<< See all Communication events

Strategic Communications Workshop: Strategies for Brilliant Cover Letters


Jan 24, 2014 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Columbia University, Northwest Corner Building, Room 501

Most cover letters are formulaic and boring. Applicants are too afraid of offending to risk standing out. And in an era of automated screening, one can legitimately ask: Do cover letters even matter?

This seminar offers reasons why standing out in a crowded labor market is more necessary than ever. Attendees will gain insights on the roles and goals of a good cover letter and how to use audience insight to showcase themselves to greatest effect. Through analysis of cover letters that worked, they will come to a fresh understanding of pitching strategy and learn to distinguish elegant flourishes from cheap gimmicks. The workshop will demonstrate the core principles of persuasive writing to help applicants attune themselves successfully to a range of readers and provide them with a framework for taking calculated risks in their professional prose as they seek employment.

Edith Updike is managing editor at Anton Community Newspapers, a family of 20 local weeklies based in Nassau County. Previously, she was managing editor of FundFire, a daily Financial Times publication covering institutional asset management. From 2008 to 2012, she was a full-time lecturer in the master’s degree programs in Strategic Communications and Communications Practice at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. She taught business writing, critical thinking, media studies, and communications strategy. Updike earned an M.S. in Journalism at Columbia and has covered business, politics, and social issues for a range of publications from New York Newsday and Businessweek to Slate and Travel Journal International. She has served as a consultant on media, communications and management strategy to internet startups as well as major companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Honda.


Edith Updike