The rules of the job search and what matters most to today’s employers and recruiters has changed drastically. However, you can learn a lot from an email I sent 10 years ago that helped me land my first PR internship.
The email is both bold and ridiculous but it worked.
If you’re familiar with the Sakita Method, then you know that I recommend bypassing the HR department and going straight to the decision makers whether that be the CEO of the company or the person who leads the team or department where you want to work.
In this case, I emailed Jade Dressler, the founder of Jade Dressler Communications (JDC). She’s since pivoted the company, but at the time it was a boutique luxury and lifestyle PR firm.
I was a freshman in college, on my first Winter break looking for Summer internships (yes, I was that girl).
I knew that I wanted to work in the fashion industry because it seemed the most exciting, so I was laying on the floor in my bedroom, looking up job listings on Fashion.net when I landed on one for JDC.
I sent the following email at 3:16 a.m. on December 30, 2005:
Note: Now, I try to avoid sending emails this late. My strategy is to draft at night and send in the morning.
To: Jade Dressler
Subject: Miss Success – Internship Inquiry
::WILL WORK FOR EXPERIENCE::
I am currently looking for a Summer 2006 internship with a PR focus but I am talented and flexible enough to work in any department and still be 100% productive.
I am a workaholic as well as a perfectionist so I won’t disappoint.
A natural born leader and risk taker…initiative is my middle name (actually, it’s Precious!).
I absolutely love all things PR/Fashion/Entertainment! I am a self-proclaimed PoweR Girl and aspiring Business Woman!
I am a communications major/business minor at Howard University.
Experience to date:
– REDACTED –
- Working at TRACE Magazine for a day under Publisher Amy Andrieux (Jan. 3)
- Working for YOU…as soon as you contact me!!!!!
Please feel free to contact me as soon as possible. Any time!
– – –
I am literally shaking my head as I write this. Bless young Sakita’s heart.
There is nothing traditional about this approach, but I just went for it.
I was really passionate about breaking into the PR industry and I didn’t want to wait until I was a sophomore or junior in college to start getting experience. At the time, I figured that most people would be sending these really formal cover levers and resumes and after reading dozens of those, I’m sure the person on the other end’s eyes were probably glazed over.
So I shot my shot and spoke from the heart. And it worked.
I got the following response 5 hours later:
I went on to work for JDC that next Summer and it was such a great experience (I got my first media placement that Summer in the NY Daily News!) and confirmed that this was an industry that I definitely wanted to work in (I also decided that same Summer that I wanted to have a PR firm some day and call it House of Success).
After that internship, I sent other emails like this one to land subsequent internships and jobs.
My cover letter emails got more eloquent over time but the common thread that I was going for was to really try to give them a sense of who I was and that I was really interested in the available position as opposed to someone just blindly applying to job listings.
So the takeaway here is that if you’re looking for an internship, a job or pitching for new opportunities or business, think of ways to make your email or pitch stand out because there are hundreds of people vying for the exact same thing that you want.
- The Sakita Method: 10 Job Search Tips That Work
- Are Job Listings Actually For Vacant Positions?
- Unconventional Job Hunting Advice for PR Grads
- I Just Quit My Job: The Email I Sent to Friends Before Launching House of Success
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Have you ever sent a bold or ridiculous email that had a positive end result?