Cover Letter Number 1

So, I have been looking for full time work since the end of March. ( I also do freelancing graphic design, web design, logo design, wedding invitation design, design design, illustration, project management, community management, and will mop and fetch coffee. If you happen to, like, be looking… ) As part of this blitz on resume sending I have been on a blitz of cover letter writing. Cover letters are important, and I have always had the best results job hunting with witty cover letters. So, as part of my job hunting, I am going to start blogging my cover letters.

Please feel free to comment!

Here is one I am sending out today:

To Whom It May Concern,

Are you looking for over-educated tech-sector refugees? Want to bring
on board an employee who’s worked in start-up companies for the last
four years and is tired of the long hours and poor pay? Do you want
someone content to excel at his job, what ever it is, and to grow with
a company? If so look no further, for I am your newest hire!

Currently I am working as a freelance graphic designer and consultant.
My primary client is Shared Books Ltd, where I am working as a
technology consultant and project manager on their children’s e-book
publishing website www.sharing-books.com. The focus of my work on the
Sharing Books project has been website development, managing outsource
contractors, and marketing efforts. I have worked closely with the
management of the company and the growing community of users on the
Sharing Books website to build new feature specs, quotes, and guide
development of the website. My other clients include various web and
graphic design contracts, as well as volunteer work for various
community groups in Alberta.

Prior to working for Shared Books Ltd. I helped found a small video
game and website development company, Verse Studios, where I was in
charge of creative direction and hands-on branding and graphics
creation. Starting a company was a hands-on experience that taught me a
lot about myself and the nature of keeping a company running. It also
pushed my creative and technical boundaries as I pushed into areas of
design and project management that were new to me. Early in 2008, after
two years of hard work, I left Verse Studios as the company changed
directions and moved into a holding pattern.

In August of 2008 my wife and I moved back to Calgary, the city where
we were both raised, from Vancouver. Since then I have been working as
a freelance designer, and looking for a more stable work situation. I
am interested in finding out more about what you are looking for with
this position to see if I would be a potential fit. Though I have a lot
of experience in the design world I am not afraid of starting at an
introductory level in a company and growing over time. I absolutely
love working, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Regards,

Marcus Riedner

4 thoughts on “Cover Letter Number 1

  1. I’d be concerned about the fact you talk about the fact you’re currently (effectively) ‘employed’. Many people don’t understand that a ‘proper job’ and a freelance position can actually work together, and they’ll see you’re already doing something, interpret it as being pretty time consuming, and write you off. (Also, I’d be wary of ‘over-educated’, it gives them an easy way out.)
    I’ve received plenty of applications through my work with Games On Net, and while humour has its place, it’s a fine line between seeming ‘funny’ and appearing as an arrogant jerk. Many people who try for the former end up slipping onto the wrong side, and that’s a difficult thing to come back from.

  2. Yeah, I agree with what you are saying. I’ve also been told it sounds cynical, as if I am channelling Daria… which in a way I am. Probably not the best example of a cover letter, but I do try to find out as much as I can about a company I am interested in before sending off something, especially a cover letter like this which takes a hard-humour line to it. This one goes too far I think, considering the feedback I’m getting on it.

  3. Marcus, you sound like a sweet person, but I don’t like your cover letter. I’ll be harsh with you because you might use some of my criticism if you feel it would benefit you. I am not trying to be rude. After all, this is just a professional letter, not a piece of art.
    You come out as an underdog even though you’re desperately trying to sound like a champion. This sentence “Currently I am working as a freelance graphic designer and consultant” is terrible, especially for the start of a new paragraph. First of all, the employer wants to know what you can do for him/her (hopefully, you won’t address the hiring manager as “to whom it may concern” – find the name and refer to them as “Dear Mr. Jones/Ms. Jones,”). The employer wants to know your skills – not wat you’re doing right now. A famous plastic surgeon who took a year off to give birth and take care of her baby willnot write “I am currently working at home holding a child-rearing position,” right? Focus on your skills, projects, and achievements. If those aren’t impressive, focus on your training and the direction of your professional development. The Resume is the place for decsribing your daily duties and functions. The second paragraph of the CL is the most important, and the theme is: this is why you should hire me.
    Style: you’re a bit all over the place. Keep it simple and focus on the big stuff. People are perfectly able to read between the lines – and even worse – they remember what you didn’t say more than what you said if your letter is weak. I was reading your letter and waiting for the “Alleluia” but it never came. Instead of watering down the letter with a bunch of unimportant information, throw one big rock.
    Don’t present your skills as though you’re all proud of yourself. One thing I hate about cover letters (and chances are, other people may hate it as well) is when people are telling the reader how wonderful they are. For example: “As a staff manager at Sears, I overlooked the entire department of XYZ and coordinated the incoming merchendise orders, as well as… blah-blah-blah.” Sentences like this make me think: “You really think that’s going to impress someone?” That proud tone must go away. Show, don’t tell.
    Consider these two examples which I am making up as I go(for a sound engineer at a radio station): (1)”After working with demo bands for three years as an audio producer, I decided to invest in my own recording studio. I fullfilled my plan in 2005. With the help of my recording assistants, the studio serves local country and rock bands

  4. Hey Irene,
    Thanks for the most excellent feedback. I find writing cover letters to be an exercise in torture. Next time I’m updating my cover letter I’ll take some of this into account. Tech sector resumes and CV’s usually have some qwirks to them as well. Normally I’ve been far more successful with a witty coverletter. Things that mention Robot Overlords or Start-up Company Junkie seem particularly successful.

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