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Thread: Point in right direction: cold contact letter for internship/volunteer

  1. #1
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    Point in right direction: cold contact letter for internship/volunteer

    Happy Tuesday, everybody.

    Can someone please point me in the right direction for an example of a "Cold Contact Email" for an internship, volunteer position, or anything else.

    I recently obtained my Masters in Planning and have moved to the bay area. The bay sure is nice, but it is tough to find some employment with the down economy and the tough competition with all the other qualified people in the same position that I am in (unemployment!). I tried doing a few searches on Cyburbia and have found little. I have some examples from Google, Monster.com, and so on but I was wondering if anyone had examples of their own that worked so I could see a proven commodity.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by northam01 View post
    Happy Tuesday, everybody.

    Can someone please point me in the right direction for an example of a "Cold Contact Email" for an internship, volunteer position, or anything else.

    I recently obtained my Masters in Planning and have moved to the bay area. The bay sure is nice, but it is tough to find some employment with the down economy and the tough competition with all the other qualified people in the same position that I am in (unemployment!). I tried doing a few searches on Cyburbia and have found little. I have some examples from Google, Monster.com, and so on but I was wondering if anyone had examples of their own that worked so I could see a proven commodity.

    Thanks in advance,
    Rather than a random email or letter, why don't you just google a few local firms to set up "informal interviews" for firms that you might be interested. Obviously do a little background research and the such. Also, the Northern California Section of the APA has a great "young planners" group and mixers to network, and have a wicked holiday party coming up. Go and do some networking there. Putting yourself out there versus a cold call or email goes 1000 miles further.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
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    I don't have an example, but I would strongly urge you to consider sending in hard copy materials in lieu of e-mail. It's easier to delete an e-mail, not so much to delete a hard copy letter with your resume and perhaps portfolio. Plus a lot of the folks who might consider hiring are older folks who are less accustomed to e-mail (or anything e-, really). Also, e-mail has always struck me as casual - even though I most certainly use it far more than any hard copy stuff.

    As one who has hired in the past, I'm much more inclined to consider hard copy materials than e-mailed materials, unless I explicitly posted an ad requesting electronic submittals. For cold call stuff, anyways.
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  4. #4
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    "Rather than a random email or letter, why don't you just google a few local firms to set up "informal interviews" for firms that you might be interested. Obviously do a little background research and the such. Also, the Northern California Section of the APA has a great "young planners" group and mixers to network, and have a wicked holiday party coming up. Go and do some networking there. Putting yourself out there versus a cold call or email goes 1000 miles further"


    "I don't have an example, but I would strongly urge you to consider sending in hard copy materials in lieu of e-mail. It's easier to delete an e-mail, not so much to delete a hard copy letter with your resume and perhaps portfolio. Plus a lot of the folks who might consider hiring are older folks who are less accustomed to e-mail (or anything e-, really). Also, e-mail has always struck me as casual - even though I most certainly use it far more than any hard copy stuff.

    As one who has hired in the past, I'm much more inclined to consider hard copy materials than e-mailed materials, unless I explicitly posted an ad requesting electronic submittals. For cold call stuff, anyways."

    It is nice to hear I was not out of my mind initially. I was wondering if hard copy materials or informal interviews would work better because people receive so many emails and mine would be just another one cluttering up the inbox. I think these sound much better than an email, it is just that I was given advice by a few people telling me to do an email instead of these suggestions of hard copies or informational interviews. I will find some examples of questions to ask and then shape my own around the format I find.

    Tarf, If I send in a portfolio do I just enclose a cover letter? Or do I cold call? first impressions are so important and I do not want to mess this up.

    All of this is really, really helpful.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I would agree with the suggestion to send a hard copy rather than an email. Keep it short, explain that you have moved to the area, ask for the opportunity to meet to get some insight into the local planning environment, and then indicate that you will follow up with a phone call. You can attach a brief bio, which I prefer to a resume. The resume makes it look like you are fishing for a job (which you are) whereas a bio is less formal.
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