1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Cover letter essentials.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by wickedwritah, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I try to make each cover letter different; I'm not into the form-letter school of cover letters.

    There are the basics you toss in each cover letter: your experience, why you should get the job, etc.

    What else do you feel should go in there?
  2. Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Active Member

    I put in how my activites outside my job helps me. For example, how experience on a school board taught you to interact, how coaching helped you delegate responsibility, how working in a homeless shelter taught you to talk with people you normally wouldn't meet. I would hope that employers aren't looking for a robot--they want someone with experience outside (newspapers, sports/news, whatever) your expertise.
  3. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    A snappy lead.
  4. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    It has to capture a sense of the writer. Since resumes are pretty similar, the cover letter is a chance to connect. Tailor it toward the opening. The editor knows what job he/she is seeking to fill. It's up to you to make a credible case to fill it.
  5. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    Be yourself.
    Research the paper.
    Always have it proofed.
    Don't forget your e-mail address.

    References. don't forget them.
    Enjoy yourself while writing it. have fun with it.
    Never forget to use spellcheck.
    Familiarize yourself with new cover-letter writing techniques.
    Roll with the punches. you may not get a call back.
    Only write as many as you can keep track of.
  6. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Holy fuck, dude. The entire time I'm reading that, I'm thinking, "Why the hell is Tom Petty using caps." And then ... I got it.

    Very well done.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    You have a job.
    I'm your person
    Here's why
    Get in touch.

    Keep it simple, stupid. If you are on to a second page, do it again. Your resume will say a lot about you, if it is any good. As will your clips/pages/whatever. Keep the letter short and to the point.

    I got one from a guy who clearly knew who I was on here. He mentioned Sudoku in his lead and tossed in a couple of other Moddy-isms. Didn't help. Kid had talent but not the experience I needed.
  8. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I assume he was just trying to brown-nose, but even still, why the hell would you write about Sodoku -- or any hobbies, really -- in a cover letter?
  9. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Moddy, I usually limit mine to four graphs, like your above example, but I always feel there's something lacking.

    I never, ever have had a cover letter go onto a second page. Good way of getting your stuff tossed in the circular file ASAP.

    Reason I started this thread is because I feel like mine are like an assembly line, and I like something different in each beyond boilerplate about how I'd fit into that particular sports staff.
  10. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I assume he was trying to brown nose.
    You know, we could sit around the office and do Sudoku. Because I do that a lot.
  11. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Vary them but stick to a theme.

    Dear Mr. Harris,

    You have a job opening for a Virginia Tech writer that is a perfect fit for me.

    I have five years experience covering the Atlantic Coast Conference and I know the league well. I have won six state association awards and three APSE awards in the past four years for my work covering Clemson and the league. I broke two major stories in the past two months.

    My resume and several work samples are enclosed. Please let me know when would be a good time to get together and discuss this position with you.

    Thanks for your time.


    Wicked AssKicking Writer
  12. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Thanks, Mod, Tom and everyone else who has offered up advice, even though TP's advice was massively tongue-in-cheek.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page