Internship 101: The Search

Computer desk

Photo Credit: Vadim Sherbakov

I’m writing a new series about internships.  Read on for some of my tips and tricks!

History

4 internships might sound like a lot but they are scattered from my Sophomore year in college and beyond. Past companies I’ve worked for include BuzzFeed, Marvel, Nicole Miller and Ben-Amun.

Paid versus unpaid

Normally the company listing will tell you if the internship is paid or unpaid. If you choose to take an unpaid internship, ask if they offer a transportation stipend. There are some negative stories regarding unpaid internships, so do some research on the company and past employees.

Paid ones may seem like a rarity but they do exist! Keep in mind these are more competitive, so make sure you stand out with a stellar cover letter, resume and portfolio (if applicable).

Typewriter

Photo Credit: Florian Klauer

What makes a good resume?

  • Simple design that is easy to read
  • Keep your job responsibilities specific (try to avoid clique words and rambling sentences)
  • Make sure to include your contact info and portfolio/LinkedIn urls

Do I really need a cover letter?

Yes, I would recommend submitting a cover letter, even if they don’t require it. A cover letter can bring life to your resume. It will help your hiring manager figure out what kind of person you are. Plus it’s another way you can help distinguish yourself from everyone else.

  • Keep it less than one page
  • Try to always address the cover letter to your hiring manager (see here for tips)
  • Don’t just repeat what is in your resume. Instead try elaborating on a specific problem or explain to them why you would be a perfect fit for the job!

Start your search

Look everywhere! Follow your favorite companies on social media and visit their Careers page regularly. Update your LinkedIn account and resume. Get email updates from internship and job posting sites.

Narrow down what you want to do! Do you want something in Public Relations or design based? Think about your skills and prepare yourself. Is there anything you can do to improve on your skills and show your drive? Read up on current events, creating a blog or even taking an online class can help immensely.

Important tip: Read job listings carefully! Following directions is something new applicants fail to do (like including a cover letter or answering a question in the job listing), according to hiring managers I’ve spoken to. Submit all requested information and documents, don’t think you can get away with ignoring their instructions.

Recommended Resources

The Muse – A wonderful well-rounded website for internship and job advice. They also have exclusive job listings within their site!

Fashionista – Check their “Careers” page for internships in California or New York. Good for those looking to get into the fashion industry.

Glassdoor – A review site for companies. They have reviews from past employees and potential hires about everything from work environment to the interview processes. Take this with a grain a salt.

*Don’t forget about…your local library, past professors/educational connections and your college’s alumni group.

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