Cover Letters - Revisited

BoDEAN

New Member
Looking for some opinions/inputs on cover letters I am sending out (round two) to places for a CFI position.
This is what I have:

<DATE>


<ADDRESS OF FBO>

Dear XXXXX:

Enclosed for your review is my resume.

My qualifications include a Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument, Single and Multi Engine ratings. I am also a Certified Flight Instructor and Advanced Ground Instructor. I also have a First Class Medical Certificate. I currently building experience as a CFI.

I am enthusiastic about aviation, I work hard and learn quickly, and I am sure you will find my abilities to be valuable at <Company>.

I would appreciate the opportunity to present my qualifications to you in person. Any consideration that you might give me will be appreciated.

Respectfully,


<My Name>
 

yankee_one

New Member
in the july issue of flying I saw an article on cover letters ... might want to give it a read.

[ QUOTE ]
I currently building experience with as a CFI.


[/ QUOTE ] I *am* currently buiding experience (with) as a CFI.

Not sure if thats the kind of help you are looking for. God knows I'm no English major.

best of luck to you !
 

I_Money

Moderator
I am not feeling love for your cover letter; here is what I came up with:

Dear Sir or Madam:

Having just recently become a certificated flight instructor I am currently freelancing in order to gain experience. My wide-ranging background has provided me with excellent interpersonal skills, and has demonstrated that I can succeed in the most demanding situations. I thrive on the challange of teaching people to fly, and the rewards that brings. You will find that I am hardworking and have an enthusiastic outlook to work and life.

I hope that my flight experience, education, and achievement-oriented vision will convey to you that I have the qualifications to make a valuable contribution to your organization.

I have enclosed a copy of my resume; please do not hesitate to contact me about any suitable positions.

Thank you,
Sincerely yours,

Iain Holmes
 

Kingairer

'Tiger Team' Member
For the original poster, You are repeating what is in your resume on your cover letter. Instead sell yourself! Let the cover letter fill in the details that you would tell the interview if you were only given a few seconds. Your cover is also very choppy with short sentences and demands more time to read then what will be given to you.

PS. PLEASE dont proofread my posts! Im sure its awful
 

yankee_one

New Member
Sorry. I was wrong when I posted that the July Flying had an article about resumes. I will look and see where I found it and post it for you.
 

naunga

New Member
I'm with Iain.

That's not really the way a cover letter should work.

As another poster said the cover letter is an opportunity to give details that aren't on your resume.

I just have a few suggestions to build on what Iain started.

First, if you say: " I have the qualifications to make a valuable contribution to your organization." Then tell them why your particular qualifications fit with their organization. Not just I meet the advertised mins as shown on my resume, which is how I took that sentence of Iains.

Second, using phrases like "I hope that my flight experience..." and "please do not hesitate to call...", as well as "...any suitable positions." make you sound very passive and uninterested.

You obviously believe that you're a match for a position at the company, or else you wouldn't have sent your resume. So tell them that.

So, instead of saying "I hope my experience..." say:

"I feel that my 100 hours of dual instruction given, along with my intense desire to fly will make me a good candidate for the CFI position with XYZ Flight School" (remember cover letters should be personalized for each job your applying for).

And instead of saying "please do not hesitate to contact me..." say:

"I look forward to hearing from you so that I may discuss how I can contribute to XYZ Flight School as a CFI"

The point is to get them interested in you. If you make a statement like that one I just did, it gets them interested in hear how you can contribute too. Even if it's: "This I've gotta hear." The point is to get them to call you.

Another suggestion. If you're enthusiastic about the job then make the letter convey that. Otherwise you're just another name with a resume that doesn't make the hiring manager want to meet you.

I'd be happy to offer any other suggestions. Also I've helped a few other people revise and improve cover letters in the past, if you'd like me to take a look just PM it to me (remove your personal info, before you do).

Anyhow. Good luck on your job search.

Naunga
 

cointyro

New Member
PASSIVE VOICE IS BAD!!

For example, you state "Enclosed for your review is my resume." This is passive voice. You need to be far more direct with your language. The active voice is more direct and more respectable. It sounds more like you know what you want to say. The active voice version of this sentence is "My resume is enclosed for your review."

I'm certainly not saying I'm perfect about this... my passive voice rates are really high. You can tell in Word by going to tools->options->spellcheck->engage readability statistics; then running spellcheck; immediately after the spellcheck it will show your readability statistics including % passive voice. It should be 10% or lower; preferably 5% to zero.

Be direct about your language. People appreciate that more than the passive voice, which sounds akward, and, well, passive.

Hope this helps!
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Cover letters generally go in the garbage guys. I know when "interviewees" were brought in to me at Mesa and Eagle all I got was a resume, never a cover letter.

And all we looked at on the resume was experience. (hours, types, previous airline/charter, etc.)
 

BoDEAN

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
I am not feeling love for your cover letter; here is what I came up with:

Dear Sir or Madam:

Having just recently become a certificated flight instructor I am currently freelancing in order to gain experience. My wide-ranging background has provided me with excellent interpersonal skills, and has demonstrated that I can succeed in the most demanding situations. I thrive on the challange of teaching people to fly, and the rewards that brings. You will find that I am hardworking and have an enthusiastic outlook to work and life.

I hope that my flight experience, education, and achievement-oriented vision will convey to you that I have the qualifications to make a valuable contribution to your organization.

I have enclosed a copy of my resume; please do not hesitate to contact me about any suitable positions.

Thank you,
Sincerely yours,

Iain Holmes



[/ QUOTE ]


Quick followup. How would you reword the first paragraph, sending this cover letter for a first officer position at a cargo company? I don't think I should include anything about being an instructor
 

naunga

New Member
I would work it like this:

State what the purpose of the letter is, without using the phrase "the purpose of this letter is to..."

So something like this:

'I am interested in working for XYZ Airlines as a first officer."

Then include what isn't listed on your resume that makes you a good candidate. This would be the place to breifly mention why you're wanting to fly for a living, and how your recent CFI experience (or whatever) relates to the skills needed to be an FO.

"Working as a CFI has given me real-life experience with managing time and workload in the cockpit. I feel that this experience makes me a prime candidate for the position of first officer, since I am familiar with the procedures to take the workload off the pilot enabling them to concentrate on flying the aircraft."

This could be worded a bit better, but I think that this should help you see where to start.

Again a cover letter is to tell the person doing the hiring what resumes are worth reading and which aren't. Now, I'll conceed that the HR people didn't read the cover letters, they just weeded out the resumes that didn't have the min qualifications, but when they got the list whittled down and it was sent to the hiring manager, we were looking for the whole package to be good. And I'll say we looked at some crappy resumes based on good cover letters, but I can't say that we read resumes that were under crappy letters.

And John Tenney is right kinda...sometimes cover letters go in the trash (apparently they do at his airline), but some companies place a lot of value on them. So IMHO it's better to spend the time to write a good cover letter and risk that it never gets read, than to write a mediocre one and find out too late that the company is really interested in them. Remember most jobs you see these days have "Excellent written and verbal communication skills" as a requirement. I know that when we did interviews at my company (Fortune 500) we read the cover letters. If the person sounded intelligent then we read the resume. If they didn't...well not only did the cover letter go in the trash, but so did the resume.

Just a quick observation, for a big company -- airline or otherwise -- people are a dime a dozen. So to send a resume to the circular file based on something like, "the grammer sucks" may seem silly, but if you've got 99 more to go through, well they have to be trimmed down somehow. Again just an observation based on my experience.

Good luck to you!

Cheers.

Naunga
 

BoDEAN

New Member
A quick side note: If you were walking in a cover letter / resume...would you have it in an envelope, or would you paperclip the coverletter to the top of the resume?
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
naunga they may keep the cover letters but I have never heard of them being given to the interviewers.

Best way to get a resume in is to have someone hand walk it to the person in charge, as always
 

naunga

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
naunga they may keep the cover letters but I have never heard of them being given to the interviewers.

[/ QUOTE ]
All I can tell you is that when we were interviewing for a new helpdesk people we got the cover letter and the resume, and the cover letter was the first thing that was looked over. I don't doubt that different companies, or even different managers within the same company do things differently, but then again it's zero effort to write a decent letter. Might as well write it. If it gets ignored then fine, but better to have a letter be ignored than not have one. Like I said, the larger the company the bigger the stack of resumes. Even after HR shortens the stack by removing people who aren't minimally qualified, you still need to get it down to 1 person. And that can be tough because once you get them back from HR, everyone's resume may very well be equal. So something needs to be done to further weed out people. We threw out people with crappy cover letters. Hell, I've even know people who throw out resumes if you graduated from a certain school.
[ QUOTE ]

Best way to get a resume in is to have someone hand walk it to the person in charge, as always


[/ QUOTE ]
I can't argue with that, but then again that's not always possible. In this case it may be, and that may not make a cover letter necessary...as long as he's handing it to the same guy who's going to hire him, and not his AA. In that case the cover letter -- so to speak -- will be how he looks, a handshake, and maybe a brief conversation. But the message will be the same: "Hi, I'm so and so, and I'm more than a resume." If he's handing it to anyone other than the person who's going to sign him on, he should have a cover letter. If anything a good cover letter can make you memorable.

As I said for your company cover letters may go in the trash, but it's a dangerous thing to make a general statement that leads to the conclusion that all companies (and again all managers within that company) throw them out. As I said if you wanted to work at the helpdesk at my company you needed a cover letter (and it needed to be coherent).

Cheers.

Naunga
 
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