I learned to write the hard way.
Many years ago I owned and operated a boutique advertising agency in Cleveland. It was easy for me to find talented artists and designers. In some respects, they were a dime a dozen. But it was impossible to find marketing writers – writers who knew how to sell using only the written word.
There was one exception. Her name was Donna. I hired her based merely on the cover letter that accompanied her resume. I read her page-and-a-half letter, completely ignored the resume, walked into my assistant’s office and said, “Mary, this is the one. Get her in here right away!”
Just a year or two out of college, Donna was an exceptional marketing writer. How she learned it, I don’t know. Where, I never knew. Perhaps she was born with the talent.
The problem was that Donna didn’t stay very long. Within four or five months, one of the larger marketing firms in the city offered her a position – and a lot more money than I was prepared to pay.
At that point, I determined two things.
First, no way was I going to waste time footslogging through hundreds of resumes from self-proclaimed writers who didn’t bother to take the time to write and include a cover letter to sell themselves the way Donna did.
Second, if I wanted something done right, I had to do it myself!
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