Intern Diaries: How to Write a Killer Cover Letter

Writing a substantial cover letter in the Public Relations field is an important part of landing a job interview. Even with lack of experience, a well-written cover letter can get you a foot in the door. A cover letter is not about why you want to work at the company; instead, it’s about why they should want to hire you. Developing a creative, legible cover letter that helps you stand out can be intimidating, but here are some pointers that will get you noticed and headed towards a PR interview.

1. Address your cover letter directly to the hiring manager. If this person's name isn't in the job listing, you can do company research to find out or take the extra effort to call or email the company. Even if you end up putting down the wrong name it shows you tried, which is way more appreciated than writing, “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Hiring Manager”.

2. Do not reiterate your resume. The purpose of a cover letter is to zero in on why you should be the one considered for the position. PR firms are huge on communication and your cover letter is the perfect opportunity to show how effective you’re able to communicate yourself. A lengthy version of your resume is not going to impress anyone or get you an interview. Instead, provide  details about your work experience and how they fit into the position you’re applying for.

3. Creativity is important, but keep in mind that it's a professional document, so don't go too over-the-top. This can be hard when you’re looking for a way to stand out, but originality is more encouraged in Public Relations, so you’re allowed more creative rein when writing your cover letter. The trick is to not go overboard. Find a middle where you can allow your personality to shine through while also maintaining a professional demeanor.

4. Make sure they know you've done your research. If you’re applying for a job, you should have a good idea of what the company represents and how well you’d fit into that picture. PR Agencies like Mediafy Communications service multiple clients in different industries, so doing research on their clients can help you market skills that would be beneficial for their clients. Convey that you understand the company and its goals and sell with how your skills and experience will help them reach those goals.

5. Always close your cover letter with an action statement. The key to writing an effective call-to-action statement is to be short, confident, and reiterate your interest in the position. The call-to-action is important when applying to jobs in PR because pitches are often concluded with this type of statement. It also gives employers a clear idea as to what they need to do next and ends your cover letter on a positive note.

6. Keep your letter no longer than one page. Your cover letter is an introduction to yourself, not a college essay that needs to be 10 pages long to meet the teacher’s criteria. A quick read over your cover letter speaks volumes about your communication skills, so be brief and concise.