GREAT COVER LETTER
It’s that time of year where companies small and large receive applications, cover letters and resumes from junior and senior college students all over the country. Some have it together and create very professional and/or creative materials, but many do not. This letter above of a finance student applying for a summer internship has been making headlines. It’s different because it is humble. The student is telling the truth and not selling himself as something he is not. It’s amazing how sometimes just being honest can be a breath of fresh air.
We really like this cover letter as an example of what students should be saying in their materials, interviews, etc. And not what one normally receives. As college students, companies know you’re still learning, they know you’re portfolio is limited and they know you need experience. The students that are contacted and hired for an internship are so because they usually display some of these qualities in the letter.:
1) They’ve taken the time to send a cover letter (addressed in our name) and personalized to us.
2) A Resume (an honest one that is not inflated)
3) A link to view their portfolio online, or a creative/catchy piece they’ve personally mailed to us. (Specific to the design industry)
4) They arrive to their interview 5-minutes early, with a notepad to take notes. You’re being interviewed for your personality, and your willingness to receive constructive criticism to see how you’ll take it. We (most design companies) want to see how you do when someone else critics your work. And, we want to see if you take our advice in the interview, and if you run with it. Will you update your portfolio and re-send it to us with your changes? Will you set up an online portfolio if you don’t have one? Will you get on social media to promote yourself? The advice will vary from candidate to candidate, but overall we want to see if you’re humble and if you’ll work hard and collaboratively.
Our Summer 2013 internship has been taken by a candidate who did all of these things and we look forward to working with him. But, if you’d like to intern this Winter 2013, we’re taking cover letters and resumes. Send them to Lisa Peteet, Creative Director, firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls please.