Résumé Tips and Interview Etiquette for College Interns

Over the past three years of college, I have worked as a Human Resources intern at a local non-profit company in Philadelphia. During this time I have learned some valuable information that I will share so that you can land an awesome internship! Creating a resume doesn’t have to be a challenge for you, but if it is - remember that we all have to go through the same process. At some point in time everyone must create a résumé.

Less is actually more for résumés. Hiring managers usually don’t want to look at resumes more than one page because imagine how many applications they receive in one day! Be kind to their weary eyes by listing work experiences that are most relevant to the position that you are applying for and only include the most recent and relevant extracurricular activities. Irrelevant information is often dismissed by hiring managers who want résumés that are clear and to the point. You can always submit an updated resume once you schedule your interview.

Cover letters are good to include with any résumé you submit because it informs your prospective employer of your professionalism, company knowledge and interest in the position. Research the company that you are applying to for a hiring manager or president/founder so that you can personally address the letter. If possible, relate key aspects of the company to your own experiences and work history, such as company awards to your own awards or a rich history to your college journey.

Remember, a resume and cover letter are supposed to highlight who you are. Once you are able to schedule an interview you should focus your efforts on expanding this information. Pretend that you already have the job and your interview is just a formality, so your nerves don’t take over. To make a lasting impression, dress professionally and address the interviewer as Mr. or Ms. unless they inform you otherwise. It’s okay to ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question. It is better to speak up than to sound like a babbling fool.

It would also be cool if you could get friends to help you prepare for your interview - make it a fun night! Supply the food and space so that your friends have a reason to come. Take out potential outfits and have your friends critique them. If they’re really good friends ask them to create possible interview questions for you to answer and make sure they give you good feedback.

Even if you don’t land the first internship you apply to, don’t get discouraged. Try to stay connected to job search resources and communicate with friends. LinkedIn and other social networking sites are pretty good when it comes to job opportunities. Don’t give up! Everything happens for a reason and there are always other opportunities for you.