As an experienced worker or beginner in PR, its important that you have the right information for the agency you’re most interested in. Be sure to do the research on the company to see if it would be a perfect fit for you before you put a second thought into writing that cover letter.
Secondly, ask yourself, how much do you know about the position – this way you can make sure that your cover letter showcases your capabilities.
Some of the best cover letters I have come across show just that. Here are some helpful tips from resumes I have come across to get your cover letter read and resume noticed:
- Research the company – this will help you generate a cover letter that gives you an edge
- Put thought into content – a cover letter is a letter, keep it brief, but showcase your capabilities. This will entice HR into wanting to read your resume.
- Following direction – IMPORTANT! If you are asked to send it in a specific format, and addressed to a specific individual, do just that. If you don’t, this is an easy way to have your resume pushed to the side.
- Never send your cover letter as an attachment as it may not be opened. Keep your cover letter in the body of the email. As you can imagine, many HR practitioners received hundreds of emails a day, which more than 50% are blind emails.
- Always explain why you would be best suited for the position – this shows your interest most of all.
On a side note, please remember not to be informal – there should never be a “Hey There” or “Hi, Chris”. If there is a name attached to the job posting, please use Mr. or Ms., and if you are sending it blindly to HR, always address it as Hiring Manager, or take the extra step to call the agency and find out who to address it to.
Remember, the cover letter is not obsolete and not expendable. It really is the best way to showcase to a potential employer your full portfolio.
About the Author
Lisa Hutchins is a human resources professional and a frequent contributor to PR at Sunrise. She has previously worked at leading PR firms such as Ruder Finn and Cohn & Wolfe. Her responsibilities have included recruiting, employee relations, and miscellaneous employee changes. In addition to her HR experience, she has also as a PR pro on an array of accounts and campaigns, including GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. Follow Lisa on Twitter via @lisahutchins.