Sample Public Relations Internship Cover Letter
A strong cover letter is essential for job applications in any field, but in public relations (PR), it's one of the biggest factors considered. PR is all about effective communication and companies and agencies are looking for top-notch talent who are fantastic writers. Your cover letter is a chance to show off your writing chops and demonstrate your skills.
What to Include in Your Cover Letter
Don't rehash your resume; your cover letter should take things a step further and explain how you can successfully fill the job's responsibilities based on your background and experience.
Whether you managed a major event as a school club president or wrote a press release for a local non-profit, this is an opportunity to highlight your best work.
You should also demonstrate your knowledge of the company and your interest; don't use a template version. Include a mention of a recent PR event they held or a press conference they ran to show them you are up to date with their work. Taking these extra steps will set you apart as an outstanding candidate.
Sample Cover Letter for a PR Internship
New York, NY, 12000
516 – 352-6000
March 2, 20XX
NYU Hiring Coordinator
58 Columbia Circle
New York NY 12000
Dear Ms. Johnson:
Please accept my application for the Public Relations internship position recently posted on New York University’s website. I am currently an Assistant in the Career Services Office, which is where I heard of this great opportunity for your internship. Public relations is an area I am very interested in and I believe that interning at Katnow would provide me with a real world experience in a field that I enjoy.
Working in various offices on campus, such as Career Services and Residential Life, I have gained valuable skills that can be useful in any office environment. My daily tasks involve general office work, in addition to publicizing both offices to students.
I have the ability to learn quickly and work well with clients that come into the office as well as over the phone. Being an officer for multicultural organization on campus, I have developed excellent teamwork skills in order to accomplish club goals and have often taken on the challenging task of advertising club events and gaining student body participation.
Along with these skills, I am a responsible and respectful individual who takes pride in his work. I am also accustomed to taking the lead on projects when necessary. My role as peer mentor has furthered my ability to take responsibility and to develop my skills as a leader of my peers. These experiences have helped me to enhance my social skills as well as work with my peers on a variety of different levels.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I will contact you in a few days to discuss my qualifications. Also, I will be in New York City during spring break the week of March 11th – March 15th and would welcome the opportunity to speak or meet with you during this time. I look forward to speaking with you about this internship opportunity.
With so many PR internship and fashion PR job listings coming through our job board (and oh so many resumes of soon-to-be PR graduates in my inbox), it seems like a good time to pen a short article with several common cover letter mistakes. Most of these hold true for any email you may be sending that is essentially asking someone to give you something you want (a job, knowledge, a business connection, gold Fendi heels).
Using To Whom it May Concern (it’s concerning)
If you can’t take the time to figure out a contact name, there’s really no reason for the recipient of your cover letter to read any further. With LinkedIn, Twitter and dear old Google, there’s really no reason why you can’t find and use a person’s name. Even if you are sending a general “no idea if you are hiring but…” type email, and only have an info or hello email, address it to the CEO.
Telling me what I can do for you (that’s not how this works)
Instead of explaining what a great opportunity this job would create for you, focus on explaining how your experience directly applies to the roles and responsibilities listed in the job description. If you are looking for an internships or entry-level position and have little to no experience, focus on the character traits (with evidence/examples) that you possess that would benefit the office. If you are a stickler for detail, color code your calendar and have been editing your small town newsletter since you were 12, I want to hear about it. If you worked at a high-end spa where you were responsible for scheduling and confirming more than 100 appointments a day and making a kick-ass cappuccino at a moment’s notice, tell me about it.
Your cover letter should make me absolutely convinced you are someone I want on my team.
Writing an essay (creates unnecessary work for both of us)
A cover letter should be no more than 3 short, carefully edited paragraphs. Use subheads and bullet points to make it easy for me to scan the highlights of your accomplishments.
Sending a Miss America moment (soapbox not required)
Save any emotional hyperbole, impassioned speeches and long-winded takes of passion, desire and perseverance for late night deep talks with your besties. I do not need your life story, or your current stress levels or challenges. I do need to feel like you are potentially capable of solving my challenges with competent, enthusiastic solutions.
Your cover letter should not read like the beginning of a novel, love story, creative writing assignment or multiple Pinterest inspirational quotes strung together. Instead answer the following questions:
- Who are you?
- What are your qualifications?
- What makes you unique?
- Why should I hire you?
Ah, that feels better. In contrast, a great cover letter is personalized, personable and focuses on the amazing gifts and talents you bring to the table. Focusing on results, creative thinking, and using straightforward business writing is absolutely key toward moving out of the trash can and into the interview pile. Good luck!
PS: For a few more ideas on how to write emails that get a response, check out our Pitch Templates for Job Seekers and this article for new grads looking to land that first PR job.
Photo Credit: Victor Bezrukov