Workshop Wednesday – February 13, 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 a full-time job after grad school and has submitted a general cover letter for review.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing regarding the position for [POSITION] at [PLACE]. I am currently a graduate intern for [University X] Sports Properties, a division of [national licencing company] and a Master’s candidate in Sport Administration at [University X]. I graduated from [University Y] in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication

After years of working as an intern in different aspects of an athletic department, I am seeking to leverage my experience within the field of marketing. Please review the attached resume, which highlights the skills and accomplishments that will enable me to contribute to your team. I appreciate the chance to discuss this further with you.

I wouldn’t waste an entire paragraph on this info so close to the beginning. I’d reference your attached resume in the first sentence of the letter, and I’d save the line about discussing further for the end of the letter.

From my resume, you will see that my previous experience should align me as a great fit for this position. My daily responsibilities with my current internship with [University X] Sports Properties at [University X] involves trafficking for radio and television for Football, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, and Baseball, managing all advertising on [University X].com, handling autographed item requests for clients, assisting with promotions and events at sporting events, and generally helping the Account Executives with proposal creation and execution. Also, this position will allow me the opportunity to utilize my experience selling football tickets for the 2010 [University Y] Football season. As a sales intern, I learned the value of building a relationship with a potential and current customer, something that is vital to the mission of [PLACE].

Although this is an impressive laundry list of experiences, it’s still a laundry list. I’d break this into two paragraphs (you have plenty of room if you get rid of the previous paragraph, not to mention your letter was well under one page), and I’d focus on 2-4 experiences that directly relate to the open position. That’s the problem with a cover letter you plan to use for everything – it doesn’t speak to anything specifically.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with having a base letter you alter for each application. It means you’ve always got a letter that’s ready to go with just a few tweaks. Do, however, tweak it for each position. When possible, include experiences that translate into skills required for the open position.

Don’t just list the experiences though. Instead, pick 2-4 and give me a sentence or two on each. The laundry list doesn’t give me anything I can’t get from bullet points on your resume. Use this space to expand on a few key experiences or skills. Tell me something I wouldn’t know from looking at your resume.

I am confident that I can be a valuable asset for [PLACE]. Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Jane Doe


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  • Nels Popp
    February 13, 2013

    I would also add that this person needs to show more homework done regarding the potential employer. Say something about what the potential employer is doing well which shows that the student understands the company/industry.