Pop. Pop. Zap.

30 May

I’m standing in my boyfriend’s (now husband’s) parents’ basement. It is my first trip to meet his parents and I want to make a good first impression. They’re removing the paneling from the basement walls, and since I used to do that kind of stuff all the time at my parents’ house, I dive in. I grab a screwdriver and start prying. 

“Pop. Pop. Pop.” The nails of the paneling let go of the frame and I tear off a huge sheet. Boyfriend’s dad says something witty about me being handy and I beam.

“Pop. Pop. Pop.” I’m really on a roll now.

“Pop. Pop. Zzzzzzzzzap.” My screwdriver finds an outlet and I feel a brief surge of electricity go through me. I look down at my thumb, which is beginning to turn a shade of plum. So much for first impressions.

How do you make a good first impression in your cover letter?


Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Publishing


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3 responses to “Pop. Pop. Zap.

  1. Ellen

    May 31, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I’m pretty sure I know the exact outlet you speak of. I try and cater to the publisher/employer/school as much as possible. If I can reference their mission statement somehow or talk about a particular project they’ve done or book they’ve published (while talking of my own of course) I will.

  2. Mary

    June 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    There is a formula:
    Paragraph 1: why are you writing? Are you applying for a job or seeking something else. If you are applying for a job, specifically state for which job you are applying. Why are you writing? Because so and so recommended that you do so; you are moving to the area; you are familiar with the company; you spoke with someone who works at the company/you attended an event; you saw an ad that prompted you.

    Paragraph 2: what skills and experience do you bring to the table? Do not repeat your resume or provide the Cliff’s Notes of your book. Instead, describe how the things on your resume/your book are useful to the company. Use buzz words from the company’s mission and vision statements. Highlight the fact that your work fills a void in the industry or compliments their work.

    Paragraph 3: your plan to follow up. (“Thank you for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.” Or “I will be in touch next week to discuss my proposal.”) And whatever you say your plan is, it is still your responsibility to follow up. (groan, I know.)

    Proofread. Have someone else proofread it too. Try not to take their suggestions too personally. Pray over the envelope/email. Ask Gram to do the same. Send it.

  3. Mary

    June 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    and I meant “complements…” sheesh.


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