Reference letter

April 13, 2015 § 16 Comments

Dear Prospective Employer

We live in a world that does things differently, where change is constant and fast, where people are required to think creatively. So, in that spirit, I’ve decided to write my own reference letter. Of course, I could send you to a bunch of people who will say nice things about me, but I’d like you to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

I know when you look at me, there’s a good chance you’re thinking: “She’s been freelancing for 16 years and she’s in the process of getting divorced. She’s probably a bit desperate and there are things we’ll have to teach her. She’ll probably take anything she can lay her hands on. I don’t know if she’ll really be good value for money…”

I beg to differ. Here’s what you’ll get if you hire me:

  1. Someone with excellent written communication skills. If you need something written, I can write it for you – clearly, succinctly and with your strategic goals in mind.
  2. Someone who knows how to provide content that is varied, entertaining and interesting. I used to be a features editor; I approach my own social media feeds and blogs in the same way. And if I want work, I am required to produce a dozen new ideas at a time in the hope that a few will be chosen and commissioned as stories. (For a small selection of my published work, see Reference Links below.)
  3. Someone who can produce longer works of writing with ease – I am a published author of several booksΒ and have ghostwritten several others.
  4. Someone who can juggle multiple roles with creativity and flair. On any given day I am called to be a writer, editor, social media expert, strategist, content curator, client liaison, reputation manager, driver, counsellor, logistics planner, teacher, mentor and manager. And that’s just before lunch.
  5. Someone who probably defines that term so beloved of employment-ad writers: ‘self-starter’. For 16 years I have motivated myself to get up every morning and work a full day without a boss standing over me. I have not spent all day lying on the couch in my pyjamas, or swanned off to the movies (except for that one time). I get up every day and I work. I work hard. And I work until the job is done.
  6. Someone who is creative, yet practical, and who knows how to streamline all of the boring stuff so that there’s more time to make the work itself great.
  7. Someone who knows how to keep clients happy. My work is deadline and delivery driven, and if I don’t deliver, and deliver on time, I don’t get paid. It’s that simple. Keeping clients happy is my biggest task.
  8. Having said that, I also know how to distinguish the urgent from the important. And there have been times when I have missed a deadline where necessary to ensure the job is done properly. Sometimes those calls have to be made. And thatΒ means that I’m someone who delivers a consistently high standard of work. Because I will not put my name – and my reputation – to anything that I consider to be sub-standard.
  9. Someone who pays attention to detail: I am a proofreader par excellence. I dot all of the ‘i’s and cross all of the ‘t’s – literally and metaphorically.
  10. You even need my parenting experience: because I know that like raising children, growing a team isn’t a popularity contest. It requires that you both push people outside of their comfort zones, and set boundaries for them. And that sometimes they won’t like you for it, but if you do it right, they’ll go to the ends of the earth for you.
  11. Someone with excellent spoken communication skills. I’m not afraid of public speaking, and I express myself well. Here’s a link to a short video where you can see me in action.
  12. Finally, if you hire me, you’ll have someone on your team who is bright, adaptable, a quick thinker, straightforward, down-to-earth, authentic; someone with a sense of humour and incredible resilience. Someone who’s warm and wise, and who loves to grow other people, as well as herself.

I’m a quick study – and I have a lot to offer that doesn’t appear on your job ad. Perhaps we can meet somewhere in the middle.

Reference links:

  1. http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/health/2013/09/06/back-to-basics-to-save-childrens-sight
  2. http://www.bdlive.co.za/life/health/2012/11/19/vital-signs-keeping-his-eye-on-the-ball-of-good-living
  3. http://www.bdlive.co.za/articles/2009/08/12/the-hunger-for-a-slim-body
  4. http://www.bdlive.co.za/life/health/2012/09/19/vital-signs-i-park-issues-in-my-brain-and-then-solve-them-on-my-runs
  5. http://www.livingandloving.co.za/article.aspx?id=63638&h=Your-baby%E2%80%99s-first-medical-visits
  6. http://women.mg.co.za/how-much-is-too-much/
  7. http://women.mg.co.za/lwandle-the-blame-game/
  8. http://women.mg.co.za/soul-city-20-years-later-and-hiv-still-on-the-rise/
  9. http://www.biznews.com/thought-leaders/2013/12/25/best-blogs-2013-mandy-collins-explains-good-grammar-good-business/
  10. http://www.biznews.com/thought-leaders/2014/09/29/quitting-job-go-alone-13-great-money-tips-cracking-piece-mandy-collins/
  11. https://changeexchange.brightrock.co.za/change-moments/starting-a-family/ayn-rand-best-aunt-ever/
  12. https://changeexchange.brightrock.co.za/change-moments/making-a-home/home-heart-soul/
  13. http://www.pfp4sa.org/files/PfP_testimonials_Business_Partner__Oresti_Patricios_EMAIL.pdf
  14. http://www.pfp4sa.org/files/PfP_testimonials_Business_Partner__Joel_Rothman_EMAIL.pdf
  15. http://www.a2magazine.co.za/2013/03/plastic-teens.html
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