A successful cover letter should expand on, not regurgitate, details that can be found on a résumé. The cover letter should also sell your interest in publishing, your enthusiasm for the books and genres that imprint or department produces, and what excites you about the role. It should also share how you are day-one ready to support the hiring manager as their potential new employee.
Considerations for Your Cover Letter
These questions can serve as a framework or guideline for your cover letter. Utilize the ones that best suit the job you are applying for.
- Working in publishing:
- Why do you want to work in publishing and/or in this specific business area?
- Why do you want to work with these specific books or genres? What are the common themes or tropes in these titles/genres that speak to you?
- Who is the audience for these books? How would you reach that audience?
- What keeps you coming back to read more?
- What makes the books you love stand out against the competition?
- What publishing trends are you currently seeing?
- Translate your experiences and skills to the position:
- What job tasks or responsibilities are important/interesting to you? Are those highlighted in your cover letter?
- How do the required tasks connect to your experience? Think about your transferable skills.
- What are the most important skills utilized in your previous experiences? How do those skills apply to the role you are applying for?
Formatting Your Cover Letter
Be sure to follow these guidelines when applying to a role at Penguin Random House.
- Address your cover letter to “Hiring Manager” or “Recruitment Team.”
- Your cover letter should be no less than a paragraph and no more than one page (approximately 250-300 words).
- Do not bold, caps lock, or highlight keywords or phrases.
- Read the letter aloud to check for clarity and grammar.
- Save your cover letter as “Last Name, First Name Cover Letter” and upload the document as a PDF.