Over the past two years, I’ve applied for a handful of internships. The application processes have all been slightly different but a resume and a cover letter have been consistently required throughout. Do they really read both? How important are cover letters, anyways? That’s debatable and differs from employer to employer but I always wrote one and proofread it 63 times.
In May, I applied for an internship for this school year that requested a strong cover letter. The exact request stated, “Write me a kick-ass cover letter letting your personality shine”.
This internship was plastered over social media so I was aware that I was in the application pool with a good amount of students; some who already expressed that they applied. I figured that if I didn’t let my personality shine, I had no chance of standing out and would never get an interview.
I started with a previous cover letter and completely edited it far away from AP style. I made it personal, friendly, and what was asked for: me. That included a “shalom”, “178%”, “eeeek”, “YAY” and two instances of double exclamation points. I don’t know about you, but I would have never had the courage to send these expressions off to a possible internship supervisor before this day. Although this position is with a company that thrives off of creative writing, I was nervous to press the submit button.
Each day afterwards, I eagerly waited for a response. Day five came and so did a five sentence email in my inbox. It read, “Where have you been all my life? Your cover letter was seriously the highlight of my day. You're weird and interesting — I love that. Let's chat. You free for a Facetime/Hangout this Thursday?”
I was free on Thursday and for a follow-up interview over lavender cupcakes. I can now start referring to myself as a Yelptern (Yelp Intern) all because I took a chance on my cover letter. Okay, maybe not all but it was a first impression that set me apart from the cover letters that started with ‘To Whom It May Concern’. I know this because Aliza Licht, former DKNY PR Girl, always says, “ ‘To Whom It May Concern’ never concerns anyone”. Oh and my supervisor also said it himself.
Hello my PR people! My name is Mikayla Pieper and I’m a senior public relations major with a minor in political science. I’m excited to be a senior, but I’m also excited to enter into the world of PR and use all of the skills I’ve learned throughout my years at Otterbein. I’ve been a member of PRSSA for 3 years and I’ve served on the executive board as social media manager for almost two years! I’m a PRSSA board member because I saw an opportunity to grow as a leader and to learn more about PR, while interacting with my peers.
As social media manager, I run the Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. I love my position because I can incorporate a little bit of my personality into the social media posts. I can get the word out about events, meetings or speakers all while adding my own humor or way of speaking to the post. Social media is such a growing part of PR and the way we communicate, so having my social media experience will hopefully help me stand out to employers while job searching.
The exec board has given me an opportunity to grow in areas that I struggle in as well. I’m not the most creative person, so when it comes to making visuals for social media I used to shy away from the opportunity. Now, I give it my best shot, send it out to the rest of the board, and know they are all there to help me and give me an honest opinion.
If I had to describe my experience on the board in one word it would be opportunity. I’ve had the opportunity to grow as a leader, continue to hone skills I struggle with, make connections and overall have a fun time planning, conversing and getting pumped about PR! As a member of PRSSA I really recommend running for a position on the board next spring, you’ll be amazed by how much you learn!