Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Cover Letter

Dear Editor,

I have always known that I could write well. Until my recent return to the world of higher education, however, it was an unappreciated gift, one I would have gladly traded just to be able to play “Stairway to Heaven” on the guitar.

In addition to having a way with the written word, I have always been naturally curious; I never could take “no” for an answer. These qualities, backed by a nearly completed degree in government-journalism from California State University, Sacramento, are the force that drives my journalism. Ever since my first job as a newspaper delivery boy in my hometown some 30-plus years ago, the news has fascinated me. My early interest in government affairs, piqued perhaps by the Watergate scandal, would often keep me from getting my newspapers delivered on time. Now, with my skills embraced and honed through my return to college, I welcome the challenges this position can provide.

Since June 2006, I have either worked as a staff writer or freelanced for the Colfax Record and more recently, the Placer Herald. As the only staff writer for the Record, I wore many hats. I covered everything from city government to local events; law enforcement and breaking news; obituaries, business features, profiles and multi-part stories were all my responsibility. I learned that a reporter must be nimble, agile and versatile - qualities that I not only possess, but use regularly while reporting and writing the news. In my capacity as a reporter for the Record, I was also a contributor for Gold Country Media, owner of the Colfax Record, the Placer Herald and their much larger sister paper, the Auburn Journal. Breaking news in the Colfax area would often be covered in the Journal. Some of my most memorable stories were graced by publication on the front page of this daily newspaper.

Before my return to college in my early 40s, I worked in a number of different careers that could all be captured under the umbrella of “business.” From long-term employment as the marketing manager for a multi-million dollar corporation to self-employment in the transitional days of computer networking to a position running a one-man retail cellular phone store, I have had my hand in one type of business or another for some time - I know my way around.

I love what I do. I am hardworking, dedicated, flexible and tenacious; I get the job done. I am due to graduate from Sacramento State in December 2007 - my grade point average is currently 3.79. Although I still have one semester to complete, I have completed all required journalism coursework as well as some that is not required. I am ready to move on to the next challenge.

For more information or references, please contact me at your convenience.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Michael K. Althouse

26 comments:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Yeah, I wish I knew how to play Stairway, too, but I found that when I took up guitar, I had to cut my nails every single day. That put a damper on my enthusiasm REAL fast.

As for the cover letter, looks good to me! I assume you're applying for another reporting position?

Mr. Althouse said...

You assumption is correct. I have actually applied for another position using this very cover letter. Wish me luck!

Auntie Antiquity said...

Mr. A, you are hired! Super cover letter if only the youth of today could use the English language as eloquently! and I love a man with a plan!

Sara said...

Hello, Mike...Michelle sent me back!!! Hope you get the job!!!! Your cover letter looks good. I didn't realize you were from around the Auburn area...I visited out there in 1996...nice area!!

Michele said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Leigh in Atlanta said...

hey there. looking good. I hope that works out well for you

michele sent me to say hello

BreadBox said...

Mr A: I agree that you have a talent for writing: and wish you all the best of luck in your search for jobs: I will look forward to seeing your byline on pieces in the future.

As an academic (and actually and academic who thinks that far too many people go to university, especially when they are unprepared) I am curious about your experiences: did you get out of (this incarnation of) academia what you wanted to? I get the impression that you are there for more than just the credentials: are they an important part of it too? Do you feel that what you have learned has improved you as a writer? Or just improved you in personal ways that will have less impact on jobs?

Really curious,
N.

Awareness said...

Hey there Mr. Althouse....

It wasn't Michele who sent me. It was a flick of a butterfly wing.

VERY good cover letter.....I wouldn't change a word....that is my humble career consultant opinion.

Bon chance mon ami.

shoeaddict said...

Michele sent me to tell you that you impress me, too! And I was wondering what that "K" stood for too! I have a thing for the letter "K" because my name starts with it.
Do you play anything on the guitar?

flleenie said...

I love your blog. Every one of the entries that I have read is articulate and insightful. You definitely have a calling to be a writer.

Mike Davis said...

That's a great letter and there's much I can relate to,including the 'stairway' wish.

Best of luck!

Oh, Michele sent me!

Louise said...

Hey there,
If it was up to me, you would get the job straight away!!!
You go!!
L
aka: burntofferings

Hails said...

Hello, Michele sent me, but I'll be back again by myself! I love the way you write. I wish you every success with your current application!

Bev Sykes said...

Hello, Michele sent me too. Looks like we work for neighboring newspapers. I'm the theatre critic for the Davis Enterprise. Sounds like a great cover letter to me!

Bob-kat said...

Enough said! I would hire you. I only wish that some of the youn graduates I have had working for me could express themselves so eloquently!

I cannot see how that letter would fail to impress so good luck!

Michele sent me today but I was on my way anyway :)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That is a very well written cover letter. Any employer would be impressed.

Michele sent me.

BreadBox said...

Michele sent me to agree with her opinions of your letter and of you!

Good luck with the job search,
N.

Beckie said...

You're hired!

Michele sent me - well sort of - things are moving fast over there.

Dara said...

As the resident of a small town with a twice-weekly paper and an assortment of reporters falling into the good, bad, and ugly categories - I so appreciate the fact that a wordsmith of your caliber will soon be gracing the pages of a lucky town's newspaper. Congrats on the letter and do let us know what happened. Here from Michele's.

gautami tripathy said...

No one can refuse you after reading that.

Michele sent me to tell you that.

barbie2be said...

yeah, i can play stairway to heaven. i wish i could write like you do.

michele sent me.

bele said...

OK, so what do you want to do ... my employer runs a news/journalism entry scheme but its in the UK so maybe not your part of the world.

If you are interested, contact me for more info!

Michele wanted me to look at this - kismet?

Belizegial said...

hey good lookin! Your cover letter is well written and explains your past experience very well. I agree with everyone. You should get that job :)

Happy weekend,
Enid

R. Sherman said...

I think you're in.

In my business (law), I've had to hire a lot of young people. I'm more concerned with "real world" experience than academics. I think journalism is the same. I wish you luck.

Cheers.

gautami tripathy said...

Michele sent me to ask you if you got that job? If you did, do you like it?

utenzi said...

Michele sent me over again. Capricious, isn't she?

That is the best cover letter I've ever seen, Mike. My first reaction was that it was too wordy, but as I read further I realized just what a great showcasing of your writing talent it was. Superlative work.