There is no “I” in cover letter

By Posted in - Public Relations & Uncategorized on August 10th, 2011 4 Comments

I walked the dog this morning and the weather was great.  I noticed that is was just a bit cooler outside.  While I love summer, I have to admit I am looking forward to fall.  I had waffles with Nutella this morning and I went to a 9 a.m. meeting.  On my way back from a meeting this morning, mymother-in-law called to talk about the beach vacation we are taking next week.  I love the beach!

Kind of annoying? Yep – and it’s even more annoying when you are sitting on the other end of a message (like the one above) that comes from someone who is looking for a job.  Not only looking for a job – but asking YOU to hire them.

This probably sounds like a broken record.  And, in fact, it sounds eerily similar to the complaints journalists have had about PR people in the past, but:

It’s not all about YOU. 

As a new crop of hopeful candidates get ready to enter the workforce, please know that I’m happy for you!  You have a fun and exciting adventure awaiting for you!  But if you think that you can send an email telling me any of the following, it’s not going to get you in the door:

  • You need a job
  • You need money
  • You need internship credit

I can’t tell you how many emails I have deleted from my in-box (just this week!) from hopeful candidates who have done nothing to say why they would be a good fit at Full Circle PR.  Here’s a little advice:

  • Try to know at least what we do.
  • Tell us a little about your recent successes – and how you coming on board would help make Full Circle a better place.
  • If you’re a student, tell us how you have gone the extra mile in one of your classes.
  • If you have visited the website and choose to send a note to the general email address, you can at least address it to someone.  Our names are listed on the website.  But you’d have to look at our website to find that out!
  • Compliment us – on anything!  Do you like our website? Do you like following us on Twitter? Do you wish you could work with us because we look like we have fun? Did you see our website and have affinity towards one of the brands we work with?
  • Acknowledge the fact that finding the perfect hire is time consuming – and you are asking us to take time out of our busy days to possibly provide you a professional opportunity.
  • Spell our names right.
  • Read our blog.  Mention a post you read.  This tells me that you can do research – and you are proactive and personable, which goes a long way in developing relationships (with editors, with clients, with your coworkers).
  • If you attach a resume, title it with your first and last name – not just “Resume1.doc.”
You don’t have to take my advice.  But you aren’t going to get an interview with me if you don’t.  Sorry, that might sting a little – but finding a job and attracting an employer’s attention takes work.

Also, for PR professionals who already have a job, this article is great!!! It provides wonderful tips on how you can really serve as a valuable team member – in any environment, at any stage of your career.

So, what do you think?  I’d love to know what YOU have done to get your foot in the door as an interview candidate.


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(4) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Tom Sadler -

    August 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Great post Kim! The elimination of the 1st person pronoun is essential. All great tips here! Will pass it along to my kids and friends looking for jobs.

  • Kim -

    August 10, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks for your comment, Tom! It’s not easy doing the extra research and work that is required to stand apart from the crowd among potential employers these days. But it’s so worth it in the end.

    Good luck to your kids and friends looking for jobs. It can be exciting, scary, fun and nerve-racking all at the same time!

  • […] of my bosses, Kim Banks, wrote a great post on our company blog a few months ago about cover letters. She agreed to let me share a few of her […]

  • […] of my bosses, Kim Banks, wrote a great post on our company blog a few months ago about cover letters. She agreed to let me share a few of her […]

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