I made time today for an informational interview with a student who will be graduating in the Spring of 2012, and is eager to break into the PR field. She has already experienced the fierce competition that currently characterizes the entry level when trying to obtain an agency internship for Summer 2011. We had a good conversation about the various avenues to consider to strengthen both her experience base and her impact on prospective employers. And then she asked this question: What about her cover letters?
Ah, the cover letter.
I thought for a moment, and then came clean with my first and most honest reaction: I don’t read them. Or, if I do read them, the letter gets maybe 3 to 5 seconds max of my attention. Then I’m immediately off to focus on the resume.
After this somewhat guilty admission, I launched into a whole series of semi-connected perspectives on the subject. Having gone on for a minute or so on the subject, I had a little internal dialogue with myself. The dialogue went something like this: