Monday, April 14, 2014

PRactical: Cover Letters

Here at Under PRessure, we're always learning the ins and outs of the industry, and we want to share those tips with you! This feature is PRactical advice for interning and working in the PR world.


Source
Last month we covered some of the finer points of résumé  writing, and this month we're covering some of the finer points of cover letter writing. Cover letters and résumés are quite similar:

  • The number rule of cover letter writing is tailoring the letter for the job you're applying for. There's nothing worse than sending a super generic cover letter. You need to highlight skills specific to the position and why you're the best candidate for the job. Remember, you're not the only person applying for the job. You need to set yourself apart from everyone else.
  • It's also important to add information in your cover letter that can't be included in your résumé or an application. Details about skills, some sort of personal story, or subjective information fits best in the cover letter format.
  • Like your résumé, have people proofread your cover letter. You can never have too many eyes looking at your cover letter. You want it to be perfect when the most important eyes look at it. Also, have people proofread not just for grammatical errors, style and typos but also content. Those that know you best might think of a skill you can highlight or help articulate why you're the best candidate.
  • Always include all your contact information. We typically like to make our contact info a header that shows up on all of our documents included in an application: résumé, cover letter, reference page and anything else they may ask you to include.
  • Your contact information may include your social media profiles. Of course, only include those that are appropriate. Obviously, LinkedIn is a given, and never include Facebook. Twitter depends on how personal or professional your handle is. If your handle is protected don't include it. But really, if you are a budding communications professional, you shouldn't have your account protected anyway.
  • And lastly, sign your cover letter. Get an electronic version of your signature for use on application documents. It's not as hard as you think. Write your signature a few times on a white piece of paper and then scan. Turn them into clipart and insert into your doc before converting to a .pdf.
So here are a few tips we follow when writing cover letters. What tips do you have for your fellow communications ladies and lads? Let us know! 

Until next month,

Your Girls Under PRessure

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