How To Get A Job In Web Analytics

March 24, 2007

Everyone knows that there aren’t a lot of web analysts out there, so the idea of having to write a great cover letter to land a job might seem ridiculous. On the other hand, since there aren’t a lot of web analysts out there, we want to find some great people and train them. One of our customers did that, I am so jealous of him; his analyst is incredible, with just the “teach it to me” attitude I look for.

But to cut to the chase – I am reading cover letters and resumes all the time. And, as you might guess, I write job descriptions just like I blog. Same tone. That’s why I am awed at the stilted prose that comes back to me, mostly from the intern wannabes. Like this: “I am confident my experience, educational background and career goals will be an asset to your organization in achieving its objectives.” The writers, especially the young ones, try so hard to act professional that it truly backfires on them, and they just end up looking ridiculous. Or perhaps just as bad, they look identical to the rest. (How do you sort out which of the many people who are sure will be assets to your organization will actually be assets?)

However, I got one cover letter that was just so great, I had to share it. This particular job description describes a for-credit summer internship where the student doesn’t need to already have an analytics background (who does?). You should know that in the job description, I wrote, “In your cover letter, please explain why you love analytics and point to something in your background that makes it clear what a ‘measurable marketing person’ you are.” So here is what the student wrote:

A personality trait of mine that I think would suit this job is my habit of analyzing everything. I like to analyze things for fun and I analyze everyday life without a choice. I usually don’t like to make a decision about anything unless I have every detail I need and I can weigh out my options properly. When I was a kid I used to read the stock market section of the newspaper with my dad and compare his mutual funds, individual stock prices, their 52 week highs, and so on. … I used to have a girlfriend that constantly complained that I over analyzed everything about our relationship. The point I am trying to get at is I pay close attention to detail and have the ability to compare and analyze information provided.

What a breath of fresh air. I hope the interview goes well. I’ll keep you posted.

Robbin Steif