An Example of a Great Intern Cover Letter

[Used with permission, all names redacted.]

Every year our company hopes to find great interns to fill our paid internship positions. With that, a good cover letter goes a long way, especially if your resume may not have a lot of actual work experience at this stage.

Here’s an example of a cover letter that shows character, accountability, willingness to learn, and a heck of a lot of personality and promise.

No plagiarizing, please; use this only as inspiration.

To Whom It May Concern:

In today’s exceedingly competitive and fast-paced market, it is vital for organizations to entail strong and aggressive leadership to meet constantly evolving business development goals. I am confident that my driven personality, outstanding ability to multitask, exceptional oral and written communication skills, market research and sales experience, as well as vast knowledge of business finance and computers can contribute to the superior level of performance and innovation at <your company>.

What intrigues me most about this position offered by <your company> is the expertise and experience I would be able to gain in constructing customer identities in each of the company’s market segments, including description of roles in segment organizations by job title, what influences them to purchase, and many more. I would be able to utilize the knowledge I currently have in market research from developing a marketing plan for a college of nursing as well as constructing a new marketing strategy for <company>. Also, I would be able to apply my experience and knowledge in sales to the position, which is great when gathering information from the sales department and applying it to the market segment research.

Currently, I am seeking a position where I can uphold strong business development, marketing, sales, finance, or management performance standards, work directly with clients and make an instantaneous impact on the company. I am a full-time student athlete who works 25+ hours per week, which allows me to exercise and enhance acute time management skills. As a member of your team, I am confident that my sociable personality, innovative philosophies, and experience can make an immediate contribution to the continued success of <your company>.

The location of <your company> is not an issue seeing as I am planning on taking up residency in <your city> for the summer after spending most of the previous summer on <campus>. My resume is available for your review and consideration. I welcome the opportunity to speak with you regarding available opportunities with <your company> for the upcoming summer.

A great cover letter doesn’t have to be perfect. But if it shows, not tells, who you are and what you can bring to the company, it will get attention. And in this case, it got this person the job!

Would this style of cover letter make or break this person’s chances with your company?

Why I Don’t Spoil My Guinea Pig

My guinea pig, Teddy, has a 2 x 4 C&C cage with a 1 x 2 upper lair. He comes out to run in our guinea-pig-proofed second bedroom every day.

He gets a variety of vegetables and fruits. He has fleece to lay on. He has a plush couch. He has tubes, boxes, and other toys.


He also gets to go outside in a carefully-supervised, guinea-pig-fence-and-coverage arrangement on days favorable to guinea pig constitutions.

In short, he has more accessories than I do.


Perhaps inevitably, strangers and friends have said to me, “What a spoiled piggie!”

And that’s so not what it is.

Imagine a 6′x6′ office cube is ALL you have to live, eat, work, and do your other business in for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That’s it; that’s your space.

Then imagine you are entirely dependent on someone else to provide you with everything you needed to survive. Not just for some things, everything, including getting out once in awhile. Not just for a few formative years of your life or a few end years of your life, but your whole life.

Would you consider yourself spoiled if you got let out of your cube sometimes, got it cleaned, or got served something other than the exact same meal every day? Would you want to be considered spoiled?


I’d be pretty happy about it, if it were me!

I understand the phrase I hear is often laced more with an expression of disbelief than outright negativity, depending on who says it, of course. Yet the very word “spoiled” is negative in both definition and connotation, and I object to the overt nuances (and often outright spoken-nesses) of “Why are you wasting your time?” and “It’s JUST a guinea pig”-isms.

That’s why I don’t see what I do as spoiling. I see it more as treating someone as a being of consequence. There’s no “just” when someone is in your care. This is both simple and natural to me.

How do you deal when someone says you’re spoiling your pet?

And now he’s taking up an instrument: Teddy inspecting my ukulele.




Where Are We With Google+?


Your business should be using G+, say articles such as this one from Amanda Clark of Grammar Chick, Inc. Clearly the expected exodus from Facebook to G+ has yet to fully launch since we’re still being urged to use it.

And sure, my company is on G+; I’d even go so far as to say we actually use G+, but Facebook, for all its irritations, continues to be where our audience is and where the bulk of our focus remains. So the main reason we’re on G+ is the same reason why we’re on Pinterest and other platforms that don’t traditionally cater to the B2B crowd: We’re spreading out our footprint in the hopes of attracting customers. And so far, G+ hasn’t yielded enough to pour more effort into it.

It seems that the underlying reason G+ is still being touted as the Next Big Thing has less to do with it wanting to ape (or improve on) Facebook’s platform and mine its userbase and much more to do with Google’s pervasive integration in our online lives. Clark has this to say about it:

“Google wants people to use its search engine, and has essentially imposed itself on us. Google+ Business pages have started to yield higher and higher search results, and content posted there gets an automatic edge in search engine rankings.”

This is a little tongue in cheek, but maybe the reason people in general aren’t flocking to G+ is because they don’t like being told they have to be there.

I realize the platform is still in its infancy, especially compared to Facebook, and 10 years from now could see a whole different side. Perhaps we just expect too much too soon from a social media giant.

Are you using G+ for business or pleasure? Have you found your audience?

How to Stay Private and Secure on Facebook (2014)

Not ready to give up Facebook, but privacy is important to you? Here’s how you can get as close as you can to actual privacy barring deleting your account:

Interviewers: What About Second Impressions?

being interviewed

Job seekers know this all too well: When you’re up against the job-search competition, sometimes the only chance you’ve got is the first impression you give.

YouTern’s The Power of First Impressions: Did You Earn a Second Look? infographic (courtesy of Davitt) breaks down what goes into a first impression. From the tone of your voice to arching your eyebrows, we’re being evaluated the moment we appear.

No secret, right? We’re far from having a judgment-free society. We know what it’s like to sum somebody up in a split second–and what it’s like to be on the receiving end. As a job-seeker, it makes sense that you use all the tools you can to give yourself the edge you need. An arsenal, if you will.

But that’s why I’d like to ask the interviewers: How much do you invest in second impressions?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t trust our instincts; we should.

I’m talking about the risk of reading too much into someone touching their hair, sitting with arms crossed, smiling too much, not smiling at all. A nervous laugh. A scuffed shoe.

I’m talking about putting too much of “us” into our evaluation of the other person, and not enough of what that person is really about.

We often pack up all our impressions into one big impression and go with it as a judgment. Rightly or wrongly, we can let it dictate to us how we feel about the person as a whole and start making assumptions. There’s also the reverse, where the first glance seems so good–say this person has lots of ideas and is bubbling over with enthusiasm and interviews great!–that you overlook the fact that they can’t come up with anything they’ve actually finished, nor have good results to show when they do.

Knowing we’re likely to be guided on first impressions should make everyone take a mental step back. Allow those second, even third impressions to come through before discounting what could be a sterling candidate because of what may amount to test anxiety. As yourself, how often are you swayed by things that are superficial and arbitrary*?

Think of it this way: Is it the scuffed shoe that contains the skills to do the work, or the brain?

*Your concept of what constitutes superficial and arbitrary versus deal-breakers may vary.


What Happened to Accountability? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Zendesk has an infographic about how to hire for client-facing positions. In essence, you can teach skills; it’s the inherent traits such as kindness and empathy that you want to hire.

It makes sense. When someone is the voice or face (or both) of your brand, you have to make sure they know how to talk to your audience.

Yet a few things seem to be missing.

Where are accountability, follow-through, or execution as desired traits or skills?

I’d like to see another section after Hire for Attitude; Train for Skill, one that includes the final rounding off that would make this new hire a prize: Having the drive to do something with what you learn from the people you talk to, ideas you’ve come up with during conversations, ways to make things more efficient, reliable, awesome.

What happens after the phone is down or the screen is off?




More reading: Another infographic that lists 10 skills you’ll need for the jobs of 2020–but is a little shy on accountability here, too.

How to Be a Social Media Rockstar For Your Brand

social media concept

I’ve been doing social media for a few years, but I still get the jokes that I play on Facebook all day. That’s okay; I AM on Facebook all day. And Twitter. And G+. And YouTube. And LinkedIn. And…you get the picture.

But while it’s fun, it’s not exactly playing. One false move and all the good things you’ve done are mysteriously forgotten. The internet has an astonishingly good memory for bad news, and a suspiciously selective one for good deeds.

If you’re doing social media for a living, you already know that it takes time, tactics, strategy, and a whole heap of awareness—and that’s just one set of cornerstones. You may still be able to get some sleep, but social media never does. And there’s always someone watching.

Now that I’ve creeped you out (and myself), here are a few things I’ve learned over the past few years, free of charge (we’re all in this together):

  1. Put a face on it.

    Talk to people like they’re people, not faceless customers; talk to people like you’re a person, not a faceless brand. You’re having a conversation, not a sales pitch—at least, don’t make it seem like a sales pitch—so leave the corporate speak on the company website.

    How you do all this will depend on your audience, which means you’ll have to do a lot of listening. Be respectful and be aware of the company brand at all times, but don’t be afraid to inject some personality into it. And make it clear who you are: If you’re responding to people under a corporate logo, include your name.

  2. Pay attention.

    Automated tools make it easy to set it and forget it, but you still have to be there to respond to questions and concerns or you lose credibility fast. I love using Hootsuite to set up tweets throughout the day because doing some automation frees me up to respond in real time where I can, as well as do all the other social media things I need to do. As a bonus, someone in a different time zone will wake up to your tweet as you’re off to your hard-earned rest.

  3. Embrace negative feedback.

    We all love positive feedback, but it’s how you work with negative feedback that will help you learn and help make your company look good to everyone watching. My view is if someone cares enough to take the time to complain about a specific issue, that means you can work with that person. You can’t work with whispers, but you sure can with shouts.

    That said, learn to tell the difference between someone with a legitimate grievance and someone just wanting to stir up anonymous trouble. In extreme situations, follow your social media policy, call on your team, don’t feed the trolls, and take it offline as quickly as you can.

  4. Don’t be afraid to ask.

    Sometimes the best way to figure out what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and what people want from you is simply to ask. People love giving advice, especially if you show that you respect what they have to say. I asked the community on one of my Facebook Pages what they’d like to see in a guide we wanted to create for them. The answers poured in! So ask generally or ask a few key supporters, but ASK.

  5. Keep learning.

    If there’s one thing social media has taught us, it’s that we never stop finding out something new. Build in time for research. Block off your calendar if you have to, but do it. Take advantage of free webinars on LinkedIn, BrightTalk and HubSpot; attend Twitter chats and look at other sites in your niche to see how they’re managing their communities.

  6. If you’re going to panic, do it on the inside.

    That adage about never letting them see you sweat holds just as true online as off. Build yourself that team of supporters, seek out advice, and do what it takes to calm down—and then respond to the situation.

  7. Have FUN.

    Yep, even after all that. Social media is something to enjoy even as you’re creating those campaigns and putting in extra hours. You’re reaching people. You’re helping people. You’re giving them what they need. It’s an awesome feeling.

What’s your advice for being a social media rockstar?



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