I’m sorry if I am being a tad harsh on future would-be PR interns, but your cover letters to me can only be described this way: GAH!!
Let me run down the biggest mistake when sending me a cover memo with your resume attached: Get my last name right! I know, I know, I have too many vowels and Ls in my last name. Sorry, blame my ex. He gave it to me, along with a Tylenol 3 headache that lasted about 8 years until we divorced. But I digress. Please, if you are sending me a letter then at least get the “Ms. Rusciolelli” right. I’m easy to please, really.
When you spell my last name wrong, two things instantly happen – I don’t read the rest of your cover letter and I quickly trash your accompanying CV. No saving it, no lovely response telling you how much I loved your letter, that I have no openings right now but will keep your CV on file ... nada, niente, zilch. Why? Because when you can’t spell my name that tells me you are sloppy, hurried and careless. Three attributes that don’t go over well in our business. Do you have any idea how many emails and letters we send to media, clients, analysts, politicians, dignitaries, CEOs and VIPs every day? Well, I don’t really know the answer either, but it must be a ton for sure. One misspelled cover letter could cost us big.
So, a little advice my dear young students: when sending those well crafted cover letters to me that you agonized over writing, get my name right and you’ll get a response. Maybe not the response you want, but you will hear from me. Promise.
Oh, and by the way, if I read “To whom it may concern” (why I still get those is beyond me?) your email address instantly goes into my spam filter and I place a much needed call to your parents.