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Writing that all important cover letter?

Hi all,

I am a little stuck on writing my cover letter, and really need some tips or would love to see some example of what a good cover letter should look like. Writing is not one of my fortes and I have trouble trying to articulate myself. I would really appreciate it if someone could be of help.

If you can help thank you kindly, and if not thanks for having taken the time to read my post.

Replies

  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 15
    Personally I don't think cover letters matter that much. Especially in emails. Basically your email should be your cover letter. I've talk to people that attach their resume and cover letter to the email. I don't care for that. Seems like a lot to attach. Just attach the resume and use the email body as your cover letter. Basically something like:

    "I saw a posting here for a blank position with your super sweet company. I would like to submit my resume and portfolio for consideration.

    What your last job was and how kick ass you were at it. Any other previous jobs that relate to the position you're applying for. Anything else that's kick ass about you that they need to know.

    Thanks for taking the time to look at my awesome portfolio. I look forward to hearing more about the position from you. Thank you for your consideration."

    If I was going to snail mail I would probably be a bit more formal and maybe not use super sweet company. But basically keep it simple. Remember that if it gets past HR that some art person will read it so don't use big words.

    Sure other people will have different opinions or this though.
  • poopinmymouth
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    poopinmymouth polycounter lvl 14
    I normally keep my cover letters short and sweet. I try to have the initial sentance or two customized for the company in question, and put my portfolio link fairly early on. I know if I were to get a cover letter, I'd click on the links first, and not read the letter till I saw how good the art was.

    Just be sure to mention, your name, the company's name, the position you are applying for, and a link to your artwork (if it's an art position).

    One thing I do, is make the subject line of the email, the postion, with my name in it. Character Artist: Ben Mathis
    This way they can easily find it in their inbox at a later time.

    poop.gif
  • AstroZombie
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    AstroZombie polycounter lvl 15
    Dear Baby,

    Welcome to dumpsville, population: you.

    PS - I am gay.




    Seriously though, I was always told to break it into 3 paragraphs:

    1. Introduce yourself and the position you are interested in and, if applicable, where you heard about the position. I always named the company by name that I was applying with as well, i.e.

    I saw on [where you saw the posting] that [company name] is currently seeking a [job title]. I am attaching my resume and including a link to my on-line portfolio in interest of joining the team at [company name]

    2. Talk about your experience. Mention any shipped titles or mod work.

    3. Closing

    thank you for your time and consideration .... you can view my portfolio at [link], yadda, yadda

    [edit]
    heh, I was typing this up at the same time as poop and jeffro. But essentially, yea, what they said wink.gif
  • danr
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    danr interpolator
    i can't stand the rambling, indulgent mission statements that people tend to substitute for cover letters these days. All relevant info should be contained in your resume and showreel anyway, whats the point in stating it twice? Had an application the other day that had the mission statement attached in a separate doc, this is the way to go if you don't have much to put in your resume and are insistent on gabbing on about yerself ...

    Short, sweet, well-written, polite (without being fawning), and basically nothing more than : "hello you, i'm me, find my stuff attached, i can do this and this and can help you out, look forward to hearing from you".

    For the love of god don't get the company name wrong, like also happened recently. Especially if you're going to gush about how great the compnay is. Goddamn.
  • Paul Jaquays
    Proof your letter for spelling, grammar, and good use of the English language (assuming you applying to a company that uses English). Since writing is not your forte, have someone who you know can turn a good phrase and see errors in language use give your letter (and your resume/cv for that matter) a look over. One of the positive traits I look at in job candidates is attention to detail. Getting spelling and word usage right is one of those details that matter (to me). It says "I pay attention to detail and double check ALL my work." Poor language usage in something as important as a component in a job application screams "I am sloppy and lazy." to me (completely ignoring that it also screams poorly educated and perhaps even stupid). But that's just me.
  • PaK
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    PaK polycounter lvl 12
    Cover letters become more important as your responsibilities increase. Cover letter is also about matching a job to a candidate quickly:

    -this is who I am
    -this is what I'm looking for
    -this is what I can do

    I try and make my cover letters as short as possible.

    -R
  • Slayerjerman
    For fucks sake, SPELL CHECK. I cant stress that enough.

    Even if english is your second language, then get someone who speaks english to check it for grammer and such. (or attempt to use MS Word)
    I get annoyed trying to read garbled english email/coverletters sent by some dude from korea looking for a job I dont have to give.

    And get straight to the point, yeah you want the job, otherwise why would i be reading your CV/resume, but be specific and concise of why YOU are the person to choose.
  • swampbug
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    swampbug polycounter lvl 12
    Isn't spelling just silly? If yuo kuldant undatand me thand it woudlm be ismposdon;e to dhier somethine.


    Edited by swampbug (01/16/06 01:22 PM)
    Edited by swampbug (01/16/06 01:23 PM)
    Edited by swampbug (01/16/06 01:24 PM)
    Edited by swampbug (01/16/06 01:25 PM)
  • Rick Stirling
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    Rick Stirling polycounter lvl 14
    Not only get the company name correct, but the games they have made and the country they are in. And yes, I have seen both mistakes in the past.

    Tell the reader why they consider you, by selling yourself, but try not to come across as an arrogant dick: "I feel your company will be a much better place with me as an artist".
  • okkun
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    okkun polycounter lvl 15
    Some of the best contractors I've used couldn't spell for shit. BTW. it's "Grammar" wink.gif
  • FEMTO
    Thanks a lot people...many helpful things to consider on this thread. I really appreciate your help! thanks!
  • Jay Evans
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    Jay Evans polycounter lvl 15
    I have seen 3 cover letters at our office with the wrong company written in it. So ummmm.. don't do that. I know there is a lot of 3d companies with the word "Digital" in them, but you would think it's something you would double check.
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 15
    Another thing is remember to proof read. I remember one I sent out I put, "I would love to do a part of your team." Needless to say I actually got a call back on that one. But things didn't work out and I never got a chance to do or be a part of their team.
  • Downsizer
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    Downsizer polycounter lvl 14
    Actually never start it with "I". First sentance should draw them in with experience and wants. I don't work as an artist so this example is an altered version of my CL template. I've never been refused for an interview, nor ever not offered the position in an interview. Forgive me for saying 'nor ever not', it's 8.5am...

    Example:

    "With over # years of hands on experience with '3D Modeling Package' and 'Mod/Shipped Titles/Whatever', I am looking for a postion to harness and cultivate my current skill sets in 'character modeling/environment design/whatever'. I know I can make an immediate contribution to 'Company', and I thank you for your consideration regarding the position of 'Position'.

    Attached is my most current resume in 'blah format', and you will find work examples at 'web address or attach art test etc'."

  • Slayerjerman
    yeah....GRAMMAR! I did that to prove a point...erm yeah!
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