Writing 101, Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern


Today’s assignment is to “pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29” and find the first word that jumps off the page, and then use this word as your springboard for inspiration.  The twist: write the post in the form of a letter. I am going to skip the twist and move on to the inspiration.

Interestingly enough, the first words that jumped off of the page were “hands-on experience“. I have written many cover letters over the years and have used this trite expression myself. It’s almost impossible not to use a term like this in a cover letter or resume, even if it is just implied.

I, like many people, learn better by actually doing the task–the job, the research, the writing, the whatever–myself. In my opinion, I believe employers look for just such a term in a cover letter because it conveys not only what type of learner you are, but it can also convey a sense of honesty, a sense of self-knowledge; but, I could be wrong.

As an instructor, I have found that there are three different styles of learners:

  1. Those who learn by listening,
  2. Those who learn by seeing, and,
  3. Those who learn by touching/doing /interacting

The best way to learn, and more importantly to remember something new, is to do all three. That is one of the reasons teachers encourage students to take notes during class. The idea is that you listen to the teacher, write down the most important aspects of the topic, and then attempt to master that topic by practicing it on your own–aka hands-on experience. Taking notes has become a lost are in my opinion, and is a topic for another day.

Anyway, hands-on experience is essential. You either have it, or you need it.

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