Earlier today a friend asked me if I had a cover letter she could use as a template for a job she was applying for. Well the last time I wrote a cover letter was in April 2009 when I applied for an SEO Consulting position at SEOmoz. I hopped into my email and quickly found the letter and resume I had sent to apply for the job. In the end, I did get the job (my role changed though in January 2010 to Community Manager).

While I’m positive that my cover letter and resume alone were not the reasons I ended up getting the job, it seems that you never get a peek into what “got you in the door” to begin with. So with a little prodding from Cyrus Shepard and in the spirit of TAGFEE, I thought I’d publish my original cover letter and resume that helped me to get my original job at SEOmoz back in 2009.

A quick reminder, the job I applied for and initially got was for an SEO Consultant (here’s the original listing). However in January 2010 we stopped doing consulting and at that time my role changed to what it is yet today: Community Manager.

The cover letter and resume

Hi Lindsay,
I’d like to take this opportunity to express my interest in the SEO Expert position with SEOmoz. Over the past two years I have acted on my passion for SEO and realized the combination of my background in writing, web development and general web geekery has been leading me straight to a career in Search Marketing. I think you’ll agree that I’d make an excellent addition to the SEOmoz team.
Last year I attended the SMX Advanced Developer Day sessions. That experience was a huge “aha” moment in my life and the SEO light switch in my brain was turned on for good. I had started working on my first technical SEO project about a year earlier, but it wasn’t until after meeting other SEOs (and realizing how much I had in common with many of them), and letting all the information from the sessions sink in, that it hit me how interested I was in all aspects of SEO. Quickly, I realized how much I enjoyed the inner workings of search engines, learning the ins and outs of getting a site to rank well and just as importantly, how much I enjoyed becoming a part of this community.
At onTargetjobs, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from one of the best SEOs in the business and have loved being a part of growing our business. I have given numerous SEO presentations to the development team, covering topics ranging from how the search engines work, to what’s the best way to re-write and redirect URLs using ASP .Net. Coming from a technical background lends credibility to me when I’m explaining technical SEO issues and implementations. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not just all about the technical aspects! Currently I’m writing content for Medhunters.com and loving every minute of it (Ok I’m lying a bit, after 20 pages of talking about healthcare and nursing jobs, I think I’m getting a bit giddy).
In a previous life at SpireMedia Inc. (an interactive web agency), I began as a Web Developer and within a year was promoted to the role of Technical Director. I managed the team of developers, and worked directly with the clients on varying sized projects. A major aspect of my position was to help clients understand the development process and train them on various web applications. Often times our clients were not technical themselves, and were grateful for the way I could explain things, in a way that they could grasp.
My addiction with the web began back in college (I won’t go into my age right now, heh) and I would spend hours on end in computer labs doing research using Mosaic, chatting on IRC and checking my email using Pine. Ever since those first interactions with the web, I have been completely hooked. Working for SEOmoz would be an excellent opportunity for me to continue to learn and grow in my search marketingness. I realize this may mean working on some mundane tasks and working long hours when necessary, but in the long run it’s a win-win situation for both of us. When I’m passionate about something, I want to learn more and be the best I can possibly be. And if I’m at my best, SEOmoz gains the reward of my efforts.
Ok, so let’s get down to it. The great thing is, not only am I getting more and more experienced with SEO every day, but I also have 10 years of development experience behind me (so I know the workings of the web), have no problems speaking in front of groups, AND I have a degree in Journalism. Really, what more could you want? I realize that my current salary may be higher than others, but my background, skills, passion for SEO and the web in general speaks for itself.
I look forward to hearing from you and learning how I can become an integral part of the SEOmoz team.
Jennifer Sable Lopez
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jensable
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jennita
View the original resume: Jennifer-Sable-Lopez-Resume-2009.pdf

Whew. Well that’s it! I find it interesting that I mentioned the SEO community in that first letter. Perhaps I was always destined to focus on community. :) I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Update: Later last night after I posted this, two of my former coworkers also posted their resumes and/or cover letters! Take a peek at theirs as well:

Cyrus Shepard: When Companies Hire for Culture, Does Your Resume Have an Attitude?
Timmy Christensen: The Cover Letter That Got Me Hired at SEOmoz

20 thoughts on “The Cover Letter & Resume That Got Me Hired at SEOmoz”

  1. Jen, you are highly skilled women! Both Cover letter and Resume are so special.

    Also, I was reading your conversation with Cyrus on Twitter and you published the post. Really very active! :)

  2. i think a letter like this will go a long way. sadly i find that most people still don’t make the effort.

    1. Right? It seems to me that if you really want a job, you need to put in the extra effort! I remember thinking as I applied for the job “this job could change my life, I need to display that in a simple letter.”

  3. Awesome post Jennifer. Great cover letter and resume and the proof is in the fact that you got hired into such a prestigious company! The fun part about cover letters and resumes is being creative and making yourself irresistible enough to get the interview which becomes the most important sale that you will make until your next job. I loved the fact that you included your Linkedin profile URL with a friendly URL and your twitter handle, which for SEOmoz provides social proof. I looked at your resume and I have to saw, very nice technical background. Add public speaking and a journalism degree, and what else could you want?:-)

    1. Thanks Rick! I think many people see the cover letter as just a silly thing they have to do and that the resume is the most important part. I see the resume as a back-up for the cover letter. The letter should be the place where you show your personality and shine a bit. All the resumes usually look the same, except for when you do something exceptional like what Cyrus did.

  4. Thanks for sharing these, Jen!
    In the words of Liz Lemon (Tina Fey on 30 Rock):
    “You are my heroine. And by heroine, I mean “lady hero.” I don’t wanna inject you and listen to jazz.”

  5. Brilliant cover letter, definitely using it as a skeleton next time I apply for a job. Having recieved several of them in my time, I really do appreciate when people actually personalise it.

    Across the pond, here in the UK, we’re always told to never make the cover letter longer than what one can read on an email screen and to always have a picture on your CV. How do you feel about that?

  6. Thank for sharing this Jenn. I wish I had an example like this when I was searching for a job. It seems like most cover letters I’ve read are very cookie cutter so you can really stand out if you write a good one.

  7. Hi Jennifer,

    I’m glad I found your post about your cover letter for SEOmoz! I recently just applied for the Marketing Analyst position, and my cover letter was…less than traditional, I guess you could say. Additionally, I reminded myself to send a followup email to inquire about the opening, but I realized I didn’t have any email address or phone number for the hiring manager. I apologize if this is a bit candid, but I’m eager to get in touch with the right people. If you can help, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you!
    Danny Guttridge

  8. Great post (and resume)! Having read more of your posts, I’m sorry I missed your session at SIC today. I’ll make sure to attend your next one!

  9. Great cover letter and all but I don’t think it got you hired, I reckon it got you in the door to an interview and your experience and what you said on day got you the job. Headline a little misleading but thank you for sharing all the same, definitely a lot in there that is helpful!

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