3.24.2011

Music Ministry Job Search Series: Cover Letters

Welcome to the next installment of my new series, "Music Ministry Job Search"!

Every resume you send out for a potential job opportunity needs to include a fantastic cover letter that high lights your skills and achievements while complimenting your resume.  Your letter should not be a direct copy of your resume, however.  That’s what your resume is for.  Taking the opportunity to personalize your cover letter and really sell yourself can make or break your job search.      

There are typically three different types of cover letters:  the application letter which responds to an existing job opening, the prospective letter which is an inquiry of possible positions with an organization and a networking letter which sends out a request for information and help in your job search. 

I have kept a basic application letter that I then customize when I plan to send out my resume for as long as I can remember but I had never really thought about the other two letter forms.  In my current music ministry job search I am seeing the benefit of having all three. 

It’s extremely important that you customize your letter for each job opportunity.  It shows you put some thought into what you are sending.  It also helps you to stand out a bit from the competition and I think we could all use a little boost in this slow moving economic climate. 

Cover Letters also gives you a place to focus in on the skills that you have in relation to the job you are applying for.  You don’t want to talk about your expert yarn crafting skills, as amazing as they might be, when you are apply for a job in choral music.  It just doesn’t make sense and you have just wasted your reader’s time and landed your resume in the recycle bin.

My next steps in this process of refreshing my cover letter and adding the prospective letter and the networking letter to my job searching arsenal was to do some online research and read a ton of sample letters.  I have found some great resources to share that I think will give you some letter writing inspiration.

Cover Letter Writing Resources 

Cover Letter Samples from Job Search at About.com

How to Write a Cover Letter from wikiHow

Cover Letters from Ministry Reference Help Desk

Cover Letter Guidelines and Samples

Cover Letters and Resources from Berklee Music

How to Write a Cover Letter from Howcast

Join me next week as we continue our journey into job searching in the music world.  Through out the series I will cover Job Searching, Resumes, Cover Letters, Additional Application Requests Specific to Musicians, Selling Yourself to Prospective Employers, and what to do while you wait.  See you next week for Application Requests Specific to Musicians.

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