Cover letters on CCP

  • User Deleted

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    Hello!

    I know this subject has been covered many times on CCP, and although I've read some great advice and suggestions, I'm still struggling with what to write. My biggest issue is who do you address it to and how? A lot of the time there's no phone number with the job application, so you can't ring and find out who deals with casting. How do you begin, Dear (name of company), Dear Sir/madam (probably not?) And likewise, I never know how to end the letter; Yours faithfully, Hope to hear from you soon? Is that too pushy?

    Please could someone give me some advice as I am quite new to the industry, and so far have not received any replies to my applications. Also, please feel free to look at my CCP profile and give me any positives or negatives.

    Much appreciated,

    Siriol Tesni.

    • 4th Jun 2012
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  • User Deleted

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    Sometimes all it takes is a google of the company website to find out who to write to. Obviously personalise the cover letter to the specific job instead of just sending out something generic, highlighting work you have done that is relevant to the job.

    I know that my next step is getting a showreel together as it will be a physical representation of my work, maybe you should look into getting one too. I know they can be expensive but, in my opinion, it's a good investment.

    I do wish you luck. I'm also starting out and appreciate the advice that I get through the forums so I hope it makes the difference for you.

    • 16th Aug 2011
    • 1
  • Paul Thomas

    Actor

    If the breakdown doesn't say a name then I always use Dear Sir / Madam. I think it looks professional and much better than guessing a name and getting it wrong. I always end with Warm Regards as that works well for either Sir / Madam or a specific name - and fits in with my character.

    That leads on to say, that the cover letter should be a combination of looking professional, putting across your character and not sounding desperate! ALWAYS tailor the cover letter to the job application, mentioning jobs that you have done and other experience you have that are appropriate to that specific casting. I always mention both the job and the character I'm applying for in the cover letter so they know that it's not a pure cut and paste job and that I've understood the requirements and why I think I'm right for that part.

    Remember that they are looking through possibly hundreds of applications. Choose the headshot for the app that best fits the casting and don't waffle too much in the cover letter. Keep it brief, relevant and highlight all the important points (and leave out the rest).

    I also always end pointing to my website (or CV) for more details. If they want to see all your credits, training etc. then it's all there - no need to put everything in your cover letter.

    I hope this is some help. Good luck!

    • 16th Aug 2011
    • 2
  • Keith Hill

    Actor

    I have some of this from on here, and some from casting professionals.

    This above all: SAVE THEM WORK AND UNCERTAINTY.

    Don't address it to anyone, not even dear sir/madam.The applications are opened by droves by whosever job it is for the day. Anything specific but misdirected could give offence. I doubted that could be true, but the advice was repeated in a rising shriek and with an oath. Blimey. Since I have started doing that

    i) applications are a lot quicker to do because I am not dredging around websites for names whom I must then devine whether they are still with the firm, and if so whether it is their project.

    ii)My success rate has not dropped off.

    Type it in desktop document first,then spell check it, then print it off, then proof read it, then cut and paste it onto here, then proof read it again before sending. Trust me, the urgent application for the priceless job that will make your year is the one you'll mess up by rushing. I did.

    Confirm what you're after, what you've done that proves you're right for it (don't leave them to plough through the credits on your profile and guess), and tell them how to get hold of you, so they don't have to go to the trouble of looking it up elsewhere.

    If you've written more than 230 words you must be absolutely sure that every single one of them is indispensible.

    Some people just specify the part and sign off.Gets prizes for brevity (soul of wit and all), but I'm not so sure about that. Less is generally more.

    As a sign off, Yours faithfully is scrupulously correct, unless it is to an individual that you know and know will read it, in which case Sincerely is right, but a little bit of individuality within reason, probably doesn't hurt.

    Yours in haste before the pubs shut

    Keith.

    • 16th Aug 2011
    • 3
  • Peter Halpin

    Actor

    Keith makes some very good points. I've had a pretty decent success rate through CCP over the years, so I guess my cover letters must be about right on the whole.

    I keep them concise, appropriate and friendly. I open with 'Hi,' then say why I'm right for the job (mention specific experience/credits), what I like about the job (if it's a film, especially), remind them my appropriate reel (be it for acting, presenting or voice over) is on the attached profile, then always leave my contact number and email at the end. My closing gambit is 'Many thanks'.

    I have spoken to several people who work from the other side (i.e. receiving applications) and I always hear the same - too little (e.g. "I'm interested in this film. See my showreel.") shows no enthusiasm or professionalism, whereas too long (e.g. giving your whole film history, previous parts, your love for film and acting, why this sounds like such an amazing opportunity... etc) takes too much time to get through to sift out the necessary info.

    So, keep it concise (very much unlike this whole message!), tell them why you're a great candidate and point them to your CV/reel.

    Good luck one & all. :)

    • 16th Aug 2011
    • 4
  • User Deleted

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    Oh wow, thanks everyone - this has actually been really helpful for me too. I'm just starting out and seem to have sent off loads, without hearing anything. Since reading your adivce I've realised I never leave my contact number (I thought it all went through with the cover letter - silly me), and I will never make that mistake again!

    I always start job applications with Dear Sir/Madam though, and end in something like 'I look forward to hearing from you in due course. Yours faithfully...' (again in hindsight, I think 'I look forward to hearing from you' is probably a bit presumptious... and obviously hasn't worked for me!)

    Thanks for the tips and good luck with your applications! :)

    Ruth x

    • 17th Aug 2011
    • 5
  • Keith Hill

    Actor

    ah. Ruth.

    You will hear absolutely nothing in response to the cast majority of your applications. We all do. I'm guessing, because I haven't done a careful analysis, but I would say 90% plus disappear into the ether. Until the employer comes to you for something different five years down the line, anyway. when you start to get work, what it is, where it is, whether it's what you need and what the money is are far more fruitful fields for neurosis than the ones that vanish.

    By the way, the gizmos on here that tell you whether or not its been viewed can be a bit confusing. From time to time it still upsets me a bit to see a carefully crafted application apparently never opened, and then I realise that, without having registered as opening it the employer has been back to look at my profile three times in two days, so is obviously thinking about it at some level.

    Don't panic, Mr Mainwarin'

    Don't panic.

    • 17th Aug 2011
    • 6
  • Keith Hill

    Actor

    Both the above links are excellent, if sobering, and much better than anything I thought I could offer.

    Print off and consider frequently!!!!

    • 18th Aug 2011
    • 7
  • User Deleted

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    I never use Dear anything as an opener. It's pointless in this context.

    I say which part(s) I'm interested in and why I'm suitable, what interests me about them and the project specifically and confirm where I'm based and my availability.

    • 18th Aug 2011
    • 8
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Those links are really good and full of great advice. I would add that I never have 'Dear...' at the beginning. A good indication how long a cover letter should be is the length of the brief. If they have only written a few lines about the role and project then they will probably appreciate a short, snappy response. If they have gone into loads of detail about what they want from a candidate then spend the time answering all those points.

    And yes, the 'viewed' part of your application can be useful or can be misleading. I got a job once with a company that had apparently never viewed my application! It's a techie thing.

    Fay

    • 18th Aug 2011
    • 9
  • Keith Hill

    Actor

    (inserts tongue firmly in cheek)How tempted have we been at some oint, under the 'what interests me about it' heading to put '£XXX per day' just to see whether apparent candour got a different response? ;-)

    • 18th Aug 2011
    • 10
  • User Deleted

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    I usually just say hello..... and end with a thank you for your time then regards.

    I had a look at your pics, I much preferred your earlier shot from 2009 with no fringe, you have such a pretty face I think your fringe hides it too much and is too strong a look, it may put people off or it could just be be me. Just a thought.

    • 10th Sep 2011
    • 11
  • User Deleted

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    Thanks everyone, the response has been fanastic! Some great advice, and nice to know that other people are in the same boat :)

    Also thank you very much Alison for looking through my pictures and giving me your opinion. I know a fringe makes me look quite different, and it's interesting to hear what other people think.

    Cheers guys,

    Siriol

    • 11th Sep 2011
    • 12
  • Kerry-Ann Goode

    Actor

    Thank for this topic. In the same boat myself.

    It's getting that fine line between confident and cocky!

    • 9th Apr 2012
    • 13
  • User Deleted

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    Hi, I´m new to London and English is my second language so I find this subject very interesting.

    I have been using "Dear" and the production company or casting director and if none specified just "Dear Casting". This might be too much, just thought you guys were all formal and such! ;)

    I´ve ended mine with "Sincerely". Being from a non-english speaking country I have no idea when and why to use all those different sign offs.. "sincerely" just striked me as neutral.

    Do you guys always write which part you are applying for? I thought that this was obvious in the message they receive. So I´ve been more focused on why I feel I might be right for the part and anything else they might need to know about me.

    Also sometimes a production has several parts you might be right for, do you guys write a cover letter for each and every one? I just apply for the first and then mention in my coverletter that I feel I´d might be a fit for part such and such as well.

    I do feel keeping your coverletter short is probably appreciated at the other end.

    • 9th Apr 2012
    • 14
  • User Deleted

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    Emil,

    I think the rule of using "faithfully" and "sincerely" goes something along the lines of:

    If you know the person's name and start the cover letter with:

    Dear Mr Smith

    Dear Mrs Smith

    Dear Ms Smith

    Dear John

    Dear Janet

    Dear John Smith

    Dear Janet Smith,

    then you should end the cover letter with "Yours sincerely".

    If you don't know the person's name and start the letter with

    Dear Sir

    Dear Madam

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    then you should end the cover letter with "Yours faithfully".

    I hope this helps.

    • 9th Apr 2012
    • 15
  • Sue Parker-Nutley

    Actor

    I truly believe that correct spelling and grammar play a big part in the cover letter. The majority of the postings on CCP on whatever subject contain errors in spelling, grammar and syntax. Double read your letter before clicking on "send".

    • 9th Apr 2012
    • 16
  • User Deleted

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    Thanks Stuart!

    • 10th Apr 2012
    • 17
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I know this is an oldish thread but I just wanted to add my input for what its worth.

    Since having full status on here and applying for paid jobs I never use my general cover letter that I saved as I end up deleting half of it anyway! I just write out a new letter everytime stating how I fit the breakdown etc

    I get viewed about 99% of the jobs that I go for so something tells me that I must be doing something right, even if I dont get an audition!

    • 2nd Jun 2012
    • 18
  • Mark Lisseman

    Actor

    I've never used a separate cover letter. That would be in addition to using the text box on the page with the casting? Usually I try to keep it very brief, and include my CV as an attachment.

    If you guys use a separate cover letter, what do you use the text box for? Or do you not use it? I'm a little confused now!

    • 2nd Jun 2012
    • 19