By Haley Fite
Edited by Katy Randolph
The diversity of an education in communication allows students to fulfill many different internship roles in a variety of communication industries from public relations and marketing to sales and broadcast news. Internships provide valuable experience for all students to apply the theoretical knowledge they acquire in the classroom to the real and urgent needs in the communication industry. The road to successfully finding, applying, interviewing and accepting an internship, however, can be difficult to navigate and not to mention just the tiniest bit stressful.
In the first post in this series I walked you through some of the ways can find an internship opportunity. And now, hopefully, that you have found that perfect internship it’s time to apply! For the most part, applying for communication internships is pretty straightforward and has three main components.
When curating the perfect resume, a great place to start is with formatting. The resume format is typically standard. You want to strive to keep your resume to a single page and use standard fonts such as Times New Roman, Helvetica and Arial. For ease of readability, you should also keep the font size to between 10 and 12 point and make good use of white space. To make your resume stand out, try adding a pop of your favorite color, where appropriate. From here, you can move on to the content of your resume.
Your resume serves as a snapshot of your experiences and accomplishments. You will want to carefully consider what experiences you place and highlight on your resume in light of the position to which you are applying. This is where you will want to pay close attention to the description of the internship. You will want to take into consideration the type of work you would be doing in such a position as well as to what the company specifically states are the qualifications and skills needed for the position. From here, you will want to decide what specific experiences you wish to highlight on your resume. While, it is okay to have a template of your resume you will always want to keep it up to date and relevant to the position to which you are applying.
If you find you are still struggling to create the most successful resume possible, check out your campus career services center — most provide services and information on crafting an effective resume.
- Cover Letter
A cover letter is there to expand upon your past experiences and the information provided on your resume. With this in mind, however, you do not want to simply restate the information you have provided on your resume but rather you want testify as to what you have learned from these experiences and how they would allow you to succeed in this particular role. As with your resume, customization will allow you to stand out to potential employers. A cover letter is a great place to directly address some of the preferred and required qualifications for the internship as well as some of the duties with which you may be tasked. For example, if the internship would call for you to maintain some of the organizations social media accounts and you had previously curated the twitter page for your student group then you would want to highlight and expand upon that experience. Did you double the number of followers you had? What voice did you give the group? What were the results? These would be some of deliverables to mention in your cover letter that you may not have had the space for on your resume.
- Writing Sample(s)
Submitting a writing sample is a rather common request when applying for an internship related to public relations or communication. Writing samples may include such works as a press release or a blog post. They may also very well be items that you have been asked to create for a course and thus already have in your possession. These pieces are a great place to start because you more than likely received some type of feedback from an instructor — allowing you to strengthen your work and produce a better-quality piece. You may have produce a quality writing sample outside of class as well. For example, in your extracurricular involvements you may have been asked to create a newsletter or blog post for your student group. In any case, the key is to show that you are able to write clearly and concisely while maintaining the voice of an institution.
Now that you have successfully applied for your dream internship, the next step is nailing the interview so be on the lookout for our next post on putting your best foot forward and making a stellar first impression.