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  1. #1

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    Default Can you please help me with this Application Letter?

    Hi Guys, I need your feedback on my application letter to an Large Organisation who needs an IT support officer.

    I know its missing something or it has too much in it..

    Feedback would be much appreciated. (personal details have been removed)

    24/07/08



    To Miss / Mrs Ingrid Brown,

    My name is Ben <snip snip>, I am 21 years of age and currently am working in retail at a local appliance store, I have been working here for 4 months and am currently exploring other fields which I have interest in which is indeed anything technology based, OK i admit I'm a technophobe, naturally I have some of the latest toys / gadgets such as the new Apple iPhone however I'm very sociable and like to spend the weekend partying, camping or if there is nothing else to do i'll clean up my hard drive.

    Experience... There's lots to say but i'll keep it brief. I currently run a very small computer business with a small client base however from this small client base, the experience gained has been substantial!

    Some Experiences:

    Woody's Churchill Timber and Hardware have required me to build / order them new systems to suit their needs and keep their systems up to date. They also require me to attend the shop to keep everything swish. You can contact Woody on <snip snip>

    Lou Viggiano (Accountant) who has required me to help set up his office systems and troubleshoot his UPS (turns out it got hit by lightning, bad karma). Lou is contactable on <snip snip>

    Michelle from So Swish Cafe required assistance rolling back from Windows Vista to Windows XP.

    Geoff Block (Principal Churchill Kurnai) whom required me to build him up a computer for video editing, he even offered me a job at Churchill Kurnai building computers however it did not fit into my University timetable. See attached Reference for contact details

    Lawrie Briggs (Lawries Garden Maintenance) who is a friend / neighbour and owns a small gardening business and has required me to set up and troubleshoot his system, See attached reference for further details.

    At my current place of employment I have set up the POS, made a spreadsheet which is used for end of day activities and is being improved all the time (Last update added cheques), I also order spare parts, deal with the suppliers, manage consumable stock and provide help desk assistance if the computer breaks.

    Outside of these organisations I disassemble PCs / Macs to see how they work, perhaps tweak them to make them run better and fiddle with software to see if there is anyway I can roll it out quicker. (I currently use a preloaded CD with Windows XP and all the latest updates / software packages on them). This system cuts back about 4 hours per computer! On the Macs I fiddle with the OS and try to crash it.. So far, no luck!

    Enthusiasm is in my top ten list of words, it starts my engines and gets me revved to go, it also helps get the job done and makes me work well in a team. Give or take, you won't see me unhappy, not working really hard or rocking up to work in a tracksuit without doing my hair just to be unprofessional.

    Therefore there are plenty of reasons to hire me, whether its based on experience or just simply Enthusiasm. You will find my Resume, certificates and references on the next load of pages, attached for your convenience.

    Thank you for considering my application and I hope to hear from you soon for an interview.
    Ben <snip snip>


    Thanks Guys

    Ben

  2. #2

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    Default

    To Miss / Mrs Ingrid Brown,

    My name is Ben <snip snip>, I am 21 years of age and currently am working in retail at a local appliance store, I have been working here for 4 months and am currently exploring other fields which I have interest in which is indeed anything technology based, [U]OK i admit I'm a technophobe[, naturally I have some of the latest toys / gadgets such as the new Apple iPhone however/U]I'm very sociable and like to spend the weekend partying, camping or if there is nothing else to do i'll clean up my hard drive.

    Experience... I run a computer business with a small client base however from this small client base, the experience gained has been substantial!

    Some Experiences:

    Woody's Churchill Timber and Hardware have required me to build / order them new systems to suit their needs and keep their systems up to date. They also require me to attend the shop to keep everything swish. You can contact Woody on <snip snip>

    Lou Viggiano (Accountant) who has required me to help set up his office systems and troubleshoot his UPS (turns out it got hit by lightning, bad karma). Lou is contactable on <snip snip>

    Michelle from So Swish Cafe required assistance rolling back from Windows Vista to Windows XP.

    Geoff Block (Principal Churchill Kurnai) whom required me to build him up a computer for video editing, he even offered me a job at Churchill Kurnai building computers however it did not fit into my University timetable. See attached Reference for contact details

    Lawrie Briggs (Lawries Garden Maintenance) who is a friend / neighbour and owns a small gardening business and has required me to set up and troubleshoot his system, See attached reference for further details.

    At my current place of employment I have set up the POS, made a spreadsheet which is used for end of day activities and is being improved all the time (Last update added cheques), I also order spare parts, deal with the suppliers, manage consumable stock and provide help desk assistance if the computer breaks.

    Outside of these organisations I disassemble PCs / Macs to see how they work, perhaps tweak them to make them run better and fiddle with software to see if there is anyway I can roll it out quicker. (I currently use a preloaded CD with Windows XP and all the latest updates / software packages on them). This system cuts back about 4 hours per computer! On the Macs I fiddle with the OS and try to crash it.. So far, no luck!

    Enthusiasm is in my top ten list of words, it starts my engines and gets me revved to go, it also helps get the job done and makes me work well in a team. Give or take, you won't see me unhappy, not working really hard or rocking up to work in a tracksuit without doing my hair just to be unprofessional.

    Therefore there are plenty of reasons to hire me, whether its based on experience or just simply Enthusiasm. You will find my Resume, certificates and references on the next load of pages, attached for your convenience.

    Thank you for considering my application and I hope to hear from you soon for an interview.

    The areas that I've highlighted should be removed.
    The experience area needs to be tighter. You don't need to give client details, just the showcase the work that you did as tersely as you can.

    EDIT - My own CV (covering around 10 years work) is just over 1 page, I can include it here so you can take a peek if you want.
     iPhone & iPhone 3GS, Macbook Pro 17" C2D 2.8ghz. iMac alu. 20" C2D 2ghz. iMac 20" CD 2ghz & Cube 450mhz. Website

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    Hi Guys, I need your feedback on my application letter to an Large Organisation who needs an IT support officer.
    So Wally, you are moving into IT (In Dr. Zoidberg voice.)

    My thoughts?

    I would cut out or tone down this bit, it sounds a little too geeky, and I should know, being one of them here.

    OK i admit I'm a technophobe, naturally I have some of the latest toys / gadgets such as the new Apple iPhone however I'm very sociable and like to spend the weekend partying, camping or if there is nothing else to do i'll clean up my hard drive.

  4. #4

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    Default

    Try this for size ....

    To Miss / Mrs Ingrid Brown,

    My name is Ben <snip snip>, I am currently working in retail at a local appliance store where I have been working for 4 months. I had decided long ago that my career future lies in IT and am very keen to be interviewed for the position of IT Support Office that you have advertised. I am 21 years of age, and I explore all facets of technology at every opportunity.

    I currently run my own, small, IT business and have a few loyal customers who rely on me at a variety of levels. Over the past few years, I have proven to these customers that I am reliable and efficient and the experience I have gained supporting and developing these customers has proved invaluable.

    Some Experiences:

    Woody's Churchill Timber and Hardware: Systems requirements definition, specification, purchasing, configuration, testing and implementation in production and on-going support and maintenance.

    Lou Viggiano - Accountant: Systems configuration and implementation and peripherals fault diagnosis and rectification.

    So Swish Cafe: Systems software downgrading (Vista to XP) and data rollback for POS systems.

    Churchill Kurnai: Specification, configuration, implementation and on-going support of a computer based video editing system.

    Lawries Garden Maintenance: Systems requirements definition, specification, purchasing, configuration, testing and implementation in production and on-going support and maintenance.

    Current Employer: Systems requirements definition, specification, purchasing, configuration, testing and implementation in production and on-going support and maintenance of the POS systems, including end-of-period processing. This also requires me to provide 1st and 2nd level support to all staff.

    I am very familiar with most areas of PC hardware and am comfortable with my knowledge of the most popular PC operating systems and general applications.

    I am professional, enthusiastic, energetic, thorough and see tasks through to the end every time, and have a reputation of just quietly getting the job done to help those around me. My past experience, knowledge and attitude to staff and customers ensure that I have the necessary qualities to be a strong candidate for the role of IT Support Officer that you are seeking.

    My resume is attached which provides further details. Should you require references I am more than happy to provide names and contact details to you if you wish to progress my application to the next stage.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia ...

  5. #5

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    Default

    I wouldn't call myself a technophobe if I was applying for a technical support role...

    Cheers
    Steffen.

  6. #6

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    Default

    My only worry about the small business bit is that the small client base now "rely" on you... Most employers would worry that if your small business takes off and starts to grow, that you would then bugger off and leave them.

    While it shows lots of experience and skills I'd want to keep a lot of it quiet.
     iPhone & iPhone 3GS, Macbook Pro 17" C2D 2.8ghz. iMac alu. 20" C2D 2ghz. iMac 20" CD 2ghz & Cube 450mhz. Website

  7. #7

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dotnet View Post
    I wouldn't call myself a technophobe if I was applying for a technical support role...

    Cheers
    Steffen.
    +1

    Though I thought that it might just be a typo.
     iPhone & iPhone 3GS, Macbook Pro 17" C2D 2.8ghz. iMac alu. 20" C2D 2ghz. iMac 20" CD 2ghz & Cube 450mhz. Website

  8. #8

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutze View Post
    My only worry about the small business bit is that the small client base now "rely" on you... Most employers would worry that if your small business takes off and starts to grow, that you would then bugger off and leave them.

    While it shows lots of experience and skills I'd want to keep a lot of it quiet.
    Good point, well presented. Add the word "hobby" to that sentence.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia ...

  9. #9

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    Default

    i would also not start the letter talking about your interest in technology and experience but rather open by explaining why you want to work for this company and what you can offer them in return.

    then outline the particular skills you would bring to the job, problem solving, ability to work as a self managed team member, initiative, any other key words/phrases you can pick up from their advertising, promotion, business style etc.

    basically you need to grab their attention in the opening of your letter and make yourself sound like the employee they have been looking for.

    i would actually consider attaching your experience within a brief resume on a separate page, contact details, education, work experience (starting with the most recent) and referees - and not including it on the letter of aplication.

    keep it brief and succinct, grab their attention before they bin your letter!

  10. #10

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    Default

    Is there a list of criteria that you need to meet, or a Position Description? I think it would be more relevant to address any of those points first and then add a bit about yourself (ie ability to work on your own and within a team, enthusiastic., motivated, quick learner, reliable, etc).

    Application letters need to be concise and informative enough to get the reader to check out your CV, and then get you the interview. That's where you wow them with your personality and skills. Don't forget that HR people (or whoever is going to reading this) will be getting a lot of letters coming past them so they don't want to spending too much time on each one.
    15" MacBook Pro C2D 2.6Ghz 6Gb RAM, 320GB 7200 HDD, 512 VRAM & 23" Cinema Display
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  11. #11

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    Default

    Slightly reworded to de-emphasis the threatening portion.

    I currently have my own, hobby, IT business where I support some local companies that have relied on me at a variety of levels. Over the past few years I have proven to the owners of these businesses that I am reliable and efficient and the experience I have gained supporting and developing these customers has proved invaluable.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia ...

  12. #12
    yellow18 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    Hi Guys, I need your feedback on my application letter to an Large Organisation who needs an IT support officer.

    I know its missing something or it has too much in it..

    Feedback would be much appreciated. (personal details have been removed)



    Ben <snip snip>


    Thanks Guys

    Ben
    A technophobe, is someone who is scared of technology.... you might be a technophile, but i'd associate that with a Raver!
    Just tell them you are always interested in exploring the latest in technology offerings and discovering how they may make life simpler for businesses or everyday consumers. (ie you do a lot of reading on the subject and product testing)

    use of words shows your immaturity to prospective employer.

    eg: 'swish' besides using it in the name of a business
    tweak??? poor english
    POS systems. don't abbreviate .... it is Point Of Sale.... don't assume the person who reads the reference knows what you are talking about.

    'I'm very sociable and like to spend the weekend partying,'
    translates to i am young and unreliable
    you might say, i'm not shy yet i am a great team player.

    Prospective employer should not have to ask for references. Just provide them.

    I am very familiar with most areas of PC hardware and am comfortable with my knowledge of the most popular PC operating systems and general applications.
    except the important ones??

    Have you completed any courses to gain your knowledge? Do you have any legitimate qualifications?

  13. #13

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    I might have to do one of these for my CV to let you guys tear it apart!

    It has been almost 8 years since I last wrote a CV!
     iPhone & iPhone 3GS, Macbook Pro 17" C2D 2.8ghz. iMac alu. 20" C2D 2ghz. iMac 20" CD 2ghz & Cube 450mhz. Website

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Venom71 View Post
    Try this for size ....

    To Miss / Mrs Ingrid Brown,

    My name is Ben <snip snip>, I am currently working in retail at a local appliance store where I have been working for 4 months. I had decided long ago that my career future lies in IT and am very keen to be interviewed for the position of IT Support Office that you have advertised. I am 21 years of age, and I explore all facets of technology at every opportunity.

    I currently run my own, small, IT business and have a few loyal customers who rely on me at a variety of levels. Over the past few years, I have proven to these customers that I am reliable and efficient and the experience I have gained supporting and developing these customers has proved invaluable.

    Some Experiences:

    Woody's Churchill Timber and Hardware: Systems requirements definition, specification, purchasing, configuration, testing and implementation in production and on-going support and maintenance.

    Lou Viggiano - Accountant: Systems configuration and implementation and peripherals fault diagnosis and rectification.

    So Swish Cafe: Systems software downgrading (Vista to XP) and data rollback for POS systems.

    Churchill Kurnai: Specification, configuration, implementation and on-going support of a computer based video editing system.

    Lawries Garden Maintenance: Systems requirements definition, specification, purchasing, configuration, testing and implementation in production and on-going support and maintenance.

    Current Employer: Systems requirements definition, specification, purchasing, configuration, testing and implementation in production and on-going support and maintenance of the POS systems, including end-of-period processing. This also requires me to provide 1st and 2nd level support to all staff.

    I am very familiar with most areas of PC hardware and am comfortable with my knowledge of the most popular PC operating systems and general applications.

    I am professional, enthusiastic, energetic, thorough and see tasks through to the end every time, and have a reputation of just quietly getting the job done to help those around me. My past experience, knowledge and attitude to staff and customers ensure that I have the necessary qualities to be a strong candidate for the role of IT Support Officer that you are seeking.

    My resume is attached which provides further details. Should you require references I am more than happy to provide names and contact details to you if you wish to progress my application to the next stage.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    I would go with something along the lines of this.

    The tone of your original was way too casual and informal, and things like grammar mistakes, badly worded sentences, etc will most likely mean your application will be thrown in the bin straight away. Things likes exclamation marks and elipses really shouldn't be in a formal cover letter in the first place.

    The only thing I would change from Venom's suggestion is how you talk about your past work experience. You have way too much there for the cover letter. The complete list should just be in the resume. Instead, use two, three at most, paragraphs to summarise the most important, impressive and relevant work experience you've had succintly, instead of lumping everything into a list. You should also put your experience in reverse chronological order i.e. your current employment first, then work backwards.

  15. #15

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    Default

    The line "bad karma" sounds nice but makes you sound a stoner. Get rid of it instantly.

  16. #16

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    Application letter should be filled with the "words" that the reader is quickly scanning for. Also if it is being scanned by a computer program (as is common with large organisations' inhouse recruitment teams and recruitment consultancies) do not use plurals or abbreviations.

    IMHO, in the cover letter for an IT Support Role in a large organisation you should be talking about the following:

    Ability to hit deadlines (internal service level agreements are in place regarding fixing user problems)
    Ability to follow process/proceedures/methodologies
    Ability to communicate clearly and concisely with a wide range of people
    Ability to communicate complicated tasks in an easy to understand manner
    Commitment to customer service (the users are internal clients)
    Team work - the fact that you have been working solo is a -ve
    Why you want to work for a company rather than for yourself

    To be frank, I wouldn't have read past the first paragraph, and I do this for a living. I would have jumped straight to the CV with a cursory glance just to code it unless something really jumped out at me.

    Sorry, but upfront is best.
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    If you are bored, find me on iChat, visit my web page, read my uninteresting blog, Tweet me, and if all that fails - yell to get my attention.

  17. #17

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    Whoa wasn't expecting so much feedback..

    I appreciate your help guys and will take your advice.

    Lucky its only a draft.

    Maybe I just use Venom71's idea with his permission! (I suck at writing cover letters you see)

    I could post my resume here if you like (its on my website anyway)

    Edit: ah what the hey http://www.68kshrine.net/Resume.pdf

    Edit Edit: Heres the newspaper article


    A major cooperation in Traralgon has a fabulous oppotunity for someone who would love to build a career in IT. You may be currently working towards an IT qualificationa nd just need the right environment or you may have a couple of years experience in IT support.

    In This busy and varied role you will e responsible for ensuring that software and hardware licenses are current, maintaining consumable stock, liasing with suppliers, maintaining spreadsheets, ordering equipment, co-ordinating staff relocations, and providing help desk assistance.

    This company will offer you a mentioring and supportive environment within a professinal and exciting IT department

    So don't wait any longer to kick start your career. Opportunities like this don't come along very often.
    This is from an employment agency and I am not sure what company it is yet.. I will contact Ingrid when I submit the application to see if she had received it.

    Cheers guys

    Ben

  18. #18

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    Default

    By the way Wally - the strategy of not including references, but offering to provide them, makes them ring you if they want to progress things. However, reference checking is usually done after the 1st interview as part of the confirmation process. This gives you an opportunity to (a) know where your application is up to and (b) continue the 'selling yourself' process during the phone call, and lastly (c) time to brief your referees on what went well and not so well in the interview.

    I also offer a few tips on interview technique. Brief your self on their business. The web is wonderful, including the ASIC website. Look at the products and services they offer and try to see these from the perspective of your potential employer and how IT may be important to them. When you talk about them during the interview use this researched information.

    At the end of the interview they will ask you if you have any more questions. This is your opportunity to ask to very important questions. The first is:

    1. Considering my interview today, what suggestions would you have for someone in my position seeking this sort of career?

    2. If you were sitting in my position being interviewed what is the one question you'd ask, that I haven't already asked.

    Use your own words and phrases - I do actually talk this way all the time - so when I say it this way it sounds natural, but if you try and talk this way it'll sound rehearsed, forced and disingenuous. What you're trying to show by asking these open questions is:

    Question 1: Shows you're open to criticism and treat feedback constructively and positively. You respect the people who interviewed you enough to ask their opinion (which is flattering).

    Question 2: Is very important. They will answer, especially if there's more than one person interviewing you. And the answer they provide gives you competitive advantage of any other applicant. Why? Because you follow up their answer by asking them to answer that question. This shows you're interested, and interesting, thoughtful and use reflective listening when dealing with other people. A trait very desirous in support people.

    Lastly, and I know this is a lot ... Start the interview with a compliment. Compliment either the decor of the office, the products they sell, their offices or the word around town about the company. Doesn't matter what it is - just start with a compliment. Make it up if you have to.

    Cheers
    V71
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia ...

  19. #19

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    Default

    the only thing that I would change is the first line

    Dear Miss/Mrs.... to Ms as it's the norm for a woman if you are not sure if they are married or not.
    Owner of many Apples, some you can eat, others you can't.

  20. #20
    yellow18 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mayken View Post
    the only thing that I would change is the first line

    Dear Miss/Mrs.... to Ms as it's the norm for a woman if you are not sure if they are married or not.
    To whom it concerns,

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