Amount of targeting in cover letter

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Republicrat
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:18 pm

Amount of targeting in cover letter

Postby Republicrat » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:25 pm

Hello everyone. Long time lurker, first time poster. Nice to meet you all!

I had a question pertaining to CL's. As I am gearing up to start writing all of my cover letters, and sending off Mass mailing and OCI applications, I was wondering how much targeting I should put in each of my cover letters!

I have a full-time internship as well as volunteer responsibilities that I have on the weekends so my time is basically limited to everyday after six and before bedtime at around midnight. Even at peak efficiency, I can't turn out more than 10 cover letters every night, because of the amount of firm specific information iPad and each.

I was just wondering if it would be more intelligence, and more efficient, to send off more form cover letters that I just change one or two sentences max.

I understand that this is a very important step, because I want to make sure that I'm not the same as everyone else, but I also don't want to send out only 40 to 50 mass mass mailings because I didn't have enough time to make more…I want to send out well over 100.

Thoughts?

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jessuf
Posts: 12496
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:27 pm

Re: Amount of targeting in cover letter

Postby jessuf » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:29 pm

I have form cover letters. I only change 1.) address + greeting, 2.) name of firm in the first paragraph (e.g. I am interested in a 2013 summer associate position with B & H), and 3.) first sentence of the second paragraph that explains why i like that specific firm. Everything else remains the same.

Buck.Shot
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:56 pm

Re: Amount of targeting in cover letter

Postby Buck.Shot » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:31 pm

Hopefully you are better at proofreading your cover letters than your posts.

Republicrat
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:18 pm

Re: Amount of targeting in cover letter

Postby Republicrat » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:54 pm

Holy crap. Scouts honor, I wrote that out on my iPad. I proofread it once, didn't catch anything.

Did my iPad just self-advertise?!

But, thanks for the help JessUF.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Amount of targeting in cover letter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:55 pm

Jessuf wrote:I have form cover letters. I only change 1.) address + greeting, 2.) name of firm in the first paragraph (e.g. I am interested in a 2013 summer associate position with B & H), and 3.) first sentence of the second paragraph that explains why i like that specific firm. Everything else remains the same.



What do you talk about generally in the "why I like specific firm" paragraph? They're work in particular practice areas? Reputation regarding their culture? Location?

target
Posts: 688
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: Amount of targeting in cover letter

Postby target » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:01 pm

Republicrat wrote:Holy crap. Scouts honor, I wrote that out on my iPad. I proofread it once, didn't catch anything.

Did my iPad just self-advertise?!

But, thanks for the help JessUF.


It's more your grammar/writing than typos.

NotMyRealName09
Posts: 1394
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: Amount of targeting in cover letter

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:58 pm

Republicrat wrote:Holy crap. Scouts honor, I wrote that out on my iPad. I proofread it once, didn't catch anything.

Did my iPad just self-advertise?!

But, thanks for the help JessUF.


Ipads suck for internet forum posting. Or typing anything, really. Or anything other than web-browsing.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Amount of targeting in cover letter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:22 pm

Republicrat wrote:Hello everyone. Long time lurker, first time poster. Nice to meet you all!

I had a question pertaining to CL's. As I am gearing up to start writing all of my cover letters, and sending off Mass mailing and OCI applications, I was wondering how much targeting I should put in each of my cover letters!

I have a full-time internship as well as volunteer responsibilities that I have on the weekends so my time is basically limited to everyday after six and before bedtime at around midnight. Even at peak efficiency, I can't turn out more than 10 cover letters every night, because of the amount of firm specific information iPad and each.

I was just wondering if it would be more intelligence, and more efficient, to send off more form cover letters that I just change one or two sentences max.

I understand that this is a very important step, because I want to make sure that I'm not the same as everyone else, but I also don't want to send out only 40 to 50 mass mass mailings because I didn't have enough time to make more…I want to send out well over 100.

Thoughts?


This is meant to be constructive, but you write long-winded. I can sympathize. I majored in philosophy in undergrad, so brevity did not come natural to me. It still doesn't. But it is a valuable legal skill, something I try and work on continuously. If you use a PC for typing, in Word turn on grammar check in addition to spell check - it's pretty good.

People on this forum can be mean, but there is something off in how you write. I'm no English major, but look at this sentence of yours - it will drive legal readers insane - too many words.


"I had a question pertaining to CL's."

No, you have a question about cover letters. Why use two words (twelve letters) when one word (five letters) will do?

"I have a full-time internship as well as volunteer responsibilities that I have on the weekends so my time is basically limited to everyday after six and before bedtime at around midnight."

That too can be shortened and clarified - "I have a full-time internship as well as weekend volunteer responsibilities. My free time is limited to everyday between six and midnight."

Same exact ideas, 10 less words (18 less letters/characters).

If someone went through things I've written here and did the same thing, I'd be torn apart, I know it. But if your cover letters are written in the same manner, something just seems off. Write your text, then look it over and find places to shorten. Lots of commas? Add a period instead. Extra words? Eliminate, they conceal your point. I know I sound like a dick, but there it is. Good luck.

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ben4847
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:38 pm

Re: Amount of targeting in cover letter

Postby ben4847 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:23 pm

I think that 1 tailored one is worth about 10 form ones.

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jessuf
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:27 pm

Re: Amount of targeting in cover letter

Postby jessuf » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Jessuf wrote:I have form cover letters. I only change 1.) address + greeting, 2.) name of firm in the first paragraph (e.g. I am interested in a 2013 summer associate position with B & H), and 3.) first sentence of the second paragraph that explains why i like that specific firm. Everything else remains the same.



What do you talk about generally in the "why I like specific firm" paragraph? They're work in particular practice areas? Reputation regarding their culture? Location?


I usually talk about specific practice areas and firm work in those practice areas. Some firms that are known for good work culture will get a blurb thrown in about that. However, this is rare. I generally bring up culture during the interview after I get a glimpse at what the office atmosphere is really like.

As for location, I only stressed location in cover letters to offices in regions I have ties to. In my opinion, it seems pointless to bring up location for an NYC office.

Also, for mass mailing, the recruiter will often times forward your e-mail to the partners you will be interviewing with, so they will read your cover letter as well. I used to think no one paid much attention to it, but I had 3 partners reference things I said in my cover letter today, especially regarding my "why this firm" paragraph. Make sure it's polished and not too generic.

LOLyer
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:49 pm

Re: Amount of targeting in cover letter

Postby LOLyer » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:56 pm

I personally had several generic cover letters, each derived from the same initial cover letter (I've been accumulating them for a while). Each of the generic cover letters was tailored to a particular type of internship (e.g. litigation, M&A, judicial, etc.). I would send each firm a generic cover letter that corresponded with one of their major practice areas, and simply edit the names.

However my mass mailings didn't net me any results.... go figure.




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