Applying For Internships
Applying For Internships
Eric J. Kuhn (Intern) gives expert video advice on: When should I start applying for internships?; What should I put in my resume and cover letter?; What if I don't hear back about any of the internships I applied for?
When should I start applying for internships?
If you want a summer internship, right before your winter break, maybe just get an idea of what you want to do, who you want to talk to, and come home from the winter break and have a meeting or two set up with some people who might be able to help you. Applying to internships is like applying to college. You have to have some "reach" internships, four or five that you don't think you can get, but hey, you're going to try and you're going to try your hardest. You might land one of them. Then, have some target internships. Have ones that are like dead-on, like, "this is what I want to do, I'm qualified to do it, I'm going to get it." Then have some safeties, that you're like, "Well, alright, it's not my first choice, but if I do it, it'll be great experience." So then, when you come back from the winter break, now you're in your dorm room, and you've made your list, start calling up some of these people. You're early, but that shows enthusiasm, that shows that you're on top of things, and that's a great thing. So probably you're going to call up someone and say, "Hey, I want to apply for an internship," and they're like, "Oh, we're still looking for interns for THIS semester," but now your name's out there and if you apply earlier, the earlier you apply, the better your chances are, especially if there's a huge pool. For the mere fact that sometimes spots get taken up.
What should I put in my resume and cover letter?
An internship is step A to get into something. So alot of people aren't expecting you to come in with a chocked full resume of every single thing under the sun you've done in this field, because the entire point of an internship, is that you're getting that experience. So, if all you've done is work at a restaurant, that's great. You should put that down, because that shows that you were responsible, that shows that you can hussle, which is huge. That shows alot about who you are. If all you've done is babysit, thats great too, because that shows you're responsible, that you know you're personable, because if you're dull, I'm sure those parents are not going to ask you back to intern to watch their kids, and intern their kids. If you're irresponsible you're not getting a babysitting gig.
What if I don't hear back about any of the internships I applied for?
So you send your resume. It's like, “yeah okay now what?” You don't hear back. Pick up that phone and call up the person you sent it to. “Hey, I just want to make sure that you got my resume”. “Yeah yeah we did, we're still looking into it”. Okay. So now you've at least helped yourself flag your resume again. Because if you send in your resume and kick back your feet and drink pina-coladas and hope that you get hired, it's probably not going to happen. Actually most internship coordinators are probably expecting you to call because that shows initiative. If you don't show initiative when you're applying, you're certainly not going to show initiative when you are in the job. Pick up that phone. Call the intern coordinator and say “Hey I just want to make sure that you got my resume”, maybe a week after you've sent it. Another week goes by and you don't hear anything. “Hey just want to check in, you know, just want to check in”. Another week goes by, “Hey just want to check in, you know, really I'm excited to work for you, would love to set up an interview.” Be assertive. This is it. Just keep on calling. Don't sit back. Do not sit back. Keep on calling. Keep on emailing. Now, if the person on the other line says “Stop calling” or something, you've got to be polite about it. And if you really get the sense that you are really bugging them, pull back a little bit. Call every other week. There's a fine give and take. Don't call them every day. “Did you get my resume, did you get my resume.” Just calm down. Just, you know, once a week, once every other week. But just make sure that they respond back. Now if you apply really early and they say, “We're going to contact you in a month”. Just mark that down and so in a month just say “You were going to contact me in a month”. Be aggressive. Call them.