Helo A Fellow Doper With His Resume/Cover Letter (please) :)

I’m applying for an editorial position at a video game based publication. As the topic title might allude to, my experience with writing resumes/cover letters is next to nill, so I was hoping some of you more knowledgeable dopers might be able to assist me with what I’ve written thus far.

Anyways, here’s the cover letter and resume:
Cover Letter


June 17, 2004
Company Info
Dear ,

I have a passion for the gaming industry and enjoy nothing more than writing about my favorite hobby. My vast experience with various technological and editorial capacities makes me an ideal candidate for the Insider Editor position.

I have written articles (reviews, previews, features, etc) for several gaming centric websites, including [website name] and [website name]. I also operate my own website, [website name], designed and maintained by myself. Other skills I can bring to your organization include:

  • Years of HTML knowledge
  • Experience with numerous video editing programs, including Sony Vegas
  • Excellent general computer knowledge

I am very interested in becoming another member of the invaluable IGN staff. I can be reached at the phone number and address below. I look forward to meeting with you.

Sincerely,

Duderdude2


^ Couple questions: How do I address a cover letter to a website based organization? They request the cover letter/resume be e-mailed, thus no physical address is provided. Nor is anyone specifically referenced as to who will be reviewing these applications, thus I have no idea who to address it too. Any suggestions?

Onto the Resume

Duderdude 2
555 W. Sunset Way
Some city, WA 55555
555-555-5555
Objective
Obtain a position requiring strong literary and grammatical skills in the editorial department.

Skills and Qualifications
HTML, Sony Vegas, Adobe PhotoShop, Ulead PhotoImpact, DVD Architect, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Power Point, Pinnacle Studio 8, Windows 3.01, Windows 98, Windows XP, Apple OS

Experience
E.I.C. / Contributing Editor, [website], [website address], mid 2001-Current
•Wrote copious articles pertaining to the gaming industry, game production and product reviews/previews
•Edited staff member editorials.
•Interviewed several game developers
•Learned Valuable Teamwork Dynamics

Contributing Editor, [website], [website address], 1999-Fall 2001
•Wrote copious articles pertaining to the gaming industry, game production and product reviews/previews
•Edited staff member editorials.
•Learned Valuable Teamwork Dynamics

Director, [website], [website address], 1999-Winter 2000
Developed free movies portraying difficult tips, tricks, glitches and strategies for downloading.

Related Course Work
•E.I.C / Creator, [website], [website address], 2000-current
Retail DVDs portraying difficult tips, tricks, glitches and strategies in popular video games.

•Attended various electronic expositions for past three years to provide editorial coverage for websites.

•Invited by Nintendo as a guest journalist to interview staff members and view their production facility in Redmond, WA.
Education
•[Generic High School], WA 1999-2002


^I’m unsure what to list under “Education”. I dropped out of high school in my sophomore year (and obtained my G.E.D. shortly after) to pursue other interests, such as web design. As a result, I have no idea what to place within this field, beyond what I already have.

So guys, any advice would be a huge help. Did I make any glaring mistakes? Please, let me know. Many thanks!

Proofread your subject line. :smiley:

Hahahaha. I really have no idea how I missed that.

Maybe you should leave off education in general , since you’ve got lots of experience? Does the ad say they are looking for a particular degree?

I also would not use “etc” in your cover letter. It just looks like you can’t think of anything else but want to add more. I think you can leave it at “reviews, previews and features.”

A few things jumped out at me:

In your cover letter:

  1. The first sentence should clearly state why you’re writing, promptly followed by the supporting reasons. Also, don’t imply that you consider the field you are trying to get hired into a hobby. At the very least, say pasttime.
  2. “experience in various capacities”, not “experience with”
  3. “gaming centric” is not two words.
  4. You don’t have years of knowledge, you have years of experience.
  5. If you are going to give examples of the “numerous video editing programs” with which you are familiar, list more than one.

In general, your cover letter is currently just a list of your experience, which is not necessarily your strongest suit. You need to convey a sense that you are a hard worker with good attention to detail. And since you’re looking for an editing position, every sentence needs to be crafted. Bust out the thesaurus, don’t use the same word (e.g. experience) multiple times.

An example of an awkward sentence: “I also operate my own website, designed and maintained by myself.” It’s not well structured, and doesn’t really convey a sense of the scope of your duties running that website.

In your resume:

Your objective needs work. Your primary goal is not to obtain a position requiring good grammar, is it? Even if you just rearrange it, so that you are seeking an editorial position which allows you to make use of your excellent grammatical and literary skills, it would be an improvement.

Your skills need to be organized so that the big applications like Vegas and Photoshop stand out, while things like Word and Powerpoint are there, but not as emphasized. Do not mention Windows 3.0 unless you are applying for a job in a computer museum. Condense the windows and apple listing to a single “familiar with both Windows and Macintosh operating systems”.

The rest of it needs to be organized better to draw the reader’s eye to what you want them to see. Search the web for tips of making good resumes. Using the exact same bullet point for multiple job listings (“Learned Teamwork Dynamics”) looks bad. Don’t do that.

It’s a good first effort, but definitely invest the time to make it much sharper before sending it out.

Thanks for the tips, I’ll be sure to remove “etc”.

And to answer your question, the ad did not mention education at all and seemed more focused on the experience of an individual. Here is the opening statement of the ad:

"We’re dedicated to offering quality content to its subscribers. To advance on that effort, we’re looking for a talented, passionate, and motivated person to fill a brand-new editor position.

The ideal candidate will have experience with video editing as well as characteristic feature writing. Applicant should possess an excellent grasp of English grammar, have a deep knowledge of the gaming industry, and be dedicated to making [our service] the best subscription gaming destination on the Internet."

They then list in further detail the exact requirements, which are essentially the same as they mentioned above.

Thanks Giraffe. While I didn’t intend to send off the resume exactly as is, many of your suggestions hasn’t even occurred to me, and I very much appreciate the response. I’ll be sure to do as suggested; I’ll post a revised edition later just to confirm I didn’t sacrifice anything during my attempts to fix it :wink:

Train of thought comments…

Can you include samples of the “copious articles” you’ve written? SInce it’s a writing job, I’n sure they’ll want to see examples. Also, to me anyway, “copious” seems a little … I don’t know, snooty? May want to change that.

Also, give concrete examples wherever possible:

“Years of HTML experience” - How many years? What type of HTMl experience (writing, editing, proofing, surfing)?

“Attended various electronic expositions…” - Which ones? What websites were you representing? Any samples?

etc.

Not saying you have to tediously list EVERYTHING you’ve ever done, but specific examples are more convincing than generalizations.

Also, I would drop “learned valuable teamwork dynamics” unless you have a specific instance. It sounds like nothingspeak.

I agree with Giraffe’s suggestion on your objective statement.

I’ve found a good way to write cover letters is to include a table that demonstrates how you have all their requirements (you want to make it clear that you at least are basically qualified)

example (wording may not be the best. I’m writing fast):

You are looking for someone with My experiencce and abilities are

*experience with video editing * X years with Y software…

etc…
One final word on your cover letter (and resume, I suppose). Always remember that they don’t care what YOU want or what YOU can get from THEM. They are interested in what they need and how you can help them fulfill that need.
So, for example, your first sentence:

“I have a passion for the gaming industry and enjoy nothing more than writing about my favorite hobby. My vast experience with various technological and editorial capacities makes me an ideal candidate for the Insider Editor position.”

You might want to reword as something like:

“I noticed with interest your opening for an Insider Editor. I have a real passion for the gaming industry and my vast experience with various technological and editorial capacities makes me ideally suited to quickly become a valuable member of your team”

I’m sure you can do better-you’re the writer :smiley:

The point must always be, how can you help them?

Good luck!

Giraffe and jk1245 hit most everything I wanted to say. A couple emphasis points though:

You have real experience doing the job they need. Convey it as experience, not as a hobby. You’ve had past jobs doing exactly what they need. The fact that these “jobs” may have been volunteer doesn’t need to be called out.

Drop the Objective.

Re-think Qualifications entirely. For example:
Qualifications

  • Extensive experience writing and editing gaming reviews
  • In-depth experience with graphics editing, video editing, HTML and Office software. Equally at home with PC or Mac.
  • Developed and maintained popular gaming web-site, blah.com

Then call out specific tools you used at each past job. Don’t be afraid to duplicate them in multiple jobs.

Please please please lose “Learned Valuable Teamwork Dynamics”.
a) “learned” implies it was school or a hobby. it wasn’t; it was real experience
b) what you really gained was leadership and team-building skills.
c) calling it valuable, when it doesn’t sound very valuable is yucky.

I suggest you leave the education in. It’s not the end of the world, and it’ll look funny without it.

You have enough experience that you can beef out the job descriptions. Call out some particularly well-received articles. Call out any numbers you can, especially big numbers; like numbers of downloads, numbers of articles, etc.

Is the section after (and including) “Related Course Work” a goof? I don’t understand it.

I second (or third, or whatever) the need to be specific. You only have to be vauge if you’re fluffing your experience - if you really did it, you can be detailed, name names, name figures, etc. It’s also always better to talk about what you accomplished as experience rather than what your job duty was: in sales, for example, instead of saying “responsible for meeting company-wide goals” you say “increased district sales by 10% in FY 2003” or what have you.

Numbers are good. Bullshit “teamwork dynamics” are not good. While it is good to talk about your people skills in the experience portion of your resume, you should be both more specific and more, er, skill and goal oriented about it, I guess. “Headed committee to [xyz]”, or “Managed volunteer staff”, or “Collaborated with ___ to produce ___, which was cited in ____.” You definately want to make as much of every job or other experience point as possible - not just what you produced but also what you learned or had to deal with. “Stayed within budget while ___”, for example, might seem obvious but can be quite important.

Also, the very first line of your cover letter should be something along the lines of “I am writing to apply for the position of ____ as advertised in ____.” Everybody wants to know where their effective advertising is, and a company may have several job ads out at once. It’s very important to be specific about which one and who you are and what you want. If there’s a number attached to the job ad, for example, (Position 4353A, or something) you should list that as well. Make it easy for them. The first paragraph should also state where your resume is - if it’s an attached document, say “I’ve attached my resume as “resume.doc” to this e-mail” or something. You don’t want it to be overlooked or anything.

Also, you should include references whenever you send a resume. There’s no point in putting “references available upon request” or anything like that, just provide them.

Well, here I now present my heavily revised cover letter and resume. I’ll continue to tweak it in the time being, but I just wanted to make sure that I havn’t overlooked something obvious.

I’m still unsure about a few things though. As this will be e-mailed within the body of the e-mail (no attachments), how should I handle the address situation at the top of the resume? Typically, from what I’ve witnessed, the employer’s name and address is located in the upper left, preceding the cover letter’s content. Furthermore, above this resides the writer’s address (typically along the top header). As this is simply a text e-mail, there isn’t a whole lot of room to do anything remotely fancy. So how should I go about this?

Cover Letter


Duderdude2
W. Sunset Way #2
Generic City, WA, 98027
555-555-5555
June 17, 2004
I am applying for the position of Insider Editor as advertised on your website. I have a thriving passion for the gaming industry and my vast experience in various technological and editorial capacities makes me ideally suited to become a valuable member of your team.

I have written reviews, previews and features for several gaming-centric websites, including [Generic website.com] and [Generic website.com] across a six-year period. I also operate [Generic website.com], which employs extensive usage of video and image editors. Other skills and experiences I will bring to your organization include:

-Five years of web site design
-Seven years of video editing programs, including Sony Vegas and Pinnacle Liquid.
-Seven years of image editing programs, such as Adobe PhotoShop and Ulead PhotoImpact

  • Excellent general computer knowledge

I am very interested in becoming another member of your invaluable staff. I can be reached at the phone number and address above. I look forward to meeting with you.

Sincerely,

Duderdude2

Resume


Duderdude2
W. Sunset Way #2
Generic City, WA, 98027
555-555-5555

Qualifications
•Extensive experience writing and editing gaming articles
•In-depth experience with image manipulation, video editing, HTML and multimedia software.
•Developed and maintained innovative gaming website, [Generic website.com]

Experience
E.I.C. / Contributing Editor, [Generic website],[Generic website.com], mid 2001-Current
•Wrote articles pertaining to the gaming industry to an audience of one-hundred thousand
•Proofread staff member editorials
•Attended the Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3) for two years on behalf of the website
•Compared re-released games via comparison image and sound files
•Contacted by Bits Studios to commend an article written in regards to their Warlocked game

Director, [Generic website], [Generic website.com], 2003-Current
•Edited hours of game footage to fit within an allotted time specification
•Published proffesional DVDs which were met with critical acclaim from industry websites, including PlanetGameCube.com, NintendoInsider.com and GameCubeHeaven.com

Contributing Editor, [Generic website], [Generic website.com], 1999-Fall 2001
•Wrote articles pertaining to the gaming industry, game production and product reviews/previews
•Attended the Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3) on behalf of the website

Director, [Generic website], [Generic website.com], 1999-Winter 2000
•Developed downloadable movies portraying difficult tips, tricks, glitches and strategies for popular games
Education
•Generic High School, WA 1999-2002


" I’ll continue to tweak it in the time being, but I just wanted to make sure that I havn’t overlooked something obvious."

Case in point. :wink:

First of all, let me just say this is a major improvement over the OP. Well done!

Second of all, I have more comments:

  1. The second sentence of your cover letter still needs work. Don’t say “vast experience”, it’s over the top in this context. Extensive experience would work. I’m also not thrilled by “thriving passion”. Also, I would start the sentence with I believe, e.g.

“I believe that my passion for the gaming industry coupled with my extensive experience in various technological and editorial capacities make me ideally suited to become a valuable member of your team.”

  1. “another member of your invaluable staff” sounds crazy. You can say “an invaluable member of your staff”, but it’s not great. I would instead say something like “enthusiastic and dynamic member of your staff”, although you can change the adjectives to something better.

  2. Change “across a six-year period” to “over a six-year period”, unless these activities were sporadic.

  3. Can you estimate the number of reviews, previews and features you’ve written? Saying “I’ve written over 100 reviews, previews and features” sounds much stronger.

  4. Change the last two sentences to something like: “Please don’t hestitate to contact me at the phone number and address listed above. I hope you will consider me for the position, and I look forward to hearing from you.”

  5. In your resume, write out Editor-in-Chief. Never use unnecessary acronyms, even if the people you are writing know what they stand for.

  6. Don’t hypenate one hundred thousand.

  7. Spell-check! (e.g. proffesional)

  8. In general, you still need more specific details. What years did you cover E3? What were the DVDs you published about? Any time you wrote more than a few articles, or developed more than a couple of movies, list specifically how many. If you don’t give a number, people will always assume it’s a few. So if it’s two, leave it vague. If it’s ten, write it out.

  9. Should you include a commendation from a company about a review of one of their games? I don’t know how the gaming industry works, but that seems a bit, I don’t know, dubious. Also, put the name of the game in quotes.

OK, that’s all I see for right now. Keep it up, and you’ll have a really slick resume in no time.

Feel free to take all this with a grain of salt. Resumes in my field tend to be very casual, so I might be leading you astray with my comments.

Giraffe has covered most everything, but I would look into changing “…which employs extensive usage of …” It seems a bit clunky.

The transition from paragraph form to a list seems a bit strange to me (in your cover letter). I like to receive a cover letter that basically says who you are and what your strong points may be. Your resume is for listing skills and experience.

I also tend to end cover letters with some sort of a “Thank you for your time, and best of luck with your future projects/upcoming season/whatever is most appropriate for your field.”

Overall, it’s a very nice resume. Good luck with the job search.

Ditto to all of the above by Giraffe. Also:

I don’t like this sentence, “I also operate [Generic website.com], which employs extensive usage of video and image editors.”

  • If you started the website, that’s a big thing, so call it out. Say “I founded and operate…”
  • You should add a “hype” word to describe it. If it gets much traffic, call it a “popular web-site”. If it’s gotten awards, call it a “critically-acclaimed web-site”. etc.
  • “employs” is a funky word and the sentence is grammatically weird. The web-site doesn’t use editors; you do in operating it.

Change “-Seven years of video editing programs, including Sony Vegas and Pinnacle Liquid.” to “Seven years of video editing using software including Sony Vegas and Pinnacle Liquid.” Same with the image editing line.

You need more meat in your job descriptions. They are getting better. Call out specific accomplishments. Call out more numbers.

As to your question about what to put at the top, just put the company name and web-site address. It’ll be fine.

Before I offer up my revised cover letter and resume for a third time, I just wanted to thank everyone for helping this young and naive job hunter out. I very much appreciate all the effort. Anyways, onto the Cover Letter:

Cover Letter


Duderdude2
W. Sunset Way #2
Generic City, WA, 98027
555-555-5555
June 17, 2004

[Company]
[Company’s Web Address]

I am applying for the position of Insider Editor as advertised on your website. I believe that my passion for the gaming industry coupled with my extensive experience in various technological and editorial capacities makes me ideally suited to become a valuable member of your team.

I have written over one hundred reviews, previews and features for several gaming-centric websites, including [Generic website.com] and [Generic website.com] over a six-year period. I also founded and operate the critically acclaimed website, [Generic website.com]. Other skills and experiences I will bring to your organization include five years of web site design, seven years of video and image editing with professional level software and a working knowledge of various multimedia devices, such as video cameras and home theater equipment.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at the phone number and address listed above. I hope you will consider me for the position, as I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Duderdude2


Resume


Duderdude2
W. Sunset Way #2
Issaquah, WA 98027
555-555-5555
Qualifications
•Extensive experience writing and editing gaming articles.
•Developed and maintained several gaming website including [Generic website.com] and [Generic website.com].
•In-depth experience with Sony Vegas, Adobe PhotoShop, Pinnacle Liquid, DVD Architect and Ulead PhotoImpact,.

Experience
Editor-in-Chief / Contributing Editor, [Generic Website Title], [Generic website.com], mid 2001-Current
•Wrote over one hundred articles pertaining to the gaming industry
•Articles read by an audience of sixty thousand unique monthly visitors
•Compared re-released games to their older counterparts via image and sound files to great reader reception
•Adhered to strict timelines for content volume consistency
•Proofread staff member editorials
•Attended the 2003 and 2004 Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3)

Director, [Generic Website Title], [Generic website.com], 2003-Current
•Founded and maintained Game Xplain
•Developed unique and helpful video content
•Edited hours of game footage to fit within strict time specifications
•Published visual game guides, on DVD, which were met with critical acclaim from industry websites, including PlanetGameCube.com, NintendoInsider.com and GameCubeHeaven.com

Contributing Editor, [Generic Website Title], [Generic website.com], 1999-Fall 2001
•Wrote over one hundred articles pertaining to the gaming industry
•Articles read by an audience of over one hundred thousand unique monthly visitors
•Adhered to strict timelines for content volume consistency
•Attended the 2001 Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3) on behalf of the website

Director, [Generic Website Title], [Generic website.com], 1999-Winter 2001
•Founded and maintained [Generic website.com]
•Developed dozens of downloadable movies portraying difficult tips, tricks and glitches for popular games

Education
High School, WA 1999-2002


Well there you have it. Hopefully

Well there you have it. Hopefully third time’s a charm, though I’m more than willing to make it four, if need be.

It’s much, much better. A small nitpick - I’d say “and I look forward to hearing from you” instead of “as”.

One other minor problem - you’ve still got points that are the same for more than one job. Now, it’s a good point )“Adhered to strict timelines for content volume consistency”) but you might want to mix up the wording a bit. Others’ opinions may vary on that, however, because you do want parallel structure.

Your viewer numbers are the exact kind of figures you should be quoting.

As for “Compared re-released games to their older counterparts via image and sound files to great reader reception” in the first Experience point - it dosen’t seem to fit with your other points. I guess the question is, “and?” I think it would be more effective to say “Pioneered feature which…” or “Became very popular among readers for…” Again, somebody else more familiar with the industry should chime in and comment on that.

Anyway, I really just wanted to post to say that this version really makes you look like a great candidate, and if I were hiring for this position the first version would have gone right into the round file, but this one I’d absolutely get in touch with you on. Good job and good luck.

Thank you so much. :slight_smile:

I’ll work on the items you mentioned. As for the “Compared re-released games to their older counterparts” portion, the only reason I referenced that article was because the position I’m applying for involves writing comparative pieces involving the same game across multiple platforms. For instance, an example article would list the differences between Madden 2004 on Xbox and PlayStation 2, and ultimately decide which version were superior. However, if it still sounds wonky, please let me know.

That might be a good thing to reference in the cover letter specifically, then - I try to address my cover letters specifically to the job description and then make sure I cover all those points in the resume as well in a more general sense.