Composing a Covering Letter

Together with your Stage Jobs Pro profile, a covering letter is your calling card to employers. It is important to set the right tone and create a good impression. A good letter can really do you favours; a bad, poorly presented letter can result in your application being dumped in the bin.

Theatres, directors and production companies receive a mountain of unsolicited approaches and won't be able to devote more than a few moments to each, therefore it's essential that you don't give them reason to dismiss your approach.

Given that there will be dozens, hundreds or thousands of other letters you might wonder how you can distinguish yourself, set yourself apart from the others. The tone of a letter is one of the most important elements and yet one of the hardest to get right. You don't want to sound sycophantic, arrogant, outlandish or zany. Including a keepsake or memento or some other such wacky device might raise a momentary smile in the office... it's also likely to land you in the bin. (There are no doubt exceptions to this but they'll be in the minority.) Be professional, if possible find out the name of the person to whom you're writing (and make sure you spell it correctly!) and address them by their full name rather than by their first name or title. Be yourself in the letter but keep in mind that yours will be one of many letters and that the employer / director won't have the time or patience to read an essay.

A letter should be a couple of clear, succinct paragraphs including why you are interested in the role and why you think you're suitable and should be considered. Do some research about the company or project so that you are able to write with knowledge about how you are the right candidate for their job.

Don't simply parrot what your CV says. When writing a letter try to think how it will come across to the reader, a person who doesn't know you. It's a good idea to run your draft by a friend or colleague for a second opinion before sending it.

Write in the first person singular (I), adhere to the usual rules of grammar and letter writing. Check your spelling, punctuation and grammar before you send the letter.

For covering letters sent as part of a job application via Stage Jobs Pro, don't forget that your profile is sent with your covering letter. Do make sure that your profile is as complete and up-to-date as possible. profiles look more interesting if you have uploaded appropriate photographs or you or your work.

A good covering letter is clear, concise, accurate, informative, aimable and respectful.