How To: Stand Out As An Intern Applicant

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  • May 23, 2012
  • INK Team

This post comes from INK alumna Rachael Genson.

This morning, INK welcomes Rachael and Hadley, who will be spending their summer as our interns.  Their start brought an inevitable trip down memory lane for me, where I reminisced about all my wonderful experiences in college and realized how full circle my life has come since then. In the last year and a half, I’ve gone from being a college student, frantically looking for the internship that will jumpstart my public relations career, to finding that dream career, to now becoming the PR professional that seeks out those bright-eyed, proactive college students that I once was.

Intern

I’ve always considered myself to be a mentor – I love the opportunity to help others as I’ve been helped in the past.  So it’s no surprise that I jumped on the opportunity to co-manage INK’s internship program.  As an internship coordinator, I’ve seen plenty of cover letters and resumes come through my inbox and interviewed my fair share of applicants.  So in the spirit of helping out those future PR professionals, I wanted to share some tips that will help you stand out when trying to land your next internship:

First and foremost, proofread your resume and cover letter!  As a PR professional, our work is usually representing a client and a document full of errors (or even one error) does not reflect well on anyone.  With dozens of applicants each semester, coordinators need an easy way to narrow down candidates, so resumes that contain mistakes are the first to be thrown out. Utilize your school’s career services center for additional help.

Once you’ve made it to the interview round, be sure you know the company inside and out.  Companies like to see that you’ve done your research and that you can apply that newfound knowledge.  Tailor your interview responses specifically to the company you are interviewing with, and be able to speak to how your personal experiences and strengths will fulfill the company’s needs.

After the interview, be sure to write a thank you note.  I’ve always preferred a hand-written note, but in today’s world, any sort of thank you note will suffice.  This simple gesture will set you apart as a candidate and could easily make the difference between receiving the internship or not.

 Of course, these are only a few tips, but they go a long way in the eyes of any intern coordinator. If you are looking for additional advice, check out this post on Time Moneyland.

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