How to Slay an Internship
Summer is finally here and, as much as we love bikini weather, the hotter season is also ripe with professional opportunity. Time to beef up that resume, draft that cover letter, and cross your fingers because the summer internship game is in full swing.
Whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out, applying for a position at a new company can be daunting. Not to worry, you don’t have to go full on Elle Woods to get noticed. We’ve compiled some quick tips and tricks to help brush up on that application game and get you ready to score that dream internship!
Do Your Research
If you are new to the process of finding an internship, a great way to get started is by looking online. If you targeting a specific company, go directly to their website and hunt for an internship opportunity (these can normally be found in their “Careers” section). If you want to see what else is out there, Indeed.com, EntertainmentCareers.net, and even Craigslist are good options to start hunting for openings.
So you’ve found a few listings that may be a good fit – that’s great! However, keep in mind research doesn’t stop with simply finding the openings. Make sure you visit the website of your potential employer and familiarize yourself with the company. Who works there? Who are their clients? Have they been in the press recently? This information will not only help you impress your (hopefully) future employer, but also helps you get a sense of whether or not you feel like a good fit.
Revisit, Revise, and Revamp that Resume!
Keep it simple. Keep it informative. Keep it one page.
I know what you’re thinking,…“but Jacki I have so much work experience it doesn’t all fit on one page! I’m going to include all of it.”
Nope. One page only. No matter what.
When perfecting your resume, think of the job you want and what skills you want to showcase. Keep in mind that not every single skill/title is going to be applicable to your current job prospect, so why waste space and time including positions that aren’t relevant. If you are lucky enough to have an overflow of past positions, you can always reference additional experience by linking to your LinkedIn profile for more detail.
On the other hand, don’t panic if you don’t have a lot of work experience. We all had to start somewhere! This is a great time to showcase any extracurricular activities you are involved in. If you are passionate and willing to learn you will build up that resume in no time!
It’s All About Personalization
Use that research! This is your first opportunity to make a kick-ass first impression. Hiring managers get tons of cover letters per day and there is nothing worse than receiving a copy-and-paste job. Make yours stand out by personalizing it, and we’re not talking about making it pink and scented. What makes the company unique? Are there any clients you would love to work on? What makes you excited about potentially working there? Hiring managers are looking for candidates that will not only work efficiently, but are also a great fit for the company and have the right attitude. This is where you get to add some color to your experience and really highlight your passion for the role – don’t waste it!
Ace That Interview
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final stage and it’s time to blow them out of the water with your amazing self. We’re sure you are prepared, but here are some tips to put your best foot forward:
Confirm the appointment: Nowadays, everyone’s schedules seem overbooked. Reach out the day before to confirm your interview time. This gesture shows that you are organized and invested in meeting with them. It also serves as another opportunity to ensure they have all the materials they need from you before the interview.
Dress Appropriately: The phrase “dress for the job you want” definitely still holds water. Regardless of the dress code of the company, it’s a good idea to come in looking professional. Dress to impress!
Arrive early: It’s a good rule of thumb to arrive early to the interview. In short, if you arrive on time you are already late.
Although it probably goes without saying, if you make an appointment to come in for an interview… show up for the interview! No-shows are extremely unprofessional and the last thing you want is to waste the hiring manager’s time. If you have to cancel or reschedule for any reason, definitely let the interviewer know as soon as possible.
Thank You Cards Aren’t Just For Grandma
Yes, that annoying chore your mom has been bugging you to do for ages now actually pays off. By now you’ve slayed your interview and it’s time to solidify your spot with a thoughtful thank you note. If possible, I always advocate sending a handwritten thank you after the interview as it adds a personal touch. However if the interview requires a tight turnaround, a thoughtful email will suffice.
Pro Tip: have a pre-addressed envelope in the car and write your thank you immediately after the interview – you can pop it in the post on the way home!