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Profesional Monkeys -> coverletter help

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
A management position has opened at another state agency and I'm going to apply for it; I meet all of the criteria, but I know I will be competing against more seasoned employees. I'm working on my MBA, but I won't have it finished until June. I was thinking about starting out with my Systems Analyst experience, then talking about my MBA and how it is helping me develop the skills needed for management and then I was thinking about finishing with some leadership experience I have from running a non-profit mountain bike team. What do you think? Should I leave off the mountain bike part? Can my cover letter be more than a page, or is that not PC? I think I can make the sale if I can get an interview.
 

DRB

unemployed bum
Oct 24, 2002
15,243
0
Watchin' you. Writing it all down.
I wouldn't make your cover letter too lengthy. Just stick to a few high points and other bits of fluff. I'd leave the details for the resume.

Do you have any sort of "in"? The unfortunate truth is that someone knowing you is more important than your resume/cover letter.

While the leadership of the mountain bike team maybe actual experience, I'm not sure that you can effectively communicate that to someone that most likely views it as a hobby that won't translate. Any experience from the MBA program would probably carry more weight.
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
I wouldn't make your cover letter too lengthy. Just stick to a few high points and other bits of fluff. I'd leave the details for the resume.

Do you have any sort of "in"? The unfortunate truth is that someone knowing you is more important than your resume/cover letter.

While the leadership of the mountain bike team maybe actual experience, I'm not sure that you can effectively communicate that to someone that most likely views it as a hobby that won't translate. Any experience from the MBA program would probably carry more weight.
Unfortunately I don't have an in, but the State is having serious problems finding, and retaining, good employees (I'm a good one, so I'm told). My current department has a good reputation and I think they would be happy to steal someone away. As for the cover letter I'll stick to prof. exp. and my MBA program (I'll even leave out the bondage website I run)
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,847
4,196
In a van.... down by the river
Unfortunately I don't have an in, but the State is having serious problems finding, and retaining, good employees (I'm a good one, so I'm told). My current department has a good reputation and I think they would be happy to steal someone away. As for the cover letter I'll stick to prof. exp. and my MBA program (I'll even leave out the bondage website I run)
You're in IT?
 

DRB

unemployed bum
Oct 24, 2002
15,243
0
Watchin' you. Writing it all down.
Unfortunately I don't have an in, but the State is having serious problems finding, and retaining, good employees (I'm a good one, so I'm told). My current department has a good reputation and I think they would be happy to steal someone away. As for the cover letter I'll stick to prof. exp. and my MBA program (I'll even leave out the bondage website I run)
If your department has a good rep, then definitely make that a big part of your cover letter.

Is the hiring manager (or an internal recruiter / HR person) listed with the posting? Maybe an email or phone call might be useful to at least get your name in their head. Of course if it says don't contact...
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
You're in IT?
Yup...I end up doing a lot of business analysis, but I do a lot of the programming myself. I use lower down programmers for the stuff I don't want to do :) I was shat on when I started, now it's my turn
 

Austin Bike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 26, 2003
1,559
0
Duh, Austin
Short cover letter. It should cover WHY they want to hire you, what you can bring to the party, not what your qualifications are (that's what a resume is for.)

The mountain bike experience is probably a net negative.

If they are a mountain biker it is a positive.

If they are a roadie it is neutral at best.

If they ride horses it is a negative.

If they do none of these things it could be viewed as a liability (he's gonna want to be riding when I want him to work....)

If you want th full list of advice, go here:

http://www.austinbike.com/files/career_advice.doc

Yeah, it's a word doc, been too lazy to turn it into a web page.
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
Maybe I'm wrong, but I always viewed the coverletter as the sales pitch on why you're the best person for the job and how you'll fit the organizations needs; then the resume had the technical nitty gritty about the project you've worked on, employment history, and technology background.
 
Maybe I'm wrong, but I always viewed the coverletter as the sales pitch on why you're the best person for the job and how you'll fit the organizations needs; then the resume had the technical nitty gritty about the project you've worked on, employment history, and technology background.
One thing I've always tried to do and tell others to do is find something out about the company - SPECIFICALLY and state why you'd be a good match.

IE: "I read the recent article about your CEO in _____ and I was pleased to see ___" blah blah blah

Tell them you know about them and what they are up to so to speak. Does that make sense?
 

Durt

Chimp
Nov 28, 2007
59
0
The purpose of the cover letter is to show how your skills match up with their required qualifications. Stick to that and keep it short. The interview is where you discuss things in detail and where you could talk about your experience managing the team. The interviewer may be clueless about biking so you have to relate those skills to the professional world, i.e. managing a budget, leading/coaching personnel, taking initiative, etc.
 

TN

Hey baby, want a hot dog?
Jul 9, 2002
14,257
1,334
Jimtown, CO
Hand write it in crayon on a brown paper bag.
no.....try an interpretive piece of your skill-set with finger paints on your naked body while doing an energy channeling body movement ritual to Tony Bennet's "Steppin' Out with My Baby.".

You can thank me later.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,847
4,196
In a van.... down by the river
no.....try an interpretive piece of your skill-set with finger paints on your naked body while doing an energy channeling body movement ritual to Tony Bennet's "Steppin' Out with My Baby.".

You can thank me later.
You're SUCH a yuppie. Are you headed to yoga class on your lunch hour today? :rolleyes: :busted:
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
no.....try an interpretive piece of your skill-set with finger paints on your naked body while doing an energy channeling body movement ritual to Tony Bennet's "Steppin' Out with My Baby.".

You can thank me later.
I was actually thinking about doing the brown bag with my skills listed and then putting it on the office steps and lighting it on fire with poo in it. This way it gets their attention, and gives them a little surprise when they stomp it out. I was going to use my own poo to show dedication to the cause
 
The purpose of the cover letter is to show how your skills match up with their required qualifications. Stick to that and keep it short...
Yeah. The cover letter just helps the screener to decide how much attention to pay to the resume.

Mountain biking stuff is not helpful in either place unless it clearly addresses a job requirement.

In an interview it might or might not be a useful nugget to drop in.
 

SquadraCorse

Monkey
Jul 25, 2007
300
0
Ridgefield CT
The following is an example of one of my cover letters. What has always worked for me is short, brief, professional. Leave the load of BS to the resume. Nobody sifting through a stack of 100 applicants is going to take the time to read some lengthy thing on why you're the best.

Dear ________,

Please find my CV attached.

I am a BS graduate in mechanical engineering; currently working as a lead Formula BMW race mechanic here in Indianapolis. However, my real technical and career interests are in motor sport engineering and design. I would like to get more hands on experience in fabrication and design with composite materials, and feel Aerodine may be the ideal place to achieve this. I have extensive experience in mechanical design, solid modeling, and project management, plus hands on experience with a variety of race cars. I am used to high pressure design environments and feel that I would be a valuable asset should a position at Aerodine arise. I look forward to hearing from you and to the possibility of making a contribution to the Aerodine team.

Sincerely,
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
I didn't use any cycling related stuff on my coverletter, but I did have an interview recently where it came up. It was my second interview for a project manager position and they asked me to talk about a time when I had to define my own project and track the progress (being a govy worker most of our work is a demand by the legislature). I used cycling/racing as my example and talked about the milestones I set for the different phases of my training through the year and the deliverables (Conconi tests); it went over really well. I didn't get the position, but I made it through two rounds of interviews.