Most students that apply for internships don’t know that their current resume, cover letter and portfolio may be hurting their chances more than helping them. Here are a few resources and tips to getting your application materials up to par:
The University Career Services website has some great samples if you’re just getting started. If you already have a resume in place, be sure to have lots of people review it. Having a variety of suggestions may seem overwhelming, but the more input you get, the more you can pick and choose which suggestions you’d like to incorporate into your finished product. Be sure to keep your formatting consistent. Your resume is a chance to show your skills on the computer and that you pay attention details–a great quality to have.
As a junior or senior searching for an internship, it is preferable to put Education first on your resume. List the name of your degree spelled out “Bachelor of Arts in Communications.” List Emphasis: and Minor: GPA: along with Awards, Scholarships, Extracurricular activities, Membership in professional organizations, Related Courses (if no experience shows up on the resume), etc. You can add a category–Related Experience to display your experience gained in class projects where you have worked with an actual client and completed real-life assignments–such as a public relations campaign, advertising campaign, experience at NewsNet, The Daily Universe, etc.
Use present tense verbs for experience you are still involved with and past tense verbs for experience you’ve completed. Use terminology relevant to your field of study. Use professional phrasing to show competency in writing. Match your experience to each requirement in the job description if possible and put the matching experience as the first item so it is seen in the first screening.
Use a cover letter to give the potential employer any information that you want them to have about you. State the ideas clearly. You should use this as a general format, but do not feel tied to it. This will help you to organize your thoughts–but feel free to change it to suit your writing style or the particular position you are applying for. Be sure to use the same header formatting that is on your resume. This header should act as your personal stationary letterhead.
First paragraph: Introduce yourself and include pertinent information about your job skills and how you found the listing and what position you are applying for.
I am a Junior majoring in Journalism at Brigham Young University….etc.
Second and third paragraphs: Give a more complete explanation of the types of work you have done or are doing. Address the skills you have been developing while working, both directly relevant skills (for instance, in Journalism this would include writing, editing, etc.) and indirectly relevant skills (for instance, learning problem solving skills, ability to meet deadlines, to work in a team atmosphere, to take direction from many sources, etc.) You may also mention relevant courses you have taken if you do not have actual experience yet. Try to match the experience you have with the job description.
Use professional vocabulary and phrasing. Make this an interesting letter to read. Be confident in your experience and knowledge and build a case for how your skills can be of benefit to this organization. Do your homework and mention things about their organization to show that you know who their clients are and possibly mention your interests that might relate to their clients.
You should try to find something memorable about yourself that will help them remember you after reviewing a hundred other resumes and cover letters.
Final paragraph should thank them for reviewing your application and that you look forward to an interview. Give them the information they will need to get in touch with you to schedule the interview (time of day and phone or email).
Meet with Us
If you would like to meet with someone regarding any of the topics covered above, feel free to contact either Keith Lue or Derek Jack.
Communications Internship & Career Services
280 BRMB | firstname.lastname@example.org | (801) 422 – 6846
Associate Director, Career Advancement
University Career Services
2400 WSC | email@example.com | (801) 422-6535