In my time in the SCA I’ve written a number of applications for advertised roles and I’ve also read a fair number during my tenure as Baronial Seneschal. By and large I found that a few people write absolutely amazing and incredible applications and some people will barely write anything to the point where if I didn’t know them I probably would question them doing the job. Regardless of how well the selection officer may know you, I would never advise being lax with your application letter – your application letter gives you a chance to represent yourself, your skills and also begin the process of understanding the role.
I use a fairly standard process for writing all of my applications. The opening remains almost the same, feel free to use it and fill in the blanks.
Greetings unto <selection officer(s)>,
My name is <SCA Name>, mundanely known as <Mundane Name>, and I hail from the <SCA Group>. My membership number is <Number> and my expiry is <date>. I have been a member of the SCA for <X Years> and I write to you today to apply for the position of <Office>. My preferred email contact address is <email> but I can also be reached via <phone number>.
With a few changes depending on the role, this is my version of an ideal start to an application. It gives every possible piece of information about the person, two ways to contact the person and details about the membership expiry (Up to date membership is required for Lochac, your Kingdom may vary).
Understanding of the Role
Following the introduction I like to follow up with my view on the role – this serves two purposes. First, it shows I’ve done research into the role and the job which answers any questions the selection officer may have about “Do they know what they’re getting into?”. The second reason is it allows for correction – if you state a responsibility that doesn’t exist with the role, or miss out a key objective, it allows for correction and education – never a bad thing. A simple template version of what I would write for an application as Arts & Sciences Minister is as follows, feel free to adapt to your needs:
My understanding of the role of A&S Minister is to promote and coordinate A&S activities within <group>, including but not limited to coordinating and encouraging A&S competitions, making sure they’re run and reporting the results, arranging for teachers on a variety of topics and assisting in introducing persons to knowledgeable sources where possible. I understand I will be reporting to <Baronial/Kingdom/Society Officer> on a Quarterly basis.
This right here shows a basic understanding of the role, shows a few objectives to meet and touches on both the duties of the role and the administrative requirements.
This is the part where I add in my relevant qualifications. When I began in the SCA I would manually write out everything I thought relevant for each application and I found it more than a little overwhelming to setup each time. Eventually I put together an SCA Resume which I refer to in my applications like so:
During my <X years> in the SCA I have <held Office(s)/Stewarded Event(s)/Assisted with Event(s)> – the full details of my SCA Experience can be found here <resume link>.
If this is your first time applying for an SCA position and you have minimal SCA experience – Congratulations! Welcome to your first step! This is where you can talk about your personal experience, any professional experience and your enthusiasm, something like this would work well, change as you need:
While I haven’t held any position in the SCA, I have a passion for cooking and research and can relate well to people who are passionate about the Arts and Sciences. I am keen to get more involved in the SCA and look forward to learning to be a great A&S Officer.
The finish to the application can generally be left to your own preference. You’ve covered contact information in the introduction, you’ve applied for the position, described the role and offered details of your experience. The only thing to add here are any questions you may have and to finish up.
Finally, if I were to be successful in this application, when would be the ideal time for changeover for you?
Yours in Service,
Something like that gives you a short concise finish. If you don’t have any questions you could just sign off or add a small pleasantry at the end, it’s really up to you.
General tips and tricks
Here are a few general tips and tricks outside the application itself that will assist you in the application process.
- If you have questions, doubts or are just unsure whats involved or expected, ask! Speak to the Officer advertising replacement or your local Seneschal
- Apply on time! Preferably don’t leave it to the last minute either
- Don’t rush! Take your time to write the application and get it to the point where you’re happy with it
- Consider the commitment. Most offices I know of have a 2 year time-frame – can you commit to that? If you can only do a role for a year before you move away you need to mention that in your application.
- Follow up. You might not hear from the selection officer straight away, but if you haven’t got a message back confirming receipt of the application within the week, send a polite follow up to make sure they got it.