The importance of a good application letter

Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brad Lambert (center) beat out several other candidates, including former N.C. State head coach Chuck Amato, to become the Charlotte 49ers' first football coach.

The Charlotte 49ers announced today that Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brad Lambert will be the school’s first football coach when the team debuts in 2013.

Charlotte athletics director Judy Rose admitted that she’d never even heard of Lambert before getting his application letter three weeks ago. Rose said:

“I read his letter of application and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, who is this guy?’ It was not your cookie cutter letter. No, it talked about growing up on a farm in Kansas, work ethic and what he would do as coach. So I started making phone calls.”

This is an important lesson for you soon-to-be college graduates out there: A good cover letter is crucial when applying for any job.

The Associated Press noted that Wake Forest gave up an ACC-high 35.8 points per game in 2010. However, Lambert also led Wake’s defense during the ACC’s bizarro 2006 season when the Demon Deacons won the conference title, and he coached current NFL players Aaron Curry and Alphonso Smith. Besides, anyone who’s worked under Jim Grobe for 10 years must know what he’s doing.

Interestingly, another coach with ACC ties also applied for the 49ers job — former N.C. State head coach Chuck Amato.

The Charlotte Observer reported last week that Amato never got any serious consideration from Charlotte officials. That’s kind of a shame because I think he would have been a good fit.

For all the faults of his tenure at State — especially during the three seasons after Philip Rivers graduated — Amato generated an excitement about Wolfpack football that had been missing. His enthusiasm and name recognition could have been a real boost for a startup program.

Maybe he would have gotten a little more attention if he’d written a better application letter.

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One Response to The importance of a good application letter

  1. GregPonder says:

    Great story and good to see that this got some run on ESPN.com. Fact is that building a major college football program is not an easy task. As a Charlotte 49er alum, I am glad that this thing is finally off the ground…but knowing Judy Rose, I’m skeptical. You do need someone who can sell all aspects of a startup program and get the ball rolling…and name recognition is a big part of that…we’ll see what happens. There is a lot of work ahead for Mr. Lambert.

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