By: Nicole Roberts
As February rolls around, it’s time to start sending out applications to land a summer internship. The thought seems terrifying and daunting to many of us, but it’s something we all must do. It’s not as bad as you may think, and by following these tips, you may just land you your dream internship.
1. Research, Research, Research!
When Applying: Before you apply to any internship, it is important to figure out whether or not it would be a good fit for you and if you would be a good fit for them. Research their culture and the work they have their interns do. If you like what you see, go ahead and apply!
When Interviewing: Before you attend the interview, learn as much as you can about the company. One of the most common questions you’ll get at an interview is, “What do you know about our company?” Read up on their goals, values, culture, etc. It’s no secret that companies and organizations love hearing about how great they are, so do your homework.
2. Proof Read, Proof Read, Proof Read!
One small typo can break you when employers are looking through your resume and cover letter. Don’t be that person. Have multiple people read through your documents, whether it be a friend, professor or family member. Don’t let one typo ruin your chances. With that, be sure to triple check your cover letters when sending them to different companies. There is no worse feeling than realizing you sent a cover letter with the wrong company name to one of your dream internships. Trust me.
3. Prepare for a writing test
It’s not unheard of to be given a writing test after an interview. Be sure to brush up on your AP style and make sure you know how to write a press release. You’re resume may tell them that you can do all of these things, but the writing test will prove that you can actually put something together, especially under some pressure.
4. Follow up
When Applying: If you send in an application and don’t hear back for a couple of weeks, don’t hesitate to follow up with a phone call or email to make sure all of your information got to them okay. It’s a way to get your name in their heads, and it shows that you are extremely interested in the position.
After Interviewing: Within 24 hours of your interview be sure to send a hand-written thank you note to your interviewer. Most people who send thank you notes will do it via email, but a hand-written letter can really set you apart. It’s an easy way to get a potential future employer to remember you.
5. Find a perfect interview outfit
Having a professional interview outfit is essential. It’s always better to overdress for an interview than underdress, so make sure you invest in a professional outfit. Avoid wearing strong perfume or cologne in an interview, and if you’re a smoker, DON’T smoke before. Studies show that dressing up gives you more confidence as well, so who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that?
The whole searching for an internship/interviewing thing can be intimidating, but they key is to just be prepared. Best of luck my fellow PReeps. You can do it.
“Have some courage and go for it,” – Jim Wojick