How to sell yourself in your cover letter

Recently, I reviewed the cover letter of someone who was applying for a radio sports update anchor/reporter position. He wrote that he is a hard working team player, that he hosts a weekly sports talk show, and that he does sports updates and reporting for his local station.

He blew it in multiple ways.

1. Self-opinions mean nothing to employers.

No one has ever written in a cover letter that they are a slacker who doesn’t get along with co-workers. Employers will listen to the opinions that others have of you but they couldn’t care less about what you think of yourself. Leave opinions out of your letter.

2. Sell only your relevant experience.

The person who is applying for the sports update anchor/reporter position doesn’t need to mention that he hosts a weekly show. It’s not part of the position for which he is applying.

Having to customize your letter to the position for which you are applying means you can no longer send the same one to every employer. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but lazy doesn’t win in the sportscasting job market.

3. Don’t bury your relevant experience.

If you are applying for a sports update anchor/reporter position, don’t bury it underneath your opinions about yourself and the fact that you hosted a weekly show. Instead, state your experience as a sports update anchor/reporter as the first reason why the employer should hire you.

In short, sell yourself with facts versus opinions.

Fact: I am currently a sports update anchor/reporter at my local radio station.
Opinion: I am a great writer.

Fact: I have four years experience in minor league baseball media relations and play-by-play.
Opinion: I am very hard working.

Fact: My experience includes anchoring, reporting and shooting video.
Opinion: I get along well with my co-workers

Don’t try too hard to sell yourself in your cover letter. There’s no need for smoke and mirrors. By simply stating your experience that is relevant to the position, you will be ahead of 80% of applicants who aren’t doing it.

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