I recently followed USA Today College Edition on Twitter and stumbled upon this great article. Writing your first cover letter can seem like a daunting task. If you are applying for your first internship it is vital that you have a stellar cover letter to accompany your resume. Presenting an internship coordinator with a cover letter, even if it was not required, will make you a stand out among the other applicants vying for the same opportunity.
Here are three crucial things you need in your cover letter:
1. Professional Format – Make sure you are using a simple and generic font (think Times New Roman). Keep the font size to 11 or 12 and make sure you are using black ink! The cover letter is a letter, so make sure it is formatted like a letter. Tip: Use Google to find the standard format of a business letter if you are confused.
2. Business Tone – Like I mentioned above, the cover letter is synonymous with a business letter. Keep it business professional. If you are applying for a more creative position within the PR industry, I suggest you create a portfolio of your creative work rather than trying to get creative in your cover letter.
3. “Dear Mr./Mrs. X” – Never address a letter “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir.” It is impersonal and unprofessional. Make the extra effort to find a specific individual’s name and title.