Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Most Common Cover Letter Mistake

My son is trying to find a position as a Sound Engineer in the New Your City area. He has written the following summary letter. Can you please review it
My name is Brian and I have been involved with different areas of audio production for the last ten years. I began my production career with my college radio show in 1998 at WDCC. Unsatisfied with the production items available to me, I produced my own music beds, news items and station ID’s. Since then, I have produced additional radio “bits” for shows at WMCR, edited and produced a friends’ podcast, created several on-air radio demos for myself, and finally a short lived podcast of my own. Starting in 2004 I began exploring a pervious interest in recording engineering while working with a local musical act. Following up on that interest, I attended, excelled and recently graduated from the Institute Of Audio Research and have worked as an assistant production sound recordist,20boom operator and Post Production Sound Supervisor for an independent feature length movie as well as head engineer at a local recording studio.

My goal is to learn as much as I can at as many different parts of the audio industry as possible. With my background, drive, and technical proficiency you can be assured that having me on a production team will pay immediate dividends to you and your project.

After reading this, I hope that you would read through my resume and, if you like what you see, I would welcome the opportunity to interview with you at your earliest convenience. I can be reached at [phone number], as well as by email at [email address]. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Your son has made the mistake that so many job seekers make: he used his letter to summarize his resume. If he attaches his resume to this letter, there's no need to summarize it in the letter. Instead, he should use the letter to highlight how he fits into the company to which he is applying. This means he needs to research each company he's interested in, and create an individual letter to each one.

His letters should be short, and should contain short paragraphs that look quick and easy to read. In his current letter, the first paragraph is too long, making the reader's eye want to skip to a shorter paragraph on the page, or, even worse, skip reading the letter all together. Also, there's no need to announce his name in the first sentence.

Your son's experience is facinating and his resume will be interesting to the right employer. His letter simply needs to entice the employer to read the resume and consider him for an interview.

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