AnimationNation Forum

AnimationNation


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » a REALLY bad cover letter ;-)

   
Author Topic: a REALLY bad cover letter ;-)
Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Animation Co-op           Edit/Delete Post 
Courtesy of Rock N. Thamouse:
http://www.animationoptions.com/blog/2008/09/13/rock-on-or-how-to-not-get-the-gig/

IP: Logged
Richard S
Member
Member # 3508

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Richard S   Email Richard S         Edit/Delete Post 
I have to say I found your post really patronizing and insulting to students everywhere. While this may be a patchwork of every bad cover letter ever written I don't think this is in any way constructive. You should know that your not going to communicate and resonate with someone by belittling them. Many students could use help with cover letters but this is the type of patronizing crap that would make my blood boil as a student. This kind of thing sends a clear message to students that they are looked down on, not to mention the patronizing "lets review in a day or two". Yeah, it's obvious it's full of mistakes, but it's fictitious! Surely it would be better to show real cover letters with the more subtle mistakes that people make. We often talk on this board of trying to be positive and setting a professional stage for the discussion of animation and yet this type of thing only sets us back. I'm really quite surprised you would do this as it only serves to alienate you from your students.

--------------------
www.richardsmitheman.com

IP: Logged
jupeykrusho
IE # 273
Member # 3227

Icon 14 posted      Profile for jupeykrusho   Author's Homepage   Email jupeykrusho         Edit/Delete Post 
Often friends will have me proofread their cover letters and some, seriously, aren’t much better than “Rock”. The problems are they haven’t been taught and they haven’t put forth any effort to learn.

When I was writing my first cover letter I just looked at about 10 examples online(they have numerous samples for various professional fields), and saw the patterns of what to do and what not to do. Amazingly simple if you give a HINT of effort.

I say Kevin is spot on…and being quite nice about it actually. Reading only a handful of embarrasing cover letters every month, I couldn’t imagine the floods they have to sift through.

I would have killed to have a “real world” class instead of hearing how inspiring and wonderful our mediocre senior art projects were.

----------------------------------------------
http://www.jupeykrusho.com
http://www.jupeykrusho.blogspot.com
http://www.myspace.com/jupeykrusho
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jupeykrusho

--------------------
http://www.jupeykrusho.com

IP: Logged
Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Animation Co-op           Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Richard,

With all due respect, I think you need to lighten up a bit. [Smile]

My students at Cal Arts found this cover letter (and the industry survival tips seminar that it was a part of) to be entertaining and informative, and it is part of a larger presentation that includes examples of "good" cover letters and much much more.

I care a great deal about my students, past and present, which is why I take the time to share information that they have little opportunity get elsewhere. That I choose to do it with humor is just my style.

And by the way, this "unconstructive" example is indeed full of real mistakes that people actually make (you should know this, working in the industry as long as you have). I will "review in a day or two" (not to be "patronizing", but to give readers an opportunity to chime in with feedback of their own).

BTW, here's one of many letters of recommendation I have from an "alienated" student:

"Kevin is an intelligent, articulate, creative, talented and empathic CGI arts instructor who goes above and beyond the call of duty to help his students accomplish their creative goals. Kevin was invaluable to my arts education. His dedication to his job and the students went well beyond the three hours of allotted class time per week. His interest and excitement are genuine, which allows him to transform normally "dry & dull" subject matter into a fun and engaging educational experience. Kevin has an uncanny ability to explain complicated technical subject matter to even the most non-technical intuitive student in methods they are capable of understanding. He has the mind of technician and the soul of an artist. His enthusiasm for teaching both technology and the arts is so contagious that these two seemingly incompatible areas flow together effectively and seamlessly. Kevin can effortlessly discuss with authority a variety of subjects such as animation, current technology, past & current creative techniques, film, the fine arts, production pipelines, business and creative survival. He is forward-thinking, direct and treats his students with the respect they deserve. I can not say enough good things about this man." - Jim Ellis, Cal Arts

That you do not personally care for this cover letter or my approach is your prerogative, but please don't presume any more than that.

Cheers,
KG

IP: Logged
Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Animation Co-op           Edit/Delete Post 
By the way Richard, THANK YOU for boosting my blog traffic! [cheers]

Seriously. [Smile]

Kevin Geiger
http://www.animationoptions.com/blog/

IP: Logged
Richard S
Member
Member # 3508

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Richard S   Email Richard S         Edit/Delete Post 
Kevin,

I'm sure in the context of your seminar this cover letter comes through differently, but I have not seen your lecture and thus take it in the context that I felt it was presented on your blog. I am not disputing the fact that many people do not know how to write a cover letter only that I would like to see that dealt with in a constructive way. I guess I have a problem with people being talked down too, but if that was not your intention then fair enough, I'll lighten up.
I still maintain though, this reminds me of one of those patronizing handouts you get at the dmv or during a sexual harassment seminar at work where you have to "find" the problem staring you in the face.

Best,

R

--------------------
www.richardsmitheman.com

IP: Logged
Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Animation Co-op           Edit/Delete Post 
The distinction being that those are utterly devoid of intentional humor, as is appropriate for harassment-related literature.

We might also consider how patronizing it is not to give our students credit for a sense of humor. [Wink]

It's ironic how uptight folks can be in a field devoted to making people laugh.

Best,
Kevin

IP: Logged
Richard S
Member
Member # 3508

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Richard S   Email Richard S         Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, no kidding! Gotta go, I'm late for the chuckle factory. [Wink]

--------------------
www.richardsmitheman.com

IP: Logged
Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Animation Co-op           Edit/Delete Post 
Cheers, pal! [Smile]
Kevin

IP: Logged
mojodesign
IE # 237
Member # 3158

Icon 1 posted      Profile for mojodesign   Author's Homepage   Email mojodesign         Edit/Delete Post 
I totally buy that as a real cover letter as I myself have seen several just like it. I wish I could post a bio sheet a fellow artist friend of mine was handing out at his gallery show. Horrible. He spent more time giving excuses for himself and explaining why he had been in school for so long than actually writing about himself as an artist, what his inspiration is, or what makes his work so special. He wrote about how he had car troubles, didn't get along with some of the teachers, etc. It was horribly written...and let's not even get into the amount of typos it had. Some people just lack common sense.

There's also a bigger issue at hand. There seems to be a whole new "text/Myspacing generation" who have thrown grammar by the waste side: so much so that they've created their own language. I, as I'm sure most people do, use this sort of short key language when I text, but I know the difference. I know the difference between a text sent with the inconvenience of using a phone vs. writing an email properly.

One thing I've noticed too and I'm sorry if I'm veering away from the topic is the fact that so many young people have stopped using punctuation it's like there's no such thing as a period or comma anymore they just continue writing one run-on after another it's so sad to see I start to think is this what they're teaching in schools nowadays? [Wink]

-Jose S.

--------------------
 -

IP: Logged
-FP-
IE # 13
Member # 914

Icon 1 posted      Profile for -FP-   Author's Homepage   Email -FP-         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
...thrown grammar by the waste side
That was intentional, right?


 -

IP: Logged
Ganklin
IE # 14
Member # 1864

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ganklin   Author's Homepage   Email Ganklin         Edit/Delete Post 
hah i got a laugh out of it and didn't take it as seriously as richard did. unfortunately, i think a lot of students these days do suffer from what jose points out as the myspace/text slang, too.

--------------------
http://fsummers.blogspot.com/
www.shamoozal.com

IP: Logged
MattM
Member
Member # 3102

Icon 1 posted      Profile for MattM   Email MattM         Edit/Delete Post 
Why cant people have a sense of humor? While reading that "fictitious" cover letter I could actually see the younger generation writing such a thing. I have worked at a number of smaller studios and the attitude of the younger artists are sometimes exactly what I read in that letter. Thank you Kevin, it made me laugh and thank you for putting your money where your mouth is.

Matt

--------------------
www.mmaners.com

IP: Logged
mojodesign
IE # 237
Member # 3158

Icon 1 posted      Profile for mojodesign   Author's Homepage   Email mojodesign         Edit/Delete Post 
TO the waste side? I'm sorry it lookz like I'm not 2 far off frm da text/Myspace generation myself [Wink] .

--------------------
 -

IP: Logged
q
IE # 104
Member # 727

Icon 12 posted      Profile for q   Author's Homepage   Email q         Edit/Delete Post 
I apologize in advance for this...

http://www.youtube.com/JamesatWar


parody.. bound to make somebody mad.........

--------------------
"Thank you. And bring it on."

IP: Logged
Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Animation Co-op           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Thank you Kevin, it made me laugh and thank you for putting your money where your mouth is.
You're welcome. God knows I've put my foot there enough times! [Wink]

KG

IP: Logged
Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Animation Co-op           Edit/Delete Post 
Here is the (rather lengthy) follow-up, including a revision of Rock's notorious cover letter. [Wink]
http://www.animationoptions.com/blog/2008/09/17/paper-covers-rock/

KG

IP: Logged
Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Animation Co-op           Edit/Delete Post 
"...Rock commits the cardinal sin of applying for a position that he doesn’t really want, with the intention of using it as a toehold for the position he really does want. There’s nothing wrong with being clear on what you would like to do (in fact, it’s highly encouraged), and there’s nothing wrong with pursuing career aspirations and learning new things, but there’s nothing good about an employee who agrees to a position they could care less about with the intention of angling for something “better”. I’ve witnessed this firsthand, and it’s a recipe for diz-ass-ter.

Insulting your potential employer is never a good tactic, but nobody appears to have informed Rock of this principle, as he charitably offers to raise the quality of the studio to which he is applying. Believe it or not, the line: “Based on your last movie, I could definitely help raise your game.” is copied word-for-word from an actual applicant’s cover letter. That applicant ended up “raising” someone else’s game, not for the moronic comment (true professionals are not that petty) but for the lame reel that accompanied it.

Next, Rock gives a conflicting assessment of his drawing abilities, and after a poor attempt to spin his deteriorating draftsmanship, makes broad assumptions about his future employer’s willingness to train him. Many studios do indeed have training programs, but these are intended to burnish existing talent to a high shine - not to polish turds.

Forging ahead (you sorta have to admire the guy at this point), Rock dictates his terms: he’s a late sleeper, so he requires flex time, and his future boss needs to earn his respect. While managers, leads and supervisors do indeed reap the best results from employees who respect the person instead of fearing the title, it’s not Rock’s place to advance this as a prerequisite for his productivity. Furthermore..."


http://www.animationoptions.com/blog/2008/09/17/paper-covers-rock/

IP: Logged
Trondheimfan
IE # 169
Member # 2282

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Trondheimfan   Email Trondheimfan         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
TO the waste side? I'm sorry it lookz like I'm not 2 far off frm da text/Myspace generation myself [Wink] .
I think it's BY the WAYSIDE... [lamer]

--------------------
Tekenen is schrijven en spreken tegelijk.

IP: Logged
mojodesign
IE # 237
Member # 3158

Icon 1 posted      Profile for mojodesign   Author's Homepage   Email mojodesign         Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, dude. I haven't been able to eat or sleep since that was brought to my attention [unimpressed]

-Jose S.

--------------------
 -

IP: Logged
mojodesign
IE # 237
Member # 3158

Icon 1 posted      Profile for mojodesign   Author's Homepage   Email mojodesign         Edit/Delete Post 
By the way, Kevin, I totally agree with what you said about the mistake of applying for a position that you don’t really want, with the intention of using it as a toehold for the position you really do want....however, I gotta tell you, it's much easier said than done. Competition is so fierce out there. I remember having a similar strategy when I first got out of school. You want to take whatever you can get...whatever comes your way. My thinking was simple: get my foot in the door doing anything they'll hire me for. In the past 6 years since however, I have grown wise [Wink] .

Seriously though, I know that it's not really a good idea. Being miserable in a job you hate doing doesn't do anybody any good. All I'm saying though, is that it's not always as easy as waiting for a job that you're absolutely passionate about. It's tough out there.

-Jose S.

--------------------
 -

IP: Logged
Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Animation Co-op           Edit/Delete Post 
I think there's a certain Freudian elegance to "by the waste side". [Wink]

KG

IP: Logged
SoleilSmile
IE # 120
Member # 1483

Icon 1 posted      Profile for SoleilSmile   Author's Homepage   Email SoleilSmile         Edit/Delete Post 
If people actually applied for the positions they wanted exclusively, none of the studios would be able to fill all those endless TD positions.
[Roll Eyes]

--------------------
HipChick Comics and Animatress Blog

www.hipchickcomics.com
http://www.animatress.blogspot.com/

IP: Logged
Animation Co-op
IE # 295
Member # 3421

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Animation Co-op           Edit/Delete Post 
Believe it or not, there are many people who WANT to be TDs.

And those are the people who you want as TDs.

KG

IP: Logged


 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Animation Nation

Animation Nation © 1999-2012

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0