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Letter to potential employers...

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    So over the next few days i plan to go into town on the bus and hand out a letter to as many business managers as i can. Simply, walk into a shop, ask to speak to the manager, introduce myself, ask for any vacancies part time, if not, give them this letter.

    So, is there any chance you can read through it, identify bits that could be changed, things to be added, ect ect. The letter is double sided, on one sheet of paper, with an A5 yellow sheet of paper, with my contact information on it, all of which is contained within an envelope.

    THAAAAANKS!!

    My personal attributes...
    (Due to my age, i have had few opportunities to express my talents within a workplace; however i have tried to convey my positive attributes and characteristics through my school career and my experiences so far in life).

    My name is Oliver Tooth and I’m 16 years old. I live in Burntwood, attended Chase Terrace Technology College, and took a pro-active, dedicated involvement within the school and the forgoing of my education. I took the following GCSE’s, with my predicted grades listed alongside...
    - English - A*
    - English Literature - A*
    - Maths - B
    - Performing Arts - Distinction*
    - Resistant Materials - A*
    - Sociology - A
    - Double Award Science - B, C (already achieved)
    - ICT - Distinction (already achieved)
    I also took an A.S Level, two years early...
    - R.E (A.S) - B

    I feel I take a positive approach in a working environment, and have a self motivated attitude towards undergoing any task or activity set before me. My capacities as an organised and motivated individual are further strengthened by my active role as head peer mentor. For a year and a half, I trained and worked as head peer mentor, which entailed the preparation and running of regular one-to-one meetings with over 30 students that were new to the school, to discuss any issues and problems they were having, and thus, initiate schemes and procedures to prevent/solve these problems. I was also the first port of call for 7 other peer mentors, and had to guide and support them in their own school career.

    During this time as head mentor, the tutor of the form which I assisted in, had a two week hospital leave. I was asked to prepare two weeks’ worth of activities for the form, for twenty minutes a day, and lead them myself, as if I was their tutor. I single handily managed to engage and educate a class of 28 for those two weeks, through the use of simple life lessons, quizzes, educational games, and tasks of the like. I had the class interested and motivated, but I also let them express who they were, and I believe this was what won over the respect of that class. I feel that I made a positive impact during the time I had with them, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I feel that this commitment shows that I’m not afraid to stand up and take lead, and that I’m a trusted, respected young adult, both by students, and teachers.

    My achievements throughout my school career haven’t just been academically based. As well as achieving multiple attendance awards, a ‘pupil of the term’ award, and a prestigious award, voted for by students and staff; naming me the outstanding pupil of the year group, I’ve also gained experience and knowledge in the field of performance and the arts. I’ve played in over 15 shows hosted in and out of school, both as a drummer and a technician. Back in December of 2011, I was given the opportunity to single-handedly operate the entire lighting rig for a school concert. With no previous experience of this, I had little more than two hours to educate myself with the complex equipment; to the extent that I was assured that I could operate the lights for the concert that evening. In my eyes, I view this as a student that’s keen to meet deadlines. I was given a time frame, and I did everything in my power to make sure I met that deadline, to what I believe, a sufficiently high standard.

    I’ve also gained several sporting awards, athletics, rugby, and swimming to name but a few. I’ve took part in athletics championships as a hurdler, both at inter school level, and at county nationals. I’ve captained the school rugby team, which shows my leadership qualities, both professionally and socially. Both involved intense training twice a week, with up to 8 competitions in the summer term, and rugby matches throughout the year. I’ve always been a person to take part. I’m not necessarily good at some of the activities I’ve participated in, but I’ve always been willing to put my foot forward and ‘take the plunge’. If nothing else, I gain another level of experience in a field of knowledge.

    I was also elected to join the committee which organised the year 11 prom. This is a prestigious event that is looked forward to both my staff and pupils alike. It was rested upon my shoulders to not only design and create the graphic side of the event, i.e. tickets, invitations, financial spreadsheets ect, but to also take an active role in the decision making that would affect the prom. Meetings were held once a week of a lunchtime, every week, from October till June, all of which I attended. I believe this shows my excellent time keeping, and my ability to turn up on time, which proves me as a reliable person. During the meetings, I made valid contributions, and managed to work and pull together with a team of 8 students to decide what was best for the year group. I enjoyed working as a team member, and although it was challenging and somewhat difficult at times, I believe we made a beneficial impact on the year group.

    Out of school, I used to be in the local rugby team, for which I have won trophies and medals for my contribution and involvement in the success of that team. I also have a paper round five mornings a week, which I started in August 2010. To this day, I’ve always turned up on time, and have received numerous compliments from customers detailing my professional manner in which I deliver their service.

    Some of my proudest moments, which i believe make me shine as an individual, are as followed...
    - Single handily organising 159 leaver’s hoodies for my year group. From start to finish, i collected orders/money, created designs, sorted through and delivered, everything, to give these hoodies to my year group.
    - I ran the ‘leavers assembly’ acting as a presenter for 2 and a half hours, playing not only in the band, but introducing members of staff, giving out awards, and talking about my year group as a whole. For that final assembly, I became Dermot o’ Leary!
    - Taking part in a world record attempt, with 798 other drummers in Manchester, to play the same drum pattern for over five minutes. This event was created to raise awareness of the MS Society, which i raised £139 for.

    In September I join Chase Terrace Technology College sixth form, studying Maths, English Literature and Language (combined course), Product Design, Music Technology, and General Studies.

    I’ve made strong bonds with all of the staff I’ve encountered on a weekly basis at school. I believe myself to be easy to talk to, and friendly to know. I have no queries with asking for help, as I’m always open to learning new skills. I believe I could be a real asset to your company. I’m dedicated, reliable, and bursting with ambition, and I believe that my positive approach towards a working environment could prove a real asset to your team.

    Thank you for your time in reading this, and i look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Regards


    Oliver Tooth




    The yellow contact card...
    Part Time Employment Enquiry...

    16 Years Old
    Oliver Tooth
    *address and telephone info"

    Looking for part time employment, preferably weekend work, due to travelling from Burntwood, and commitments to my education, however, can work through most of the summer holidays if required. References available upon request.
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    Too long - you'll be lucky if an employer reads it all.
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    Thats way too long, i couldn't be bothered to read it, and i doubt a busy manager would either, sorry.

    I would aim for a cover letter to be less than a page of A4. Why not make it more like a CV, shorter sentences, organised into clearly defined sections e.g; academic achievements, extra curricular achievements etc.
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    There is very little chance that a business manager will come to meet you, and even less chance that he/ she will read through all that.

    This is the job of a CV. It highlights key skills/ experience in a way that makes them easily accessible to someone who needs to be able to find the information they want quickly. Adding a cover letter would be a good idea, but you would have to write a new one for each place that you apply to in order to tailor it to suit the job - in other words, this is best done for advertised positions when you know what they are looking for.

    If it is just part time work that you are after then don't go to all this trouble. A manager looking to hire a saturday boy probably doesn't want to know that you designed invitations and got put on the light rig. They'll care about whether you're interested in the job, whether you have appropriate experience in working with people/ whatever, if you have used any of the relevant skills/ drills before etc etc.

    I would advise you to write a very brief CV with only the relevant material in, structured in a way that suggests 'I have the right skills and the drive to work'. Then go hand it in - ask for the manager if you want, but be prepared to be turned down - at as many places as will take it. If they can see just from glancing at your CV that you have the right set of skills for the job, you might spark interest. There will probably be a hell of a lot of places who throw it in th bin as soon as you turn round, so better to be a short concise CV, than a letter that you spent a lot of time on. Also, don't tell them what you can and can't work before you even get an interview - let them meet you and become interested in you as an employee before you say 'Can't do this, can't do that'.

    TSR have a really helpful selection of people who can help. Go visit the CV help forum
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    Everything is pretty good, your choice of vocabulary establishes professionalism and your letter has a high degree of formality I'd just say that although you obviously have many achievements, you should prioritise them and emphasise the more important ones. You should explain more about what the experiences taught you e.g. multi tasking and leadership skills, rather than listing the activities you did as part of a job role. This will make you come across as analytical and more aware of the benefits of having a position of responsibility, it makes the employer feel more secure. Maybe do a small paragraph on what you expect to achieve, your predicted grades are really good but they don't take into account exam difficulty etc. if you give your opinion on what you think, the employer can get a realistic representation of what grades you will get. I think you should mention, in more detail, how you organised the leaver's hoodies, when reading through that really stood out. Instead of a letter format, you should do it in the style of a CV, this is more suitable for work applications. Good luck with job hunting
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    Thanks for all your suggestions!

    I definitely agree, my main concern was it just being far too long. I'm going to try and get it down to under a page, prioritizing my main achievements, and not waffling as much. Check back later, i'll post the updated version here!

    Thanks for your help - much appreciated x
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    (Original post by ollie96)
    Thanks for all your suggestions!

    I definitely agree, my main concern was it just being far too long. I'm going to try and get it down to under a page, prioritizing my main achievements, and not waffling as much. Check back later, i'll post the updated version here!

    Thanks for your help - much appreciated x
    Another tip - employers don't care about school achievements. Stick to what's relevant:

    Can you do the job asked of you?
    Do you have relevant experience to demonstrate it?
    Do you have a good work ethic, are you punctual, and are you willing to go the extra mile if asked?
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    (Original post by Aack)
    Another tip - employers don't care about school achievements. Stick to what's relevant:

    Can you do the job asked of you?
    Do you have relevant experience to demonstrate it?
    Do you have a good work ethic, are you punctual, and are you willing to go the extra mile if asked?
    This is exactly right.

    They want to know if you're gona jump when they click their fingers, no whether or not you can operate lights and design invitations.

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Updated: July 18, 2012
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