View Full Version : Need some help with cover letter- anyone have suggestions?

03-06-2010, 09:45 AM
I'm applying for yet another job. I want to make it clear that I have the qualifications they need through the cover letter, but my brain is refusing to work properly this morning. Plus, all the cover letters I have written over the last few months are starting to blend together. I've copied the job ad and my cover letter. Would anyone be kind enough to make suggestions? :) Thanks in advance!

M Research Laboratory in Denver, Colorado, seeks a researcher/staff writer to produce high-quality, research-based books on education, in coordination with a team. Requirements: a Masterís Degree; proven experience in database research and reference list management; proven ability to summarize research, create original text, and revise existing text; superior time management and communication skills. Knowledge of education topics and CMS style are preferred.

[I am more familiar with APA style but CMS can't be hard to learn- should I address this or not in my letter?]

My letter so far:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am very interested in the prospect of working for the M Research Laboratory in the position of researcher / staff writer. As an educator, I am familiar with many of the texts written by Dr. M and would be excited to be part of the team. I have the education and experience needed to be a good fit for this job.

I am very familiar with writing scholarly papers and conducting research through my education. I completed a masterís thesis which required many hours of searching through written material, synthesizing information, and writing and editing my work. As an undergraduate I also helped conduct original research through work ďin the field,Ē and analyzed the data through statistical analysis. Finally, I am a certified teacher with my Masterís of Education. This means I have a lot of background knowledge about the industry which would allow me to research information more efficiently and give me a greater understanding of the material.

In conclusion, I am a good candidate for this position. I have a desire to be a part of a research team and the education and experience necessary to perform the job duties in a consistent, professional manner. Please consider me for an interview where we can discuss this further. Thank you.


Jill M

03-06-2010, 11:30 AM
I feel you should address the CMS but not in saying you are not familiar with it- rather like I know about CMS and APA Style and am thorough familiar with Apa style (don't look at my wording- I'm German ;))
I would never admit that I don't have an idea about something that's mentioned in the ad- I rather would try to tell not the exact truth but something that could lead them to understand what they want.
I think you have to get an interview and in the interview it will be more about whether your personality fits with theirs. If it does, then they'll send you happily to a class in which you can learn technical skills you do not have yet. If it doesn't fit they won't hire you even if you are purrfect in CMS. (Do I have to mention that I have no idea what CMS and Apa means;)- but I have hired about 40 people in my life.
Good luck:)

03-06-2010, 01:53 PM
We teach in our job finding club that you should always call the company you are interested in and get the name of the person you are writing to. You can just call the reception and say that you are addressing a letter and need to know the name of the person in charge of hiring for this add. Also make sure you ask them how to spell that person's name. And, if it's a gendre neutral name confirm if it's a Mr. or Ms. you writing to ;)

Have you looked at the company's website at all? You want to mention something in the cover letter that really stands out to you, so something like, "In my research on your company, I was very impressed with your mission statement. I am also a firm believer in blah blah and my values really align with yours." If you can, when you call them to get the name of the person you are writing to, ask the receptionist a few questions. Figure out what is meaningful to you and ask about it, so you might ask if they have a social committee, or what the receptionist's favourite part of working there is. Then you can also include "When I was talking to Jane in your front office, she mentioned how you have a blah blah and do lots of activities with employees. This is something I know I can be a part of because I have been involved in organizing blah blahs in the past. She also mentioned that working there is like working "with a family" which is the exact type of environment I am looking for."

So basically, you want to make sure your cover letter says something different than all the other applicants that makes you stand out. If you make a call to someone in the organization and you can mention it, it will show them that you are interested as well as taking initiative :)