real name and details.
I’ll let you read through the letter first and then give you my comments on why it works:
Dear Hiring Manager,
I am writing to express my interest in the Marketing Trainee position available with the Atlanta Braves. I am very excited about the opportunity available, as I have a bachelor’s degree in public relations, successful internships at the Georgia Aquarium and 360 Media, and real world experience in sports that I believe would translate well into a sports marketing position.
In both my internships at the Georgia Aquarium and 360 Media, I have proven my ability to learn quickly and handle responsibility. I have experience that attests to my professional skills and confirms the earned confidence upper management has in me, in both agency and corporate settings. I facilitated, coordinated and managed local and national TV and photography shoots, wrote and designed press materials used by clients, created and completed a publicity stunt that gained national attention, utilized research skills to provide support to a team, developed and maintained professional relationships, branded the Georgia Aquarium YouTube Channel and currently hold administrative access to Georgia Aquarium social media accounts.
I know how to work with a team, manage my time, assign and meet deadlines, establish priorities and manage multiple projects at the same time. Additionally, I am not afraid of working long hours and I can adjust to spontaneous changes in schedules and routines with composure. I am dedicated and dependable, and I want to be a productive team member.
I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you in person to discuss my qualifications for the Marketing Trainee position at the Atlanta Braves. You may contact me at [phone number] or [email address]. Thank you in advance for your valuable time and consideration.
Meghan E. Smith
The key to this letter, in my opinion, is the second paragraph. This is what so many Workshop Wednesday participants are missing. You have to connect the dots between your previous experience and the position for which you’re applying by giving examples of work you’ve done.
The first two sentences of that second paragraph is what I see from most of you. The rest of the paragraph is what you’re missing. You need to give specific examples of tasks or accomplishments, and preferably you should pick ones that would translate to the position at hand.
Meghan sent me her letter, because she read Monday’s workshop post about not focusing on your fandom in a cover letter. She says she wasn’t a Braves fan or even a sports fan when she applied for this Braves position a couple of years ago. This made her curious to go back and see what she did say about her interest in the job in her cover letter.
Here’s an excerpt from Meghan’s email to me:
In my interview, my soon-to-be boss told me that it was obvious I was not a Braves fan, but that it was OK because during the day the stadium is an office where work gets done, not a place to watch baseball games. I was told what ultimately got me the job was great references from people they trusted.
Two key points here, both of which I’ve made previously. One, you don’t have to be a fan to work in sports, and in fact you should probably leave it out of your cover letter. Two, it’s all about who you know (and, more importantly, who knows you).