Monday, November 05, 2007

A story from some years ago

(I wanted to relate a story about cover letters. I wrote this up to pass on to someone and figured I'd add this to the blog as well.)

Back in the early 90s at one job where I had a couple dozen writers working for me, I had been talking to someone at the local STC chapter who wanted to work for me. A few months later, I had a slot and said "Now's the time! Send your paper in." He did, with a cover letter, that opened with the line (including the bold as I've shown it):

"Dear John:

Enclosed, please find my resume for consideration for a position as a Tecnical Writer."

I stopped reading right there. He's a great guy who would've been an addition to the team, but, yuh know, I just couldn't.

I showed it around to a bunch of the staph. They thought that that was pretty good, too. I phoned him that afternoon and explained that I was terribly, terribly sorry but I just couldn't hire him right then but that I wanted him to reapply. He was much chagrined but he understood.

The rimshot on this is that I called an old friend who was the Tech Pubs Mgr at our direct competitor and related the story (without names, of course). She told me about one that she'd gotten a few years before for an editing slot that contained the immortal line

"And, in addition, my poofreading skills are excellent."

Apparently, that letter went up on their departmental bulletin board for a couple years for all to admire.


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