For a minute there, I was struggling to come up with an idea for what I wanted my first article of 2013 to be. Then I realized that this was because my mind was filled with the thoughts of summer internships and everything that goes along with them. I know we don’t want to think about it because then that means thinking about résumés, cover letters (the worst), and interviews (wait, maybe that’s the worst). In the subsequent paragraphs, I will attempt to relieve you of these worries by laying down some helpful tips to make sure you snag that summer internship.
Reach Out: So you’ve googled that amazing internship you’ve been thinking about for months, but there’s no information on how to apply or whether or not it technically even exists. Note that this is never a reason to give up. Email or call the company and ask to speak with the internship coordinator or someone in Human Resources. You may think this is making you seem obnoxious, but it’s not! You’re demonstrating initiative and interest, as well as getting your name out there. Even if you want to email them just for advice or general information, the worst thing that could happen is they won’t email you back. Remember that time you walked around with your skirt tucked in your underwear? That was worse.
The Résumé: I’ve never been 100% about the accents in “résumé”, but I’m not looking back. Most likely, you already have one of these – even if it’s only the one you made in your high school communications class. Whether you’re still holding onto that crumpled up piece of paper from freshman year or you just turned in a fresh copy last week for a job application, I still recommend taking advantage of our Career Center to make sure your résumé has been looked over by an extra set of eyes. We’re in college now, so no one cares that you were the vice president of National Honor Society in high school. It’s a bummer, but it’s true. The Career Center will make sure that all of your experiences seem relevant to the internship you’re applying for and help to make you a standout applicant!
The Cover Letter: Every time I have to write one of these, I contemplate my life if I were to just drop out of school and never have to write a cover letter. That life consists of me knocking on the front door of my parents’ house asking if they’ll let me crash in the basement. They rudely reject me. I’m then forced to suck it up and write the cover letter. One reason that they’re such a struggle is because if you’re doing it right, you’re writing a different cover letter for each application. Employers can tell when you’ve only switched out a couple of things from a generic cover letter and once they figure it out, your application’s in the trash. Be honest, polite and sell yourself. Don’t forget to include important details like addressing the actual internship coordinator instead of that “to whom it may concern” malarky. It can make all the difference!
Other Useful Resources: Aside from the Career Center, try talking to your academic advisor or an advisor in the field of the internship you’re applying for. They could have other internships you’d be interested in applying for or just some helpful tips. I would also recommend checking out Lauren Berger’s (AKA the Intern Queen) book “All Work, No Pay” which is essentially the intern bible. Even though I’ve read the book already, I’m constantly referring back to it. She touches on everything from the application process to what to do once you’ve finished your internship.
Hopefully you feel more confident about the chaos that is internship application season. Work hard, be confident and good luck!