Hi Miss Snark!
I am forever editing my cover letter, and have a question about credentials.
While I have published short stories and articles, which will be included in my query, I also have some other things I'm wondering about:
I am the head writer of an Internet firm. My writing, essentially, appears all across the Web. I have written websites for major clients including Kellogg's, Perdue chicken, various pharma companies, and tens of other companies in every sector from technology to publicity.
A quick example: I have written a bevy of articles that appear in www.strengthforcaring.com, a website recently launched by Johnson & Johnson.
Does any of this matter to an agent? It shows that my writing has been approved by many people (internal and client-side, stakeholders and the general public); my words have been read by thousands of people the world over (I've also written International websites).
Again, does this matter? Or do I stand a better chance by writing that I was once interim mayor of Rabbitania?
No, it doesn't matter. Unless of course you are trying to persuade an agent to represent you for your web/technical/perdue chicken writing.
Agents are interested in credentials that relate to the project at hand. Narrative credentials for a novel or memoir. Unless you wrote a saga about chickens for Mr. Perdue, no dice.
And the very fact that you use the word "stakeholders" in a letter to an agent says you've had your head up the corporate ladder too long for my taste. Anyone talking to me about stake holders better be talking Westerns or Vampires. Maybe both at the same time!!
PLEASE stop worrying about this. If your writing is good enough, you won't need to mention chickens, drugs, or whatever else you are up to over there.
Now, the Mayor of Rabbitania..that one I'd lead with.