Tuesday, April 8, 2014

For your amusement: A collection of crappy copy editor cover letters

These are some cover letters submitted by applicants for a content/copy editor position with an education company. They remain unedited except to scrub identifying information and sometimes add space between paragraphs. They are terribad. Italics indicate my commentary. (Update: I'm going to slowly add screenshots.)

February 26:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am interested in applying for the position at [company name wrongly capitalized].  I feel as though I have the experience and skill set needed to meet and exceed the expectations of [company name wrongly capitalized].

To summarize my qualifications for this position*:
  • Illinois Elementary Type 03 Certification
  • Bachelor’s Degree of Science
  • Clinical Observations in Early Childhood, K, 3rd, and 5th.
  • Middle School, Social Science, English, and Science Endorsements
  • Community Involvement
  • Substitute teaching in K-8
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Experience with IEPs
  • Experience with [company/program name wrongly capitalized]

(*Where is the rest of the sentence?! Don't leave me hanging! None of the listed skills are relevant to this position. Why is there so much space here in the original? Why does this person use double spaces after periods?)

I would like to use my skills and experience to meet the goals of [company name wrongly capitalized]. I would welcome an interview at your earliest convenience.

[name scrubbed]

March 3:

During my 8 years of experience as an educator refined my abilities to communicate effectively using the written word.

In an industry such as this, where the goal is producing clear and engaging curriculum for clients, such attention to detail and accuracy is of utmost importance.

I would be perfect for this opening and can bring a level of energy to this position that requires acute detail and focus to properly complete.

I enjoy writing and editing. And, when I find mistakes in publicly shared documents such as websites, signage or others, I cringe knowing that first impression made on the customer is a negative one.

Thanks so much for your consideration.

(Is this a joke? Seriously, IS THIS A JOKE?? What is "acute detail," I wonder, and what would it "properly complete"?)

March 19:

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is [name scrubbed].  I have been teaching for a total of 13 years at the elementary level.  I have a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and my teaching certificate for 1st through 6th grades from the University of [place].  I also have my master’s degree in Library Science, focusing in School Librarianship, from the University of [same place]. 

I firmly believe that every child is entitled to an enriching education and the equal respect they deserve.  My goal is to motivate teachers and students to find their inner strengths and abilities through engaging activities.  I believe that a stimulating learning environment builds confidence in children and helps them reach their full potential.  With teachers, support staff, and parents working hand and hand all children can be successful. 

Currently, as a teacher, I use frequent and varied assessment practices to ascertain each student's level of development and monitor their progress toward their appropriate goals. Through regular communication with families, I encourage and strengthen parental involvement with their children's education.

Throughout the course of my career I have had wonderful opportunities to teach diverse groups of students; including those with learning disabilities, those who performed at grade level, and those who are gifted.  As a result, I have become proficient at designing creative and stimulating lesson plans to reach all levels of students.  I have also had the wonderful opportunity to mentor student teachers at the university level, perform professional development within current school and district, and travel to [island country] to teach an educated set of teachers within a private Christian school.

Some of my greatest strengths include motivating others, organization, being a team player, great communication and problem solving skills, creativity, self motivator, and positive energy.*  In my current and previous positions, I have demonstrated excellent time management, prioritization, multi-tasking abilities, and project coordination skills.  I am confident that I will quickly become a valuable member of your team and wish to work alongside others dedicated to achieve a common goal. 

I look forward to meeting with you in the near future to speak about your positions that you have available. Thank you for your time and consideration.

[name scrubbed]
(Damn you, double spacer! *Emphasis mine. Because that sentence is AWESOME. Did you notice there is not a single word in this cover letter about the position or the applicant's experience relevant to copy editing?)

April 1:

To Whom It May Concern,

I am interested in the Copy Editor position. I am currently employed as a teacher at [city] ISD. While teaching at [city], I have absorbed many roles, such as a curriculum writer, district presenter, as well as a team lead position. I am very familiar with [company name wrongly capitalized], as my district utilizes [company name wrongly capitalized] as a primary source of assessment and instruction.

In my position as curriculum writer, I write, edit and upload the lessons through our district purchased software. Through the extensive work I am doing, I learned how to multitask, be organized, and efficient.  I also hold a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

In response to your search for a copy editor, I believe my experience in curriculum, my organizational skills, as well as prior experience with [company name wrongly capitalized], qualify me for consideration.
To further acquaint you with my background I am attaching my resume. I hope you will consider me for this position.

[name scrubbed]

April 2:

To whom it may concern;

I am writing to express my interest in joining your staff as an editor.

I have, for the past 23 years, held a variety of teaching and administrative positions in [city nearby] and [nearby city]. My qualifications include, but are not limited to, teaching certificates in the areas of English, ELA and ESOL. In addition, I am experience with MS Office Suite and Microsoft Office.

 Currently, I hold positions as an English teacher at [city nearby] ISD. Though I have loved and cherished my 13 years of service at this school, I believe I am prepared and ready for new and exciting opportunities

I look forward to discussing my qualifications with you further in person.  Should you be interested in any additional information, feel free to contact me via email at [scrubbed]@yahoo.com . My direct number is [scrubbed].  Hope to hear from you in the near future.

[name scrubbed]
(Yes, there is a space before "Currently" and a missing period at the end of the same paragraph and a space before a period in the last paragraph.)

April 8:

To Whom it May Concern,

I am interested in the Copy Editor position.  I am currently employed as Gifted and Talented teacher for [nearby city] ISD.  My 15 years of experience in education has afforded me with the opportunity to become an expert with lesson planning.  Being that I have extensive experience in writing lesson plans, I know that I will be able to edit them.

To further acquaint you with the specifics of my background, I am enclosing my resume.  I hope you will consider me for this position.  I truly look forward to meeting with you and discussing my qualifications in more detail.
[name scrubbed]
(Again with the double spaces after periods!)

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