afore you ride �em.
The cover letter is as important as the résumé itself, and is perhaps the most consequential letter a dancer writes (for many dancers it's the only letter they ever write.) Often your first contact with the director, a well-written cover letter makes the most of that all-important first impression. It can significantly improve your chances for an audition by generating excitement and interest. If poorly written, it can be devastating to an otherwise well-formulated self-marketing campaign.
Few dancers invest enough time and care in preparing the cover letter. Many even omit it entirely. This is a serious mistake. A résumé arriving on the directors� desk without a cover letter that explains why it is being sent leaves the director wondering what the exact intent of the dancer is; it is not always obvious. Does she want to audition for the school? Does she want to audition for the company? Is she coming tommorow? Does she want me to call her? Should I throw this résumé away? These are some questions that might pop-up if you don't include a cover letter.
So never underestimate the power of the cover letter. Since your future job may be riding on it, take the time and care necessary to write this crucial element of your résumé package. Make the most of this chance to stir interest in you as a possible new member of the company.
Basically, a cover letter does three things:
- Serves as a transmittal letter for your résumé.
- Introduces you and your outstanding dance achievements to the director.
- Generates interest in you and compels the director to take an action that will put you closer to an audition.
The Form of a Business LetterThe cover letter is best written in the form of a business letter. This creates a neat, positive image, enhances readability, and shows that you care about the look of your résumé package. After reading what is included in a business letter read the dancer's step-by-step tricks to writing an effective cover letter.
A business letter contains the following elements in the order of their appearance on the letter:
1. Return address- The return address is single-spaced and, depending on the length of the letter, about five to ten lines from the top of the page. It is flush with the right margin.
2. Date- The date of the letter is positioned on the next line below the return address. The month is capitalized and never abbreviated.
3. Address- This includes the name of the person to whom the letter is sent, his or her title, the name of the company, and the organization�s full mailing address.
4. Salutation- This is a greeting to the person whom you are writing. For example:Dear Mr. Martin: Dear Ms. Stealer: Dear John, Don�t use the director�s first name unless you have been introduced in person and are on a first-name basis. Even then, weigh the closeness of your relationship before following this practice. Use a colon if you have never met the person and use a comma if you have.
Try to avoid such salutations as:Dear Sir or Madam: To whom it may concern: Dear director: There is no reason to use such impersonal greetings. It is important to show interest in the company, and with a minimum effort you can find the name of the director.
5. Body- The body of the letter starts two spaces beneath the salutation, and contains your message to the director. The text is single-spaced, with a double space between paragraphs. (More on this important part of the cover letter later.)
6. Closing- Sincerely, Sincerely yours, and Most sincerely are appropriate closings for use with persons who are unknown to you. Best wishes, Yours, and Best regards are somewhat informal and normally reserved for persons with whom you have a fairly close relationship. The closing is always followed by a comma and the first letter is always capitalized.
7. The signature line- The signature line is always flush with the closing and at four to six lines below it. It is your full name, with middle initial if applicable. Sign your full name unless you are on familiar terms with the addressee. In this case, just signing your first name or nickname often softens the formal nature of a business letter.
The Elements of an Effective Cover LetterFollowing the five basic elements of an effective letter. Have a strong introductory paragraph that generates interest and either states or implies that your are seeking employment. Then a paragraph which highlights your key strengths and outstanding features, and a paragraph summarizing your education and performing experience. Most importantly, follow your history with a paragraph that compels the director to take an action that will lead to an eventual audition. Finally, include a statement of appreciation for the director�s time spent reviewing your résumé package.
The introduction must not only establish your interest in employment, but grab the reader�s attention and compel him or her to read further. Here is where your research pays off. Anything you can do to make the letter more personalized and less like a form letter will make the letter more interesting for the director to read. In the introduction, it�s also wise to indicate your intentions (reason for writing); this will help the director by making it easy to understand how you might help him or her. Do not be afraid to clearly indicate the position you want to audition for, especially if you omitted the objective section on your résumé. Not only is it less cryptic, it indicates firm goals, confidence, and an awareness of your level.
Use personal contacts to open the letter, with paragraphs, such as:
During a recent discussion with Truman Jones, I became aware of your desire to engage a tall, male principal dancer to partner my former colleague Susan Slipper. I am interested in talking with you about that position.
Use specific information about the company to create introductory paragraphs, like:
I read the article on your company in the December issue of Dance Magazine about your interest in developing young talent and bringing European works to Ballet Washington. As an enthusiastic young dancer who also loves the works of Cranks and Chilean, I found this article unusually interesting and it prompts me to ask for an audition with your company.
Don�t underestimate the value of a well-written compliment, such as:
I have been watching Tanz Munchen transform into a world-class company under your direction, and I admire its position as the leading dance company in Germany. I would like to be a part of this exciting company and feel that I can further strengthen your ensemble. Enclosed, therefore, please find my photos and résumé.
It should be clear by now how an imaginative use of research in the opening paragraph of the cover letter will create interest, give a good first impression, and serve you rather nicely in your quest for employment.
Now it�s your turn!Use information you gathered about your target companies to create a compelling opening paragraph for your cover letter. Mention either a mutual acquaintance or specific information about the company, or start with a compliment. The opening paragraph must contain the reasons for which you are writing and the exact position in which you are interested.
Value and summary:
The next two paragraphs do two things. One paragraph describes professional experience which might be of value to the target director, and motivates him or her to invite you for an audition. The second paragraph is dedicated to giving a brief summary of dance education and experience, and might include the number of years you have danced or the teachers with whom you have studied. These two paragraphs provide your main opportunity to market yourself and address the reasons you would be useful to the director. Don�t be afraid to highlight or repeat information that is already included on your résumé. Stress your qualifications and enthusiasm in a personal manner.
Now it�s your turn!Use the list of your experience and training, and your knowledge of the target company and its director, to write a compelling paragraph about your extraordinary talents and a short paragraph which summarizes your dance history. Study the examples of cover letters and model your letter after them.
So you�ve said you want to audition. You�ve mentioned your qualifications. Now what? The next paragraph is very important, because it compels the reader to take some kind of action that will help you get an audition. Here are some examples of action statements:
Please have your assistant call me if you are interested in seeing my performance video.Even if it�s simply to tell the secretary to expect your call, this significant paragraph forces the director to take an action, . More importantly, it indicates further communication which might save your résumé from the dreaded "permanent file" where it will have little chance of being seen by the director again.
I would appreciate the opportunity to audition for your company during my planned trip to Atlanta, and will call you next week to determine your interest and, if appropriate, to arrange for the meeting.
Should you have an opening in your company, I would welcome the opportunity to work with you in class, so you may determine if I am appropriate for your choreography. I can be reached at (415) 945-9584, and look forward to hearing from you.
Now it�s your turn!Write a commanding action paragraph. It must indicate further communications to come and ideally will prod the director to really consider having you audition.
Most directors and choreographers are extremely busy, and it is a matter of courtesy to express your appreciation for the time they are taking to review your audition material. See the sample cover letters for some closing paragraph examples. Try to avoid the words "thank you in advance for...." Thank the director for reading the cover letter or for considering you for an audition, or simply thank him or her.
Now it�s your turn!Select a paragraph from the examples below.
1. Thank you for your consideration.
2. I appreciate your time and consideration.
3. Thank you.
4. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.
A good cover letter incorporates all of the above elements. The letter is always typed and has an attractive overall appearance. It uses proper grammar and punctuation, and has perfect spelling. The text is concise and does not ramble on. There is no bragging or use of gross exaggerations, nor is the tone too humble or falsely modest. Instead, a job- winning cover letter sounds confident and professional without seeming to be aggressive and pushy.
Make sure you proofread the letter as you do your résumé. Check once for content, once for grammar, and once for typing mistakes and misspelled words. Have someone else read it. Read it backwards often helps find mistakes that were missed.
on this earth,
there is only opportunity.
GENERAL DOUGLAS MACARTHUR
Dancer Cover Letter
Employers have their own format and tactics to select an applicant for a job post. You never know on what basis they will decide whether to call you for an interview or not. It is always good or should I say that the best thing to do is to present your skills, talents and experience in the best possible way. So, prepare your resume and cover letter well. Any of this can become the deciding factor to get you a call or eventually help you get the job. For an exciting career such as dancing, your resume may not always help. In fact, at times the cover letter may grab the attention of the employer, who may find it interesting and finally persuade him or her to read your resume. Dancer cover letter should be the first step in your job search and hence prepare it in the best possible way. Include the information that is relevant for the job post.
How do you get the attention of the employer?
Prepare the cover letter and follow the right format. This includes the introduction, the body of the letter and the closing paragraph.
The introduction of the letter should indicate the purpose of applying for the job post. If it is a good organization/ company, it is always good to include the job post you are seeking. The letter should indicate where you have learned about the job post which may be responding to the job post, or may simply being referred by person in the company.
The next important part is the body of the letter, which should highlight your achievements and accomplishments. It should relate to the job post and show the employer that you can be the right applicant for the job post. It shows your strong personal traits that makes you an ideal candidate.
The concluding paragraph should state your urge for an interview but in a professional manner. Make their task easier to call you, hence include your contact details again here.
A sample cover letter will show you how to write this letter in a professional way and create the necessary impact upon the potential employer.
Date: MM/ DD/YYYY
Company's Name and Address:
Dear Mr. / Ms. (Employer's Last Name),
I was excited to learn about opening for the post of dancer in your organization (mention the name here). I believe my training and experience in this field will prove to be a great asset to your company. Please accept my resume, which will give you detail information about my experience and educational background.
Dancing was once my hobby but my love and passion for it has made me take this as my career. I have learned different dance forms and some of them are modern hip-hop to classical dancing. I have participated in the dance competition at national level and won the second prize. I have recently returned from France where I showed my skills and showcased my talent in both classical as well as western dance forms. People appreciated my talent and I got the first prize there.
I would appreciate if you could look at my resume and consider me for the post. It would be an honor for me to work in your organization. Please conduct a follow up interview wherein we can discuss on this more. I can be contacted at (insert contact details) or email me at (mention your email address).
Thanking you for the time, you took to read my letter and considering for the post.
Enclosures: Resume and Work Experience Certificates
This is how you can write a dancer cover letter. This letter is important to balance the tone. Although this is professional document, yet you can keep the tone conversational. It should further focus on how you can benefit the employer's requirement and not indicate what you expect from them.