Catmom (wildflower399) wrote in thequestionclub,

Job application help

Would you please critique my cover letter for a job I’m considering applying to?

Back story: I have an 18-year-old Master’s of Library Science degree but have never used it. The job is a part-time position at my local library. They don’t require an MLS for this: the job ad states “Some library or public service experience is a minimum requirement for this position, and familiarity with computers and database applications as well as previous library training is preferred.” I’ve been self-employed in a different field, my client base is highly confidential and I can’t list any of them as references. My business is tanking due to the economy, not due to ineptitude on my part.

The lady in charge of the daily operations of the library has known me for 20+ years and I believe she would put in a good word for me. I will be giving my application to the library CEO in person - should I mention that the librarian knows me?

How can I express this situation without sounding like an idiot? My resume will be almost empty except for my academic background and my 18 years of self-employment. This is my draft for the cover letter to go with it. Please, ANY suggestions for changes, additions, rewordings would be appreciated!

ETA: should I even mention my MLS at all, since it "overqualifies" me? But I can't just leave it off my resume, can I?

Dear [CEO of the library],

this application is with regard to your posting for a [xxx] as listed on the [xxx] website.

I hold an MLS from the University of [xxx] (dating from 1996 when the school was called [xxx]) but have been self-employed as translator ever since graduation. My MLS degree has never been used in a library setting per se but the knowledge and skills it gave me have enabled me to provide research and fact-checking services to my clients along with my translations.

My work requires a very high degree of attention to detail and the fact that I have maintained my business successfully for almost 20 years demonstrates that I can work accurately under pressure of deadlines to the satisfaction of clients with widely different expectations. Professional courtesy, tact and absolute confidentiality have always been indispensable in my interactions with clients, many of whom entrusted me with highly sensitive materials.

The decline of the American and various European economies (where most of my clients have traditionally been located) has resulted in less demand for my services; consequently I am searching for a part-time position in a library setting, which has always been a field of particular interest to me - as evidenced by my academic background. I believe my skills would make me a positive addition to your team.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

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