Legal Secretary Cover Letter :
Encouraged by seeing his strengths, but mindful of potential pitfalls, he drafted his text. He is using a generic approach for his draft and indicating items that would be changed to meet specific situations by inserting brackets or blank spaces. Let's read his draft prototype and then see how it might be improved.
Let's start with the credibility gap. Could he, a student of the classics, convince someone that he has the tools and the motivation to work in an intensely competitive, unsentimental business such as banking? There may be a perception that classics majors are enamored of philosophical issues and would view banking as mundane or even crass.
I believe that the substance of his letter bridges the gap. He has identified skills needed in banking, indicated that he has researched the field (and will research the firm). Further, his motivation seems reasonable for liberal arts major, yet consistent with how the industry might see itself.
As for positive characteristics, he has identified those the bank needs that he offers. Good idea. His examples support the characteristics he claims to have. Further, by referring several times to work experiences, he is showing that he knows that banking does not hire based on academic excellence alone.
How about his opening line about Cicero? The danger in using a creative opening is the possibility of sounding hokey or apologetic, either of which would turn off most readers.
There are two tests to apply. First, are you reasonably certain that your creativity will be received in a positive way? Second, is the creativity really necessary? Based on those tests, I suggested that he change his opening sentence. What is creative to one person is considered flaky by another. Besides, he had plenty of good characteristics to offer. There was no need to take a risk on an opening that might attract attention in a negative way. _
A more prosaic but more effective opening would be: "I am interested in building a career in commercial lending with [name of bank]. Let me tell you how my work experiences and academic studies will help make me an asset to your bank"
The cover letter adds to your attractiveness as a candidate in three ways.
You can give those positive characteristics of greatest interest to a particular employer more prominence in the cover letter than you did in your resume.
Through your cover letter, you can put some of your experiences in a frame of reference that more closely meets the needs of the employer.
New material :
Your cover letter can include material of interest to an employer that would be difficult to present in a resume. Your motivation for wanting to work for that particular company is an example.
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