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Cover Letters

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by OceanLottery, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. OceanLottery

    OceanLottery Member

    This is a quickie....

    I'm applying for a job, they only accept resume's on line, and, like many places, don't want any phone calls.

    When this is the case, and you don't know exactly who's making the hiring decisions, who do you normally address the cover letter to?
  2. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    I don't.

    I know that seems odd, but I just date it, address it and write it. "I am interested in...yada yada..."
    And yes, I have gotten several interviews cover letters like this.
  3. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Try not to use "resume's" in your cover letter or initial e-mail.
  4. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    Oh and while we're discussing this (thread jack sort of) my editor showed me a couple of emails from our last opening. Guys (and gals) some advice:

    Get a simple, professional sounding email address. I don't care if it's from Hotmail, AOL, JUNO, whatever, just get one where your address isn't "GodsGiftToSports@aol.com" or "TheGiftedKid@ hotmail.com" or "Studmuffin69@Juno.com." Simple is better: JSchmoe@gmail.com.
    If your address makes you sound like a prick, some SE's throw that out right away.

    Don't try to be too clever in your cover letter. Sell yourself but don't tell me "Stop the search because the perfect candidate is here." Confidence is one thing, arrogance is another. One he threw out right away began something like:
    "(AP) The search for The Daily Rag's newest sports reporter ended today when Rag's Sports Editor Johnny Depp announced he had found the perfect fit."
    I admit it was creative, but still, just a bit over the top. Sell yourself through your clips and tell me why you are a good fit in the cover. Just don't get carried away.
  5. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    How long until spnited comes on here and unleashes a stream of curses while still offering some helpful words?
  6. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    Joe, i can't believe you just tossed aside my cover letter like that. I worked hard on that AP lead.

    Back to the original question... I agree with Joe on his original point. Just skip that part and write the rest of the cover letter as you normally would.
  7. Lollygaggers

    Lollygaggers Member

    What's wrong with the traditional "To whom it may concern"???
  8. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    To Whom It May Concern can still be used, but I wouldn't.

    Again, I don't do the hiring so this is just my opinion but from what I see now, if it is one person doing the hiring (and most of the time it will be the Sports Editor), when I see "TWIMC," even if there's no indication of who will be doing the hiring, that glares out at me and says this person didn't take time to research who I was. Lack of an intro doesn't do that. Yes, there are still plenty of people who see that as bad style, bad letter, and also not researching who I was as well, but I see more and more cover letters with no greeting these days, even when the person doing the hiring is named in the ad.
    Most people just skip over the greeting anyway, because they all say pretty much the same thing "Joe", or "Mr. Schmoe", and it's easier to notice one that stands out from that than one that isn't there.
  9. Meat Loaf

    Meat Loaf Guest

    We're now allowed to fill our vacant position (after one year), and some of the e-mails are fucking hilarious. Or scary.

    Maybe one applicant is currently at a newspaper, and it isn't even a daily. We've had applications from insurance claims adjusters, salesmen, construction workers, etc. Part of the problem is that the job management wanted filled was an afterthought of the job description the SE wrote.

    Anyway, my advice would be to write full, grammatically correct sentences. Just like a story you'd turn in for publication. Too many people firing off half-assed e-mails with no capitalization or punctuation. Also, spell basic words right, or at least use the right fucking words.

    From earlier this week: "I here your looking for a sports writer."

    I'm not shitting you. That's what the assbag applying for an editing job wrote.

    Hold me. I'm scared, and this will not end well.
  10. boots

    boots New Member

    Make a call and find out who do you direct the letter to. Don't call asking for any other information and you don't have to give your identity.
  11. If it's a completely blind ad, usually in online (especially non-journalism) ads or through an HR department, go with Dear Sir. That's the advice of headhunter, outplacement, etc. firms. To Whom It May Concern is absolutely a non-starter.

    Best advice, like Joe said, is find out who the hiring editor is and address it according, Dear Mr. Smith, or Dear Ms. Smith. And don't just repeat what's in your resume. Tailor your experience to the position and use their ad like a checklist, showing how you meet each of the criteria.

    Then hope it's not just an exercise in futility because there's an internal candidate and this is all for show.
  12. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Yeah, far be it from us reporters to do some investigative digging. Good advice.
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