Explain W in cover letter?

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Explain W in cover letter?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:52 am

If I had to withdraw from a class for personal reasons, should I disclose that reason in a cover letter to a firm? This won't affect my graduation date or anything like that.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:07 am

Personally, I wouldn't draw attention to it, particularly if it doesn't affect GPA/graduation date. Others may think differently though. Also, the firm may not even notice it...

misterjames

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby misterjames » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:27 am

absolutely not. I'm actually interested to hear how you were intending on going about this, I can't imagine any reasonable way of bringing something like that up in a cover letter that would be to your benefit.

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Kratos

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby Kratos » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:29 am

yeah dont do that

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:03 pm

I don't think firms would care, but never apologize or explain a weakness in a cover letter. That's not what it's for. Let them ask questions in an interview.

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:05 pm

I think it depends on how important a class it is. If it is a lot of credits, or if you had it on your resume or highlighted it in interviews, I think you should explain since you might look disingenuous if you somehow used it to look good but have ended up dropping out.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think it depends on how important a class it is. If it is a lot of credits, or if you had it on your resume or highlighted it in interviews, I think you should explain since you might look disingenuous if you somehow used it to look good but have ended up dropping out.

This doesn't work logistically, because the cover letter comes before interviews. If the OP talked about it in past interviews (which we don't know), what they do in a cover letter now will be utterly moot for those interviews because you don't write a cover letter to an employer after you've interviewed with them. And if it's highlighted on their resume they should just stop doing that (again, if it was highlighted on any resumes they previously sent out, what they write on a cover letter now isn't going to change the resume they've already sent. If they're sending out cover letters now presumably they won't be highlighting a class they didn't take on the resume they submit with that letter).

Tl:dr - no, really, don't bring it up in a cover letter.

thegrayman

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby thegrayman » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:26 pm

I wouldn't draw attention to it.

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:45 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think it depends on how important a class it is. If it is a lot of credits, or if you had it on your resume or highlighted it in interviews, I think you should explain since you might look disingenuous if you somehow used it to look good but have ended up dropping out.

This doesn't work logistically, because the cover letter comes before interviews. If the OP talked about it in past interviews (which we don't know), what they do in a cover letter now will be utterly moot for those interviews because you don't write a cover letter to an employer after you've interviewed with them. And if it's highlighted on their resume they should just stop doing that (again, if it was highlighted on any resumes they previously sent out, what they write on a cover letter now isn't going to change the resume they've already sent. If they're sending out cover letters now presumably they won't be highlighting a class they didn't take on the resume they submit with that letter).

Tl:dr - no, really, don't bring it up in a cover letter.


All good points. Don't mention it in a cover letter to a firm you haven't been in touch with. But if there are pending applications/about to have a CB I would address it before being asked about the class if it is one you made a big deal of at EIW or on a resume or something like that. If just a regular class, then ignore.

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mjb447

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby mjb447 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:23 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I don't think firms would care, but never apologize or explain a weakness in a cover letter. That's not what it's for. Let them ask questions in an interview.

This. Most job applications could be stronger in some way: one of the primary purposes of an interview is permitting a candidate to offer a reasonable explanation for any weaknesses that aren't a dealbreaker for the employer. If a weakness is a dealbreaker, you won't get an interview, and a statement in your cover letter is unlikely to change that.

Arbinshire

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby Arbinshire » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:54 pm

Your cover letter is intended to sell you, not your weaknesses. Leave it out and if it comes up, discuss the rationale behind it. It's unlikely to come up. If it does, it may not be a firm you want to for.

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rpupkin

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:All good points. Don't mention it in a cover letter to a firm you haven't been in touch with. But if there are pending applications/about to have a CB I would address it before being asked about the class if it is one you made a big deal of at EIW or on a resume or something like that. If just a regular class, then ignore.

This is still bad advice. I don't care what the class is--you don't reach out to a firm before a CB to tell them that you dropped a frickin law school class. That would violate the all-important "don't be weird" rule.

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elendinel

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Re: Explain W in cover letter?

Postby elendinel » Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:34 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:All good points. Don't mention it in a cover letter to a firm you haven't been in touch with. But if there are pending applications/about to have a CB I would address it before being asked about the class if it is one you made a big deal of at EIW or on a resume or something like that. If just a regular class, then ignore.

This is still bad advice. I don't care what the class is--you don't reach out to a firm before a CB to tell them that you dropped a frickin law school class. That would violate the all-important "don't be weird" rule.


Agreed: don't draw attention to your weaknesses by pointing them out before you've been asked about it. Chances are the interviewer won't notice, and if they do notice, they'll ask if they want you to explain yourself. If you're about to have a CB, presumably they didn't care enough about the W to ding you, so it's a moot point at that stage. If you have a pending app, you still don't want to risk pointing out weaknesses that they may not have noticed/cared about. The last thing you want to do is give people a reason to think they should worry more about something than they would have if you had said nothing.



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