I had planned on publishing a post about crafting a resume out of nothing (ie, no work experience) today...but while looking through old emails I came across the first cover letter I ever wrote. I'll admit, I'm a little embarrassed at some of the things I wrote in it - it's clear I didn't quite know what I was doing and probably didn't have anyone proofread it for me. But after listening to me read it aloud tonight, my husband commented (after he stopped chuckling at me), that "hey, you would totally hire you!" And he's right. I get a lot of applications from eager young graduates who are new to the job world and this is just the kind of cover letter that makes me smile (and yes, giggle a little). So, I've decided to share my cover letter with you...along with my observations and comments having read it today (those will be in red). Enjoy!
from Kate Retzer
date Wed, Jul 6, 2005 at 10:05 AM
subject Community Campaign Coordinator
Jennifer Gann, (Wow, first AND last name, huh? And no salutation? Feels a little direct to me now!)
I read about your position in the Santa Barbara News Press (Wow, back when people still posted jobs on newspapers websites!) and am very interested! I think my particular skill set (where on earth did I hear this phrase? I feel like "skill set" is a much more common term now) and interests would be a strong fit for your organization.
I am a recent graduate from Westmont College, where I graduated with a 3.68 GPA, and am currently assisting in event planning in the Alumniand Parent Relations department. (Graduate where I graduated? A little redundant. And I can't believe that I share my GPA. Oh, sweet little innocent college grad...no one really cares about your GPA unless it's much higher than that! And I'm surprised that I didn't talk more about that internship - that was definitely the most relevant experience that I had.) While at Westmont, I truly developed my event planning skills through job shadowing with the Campus Pastor, coordinating section and dorm events as a Resident Assistance, and directing "Preview Days" as a Housing Ambassador Intern with the Admissions department. (There's some embellishment happening here. While I interned with our campus pastor, I really don't think a job-shadowed him or learned anything about event planning in that position! Gotcha, 21 year old Kate.)
I am a classic multi-tasker (WHAT? CLASSIC? As opposed to what? A modern multi-tasker? Do I plunk away at a typewriter while answering a rotary phone??) and love having specific projects to plan and details to manage. (This would be a good time to talk about a particular success. Although maybe I didn't have any yet!) I love working with others but am also a self-starter (one of my dad's favorite terms...nice) and able to handle projects without needing to be constantly monitored (when I read this sort of thing now in a cover letter it makes me think the person is a little defensive. Today I'd phrase this a little differently.) I am young and enthusiastic (AW, I can't believe that I actually said that I was young in my cover letter!! But there's something very endearing and fresh-faced about that...it still makes me smile.) but also have the experience to plan successful and creative events (not really, but I'm trying to create a lot of experience out of a few semi-related projects!).
I look forward to hearing from you and hope that we can meet to discuss the position soon. Thank you for the opportunity. (Solid wrap-up, if I do say so myself...)
Kate Retzer (Aw, my maiden name! I miss you, Retzer!)
I guess the moral of the story is that we all have to start from somewhere! The best part of this cover letter? I forgot to attach my resume and had to send a follow-up email to her! Tee hee - whoops!
(Oh, by the way, I got the job - I guess this letter wasn't all bad, after all!)