A Recent Grad Lands a Newspaper Admin Job: Cover Letters That Worked

Writing a great cover letter is more of a black magic than anything else, it seems. They’re so personal. Everyone has their own style. With that in mind, we’d like to present cover letters that worked – anything that helped a job seeker land that dream position in media.

If you have a cover letter that worked for you, send it our way. We’ll anonymize it and share it with the world so we can learn from your literary stylings.

This first one lays it on a little thick, but helped a fresh-faced college grad land an entry-level position at a major metropolitan newspaper:

Dear ****:

Though sorting mail and data entry aren’t ranked among the world’s most glamorous tasks, I think it matters who one’s sorting mail for. Therefore, it’d be an absolute honor to become an **** for ****.

I’m energetic, eager, willing to learn, and not above doing anything. If that’s not enough, I’ve listed some of the qualities a *** needs and explained why I fit the bill in the table below.[Ed. note: see bottom for explanation]

Attention to detail, dependable follow-through I’ve completed two journalism internships, one at a financial trade publication and the other at ***. Since then, I’ve been freelancing. Without an eye for details, I don’t get the job, I don’t get the story right, and I don’t get paid.
Good phone manner I had to cultivate a phone manner to survive telephone interviews. In fact, I’ve been praised for my telephone manner by supervisors and colleagues on many occasions.
Computer skills My parents have a shaky Camcorder recording of me at 4 playing with an IBM, and I’ve been using computers since then. In practical terms, though, I know Word (and the rest of Office), Google tricks, most of the Adobe suite (in case you need anyone with Photoshop or InDesign knowledge), and HTML/CSS. I’m more familiar with Outlook than Lotus but can use both programs.
Cheerful When I’m feeling good, I sing or hum. I sing a lot. Ergo, I’m a pretty cheerful person (and probably kind of annoying, come to think of it).

Can we schedule a time to meet in person and talk about the job? I’ll give you a call in about a week, after you’ve had a chance to look at the enclosed resume, to find out what time’s convenient for you. If you have any questions for me before then, please don’t hesitate to call me at **** (my phone number’s not local, but I am!). Thanks in advance for your time and consideration, and I sincerely look forward to meeting with you.

And I promise not to sing.



Editor’s Note: The job ad had listed a certain number of desired characteristics, which is what the job seeker drew on to create the table.