January 22, 2013

How to Write A Music Industry Cover Letter

Writing a cover letter is an important but difficult task, especially when you're doing it for the first time. It's hard to figure out what to say and can be even more difficult to figure out how to say it. In an effort to help make things easier, here's a checklist of some of things you may want to include in a cover letter when you're applying for a music internship:

By Power_of_Words_by_Antonio_Litterio.jpg: Antonio Litterio derivative work: InverseHypercube [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
☑Your contact information
☑ Address the cover letter to the right person and company
☑ How did you find the job? Especially if you found it through a contact.
☑ What are some of your related accomplishments (work with a band, playing music, other internships) and hard skills (Microsoft Office, social media)?
☑ How can you help the company?
☑ What will make you a good intern?
☑ What do you want to learn and how will this internship help?
☑ What do you like about the company?
☑ Why do you want to intern at that company? Be specific.
☑ Keywords from the job description if appropriate and the application is online
☑ What department are you interested in, if applicable?
☑ Don't forget to attach your resume
☑ Don't forget to proofread
☑ If your cover letter is in an email, keep it short and concise
☑ If your cover letter is a formal document, use formal business formatting

Putting It Together
Here's an example that ties all of this together into a sample cover letter. However, you should use it as a model, not a template  because you want your own personality and writing ability to shine.

Ms. Parker,

As a freshman in college, I have already logged over 1000 hours working at our college radio station and I would love to learn more about radio as a Radio Promotion Intern at ABC Records. I heard about the position through John Doe, a radio promoter who works with our station here at College University, and he recommended I contact you about it.

In addition to my work with the radio station, I am majoring in Music Business and have taken courses in music marketing and radio. I play guitar in a local band and help to book our shows and manage our merchandise orders. Most recently I booked a show Upstairs at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia which sold out. I am also great with social media and helped the radio station grow its Twitter followers from 300 to 1200. Finally, you mention needing someone who is good at working with Excel and Outlook and I recently completed a course in Microsoft Office through my university.

I would love to work with ABC Records because I am big fan of your artists, especially Jane Doe, and I admire the fact that you focus on artist development. It would be an honor to learn about radio by working with a company whose work I am so passionate about. Please feel free to call me at 555-555-5555. My resume is attached. Thank you.