Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brainstorming Sample for Letter of Introduction

For this sample, I'm imagining it's June 1982.  I'm starting my final semester - a summer semester - prior to graduating from UCLA with a degree in Political Science (concentration in International Relations).  I know that I want to work in NGOs for my career.  I'm thinking about a job with Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, where I did an internship and a one-year full-time job while I took a year off from school, and then a part-time job for six months while I was back in school (and doing right now).  But much of what I think about might be relevant to other employers in the same field.  While these people know me, and I know them, I'll pretend that we didn't know each other.

The job is Program Supervisor (Administration Supervisor) for a Refugee Employment Project. The other Supervisor is supervising the Job team, he supervises most of the staff out at 4 centers, my job is the paperwork side of things, most at headquarters.  (I got this job.)

5 minutes brainstorming about what I might talk about in a cover letter to apply for this job.

  • speak some Spanish, French, and Filipino
  • grew up with Asians
  • worked with Asian and Haitian refugees as Intern/job
  • some experience in coordination (low level management) at Catholic Charities
  • Eagle Scout
  • career aim in charities work
  • worked at McDonalds and Thrifty Drug Store (a chain, three stores)
  • Ast Manager at two small drug stores
  • pay not a big deal, just enough
  • considering MPA, but not quite ready to start
  • I know people at Catholic Charities, and the partner agencies across LA/Ventura/Santa Barbara Counties
  • I write well, do grant-writing and ghostwriting
  • comfortable in a tie
  • long hours no problem (but don't love mornings)
  • have a car and driver's license
  • trained secretaries and tutor English
  • comfortable in places where I don't understand the language
  • I'm Catholic
  • I like problems (finding solutions, include library and practical research)
  • I like working with young student part-timers
  • I can type pretty well
  • I can fix some equipment sometimes
  • I know the organizational environment (key people, policies, and neighborhood)
  • worked in flower shop, mostly as driver, in San Diego (different city)
  • quick thinker
  • good public speaker
The next challenge is deciding which of these might be useful for a particular job application, which are less useful, and which might be dangerous!