Advice: The Basics

Sometimes when I get swamped with work I start hiring people to help me. I like to give people opportunities, and find new people to work with. I posted a status update on Facebook for anyone interested in being my Assistant Editor on a project. I gave no other details except to email me. I've gotten a few emails, but this one stuck out like a sore thumb - in a bad way. In a nutshell: If you are applying for any position (paid or pro bono) know the basics of writing a cover letter. Kids today are so lucky they can write cover letters in an email. I remember stressing out on printing my cover letter/resume on the fancy (expensive) paper! Anyway, this is what I got:

First of all, introduce yourself. Who are you? All I know is that we have one mutual friend in common. Second, what do you do? Nothing in the email states what this person does. Oh, was I supposed to guess you're an editor because the subject line reads "Editing position"? You didn't even include an editor/assistant editor reel. Huge mistake. And lastly, there is no mention or any questions regarding the project. What part of this email makes you think I'd want to click on your resume or even consider you for the position? What makes you qualified? What makes you the right candidate for the project? Just because you can edit doesn't mean you're qualified across the board. Anyway, like I said before I like to give people opportunities so out of curiosity I emailed this person back with a few skill set questions. The answers were just as bland as the first email. This person just answered one of my questions with a "yep,..." SMDH

Here are a few tips on cover letters, resumes, and reels. Start your cover letter with a "Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. Last Name or Hiring Manager" If you want to be taken seriously as a professional then be professional about it. The first few sentences should give the reader this information off the bat: your name, what you do, and what makes you qualified. As freelance creatives in the industry most of us wear multiple hats. I'm a camera operator, an editor, a motion graphic designer. I don't put all of that on my cover letter or resume. I have separate cover letters and resumes. For whatever job you're applying for make it only for that specific position. This also applies to your reel. Make separate reels. Cover letters are just as important as resumes and reels. The cover letter gives the reader a sense of who you are and not just what you are. Make them want to keep reading about you.

Remember: the cover letter is the appetizer, the resume is the main course, and the reel is the dessert.