Covering letters and emails

Your cv looks great, you’ve got your lists of contacts to send it to, you’ve seen that fantastic job on LinkedIn that requires a covering letter and cv. Then you think, blooming heck what am I going to say?

So often people rush the covering letter or email so it reads as “hi here’s my cv , I’m available for work ta!” Now I know that you wouldn’t write those exact words but the impression left is the same. THINK about what you are going to write it’s important. I know that you need to send your cv off to many contacts but tailor each email and cv to the individual you are sending it off too.

DON’T CUT AND PASTE we can tell when you’ve done this. A friend at channel four received an amazing cover letter which was ruined at the end by the line “I’m really keen to work at the BBC”. Now that’s just sloppy, so proof read and tailor accordingly. Don’t scatter gun your cv and cc an email to a whole group of contacts as it looks lazy and like you are rushing and quite frankly a bit desperate. I know it takes time to do individual emails and letters but it is worth it.

The best covering letters and emails adopt the following techniques;

Talk about the company, their output, the show “I’m a huge fan of ITV, and in particular Coronation Street….” Etc etc

Talk about how your skills and experience tie in directly to the job. If there is no job advertised then talk about how your skills fit directly into the output of that company/department. “I’m an experienced researcher used to working on fast turnover studio shows, therefore my skills closely align with the one show….”

Ask for a meeting, advice, if there is no job to apply for. “I’m developing a number of ideas about xxx that would really fit in with in with the programming at xxxx, I’d really like to buy you a coffee to get your opinion

Flatter people with your knowledge of the output, in particularly if contacting producers or execs, the knowledge about programmes they have made. Don’t be creepy or stalkerish though, “oh I googled you and I saw you were at the Prince concert last week”. No that won’t go down well.

Be yourself most importantly, don’t speak in fancy business speak, focus on your achievements, don’t be too casual or flirty, definitely no lols or text talk. Also don’t be aggressive in your emails this is not the X factor auditions, we don’t need to hear a sob story. “I’m finding it so hard to break into TV” now that may be true but have some dignity, be positive and as I like to say “know yourself!” .

If you don’t hear from people and you want to get back in touch then don’t adopt the stalker ex girlfriend routine, “I emailed you two weeks ago and you still haven’t got back to me, why haven’t you got back to me”. People are busy and maybe they should have got back to you, but by whinging and pestering it just pisses them off. So if you want to get back in touch think of a positive reason to do so, talk about their show that was on last night, talk about how you’ve updated your skills after working on a programme or completing a course. If you are emailing them again and again make sure there is something new in there other than ” hi I’m still looking for work” .

Be positive when you write your letters and emails as it sounds silly but the negativity creeps through in the writing. If you are feeling rejected and a bit low, then write down all your achievements and be proud of them. Sometimes you have to just fake it until you make it!

Good luck and start getting those covering letters and cvs out!

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