Be Personable, Not a “Personality”

Genevieve commented on Tuesday’s post about cover letters:

I can’t tell you how many resumes I get that have an overly familiar, joking type of “cover letter” where the writer tries to be witty. Things like “Coming soon to a set near you!” and the entire cover letter is themed like that. I had one submitted like a script where they wrote out how their job interview would go.

They go straight into the trash.

Oh, God, I hope none of my readers took that from my post. Let me be clear: a cover letter is not the time to try out your open mic material.

It’s nice you have a sense of humor, but we need to know you’re serious about a job first.

The best submissions have the position listed in the subject line, a cover letter that introduces the person with a bit of background (that applies to the position!) and has a resume attached. I tend to keep those ones on file for future productions too.

This is exactly correct. Your cover “letter” is the body of your email.1 It should be direct, to the point, and tailored to the specific job you’re applying to. If you do those things, your cover letter can’t help but reflect your personality. It’ll demonstrate what you think is important.

Don’t try to be cute, or “entertaining.” Be yourself, and you’ll get the job.

Unless you’re an asshole. Try not to be such an asshole, next time.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Unless otherwise specified.
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2 Responses

  1. It is essential to research and find to whom to address your letter, and by extension your résumé. You’ve got to make the calls. Even if the names are in the published listing, call to confirm the name and spelling, making sure you find out who you are talking to at the production office.


  2. Every job I’ve had, I’ve never had a cover sheet or letter. I’ve actually been with the UPM who just rips any cover letters off and throws them away, because they’re interested in the AMOUNT of jobs in the past.

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