From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

June 2020
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Items found in Cover Letter Review
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 9:39 am


Attached is a cover letter I wrote for a job that
was referred to me.  Of course each cover letter
will have its own feel related to the specific
job and company. I just want to see if it is an
improvement and that I am headed in the
right direction. Thank you


Bill Smith                                                March 5, 2007
Senior Recruiter
B.K. Smith and Associates
Marietta, TX

Dear Mr. Smith,

This letter is in response to a Senior Research
Electrochemist (NES 1011) position that was
referred to me recently by a recruiter. I
understand that you seek an individual to
examine corrosion effects upon metal
surfaces to determine inhibitor actions. I hope
you agree that my experience and qualifications
meet your needs.

While performing my doctoral research I
examined mostly polymer surfaces/interfaces.
My experience lies in surface and thin film
characterization, and elemental and molecular
identification. In addition, I have worked
with corrosion inhibitors used as additives
in solutions to slow oxidation of surfaces.
This background in surface/interface
science would allow me to closely
examine and offer an in-depth
understanding of processes occurring
at the deposit/metal surface interface in
conjunction with electrochemical data.
Also my proven track record of experimental
design and method development would be
a great asset to the work in the area of
developing new electrochemical techniques.

My PhD from the University of M
refined my ability to think critically and
to approach problems from an intellectual
and strategic framework. At the same time
my work with scientists and engineers
at EFG and SCC allowed me to solve
problems related to surfaces/interfaces
in industry. These experiences have taught
me the importance of teamwork and good
communication. I have learned to collaborate
effectively with researchers who have many
different personalities and work styles.

To give you a better sense of my
qualifications I have attached my resume.
I would greatly appreciate any opportunities
to discuss this opportunity with you further
and appreciate your kind and thoughtful
review of my credentials.

Thank you for your consideration.




2 Responses to “Items found in Cover Letter Review”

  1. site admin Says:

    This was a difficult letter to respond to without
    being very critical. But if I were the hiring manager
    it would go in the round file.

    If I were the author, I would need and want all
    the improvement tips to make this a terrific
    introduction to the company, which it is in
    many cases.

    This is a seemingly nice sounding letter. But,
    it missed the mark on several major scores.
    Did you pick them up?

    1. How do you like the informal tone of the
    recipient heading?
     Should it be more formal– like, Mr. Bill Smith?

    2. Was the essential and positive information
    right up-top telling what WC seeks?
     Prefer: RE: Senior Electrochemist R011, directly
    below the heading in white space. Then I think
    the first paragraph needs major revision–
    network information about the company, who
    works there, recent news items. Positive vibes
    revealing enthusiasm and having done homework
    on the company need to be here.

    3. How many “I’s” did you count? In four paras
    my count was 9.

     This did not reveal ’superior communication skills’.
    This phrase in Para 3 should be eliminated. The
    skills need to be clearly demonstrated…not written.

    4. The letter does not “make the case” for the
    person to be offered a screening interview.

     Specific provision of how this person meets or
    exceeds each of the job description items would
    be a better 2nd para.

    5. The final para does not deliver a closing on
    the sale of this person.

     It needs a specific close on what will hapen next.
    The close is ‘iffy’, at best.

    The response was to propose these and other
    suggestions in an edited Word document.
    Please read the next Replies for other material on
    this case.

  2. site admin Says:
    This case is developing in a less the optimum fashion.
    So, for consultees reading this, it is helpful to share
    the behaviors.

    When a recommendation was returned to WC, he
    has not replied to show that he learned, agreed,
    and implemented, or read, disagreed and did not

    This suggests that he may not have liked the
    comments. The comments could have been too
    harsh sounding, or even mis-understood.

    Email is strange that way. So, we collaborated on
    a resume, cover letter, research summary and
    strategy. In each case it was a proverbial
    ‘black hole’– info returned and lost forever.
    Not even a recognition.

    This makes it hard for the mentor for (s)he
    does not learn in the process. Each member
    case is a learning opportunity

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