Cover Letter Tips for the Public Relations Majors

The anxiety that occurs before and during writing that three to four paragraph letter in which you ask potential employers to “buy” you in a sense, can almost be too much too bare. What should I include? What should I leave out? Does this sound to pretentious? Are my word choices attractive to the right types of people? Plus a dozen more questions that flood one’s mind before writing their resumé cover letter.

We have all been, or will be, there and when searching the internet for help the information overload is truly outrageous. In this blog I have compiled some of the top tips I have gathered when it comes to writing the perfect cover letter for the PR professional.

  1. First, take the time to recognize the fact that this cover letter is your foot into a very important door, your potential employers. In fact, jobbankusa.com says that for a public relations position, the cover letter is, in essence,  your interview since public relations is based on communication. What is a better gauge of someone’s communication skills than how they sell themselves in a cover letter?
  2. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND PLAN for crying out loud! This step is so vital because it shows the companies you are applying to that you are committed to it’s overall goal. jobbankusa.com suggests a few questions you should consider before/while writing your cover letter:
  • – What is the company’s mission statement and what are                        their areas of expertise?
  • – What specific position are you applying for and how are you adept to perform the tasks of this position?
  • – Who is going to read your letter?Know their specific title and (for God’s sake) spell their name correctly. This could potentially, not only, aggravate and offend your interviewer but, suggest that you do not pay attention to detail and are sloppy.
  • – What is the first, second, and third most important business problems that your position will be expected to solve? Which strategies and tactics would you implement? And, why do you enjoy solving these business problems?

3. Familiarize yourself with Netiquette- a term coined by Virginia Shea   in her book, Netiquette, which is a list of ten rules corporate Americans should follow when communicating with each other over the web. In this day and age you are no doubt going to be e-mailing your cover letter and resume to potential employers and you should be very sure that the e-mail accompanying these is suitable. GOOD WRITING IS KEY.

4.Be brief and direct. Worktree.com says this is important because the people who are reading your letter are inevitably busy and do not want to sort through descriptive words upon more descriptive words.

5. Edit and proofread your cover letter – TWICE. Maybe even three times. Allow someone you trust to read your letter and make notes. Than read through it a few times and read it out loud to make sure it is phonetically appealing.

These are the tips I found most useful and also most widely recognized among many sources. The specific sources I used for this blog are: jobbankusa.com, rileyguide.com, and worktree.com.

Happy job hunting!

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January 26, 2010. Assignments, PR Connections, Public Relations Practicum.

2 Comments

  1. Natalia replied:

    Meghan, I believe your second point (doing research) is my favorite out of the entire blog post. So many people apply for jobs and never do research. They just go along for the ride because an opportunity presents itself. It has to be upsetting in an interview for an employer to ask a question and get a response that does not line up the companies values or objectives because an individual has not done the proper research to find out what a company is about. These tips for a cover letter are awesome. I am beginning my application process for different schools and jobs so this information will be very helpful.

  2. laur22 replied:

    I really liked the term “netiquette.” I have never heard it before and it is a good way to describe the kind of web manners you should have when connecting with potential employers. It made me think about how I need to be very prepared when I go on a job interview. I never really thought too much about researching the company and knowing its complete history and facts about it. This is obviously an important thing to do because you want them to know that you are ready to be an active part of their team. I never knew there was so much pressure on creating the perfect cover letter, but it is obviously a big part of the resume.

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