Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cover letters, part deux: blowing your own horn will get you nowhere

Let's continue with common mistake number two when writing a cover letter; telling a News Director how great you are.

Here's a typical letter with the News Director's thoughts in italics:

"I'm an award winning reporter..."

Yeah, everyone's got awards of some sort

"I'm a take-no-prisoners reporter who fights for the lead story..."

Geez, I sure as hell hope so

"I've broken some big stories during my two years here..."

Uh, that's what reporters do

"I'm a terrific writer..."

Says who?

Okay, got the point?

The one thing News Directors don't need is a reporter who thinks he or she is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Your current ND may think you're great, you may have a wall full of awards, you may indeed be a terrific writer, but no ND is going to believe it until you actually work in his newsroom.

Keep your cover letter modest when talking about yourself. You still want a clever cover letter, but be humble when writing it. Let your tape showcase your on-air talent. If you're as terrific as you think you are, the ND will be able to see it on your tape.

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