Remember to customise your cover letter for all of the different jobs/internships you apply for.
Generally you should always attach a covering letter, unless just a CV is requested or you have to fill in an application form.
Structure of the letter:
- should be no longer than 1 page
- no more than 3 or 4 short paragraphs
- the first paragraph should state your interest in the job
- the second paragraph should summarise your background
- the third paragraph requests an interview.
Sign 'Yours sincerely' and type your name in full under your handwritten signature.
If you are writing about a work placement/internship you should never write a letter which begins,
"I am required as part of my public relations course to expand my experience in the public relations field. I am writing to you to request a work placement".
This is not a positive way to approach a company, put yourself in their shoes, would you take someone on from an opening like that, probably not.
Never address a letter Dear Sir/Madam, it will probably go unanswered, as it shows a lack of effort on your part to find out who to address the letter to, also how would you like it if you were written to as Dear student?
Ensure you have the correct spelling of the name and title of the person and company you are you are writing to.
Always ensure your home address, landline and/or mobile number and email address are on the covering letter. When adding your email address it might be preferable to create a new professional email account, such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Never hand-write a cover letter unless specifically requested.
Don't photocopy and mass produce the same letter and fill in the details later, it looks sloppy and obviously mass produced, which tells a potential employer that you couldn't be bothered writing to them individually. Print your cover letter on paper that matches your CV.
Don't be tempted to put too much detail in your cover letters, they are only an introduction. Important information, such as your skills, should be in your CV already. Avoid repetition!
When answering ads requesting a cover letter, make sure you include all the information they have asked for.
Some of the things you might want to consider putting in your cover letter:
- your desire to work for their organisation
- your commitment to the public relations/communications industry
- proficiency in turning your theoretical knowledge into practice
- determination to be a valued member of their organisation
- your ability to work as part of a team
- also if you are writing about work experience you can mention you are willing to work for free (this will be the case 90% of the time, it is quite rare to gain paid work experience).
Sample cover letter
The following links below offer a number of cover letter examples.
Please do not copy these verbatim, they are just examples to guide you towards writing your own. Remember being able to write well and creatively is essential in PR so you should apply these skills to your cover letter.
Public Relations Cover Letter Example
People who work in public relations manage communications between an organization and the public. This can involve getting a company media attention, reinventing a brand image, or making sure a company's message is expressed clearly and sympathetically. Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, are required for a position in PR.
What to Highlight in Your Cover Letter
In your cover letter for a public relations position, you'll want to emphasize these skills, as well as any past public relations experience you may have.
You should also try to “echo” any industry-specific keywords used in the job advertisement, since many employers use automated applicant tracking systems to scan cover letters and resumes for these phrases; job applications which are rich in these keywords are more likely to secure interviews than those which are not.
Other public relations skills and keywords you may want to empathize include: media content creation, web analytics, SEO, content curation, blogging, social media management, social media releases (SMRs), social channel development, digital marketing, marketing communications, brand communications, brand management, account management, business storytelling, event planning, client relations, relationship building, project management, networking, strategy development, strategic planning, copy writing, copy editing, press releases, and speech writing.
If you have any relevant success stories, such as increasing media mentions of your company, upping the number of followers on social media forums like Facebook or Twitter, or creating a strategy around a launch, you should mention them in your cover letter.
Try to quantify these examples with percentages or dollar figures if at all possible.
Below is an example of a cover letter for a job in public relations. Use this as a guideline: your cover letter should be specific to your own experience, as well as closely targeting the requirements of the job you are applying for.
Keep in mind that your potential employer will be looking not only at the information you provide, but also at the way in which you express yourself. Cover letters are, first and foremost, strategic marketing documents; their two primary purposes are to ensure that your resume gets read and that you land a personal interview. Particularly in a field like public relations, you will be evaluated on how well you “sell” yourself to your audience and how successfully you demonstrate how your qualifications and experience can best serve the employer.
Your primary task then, in writing a cover letter for a public relations job is to be able to very persuasively say “This is what your organization needs and this is why I’m the best person to fulfill these needs.” Succeed in this objective, and interviews will follow.
Public Relations Cover Letter Example
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
With so many individuals applying for a position within your organization, how can you decide who is the best candidate? If you're seeking an individual who merely performs the work assigned, without any innovative leadership of their own, then I am not the person to call.
However, if you seek a capable, creative, team-oriented person with a dynamic outlook on life and a strong desire to succeed in Public Relations, then you should review my enclosed resume.
As you will note, I have solid interpersonal skills, with the ability to interface with individuals at all levels. I also have strong talents in creating, writing, and producing communication pieces. My organizational skills have allowed me to prioritize schedules and consistently complete projects within challenging time and budget guidelines.
Finally, my 15 years of experience in broadcast journalism has allowed me to develop exceptional skills in thinking on my feet, community outreach, and public relations.
I know I will make a positive contribution to [Company Name], and look forward to discussing my capabilities in more detail.
I am available for a personal interview at your convenience. I know you are busy and have many applications to review, so please let me know if you would like to further discuss your requirements and my ability to meet them.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
More Sample Cover Letters
Here you will find cover letter samples for a variety of career fields and employment levels, including an internship cover letter sample, entry-level, targeted, and email cover letters.