Cover Letter: Unique or Safe (3L Mass Mailing)

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Unique or Safe

Unique
2
22%
Safe
5
56%
You're not going to get a job through mass mailing anyhow.
2
22%
 
Total votes: 9

Anonymous User
Posts: 273127
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Cover Letter: Unique or Safe (3L Mass Mailing)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:32 pm

Question for the TLS public.

For you 3Ls who will be mass mailing this year, do you think it's better to draft a memorable (or at least unique) cover letter or a safe cover letter?

For 1L mailing and OCI, my cover letter was the pretty standard three paragraph letter.

Para 1: Intro

Para 2: Why I'm great (essentially summarizing the high points of my resume)

Para 3: Why I'm attracted to big firm X.


I think that's a fine way to structure a letter, especially for OCI where you're in a smaller pool (i.e. the 100-200 people in your class competing for one of 10-20 interview slots). As a 3L mailer, though, you're one of hundreds or thousands of packages the recruiting people are going to sift through. Considering that, it occurs to me that maybe it's desirable to do something different with the cover letter to set yourself apart.

For a cover letter I recently did, this was more or less the structure.

Para 1: Intro

Para 2: I have good grades and am on LR . . . just like the 100 other people who sent you resumes. Here's what makes me different.

Para 3: Why I'm attracted to Big Firm X.

So, what's the consensus?

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nevdash
Posts: 409
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:01 pm

Re: Cover Letter: Unique or Safe (3L Mass Mailing)

Postby nevdash » Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:37 pm

I definitely agree with your idea that you have to be much more creative as a 3L mass-mailing than as a 2L. But I think the more effective way to stand out is meeting with alums at firms and having them pass your materials along. Nobody reads cover letters anyway; if a recruiter pays enough attention to your cover letter to notice your cute twist, you're already in good shape.

From another 3L trying to hustle: good luck!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273127
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Cover Letter: Unique or Safe (3L Mass Mailing)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:42 pm

nevdash wrote:I definitely agree with your idea that you have to be much more creative as a 3L mass-mailing than as a 2L. But I think the more effective way to stand out is meeting with alums at firms and having them pass your materials along. Nobody reads cover letters anyway; if a recruiter pays enough attention to your cover letter to notice your cute twist, you're already in good shape.

From another 3L trying to hustle: good luck!


OP here. Everyone says to meet with alums to get an in, and I think that sounds great, but am at kind of loss for how to actually do it. How do you approach a conversation that begins with you cold calling or cold e-mailing an alum to talk about the firm and is supposed to end with them agreeing to hand your materials off to recruiting?

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nevdash
Posts: 409
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:01 pm

Re: Cover Letter: Unique or Safe (3L Mass Mailing)

Postby nevdash » Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:48 pm

I was just as confused as you (probably contributed to not landing a 2L SA). Just recently, I met with two partners from different firms for the first time ever. One of them said something like, "I'm impressed with your resume and how you present yourself. I'll bring you up during the hiring committee meeting tomorrow." The other asked me to email him my resume so he could forward it to the hiring partner. Both happened before I even brought up the subject of hiring. So it seems like it just happens organically in some cases. If the partner doesn't bring it up him/herself, then I have no idea what to do. Maybe say something like, "I've really enjoyed meeting with you and hearing about your firm. Do you think that I would be a competitive candidate for a first-year associate position?"

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kalvano
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Cover Letter: Unique or Safe (3L Mass Mailing)

Postby kalvano » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:32 pm

I think you should find a couple specific things to talk about that you have done that are interesting and maybe not all applicants will have that experience.




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