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Quick Tips for the Job Hunt: Part 2

January 31, 2018

 

Cover Letters

 

Tailor. Every. Single. One.

 

Oh, it is so easy to be lazy with these, especially when we’re so busy because it’s crossover season, and the dog is whining because he needs more exercise, and your friends are calling asking if you can come to this event, and your coach wants you to make a graphic, etc. But you’ve got to do it.

 

As I mentioned in the resume section, the key here is to pull as many keywords from the job posting as you can, and use them in your cover letter.

 

For this section, let’s break down my cover letter for my current position at The Bishop’s School.

 

The job posting for my current position at The Bishop’s School included words like ‘self-starter’ and ‘passionate’. I also had somewhat of a personal connection; I’ve only ever worked in education (well, college athletics, but it’s still education) and my mom is an elementary school principal, so I’ve been around schools my whole life.

 

After addressing the cover letter to the hiring manager, my cover letter began with the following: “As the child of an educator and a communications professional with six years of experience in higher education, I am excited to submit my application for The Bishop’s School marketing communications coordinator position.”

 

I expressed in one sentence why I was passionate about applying, why I wasn’t just any person off the street applying for this position, how I was qualified and what position I was applying for.

 

Next up? Let’s expand upon and summarize my experience. Here, I said: “My breadth of experience in all forms of communication would be invaluable in this position, as I have worked in media relations since 2012. In this role, I generate written and visual content to support the department’s communication efforts both digitally and in print, pitch news stories to local and national media, maintain the department’s historical archives and assist in the department’s marketing efforts.”

 

You use ‘self-starter’ in the job posting? Let me tell you why I am a self-starter! “My natural inclination to be a self-starter would also be integral to success in this position. In my current role as an assistant media relations director for San Diego State’s athletic department, fostering and maintaining positive relationships with a bevy of audiences is imperative. I oversee San Diego State’s student program, supervising 10 undergraduate students who assist the department’s daily operation and I am charged with the department’s social media efforts. In addition to my duties in media relations, I offer assistance to the athletics development department, assisting with annual fundraising activities produced by the athletic department, including the department’s largest fundraiser of the year, Night with the Aztecs. My experience has led to a comfort in interacting with people from all backgrounds and in all capacities, which would be vital to this position.”

 

I tried to include as many experiences from my time at SDSU as possible. Generally, employers want candidates to be as well rounded as possible. Going back to our discussion on resumes, see how your experience can fit within different categories.

 

Because this was to be my first position out of sports, I wanted to explain that, while I only have professional experience in sports, I’ve become ingrained into the San Diego community. I don’t just work here; I’ve made San Diego my home. I included this paragraph to further shed light onto how I would assist the School: “I am also dialed in to the San Diego community. Since moving to San Diego in 2015, I have been immensely involved in the region and have a keen understanding of its unique positives and challenges. When I first moved to San Diego, I managed a store in North Park that sells goods from local vendors and learned the county’s landscape. Additionally, growing up, I would spend weeks at a time in North Park, visiting the slew of family I have in the area. Because I have family members that are very involved in the community and work for local not-for-profit organizations, I understand the backbone of the city.”

 

In conclusion: “I am confident that I would be an invaluable asset to The Bishop’s School’s efforts. I hope that you will consider adding me to your team, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.”

 

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