this job is like “tell us all about you and how you fit in” (typical cover letter stuff) in a “letter, rant, attachment, video, podcast, series of tweets” and all i can think of is doing a video application a la elle woods
FYI everyone I did up a two-page cover letter template for job applicants. Page one explains the content, page two is an example.
Sorry it’s in PDF form but that’s a little more stable and a little less likely to show up in random google text string searches.
Certainly there are many, many ways to write a cover letter; this is just one of them. The bona-fides that accompany this template are that the format and structure have actually received commentary from hiring managers – I’ve had at least two tell me I made it into the first round of phone screens based on the quality of my cover letter.
If you all don’t have a cover letter template written up so you can just fill in the blanks during a job hunt, you’re doing yourself a major disservice bc man does it look professional and it can be SO fast and easy if you do it beforehand.
This is what mine looks like:
Company Street Address
City, State, Zip
Dear Hiring Manager/Hiring Department
(pick 1 depending on how big the company sounds)
I am interested in applying for the
(Insert job position here) that was
(insert how you found the job here). My resume is included for your
My background includes extensive
customer service experience in fast-paced environments (If you were in
a lot of fast food/retail). Through those experiences I’ve
developed a large focus on customer experience and satisfaction, that
would easily fit within your company’s dedication to positive
customer relations. Insert something specific to the company’s
creed here. My skills include (relevant program/being eager to learn
new skills), (a thing you can do), and (probably something like
“reliable work pace”).
I would sincerely appreciate getting to
meet with you to talk about this opportunity further. Please feel
free to email me or call to get in contact with me. Thank you very
much for your consideration.
Your name again
Enclosure (it means a resume is
Short, sweet, to the point, and totally valid in p much any workplace. I wrote this up as a homework assignment for a business class and oh man it’s helped me out so much.
If you wanna write your own just keep the general structure the same:
1st paragraph: what the job is, how you found it, you have a resume for them
2nd paragraph: Your background, what you learned, how you would fit in, show you read a little bit abt the company, what you can do
3rd paragraph: You wanna talk abt this in an interview, call or email you, thank them for their time
You can do this, cover letters don’t have to be intimidating!
Hello! Im scared of getting a job because I feel like I'd mess up and embarrass myself. I understand that I should just do it, but i'm scared. /:
No need to feel embarrassed! The job hunt is stressful for everyone, that’s why we have written a TON of blogs about it. I’m not sure if
you mean working/resume building while you’re in school or after you graduate,
so I’ll give you some resources for both! :)
hey guys! talking from personal experience, this time of year can be super scary for anybody looking to move into the job world. whether you’re graduating soon and need to look for full time work, looking for summer internships or placements, or just looking to get a part time job to make some money over the summer, a solid cv is crucial. so i’m gonna share some of my tips below, i work in advertising, i’ve worked most of my career in sales, and even though i’m still fresh to the working world i hope i can give you guys some employment tips!
ok, so you need to put your contact details at the top of the page, name, phone number, email address, post code and sometimes nationality are all important to get out of the way first
if you have your degree grade, or expected grade, put education at the top. list your grade and the dates you studied at uni, and the grades, dates and subjects that you studied to a high level when you left school. this is less important for part time jobs so i would probably put it below the next section in those circumstances
past experience is next. list everywhere you’ve ever worked, whether it was a proper paid job, helping out at local events, tutoring, anything that can give insight into your skills and your character. put a couple bullet points for each job, explaining the tasks you did and what you learnt from them. the most important thing is to emphasise what skills you have and how you’ve proven them in the past.
i put other experience next, generally just volunteering, if you held a responsibility role in your school you can put that here too
skills & interests should be another section, talking about your non work related skills (but still relating these back to working). so for me, i talk about my creative hobbies like writing and music, which are important when applying for creative industries like advertising. i also talk about teaching myself arabic and adobe creative suite because languages are useful, design skills are useful, and most crucially taking initiative and embracing opportunities to learn are essential in any job that wants to see you grow
other people applying for the same jobs as you will not be handing in a 100% truthful cv. you don’t have to lie, and you shouldn’t ever ever lie on your cv because it’s not worth getting caught out. however, you’d be smart to jazz it up a bit.
every task you’ve undertaken in your life has taught you something, no matter how small. think about every job related thing you’ve ever done and think of a way to make it sound special.
for instance, i manually alphabetically organised a directors business cards during an internship. it was beyond boring. yet, now i talk about being a crucial support for the team, how i took initiative in collating their contacts into a brand new filing system to increase productivity speed. any dumb task can be chatted up.
sales is all about confidence, confidence, confidence. you have to believe you are a great candidate, it’ll come across in your writing
keep it to one page, max 2 if you’ve had a lot of previous roles. nobody wants to read that much. if it’s looking a bit long try reformatting to keep it all looking neat and succinct.
send it as a pdf, not as a word document. keeps it looking professional.
now, cover letters can be a real pain. i would suggest writing different ones for each application, even though making a generic one and editing it is easier. it’s worth it to show that you give a shit.
actually, all that really matters is giving a shit. talk about how great you are, and about how much you have to offer that they need in their company. you can phrase it in a non arrogant fashion, but at the end of the day a job application isn’t the place for humility.
talk about the company, talk about why you like it and why you want to be there. if you’re applying to a small company definitely chat about how great you think the business is, because chances are the people who run the company will actually see it. people who have their own company LOVE to hear people talk about loving their company and their idea.
all that really matters
be genuine, be passionate, be enthusiastic about the role, about the company and about yourself.
stay calm and focused on your goals, and believe in yourself and your abilities. don’t be afraid of being great, and don’t be afraid of letting people know it.
i really hope these could be of use to anybody, if there’s any tips you guys need for job huting let me know, i’ve done a lot of it!
So I have several followers who are working on applying to jobs right now, and by far the most common concern is “what even is a cover letter??” Now, while this post is funny and accurate, it’s not super helpful if you’re looking for specifics. So I figured I should show you mine. Now, without further ado, allow me to provide to you:
~*~ The Cover Letter of Destiny ~*~
[Name] [Address Line 1] [Address Line 2, etc] [Phone] [email]
[Right Justified - Date] (This is just standard business letter stuff)
To Whom it May Concern, [Or Mr/Ms. Hiring Person’s name, if you can find it.]
I’m delighted to submit an application for the [Job you’re applying to] position at [Company/Institution/etc]. After reading the job description I’m certain
I would bring a solid combination of [Skill 1], analytical thinking [or whatever Skill 2 is], and communication skills [This is always my Skill 3] to this position. I’m particularly attracted to this position
because I believe it will utilize the skills I have gained through my industry [or research or whatever] experience, and allow me to apply those skills in new areas.
In my role with [Company] as a [Most Relevant Position Here], I managed a
project [to do some stuff - flesh out your most important/relevant job responsibilities here]. I
specifically focused on [a thing that is the most explicitly relevant to the job posting. In fact, I creatively copy/pasted some of the job posting into this sentence, that’s how relevant it is.]. I was also responsible for [A couple of things that maybe were mentioned in the job posting, or at least show increased responsibility over time]. This gave me the
opportunity to collaborate with a variety of different team members [to achieve a goal]. Through
these and other job duties, I have gained excellent listening skills and the
ability to carry out self-directed tasks in the context of a larger team. [i’m not joking. use this phrasing it’s so great just copy it idgaf]
In my current role as a [Current Title] with [Company], I have continued to build strong skills in project management [or whatever] as well as clear oral and written communication. [Maybe this sentence describes the types of communication (or whatever skill) you do.][This sentence describes briefly the less-relevant work you do]. [This sentence ties in your less-relevant job to the job you are seeking]. These experiences have prepared me well to
succeed in a role as [Name of Position you’re applying to].
Thank you for taking the time to review my materials and
consider my application. I am excited at the prospect of applying my skills to
a [Name or category of position] with [Company], and I feel that the knowledge and
skills I have gained through my experience will be a great benefit to the team.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions as I would welcome a chance
to discuss this opportunity more. [After all, they want to hire you after reading this]
[First Name Last Name]
I hope you find this helpful in your job search! Just remember to focus on skills you learned rather than specific experiences or titles you’ve had. Don’t be afraid of inflating it too far, either. There are real useful skills underlying every job task if you look hard & get creative with your phrasing.
Feel free to send me an ask if you want any specific advice on how to spin your education/work history into the job you want, or if you want a proofreader or cheerleader or whatever. Job hunting is a bad game designed by and for a certain type of person. It’s dehumanizing and horrible even at the best of times, so I’m more than happy to help anyone find a way to beat the system. <3 <3
A curse to stop someone who has been spewing hateful speech and words and return that negativity they put out back into their life.
You Will Need:
Sea Shell (preferably a clam shell)
Black Marker or Pen
Taglock (if you can manage)
Sea Water (sea salt in water will suffice if needed)
On your small slip of paper write down your target’s name in pencil.
With your black marker write in large letters covering the name “SHUT UP!”
Crumple up the paper between your fingers, rolling it and squashing it. Put all of your frustration and anger into this action.
Place the crumpled piece of paper into your sea shell. To release more negativity and return it to the target spit onto the shell and paper. If you have a taglock place it in the shell as well.
Place your candle onto of the sea shell and light it, let it burn down and cover the shell and paper in wax
Once it is sufficiently covered take your sea water and pour it over the candle drenching it and the shell. Take the shell and bury it in the ground or into a planter. If you cannot do this then store it somewhere dark.
cleanse your space and yourself afterwards and rest.
So I was tagged by @why-animals-do-the-thing in a post about what not to say in a job interview. It’s a bit overdue, but I figured this was a good opportunity to continue some of “How to Zookeep” and give y’all some insight on interviews. I’ve actually conducted quite a lot of interviews for an entry-level position. Here are just a few Do’s and Don’ts…
General Maybe Do’s:
Wear an outfit that looks pretty nice, but don’t go too formal. You should be able to get muddy or hop a fence - just in case. Most of the time you’ll know if it’s a true working interview, but some interviews will involve a tour, meeting an animal, or other situations where you might get messy.
Show that you’ve researched the facility and the position. This is especially true for phone interviews or if you’re not from the area. If you’ve ever visited the facility, mention that. Mention specific parts of the job description and why you’re interested or why you would excel at it. I know I always make a good note if candidates reference something on our website or from the job description because it lets me know they’ve done their homework. (One time a candidate quoted something verbatim and it was a little jarring only because I wrote that part of the website and it was strange to hear someone quote me).
If at all possible, have specific examples from your past experiences that you can talk about. These could be examples of training, working well with others, strengths & weaknesses, general animal care, etc. Try to be able to tell a story about when you worked around a training difficulty or resolved an issue with a coworker. And yes, have a real answer for “strengths and weaknesses”.
Try to use the most ‘updated’ zoo language you can. Zoo terminology changes so fast it’s hard to keep up. Try to use some of the research (website and job description) to see what kind of language this particular facility uses and attempt to mirror it. Examples are “in human care” instead of captivity or “habitat / enclosure” instead of cage/exhibit. It’s just a bonus way to make a good impression.
General Maybe Don’ts:
Don’t get political. This is what @why-animals-do-the-thing was asked about - mentioning animal rights activist groups in the interview. Unless you are completely sure that it is specifically relevant to the position try not to get into any heavy areas of debate, any controversial news stories (think Harambe), or politically charged organizations like PETA, HSUS, etc. And even though you might think that everyone in the zoo world agrees that US politics are terrible for zoos/the environment or something along those lines, a job interview is not the time to mention it.
Don’t ask for tips about a specific facility on a public forum. It’s important to do research, but this one crosses a bit of a professional line. I would advise against going on any public forum (like the facebook groups You Know You’re a Zookeeper When and Zookreepers) and asking for interview advice about a certain facility. Most people won’t want to comment publicly about their facility as it can be seen as unprofessional and a lot of their coworkers will see it. Most of the time the research you need can be done on the website and with some googling, but if you feel you just need to talk to someone who works there, try flexing your networking muscle a bit.
Don’t say you love animals. This sounds contradictory but hear me out here - this job is about much more than loving animals. A lot of interviewers are used to hearing this answer or seeing it in cover letters of people who think that liking animals is all you have to do for a job. Yes, you love animals, we know that. But what do you love about working with them? Do you like enrichment, exhibit design, training? What do you love about the career of zookeeper / aquarist / etc? It’s important to go beyond the surface of just wanting to be around animals and go into the details of how you will improve their lives when you literally have their lives in your hands. I’ve heard from a lot of interviewers that they’re tired of hearing about ‘passion’, they want to hear about action. They want to hear about cleaning, hard work, the real nitty-gritty of the job. This don’t also leads to a general tip (what if you don’t have examples of what you like yet?)
Here’s a common problem: you’re applying for your first entry-level position and you don’t have any animal experience yet. What do you talk about? Here’s some ideas:
Academic research or fieldwork - did you go on birding trips? Did you do mist-netting? Have you worked in a lab that uses live animals? Those things can be beginner animal experience.
Volunteering - zoos, vet clinics, etc.
Formal domestic animal experience - even if it’s not with exotic animals, the basics of caring for small domestics (cats, dogs, rodents, fish, etc.) in a formal setting (vet, pet store, rescue) has some aspects that apply in zoos, such as restraint and medical care.
Personal pets (very carefully) - It’s not that personal pet experience isn’t helpful when you’re just starting out, but sometimes newer keepers come in with an idea that their pet experience is on the same level as caring for animals in a formal career setting. It is not. Caring for your own animal in your own home is VERY different from caring for it in a zoo, aquarium, vet’s office, etc. In a formal setting, there are legal guidelines to follow, teams of people to communicate with about animal care, and lots of formality/red tape that doesn’t exist in a home setting. Pets can be useful as examples in interviews if it is relevant (medicating, enrichment, restraint) but they are almost never seen as an actual qualification. Side note, please don’t list personal pet care on a resume.
Overall in an interview, you want to try to be as collected and confident as possible. BUT if you get nervous and you’re really struggling, just tell us! It’s better to just laugh a bit and say sorry, I’m nervous, than to completely freeze up. I have done plenty of interviews where the person is nervous and that’s okay. I’ve hired people who were nervous or misspoke in their interview.
If you have any other questions, feel free to drop me a line. I’ve interviewed and hired people for just three years now, so I may not be particularly seasoned, but I can lend a little of my expertise.
By Carolyn Zimatore, Director, Talent Management at HarperCollins Publishers
My five-year anniversary with HarperCollins has come and gone. On top of that I celebrated my ten-year anniversary in book publishing this past March, and I still have to pinch myself sometimes because every day I get to work with such intelligent, creative, and passionate people. Book publishing is a very special industry—you get into it because you love books, you care about them, you love talking about them, you love how they feel,you love how they make you feel. That’s why to me, whose primary job function is to hire people into book publishing, the cover letter is so very important.
Here are some great reasons why you should submit a well-written, well-thought-out cover letter each and every time you apply for a job in publishing.
We want to know the “why”
Why do you want to work at HarperCollins? Why are you interested in working on, let’s say, romance novels, if that’s the job you are applying for? Why do you want to be an editor? I don’t like to think of publishing as just a job. It’s a career, and it’s full of people who LOVE books. We want to know that you love books, too.
This is especially important if you have no publishing experience, or you are looking to switch industries. Prove to me that you aren’t just going to indeed.com and applying to every opening that has the word “marketing” in the title. It’s fine if that’s how you found the job opening, but we want to know you are excited about the prospect of marketing books.
It is also great if you write about why you are interested in the imprint or genre the job works with. It helps if you already have a love of informative, beautifully designed books if you are applying to a job with HarperDesign, for example.
I am not sure which is worse: a generic cover letter that says “I would like the open position at your company” without any mention of what the company is or what the job is or why you want the job, or no cover letter at all.
Interested in multiple job openings?
That’s great! You should apply for them—but there has to be a reason why, let’s say, you like subsidiary rights and design. What aspects of those jobs, based on your knowledge of them or on what you read in the job ad, do you think you would like?
And you should be submitting a separate cover letter for EACH. Why? Because they are different jobs! In the second paragraph of your cover letter, I should know why you are qualified for the job. Do you have experience doing some of the things that you would be doing in the role? Address it! Even if it is not spot-on but a transferrable skill—explain it.
Address any holes in your resume.
Don’t live in the area? We tend to fill jobs very quickly, so if you are planning on taking a month or more to move to the NYC area AFTER you get a job offer, it is going to take you a long time and a lot of applications before you find something. But perhaps you have a friend who already lives in the area and he or she said you can crash at their place for a few weeks while you find your own apartment—note that in the cover letter! You can say “while I currently reside in ___, I have a place to stay and I would be able to start within two weeks of an accepted offer.”
Look, I know applying to jobs is incredibly stressful, and doing it right can be very time-consuming. That being said, putting extra effort into your cover letter—at least when it comes to applying for jobs in publishing—will really pay off.
The resume does not tell your whole story—you see what I did there?—use your cover letter to show your interest the job and why you are qualified for it.
Good luck, and I hope to read your cover letter in the future!