It’s internship application season! College students everywhere are gearing up and applying for internships left and right. In the PR and marketing world, interning in college is pretty necessary. These are two very competitive industries, and the right internship experience(s) will help your resume stand out when you’re applying for your very first full-time positions after college.
How does one land their dream internship? I completed 4 internships while I was in school and now I am hiring a team of summer interns of my own, so it has been very enlightening being on both sides of the interview process. Today, I want to talk about the steps you need to take before the interview. Don’t be so quick to submit your resume – research the company and spruce up your online image and resume first.
BEFORE YOU APPLY
Do your homework: Research the company and the position before you apply. Google the company address (or the city, if you can’t seem to pin down the exact location) and have a plan on how you’re going to commute to the office. If you foresee that commute being an issue, hold off on applying. Look carefully at the job description. Do you fit the qualifications? Do you need a car for the position? Is it paid/unpaid? How many days a week would you need to commit to the position? Figure out if you would be able to commit to the position based on the information provided. If you have any additional questions about the internship, save them for the interview.
Fix up your resume: Head to your university’s career center or ask a professor to review your resume before you start applying for internships. I highly recommend keeping your resume to one page. Employers have dozens of resumes to review, so keep things brief and eliminate any unnecessary info/experiences that you don’t need. I would eliminate the ‘objective’ section of your resume; you can explain your career goals in your cover letter. Omit any jobs from high school unless they are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Format, format, format: Put your resume in a .PDF file. When you place your resume in a .PDF file, it will look the same on every computer. I’ve had a ton of resumes sent to me in .doc format and the entire layout was messed up when I opened it up on my work computer.
Clean up your social media: In the PR/Marketing industry, it is best to have a presence publically on social networks to show employers that you’re savvy with social media. It is often the intern’s duty to manage social media for a company, and you will need to demonstrate that you’re proficient in various different platforms. Volunteer to be a social media manager in a student organization, or make a professional Twitter account or blog to show off your strengths. Just remember, if you’re using social media publically, be conscious of what you say on those platforms.