It’s always a good time when you are staring at a blank screen, wondering where to start. You got your resume written, revised it multiple times and finally polished it to the point of perfection. You felt really, really good about that… for about two days. Then you realized: The Cover Letter. A new mountain to climb, a new writing style to master. Forget it, you think, I’ll watch some funny cat videos instead…
Not so fast! If you want a decent job or internship you are going to have to come to grips with writing a cover letter sooner or later. It had might as well be sooner, right? And since a picture (or an example) is worth a thousand words, I’ve provided one, below. And because this whole cover letter writing business is so miserable to start with, I’ve taken a little artistic liberty and gone to Hollywood to craft my sample. Enjoy!
22 Your Street
Los Angeles, CA 22222
March 4, 20–
Ms. Christina Aguilera
11 Hollywood Ave
Hollywood, CA 11111
Dear Ms. Aguilera:
While chatting recently with Lydia Johnson, nanny to Sandra Bullock’s son Louis, I learned that you are seeking a new nanny for your son, Max, and soon-to-be newborn baby. Knowing of my extensive background caring for children from the newborn stage up through the early teen years, Lydia thought that I would be perfect for this position. My current employers, Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford, have decided that their son Liam, at age 13, no longer needs a full-time nanny and thus I was thrilled to hear of this opening in your household.
Lydia tells me that you are looking for an energetic, active nanny who preferably is fluent in Spanish and English. As an avid runner and yoga student since my days at the University of Mary Washington, I am definitely fit and active; ready to keep up with your son and also care for your newborn. My undergraduate minor in Spanish and time spent helping Liam with his homework (he attends an immersion program intended to foster fluency in Spanish) mean that I am near-fluent in Spanish. I also took many trips to South and Central America with the Flockhart/Ford family where I became very familiar with Latino culture and customs.
Before holding this job, I was employed for three years by Heidi Klum. In that time Ms. Klum had two babies and thus I am also very familiar and comfortable caring for infants and toddlers. I know that your career entails a good deal of travel and understand that you like to bring your son along as much as possible. Thanks to my years working with the Flockhart/Ford and Klum families (and before that, as an au pair for three summers while in college), I am familiar with the ups and downs of travelling with children and have excellent abilities in terms of being flexible to your requirements while also meeting their needs and keeping their routine as consistent as possible.
Attached is a copy of my resume with more details on my professional childcare background. I look forward to hearing back from you and hope that we can meet soon for an interview.
Note: This letter incorporates a contact name and some implied relationship. Apparently, Lydia knows Ms. Aguilera (or at any rate knows her current nanny) and has the inside scoop on her childcare opening. She is providing an indirect referral of the applicant by sharing this information. Any time you have an indirect referral be sure to mention the person’s name in the very first paragraph (if not the first sentence) of your cover letter. (To be on the safe side, clear this with them before you write the letter, though). This use of a familiar name will establish a connection between you and the prospective employer that might otherwise not exist and will help to make your letter stand out from the rest.
Please note: due to formatting that I could not overcome (learning curve, people, learning curve!) the addresses came out double spaced. In reality, they should be single spaced within each address with a double space between the letter’s date and the recipient’s address.
Next blog post: a “cold” cover letter (no implied relationship).
Disclaimer: All the above is fictional! Yes, Calista Flockhart has a son named Liam. But does he study Spanish and has he outgrown a full-time nanny? I have no idea! And yes, Christina Aguilera has a son named Max and, as of this writing, is expecting a baby. But is she seeking a nanny? Again, no clue here!
And oh yes, I agree, Christina Aguilera would no doubt have an assistant vet the applications for a nanny position. So let’s assume this one made the first cut and is being considered by the star herself, in some alternate universe! Good luck, Gabrielle!