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'The most kick-ass cover letter' the Emmys CEO has ever seen—and how to replicate it

Maury Mcintyre, President and CEO, Television Academy speaks at the Fast Company Innovation Festival at Convene on September 21, 2023 in New York City.
Eugene Gologursky | Getty Images

In 2022, Maury McIntyre, president and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which puts on the Emmy Awards, was looking for a chief of staff. They'd be running the executive office, picking up special projects, helping to run personnel in the company and so on.

Initially, he thought someone who'd worked in a similar role before would be the right fit. Somebody who'd "been in a Disney or an NBC," he tells CNBC Make It, and who "understood how these companies work."

But then a candidate, Brandy Curry, came across his desk. Curry had been teaching choreography at private schools and though her background wasn't quite what McIntyre had been looking for, she had "the most kick-ass cover letter I've ever read." The Television Academy hired her soon thereafter and she's been working there ever since.

Here's what convinced McIntyre to bring Curry in for an interview and his advice to other job seekers out there.

She went 'bullet by bullet about the job responsibilities'

It is very easy to apply to a job these days, as easy as clicking a button on LinkedIn. As such, however, employers "get inundated by resumes that we just have no idea why they're applying for the role," he says. That's where Curry's cover letter came in.

"You're going to look at this resume and you're going to go, 'what does this have to do with what I'm applying for?'" McIntyre says. "But then she went very much bullet by bullet about the job responsibilities and said, 'Here are how my experiences translate'" and how she could solve problems on the ground.

Curry had managed personnel, for example, and had worked with "these very upscale parents," says McIntyre. "We're here in LA so she's dealing with many of these people from the studios already."

After reading her cover letter, he walked into his CFO's office and said, "I think we have to interview her."

'Do your homework'

For McIntyre, Curry's cover letter was an example of taking the time to get to know your prospective employer.

"The most important thing for me is feeling like you have done your research before you've reached out to me," he says. "You know, the company you're applying to and you know the job." Curry proved she'd done exactly that.

"Do your homework," says McIntyre. If you come in without knowing who's interviewing you, "that's an immediate turnoff."

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