Monday, May 9, 2016

Agency Lessons: How not to get an internship

Agency Lessons is a weekly post that gives authors and readers an inside look into the mind of a literary agent and a peek behind the curtain of how books are made.


I received the following email yesterday. Names have been changed to protect the clueless. Typos have been left in.

How's it going?

I visited your website today..
I'm currently looking for work either full time or as a intern to get experience in the job fiield.
Please review my Resume and let me know what you think.

Your help is greatly appreciated, 

Person not being hired

With all of my heart I want to believe that this is spam. I have never in my entire life wanted an attachment to be full of viruses more than I did today. I'll never know since there is no way on God's green earth I'm opening that attachment. Sadly, I'm feeling pretty 50/50 about the chances of it being spam versus an actual request for a job given the history of emails that have landed in my inbox.

I'm thinking the reasons this would be an automatic no should be pretty obvious. But just in case.

How's it going?

Really? No name. No, Dear Person I'm very much hoping to work with. As a general life lesson, if you are A) approaching someone regarding a professional matter or B) approaching someone from whom you are going to ask for a favor, you should always use their name and go with formal over casual. Since this is both A and B, this greeting is a big fail.

I visited your website today..

Great! Our website does state that we have an open call policy where people can send their resumes in at any time and we will pull from them when looking for new interns. However, the website also gives clear guidelines for what to submit and where. Hint: it's not a poorly worded email to me.

I'm currently looking for work either full time or as a intern to get experience in the job fiield.

Outside of the continued typos, this is two very different things you are asking for here. One is requesting a job (I'm assuming as an agent) and the other is requesting an internship. Besides the previously covered business that I'm not the person you should be talking to, a little more information would be lovely. Exactly what it is you're looking for would be a great place to start.

Please review my Resume and let me know what you think. 

No thanks. For clarification, see all of the above.

Again, I'm praying to the starry heavens above that this is spam. Regardless, let's all let this be a reminder that our correspondence with others carries weight. From a query letter to a review request and even a response to a fan email. We should all be mindful that our emails are part of the platform we create as professionals. Make sure you're sending the right message about your brand.

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