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.