On Cronkite Day, Julie Cart, a reporter for the L.A. Times, ran a writing workshop and talked about effective cover letters.
Here are some of her tips, since I know many attaches are mailing some in some this week.
Don’t use the term “traditional journalism”-in reference to anything. It’s bad form.
Don’t say you learned to do things or you feel you can do things or any other words to premise your ability.- You did write good articles. You can do good work. Period.
Either use very general terms or use specifics that will perk the reader’s interest.
Always try to tailor your letter to the reader as much as you can.
Pitch yourself honestly, but don’t hold back.
Finally, consider your cover letter a writing sample just like a clip and make it compelling.
Also understand the competition is stiff and a job- no matter where it is- is a good start.
Good luck on your applications!
One Comment on “Cover Letter Tips from Cronkite Day”
Mary, thanks for posting this – a really helpful tip sheet. One of my biggest issues in doing a cover letter is making myself stand out in just a few short paragraphs. The point on understanding that your cover letter is the same as a writing sample is a great one (good to keep in the back of your mind). Also, I like the point of not holding back. A lot of times I try to fit too much into the mold of the position I’m applying for when really I want to make a bigger impact in the company as a whole. This gives me hope that my aspirations are a good thing!
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