Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Get a Marketing Internship: Write an Amazing Cover Letter

This is my third of three posts on creative ways to land a marketing internship. Read the first. Read the second.

It's Simple
This is the easiest of my three suggestions for how to get a marketing internship: write an amazing cover letter. I've read hundreds (thousands?) of marketing internship cover letters, and only a few still stand out in my mind. Your letter must include the following three components, in this order:
  1. State that you really want to work at the company and why you want to work there -- be sure to mention how you feel the internship fits into your career goals. Be enthusiastic.

  2. Describe why you are the best qualified for the job. Keep it short and to the point.

  3. State that no task is too small for you and that you will have a positive attitude no matter what you are asked to do.
Do not start your cover letter describing how you are qualified for the job. It's not about you at first – it's about the company and its needs. And the company's most important need in a marketing internship candidate is a strong desire for the job.

The Advanced Cover Letter
If you're looking to get a little crazy with your cover letter, consider these three ideas:
  • Write your cover letter from the point of view of the fish that lives in a bowl in your house. Your fish hears about all of the things you're involved in and hears about all of the qualifications you have for the job and is happy to get the chance to finally tell someone about them. Your fish knows that you are reliable because you always feed him at the same time every day, and you're not afraid to get your hands dirty because you clean his tank once a month.

  • Write the first two sentences of your cover letter in a foreign language. Be sure to translate what it means. Use this technique if having foreign language skills is important to the internship.

  • Cut out letters from a magazine to form the following statement (ransom-note style) at the top of your cover letter: "Give me an internship and everybody wins." Then, type a brief letter below.
Add This to Your To-Do List
My advice is the same as it has been in the last two posts:

If you're currently looking for an internship or a job in marketing, get creative! Sell yourself well and convince the employer that you can sell their products or services even better than you can sell yourself. Stick yourself out there and see what happens. The worst that can happen is that you don't get the job. Trust me -- it's better to try and not succeed than it is to have never tried.

There's never a lack of ideas.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Using a Facebook Advertisement to Land a Job

This is my second of three posts on creative ways to land a marketing internship. Read the first.

Friending Your Marketing Internship
Taking out a Facebook advertisement is an easy, effective way to get the attention of a marketing internship coordinator. Here’s what you should do:

1. Create a web page that includes a message to your potential employer about why you want to become an intern at that place and what makes you qualified. This is going to be the page to which your Facebook advertisement points when clicked. Add a photo of yourself and start with something like, “Hi, I’m Nick, and I want to be an intern at [company] really badly.”

If you aren’t able to create your own web page, do the above steps to the extent you are able on LinkedIn or a free blogs site (like the one I’m using here).

Make sure that your page lists your email address so that page viewers can contact you. Most importantly, ask up front for the person reading your page to put you into contact with (or forward your information to) the internship coordinator.

2. Create a Facebook advertisement. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you’re going to need one to create an ad. Creating a Facebook advertisement is quite simple, and I won’t go into the nitty-gritty details about how to do so here. The most important things to remember are:
  • Target only people whose workplace is your desired employer. Employers with as few as 100 employees can be targeted. If your desired employer has multiple offices, target your ad geographically so that you have a better chance of getting the attention of your internship coordinator.
  • Write a compelling headline and include a picture of yourself. You’re limited to 25 characters, so make them count. You must include the name of your desired employer in the headline so that it grabs the attention of the employees at that company. Abbreviate the company’s name if necessary. If you were trying to get an internship at the company in which I work, you could use this as your headline: “I’m crazy for IES Abroad.”
  • In your ad copy, get right to the point: “I’d love to be an intern at IES Abroad. Can you help me contact the internship coordinator? Click for details.”
  • Link your advertisement to the web page that you created in step #1.
3. Pay for your ad per impressions (CPM). You are trying to get as many clicks on your ad as possible, so you don’t want to pay per click. Trust me on this.

4. Be prepared for multiple people to contact you once you start running your ad. When they do, thank them for reaching out to you and ask them if they can help get your internship application in front of the right person. If someone takes the time to click on your ad and contact you, they will most likely help you in this regard.

This strategy will certainly earn some attention and will hopefully get your name in front of the internship coordinator. If you have a great résumé and your interview skills have been polished nicely, you’re sure to land that internship!

Add This to Your To-Do List
It’s the same as last time:

If you’re currently looking for an internship or a job in marketing, get creative! Sell yourself well and convince the employer that you can sell their products or services even better than you can sell yourself. Stick yourself out there and see what happens. The worst that can happen is that you don’t get the job. Trust me — it’s better to try and not succeed than it is to have never tried. If an intern applicant did something as creative as taking out a targeted Facebook advertisement, I’d schedule her for the first interview.

There’s never a lack of ideas.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nick’s Knacks — How I Sold Myself for an Internship

This is my first of three posts on creative ways to land a marketing internship.

Parts for Sale
When I was a junior in college, I spent my entire spring break applying for inter
nships. I thought I'd share my most creative internship application with you. I hope this inspires you:

I was applying to an ad agency (I don't remember which one) and the application process simply said, "sell yourself to us." So, I took that literally and created a catalog that I called Nick's Knacks. In the catalog, I offered my body parts for sale (it sounds weird, but it wasn't — click on the images on the right to see spreads from my catalog). In the catalog, I included photos of different body parts like my hands, feet, and head, and I used descriptions of my parts to write about how those parts made me the perfect candidate for the internship. I then sent the catalog to the hiring manager with a cover letter.

Here's the description that I used to sell my feet:

Nick's feet provide him with a firm foundation — one that's based on hard work. His strong foundation will support him as he tackles this challenging internship. And eventually, his feet will carry him very far in marketing and in life.

The End Result
Unfortunately, I didn't get the internship. In fact, I never even heard back from the agency at all. I called to make sure that they got my package and they told me they had no idea what I was talking about. So, I sent another one and then got the same run-around. As far as I'm concerned, it was their loss, not mine!


Add This to Your To-Do List
If you're currently l
ooking for an internship or a job in marketing, get creative! Sell yourself well and convince the employer that you can sell their products or services even better than you can sell yourself. Stick yourself out there and see what happens. The worst that can happen is that you don't get the job. Trust me — it's better to try and not succeed than it is to have never tried. If an intern applicant sent me something as creative as Nick's Knacks, I'd schedule her for the first interview.

There's never a lack of ideas.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Blog

47 Posts Old
Today marks the first-year birthday of my blog. I made my first official post a year ago, today. 47 posts later and here we are. Thank you to all of my readers for making it fun to post all of my marketing ideas. In the last six months, graduate school has made it tough to post as often as I'd like, but thanks for sticking with me.


To celebrate my blog's birthday this month, I'll be posting a three-part series about three great, creative ways to get a marketing internship. I think you'll really get a kick out of the posts. Until then, sit back and enjoy my top ten best original ideas over the past year:
  1. The Future of Marketing: The Gap Meets Facebook
    (my favorite post)
  2. Christian Louboutin: Seeing Pink? (the post that started it all)
  3. White Castle Love Inspires a Taco Bell Fiesta
  4. This Picture is Worth $100
  5. The Frozen, Friendly Skies
  6. A Mini-Golf Outing (Literally)
  7. Pen Swap
  8. It's a Wedding Dance-Off!
  9. Customized Crayons
  10. How Postcards Can Get their Groove Back
As a bonus, here's one more post that's been one of my most popular: How to Advertise Your High School Reunion. Thanks again, for your support, everybody.

Add This to Your To-Do List

Enjoy my top ten posts!


There's never a lack of ideas.