Writing a letter to a potential employer

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by VMan, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    I am graduating this December with a degree in Marketing. One of the companies which I would really like to work for is Allen Edmonds, due to their products as well as their location.

    I was thinking of writing a letter to the company, introducing myself, telling them I will be graduating soon with a marketing degree, but also letting them know that I have a lot of interest and knowledge in their products along with knowledge about styles of shoes, shoe construction, their competitors, their retail outlets, their consumers, and a lot of other general information that I think would be useful to them.

    Now my question is, since this is meant to be a somewhat casual letter just to say 'hello' and introduce myself/give them a little bit of info about me, and to inquire if they have starting positions/internships open, should I send a resume and all that jazz at the time of the letter?

    I appreciate responses, as I do not really know what the general procedures are regarding this.
     


  2. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    I would definitely include a resume and all that jazz. Two things can happen with your letter. One, somebody reads it and throws it away. Two, somebody reads it, is favorably impressed, and thinks you might be worth a look. In the event of #2, you want to do everything you can to make things easy for people on the AE side and minimize the chances of your dropping through the cracks due to inertia, bureaucracy, etc. If there's a resume, etc. included with your letter, it's easy for the person reviewing your letter ot shoot it over to the personnel department or whoever handles employment/internship candidates for them, thereby starting in motion whatever needs to happen administratively.
    With no resume, that same person has no way of assessing your qualifications, etc. Assuming there's some initial interest, it puts the ball in their court to follow up with a phone call, letter, etc. They might decide it's too much effort, or might mean to do it but get busy and forget, or might delegate that responsibility to somebody who drops the ball.
    Personally, having been in charge of recruiting and hiring people for various types of positions, it would annoy me to all hell to get a letter expressing interest that did not include a resume or other information that I would need to decide whether the writer was worth my spending any time and attention on.
     


  3. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    Id suggest offering to intern in there free and then impressing them with your knowledge once you are on The Inside.

    Otherwise, you could deploy my method of a decade or so ago, when I used to go to all the industry events just to meet people in my industry (in my case, PR agencies). I always felt really stupid and out of place at those things, but I think they were impressed with the fact that I would show up - I was the only student there.

    Face to face is definitely the best way. If AE is in your area, then find out if there is some kind of footwear/orthotics/leather/something body. Rock up, chatter to people and you will see very quickly how small the world is when someone says "that's fascinating, you should really meet Joe from AE".

    One thing that my own experience has taught me (I rose pretty high pretty fast for a few reasons, including my willingness to move to Vietnam) but becoming a Managing Director at 27 means that the awkward-post-college-please-hire-me memories are still pretty fresh.

    My best advice on that is to remember that we have all been there. I really appreciate and take an interest in students who take the time to approach me and tell me what they do and are interested in now, because I, like everyone else, remembers how that feels.

    Best wishes with it buddy.
     


  4. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    i have written exactly 1 million cover letters.

    yes, send a resume.

    make the letter fairly short and to the point. they don't have time to read any ramblings.

    start by stating why you're writing them. if there's a particular position to aim for, all the better. in fact you should give them the position you want, even if you're not responding to a specific advertisement. then describe your training, work experience, and area(s) of specialized knowledge. don't tell them your hobbies or anything else irrelevant.

    always end with something about meeting to discuss opportunities at ___. ("I am available on __, ___, and ___; what time works best for you?" etc.)

    /andrew
     


  5. Kasper

    Kasper Senior member

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    You should write this letter to someone not in Human Resources. Take time to call there and find out the information of a bigwig and send it to him. I might not be the highest qualified but this is how I landed my current job. When your not the sharpest tool in the shed you have to be resourceful like a 5-in-1 Garden Weasel.
     


  6. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    Ok, thanks for all the replies, it's got me on a pretty clear path as to what I should do next.

    One more question regarding the resume - I haven't done an internship (I know, I know...), in part because I've been doing the eBay business thing for the past three years, selling shoes and clothing. Would this be of interest to an employer (shows I am motivated, enterprising, ambitious, yada yada) or is it too 'small potatoes'?

    Actually one last question - a few years back I took a small 1-credit course that was basically prep work for life after college. We touched on resumes, and the instructor (who was an HR major, and worked in the hiring department of a large company for a number of years) told us that it is not necessary to include your GPA in the resume unless it was over a 3.5 or so. My GPA is slightly under a 3.0, in part because I switched majors and had some classes from my previous major that I did poorly in (Engineering/Calc/Chem courses). However, I have done well in all my marketing and major-specific courses. Would not listing my GPA send them a red flag?
     


  7. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    You should write this letter to someone not in Human Resources. Take time to call there and find out the information of a bigwig and send it to him. I might not be the highest qualified but this is how I landed my current job. When your not the sharpest tool in the shed you have to be resourceful like a 5-in-1 Garden Weasel.
    Agreed; in my case (architecture) I always send resumes to the hiring principal. Working connections really opens doors, even when the connections are tenuous (e.g. your roommate's uncle knows Mr. X in Accounting...). Firm up your entree connection, then, once you have someone on the inside stumping for you, it really leverages your efforts.
     


  8. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Ok, thanks for all the replies, it's got me on a pretty clear path as to what I should do next.

    One more question regarding the resume - I haven't done an internship (I know, I know...), in part because I've been doing the eBay business thing for the past three years, selling shoes and clothing. Would this be of interest to an employer (shows I am motivated, enterprising, ambitious, yada yada) or is it too 'small potatoes'?

    Actually one last question - a few years back I took a small 1-credit course that was basically prep work for life after college. We touched on resumes, and the instructor (who was an HR major, and worked in the hiring department of a large company for a number of years) told us that it is not necessary to include your GPA in the resume unless it was over a 3.5 or so. My GPA is slightly under a 3.0, in part because I switched majors and had some classes from my previous major that I did poorly in (Engineering/Calc/Chem courses). However, I have done well in all my marketing and major-specific courses. Would not listing my GPA send them a red flag?

    As to #1, I'd say include it. Personally, I like to see evidence that people have been out in the world, exercising some measure of responsibility and judgment. It also helps to highlight the fact that you have some practical business experience and aren't just a "raw" graduate.
    I don't think not listing your GPA is a red flag at all. It's quite common not to list it. Frankly, I'd say more people have convinced me that they are tools by trying to hard to impress me with their grades, etc. (especially when it's clear they've been selective in what information they've chosen to present - e.g., "3.8 GPA in classes that met after 10:00 a.m") than have successfully gotten a foot in the door by listing that sort of thing on a resume.
     


  9. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    You should write this letter to someone not in Human Resources. Take time to call there and find out the information of a bigwig and send it to him. I might not be the highest qualified but this is how I landed my current job. When your not the sharpest tool in the shed you have to be resourceful like a 5-in-1 Garden Weasel.

    Thats a great idea - I was planning on sending it to someone fairly high in the company who may take interest in having some fresh blood in the company rather than an HR person who might give the stock response "I'm sorry but we currently have no positions available in the company".

    Luckily, a friend of mine (who I haven't talked to in about a year) is family-friends with John Stollenwerk, who was owner of AE until the recent takeover. I may have to give my buddy a call...
     


  10. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    Thats a great idea - I was planning on sending it to someone fairly high in the company who may take interest in having some fresh blood in the company rather than an HR person who might give the stock response "I'm sorry but we currently have no positions available in the company". Luckily, a friend of mine (who I haven't talked to in about a year) is family-friends with John Stollenwerk, who was owner of AE until the recent takeover. I may have to give my buddy a call...
    indeed. work it, girlfriend!
     


  11. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    One more question that may actually be the toughest of all - what shoes to wear to the (potential) interview?

    I could wear a pair of AE Park Ave's, but that could be perceived as trying way too hard.

    I could wear my pair of dark antique brown C&J handgrades that are my favorite pair of shoes, but this might say "my shoes are better than yours".

    [​IMG]
     


  12. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    One more question that may actually be the toughest of all - what shoes to wear to the (potential) interview?

    I could wear a pair of AE Park Ave's, but that could be perceived as trying way too hard.

    I could wear my pair of dark antique brown C&J handgrades that are my favorite pair of shoes, but this might say "my shoes are better than yours".

    [​IMG]

    No question - wear the PA's.
     


  13. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    One more question regarding the resume - I haven't done an internship (I know, I know...), in part because I've been doing the eBay business thing for the past three years, selling shoes and clothing. Would this be of interest to an employer (shows I am motivated, enterprising, ambitious, yada yada) or is it too 'small potatoes'?
    tell them once youve got the interview, they'll appreciate your resourcefulness and your knowledge of their industry, its terms and jargon. For the purposes of the interview, you sold only shoes [​IMG] It all counts.
    i never look at a candidates grades. I look at his/her attitude, willingness to learn, efforts they made to get ahead while they were studying etc. Maybe thats just cos my grades werent so hot [​IMG]
     


  14. Bradford

    Bradford Current Events Moderator

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    Wear the Park Avenue's and if you get the job/internship wear nothing but AE's. You have to have loyalty to the company you work for. Keep the CJ's in the back of the closet for your next job.

    Definitely put your Ebay experience on your resume - it shows initiative.

    Skip the GPA. If they care, they'll ask.

    Good luck.
     


  15. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    Wear the Park Avenue's and if you get the job/internship wear nothing but AE's. You have to have loyalty to the company you work for. Keep the CJ's in the back of the closet for your next job.

    Definitely put your Ebay experience on your resume - it shows initiative.

    Skip the GPA. If they care, they'll ask.

    Good luck.


    Good point w/ the shoes, I need to pick up a pair of standard black captoes anyway - might as well be the Park Ave.

    Thanks for the other tips, too.
     


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