So It’s been a while but I promise I have a good excuse. I was accepted as a summer intern for my dream public relations company for the summer! It was an extremely competitive process and I spent a lot of time preparing for every stage of that process so I thought I’d share some of the things I did to help secure my internship. Hopefully it will help some of you.
1) Prepare a killer resume!
Your resume is the first thing they will see so you want to make sure it represents you and your skills adequately. You want to make sure your resume fits within the field you’re going into. My field is public relations therefore I need to show that I have basic software media tool skills. So for more creative fields choose more creative designs, other fields may just want a standard resume (you can check out mine in the portfolio tab of my website).
On your resume make sure you include your education, relevant work experience, skills, extracurricular activities if you have them, contact info and any awards you may have received. I wrote RELEVANT work experience because you want to include jobs that fit within the field you’re going into, or at least find a way to show that the skills you’ve learned or utilized will fit with the skills needed for the internship you’re applying.
*Tip: Double check the job duties of your internship to tailor your work experience to it. I’m not saying to lie… you should have some experience whether that be school, volunteer or previous jobs/internships.*
2) Have a well thought out cover letter
Do not rush through your cover letter, this is your first impression. Introduce yourself and tell how you are best fitted for the internship. Highlight some of your skills and experiences, this is a good time to sell yourself. Make sure you are sincere, if this is an internship you really want express that. They want to know you are serious about the opportunity and that you have what it takes to be there.
I tend to use the first paragraph as an introduction, the second one to pitch myself and my skills, and I conclude in the third paragraph by expressing why I’d love to intern with that specific company.
3) Prep for your interview
I over-prepare for everything so I took notes of possible questions they could ask *thanks google* and prepared answers in advance. Common questions include:
“How has your experience helped prepared you for this internship?”
“Why do you want to work for this company?”
“Tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?”
A good strategy is to practice with a friend or out-loud to yourself, that way it feels more natural once you have the actual interview. Remember to ALWAYS have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview. They will almost always ask “Do you have any questions for me?” It’s awkward to just answer no, if you are truly interested you will have questions.
Some questions I asked were:
“What do you expect from an intern?”
“What does a typical work day look like for you?”
“Who would I report to for daily tasks?”
“What is the company dress code?”
If you are truly interested in the internship it will be easy to come up with questions because you will be curious.
4) Always write a thank you note/email.
I had several interviews throughout my process but I tried to remember to always send a formal thank you email to the interviewers thanking them for taking the time to interview me. Remember, the interviewers are busy employees and it’s a big deal for them to take time out to speak to you so make sure you show them you are thankful. It’s not only polite but it makes you look that much more professional.
5) Be yourself
As overwhelming as the entire process may be, try to always be sincere. Others can tell when someone is trying too hard so don’t. The best way to find the opportunity that’s right for you is to be yourself. Remember you will get rejected, I was rejected several times before I was finally accepted and I now appreciate those rejections. If you are being yourself do not be discouraged if you don’t get an opportunity because the right one will come along.
I hope this post will help some of you and good luck to all you future interns!